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Full text of "Life and works of Charles H. Spurgeon being a graphic account of the greatest preacher of modern times ... to which is added a vast collection of his eloquent sermons, brilliant writings, and witty sayings. By Henry Davenport Northrop"

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LIFE AND WORKS 

OF 

REV. CHARLES H. 8PURGEON 

BEING A 

Graphic Account of the Greatest Preacher 
of Modern Times: 

Sis Boyhood and Early Life; Wonderful Success in London; 

Preaching to Vast Audiences at the Crystal Palace, 

Surrey Music Hall and in the Open Air; 

Famous Metropolitan Tabernacle ; 

: Pastor s College, Orphanage, 

etc., etc. 

CONTAINING 

Personal Anecdotes, Vivid Descriptions of his Appearance and 

Characteristics ; Last Sickness and Death ; Magnificent 

Tributes, etc., etc., 

TO WHICH IS ADDED A 

VAST COLLECTION OF HIS ELOQUENT SERMONS, 
BRILLIANT WRITINGS, AND WITTY SAYINGS. 

By HENRY DAVENPORT NORTHROP, D. D., 

Author of " Earth, Sea and Sky," " Beautiful Gems," etc., etc. 



Embellished with Numerous Fine Illustrations. 

Memorial Publishing Co. 
1892, 



{ ^ v 

IV 






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1892, by 

J. R. JONES, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 



64Q5 



PREFACE. 



THIS volume contains a graphic account of the Life 
and Labors of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon. It portrays the 
brilliant career of the most celebrated preacher of mod 
ern times, his matchless eloquence, his tender pathos, 
his ready wit, and his wonderful mastery over the 
human heart. 

It is an interesting narrative of Mr. Spurgeon s 
life, and is enriched with the choicest of his sermons 
and lectures, and with a large collection of extracts 
from his most famous writings. 

This comprehensive volume is divided into three 
parts. 

Book I. contains the great preacher s history. It 
relates the incidents of his early life, shows you the 
boy preacher at the age of sixteen, and traces his 
marvellous successes in the great metropolis. It de 
scribes the immense Metropolitan Tabernacle and its 
vast throngs, among whom were not only the poor 
and illiterate, but the most famous persons of the 
realm, including Gladstone, Bright, Shaftesbury, and 
multitudes of others. 

Mr. Spurgeon was not merely a popular preacher; 
he was a sunny, genial, witty, great-hearted man. He 
was bold as Luther or Knox, yet possessed deep sym 
pathies, fiery zeal, loving charity, and carried on manv 
enterprises for the welfare of the poor and unfortu 
nate. This work describes his College, where him- 
dreds of poor young men were educated, and his 
Orphanage, which sheltered thousands of homeless 
children. 



nr . PREFACE. 

His last, lingering illness; the religious world 
watching at his bedside; the eagerness with which 
reports were awaited ; his removal to the south of 
France in hope of recovery ; and the final scene when 
he breathed his last, and both hemispheres were 
startled by the news, all are depicted in this volume. 

Book II. contains Mr. Spurgeon s most celebrated 
sermons and lectures. These are plain, pithy, ex* 
pressed in vigorous Saxon, and go right to the heart. 
Young and old alike are interested in them. He was 
a master of the art of illustration, and had the rare 
faculty of making use of the scenes, facts and inci 
dents he met with in his ordinary every-day life. 
There is, therefore, scarcely a dull page in his ser 
mons or writings. He always had something practi 
cal and interesting to say, which secured for him a 
multitude of hearers and readers. 

Book III. comprises a very interesting collection of 
witty, wise, pathetic, eloquent extracts from the famous 
preacher s writings. These are illustrated, and are 
very captivating. Gems from the Spurgeon " Note- 
Book," quaint sayings of "John Ploughman," beautiful 
figures and weighty moral lessons, enrich this volume. 

Mr. Spurgeon s death removes the most conspicu 
ous figure in the religious world, and one of the most 
remarkable men of his time. His deeds will live after 
him. His noble record is made. Whatever monu 
ment of bronze or marble may be erected to his mem 
ory, his finest tribute will be the glowing words he 
spoke, the myriads of souls he moved, the grand bat 
tle he fought and the brilliant achievements which 
cannot die 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
Birth and Ancestry. 

World-wide Fame. Unprecedented Success. The Great Preackw s Av 
cestors. Good Old Grandfather. Pen-picture of a Country Minister. 
Buckled Shoes and Silk Stockings. John, Father of Charles. A Good 
Mother. Reply of " Charley " to his Mother. Countiy Boys. House 
hold Influence. Thirst for Knowledge. An Industrious Youth. A 
Remarkable Prophecy." Old Bonner **,.<>. , I? 

CHAPTER II. 

Mr. Spurg-eon s Account of his Conversion and Early 
Preaching". 

A Desponding Penitent. Visit to a Primitive Methodist Chapel." Look, 
Look 1 "Preaching in the Old Place. Happy Days.^ Light in Dark 
ness. Profession of Faith. Mission Work. Boy Preacher. The First 
Sermon.-^-Cottage and Open-air Services. Escaping College. Poem . 34 

CHAPTER III. 
The Young- Preacher In London. 

Speech at Cambridge. Invitation to London. Willing Hearers. Interest 
ing Letters to New Park Street Church. Visitation of Cholera. Labors 
among the Dying. Publication of Sermons. Eagerness of the Public to 
Obtain the Printed Discourses. Description of the Youthful Preacher. 
Thronging Crowds. Birthday Sermon. Preaching in Scotland. Good 
News from Printed Sermons. Reports of Many Conversions 3 5$ 

CHAPTER IV. 
A Wife and a New Tabernacle* 

Mr. Srjargeon K Marriage, Twelve Sermons Weekly. Not an Aacurte^ 

fvl 



Vi CONTENTS. 

Surrey Gardens Music Hall. The Great Metropolitan Tabernacle. 
Praying among Bricks and Mortar. Preaching to the Arist<*fracy. Note 
from Mr, Gladstone. Offer from an American Lecture Bureau. How the 
Preacher Appeared in his Pulpit. Pastors College. Poem Addressed to 
Mrs. Spurgeon. Revivals and Colportage. Talk of Founding a New 
Sect Visit to Paris. Preaching to Coster-mongers * ft 

CHAPTER V, 
Successful Labors. 

Orphan Houses. Impressive Spectacle. " On my Back." Liberal Gifts.* 
Illness of Mrs. Spurgeon. Silly Tales. A Black Business." Laid 
Aside by Illness. New Year s Letter. The Pastor Prostrate. Discus 
sion Concerning Future Punishment. The Bible and Public Schools. 
A Victim to Gout. Visit to the Continent. Pastors College. Ingather 
ings at the Tabernacle. Colored Jubilee Singers. Pointed Preaching. 
Great Missionary Meeting. A New Corner-Stone . ^ 

CHAPTER VI. 
The Pastors College, 

The First Student. Call for Preachers to the Masses. A Faithful Instructor. 
Growth of the College. Efforts to Secure Funds. Generous Gifts.- 
Unknown Benefactor. Provision for Students. Opinion of Earl Shaftes 
bury. New Churches Founded. Mr. Spurgeon s Annual Report. Milk 
and Water Theology. Rough Diamonds. Course of Study. Earnest 
Workers. A Mission Band. Interesting Letters. Help for Neglected 
Fields t Y ..... t t X M 

CHAPTER VII. 
Stockwell Orphanage. 

A. Large Gift. New Home for Children. Process of Building. Laying 
the Corner-Stone. The Little Ones Happy. Generous Givers. Daily 
Life in the Orphanage. What Becomes of the Boys. Rules of Admis 
sion. Not a Sectarian Institution. Successful Anniversary . .14.3 



CHAPTER VIII. 
Annual Report of Stockwell Orphanage. 

A Devoted Woman. Faith Insures Success. Story of an Old Puritan.* 
Need of a Double Income. Health of the Orphanage. An Appeal 
Hard to Resist. Young Choristers. Spontaneous Charity. A NotabU 
Year. Enlarging the Bounds. Girls Orphanage. Liberal Response t/ 
Appeals for Help. The Miracle of Faith and Labor , 60 

CHAPTER IX. 
The Great Preacher s Last Illness and Death. 

Alarming Reports. Messages of Sympathy. Cheering Words from the 
Christian Endeavor Convention of the United, States. Message from 
International Congregational Council. Letters from the Prince of Wales 
and Mr. Gladstone. Rays of Hope. Anxiety and Fervent Prayers. 
Glowing Eulogies. Removal to Mentone. Unfavorable Reports. The 
Closing Scene. Immense Literary Labors , , . . . * i & 



BOOK: n. 



Sermons and Lectures by Rev. C. H. 
Spurgeon. 

Hands Full of Honey ........ 193 

Glory , 219 

The Luther Sermon at Exeter-Hall 244 

The Best War-Cry . 261 

Lecture on Candles * . o . * aty 



CONTENTS. 

Lecture to Students on the Blind Eye and Deaf Ear . 394 
$hort Sermons on Practical Subjects . . * - - JS* 



Choice Selections from the Writings ot 
Rev. C. if. Spurgeon. 

John Ploi g hniaii s Talk and Pictures , ; ..;..; . 761 

Feathers for Arrows, or Life Thoughts of Bev. C. H* 

Sp^Tgeon , , .447 

Tributes to Bev. C. H. Spurgeon . * &? 



BOOK I. 

Rev. (Ii&rle5 H. 




THE STORY OF HIS LIFE AND LABORS, 



CHAPTER I. 

Birth and Ancestry. 

World-wide Fame. Unprecedented Success. The Great Preacher s Ancestors. 
Good Old Grandfather. Pen-picture of a Country Minister. Buckled 
Shoes and Silk Stockings. John, Father of Charles. A Good Mother. 
Reply of " Charley " to his Mother. Country Boys. Household Influence. 
Thirst for Knowledge. An Industrious Youth. A Remarkable Prophecy. 
" Old Bonner." 

THE fame of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon has filled the 
world. His name is known among all civilized 
peoples, and his sermons and writings have been 
translated into many languages. No other man of 
modern times preached to such multitudes of peo 
ple ; no other possessed a combination of gifts so 
rare. If success is the standard of merit, the great 
London preacher was the Saul among the prophets, 
standing head and shoulders above others. 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon descended from the 
Essex branch of the same family. Early in his minis 
try in London, he was introduced, at a book-store in 
Paternoster Row to Mr. John Spurgeon, a descendant 
3 (17) 



18 REV. CHAKLES H. SPURGEON. 

of the Norwich branch of the family; and on com 
paring notes of their respective ancestors, piety, up 
rightness, and loyalty were found alike in both. The 
same spirit of religious intolerance which sent the 
immortal Bunyan to Bedford Jail for preaching the 
gospel also sent, in 1677, Job Spurgeon to Chelms- 
ford Jail, where, for conscience sake, he lay on a 
pallet of straw for fifteen weeks, in extremely severe 
winter weather, without any fire. 

The great-grandfather of Pastor Spurgeon was 
contemporary with the opening period of the reign 
of King George III. The record preserved of his 
memory is, that he was a pious man, and ordered his 
household according to the will of God. From that 
day to this, the family has never wanted a man to 
stand before God in the service of the sanctuary. 

A Good Old Grandfather. 

James, the grandfather of Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, 
was born at Halstead, in Essex, September 29, 1776. 
As a boy he was seriously inclined, and whilst yet a 
youth became a member of the Independent church 
at Halstead. Whilst an apprentice at Coggeshall he 
was accepted as a member of the church there under 
fche pastoral care of the Rev. S. Fielding. Following 
business pursuits till he was twenty-six years of age, 
his mind at that period was directed entirely to the 
work of the ministry, and in 1802 he entered Hoxton 
Academy. After two years study, an application 
from Clare, in Suffolk, was made to him to try and 
raise a congregation which was very low ; and in this 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 18 

he succeeded so far, that in September, 1806, he was 
appointed pastor, and the church prospered under his 
pastorate. 

The protracted ministry of Mr. Beddow in the 
Independent church at Stambourne, in Essex (a 
church which had only four ministers during 1 the 
course of two hundred years), having terminated in 
1810, Mr. Spurgeon received a unanimous call to the 
oversight of that church, which he accepted, and in 
May, 1811, he was recognized as their pastor. Him 
self the fourth of a succession of long-lived pastors 
in that village, he remained pastor over the church 
more than half a century, during which period he was 
peaceful, happy, and successful in his labors. He 
frequently remarked, when more than fourscore years 
old, "I have not had one hour s unhappiness with my 
church since I have been over it." Invitations from 
other churches were sent to him, but the love, har 
mony, and prosperity which prevailed between pastof 
and people induced him to decline them all, and he 
remained true to the people of his choice. 

Pen-picture of a Country Minister. 

It is a recorded fact, worthy of perpetuation, that 
the venerable James Spurgeon never preached in any 
place away from his own church, but God fulfilled his 
promise, and gave him to hear of some good being 
done to persons in the congregation. He had a large 
head, and much that was good in it. He had a good 
voice, and was very earnest and practical in preaching 
the glorious truths of the gospel. The great useful- 



20 KEY. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

ness of his life-long ministry will be known only in 
eternity. He was known widely in Essex as a man 
of the old school staid, quiet, and uniform in his 
dress and habits. He was the very picture of neat 
ness, and in many particulars resembled John Wesley, 
especially in his manners and stature. He wore a 
dress cravat, a frilled shirt, and had a vest with deep 
pockets, as if provided for large collections. He was 
seldom without a packet of sweets, which he gave 
generously to the children wherever he went, so that 
they gathered round him and attached themselves to 
him with a firmness which riper years did not shake. 

Last Days. 

He was always happy in the company of young 
people. He wore the breeches, buckled shoes, and 
silk stockings which marked the reign of George III., 
and he really looked to be a venerable Nonconformist 
minister of a past age. For more than half a century 
his life corresponded with his labors. His gentle 
manners, his sincere piety, and his uniformity of con 
duct secured for him the good will of his neighbors, 
ind he was as friendly with the parochial clergymen, 
is with his attached Nonconformist friends. He often 
went to the parish church to hear the sermon when 
the prayers were over, especially when the cause of 
missions was to be advocated. 

He was blessed with a wife whose piety and useful 
labors made her a valuable helpmeet to her husband 
in every good word and work. In his last illness he 
was sustained by divine grace, and the desire he had 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 21 

so often expressed, that he might speak of Christ on 
his dying bed, was granted to him. He said the gospel 
was his only hope ; he was on the Eternal Rock, im 
mutable as the throne of God. Those who were 
privileged to witness his departure from earth will 
.never forget his joy and peace, and the glorious pros 
pect he had of heaven. 

The Senior Spurg-eoiu 

John Spurgeon, the father of Charles, was born at 
Stambourne in 1811. He was the second of ten 
children. He was a portly-looking man, a good speci 
men of a country gentleman, and was nearly six feet 
m height. For many years he was engaged in busi 
ness at Colchester ; but, with so excellent an example 
of a minister as was his father, it is not strange that 
his mind should have run in the same direction, 
though he did not fully enter on the ministry till he 
had reached the prime of life. For sixteen years he 
preached on Sundays to a small Independent church 
at Tollesbury, being occupied with business during 
the week. He next accepted a call to the pastorate 
of the Independent church at Cranbrook, Kent, a 
village of three thousand persons, where he remained 
five years. 

The popularity of his son Charles in London was 
not without its influence on the father, whose personal 
worth and whose ministerial ability were not unknown 
in the metropolis, as he had spoken occasionally ac 
meetings held by his son. The pastorate of the 
Independent church in Fetter Lane, Holborn, became 



22 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

vacant, and was offered to and accepted by Mr. Spur- 
geon ; but his stay there was not long. A sphere 
more in accordance with his years and position was 
offered and accepted by him, and for some time 
he was pastor of the Independent church worshipping 
in the Upper Street, Islington. That position he 
resigned at the end of the year 1876. He did good 
work in that locality, and was much beloved by the 
people. + His preaching was plain, earnest, and 
pointed, and he manifested an affectionate solicitude 
for all under his pastoral care, especially the young 
people. 

A Good mother. 

There are many large places of worship m the 
locality, and preachers of distinction are numerous in 
that populous suburb ; but even there Mr. Spurgeon 
gathered a large and important congregation twice on 
the Sabbath, to whom his preaching was both accept 
able and beneficial. The various branches of church 
work were carried on with energy and fidelity ; and 
those which required female agency were fostered 
and watched over with affectionate solicitude by Mrs* 
Spurgeon, whose motherly affection secured for her a 
welcome in the families of the church. Mrs. John 
Spurgeon has passed to her re ward. 

Mrs. John Spurgeon was the youngest sister of 
Charles Parker Jervis, Esq., of Colchester, in which 
town her husband carried on business for many years, 
Wherever she has resided she has been known and 
esteemed for her sincere piety, her great usefulness 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 23 

and humility. She is low in stature, and in this re 
spect her son Charles takes after her, but not in 
features, in which particular the other son, James 
Archer Spurgeon, assimilates more to his mother. 
The prayerful solicitude with which she trained her 
children has been rewarded by each one of them 
making a public profession of their faith in Christ. 
Two of her sons occupy foremost places in the me 
tropolis as preachers of the gospel ; and one of her 
daughters, the wife of a minister, not only assists her 
husband in the preparation of his sermons, but occa 
sionally delivers addresses to small audiences. 

Speaking one day to her son Charles of her solici 
tude for the best interests of all her children, Mrs. 
Spurgeon said, "Ah, Charley, I have often prayed 
that you might be saved, but never that you should 
become a Baptist." To this Charles replied, " God 
has answered your prayer, mother, with His usual 
bounty, and given you more than you asked." 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon made great sacrifices 
of personal comfort to give a good education to their 
children, and the children were taught habits of thrift 
and self-denial. The care thus bestowed on their 
training when young has been to the parents a source 
of much satisfaction ; the good results of that care 
are manifested in the happy home lives of their chil 
dren. When, at some future period, the historian of 
the Metropolitan Tabernacle and of the Stockwell 
Orphanage is considering the primary causes of those 
great enterprises the care which Mrs. Spurgeon be- 



24 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

stowed on the early training of her family must be 
counted as a valuable auxiliary in preparing the way 
for such exemplary conduct. 

The Country Boys. 

The villages of England, more than the towns, have 
the honor of producing our great men. In the vil 
lage the faculties develop themselves as nature forms 
them, while in the large towns a thousand delusive 
influences are continually diverting the minds of the 
young into channels of danger and error. The 
parents of Pastor Spurgeon were residing at the 
village ofKelvedon, in Essex, when on June 19, 
1834, their son Charles was born. The population 
of the place is only two thousand souls, and the resident 
clergyman, at the time just stated, the Rev. Charles 
Dalton, lived long enough to celebrate his jubilee as 
minister in that parish. The Spurgeon family be 
longed to the Nonconformists, under whose teaching 
they were all brought up. Charles and James Spur 
geon were much separated during their early years. 
Charles was of a larger and broader build than James, 
and the boys of the village are said to have given 
them names designative of character, which also indi 
cated friendship or attachment. Charles had as a 
boy a larger head than his brother, and he is repre 
sented as taking in learning more readily than James, 
whilst the latter excelled more in domestic duties. 
Besides the brothers there are six sisters living, two 
of whom are said to resemble Charles in mental 
energy. 




&EV. JAMES A. SPURGEON, CO-PASTOR. 



26 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Household Nurture. 

As the children were growing up, the father, like 
many professional and public men, feared his frequent 
absence from home would interfere with the religious 
education of the little ones. But happily for him he 
had a true helpmeet to co-operate with him in this 
important work, and happily for those children they 
had a noble mother who lived for them, and sought 
to build them up in true Christian character, Nor 
has she lived unrewarded for her pains. Oh, that all 
mothers learned the lesson well ! Hear the good 
man speak thus of his wife : 

I had been from home a great deal, trying to build 
up weak congregations, and felt that I was neglecting 
the religious training of my own children while I was 
toilincr for the good of others. I returned home with 

o o 

these feelings. I opened the door and was surprised 
to find none of the children about the hall. Going 
quietly upstairs, I heard my wife s voice. She was 
engaged in prayer with the children ; I heard her 
pray for them one by one by name. She came to 
Charles, and specially prayed for him, for he was of 
high spirit and daring temper. I listened till she 
had ended her prayer, and I felt and said, " Lord, I 
will go on with Thy work. The children will be cared 
for." 

The Diligent Youth. 

When just old enough to leave home, Charles was 
removed to his grandfathef s house at -Stambourne, 
where, under the affectionate care of a maiden aunt y 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 27 

and directed by the venerable pastor, he soon de 
veloped into the thoughtful boy, fonder of his book 
than of his play. He would sit for hours together 
gazing with childish horror at the grim figures of "Old 
Bonner " and " Giant Despair ; " or tracing the ad 
ventures of Christian in the "Pilgrim s Progress," or 
of " Robinson Crusoe." The pious precocity of the 
child soon attracted the attention of all around. He 
would astonish the grave deacons and matrons who 
met at his grandfather s house on Sabbath evenings, 
by proposing subjects for conversation, and making 
pertinent remarks upon them. At that early period 
in life he gave indications of that decision of character 
and boldness of address for which he has since be 
come so remarkable. 

In the spring of 1840, and before he was six years 
old, seeing a person in the village who made a pro 
fession of religion standing in the street with others 
known to be of doubtful character, he made up to 
the big man, and astonished him by asking, " What 
doest thou here, Elijah ? " 

In 1841 he returned to his father s house, which 
was then at Colchester, that he might secure what 
improved advantages in education a town could supply. 
His mental development was even then considerably 
in advance of his years ; and his moral character, 
especially his love of truth, was very conspicuous. 

Spending the summer vacation at his grandfather s, 
in 1844, when he was just ten years old, an incident 
occurred which had a material influence on the boy 



28 REV. CHAKLES H. SPURGEON. 

at the time, and even more so as Divine Providence 
opened his way. Mr. Spurgeon s grandfather first 
related the incident to the writer, but it has since 
been written by Mr. Spurgeon himself, with title of 
"The Rev. Richard Knill s Prophecy." The account 
is as follows : 

A Puzzling Question. 

" When I was a very small boy," writes Charles H. 
Spurgeon, " I was staying at my grandfather s, where 
I had aforetime spent my earliest days ; and, as the 
manner was, I read the Scriptures at family prayer. 
Once upon a time, when reading the passage in the 
Book of Revelation which mentions the bottomless pit, 
I paused and said, * Grandpa, what can this mean ? 
The answer was kind but unsatisfactory : Pooh, pooh, 
child, go on/ The child intended, however, to have 
an explanation, and therefore selected the same 
chapter morning after morning, Sunday included, and 
always halted at the same verse to repeat the inquiry. 
At length the venerable patriarch capitulated at 
discretion, by saying, Well, dear, what is it that puzzles 
you ? Now, the child had often seen baskets with very 
frail bottoms, which in course of wear became bottom 
less, and allowed the fruit placed therein to fall upon 
the ground. 

" Here, then, was the puzzle : If the pit aforesaid 
had no bottom, where would all the people fall who 
dropped out at its lower end ? a puzzle which rather 
startled the propriety of family worship, and had to 
be laid aside for explanation at a more convenient 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 

season. Questions of the like simple and natural 
character would frequently break up into paragraphs 
at the family Bible-reading, and had there not been a 
world of love and license allowed to the .inquisitive 
reader, he would soon have been deposed from his 
office. As it was, the Scriptures were not very badly 
rendered, and were probably quite as interesting as 
if they had not been interspersed with original and 
curious inquiries." 

A Walk Before Breakfast. 

On one of these occasions Mr. Knill, whose name 
is a household word, whose memory is precious to 
thousands at home and abroad, stayed at the minister s 
house on Friday, in readiness to preach at Stambourne 
for the London Missionary Society on the following 
Sunday. He never looked into a young face without 
yearning to impart some spiritual gift. He was all 
love, kindness, earnestness, and warmth, and coveted 
the souls of men as misers desire the gold their hearts 
pine for. He heard the boy read, and commended: 
a little judicious praise is the sure way to a young 
heart. 

An agreement was made with the lad that on the 
next morning, Saturday, he would show Mr. Knill 
over the garden, and take him for a walk before break 
fast: a task so flattering to juvenile self-importance 
was sure to be readily entered upon. There was a 
tap at the door, and the child was soon out of bed 
and in the garden with his new friend, who won his 
heart in no time by pleasing stories and kind words, 



30 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

and giving him a chance to communicate in return. 
The talk was all about Jesus, and the pleasantness of 
loving him. Nor was it mere talk ; there was plead 
ing too. Into the great yew arbor, cut into the shape 
of a sugar-loaf, both went, and the soul-winner knelt 
down; with his arms around the youthful neck, he 
poured out vehement intercession for the salvation of 
the lad. The next morning witnessed the same in 
struction and supplication, and the next also, while all 
day long the pair were never far apart, and never out 
of each other s thoughts. The mission sermons were 

o 

preached in the old Puritan meeting-house, and the 
man of God was called to go to the next halting- 
place in his tour as deputation for the Society. 

Singular Prophecy. 

But he did not leave till he had uttered a rm &t 
remarkable prophecy. After even more earnrst 
prayer with his little protege ^ he appeared to have a 
burden on his mind, and he could not go till he had 
eased himself of it. " In after years," writes Mr. 
Spurgeon, " he was heard to say he felt a singular 
interest in me, and an earnest expectation for which 
he could not account. Calling the family together, 
he took me on his knee, and I distinctly remember his 
saying, I do not know how it is, but I feel a solemn 
presentiment that this child will preach the gospel to 
thousands, and God will bless him to many soul/;. 
So sure am I of this, that when my little man preaches 
in Rowland Hill s chapel, as he will do one day, I 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 3J 

should like him to promise me that he will give out 
the hymn commencing 

God moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform. 

This promise was of course made, and was followed 
by another namely, that at his express desire I 
would learn the hymn in question, and think of what 
he had said. 

" The prophetic declaration was fulfilled. When 1 
had the pleasure of preaching the Word of Life in 
Surrey Chapel, and also when I preached in Mr. 
Hill s first pulpit at Wootton-under-Edge, the hymn 
was sung in both places. Did the words of Mr. Knill 
help to bring about their own fulfilment? I think so. 
I believed them, and looked forward to the time when 
I should preach the Word. I felt very powerfully 
that no unconverted person might dare to enter the 
ministry. This made me the more intent on seeking 
salvation, and more hopeful of it ; and when by grace 
I was enabled to cast myself on the Saviour s love, 
it was not long before my mouth began to speak of 
his redemption. How came that sober-minded 
minister to speak thus to and of one into whose 
future God alone could see ? How came it that he 
lived to rejoice with his younger brother in the truth 
of all that he had spoken ? The answer is plain, 
But mark one particular lesson : would to God that 
we were all as wise as Richard Knill in habitually 
sowing beside rU waters. Mr. Knill might very 



32 REV. CHARLES B. SPURGEON. 

naturally have left the minister s little grandson OR 
the plea that he had other duties of more importance 
than praying with children ; and yet who shall say 
that he did not effect as much by that simple act of 
humble ministry as by dozens of sermons addressed 
to crowded audiences ? To me his tenderness in 
considering the little one was fraught with everlasting 
consequences, and I must ever feel that his time was 
well laid out." 

"Old Bonner." 

During the fostering care of his aunt Ann his 
father s unmarried sister at Stambourne an attach 
ment grew up which was as sincere in affectionate 
regard as that which usually exists between parent and 
child. This aunt had charge of the infant Spurgeon 
during most of the first six years of his life. He was 
the first grandchild in the family. Care was taken by 
his aunt to instruct him gradually as the mind was 
capable of receiving impressions ; but from his child 
hood his mind seems to have been framed after 
nature s model. The book he admired at his grand 
father s, which had for one of its illustrations the 
portrait of Bonner, Bishop of London, was the cause 
of his mind receiving its first impressions against 
tyranny and persecution ; and being told of the perse 
cuting character of Bonner, the child manifested a 
great dislike to the name, and called the picture which 
represented the bishop " Old Bonner." Even at that. 
early period of life, before he was six years old, he 



BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 35 

exhibited a marked attachment to those who were 
known as the children of God. 

Four years of the boy s life were spent at a school 
at Colchester, where he studied Latin, Greek, and 
French. He was a diligent student, always carrying* 
the first prize in all competitions. In 1849 he was 
placed under the care of Mr. Swindell, at Newmarket. 
There he learned to practise much self-denial. The 
privations he voluntarily submitted to at that time 
showed how decided were his purposes to acquire 
knowledge, and as far as he knew to try and serve 
God. But the struggle which was going on in his 
mind, preparatory to his giving his heart fully to God, 
can only be described in his own touching words, as 
recorded in one of his sermons. Speaking of a free 
thinker, he remarks : " I, too, have been like him. 
There was an evil hour in which I slipped the anchor 
of my faith : I cut the cable of my belief: I no longer 
moored myself hard by the coast of Revelation : I 
allowed my vessel to drift before the wind, and thus 
started on the voyage of infidelity. I said to Reason, 
Be thou my captain ; I said to my own brain, Be thou 
my rudder ; and I started on my mad voyage. Thank 
God it is all over now ; but I will tell you its brief 
history : it was one hurried sailing over the tem 
pestuous ocean of free thought." The result was, 
that from doubting some things, he came to question 
everything, even his own existence. 

But soon he conquered those extremes to which 
Satan often drives the sinner who is really repenting. 



CHAPTER II. 

Mr. Spurgeon s Account of his Conversion and 
Early Preaching. 

A Desponding Penitent. Visit to a Primitive Methodist Chapel." Look 
Look! " Preaching in the Old Place. Happy Days. Light in Darkness.-- 
Profession of Faith. Mission Work. Boy Preacher. The First Sermon. 
Cottage and Open-air Services. Escaping College. Poem. 

I WILL tell you how I myself was brought to the 
knowledge of the truth. It may happen the telling 
of that will bring some one else to Christ. It pleased 
God in my childhood to convince me of sin. I lived a 
miserable creature, finding no hope, no comfort, think 
ing that surely God would never save me. At last 
the worst came to the worst I was miserable ; I could 
do scarcely anything. My heart was broken in pieces. 
Six months did I pray prayed agonizingly with all 
my heart, and never had an answer. I resolved that, 
in the town where I lived, I would visit every place of 
worship in order to find out the way of salvation. I 
felt I was willing to do anything and be anything if 
God would only forgive me. 

I set off, determined to go round to all the chapels, 
and I went to all the places of worship ; and though 
I dearly venerate the men that occupy those pulpits 
now, and did so then, I am bound to say that I never 

heard" them once fully preach the gospel, 1 mean by 

(34) 



\ 
CONVERSION AND EARLY PREACHING. & 

that, they preached truth, great truths, many good 
truths that were fitting to many of their congregation 
spiritually-minded people ; but what I wanted to 
know was, How can I get my sins forgiven ? And 
they never once told me that. I wanted to hear how 
a poor sinner, under a sense of sin, might find peace 
.vith God ; and when I went I heard a sermon on " Be 
not deceived : God is not mocked," which cut me up 
worse, but did not say how 1 might escape. 

Earnestly Seeking-. 

I went again another day, and the text was some 
thing about the glories of the righteous : nothing for 
poor me. I was something like a dog under the table, 
not allowed to eat of the children s food. I went 
time after time, and I can honestly say, I don t know 
that I ever went without prayer to God, and I am sure 
there was not a more attentive hearer in all the place 
than myself, for I panted and longed to understand 
how I might be saved. 

At last, one snowy day it snowed so much, I could 
not go to the place I had determined to go to, and I 
was obliged to stop on the road, and it was a blessed 
stop to me I found rather an obscure street, and 
turned down a court, and there was a little chapel. 1 
wanted to go somewhere, but I did not know this 
place. It was the Primitive Methodists chapel. I had 
heard of these people from many, and how they sang so 
loudly that they made people s heads ache; but that 
did not matter. I wanted to know how I might be. 
saved, and if they made my head ache ever so much 



36 REV, OHARLES H. SPTJRGEON. 

I did not care. So, sitting down, the service went on, 
but no minister came. At last a very thin-looking 
man came into the pulpit and opened his Bible and 
read these words: "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, 
all the ends of the earth." Just setting his eyes upon 
me, as if he knew me ail by heart, he said : " Young 
man, you are in trouble." Well, I was, sure enough. 
Says he, " You will never get out of it unless you look 
to Christ." 

"It is Only Look." 

And then, lifting up his hands, he cried out, as only, 
I think, a Primitive Methodist could do, " Look, look, 
look ! It is only look ! " said he. I saw at once the 
way of salvation. Oh, how I did leap for joy at that 
moment ! I know not what else he said : I did not 
take much notice of it I was so possessed with that 
one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was 
lifted up, they only looked and were healed. I had 
been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard this 
word " Look ! " what a charming word it seemed to 
me. Oh, I looked until I could almost have looked 
my eyes away ! and in heaven I will look on still in 
my joy unutterable. 

I now think I am bound never to preach a sermon 
without preaching to sinners. I do think that a 
minister who can preach a sermon without addressing 
sinners does not know how to preach. 

Preaching- in the Old Place. 

On Oct. n, 1864, the pastor of the Metropolitan 
Tabernacle preached a sermon to five hundred hearers 



CONVERSION AND EARLY PREACHING. 7 

in the chapel at Colchester (in which he was con, 
verted), on the occasion of the anniversary in that 
place of worship. He took for his text the memorable 
words, Isaiah xlv. 22, " Look unto Me, and be ye 
saved," etc., and the preacher said, "That I heard 
preached from in this chapel when the Lord converted 
me." And pointing to a seat on the left hand, under 
the gallery, he said : "/ was sitting in that pew when 
I was converted This honest confession produced a 
thrilling effect upon the congregation, and very much 
endeared the successful pastor to many hearts. 

Best of All Days. 

Of his conversion Mr. Spurgeon spoke on eveiy fit 
ting opportunity, hoping thereby to benefit others. As 
an example of the advantage which he takes, under 
the title of "A Bit for Boys," he says, in "The Sword 
and the Trowel : " " When I was just fifteen, I believed 
in the Lord Jesus, was baptized, and joined the church 
of Christ. This is twenty-five years ago now, and I 
have never been sorry for what I then did ; no, not 
even once. I have had plenty of time to think it over, 
and many temptations to try some other course, and 
if I had found out that I had been deceived, or had 
made a gross blunder, I would have made a change 
before now, and would do my best to prevent others 
from falling into the same delusion. 

"I tell you, boys, the day I gave myself up to the 
Lord Jesus, to be His servant, was the very best day 
of my life. Then I began to be safe and happy ; 
then I found out the secret of living; and had a 



38 REV. CHARLES H. SPUKGEON. 

worthy object for my life s exertions and an unfailing 
comfort for life s troubles. Because I would wish 
every boy to have a bright eye, a light tread, a joyful 
heart, and overflowing spirits, I plead with him to con- 
sider whether he will not follow my example, for I 
speak from experience." 

Dawn of a New Life. 

Early in the month of January, 1856, Mr. Spurgeon 
preached a sermon to his own congregation on Sun 
day morning, which is entitled " Sovereignty and 
Salvation." In that sermon he says : 

" Six years ago to-day, as near as possible at this 
very hour of the day, I was in the gall of bitterness 
and in the bonds of iniquity, but had yet, by divine 
grace, been led to feel the bitterness of that bondage, 
and to cry out by reason of the soreness of its slavery. 
Seeking rest and finding none, I stepped within the 
house of God, and sat there, afraid to look upward, 
lest I should be utterly cut off, and lest his fierce 
wrath should consume me. The minister rose in his 
pulpit, and, as I have done this morning-, read this 
text. Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends 
of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none 
else/ 

" I looked that moment ; the grace of faith was 
vouchsafed to me in that instant ; and 

" Ere since by faith I saw the stream 

His flowing wounds supply 
Redeeming love has been my theme, 
And shall be till I die/ 



CONVERSION AND EARLY PREACHING. 39 

I shall never forget that, day while memory holds its 
place ; nor can I help repeating this text whenever I 
remember that hour nhen first I knew the Lord. 
How strangely gracious ! How wonderfully and 
marvellously kind, that he who heard these words so 
little time ago, for his own soul s profit, should now ad 
dress you this morning as his hearers from the same 
text, in the full and confident hope that some pooi 
sinner within theso walls may hear the glad tidings 
of salvation for himself also, and may to-day be 
turned from darkness to light, and from the power 
of Satan unto God! " 

A Public Profession. 

All the letters he sent home at that period were full 
of the overflowings of a grateful heart ; and, although 
so young in years, he describes the operations of 
divine grace on the heart and life, and the differences 
between the doctrines of the gospel and the forms 
of the church, in terms so precise and clear, that no 
merely human teaching could have enabled him so to 
do. 

Brought up, as he had been, among the Indepen 
dents, his own views on one point of church ordi 
nances now assumed a form differing materially from 
what his parents had adopted. Having experienced 
a change of heart, he felt it to be laid upon him as an 
imperative duty to make a full and public confession 
of the change by public baptism. 

He had united himself formally with the Baptist 
people the year before ; flow he felt constrained to 



4U REV. GIIAHLES H. SPTJKGtfON. 

fully cast in his lot and become one of them entirely. 
He wrote many letters home to his father, asking for 
advice and information, but striving to enforce his 
own conviction for making a public profusion of his 
faith in Christ At length the father was satisfied 
that his son had no faith in the dogma of baptismal 
regeneration ; that his motives for seeking to be 
publicly recognized as a follower of the Lord Jesus 
were higher than those he had feared ; therefore* no 
further opposition was made, and the necessary steps 
were taken for his immersion. 

All the arrangements having been made, the young 
convert walked from Newmarket to Isleham, seven 
miles, on May 2d, and staying with the family of Mr. 
Cantlow, the Baptist minister there, he was by that 
gentleman publicly baptized in that village on Friday, 
May 3, 1851, being in his sixteenth year. He thus 
proceeds in his letter to his father : " It is very pleas 
ing to me that the day on which I shall openly profess 
the name of Jesus is my mother s birthday. May it 
be to both of us a foretaste of many glorious and 
happy days yet to come." 

School Duties and Mission Work. 

Having thus publicly devoted himself to the service 
of God, he was more earnest than ever in his efforts 
to do good. Besides having himself revived an old 
society for distributing tracts, he undertook to carry 
out this good work in Newmarket thoroughly. When 
ever he walked out he carried these messengers of 
mercy with him ; he was instant in season, and, indeed, 




REV. JOHN SPURGEON, FATHER OF C. H. SPURGEON 



CONVERSION AND EARLY PREACHING. 41 

was seldom out of season, in his efforts to clo good 
His duties in school occupied him three hours daily, the 
remainder of his time being spent in his closet or in 
some work of mercy. The Sunday-school very soon 
gained his attention, and his addresses to the children 
were so full of love and instruction that the children 
carried the good tidings home to their parents ; and 
soon they came to hear the addresses in the vestry 
of the Independent chapel in that town. The place 
was soon filled. 

The Boy Preacher. 

At one of the examinations of the school he had 
consented to deliver an oration on missions. It was a 
public occasion, and in the company was a clergyman 
During the examination the clergyman heard of the 
death of his gardener, and suddenly left for home 
But on his way he thus reasoned with himself: The 
gardener is dead ; I cannot restore his life ; I will return 
and hear what the young usher has to say on missions, 
He returned, heard the oration, and was pleased to 
show his approval by presenting Mr. Spurgeon with 
a sovereign. 

Having at once identified himself as a membei of 
the Baptist church in Cambridge he soon found occupa, 
tion suitable to his mind. His addresses to children, 
and afterwards to parents and children, had produced 
a love of the work, and he soon was called to exhort 
a village congregation. He was then sixteen years 
old. Connected with the Baptist church meeting in 
St. Andrew s street, Cambridge, formerly under the 



4 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

pastoral care of the late learned Robert Hall, there 
existed a society entitled " The Lay Preachers Asso 
ciation." Although so young in years, Mr. Spurgeon 
was accepted as a member of this association. Here 
he at once found the occupation which his mind most 
desired ; and he was soon appointed to address a 
congregation. 

As this was one of the most important steps in Mr. 
Spurgeon s life, the reader will be glad to learn from 
his own pen the circumstances which led to his first 
attempted sermon. In introducing the text, " Unto 
you therefore which believe, He is precious," i Peter 
H. 7, Mr. -Spurgeon remarks, in 1873: "I remember 
well that, more than twenty-two years ago, the first 
attempted sermon that I ever made was from this 
text. 

First Sermon. 

" I had been asked to walk out to the village of 
Faversham, about four miles from Cambridge, where 
I then lived, to accompany a young man whom I sup 
posed to be the preacher for the evening, and on the 
way I said to him that I trusted God would bless him 
in his labors. Oh, dear/ said he, I never preached 
in my life; I never thought of doing such a thing. 
I was asked to walk with you, and I sincerely hope 
God will bless YOU in YOUR preaching. Nay/ said I, 
but I never preached, and I don t know that I could 
do anything of the sort/ We walked together till we 
came to the place, my inmost soul being all in a 
trouble as to what would happen. When we found 




(tti 



44 KEY. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

the congregation assembled, and no one else there to 
speak of Jesus, though I was only sixteen years of 
age, as I found that I was expected to preach, I did 
preach, and the text was that just given." 

Considering the results which have followed that 
sermon, it will be interesting to glance at some of the- 
incidents belonging to that early period of his ministry. 

Early Promise. 

In the summer of 1875, from inquiries made in the 
locality, a correspondent of the " Baptist " newspaper 
reports as follows : 

"A gentleman informed me that he heard Mr. 
Spurgeon preach his first sermon when about sixteen 
years of age ; and he then read, prayed, and ex 
pounded the Word, being attired in a round jacket 
and broad turn-down collar, such as I remember to 
have been in fashion at that period. 

" Mr. Spurgeon was then living near Cambridge, and 
his mode of preaching afforded promise that he would 
become a powerful and popular preacher. 

"Mr. C, the schoolmaster of the village in 1850, 
was impressed with the precocious talent of the 
young preacher, and his style of preaching." 

Having once entered on this most solemn duty, and 
finding acceptance with the people, he laid himself 
out for one service every evening, after attending to 
his duties in school during the day. 

From an aged and experienced Christian, who 
heard Mr. Spurgeon preach before his call to London 
we learn that his addresses were very instructive, and 



CONVERSION AND EARLY PREACHING. 45 

often included illustrations derived from history, 
geography, astronomy, and from other branches of 
school occupation, evidently adapted from his daily 
duties, and thus made to serve as instruments in 
religion, as well as in training and informing the 
mind. 

His early ministry was not only gratuitous, but often 
attended with demands on his small salary, which he 
willingly gave to God not to be seen of men, did he 
help the needy, 

In Cottages and the Open Air. 

In some of the thirteen village stations around 
Cambridge and Waterbeach, to which Mr. Spurgeon 
devoted all his evenings, the preaching was held in 
a cottage, in others a chapel, and occasionally the 
open common could furnish the accommodation re 
quired. At the village of Waterbeach, Mr. Spurgeon 
was received in a marked manner of approval. In 
most of the places in which he had preached the effect 
was very much alike, in the large numbers attracted 
to hear the Word of God, and in the success which 
God was pleased to bestow on his labors. 

Even at that early period of his ministerial career, 
invitations to preach special sermons in towns and 
villages at a distance soon rapidly increased. At 
Waterbeach, however, the little church saw in the 
young man a suitability to their wants, and they gave 
him an invitation to become their pastor. He was 
well received by the people, and soon became quite 
popular. During the few months of his pastorate 



4% REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

An Appointment not Kept. 

" Dr. Angus, the tutor of the college, visited Cam 
bridge, where I then resided, and it was arranged that 
we should meet at the house of Mr. Macmillan, the 
publisher. Thinking and praying over the matter, I 
entered the house at exactly the time appointed, and 
was shown into a room, where I waited patiently for a 
couple of hours, feeling too much impressed with my 
own insignificance and the greatness of the tutor from 
London to venture to ring the bell and inquire the 
cause of the unreasonably long delay. 

"At last, patience having had her perfect work, the 
bell was set in motion, and on the arrival of the 
servant, the waiting young man of eighteen was in 
formed that the doctor had tarried in another room, 
and could stay no longer, so had gone off by train to 
London. The stupid girl had given no information 
to the family that any one called and had been shown 
into the drawing-room, consequently the meeting 
never came about, although designed by both parties. 
I was not a little disappointed at the moment; but 
have a thousand times since then thanked the Lord 
very heartily for the strange providence which forced 
my steps into another and far better path. 
Strang-e Impressions. 

" Still holding to the idea of entering the Collegiate 
Institution, I thought of writing and making an 
immediate application ; but this was not to be. That 
afternoon, having to preach at a village station, I 
walked slowly in a meditating frame of mind over 



CONVERSION AND EARLY PREACHING. 49 

Midsummer Common to the little wooden bridge 
which leads to Chesterton, and in the midst of the 
common I was startled by what seemed to me to be a 
loud voice, but which may have been a singular illu 
sion : whichever it was, the impression it made on my 
mind was most vivid ; I seemed very distinctly to hear 
the words, Seekest thou great things for thyself, seek 
them not ! 

" This led me to look at my position from a different 
point of view, and to challenge my motives and inten 
tions. I remembered my poor but loving people to 
whom I ministered, and the souls which had been 
given me in my humble charge ; and although at that 
time I anticipated obscurity and poverty as the result 
of the resolve, yet I did there and then renounce the 
offer of collegiate instruction, determining to abide for 
a season, at least, with my people, and to remain 
preaching the Word so long as I had strength to do 
it. Had it not been for those words, I had not been 
where I am now. Although the ephod is no longer 
worn by a ministering priest, the Lord guides His 
people by His wisdom, and orders all their paths in 
love ; and in times of perplexity, by ways mysterious 
and remarkable, He says to them : This is the way ; 
walk ye in it. " 

The Turning Point. 

One or two extracts from his letters, written at the 
same time, it is desirable to give to show how anx 
iously the matter was considered. In his reply to his 
father, dated Ma^ch 9, 1852, Mr. Spurgeon writes: "I 

4 



50 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 



all along had an aversion to college, and nothing 
but a feeling that I must not consult myself, but Jesus, 
could have made me think of it. It appears to my 
friends at Cambridge, that it is my duty to remain 
with my dear people at Waterbeach ; so say the 
church there unanimously, and so say three of our 
deacons at Cambridge." 

During the summer his decision was taken, in the 
way previously related ; and in a letter he sent to his 
mother in November following, he says : " I am more 
and more glad that I never went to college. God 
sends such sunshine on my path, such smiles of grace, 
that I cannot regret if I have forfeited all my pros 
pects for it. I am conscious I held back from love to 
God and His cause ; and I had rather be poor in His 
service than rich in my own. I have all that heart can 
wish for ; yea, God giveth more than my desire. My 
congregation is as great and loving as ever. During 
all the time I have been at Waterbeach, I have had a 
different house for my home every day. Fifty- two 
families have thus taken me in ; and I have still six 
other invitations not yet accepted. Talk about the 
people not caring for me because they give me so 
little ! I dare tell anybody under heaven tis false ! 
They do all they can. Our anniversary passed off 
grandly ; six were baptized ; crowds on crowds stood 
by the river ; the chapel afterwards was crammed both 
to the tea and the sermon." 

By these and other exercises of mind, God was 



CONVERSION AND EARLY FRE ACHING, 6* 

preparing his young servant for greater plans of use 
fulness and a wider sphere of action*. 

The following stanzas were written by Mr Spur- 
geon, at the age of eighteen : 

IMMANUEL. 

When once I mourned a load of sin j 
When conscience felt a wound within ; 
When all my works were thrown away ; 
When on my knees I knelt to pray, 

Then, blissful hour, remembered well, 

I learned Thy love, Immanuel. 

When storms of sorrow toss my soul , 
When waves of care around me roll ; 
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee; 
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me, 

One word the tempest s rage shall quell 

That word, Thy name, ImmanueL 

When for the truth I suffer shame , 
When foes pour scandal on my name j 
When cruel taunts and jeers abound j 
When " Bulls of Bashan " gird me round, 

Secure within Thy tower I ll dwell 

That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel. 

When hell enraged lifts up her roar j 

When Satan stops my path before j 
When fiends rejoice and wait my endj 
When legioned hosts their arrows send, 

Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell 

Thy battle-cry, Immanuel. 

When down the hill of life I go > 

When o er my feet death s waters flowj 
When in the deep ning flood I sink j 
When friends stand weeping on the brink, 

I ll mingle with my last farewell * 

T v y lovely name, Immanuel. 



52 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

When tears are banished from mine eye ; 

When fairer worlds than these are nigh ; 

When heaven shall fill my ravished sight j 

When I shall bathe in sweet delight, 
One joy all joys shall far excel, 
To see Thy face, Immanuel. 




C H. SPURGEON AT THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONlfl. 

(58) 



CHAPTER III. 
The Young Preacher in London. 

at Cambridge. Invitation to London. Willing Hearers. Interesting 
Letters to New Park Street Church. Visitation of Cholera. Labors among 
the Dying. Publication of Sermons. Eagerness of the Public to Obtain the 
Printed Discourses. Description of the Youthful Preacher. Thronging 
Crowds. Birthday Sermon. Preaching in Scotland. Good News from 
Piinted Sermons. Reports of Many Conversions. 

THE anniversary meeting of the Cambridge Union 
of Sunday-schools in 1853 was held at Cambridge, on 
which occasion Mr. Spurgeon was called upon to 
speak. The part he took was of remarkable signifi 
cance. There was nothing in his manner or his re 
marks which was specially attractive to his audience ; 
but there was an unseen agency at work with the 
speaker as well as in the audience. There was pres 
ent ai that meeting a gentleman from Essex, on 
whose mind the address delivered by Mr. Spurgeon 
made a lasting impression. 

Shortly afterwards he met in London with one of the 
deacons of the Baptist church of New Park Street, 
Southwaik, a church which had once flourished like 
the ancient cedars of Lebanon, but which was then so 
far shorn of its former glory as to give cause of 
serious consideration. Anxiously did the thoughtful 
deacon tell his tale of a scattered church and a dimin- 

(54) 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 55 

ished congregation. Fresh upon the mind of his 
hearer was the effect of the speech of the young min 
ister at Cambridge, and he ventured to speak of the 
youthful evangelist of Waterbeach as a minister likely 
to be the means of reviving interest in the declining 
church at New Park Street. The two friends sepa 
rated, the deacon not much impressed with what he 
had heard ; and things grew worse. 

Invited to London. 

But finally a correspondence was commenced be 
tween Deacon James Low and Mr. Spurgeon, which 
soon resulted in the latter receiving an invitation to 
come to London and preach before them in their large 
chapel. The work was altogether of God, man only 
made the arrangements. The motto of Julius Caesar 
may be modified to express the results of the visit : 
Mr. Spurgeon came ; he preached ; he conquered. 

For some months the pulpit had been vacant, the 
pews forsaken, the aisles desolate, and the exchequer 
empty. Decay had set in so seriously that the deacons 
lost heart, and, until Mr. Spurgeon arrived, the cause 
seemed hopeless. In the autumn of 1853 he first oc 
cupied New Park-street pulpit. The chapel, capable 
of holding twelve hundred people, had about two 
hundred occupants at the first service. The preacher 
was a young man who had just passed his nineteenth 
year. In his sermon he spoke with the freedom and 
boldness which evinced that he believed what he 
preached, and believed that his message was from 
God, Some were disappoint^ , others resolved to 



56 REV. CHARLES S. 

oppose, and did oppose ; but by far the greater pro 
portion were disposed to hear him again. 

Instant Success. 

The result of the first sermon was proved, in a few 
hours, to have been a success. The evening congre 
gation was greatly increased, partly from curiosity, 
partly from the youth of the preacher and his unusual 
style of address. Mr. Spurgeon was again invited to 
take the pulpit on another Sunday as early as possible, 
for a feeling of excitement was created, and it re 
quired to be satisfied. After consulting with his 
church at Waterbeach, he arranged to supply the New 
Park-street pulpit during three alternate Lord s days. 
The desire to hear the young preacher having greatly 
extended, it was determined to invite Mr. Spurgeon 
from his rustic retreat to undertake the heavy respon 
sibility of pastor of one of the most ancient Baptist 
churches in London, and formerly the most influential ; 
and he entered on that duty in the month of April, 
1854. 

We are permitted to give two of Mr. Spurgeon s 
letters to the church at the time of his appointment, 
which will most clearly state the facts relating to his 
coming to London. The first of the following letters 
was written to Deacon Low shortly before Mr. Spur- 
geon left Cambridge, and the second is dated from his 
first lodgings immediately after his permanent arrival 
in London. It will be seen that these letters exhibit 
a wisdom and maturity scarcely t<? be expected from 
a youth of twenty. 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 

No. 60 PARK STREET, CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 27, 

To JAMES Low, ESQ. 

MY DEAR SIR, I cannot help feeling intense grati 
fication 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 lo 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 Gar 
den of Eden, and while I see that I must go out, I 
leave it wilh reluctance, and tremble to trrad the un 
known land before me. 

When I first ventured to preach at Waterbeach, 1 
only accepted an invitation for three months, on the 
condition that if in that time I should see good reasons 
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. 

With regard to a six months invitation from you, I 
have no objection to the length of time, but rather ap 
prove of the prudence of the church in wishing to 
have one so young as myself on an extended period 
of approbation. But I write after well weighing the 



58 REV. CHARLES H. SPTJRGEON. 

matter, when I say positively that I cannot 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 con 
gregation fail, or the church disagree, I would reserve 
to myself liberty, without breach of engagement, to 
retire ; and you would 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 invi 
tation ; but even during 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 just 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 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 59 

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 
igain 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 mine own, but bought with a 
price. 

I respect the honesty and boldness of the small 
minority, and only wonder that the number was not 
greater. 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 public, they must all wrestle in prayer to God 
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, 

Call to New Park-Street Chapel. 

Viewed in the light of subsequent results, it will not 
surprise the reader to learn that it did not take the 
church six months to determine their part of the con- 



60 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

tract. Before three months had passed away "the 
small minority " had been absorbed into the majority, 
and the entire church united in giving their young 
minister, not yet twenty years old, an invitation to 
accept the pastorate, both cordial and unanimous. 
Mr. Spurgeon s second letter at this period will best 
xplain the real facts : 

75 DOVER ROAD, BOROUGH, April 28, 1854. 

To the Baptist Church of Christ worshipping in New 
Park-street Chapel, Southwark : 

DEARLY BELOVED IN CHRIST JESUS I have received 
your unanimous invitation, as contained in a resolu 
tion passed by you on the iQth 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 shall 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 to me quite unlocked for, and I trem 
bled at the idea of preaching in London. I could not 
understand how it came about, and even now I am 
filled with astonishment at the wondrous Providence 
I would wish to give myself into the hands of our cov 
enant God, whose wisdom directs all things. He shall 
choose for me ; and so far as I can judge this is Hi* 
choice. 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 61 

I feel it to be a high honor to be a pastor of a peo 
ple who can mention glorious names as my predeces 
sors, 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 ; pray 
that these may not hinder my usefulness. I trust, 
also, that the remembrance of these may lead you to 
forgive the 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; 
otherwise, how should a child, a youth, have the pre 
sumption thus to attempt a work which rilled 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 inquir 
ers, and in mutual edification. 

Oh, that I may be no injury to you, but a lasting 
benefit E I have no more to say, only 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-keeping 
God, the triune Jehovah, I am yours to serve in the 
gospel, C. H. SPURGEON. 

Before three months of the new pastorate had ex- 



62 REV. CHARLES H. SPURG..ON. 

pired the fame of the young minister had spread over 
the metropolis, crowds of people flocked to his chapel 
at every service, and the newspapers, week by week 
for some time, were asking: Who is this Spurgeon ? 
For a long time that question was a puzzle to many 
minds; but one thing was certain, he had secured the 
ear and the attention of the public, who waited upon 
his ministry by thousands. 

The Black Flag. 

The summer of 1854 will long be remembered for 
the frightful scourge of Asiatic cholera with which the 
great city was visited. The black flag could be seen 
stretched across streets to warn strangers of the close 
proximity of plague-stricken dwellings. 

On all sides there was anxious foreboding, sorrow, 
or bereavement. The young pastor s services were 
eagerly sought for, his time and strength taxed to 
their utmost; but he discharged the duties of the 
emergency with a true and manly courage. A para 
graph from his "Treasury of David," on Psalm xci.. 
most graphically describes this trying period : 

"In the year 1854, when I had scarcely been in 
London twelve months, the neighborhood in which I 
labored was visited by Asiatic cholera, and my congre 
gation suffered from its inroads. Family after family 
summoned me to the bedsides of the smitten, and 
almost every day I was called to visit the grave. I 
gave myself up with youthful ardor to the visitation 
of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the 
district by persons of all ranks and religions. I be- 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 



63 



came weary in body and sick at heart. My friends 
seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I 
was sickening like those around me. A little more 
work and weeping would have laid me low among the 
rest. I felt that my burden was heavier than I could 
bear, and I was ready to sink under it. As God 
would have it, I was returning mournfully home from 
a funeral, when my curiosity led me to read a paper 
which was wafered up in a shoemaker s window in the 
Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announce 
ment, nor was it ; for it bore in a good bold hand 
writing these words : Because thou hast made the 
Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy 
habitation ; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall 
any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 

" The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith 
appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, 
refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my 
visitation of the dying in a calm and peaceful spirit ; I 
felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm. The 
Providence which moved the tradesman to place those 
verses in his window I gratefully acknowledge, and in 
the remembrance of its marvellous power I adore the 
Lord my God." 

Publishing Sermons. 

In the autumn of the first year s pastorate he 
preached a sermon from the words, " Is it not wheat 
harvest to-day ? " The sermon attracted attention, 
was much talked about by his hearers, and during the 
following week it appeared under the title of " Harvest 



64 ftEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Time," and had a large sale. This led the publisher 
shortly afterwards to print another of his sermons, 
under the title of " God s Providence." The public 
at once took to these sermons, and by the end of the 
year about a dozen had thus been issued. This 
greatly increased his popularity : for many who had 
not heard him, read those sermons, were interested 
in them, and soon found opportunity to go and hear 
him. 

The demand for his sermons being considerably 
greater than for the sermons of other ministers then 
being published, Mr. Spurgeon made arrangements 
with the first friend he met in London, who was a 
printer, and a member of his church, to commence the 
publication of one sermon of his every week, begin 
ning with the new year, 1855. Through the good 
providence of God the sermons have appeared con 
tinuously, week by week, without interruption, for 
more than twenty-seven years, with a steady, improv 
ing, and large circulation, which is in itself a marked 
indication of divine favor. No other minister the 
world has ever known has been able to produce one 
printed sermon weekly for so many years. The work 
still goes on with unabated favor and unceasing in 
terest. 

The Preacher Described. 

The following description of the preacher s style at 
this period is one of the earliest we have met with : 
" His voice is clear and musical ; his language plain ; 
his style flowing, but terse ; his method lucid and or- 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 65 

derly; his matter sound and suitable; his tone and 
spirit cordial ; his remarks always pithy and pungent, 
sometimes familiar and colloquial, yet never light or 
coarse, much less profane. Judging from a single ser 
mon, we supposed that he would become a plain, faith 
ful, forcible, and affectionate preacher of the gospel in 
the form called Calvinistic ; and our judgment was the 
more favorable, because, while there was a solidity 
beyond his years, we detected little of the wild luxuri 
ance naturally characteristic of very young preachers." 
Want of order and arrangement was a fault the 
preacher soon found out himself, and he refers to it 
when he says : " Once I put all my knowledge together 
in glorious confusion ; but now I have a shelf in my 
head for everything ; and whatever I read or hear I 
know where to stow it away for use at the proper 
time." 

Intense Interest Excited. 

Amongst the multitudes who assembled to hear the 
popular preacher was a member of the Society of 
Friends, who, being deeply impressed by what he saw 
and heard, wrote a lengthened article on the subject. 
The writer observes : " The crowds which have been 
drawn to hear him, the interest excited by his ministry, 
and the conflicting opinions expressed in reference 
to his qualifications and usefulness, have been alto 
gether without parallel in modern times. It was a re 
markable sight to see this round-faced country youth 
thus placed in a position of such solemn and arduous 
responsibility, yet addressing himself to the fulfilment 



66 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

of its onerous duties with a gravity, self-possession 
and vigor that proved him well fitted for the task he 
had assumed." 

Within one year, New Park>street Chapel had to be 
enlarged. During the enlargement, Exeter Hall was 
taken, and it was filled to overflowing every Sabbath 
morning to hear the young preacher. The chapel, 
which had been enlarged to the fullest extent of the 
ground, was soon found to be far too circumscribed 
for the thousands who flocked to hear him ; and by 
the end of the summer it became necessary to seek 
for a much larger place to satisfy the demand of the 
public. 

Twenty-first Birtliday. 

On the iQth of June, 1855, Mr. Spurgeon came of 
age, and he improved the occasion by preaching a ser 
mon relating thereto. A large congregation heard it, 
and it was printed with an excellent likeness of the 
young preacher, pale and thin as he then was. The 
sermon was published with the title, " Pictures of 
Life, and Birthday Reflections." It had a large sale. 
That was the first portrait of him which had been 
issued. 

At that period the first attempt to issue a penny 
weekly newspaper was made by Mr. C. W. Banks, and 
the " Christian Cabinet" was a very spirited publica 
tion. The value of a pure and cheap press was fully 
appreciated by Mr. Spurgeon, who generously fur 
nished articles for the columns of that serial during 
nearly the whole of its first year s existence. They 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 67 

show a clear and sound judgment on many public 
events passing- more than twenty years ago, and they 
are the first buddings of that genius which has since 
ripened so fully, and voided such an abundant harvest 
of rich mental food. The books which have since 
come from Mr. Spurgeon s pen are equally marvellous 
for their number, variety, and usefulness, and some of 
them have had most unprecedentedly large sales. 

Visit to Scotland. 

In July of this year, 1855, he paid his first visit to 
Scotland, and a lively description of his congregation 
and preaching was printed in the " Cabinet." 

On the bright evening of the 4th of September, Mr. 
Spurgeon preached to about twelve thousand people 
in a field in King Edward s Road, Hackney. The ser 
mon was printed under the title of " Heaven and 
Hell," and had a very large sale, doing at the same 
time a large amount of good. The sermon was closed 
by the preacher giving the following account of his 
own conversion, which had a good effect on his audi 
ence, proving that experience is the best teacher. 
There were thousands of young people present who 
were astonished at what they heard, and many turned 
tlmt night from their sins. The preacher said : 

" I can remember the time when my sins first stared 
me in the face. I thought myself the most accursed 
of all men. I had not committed any very great open 
transgression against God ; but I recollected that I had 
been well trained and tutored, and I thought my sins 
were thus greater than other people s. I cried to God 



68 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

to have mercy, but I feared that He would not pardon 
me. Month after month I cried to God, but He did 
not hear me, and I knew not what it was to be saved. 
Spmetimes I was so weary of the world that I desired 
to die ; but I then recollected that there was a worse 
world after this, and that it would be an ill matter to 
rush before my Maker unprepared. At times 1 
wickedly thought God a most heartless tyrant, because 
He did not answer my prayer; and then at others I 
thought, * I deserve His displeasure ; if he sends me to 
hell, He will be just. 

" But I remember the hour when I stepped into a 
place of worship, and saw a tall, thin man step into 
the pulpit : I have never seen him from that day, and 
probably never shall till we meet in heaven. He 
opened the Bible, and read with a feeble voice : * Look 
unto Me and be yc saved, all the ends of the earth ; 
for I am God, and beside Me there is none else. Ah ! 
thought I, I am one of the ends of the earth ; and 
then, turning round, and fixing his gaze on me, as if 
hv:i knew me, the minister said : Look, look, look ! 
Why, I thought I had a great deal to do, but I found 
it was only to look. I thought I had a garment to spin 
out for myself; but I found that if I looked, Christ 
could give me a garment. Look, sinner, that is the 
way to be saved. Look unto Him, all ye ends of the 
earth, and be saved." 

Preaching is the ordained means for the salvation 
of sinners : the power of appeal by the human voice 
is greater than any other; but there is another influ- 



THE YOUNG PREACHER IN LONDON. 69 

ence which is potent. Before Mr. Spurgeon had is 
sued more than half a year s sermons from the press, 
letters reached him from far-off places recording the 
good which had been effected by reading them. On 
one of Mr. Spurgeon s visits to Scotland he was taken 
to visit Anne Sims, an aged saint living at the Brae of 
Killiecrankie, far away up the mountains, who had ex 
pressed intense delight in reading his sermons, and 
prayed for his success in the work, little thinking that 
in her mountain solitude, and in her ninetieth year, she 
should ever see the preacher himself, whose visit was 
to her like that of an angel. It would be difficult to 
chronicle the results which have followed the reading 
of the sermons. 

Tidings of Good Done. 

In the first article in " The Sword and the Trowel " 
for 1872, the editor himself says: " Our ministry has 
never been without large results in conversion." 
Twenty conversions have been reported to him by 
letter in one week. The last Sunday sermon he 
preached in 1855, with which the first volume of his 
printed discourses is closed, had special reference to 
the war in the Crimea, and it commanded a large sale ; 
its title was, " Healing for the Wounded." It con 
tributed materially to allay public anxiety about the 
war. Mr. Spurgeon closed the year by holding a 
Watchnight Service in his chapel. It was a happy and 
memorable service, and it was afterward repeated at 
the close of every year ; the last hours of the closing 
year and the firs* moments of the opening new year 



70 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

being devoted to the worship of God, in acts of per 
sonal consecration. 

It is a gratifying fact, not generally known, that 
from the first year of Mr. Spurgeon s ministry in Lon 
don several clergymen have used his sermons weekly, 
with a little adaptation, in their own churches. This 
testimony has been given by the clergymen them 
selves, in person and by letter, to the writer. Some 
are using the sermons in that way at the present 
time, and though delivered second-hand in this man 
ner, yet they are not without fruit. 



CHAPTER IV. 
A Wife and a New Tabernacle. 

Mr. Spurgcon s Marriage. Twelve Sermons Weekly. Not an Ascetic. Sur 
rey Gardens Music Hall. The Great Metropolitan Tabernacle. Praying 
among Bricks and Mortar. Preaching to the Aristocracy. Note from Mr. 
Gladstone. Offer from an American Lecture Bureau. How the Preacher 
Appeared in his Pulpit. Pastors College. Poem addressed to Mrs. Spur- 
geon. Revivals and Colportage. Talk of Founding a New Sect. Visit to 
Paris. Preaching to Coster-mongers. 

THE year 1856 was a remarkable one in the life of 
Mr. Spurgeon. It was the year of his marriage ; the 
year in which he preached his grandfather s jubilee 
sermon, and one of the centenary sermons in Whit- 
field s Tabernacle in Tottenham Court Road. 

During the first week of the year Mr. Spurgeon 
was delighting large audiences at Bath. The second 
week was made memorable by a service held in his 
own chapel, in which the young people, more particu 
larly, took a very lively interest. Early in the fore 
noon of January 8th Mr. Spurgeon was married to 
Miss Susanna Thompson, daughter of Mr. Robert 
Thompson, of Falcon Square, London. Twin boys, 
Charles and Thomas Spurgeon, are the only additions 
to their family. Both are now settled pastors. 

At this period Mr. Spurgeon was daily in the pul 
pit, often travelling many miles between the services 
held ; and for months together he preached twelve 
sermons weekly, with undiminished force and unflag- 

(71) 



72 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

ging zeal. In the achievement of such herculean taslcs 
he has doubtless been indebted to an excellent consti 
tution and to his simple habits of living. He is the 
very embodiment of nature, without the usual make 
up of art. He throws himself on the tide of social 
intercourse with the freedom of one who has no tricks 
to exhibit and no failings to conceal. He is one of 
the most pleasant of companions : pious without any 
of the shams of piety ; temperate without a touch of 
asceticism ; and devout without the solemnity of the 
devotee. Preaching for his poorer brethren in the 
country, he declined to receive any contribution to 
wards his personal outlay, excepting only in cases 
where the church could well afford to pay his travel 
ling expenses. 

Preaching 1 in Surrey Music Hall. 

New Park-street Chapel when enlarged soon be 
came utterly inadequate to receive the crowds which 
flocked to hear Mr. Spurgeon, and the deacons found 
it necessary to take the largest available building in 
London the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall and 
in October, 1856, Mr. Spurgeon commenced to preach 
every Sabbath in that vast audience-room, continuing 
the morning service there till the great Metropolitan 
Tabernacle was opened. 

What is known as the Surrey Gardens catastrophe 
we need not do more than allude to. On October 
1 9th a sad and fatal accident had wellnigh put an end 
to the large Sabbath gatherings drawn to hear Mr. 
Spurgeon ; but that fatality was overruled for good 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 



73 



Previous to this Mr. Spurgeon knew not what illness 
was ; but this calamity, joined with the wicked calum 
nies of a portion of the press, laid prostrate even the 
strong man. 




SURREY MUSIC HALL. 



In October, 1856, the first meeting was held for 
considering the steps necessary to be taken for erect 
ing a great Tabernacle. The proposal was very 
heartily taken up by Mr. Spurgeon s friends and in 



74 RET. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

every part of the country sympathy was largely shown 
with the movement. There were many who laughed 
at the idea of erecting as a place of worship an edifice 
to hold five thousand persons. Regardless of these 
objections the work went on, Mr. Spurgeon travelling 
all over the land, preaching daily, with the promise of 
half the proceeds of the collection being devoted to 
the new Tabernacle. The foundation-stone of the 
great building was laid by Sir Samuel Morton Peto, 
August 1 6, 1859. 

Strange Place for a Prayer Meeting-. 

During the progress of the work Mr. Spurgeon 
met on the ground, one evening after the workmen 
had left, one of his deacons. After some consultation 
and meditation, surrounded by planks, piles of timber 
and bricks, in the dim twilight, they bo.th knelt down 
where no eye could see them but that of God ; and 
with only the canopy of heaven for their covering, the 
pastor and his friend each poured out most earnest 
supplications for the prosperity of the work, the safety 
of the men engaged on the building, and a blessing 
on the church. Their prayers were not offered in 
vain, but were abundantly answered. Out of so large 
a number of men engaged on the work, not one of 
them suffered harm. 

In 1 860 a large and enthusiastic meeting was held 
in the building before it was finished, at which much 
money was given and more promised. Great prepara 
tions were made during the winter for the holding of 
a large bazaar in the spring, which was probably one 




GEORGE ROGERS, TUTOR AT THE PASTORS COLLEGE 



76 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

of the largest and most productive of the kind ever 
held in London. The opening services were com 
menced on March 25, 1861, and were continued with 
out interruption for five weeks. As the result of all 
these efforts, the great Tabernacle, to hold five thou 
sand people, was free from debt at the end of the 
special services, and $155,000 of free-will offerings 
had been poured into the hands of the treasurer. 
Since then various improvements have been made in 
the audience-room, and, using every facility modern 
invention could suggest, seats have been provided for 
5,500 persons and standing room for 1,000 more 
total, 6,500. 

Immense Congregations. 

Large as is the accommodation provided, the Taber 
nacle has always been filled. All the prophets of evil 
have been found false prophets, and the spirit of faith 
with which the work was begun has had its full reward 
in results even greater than ever had been anticipated. 

When the church removed from New Park Street, 
in 1861, it numbered 1,178 members. In ten years 
from the commencement of his ministry Mr. Spurgeon 
has received into fellowship by baptism 3,569 persons 

During the period in which Mr. Spurgeon was 
preaching in the Surrey Music Hall large numbers 
< of the aristocracy attended his ministry ; amongst 
whom were Lord Chief Justice Campbell, the Lord 
Mayor and Sheriffs of London, Earl Russell, Lord 
Alfred Paget, Lord Pan mure, Earl Grey, Earl Shaftes- 
bury, the Marquis of Westminster, the Duchess of 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 77 

Sutherland, Lord Carlisle, Earl of Elgin, Baron 
Bramwell, Miss Florence Nightingale, Lady Roths 
child, Dr. Livingstone, and many other persons 
of learning and distinction, some of whom sought 
and obtained interviews with the preacher. It was 
during that interim that Mr. Spurgeon paid one of his 
visits to Holland, was privileged to preach before the 
Dutch Court, and had a lengthened interview with 
the queen of that country. It was reported that some 
members of the English Royal Family also occasion 
ally attended on his preaching, and not a few distin 
guished clergymen and professors. 

Gladstone and Spurgeon. 

On one occasion Mr. Gladstone and his son formed 
part of the congregation, and a mutual interview was 
held at the close of the service between the great 
premier and the humble pastor. Mr. Gladstone has 
often spoken very highly of Mr. Spurgeon, calling him 
" the last of the Puritans." During Mr. Spurgeon s 
illness in 1891, Mr. Gladstone, in a letter to Mrs. 
Spurgeon, said: "In my own home, darkened at the 
present time, I read with sad interest the accounts of 
Mr. Spurgeon s illness. I cannot help conveying to 
you an earnest assurance of my sympathy and of my 
cordial admiration, not only for his splendid powers, 
but still more for his devoted and unfailing character. 
I humbly commend you and him in all contingencies 
to the infinite stores of divine love and mercy." 

Mrs. Spurgeon replied with a note of thanks, a 



78 REV. CHARLES H. STURGEON. 

postscript to which was traced by Mr. Spurgeoa as 
follows : 

" Yours is a word of love such as those only write 
who have been into the King s country and seen much 
of his face. My heart s love to you." 

Dr. Livingstone, the great African explorer, said, 
on one occasion after hearing Mr. Spurgeon, that no 
religious service he ever remembered had so deeply 
impressed his own mind as that he had witnessed and 
participated in that morning ; adding, that when he 
had retired again into the solitudes of Africa, no scene 
he had ever witnessed would afford him more conso 
lation than to recall the recollection that there was one 
man God had raised up who could so effectively and 
impressively preach to congregated thousands, whilst 
he should have to content himself by preaching to 
units, or at most tens, unc* A r a tropical sky in Africa ; 
implying at the same time, that Mr. Spurgeon s sphere 
of religious influence was a hundred times greater than 
that of the great and good traveller. 

No Time To Lecture in America. 

Mr. Spurgeon has often been invited to lecture in 
this country, but has always declined. The managers 
of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau having noticed a 
paragraph in the Boston papers stating that Mr. Spur 
geon was about to visit the United States, enclosed it 
to him and wrote as follows : 

BOSTON, MASS., June 22, 1876. 

DEAR SIR, Is the above paragraph true ? We have 
tried so long and so hard for many years to secure you 



A WIFE AND A FEW TABERNACLE. 79 

that we thought it impossible, and long since gave up 
all hope. We are the exclusive agents of all the lead- 
ing lecturers in America. We will give you a thousand 
dollars in gold for every lecture you deliver in America, 
and pay all your expenses to and from your home, and 
place you under the most popular auspices in the 
country. Will you come? 

To this invitation Mr. Spurgeon returned the follow 
ing reply :- 

CLAPHAM, LONDON, ENGLAND, July 6. 

GENTLEMEN, I cannot imagine how such a para 
graph should appear in your papers, except by 
deliberate invention of a hard-up editor, for I never 
had any idea of leaving home for America for some 
time to come. As I said to you before, if I could come, I 
am not a lecturer, nor would I receive money for 
preaching. 

In the year 1857 Mr. Spurgeon preached two ser 
mons one in the ordinary course of his ministrations, 
the other on a special occasion both of which com 
manded a sale of more than a hundred thousand 
copies. The first, preached in the autumn, was en^ 
titled " India s Ills and England s Sorrows," and had 
reference to the mutiny in India. The second was 
preached in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham on the 
fast day relating to the war in India, when probably 
not less than twenty thousand formed the preacher s 
audience. 



80 KEY. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Marvellous Gifts. 

It will doubtless interest many to l.earn something 
of the personal appearance of the preacher as he 
stood before that vast audience. One who had some 
skill in depicting natural life wrote of him as follows : 

" He is of medium height, at present quite stout, 
has a round and beardless face, not a high forehead, 
dark hair, parted in the centre of the head. His ap 
pearance in the pulpit may be said to be interesting 
rather than commanding. He betrays his youth, and 
still wears a boyish countenance. His figure is awk 
ward his manners are plain his face (except when 
illumined by a smile) is admitted to be heavy. His 
voice seems to be the only personal instrument he 
possesses, by which he is enabled to acquire such a 
marvellous power over the minds and hearts of his 
hearers. His voice is powerful, rich, melodious, and 
under perfect control. Twelve thousand have dis 
tinctly heard every sentence he uttered in the open 
air, and this powerful instrument carried his burning 
words to an audience of twenty thousand gathered in 
the Crystal Palace. Soon as he commences to 
speak/ says an English critic, tones of richest melody 
are heard. A voice, full, sweet, and musical, falls on 
every ear, and awakens agreeable emotions in every 
soul in which there is a sympathy for sounds. That 
most excellent of voices is under perfect control, and 
can whisper or thunder at the wish of its possessor." 

"Then there is poetry in every feature and every 
movement, as well as music in the voice. The coun- 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 81 

tenance speaks, the entire form sympathizes. The 
action is in complete unison with the sentiments, and 
the eye listens scarcely less than the ear to the 
sweetly flowing oratory. To the influence of this 
* powerful voice he adds that of a manner character 
ized by great freedom and fearlessness, intensely 
earnest, and strikingly natural. When to these w^ 
add the influence of thrilling description, touching 
anecdote, sparkling wit, startling episodes, striking 
similes, all used to illustrate and enforce the deep, 
earnest home-truths of the Bible, we surely have a 
combination of elements which must make up a 
preacher of wonderful attraction and of marvellous 
power." 

Pastors College. 

Amidst his incessant duties and almost daily jour 
neys and sermons, the devoted pastor still found time 
to give instruction to the young men he kept under 
his careful ministry. With Mr. Spurgeon it was work 
almost night and day, and all day long, with but little 
intermission, for several years in succession. The 
germs of what is now known as Pastors College were 
never absent from his mind, and frequently occupied 
his attention when in London. In 1857 the first 
student was sent out in charge of a church; in 1858 
Mr. Silverton went forth; in 1859 Mr. Davies and 
Mr. Genders followed, both of whom have left their 
mark on society. 

On Jan. i, 1865, appeared the first number of " The 
Sword and the Trowel ; " a record of combat with 



82 REV. CHARLES H. SPURSEON. 

sin, and labor for the Lori It had an ornamental cover 
representing a Jewish doorway of stone, and beyond 
and within were seen the zealous Jews at work re 
building the walls of Jerusalem, the sword in one 
hand, the trowel in the other. The work was so 
wisely planned, and it has been so ably conducted, that 
it now occupies a prominent, if not a foremost place 
amongst the periodical literature of the land, and has 
a circulation of several thousand copies monthly, with 
a steady advancement. 

Literary Labors. 

Besides the other works daily undertaken by Mr. 
Spurgeon himself, and all his journeys in the country 
to preach special sermons, he found time to write no 
less than nineteen articles for the first year s volume 
of his magazine. At the end of the year the editor 
was ill at home, but he informed his friends, through 
the magazine, that he had finished writing his new 
book, " Morning by Morning," by which means he 
hoped to hold hallowed communion with thousands 
of families all over the world, every morning at the 
family altar. He has since added to it a companion 
volume, " Evening by Evening," both of which works 
have had a large sale. Amongst his articles in 1865 
were two poems, one entitled " The Fall of Jericho ; " 
the other will find a fitting place in these pages. It 
was written while on a visit to Hull, in Yorkshire, 
during the summer, and tenderly expresses the young 
pastor s love to his wife. 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 

MARRIED LOVE TO MY WIFE. 

Over the space that parts us, my wife, 

I ll cast me a bridge of song, 
Our hearts shall meet, O joy of my life, 

On its arch unseen, but strong. 

The wooer his new love s name may wear 

Engraved on a precious stone ; 
But in my heart thine image I wear, 

That heart has long been thine own. 

The glowing colors on surface laid, 

Wash out in a shower of rain ; 
Thou need st not be of rivers afraid, 

For my love is dyed ingrain. 

And as every drop of Garda s lake 

Is tinged with sapphire s blue, 
So all the powers of my mind partake 

Of joy at the thought of you. 

The glittering dewdrops of dawning love 

Exhale as the day grows old, 
And fondness, taking the wings of a dove, 

Is gone like a tale of old. 

But mine for thee, from the chambers of jy, 
With strength came forth as the sun, 

Nor life nor death shall its force destroy, 
Forever its course shall run. 

All earth-born love must sleep in the grave, 

To its native dust return ; 
What God hath kindled shall death out-br*v, 

And in heaven itself shall burn. 

Beyond and above the wedlock tie 

Our union to Christ we feel ; 
Uniting bonds which were made on high, 

Shall hold us when earth shall reel. 



84 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Though He who chose us all worlds before, 

Must reign in our hearts alone, 
We fondly believe that we shall adore 

Together before His throne. 

During the year 1865 Mr. Spurgeon held in the 
Tabernacle united meetings for prayer through one 
entire week, attended by over six thousand persons, 
which were a source of so much blessing to those 
attending them that a second series followed a month 

later. 

Revival Services. 

Conscious of the power of prayer the pastor com 
menced the year 1866 with a month s continuous re 
vival services, at which one hundred ind twenty minis 
ters and students were present. Knowing that he 
should have the sympathy and co-operation of his 
church in conducting them, in September the whole 
church had a day of fasting and prayer. 

An important work, which had for a long time 
occupied Mr. Spurgeon s attention, was brought out 
this year, under the title of " Our Own Hymn Book." 
The preparation of a new collection of psalms and 
hymns for congregational use was felt to be an urgent 
necessity, but there was a nervous fear about the suc 
cess of such a work. It was prepared with great care, 
and np pains were spared to make it complete in 
every respect, giving correct text, author s name to 
each hymn, with date of first publication, and other 
interesting particulars in the large edition of the book. 
The public at once saw the value of the collection, 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 85 

and since that time it has had a very large sale, having 
been adopted by and is now in use in scores if not 
hundreds of congregations. 

Colportage Association. 

As a student of the times in which Puritanism began 
to take hold of the mind of the English people, Mr. 
Spurgeon knew how great a work was accomplished 
by the Nonconformists by book hawking. He had 
learned by several visits to Scotland how useful and 
valuable that agency was in the north of England, 
He therefore, in January, 1866, issued a circular stat 
ing his intention to establish a system of colportage, 
by which his sermons and other works of a moral and 
religious character might be more widely distributed. 

At first it was intended to be confined to London 
and the neglected villages and small country towns 
around, where access to religious literature was diffi 
cult. The result of the appeal made in January led to 
the formation of THE COLPORTAGE ASSOCIATION in 
October, which has ever since been one of the impor 
tant agencies of the Tabernacle, and which is every 
year increasing its operations and usefulness. It 
employs colporteurs, whose whole time is directed to 
the work, and who are paid a moderate salary ; also 
book agents, who are constantly delivering books to 
purchasers, for which service they receive a liberal 
discount on sales, and by which they are enabled to 
make a satisfactory living. The wisdom of the course 
taken by Mr. Spurgeon in this matter has since been 
abundantly demonstrated. That association has been 



86 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

a blessing to thousands, and has done a noble work 
in very needy localities. 

Not a Sectarian. 

At this time there was a feeling abroad which mani 
fested itself in several articles in public papers, and 
notably in a New York religious weekly, that Mr 
Spurgeon, by means of his College and the large num 
ber of new chapels being erected all over the land for 
his students, was aiming at founding a sect, after the 
example of Wesley. So soon as this notion reached 
Mr. Spurgeon, he took the earliest opportunity of 
repudiating the idea. In a short article entitled 
" Spurgeonism," he thus records his views : 

"There is no word in the world so hateful to our 
heart as that word Spurgeonism, and no thought fur- 
then from our soul than that of forming a new sect. 
Our course has been, and we hope ever will be, an 
independent one ; but to charge us with separating 
from the general organization of the religious world, 
and even of the Baptist denomination, is to perpetrate 
an unfounded libel. We preach no new gospel, we 
desire no new objects, and follow them in no novel 
spirit. We love Christ better than a sect, and truth 
better than a party, and so far are not denomina 
tional ; but we are in open union with the Baptists for 
the very reason that we cannot endure isolation. He 
who searches all hearts knows that our aim and object 
is not to gather a band around self, but to unite a 
company around the Saviour. Let my name perish, 
but let Christ s name last forever, said George Whit- 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 87 

field; and so has Charles Spurgeon said a hundred 
times. 

We aid and assist the Baptist churches to the full 
extent of our power, although we do not restrict our 
energies to them alone, and in this those churches are 
far enough from blaming us. Our joy and rejoicing 
is great in the fellowship of all believers, and the form 
ing of a fresh sect is work which we leave to the devil, 
whom it befits far more than ourselves. It is true 
that it has long been in our power to commence a 
new denomination, but it is not true that it has ever 
been contemplated by us or our friends. We desire 
as much as possible to work with the existing agencies, 
and when we commence new ones our friends must 
believe that it is with no idea of organizing a fresh 
community." 

Work in Paris. 

The closing days of the year 1866 Mr. Spurgeon 
spent in Paris, in a successful effort to get the Baptist 
church in that city brought out of an obscure corner, 
in which property could not be respected, into a place 
of prominence, where there was hope of its becoming 
known and being useful. This effort had long exer 
cised the mind of Pastor Spurgeon, and he had the 
joy of seeing the work he aimed at fully accomplished. 
He spent his Christmas in Paris, getting rest for him 
self and doing a good work for the Parisians. 

Reinvigorated by his short trip to the Continent, 
he returned to bis duties at the Tabernacle with re- 



88 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOtf. 

**ewed energy and a stronger faith, having gained 
fresh courage from his success in France. 

The month of February, 1867, witnessed the usual 
week of prayer, which that year was marked, on the 
1 8th, by a whole day of fasting and prayer, commenc- 
,ing at seven in the morning and continuing, without a 
^pause or breaking up for meals, until nine at night 
a day of prayer, in which the Holy Spirit was mani 
festly present all day. The account of the services 
held during that week reads like a new chapter of the 
Acts of the Apostles. 

Reaching 1 the Common People. 

The readiness with which Mr. Spurgeon can adapt 
himself to his audience, whether that audience consists 
of the educated or affluent, the poor or the ignorant, 
was never more distinctly seen than when, in the 
Evangelists Tabernacle, Golden Lane, City, he 
preached to a congregation of costermongers. Mr. 
Orsman, the missionary there, had distributed tickets 
among the street dealers in Whitecross Street, so as 
to secure the class for whom the service was intended. 
An amusing article might be written to describe the 
singular variety of countenances and callings of those 
present. The hymns were heartily sung ; the prayer 
Avon the hearts of the audience when Mr. Spurgeon 
Coffered supplication for those who had bodily aches 
and pains, and whose poverty deprived them of many 
desired comforts ; many deep sighs followed those 
prayers. 

The sermon was preached from St. John iv. 15, and 



A WIFE AND A NEW TABERNACLE. 89 

it was illustrated by allusions tq the habits aud manner 
of life of his congregation, whose acuteness relished 
the anecdotes and homely hits which the preacher so 
freely used. A costermonger s living depends much 
upon his voice. After the service the costers were 
free in their comments on the preacher s voice, which 
was described as " Wot a woice ! " " Wonderful ! K 
" Stunnin ! " " I never ! " " Would make a fine coster ! " 
etc. After the sermon about two hundred remained 
to be prayed with, and much spiritual good was done 
that night. 

Great Assemblies in Agricultural Hall 

Six years having elapsed since the Tabernacle was 
opened, the building had suffered much from the 
massive congregations which had assembled there, 
and it became necessary to close it for several weeks 
for repairs. During that period Mr. Spurgeon 
preached to immense congregations in the Agricultural 
Hall, Islington. The first of the five special services 
was held on Sunday, March 24, 1867, when about 
twelve thousand persons were present. The preacher s 
delivery was slow, measured, and emphatic ; nothing 
labored; and his voice lost none of its accustomed 
music. Many thousands heard the gospel at that 
time who were not accustomed to attend any place of 
worship. More than twenty thousand were in attend 
ance on the final day. 

The heavy responsibilities which rested on the 
pastor of the Tabernacle in the early part of the year 
made it necessary for him to seek a little recreation, 



90 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEONo 

and with that he blended a friendly service for Jtis 
esteemed friend Pastor Oncken, by preaching for him 
at the opening of his new Baptist church at Hamburg. 
He included in his travels a visit to Heligoland, which 
furnished for his ready and fertile pen most interesting 
matter for an article, which contains information both 
curious and valuable, not to be found elsewhere. 



CHAPTER V. 
Successful Labors. 

Orphan Houses. Impressive Spectacle. " On My Back." Liberal Gifts. 
Illness of Mrs. Spurgeon. Silly Tales. "A Black Business." Laid Aside 
by Illness. New Year s Letter. The Pastor Prostrate. Discussion Concern 
ing Future Punishment. The Bible and Public Schools. A Victim to Gout. 
Visit to the Continent. Pastors College. Ingatherings at the Tabernacle. 
Colored Jubilee Singers. Pointed Preaching. Great Missionary Meeting. 
A New Corner-stone. 

RETURNING home, the industrious pastor found 
abundance of important work awaiting him. During 
the April previous the land had been secured at 
Stockwell for the ORPHAN HOUSES. The work of 
preparation for their erection had been so far advanced 
that a great festival was arranged, and on Monday, 
September 9, 1867, a party of some four thousand 
persons assembled at Stockwell, a large proportion 
of the company being collectors ; and it was part of 
the programme for the foundation-stones of three of 
the houses to be laid, and for the numerous collectors 
to lay on the stones their respective contributions 
It was an auspicious day for Mr. Spurgeon, for his 
deacons and church-members. A widely extended 
interest had been felt in the work, and the occasion 
became a grand holiday in that southern suburb of 
London. Three of the houses were thus far advanced 
in their progress, namely, the Silver Wedding House, 



92 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

the Merchants House, and the Workmen s House, 
The united sun? the collectors laid upon the stones 
amounted to eleven thousand dollars. 

A Home for Orphans. 

The entire spectacle was both novel and touching. 
Prayers were offered on the occasion, the influence of 
which it is believed will be felt throughout all time 
Appropriate hymns were sung, each ceremony being 
conducted with verses specially prepared, the first of 
which was as follows : 

Accept, O Lord, the grateful love 

Which yields this house to Thee ; 
And on the Silver Wedding House 

Let blessings ever be. 

It was announced at the close of the ceremony that 
in addition to the one hundred thousand dollars given 
by Mrs. Hillyard, the money in hand was then twenty- 
seven thousand five hundred dollars. The assembly 
returned home highly delighted with the service and 
the glad tidings they had heard, whilst the pastor, 
worn out with fatigue and anxiety, retired home to 
rest. 

The mental and physical strain of such heavy re 
sponsibilities was too much for Mr. Spurgeon, who 
was soon after laid aside quite ill. Although physically 
prostrate, his mind was in active exercise ; and after 
being a sufferer for two months, he wrote an article 
for his magazine entitled, " On My Back," in which he 
submissively said, that after two months of ill health 
and severe pain, yet he believed there was a limit to 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 93 

sickness, and that Jesus knew all about it, feeling 
assured that the design of sickness was divinely good. 
This long absence from the pulpit led to the appoint 
ment of his brother, James Archer Spurgeon, as co- 
pastor to the church at the Tabernacle, and ke 
officially entered on those duties in January, 1868. 

Busy with Pen and Voice. 

Although the year 1868 did not furnish occasion 
for such important events as the preceding one, yet 
was there much earnest work done by Mr. Spurgeon 
at his Tabernacle. Not able to do so much physical 
work, he used his pen very freely. He wrote two 
articles for his magazine to advocate the claims of 

o 

the Colportage Association. In March he delivered 
at the Tabernacle a lecture on " Our History and 
Work," with Mr. W. McArthur, M.P., in the chair. 
He also wrote an interesting article relating incidents 
in the life of his grandfather. In the month of May 
he preached the Sermon to Young Men at Mr. Mar 
tin s Chapel, Westminster, on behalf of the London 
Missionary Society a service rendered the more 
cheerfully, remembering, as he did, the prophetic 
words of good Richard Knill, that he would preach 
in the largest chapel in London. That was probably 
the largest chapel he had preached in, excepting his 
own. During the same month he spoke at the Break 
fast Meeting of the Congregational Union. 

Generous Donations. 

In the month of March a generous friend sent to 
the pastor five thousand dollars for the College and 



94 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

five thousand dollars for the Orphanage such in 
stances of liberality amply testifying the high estima 
tion in which the noble enterprises of Mr. Spurgeon 
were held by the public. On his birthday, June iQth, 
a great meeting was held, and liberal contributions 
made for the Orphanage. 

Bright as are these spots in the life of the pastor, 
and in his work at the Tabernacle and its belongings, 
yet there hung over his home all the time a dark 
shadow which Divine Providence saw fit to place there. 
Mrs. Spurgeon had long been a great sufferer, and to 
alleviate her sorrows, if possible, a very painful opera 
tion had to be undertaken. The most skilful surgeons 
of the land were engaged, under the direction of Sir 
James Simpson, of Edinburgh. Prayer was made 
for her by the whole church, and, by the blessing of 
God, the operation was so far successful that her 
sufferings were alleviated and her life prolonged ; but 
it has been a life of pain and weakness, though with 
less of anguish. 

A Jubilant Note. 

A gratifying fact is recorded by Mr. Spurgeon this 
year, who publicly acknowledges the kindness of Dr. 
Palfrey, of Finsbury Square, for his gratuitous and 
generous professional attendance on the poor members 
of the Tabernacle. 

At Christmastide, and at the opening of the year, 
the claims of Mr. Spurgeon s benevolent agencies were 
remembered by his many friends, who sent him of 
their worldly substance with generous hands, so that 



96 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

he commences the first number of " The Sword and 
the Trowel " for 1869 with a most jubilant note : " Bless 
the Lord, O my soul ! " 

He also made the announcement that a gentleman 
in Australia had written to say he intended to reprint 
his sermons weekly in that far-off land, to give them 
a yet wider circulation. 

From the very commencement of his ministry 
strange tales had been put into circulation by his 
detractors, most of which Mr. Spurgeon passed by in 
silence. Several very ludicrous speeches were 
attributed to him soon after he became popular in 
London. In the midst of his work, at the opening of 
the year 1869, tne voice of the slanderer was again 
heafd, and many were troubling the busy pastor to 
know how true were the statements in circulation re 
specting him. 

Absurd Stories. 

In reply to all these, under the head of " Silly Tales," 
he wrote in his magazine : "Friends who write us about 
silly tales may save themselves the trouble. We 
have been enabled in our ministry and in our walk 
before God so to act, through grace, that we have given 
no occasion for the slanderers, save only that we have 
kept, the faith, and been very jealous for the Lord God 
of Israel. Many of the absurd stories still retailed 
everywhere are the very same libels which were re 
peated concerning Rowland Hill and others long gone 
to their rest." 

Having seen much of the folly too frequently 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 97 

exhibited at funerals, he published his views, with the 
apt title, " Funerals ; or a Black Business," in which, 
after exposing the folly of using feathers and gold- 
headed sticks in carrying a dead body to the grave, he 
observes : " I would sooner be eaten by crows than 
have pride and pomp feeding on my little savings, 
which are meant for my bereaved wife and children, 
and not for unsuitable, untimely, and unholy show. 




NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL. 

1 have heard that more than four millions of money 
are squandered every year in funeral fopperies. The 
money buys or hires silk scarfs, brass nails, feathers 
for horses, kid gloves and gin for the mutes, and white 
satin and black cloth for the worms. It seems to me 
to be mighty fine nonsense, more for the pride of the 
living than the honor of the dead, more for the profit 
of the undertaker than any one else." 
7 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Attack of Small-pox. 

In June of that year the first report of the Orphan 
age was issued, which plainly set forth how earnestly 
the work had been carried on for it in having the 
houses erected and in getting them furnished and 
occupied. Twenty-nine boys were then in residence, 
one of whom was the son of one of the workmen who 
had assisted in building the Workmen s House, the 
father having died after the house was erected. 

Taking a short holiday in July, Mr. Spurgeon, ac 
companied by a friend, climbed the summit of Hind- 
head, in the South of England, then paid a brief visit 
to the Continent. Soon after his return home, in 
October, he was entirely laid aside from pastoral work 
by a slight attack of small-pox. His friends became 
seriously anxious about him, and special prayer was 
made again and again for his recovery. It came 
slowly, but in anticipation thereof the first article in 
the magazine for November was "A Sermon from a 
Sick Preacher." Possessed of such mighty faith in 
God, and with such indomitable courage, Pastor Spur 
geon found opportunities for doing good, whilst others 
are considering what had best be done. He even 
wrote directions " How to Bear Affliction." 

New Year s Letter. 

During the progress of his recovery he wrote a 
New Year s Letter to his ministering brethren, which 
commences his magazine for 1870, in which, with much 
affectionate earnestness, he urges them, even by special 
means, if ordinary ones fail, to aim at the salvation of 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 99 

the souls of their congregations, enforcing this duty 
upon them by the example of the Ritualists, who are 
zealous, working to spread their delusions, especially 
amongst the poor, with whom they know how to 
succeed by bribes of bread and clothing. He says he 
writes as a sick man, but feels the urgency and im 
portance of soul-winning. 

The prostrate condition of the pastor s health for 
nearly three months made it necessary for him to 
appeal with his pen for the aid of his friends in sus 
taining the benevolent works of the Tabernacle. In 
March, 1870, his appeal took the following form : 
" The pastorate of a church of four thousand members, 
the direction of all its agencies, the care of many 
churches arising from the College work ; the selection, 
education, and guidance in their settlements of the 
students ; the oversight of the Orphanage, the editing 
of a magazine, the production of numerous volumes, 
the publication of a weekly sermon, an immense cor 
respondence, a fair share in public and denominational 
action, and many other labors, besides the incessant 
preaching of the Word, give us a right to ask of our 
friends that we be not allowed to have an anxious 
thought about the funds needed for our enterprises. * 

Future Punishment. 

This remarkable picture of energy and activity will 
scarcely be surpassed by any man living, if indeed it 
can be equalled by more than one in a million, even 
in this industrious age. But there were other duties 
pressing on Mr. Spurgeon s mind at the time, uhic h 



100 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

he could not throw off. For some months previously 
a controversy had been warmly carried on in the 
columns of the " Christian World " newspaper, advo 
cating a curious system of future punishment ending 
in annihilation. The editor of the paper prohibited in 
his columns the publication of any letters on the oppo 
site side, excepting only what Mr. Spurgeon might 
write. Mr. Spurgeon wrote to the editor, pointing out 
that his conduct was not quite frank, and declining 
on his part to help the agitation, telling him that the 
words of our Lord " These shall go away into ever 
lasting punishment " finally settled the point ; and 
he held that the publication of views which are op 
posed to that declaration, and the views themselves, 
were equally dangerous. 

A Controversy. 

Greatly were the funds of the college aided by the 
lectures which its President gave from time to time on 
its behalf. After one of his visits to Italy Mr. Spurgeon 
delivered a very interesting and lively lecture on 
" Rome, and what I saw and heard there. 7 Some of 
the reporters for the daily press not a few of whom 
are Jesuits misrepresented some very material por 
tions of the lecture in their abridged account. Mr. 
Spurgeon was obliged to defend himself; and what 
he said against such insidious foes in the pages of his 
own magazine led to another kindred topic being 
brought before the public about the same time, when 
these same reporters misled the public mind by apply 
ing to King Victor Immanuel of Italy a prayer which 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 101 

belonged only to Immanuel, Victor over sin, the man 
Christ Jesus. 

In May, 1870, Mr. Spurgeon sent forth a new work 
entitled " Feathers for Arrows," intended to supply 
preachers and teachers with useful material for filling 
up their sermons, lectures, and addresses. Ten thou 
sand copies of the book were sold in three months. 

The Bible in the Public Schools. 

The public mind was considerably agitated at that 
time by the action of the School Board in reference 
to religious teaching in their schools ; some wanting 
to exclude the reading of the Bible from them, and so 
deprive the upgrowing population of the use of the 
best book in the language. A large meeting was 
held in Exeter Hall, in July, in defence of the Bible 
being daily read in elementary schools. Mr. Spur 
geon took the chair on the occasion. The result of 
the meeting was, the Bible retains its place as a daily 
school book. The wisdom of the decision then made 
has been abundantly manifested since, and especially 
so by the great gathering of Board-School children in 
the Crystal Palace in July, 1877, when some thousands 
of prizes were publicly given to the pupils for pro 
ficiency in knowledge of the Bible, and when it was 
most convincingly shown that parents in London (ex 
cepting only a few Jews) do not object to their chil 
dren being taught daily from the Word of God. 

The special religious services held in February, at 
the Tabernacle, were seasons of much blessing. More 
than one hundred members were added to the church 



REV. CHARLES H. $PURG ON. 

in one month. The peopK went to the services 
expecting to receive good, an^ they yere not disap 
pointed. 

Severe Attack of Stout. 

Soon after the annual College Cupper, which was 
held in March, 1871, at which the sum of seven thou 
sand five hundred dollars was given, Mr. Spurgeon 
was laid aside by a more than usually severe attack of 
gout, which confined him indoors for three long, weary 
months ; yet in the midst of all his pain and suffering 
he wrote in July of the great mercies he had received 
from the hand of God, and by the bounty of his friends 
to the Orphanage and the College. It was at the close 
of this protracted attack of bodily pain that he was 
privileged to preach the sermon which forms No. 
i,oooof his published discourses. Its second title is 
" Bread enough and to spare," and it is based on 
Luke xv. 1 7. It was the delight of the pastor to re 
ceive from a friend five thousand dollars on behalf of 
the College, in honor of the event just named. Who 
would not pray that God s blessing may rest forever 
on that friend ? 

Taking the advice of his friends, Mr. Spurgeon pro 
ceeded to the Continent for a short tour and for rest. 
His observant eye was constantly discovering some 
passing beauty which his ever-ready pencil recorded 
in his note-book, a book which contains a sto^e of 
Incidents which serve to enrich his conversation and 
fill up his magazine. Accordingly, taking Jersey and 
Guernsey on his way, we find before the end of the 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 103 

year an interesting article from his pen, on St. Bre- 

lade s Bay. 

Pilgrimage to Sunny Italy. 

As the cold raw winter weather set in, the beloved 
pastor was urged by his friends to seek a warmer climate. 
Illness in a severe form again overtook him, on the 
second day of which he received a telegram from Boston, 
America, offering most liberal terms to him if he would 
go to that country and deliver a series of lectures. So 
large a sum would have been a strong temptation to 
most men, but not so to this minister of Jesus Christ, 
whose prompt reply was, " he had neither time nor 
strength to go to America." Instead of journeying 
westward for personal gain, he started on a pilgrimage 
to sunny Italy and the South of France, taking what 
he designated a Scriptural holiday, a forty days rest. 
Accordingly, leaving gloomy December in England, 
he spent that month in visiting Pompeii, Venice, Flor 
ence, Rome, Naples, and France a fitting holiday 
after having completed nineteen years 7 labor in Lon 
don. 

In taking a survey of the work of the year, for the 
preface to his magazine, Mr. Spurgeon sums up the 
record by saying it had been a year of spiritual drought 
in the churches generally, but at the Tabernacle they 
had witnessed much prosperity, and the trained pas 
tors who had gone out from them had been also 
blessed in like manner. Eleven students were 
appointed to pastoral duty during 1872. During this 
year, also, Archibald G. Brown opened his large 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOJST. 

Tabernacle in the East of London. It is a building 
for extent and variety of Christian work second only 
to Mr. Spurgeon s. Mr. Brown is one of the most 
successful students trained in the Pastors College. 

Kesults of Overwork. 

In the hope that the genial sunshine of Southern 
Europe, in which he has passed out of the old into the 
new year, would have established his health for re. 
newed efforts, the pastor appeared once more at the 
Tabernacle, and at the church meeting in January, 
1873, he had the gratification of finding one hundred 
and thirty-five new members to be received into fellow 
ship, thus demonstrating that there was life in the 
church, though its chief pastor had been away. The 
cold, raw, damp weather continuing with the new year, 
he was again prevented from leaving his own home, 
and for many weeks he was unable to preach on the 
Sabbath. How great a trial that silence was to the 
preacher, none so well knew as himself. Sorrowing 
greatly at the privation both to himself and his church, 
he yet submitted without murmur to the will of God. 

Shut in from the outer world, he had an opportunity 
of surveying the progress of the work which was be 
ing done at the Tabernacle. The College reports ex 
hibited the outposts which had already been reached 
by the students, one of whom was laboring to set 
forth Jesus as the only Saviour of sinners, in China ; 
one in Sydney, one in Tasmania, one in Adelaide, two 
in Madrid, one in Ontario, one in Ohio, one in Phila 
delphia, one in South Africa, and one in Toronto, 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 105 

What a vast prospect of work to be done in the inter 
mediate spaces between each one of those missionary 
agents and the Tabernacle ! 

Thousands of Church Members. 

At the Annual Church Meeting held in February, 
1873, the total membership was reported at 4,417. 
The losses during the previous year had been 263, 
the additions were 571, leaving a net increase for the 
year of 308 living members. Well might both pastor 
and deacons rejoice at the presence of the Lord God 
in their midst. At this date came a renewed applica 
tion from the United States to come over and lecture. 
Note the preacher s reply: "An American firm offer 
Mr. Spurgeon twenty-five thousand dollars to deliver 
twenty-five lectures in that country, at one thousand 
dollars each, and further arrangements can be made 
for one hundred lectures. Although the remuneration 
offered is very far beyond anything our beloved peo 
ple are likely to give us, we prefer to have the gospel 
according to our Lord s words preached freely, rather 
than to use the Lord s time for earning money for our 
own purse." 

Fisk Jubilee Singers. 

Always sympathizing with the oppressed, it did not 
surprise any one to learn that the Fisk Jubilee Singers 
ireceived an early invitation from the pastor and dea 
cons to give one of their concerts in the Metropolitan 
Tabernacle. It would be difficult to determine which 
party experienced the most delight, the colored sing 
ers to go and see arid hear Mr. Spurgeon speak in his 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

own church, or his congregation to welcome, with all 
the heartiness they could manifest, those liberated 
slaves, whose vocal powers had by anticipation pre 
ceded their visit, to insure them a hearty greeting. It 
was indeed a pleasant hour, that which introduced the 
singers to the vast mass of people which crowded 
every inch of space in the building to hear them. In 
deed, hundreds had to go away, unable to crowd in 
anywhere within sight or hearing. And the collection 
which followed it was right royal in amount. They 
cleared about eleven hundred dollars for their Univer 
sity by singing at the Tabernacle alone. 

The effect on the mind of the pastor himself, he 
thus describes in his own magazine : " The melodies 
were rendered by our emancipated friends in a man 
ner altogether unique : we have never heard anything 
like it; pure nature untrammelled by rule, pouring 
forth its notes as freely as the wild birds in the spring. 
The people were charmed : our intercourse with the 
choir was very pleasant/ As soon as the singers 
arrived in London on their second tour, they received 
an earnest invitation to repeat their visit to the Metro 
politan Tabernacle. 

Pointed Preaching 1 . 

As the practical pastor was again charged with be 
ing too personal in preaching, in one of his articles 
on "Personal preaching," Mr. Spurgeon remarks: 
" We aim at speaking personally and pointedly to all 
our hearers ; and they are the best judges whether 
we accomplish it, and also as to whether we use Ian- 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 107 

guage at which any man ought to be offended. Very 
seldom does a week occur without our receiving let 
ters from persons unknown to us, thanking us for 
advising or comforting them in our sermons, the par 
ties evidently being under the impression that some 
friend had communicated their cases to us, though, 
indeed, we knew nothing whatever of them. Fre 
quently we have had apologetic notes acknowledging 
the justice of the rebuke, and correcting us in some 
minor details of a description supposed to refer to a 
special sinner; whereas we were unaware of the writer s 
existence. We have ceased to regard these incidents 
as curious, for we remember that the Word of God 
is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the 
heart/ " 

A Bally for Missions. 

Strange and interesting facts have often reached 
him. At the commencement of Mr. Spurgeon s min 
istry he related having received a letter from a poor 
shoemaker during the week, who said that he was the 
man who had kept his shop open on the Sunday, who 
had sold only one pair of old boots for one-and-eight- 
pence, and that, having broken the Sabbath for so 
small a sum and been so publicly exposed, none but 
God could have told the facts to the preacher, he had 
resolved to break the Sabbath no longer. He became 
converted, and joined the church ; but the preacher 
had no knowledge of the man till he wrote about him 
self. 

During the spring weather of 73 Mr. Spurgeon 



108 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

did not recover his accustomed health, neither did he 
give up his accustomed work, excepting- when really 
unable to leave home. At the end of April he 
preached one of the annual sermons before the Wes- 
leyan Missionary Society, in Great Queen-street 
Chapel, to the largest congregation ever assembled 
on a similar occasion, at the close of which the collec 
tion reached an amount greater than had ever before 
been made for that object. 

In June he took part in the services connected with 
laying memorial stones for a new Baptist chapel near 
his own residence at Clapham. He stated that it had 
long been in his heart to build a chapel in that locality, 
and he had laid aside one thousand dollars to com 
mence the work, but all his efforts had failed. He 
was glad that others were doing what he had not been 
able to do. He had himself been "delighted that year 
to preach for the Wesleyans, and to speak for the In 
dependents ; but he urged all Baptists residing in that 
district to give to the church which intended to assem 
ble in that new erection. In the early part of the year 
Mr. Spurgeon had made a collection at the Tabernacle 
on behalf of the new Surrey Chapel for Mr. Newman 
Hall, which reached five hundred dollars. 

Laying a Corner Stone. 

In taking a survey of the literary work of " The 
Sword and the Trowel for the year, the editor in his 
preface for 1873 remarks: "I have been hunting up 
topics of interest with no small degree of anxiety, 
sending forth the magazine with earnest desires to win 



SUCCESSFUL LABORS. 109 

a hearing and to produce good results of all kinds. I 
edit the periodical most conscientiously, giving it my 
personal attention, and I spare no pains to make it as 
good as I can." 

The applications made to the College for pastors 
during 1873 were more numerous than had before 
been made. Thirty of these were supplied. Out of 
that number two were sent to Spain, one to India, one 
to China, one to Prince Edward Island, one to Ireland, 
and one to Scotland. On the I4th of October the 
foundation-stone of the new College buildings was 
laid by the President. It was a day which will long 
be remembered with delight. The people on the oc 
casion gave five thousand dollars, and the students 
gave fifteen hundred more ; but the chief joy of the 
day was the whole-day prayer-meeting which the stu 
dents held, that the divine blessing might rest on the 
work, and upon all connected with the College. 

The month of January, 1879, will long be remem 
bered. Having completed the twenty-fifth year of his 
pastorate, it was decided to celebrate the occasion, 
which was termed THE PASTORAL SILVER WEDDING, by 
presenting Mr. Spurgeon with a liberal testimonial. 
The amount proposed to be raised was twenty-five 
thousand dollars. A large bazaar was opened, which 
was well supported, and with the subscription lists the 
proceeds exceeded the amount originally proposed. 

With his usual large-heartedness he declined accept 
ing the amount for his private benefit. There was 
one important institution connected with the Taber- 



110 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

nacle that needed to be placed on a surer footing, and 
this was a fitting opportunity for securing that end 
The Almshouses, affording homes for nineteen poor 
widows, required a more permanent support, and all 
the proceeds of the " Pastoral Silver Wedding Fund " 
were devoted to this laudable object, thereby insuring 
its future maintenance. 



CHAPTER VI 
The Pastors College. 

Tb* wt Student. Call for Preachers to the Masses. A Faithful Instructor. 
Growth of the College. Efforts to Secure Funds. Generous Gifts. Un 
known Benefactor. Provision for Students. Opinion of Earl Shaftesbury. 
New Churches Founded. Mr. Spurgeon s Annual Report. Milk and Water 
Theology. Rough Diamonds. Course of Study. Earnest Workers. A 
Mission Band. Interesting Letters. Help for Neglected Fields. 

IN the early part of his career Mr. Spurgeon 
founded a school for the education of young men for 
the ministry. It has been a very successful institution, 
the training place of a large number who have gone 
forth, some of them even to the ends of the earth, bear 
ing the " glad tidings." The object, methods and results 
of the school are stated by Mr. Spurgeon as follows : 

The College was the first important institution com 
menced by the pastor, and it still remains his first-born 
and best-beloved. To train ministers of the gospel 
is a most excellent work, and when the Holy Spirit 
blesses the effort, the result is of the utmost impor 
tance both to the Church and to the world. 

The Pastors College commenced in 1856, and dur 
ing this long period has unceasingly been remembered 
of the God of heaven, to whom all engaged in it offer 
reverent thanksgiving. When it was commenced, I 
had not even a remote idea of whereunto it would 

(ill) 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

grow. There were springing up around me, as my 
own spiritual children, many earnest youn^; men who 
felt an irresistible impulse to preach the gospel, and 
yet with half an eye it could be seen that their want 
of education would be a sad hindrance to them. It 
was not in my heart to bid them cease preaching, and 
had I done so, they would in all probability have 
ignored my recommendation. As it seemed that 
preach they would, though their attainments were very 
slender, no other course was open but to give them 
an opportunity to educate themselves for the work. 

A Young- Apollos. 

The Holy Spirit very evidently had set His seal 
upon the work of one of them, by conversions 
wrought under his open-air addresses ; it seemed 
therefore to be a plain matter of duty to instruct this 
youthful Apollos still further, that he might be fitted 
for wider usefulness. No college at that time ap 
peared to me to be suitable for the class of men that 
the providence and grace of God drew around me. 
They were mostly poor, and most of the colleges in 
volved necessarily a considerable outlay to the student; 
for even where the education was free, books, clothes, 
and other incidental expenses required a considerable 
sum per annum. Moreover, it must be frankly ad 
mitted that my views of the gospel and of the mode of 
training preachers were and are somewhat peculiar, 
I may have been uncharitable in my judgment, but 
L thought the Calvinism of the theology usually 
taught to be very doubtful, and the fervor of the 




8 



OW) 



114 ftEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

generality j! the students to be far behind their liter 
ary attainments. 

Preachers for the Masses. 

It seemed to me that preachers of the grand old 
truths of the gospel, ministers suitable for the masses, 
were more likely to be found in an institution where 
preaching and divinity would be the main objects, and 
not degrees and other insignia of human learning. \ 

O O > 

felt that, without interfering with the laudable objects 
of other colleges, I could do good in my own way. 
These and other considerations led me to take a few 
tried young men, and to put them under some able 
minister, that he might train them in the Scriptures, 
and in other knowledge helpful to the understanding 
and proclamation of the truth. This step appeared 
plain ; but how the work was to be conducted and 
supported was the question a question, be it added, 
solved almost before it occurred. 

Two friends, both deacons of the church, promised 
aid, which, with what I could give myself, enabled me 
to take one student, and I set about to find a tutor. 
In Mr. George Rogers, God sent us the very best 
man. He had been preparing for such work, and was 
anxiously waiting for it. 

An Able Tutor. 

This gentleman, who has remained during all this 
period our principal tutor, is a man of Puritanic stamp, 
deeply learned, orthodox in doctrine, judicious, witty, 
devout, earnest, liberal in spirit, and withal juvenile ir 
heart to an extent most remarkable in one of his years. 



THE PASTORS* COLLEGE. 

My connection with him has, been one of uninter 
rupted comfort and delight. The most sincere affec 
tion exists between us ; we are of one mind and of 
one heart; and, what is equally important, he has in 
every case secured not merely the respect but the 
filial love of every student, Into this beloved minis 
ter s house, the first students were introduced, and for 
a considerable period they were domiciled as members 
of his family. 

Encouraged by the readiness with which the young 
men found spheres of labor, and by their singular 
success in soul-winning, I enlarged the number; but 
the whole means of sustaining them came from my 
own purse. The large sale of my sermons in America, 
together with my dear wife s economy, enabled me to 
spend from three thousand dollars to four thousand 
dollars in a year in my own favorite work ; but on a 
sudden, owing to my denunciations of the then exist 
ing slavery in the States, my entire resources from 
that " brook Cherith " were dried up. 
Shunning- Debt. 

I paid as large sums as I could from my own in 
come, and resolved to spend all I had, and then take 
the cessation of my means as a voice from the Lord 
to stay the effort, as I am firmly persuaded that we 
ought under no pretence to go into debt. On one 
occasion I proposed the sale of my horse and car- 
riage, although these were almost absolute necessities 
to me on account of my continual journeys in preach 
ing the Word. T his my friend Mr. Rogers would n~t 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

hear of, and actually offered to be the loser rather than 
this should be done. 

Then it was that I told my difficulties to my people, 
and the -weekly offering commenced ; but the incom 
ings from that source were so meagre as to be hardly 
worth calculating upon. 1 was brought to the last 
pound, when a letter came from a banker in the City, 
informing me that a lady, whose name I have never 
been able to discover, had deposited a sum of one 
thousand dollars, to be used for the education of 
young men for the ministry. How did my heart leap 
for joy ! I threw myself then and henceforth upon 
the bounteous care of the Lord, whom I desired with 
my whole heart to glorify by this effort. Some weeks 
after, another five hundred dollars came in, from the 
same bank, as I was informed, from another hand. 

The College Grows. 

Soon after Mr. Phillips, a beloved deacon of the 
church at the Tabernacle, began to provide an annual 
supper for the friends of the College, at which con 
siderable sums have from year to year been given. A 
dinner was also given by my liberal publishers, Messrs c 
Passmore and Alabaster, to celebrate the publishing 
of my five-hundredth weekly sermon, at which twenty^ 
five hundred dollars were raised and presented to the 
funds. The College grew every month, and the 
number of students rapidly advanced from one to 
forty. Friends known and unknown, from far and 
near, were moved to give little or much to my work, 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 117 

and so the funds increased as the need enlarged. 
Then another earnest deacon of the church espoused 
as his special work the weekly offering, and by the 
unanimous voice of the church under my care the 
College was adopted as its own child. Since that 
hour the weekly offering has been a steady source of 
income, till in the year 1869 the amount reached ex 
actly /i ,869 ($9,345). 

The Trial of Faith. 

There have been during this period times of great 
trial of my faith ; but after a season of straitness, 
never amounting to absolute want, the Lord has always 
interposed and sent me large sums (on one occasion 
five thousand dollars) from unknown donors. When 
the Orphanage was thrust upon me, it did appear 
likely that this second work would drain the resources 
of the first, and it is very apparent that it does attract 
to itself some of the visible sources of supply; but 
my faith is firm that the Lord can as readily keep 
both works in action as one. My own present in 
ability to do so much, by way of preaching abroad, 
occasions naturally the failure of another great source 
of income ; and as my increasing labors at home will 
in all probability diminish that stream in perpetuity, 
there is another trial of faith. 

Yet, if the Lord wills the work to be continued, He 
will send His servant a due portion of the gold and 
silver, which are all His own ; and therefore as I wait 
upon Him in prayer, the All-sufficient Provider will 



118 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

supply all my needs. About twenty-five thousand 
dollars is annually required for the College, and the 
same sum is needed for the Orphanage; but God will 
move His people to liberality, and we shall see greater 
things than these. 

An Unknown Benefactor. 

While speaking of pecuniary matters, it may be 
well to add that, as many of the young men trained 
in the College have raised new congregations and 
gathered fresh churches, another need has arisen 
namely, money for building chapels. It is ever so in 
Christ s work ; one link draws on another, one effort 
makes another needed. For chapel-building, the 
College funds could do but little, though they have 
freely been used to support men while they are col 
lecting congregations ; but the Lord found for me one 
of His stewards, who, on the condition that his name 
remains unknown, has hitherto, as the Lord has pros- 
pered him, supplied very princely amounts for the 
erection of places of worship, of which more than 
forty have been built, or so greatly renovated and en 
larged as to be virtually new structures. Truly may 
it be said, " What hath God wrought ! " 

Pecuniary needs, however, have made up but a 
small part of our cares. Many have been my per 
sonal exercises in selecting the men. Candidates 
have always been plentiful, and the choice has been 
wide ; but it is a serious responsibility to reject any, 
and yet more to accept them for training. When 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 119 

mistakes have been made, a second burden has been 
laid upon me in the dismissal of those who appeared 
to be unfit. Even with the most careful management, 
and all the assistance of tutors and friends, no human 
foresight can secure that in every case a man shall be 
what we believed and hoped. 

Weak Brethren* 

A brother may be exceedingly useful as an occa 
sional preacher; he may distinguish himself as a 
diligent student; he may succeed at first in the min 
istry; and yet, when trials of temper and character 
occur in the pastorate, he may be found wanting. We 
have had comparatively few causes for regret of this 
sort, but there have been some such, and these pierce 
us with many sorrows. I devoutly bless God that He 
has sent to the College some of the holiest, soundest, 
and most self-denying preachers I know, and I pray 
that He may continue to do so ; but it would be more 
than a miracle if all should excel. 

While thus speaking of trials connected with the 
men themselves, it is due to our gracious God to bear 
testimony that these have been comparatively light, 
and are not worthy to be compared with the great 
joy which we experience in seeing so many brethren 
still serving the Lord according to their measure of 
gift, and all, it is believed, earnestly contending for 
the faith once delivered unto the saints ; nor is the 
joy less in remembering that eleven have sweetly 
fallen asleep after having fought a good fight. At 



120 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

this hour some of our most flourishing Baptist 
churches are presided over by pastors trained in our 
College, and a** years shall add ripeness of experience 
and stability of character, others will be found to 
stand in the froni, rank of the Lord s host. 
Separate Lodgings. 

The young brethren are boarded generally, in twos 
and threes, in the houses of our friends around the 
Tabernacle, for which the College pays a moderate 
weekly amount. The plan of separate lodging we 
believe to b^ far preferable to having all under one 
roof; for, by the latter mode, men are isolated from 
general family habits, 9\id are too apt to fall into 
superabundant levity. The circumstances of the 
families who entertain our young friends are generally 
such that they are not elevated above the social 
position which in all probability they will have to 
occupy in future years, but are kept in connection 
with the struggles and conditions of every-day life. 

Devotional habits are cultivated to the utmost, and 
the students are urged to do as much evangelistic work 
as they can. The severe pressure put upon them to 
make the short term as useful as possible, leaves small 
leisure for such efforts, but this is in most instances 
faithfully economized. Although our usual period is 
two years, whenever it is thought right the term of 
study is lengthened to three or four years; indeed, 
there is no fixed rule, all arrangements being ordered 
by the circumstances and attainments of 
vidual. 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 121 

Fields White tor the Harvest. 

As before hinted, our numbers have greatly grown, 
and now range from eighty to one hundred. Very 
promising men, who are suddenly thrown in our way, 
are received at any time, and others who are selected 
from the main body of applicants come in at the com 
mencement of terms. The church at the Tabernacle 
continues to furnish a large quota of men, and as these 
have usually been educated for two or more years in 
our Evening Classes, they are more advanced and 
better able to profit by our two years of study. We 
have no difficulty in finding spheres for men who are 
ready and fitted for them. There is no reason to be 
lieve that the supply of trained ministers is in advance 

of the demand. 

Able Educators. 

Even on the lowest ground of consideration, there 
is yet very much land to be possessed ; and when men 
break up fresh soil, as ours are encouraged to do, the 
field is the world, and the prayer for more laborers is 
daily more urgent. If the Lord would but send us 
funds commensurate, there are hundreds of neighbor 
hoods needing the pure gospel, which we could by His 
grace change from deserts into gardens. How far 
this is a call upon the reader let him judge as in the 
sight of God. Shall there be the gifts and graces of 
the Spirit given to the Church, and shall there not 
also be sufficient bestowed of the earthly treasure? 
How much owest thou unto my Lord ? 

The College was for some little time aided by the 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

zealous services of Mr. W. Cubitt, of Thrapstone, 
who died among us, enjoying our highest esteem. 
Mr. Gracey, the classical tutor, a most able brother, is 
one of ourselves, and was in former years a student, 
though from possessing a solid education he needed 
little instruction from us except in theology. In him 
we have one of the most efficient tutors living, a man 
fitted for any post requiring thorough scholarship and 
aptness in communicating knowledge. Mr. Fergusson, 
in the English elementary classes, does the first work 
upon the rough stones of the quarry, and we have 
heard, from the men whom he has taught in the Even 
ing Classes, speeches and addresses which would have 
adorned any assembly, proving to demonstration his 
ability to cope with the difficulties of uncultured and 
ignorant minds. Mr. Johnson, who zealously aids in 
the evening, is also a brother precisely suited to the 
post which he occupies. 

These Evening Classes afford an opportunity to 
Christian men engaged during the day to obtain an 
education for nothing during their leisure time, and 
very many avail themselves of the privilege. Nor 
must I forget to mention Mr. Selvvay, who takes the 
department of physical science, and by his interesting 
experiments and lucid descriptions gives to his listen 
ers an introduction to those departments of knowledge 
which most abound with illustrations. Last, but far 
from least, I adore the goodness of God which sent 
me so dear and efficient a fellow-helper as my brother 
in the flesh and in the Lord, J. A. Spurgeon. His 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 123 

work has greatly relieved me of anxiety, and his su 
perior educational qualifications have tended to raise 
the tone of the instruction given. 

Earl of Shaftesbury s Testimony. 

As to the quality of the preachers whom we have 
been enabled to send forth, we need no more impartial 
witness than the good Earl of Shaftesbury, who was 
kind enough to express himself publicly in the follow 
ing generous terms : 

"It was an utter fallacy to suppose that the people 
of England would ever be brought to a sense of order 
and discipline by the repetition of miserable services, 
by bits of wax candle, by rags of Popery, and by gym 
nastics in the chancel ; nothing was adapted to meet 
the wants of the people but 4:he Gospel message 
brought home to their hearts, and he knew of none 
who had done better service in this evangelic work 
than the pupils trained in Mr. Spurgeon s College. 
They had a singular faculty for addressing the popu 
lation, and going to the very heart of the people." 

Each year the brethren educated at the Pastors 
College are invited to meet in conference at the Taber 
nacle, and they are generously entertained by our 
friends. The week is spent in holy fellowship, prayen 
and intercourse. By this means men in remote viK 
lages, laboring under discouraging circumstances and 
ready to sink from loneliness of spirit, are encouraged 
and strengthened: indeed, all the men confess that a 
stimulus is thus given which no other means could 
confer. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Breaking up New Soil. 

All things considered, gratitude and bope are su, 
preme in connection with the Pastors College ; and 
with praise to God and thanks to a thousand friends, 
the president and his helpers gird up the loin? of their 
minds for yet more abundant labors in the future, To 
every land we hope yet to send forth the gospel in its 
fulness and purity. We pray the Lord to raise up 
missionaries among our students and make every one 
a winner of souls. Brethren, remember this work in 
your prayers, and in your allotment of the Lord s por 
tion of your substance. 

When the necessity for new college buildings was 
plainly indicated, a friend in May, 1873, sent $5,000 
towards that object. On October 14, 1873, the foun 
dation-stone of those buildings was laid, when the 
people contributed $5,000, the students gave $1,500, 
and undertook to raise the amount to $5,000. In 1874 
Messrs. Cory and Sons, of Cardiff, sent for the benefit 
of the fund $5,000 worth of paid-up shares in their 
colliery company. In July, 1875, the president re 
ceived $25,000 for the same object as a legacy from 
the late Mr. Matthews. These are named as examples 
of the various ways in which God has answered 
prayer and rewarded the faith of His servant ii? that 
important work. 

Founding- Churches. 

Shortly before the new College buildings were com 
menced, Mr, Spurgeon, by an article in " The Sword 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 125 

and the Trowel," directed public attention to the insti 
tution. The following 1 extract will suffice : 

The supply of men as students has been always 
large, and at this time more are applying than ever. 
Our one aim has been to train preachers and pastors. 
The College is made into a home missionary society 
for the spread of the gospel. One of our students, 
Mr. F. E. Suddard, was first, in 1872, among seven 
competitors for one of Dr. Williams scholarships at 
the Glasgow University. In the metropolis alone, 
forty-five churches have been founded. 

One of the students has commenced a cause in 
Turk s Island ; he is now carrying on evangelistic 
work in St. Domingo, where, if he is spared, he is 
likely to become the apostle of that island, and also 
of Hayti. One brother has gone to serve the Lord 
in China, two others are laboring in Spain. Several 
are doing a good work in Canada, and more than 
twenty brethren have become pastors in America, and 
seven others are gone as far south as Australia. One 
is a missionary in India, and another in Prince Edward 

Island. 

How the Money Came. 

The suitable and commodious new buildings, which 

o 

have been erected and furnished, cost about $75,000, 
all of which is paid. Here we have a fine hall, excel 
lent class-room, a handsome library, and, in fact, all 
that a college can require. The way in which the 
money was raised was another instance of divine 
goodness ; $15,000 \,as given as a memorial to a dear 



126 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

and lamented husband ; $10,000 was a legacy to the 
College from a reader of the sermons. The ministers 
who had been formerly students came to our help in a 
princely fashion. Large amounts were made up by 
the unanimous offerings of Tabernacle friends on days 
when the pastor invited the members and adherents 
to be his guests at the College. In answer to prayer, 
the gold and the silver have been ready when needed. 
How our heart exults and blesses the name of the 
Lord. 

The Evening Classes are in a high condition of 
prosperity, there being about two hundred men in 
regular attendance, and a considerable number among 
them of hopeful ability. Out of this class city mis 
sionaries, lay preachers, writers for the press, and col 
porteurs are continually coming. It is an eminently 
useful part of the College work. 

There are now hundreds of men proclaiming the 
gospel who have been trained in the College. We are 
daily expecting more missionaries to be raised up 
among us. 

One of Mr. Spurgeon s Annual Reports of the College. 

Our statistics, which are far from being complete, 
show that these brethren baptized 20,676 persons in 
ten years (1865-74), that the gross increase to their 
churches was 30,677, and the net .increase 19,498. 
IAUS DEO. 

On enquiring the other day for the secretary of one 
of our largest societies, I was informed that he had 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 127 

gone to the seaside for a month, in order that he 
might have quiet to prepare the report. I do not 
wonder at this if he has aforetime written many de 
scriptions of the same work, for every year increases 
the difficulty unless a man is prepared to say the same 
thing over and over again. 

Very few can, like Paganini, perform so admirably 
on one string that everybody is charmed with the 
melody. The task grows still harder when the year 
has been peaceful and successful. It has been truly 
said, " Happy is the nation which has no history," be 
cause it has been free from changes, wars, convulsions, 
and revolutions ; but I may remark, on the other hand, 
unhappy is the historian who has to produce a record 
of a certain length concerning a period which has been 
innocent of striking events, making bricks without 
straw is nothing to it. 

No Milk and Water Theology. 

The Pastors College has of late maintained the 
even tenor of its way, knowing little of external at 
tack and nothing of internal strife. Regular in its 
work and fixed in its purpose, its movement has been 
calm and strong. Hence there are no thrilling inci 
dents, painful circumstances, or striking occurrences 
with which to fill my page and thrill my reader s soul. 
Gratitude writ large is about the only material at hand 
out of which to fashion my report. " Bless the Lord, 
O my soul ! " is my one song, and I feel as if I could 
repeat it a thousand times. 

The College started with a definite doctrinal basis, 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

I never affected to leave great questions as moot 
points to be discussed in the hall, and believed or not 
believed, as might be the fashion of the hour. The 
creed of the College is well known, and we invite 
none to enter who do not accept it. The doctrines of 
grace, coupled with a firm belief in human responsi 
bility, are held with intense conviction, and those who 
do not receive them would not find themselves at 
home within our walls. The Lord has sent us tutors 
who are lovers of sound doctrine and zealous for the 
truth. No uncertain sound has been given forth, at 
any time, and we would sooner close the house than 

have it so. 

An Army of Prophets. 

Heresy in colleges means false doctrine throughout 
the churches ; to defile the fountain is to pollute the 
streams. Hesitancy, which might be tolerated in an 
ordinary minister, would utterly disqualify a teacher 
of teachers. The experiment of Doddridge ought to 
satisfy all godly men that colleges without dogmatic 
evangelical teaching are more likely to be seminaries 
of Socinianism than schools of the prophets. Old 
Puritanic theology has been heartily accepted by those 
received into our College, and on leaving it they have 
almost with one consent remained faithful to that 
which they have received. The men are before the 
public in every part of the country, and their testi 
mony well known. 

This institution has now reached its twenty-fifth 
year, and its object, spirit, and manner of work remain 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 129 

th, same. It was intended from the first to receive 
young men who had been preaching for a sufficient 
time to test their abilities and their call to the work of 
the ministry ; and such young men have been forth 
coming every year in growing numbers. Some bodies 
of Christians have to lament that their ministry is not 
adequately supplied : I know of one portion of the 
Church which is sending up to heaven bitter lamenta 
tions because as the fathers depart to their rest there 
is scanty hope that their places will be filled ; but 
among the Baptists the candidates for the ministry 
are, if possible, too plentiful. 

Object of the College. 

This is a new state of things, and is to be inter 
preted as indicating growth and zeal. Certainly the 
applicants are not tempted by rich livings, or even by 
the prospect of competent support ; or, if they are, I 
take abundant pains to set before them the assured 
truth that they will find our ministry to be a warfare 
abounding in long marches and stern battles ; but 
equally notable for meagre rations. Still they come, 
and it needs a very hard heart to repel them, and to 
refuse to eager brethren the drill and equipment which 
they covet so earnestly. If it were wise to increase 
the number of students, another hundred of suitable 
men could at once be added to those who are already 
under tuition. 

From the commencement our main object was to 
help men who from lack of funds could not obtain an 
education for themselves. These have been supplied 



130 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

not only with tuition and books, gratis, but with board 
and lodging, and in some cases with clothes and pocket- 
money. Some very successful brethren needed every 
thing, and if they had been required to pay, they must 
have remained illiterate preachers to this day. Still, 
year by year, the number of men who arc ready to 
support themselves in whole or in part has increased, 
and I believe that it is increasing and will increase. 

As a college we have had to struggle with a repute 
based upon falsehood and created by jealousy ; but 
this has not injured us to any great extent ; for men 
come to us from America, Australia, and the Cape, and 
applications have frequently been made from foreign 
countries. German students have attended our classes 
during their own vacations, and members of other 1 
colleges are usually to be seen at our lectures. The 
institution never deserved to be charged with giving 3 
mere apology for an education ; and if ever that re* 
proach could have been justly cast upon us, it is 
utterly undeserved now that the time of study has be 
come more extended, and a fuller course of training 
has thus become possible. 

Diamonds in the Rough. 

Scholarship for its own sake was never sought and 
never will be within the Pastors College ; but to help 
men to become efficient preachers has been and evef 
will be the sole aim of all those concerned in its man^ 
agement. I shall not, in order to increase our pres 
tige, refuse poor men, or zealous young Christians 
whose early education has been neglected. Pride 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 131 

would suggest that we take " a better class of men ; " 
but experience shows that they are not better, that 
eminently useful men spring from all ranks, that dia 
monds may be found in the rough, and that some who 
need most pains in the polishing reward our labor a 
thousandfold. 

My friends will still stand by me in my desire to aid 
the needy but pious brother, and we shall rejoice to- 
gether as we continually see the ploughman, the fish- 
erman, and the mechanic taught the way of God more 
perfectly, and enabled through divine grace to pro 
claim in the language of the people the salvation -of 
our God. 

Period of Preparation. 

During the past year about one hundred and twenty 
men have been with us; but as some have come and 
others have gone, the average number in actual resi 
dence has averaged one hundred. Of these a few 
have been with us three years, and more have entered 
upon the third year. The rule is that a man s usual 
period terminates at the end of two years, and his re 
maining longer depends upon the judgment formed 
of him. Certain men will never get beyond an 
English education, and to detain them from their work 
is to repress their ardor without bestowing a compen 
satory advantage. 

In other cases, the longer the period of study the 
better. Probably the third year is to many a student 
more useful than the other two, and he goes forth to 
his life-work more thoroughly prepared. I could not 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

lengthen the course in former days, when churches 
tempted the brethren away before the proper time, as 
they too often did. They told these raw youths that 
it was a pity to delay, that if they left their studies 
souls might be saved, and I know not what besides ; 
and some were induced to run away, as Rowland Hill 
would have said, before they had pulled their boots on,, 
If I constrained them to remain, the good deacons of 
the eager churches thought me a sort of a harsh 
jailer, who locked up his prisoners and would not give 
them up at the entreaty of their friends. 

Not a Donkey. 

One wrote and bade me loose the brother, for the 
Lord had need of him, and I would have let the young 
man go if I had thought that he was one of the don 
keys to whom the passage referred. That a number 
of brethren may have entered upon their ministry 
prematurely was no fault of mine, but of those who 
tempted them to quit their classes too soon. How 
ever, there have been periods in which there is a lull 
in the demand of the churches for ministers, and then 
we have been able to retain the men for a longer 
season. Such a time is passing over us just now, and 
I do not regret it, for I am persuaded it is good to 
give the brethren a longer space for preparatory 
study. 

I have been very ill through the greater part of the 
past year, and have therefore been unable to give so 
much personal service to the College as I have usually 
done. This has been a sore trial to me, but it has 



THE PASTORS 



beer, much alleviated by my beloved brother, J. A. 
Spurgeon, the vice-president, who has looked after 
everything with great care ; and I have also been 
greatly comforted by the knowledge that the tutors 
are as deeply concerned about the holy service as 
ever I can be. 

Digging up the Weeds. 

It has been rny joy to learn that the College was 
never in a better state in all respects than now, and 
that the men under training give promise of becoming 
useful preachers. I have had very little weeding work 
to do on my coming back to my place, and those 
whom I have removed were not chargeable with any 
fault, but their capacity was questioned by the tutors. 
All through the year this painful operation has to be 
carried on, and it always causes me much grief; but 
it is a necessary part of my official duty as president. 

Young men who come to us loaded with testimo 

nials are occasionally found after a while to be lacking 

in application or in spiritual power ; and after due ad 

monishment and trial they have to be sent back to the 

place from whence they came. Others are as good 

as gold, but their heads ache, and their health fails 

under hard study, or from lack of mental capacity they 

Cannot master the subjects placed before them. These 

1 must be kindly but firmly set aside ; but I always 

dread the task. 

An Earnest Band. 

This thinning-out process is done with conscientious 
ness, under the guidance of the tutors ; but this yeai 



134 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

there has been little neeci of it, and I have rejoiced in 
the fact, since frequent depression of spirit has made 
it undesirable to have much trying work to do. 1 am 
glad to say that very rarely have I had to deal with a 
case of moral failure. Bad young men have crept in 
among us, and no men are perfect ; but I have great 
comfort in seeing the earnest and prayerful spirit 
which has prevailed among the brotherhood. 

Foremost among our aims is the promotion of a 
vigorous spirifaial life among those who are preparing 
to be under-shepherds of Christ s flock. By frequent 
meetings for prayer, and by other means, we labor to 
maintain a high tone of spirituality. I have en 
deavored in my lectures and addresses to stir up the 
holy fire ; for well I know that if the heavenly flame 
burns low, nothing else vfill avail. The earnest action 
of the College Missionary Society has been a source 
of great joy to me ; for above all things I desire to 
see many students devoting themselves to foreign 
work. The Temperance Society also does a good 
work, and tends to keep alive among the men a burn 
ing hatred of England s direst curse. 

The Divine Anointing-. 

We need the daily prayer of God s people that/ 
much grace may be with all concerned in this impor 
tant business ; for what can we do without the Holy 
Spirit? How few ever pray for students ! If minis 
ters do not come up to the desired standard, may not 
the members of the churches rebuke themselves for 
having restrained prayer on their account? When 



THE PASTORS COLLEGfc. 135 

/loes a Christian worker more need prayer than in his 
early days, when his character is forming and his heart 
is tenderly susceptible both of good and evil influences ? 
I would beseech all who have power with God to re 
member our colleges in their intercessions. 

o 

The solemn interests involved in the condition of 
these schools of the prophets compel me to entreat 
even unto tears, that the hopeful youth of our ministry 
may not be forgotten in the supplications of the saints. 
For us also, who have the responsible duty of guiding 
the minds of these young men, much prayer is re 
quested, that we may have wisdom, love, gentleness, 
firmness, and abounding spiritual power. It is not 
every man who can usefully influence students, nor 
can the same men have equal power at all times. The 
Divine Spirit is needed, and % He is given to them that 
ask for His sacred teaching. 

A Missionary Society. 

In Great Britain hundreds of our former students 
are preaching* the Word, some in the more prominent 
pulpits of the denomination, and others in positions 
where their patience and self-denial are severely 
tested by ths present depression in trade, and the con 
sequent inability of rural congregations to furnish 
them with adequate support. The College has reason 
to rejoice not only in the success of her most honored 
sons, but in the faithfulness and perseverance of the 
rank and file, whose services, although they are little 
noticed on earth, will receive the "well done" of the 
Lord. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

This institution is not alone a College, but a Homa 
and Foreign Missionary Society. Our three evange 
lists have traversed the land with great diligence, and 
the Lord has set His seal to their work. 

It is my greatest pleasure to aid in commencing 
new churches. The oftener brethren can create their 
own spheres the more glad shall I be. It is not need- 
j ful to repeat the details of former reports ; but many 
churches have been founded through the College, and 
there are more to follow. I announced at the begin* 
ning of this enterprise that it was not alone for the 
education of ministers, but for the general spread of 
the gospel ; and this has been adhered to, a part of 
the income being always expended in that direction. 

An Interesting- Letter. 

A very considerable number of Pastors College 
men are to be found at the Antipodes. I cannot for 
get that there I have a beloved son ; but next to that 
in nearness to my heart is the fact that so many of my 
spiritual sons are there, prospering and bringing glory 
to God. It was with no little delight that I received 
the following letter from some of them. Readers 
must kindly excuse expressions of affection which are 
iso natural from friends ; I could not cut them out 
without destroying the spirit of the letter : 

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, Nov. 2, 1880, 
REV. C. H. SPURGEON. 

HONORED AND BELOVED PRESIDENT, A number of 
former students of the College being met together at 




BOYS HOME STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 137 

this metropolis of the Antipodes, it was most heartily 
agreed that we should send you an expression of our 
warm love. For truly we can say that instead of dis 
tance or even time causing any abatement of love 
towards you personally, or towards the institution 
which we may with truth style our Alma Mater, we 
find it intensified and hallowed. 

The meetings of the Victorian Baptist Association 
are now being held in this city, which has brought 
most of us together ; but the Melbourne Exhibition 
has brought to us Brother Harry Woods from South 
Australia, and Brother Harrison from Deloraine, Tas 
mania. Our Brother A. J. Clarke s house is the ren 
dezvous for all the brethren, and the cheery hospitality 
of himself and wife prove them to be called to the 
episcopate. Though all the brethren, so far as we 
know, have had blessing this year, some of them won 
derfully so, yet our Brother A. J. Clarke, here at West 
Melbourne, has experienced a year of toil and harvest 
ing in which we all rejoice, and which exercises a 
stimulating effect upon all who hail from " the College." 

When a number of us were bowing in prayer to 
gether, we felt how thoroughly you would have been 
with us in spirit, as we prayed that we might oppose, 
in the might of God, the awful world-spirit of this 
region, and that our souls might be kept wholly loyal 
to King Jesus, having no " fellowship with the unfruit 
ful works of darkness." 

Finally, beloved servant of God, we hail you in the 
name of our Triune Jehovah ! No words of ours can 



138 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

express our personal obligation to you. But by fidel 
ity to Christ and to truth, by manifesting that \ve have 
caught the spirit of burning love to souls which burns 
in your own breast, and by serving to our utmost 
ability, and to the last day of life, in the kingdom and 
patience of Jesus, we hope to show that all your care^ 
and that of the tutors and friends of the Tabernacle 
has not been ill-bestowed. We remain, 
Yours, in the bonds of eternal love, 

WM. CHRISTR. RUNNING, Geelong. 

WILLIAM CLARK, Ballarat. 

ALFRED J. CLARKE, West Melbourne. 

H. H. GARRETT, Brighton. 

HENRY MARSDEN, Kew. 

J. S. HARRISON, Deloraine, Tasmania. 

HARRY WOODS, Saddleworth, S. Australia. 

F. G. BUCKINGHAM, Melbourne. 

Similarly in Canada the Lord has been with those 
who have gone from the College. My brother, J. A. 
Spurgeon, during his visit to Canada, formed a branch 
of our Conference there, and from it the annexed 
loving epistle has lately come : 

567 YORK STREET, LONDON, EAST ONTARIO, 

CANADA, April 6, 1881. 

BELOVED PRESIDENT, We, the members of ihe 
Canadian branch of the Pastors College Brotherhood, 
herewith greet you lovingly (and our brethren through 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 139 

you) on the occasion of your Annual Conference, 
which we hope may surpass even the best of by-gone 
gatherings, in all holy joy and such spiritual refreshing 
as may fit all for more abundant service. 

Need we say how deeply we feel for all the suffer 
ings by which our President is made to serve, the 
while we gratefully recognize " the peaceable fruit " 
of those sufferings in such enriched utterances as we 
have lately read ? We love our dear President as of 
yore, remembering days of prayerful tryst in which 
we heard him sigh and groan his longings for our 
course. 

During another year we have been "kept by the 
power of God," and used in service ; and although we 
are in some cases separated even here by many dreary 
miles of continent, we still hold and are held to and 
by the old-time kindness ; and, better still, " the form 
of sound words." 

We "shake hands across the vast" loved President 
and brethren, and wish you every joy in Conference. 
For the Canadian Brethren. 

Yours affectionately, 

JOSEPH FORTH, 

President of the Canadian Branch of the? 
Pastors College Brotherhood. 

A point of great interest, to which I hope the Lord 
may turn the attention of many of His servants, is 
that of English evangelists for India. Mr. Gregson, 
the well-known missionary, has urged upon me the 



140 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 



great utility of sending out young men who should 
preach the gospel to those in India who understand 
the English language, whether British, Eurasian, or 
educated Hindoo. 

Help for the Heathen. 

He advises that the men should be sent out for five 
years, and therefore be subjected to no remark should 
they return at the end of that period. He thinks it 
probable that they would acquire a language and re 
main abroad as missionaries ; but if not, they would 
be missionary-advocates on their return home, and 
arouse among our churches fresh enthusiasm. It is 
believed that in many cities churches could be gathered 
which would support these men as their ministers, or 
that at least a portion of their expenses would be 
found on the spot. I have determined to enter upon 
this field as God shall help me ; and Mr. H. R. 
Brown, who has been for years the pastor of the 
church at Shooter s Hill, has reached Calcutta, on his 
way to Darjeeling in the hill country. If the Lord 
shall prosper him there, I hope he will live long in 
that salubrious region, build up a church, and become 
the pioneer of a little band of evangelists. 

The English Tongue. 

Our native tongue is sure to spread among the edu 
cated Hindoos, and hence many a heathen may be 
brought to Jesus by evangelists who do not under^ 
stand any of the languages of the East ; and mean 
while ,our countrymen, too often irreligious, may be 
met with by divine grace, and fiad Christ where the 



THE PASTORS COLLEGE. 141 

most forget Him. I hope many friends will take an 
interest in this effort, and assist me to carry it out. 

Funds have come in as they have been needed ; but 
apart from a legacy, now nearly consumed, the ordi 
nary income has not been equal to the expenditure of 
the year. The balance at the banker s is gradually 
disappearing ; but I do not mention this with any re 
gret, for He who has sent us supplies hitherto will 
continue His bounty, and He will move His stewards 
to see that this work is not allowed to flag from want 
of the silver and the gold. With a single eye to His 
glory I have borne this burden hitherto, and found it 
light ; and I am persuaded from past experience that 
He will continue to keep this work going so long as it 
is a blessing to His Church and to the world. 

A Legacy Lost. 

I am greatly indebted to the generous donors at 
the annual supper, and quite as much to the smaller 
weekly gifts of my own beloved congregation, which, 
in the aggregate, have made up the noble sum of 
$9,100. I am sorry to say that a considerable legacy 
left to the College will in all probability be lost through 
the law of mortmain. This is a great disappointment ; 
but if one door is shut another will be opened. 

Into the hands of Him who worketh all our works 
in us we commit the Pastors College for another year. 



CHAPTER VII 
Stockwell Orphanage. 

\ Large Gift.--New Home for Children. Process of Building. Laying th* 
Jorner-Stone. The Little Ones Happy. Generous Givers. Daily Life IK 
the Orphanage. What Becomes of the Boys. -Rules of Admission.- -No* 
a Sectarian Institution. Successful Anniversary. 

IT is the Lord s own work to care for the fatherless. 
Those who have faith in God never need be without 
success in undertaking the care of the orphan. God 
helps the helpless ; but he uses man as his agent in 
arranging details. Soon after " The Sword and the 
Trowel " was commenced Mr. Spurgeon indicated in 
one of his articles published in its pages several forms 
of Christian usefulness, and amongst them the care 
of the orphan. 

Shortly afterwards, in September, 1866, Mr. Spur 
geon received a letter from a lady, offering to place at 
his command the sum of $ 100,000, with which to com 
rnence an orphanage for fatherless boys. At first he fell 
disposed to avoid the onerous responsibilities of such 
x work ; and, calling at the address given by the lady, 
tried to prevail upon her to give the money to Mr. 
Miiller, of Bristol. The claims of London for such 
an institution were urged ; and, unable to refuse the 
request of the generous donor, the money was accepted 
on trust for the purpose named. Mrs. Hillyard, the 
(1421 



144 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOBT. 

widow of a clergyman of the Church of England, 
was the lady whose benevolence thus originated the 
Orphanage. The money was in railway debentures, 
which were not at that time available for use other 
wise than as an inyestment. 

Birth of the Orphanage. 

After consulting with the leading friends at the 
labernacle, a body of twelve trustees was chosen, in 
whose names the money was invested, and a resolu 
tion was agreed upon to purchase a suitable plot of 
land at Stockwell, on which to erect an orphanage. 
In March, 1867, the deed of incorporation was signed 
by the trustees, and in May the claims of the pro 
jected buildings were urged with so much force and 
urgency that -the people belonging to the Tabernacle 
took up the case with loving zeal and energy. By 
the month of August $5,350 were in hand, and the 
whole church at the Tabernacle was engaged in col 
lecting on this behalf. Prayer, faith, and prompt, 
energetic action were all combined in the efforts 
made, and pastors, trustees, and congregation were of 
one mind in their purpose to make the work a success. 

Friends of the Children. 

Within the space of a year the plan of the Orphan^ 
age was matured, the foundations laid, the work was 
making rapid progress, and a large amount of money 
was m hand for the purpose. Donations from $5 to 
$1,250 had been generously forwarded to help on the 
work, and a great meeting was held in September, 
1867, when the public generally had an opportunity 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 145 

of showing their sympathy with the proceedings. 
Previously to that large meeting the foundation-stones 
of three of the houses were laid under circumstances 
of more than usual interest. 

Mrs. Tyson, a lady who had often aided Mr. Spur- 
geon in the work of the College, and in other enter 
prises, had been spared to see the twenty-fifth anni 
versary of her marriage day, on which occasion her 
beloved husband, a wealthy merchant, presented her 
with $2,500. This money the lady at once took to 
Mr. Spurgeon to be dedicated to God for the erection 
of one of the orphan houses, to be called Silver- 
Wedding House. About the same time a merchant 
in the city called upon the pastor at the Tabernacle, 
and, after transacting some business with him, left 
with Mr. Spurgeon s secretary a sealed envelope, in 
which was $3,000, to be used in building another 
house which, it was afterwards determined, should be 
called Merchant s House, as the donor refused to 
have his name given. 

Noble-hearted Workmen. 

The way in which God was answering the prayers 
of His people was further shown by an offer made by 
the workmen who had built the Tabernacle to give 
the labor necessary for erecting a third house, whilst 
their employer volunteered to give the necessary 
material : this to be called the Workmen s House. 

Such manifest tokens of the divine favor attending 
the work greatly encouraged the pastor and the trus 
tees, and on Monday afternoon, August 9, 1867, the 
10 



146 RfiV. CHARLES H. SPTJRGEOW. 

foundation stones of the three houses named were 
laid one by Mrs. Hillyard, one by Mr. Spurgeon ; and 
one by Mr. Higgs. The scene presented at Stockwell 
on that day was exceedingly picturesque and intensely 
interesting. At the monster tea-meeting which fol 
lowed, the tables extended three hundred and thirty 
feet in length, and the bright sunshine made the scene 
one of joy and delight which will long be remembered, 
though the rain, which came down so bountifully just 
as tea was over, caused much discomfort. 

The subscriptions brought in that day reached 
$12,000. T n "The Sword and the Trowel " for October 
the names of 1,120 collectors are printed, with the 
amounts on their cards, stated to be $14,010. Amongst 
the collectors were members of the Church of England, 
Congregationalists, Methodists, Baptists, and others, 
so general had been the sympathy which was felt in 

the work. 

The Work Grows. 

The faith of the pastor and trustees of the Orphan* 
age was greatly strengthened by the wonderful man 
ner in which God had answered their prayers and 
rewarded their efforts. It was announced that eight 
houses were contemplated, to provide for not less than 
one hundred and fifty orphans, requiring an outlay of 
$15,000 per annum. Messrs. Olney & Sons gave 
$2,500 to erect a fourth house ; to be called, after the 
sainted and venerable Mrs. Olney, Unity House. 

By the end of the year 1867 the trustees had no 
less than two hundred names of orphan? from whom 



STOCK WELL ORPHANAGE. 147 

to select fifty in the following April. The pressing 
need of providing for these children made the way 
more easy for extending the work. Accordingly, at 
the meeting of the Baptist Union, early in 1868, it was 
resolved that an effort should be made to raise the 
funds necessary for erecting two houses, at a cost of 
$3,000 each. 

Whilst these efforts were being made amongst the 
Baptists, Mr. Thomas Olney, as the Superintendent 
of the Tabernacle Sunday-school, aided by the teachers 
and scholars, was collecting the funds necessary for 
erecting a house to represent the young children. 
Simultaneously with that effort was another amongst 
the students at the college, who had resolved to show 
*.heir affection for their pastor by raising money suffi 
cient to erect a house on their behalf, and to perpetu 
ate their institution by having it named the College 
House. 

Laying- a Corner-Stone. 

Two meetings were held at the Orphanage in June, 
1868 one on the ist of June, when the venerable 
Thomas Olney, Sr., laid the foundation-stone of the 
building which was to form the lecture and dining- 
hall, the master s house, and the entrance gateway. It 
was a gladsome sight to witness the joy of the vener- 
able man, who had for nearly threescore years been 
connected with the church worshipping at the Taber 
nacle, as he performed the pleasing duty assigned 
to him. 

On the same da^ the Rev. John Aldis, of Reading, 



148 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

and Alexander B. Goodall, Esq., each laid one of the 
foundation-stones of the two Testimonial Houses, sub 
scribed for by the Baptist churches as a token of 
regard to Mr. Spurgeon. A monster tea-meeting 
followed the proceedings, after which addresses were 
delivered by the Revs. Thomas Binney, Dr. Raleigh, 
J. T. Wigner, W. Brock, D. D., W. Howieson, A, 
Mursell, Henry Varley, W. Scott, S. H. Booth, G, 
Gould, J. Raven, J. H. Millard, John Spurgeon, Sr., C. 
H. Spurgeon, and James A. Spurgeon. Mr. Wigner 
presented to the pastor an address of affectionate 
sympathy from the Baptist churches, which was signed 
by Mr. Goodall and himself on behalf of the subscribers 
to the fund, and with the address was the sum of 
$6,000. That sum was afterwards increased to $8,720, 
so as to include the furniture and fittings for the two 
houses, that the offering might be in every respect 
complete in all its parts. 

Happy Children. 

The meeting held on June igth, thirty-fourth birth 
day of Mr. Spurgeon, was, if possible, a more joyous 
and enthusiastic one than any of the preceding. On 
that day Mr. Thomas Olney, Jr., surrounded by a 
huge mass of children forming the Tabernacle Sunday- 
schools, laid the foundation-stone of the Sunday-school 
house, amidst the enthusiastic applause of the delighted 
children. It was a time of joy they will all long re 
member. Dear Mrs. Spurgeon, so long a suffering 
invalid, was there to witness the happiness of the as 
sembly, and by request from the students at the col- 



\ 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 149 

lege, and the ministers who had gone from it, she was 
induced to lay the foundation-stone of the College 
House. She was graciously upheld on the occasion, 
although the surpassing kindness displayed was 
enough to overcome one of a stronger frame. 

After the stone-laying was over, twenty-six sweet 
little girls in white advanced one by one, and presented 
Mrs. Spurgeon with purses which their parents had 
subscribed as a token of their affectionate rejoicing at 
her temporary restoration. It was a touching, beau 
tiful, and unexpected sight, which deserves to be re* 
corded. A large sum of money was presented to Mr. 
Spurgeon as a birthday offering, which he put into the 
Orphanage treasury. 

Funds Flow In. 

Another incident occurred at that period which 
deserves to be placed on record. The Baptist church 
at Liverpool, over which the Rev. Hugh Stowell 
Brown presides, was about to be reopened, and Mr. 
Spurgeon consented to preach the sermon. He did 
so; but the church and congregation resolved to 
defray the cost of the repairs, and gave to Mn Spur 
geon for the Orphanage the whole of the collection, 
which amounted to $1,250. 

The manner in which the funds have been contril> 
uted, first to erect the Orphanage buildings, and since 
then to maintain the children and officers, and keep 
the whole establishment in continuous operation, 
most clearly indicates that from the commencement of 



fcEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

the work, up to the present time, the hand of God 
has been directing the whole. 

Each house was occupied as soon as it was finished ; 
but unable to wait until the first was ready, so soon as 
the plan of the Orphanage was matured and trustees 
appointed, four orphans were selected and placed 
under the charge of a sister in her own house,, A? 
money came in others were added to them. To man 
ifest still further the interest which Mrs. Hillyard took 
in the work, when she found several orphans already 
in charge of a matron, she sold some household plate 
to give the money for their support. 

Thousands of Dollars for Charity. 

Thus encouraged, by the month of July, 1867, before 
the foundation stones were actually laid, seven boys 
were chosen by the trustees as a commencement. It 
was wonderful how the money was sent in. One day, 
just as Mr. Spurgeon finished his sermon in the open 
air, a lady put into his hand an envelope containing 
$100 for the Orphanage and $100 for the College. 
In January, 1868, Mr. Spurgeon announced in his 
magazine that an unknown gentleman had given him 
$5,000 towards two of the houses. In March another 
sum of #5,000 was announced, and in June the Bap 
tist churches sent in #6,000. In September, a year 
after the work began, a great bazaar was held, which 
brought in a net profit of #7,000. 

How many loving hearts and willing hands were 
employed to bring about such a result, it would be 
impossible to tell, though th^e wen* but few of the 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 



151 



eleven hundred collectors, who so nobly came forward 
at the first meeting a year before, who did not lend a 
helping hand to the bazaar. By the end of the ye if 




the president announced in his magazine that only 
$5,000 more was required to complete the eight houses. 
"And this/ says he, "will surely be sent in ; for the 
Lord will provide." And so it came to pass. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

The Bight Man in the Bight Place. 

In January, 1869, fifty children had been chosen to 
occupy the houses as soon as they should be ready, but 
up to the month of June only twenty-nine orphans 
were in residence. The chief difficulty which for 
v some time had given anxiety to the trustees was to 
find a suitable superintendent. Several persons had 
presented themselves, but not one had satisfied the 
.claims of the institution. When the difficulty seemed 
to be the greatest, Divine Providence sent the right 
man. 

Vernon J. Charlesworth, who had been for seven 
years co-pastor at Surrey Chapel with Newman Hall, 
offered his services and they were accepted. Mr. 
Charlesworth was at once appointed : and the ability 
which he has manifested in managing the affairs of 
the institution is very satisfactory evidence that he is 
the right man in the right place. By his influence 
within the Orphanage, and by his pen outside, h** \ias 
shown himself to be the orphan s friend. 

Up to the spring of the year 1870 one hundred and 
fifty-four orphans had been admitted, six of whom had 
been removed, leaving one hundred and forty-eight in 
residence. In 1877 the resident orphans numbered 
two hundred and thirty. 

How the Children Lave. 

Each of the eight houses forms a separate family, 
that plan having after mature consideration been 
resolved upon as the best. Each family is complete 
in its own arrangements ; each dwelling having a large 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 153 

sitting and four lofty bed-rooms for the boys, with 
lockers, which, when closed, form handy seats in the 
middle of the room ; and a sitting-room, bed-room, 
and kitchen for the matron in charge. A large cov 
ered play-room adjoins the houses on the east, and 
separate from that is the infirmary, forming the east 
end of the quadrangle. At the west end is the school 
room and dining-hall, the master s house and entrance 
gateway : and in the rear of the dining-hall is the suite 
of offices for cooking and other domestic purposes. 

In selecting the most needy boys for the benefits 
of the institution, the trustees are in no way influenced 
by the religious opinions of their parents. Those 
showing the most pressing want have the preference. 

A Big- Family. 

A judicious writer has said of the Stockwell Or, 
phanage : " How superior any real approach to the 
family ideal is to the barrack system was apparent to 
us on a mere glance at these fatherless lads. The 
families are large, about thirty boys in each house ; 
but they are under the care of affectionate and diligent 
matrons, and everything is done to compensate for 
the loss of parental rule and training. There is more 
; of the home* than of the institution in the atmos 
phere. To encourage home ideas, and for the sake 
of industrial training, the boys in turn assist in the 
domestic work during the morning of the day ; each 
boy s period of service being restricted to one week 
in six, servants being entirely dispensed with. A 



154 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

working cook superintends the kitchen, aided by the 
boys. 

"No regimental uniform is suffered. The boys differ 
in the clothes they wear, in the cut of the hair, and 
show all the variety of a large family. The boys do 
not look like loosely connected members of a huge 
and miscellaneous crowd, but sons and brothers. Nc 
traces of ill-disguised dissatisfaction, as though in 
perpetual restraint, always under orders, were appar-" 
ent; but a free, healthy, and vigorous homeliness, as 
if under the genial and robust influence of love, made 
itself everywhere manifest. 

What Becomes of the Lads. 

"With all the care of a Christian father, situations 
are chosen for the lads, where their spiritual interests 
will not be in danger; and when they have been 
passed into them the master corresponds with them, 
and gives them counsel and assistance as they need. 
Like a true home, its benediction follows every inmate 
throughout his life. W~ were specially pleased with 
our visit to the school. The boys are well drilled in 
elementary knowledge, reading, writing, arithmetic, 
grammar, history, geography, vocal music, Latin, 
shorthand, science of common things, and Scripture 
A French class is held for the elder boys. Militan 
drill is given daily. Drawing is successfully taught, 
and many boys excel in it. The singing-class did very- 
great credit to its instructor singing at sight, with 
great accuracy and sweetness, music of some diffi 
culty/ 1 Two <rf Her Majesty s Inspectors were deputed 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 



155 



from the Local Government Board to visit the institu 
tion, and they gave the following report, which reflects 
the highest credit upon Mr. Spurgeon for his wisdom 
and prudence: "An admirable institution, good in 
design, and, if possible, better in execution." 
Not a Sectarian Institution. 

The children are admitted between the ages of six 
and ten years, and they remain until they are fourteen. 
From an abstract drawn up by the master in 1873 it 
was found that the creeds of the parents of the chil 
dren admitted to that date were in the following pro 
portions : sixty-nine were members of the Church 
of England; twenty-six Independent; nineteen 
Wesleyan ; fifty-one Baptist; four Presbyterian; 
one Catholic ; and thirty-five made no profession of 
religion. 

In the management of the Orphanage will be found 
one of its chief attractions, and one which ought to 
commend its plans to other similar institutions. The 
author of a book called " Contrasts " cites the Stock- 
well School as a specimen of admirable administra 
tion, proving that large expenditure in some public 
institutions does not guarantee thorough satisfaction 
In some orphan schools and pauper schools the rate 
of expense per head is from one hundred and fifteen 
to one hundred and forty-five dollars, whilst in the 
Stockwell Orphanage, with complete organization and 
highly satisfactory results in each department, the 
cost is only seventy-two dollars per head, inclusive of 



156 REV. CHARLES H. SPtTRGEON. 

everything. This is the highest testimonial 
could be given of its efficiency. 

Rules of Admission. 

Looking over the list of applications which are 
entered in the books at Stock well it was ascertained 
that two only out of every dozen cases could be 
received. What becomes of the other ten ? " Think 
of widows, some of them sickly and unable to work, 
with four or five children ; families of orphans de 
prived of both parents ; and yet the Stockwell trus 
tees had to decline them because there were more 
necessitous cases. But; there was one comfort, they 
had not to pay any election expenses." 

On that subject Mr. Spurgeon has written the fol 
lowing judicious remarks : " No widow ever goes away 
lamenting over time, labor, and money spent in vain. 
The worst that can happen is to be refused because there 
is no room, or her case is not so bad as that of others, 
Not a shilling will have .been spent in purchasing 
votes, no time lost in canvassing, no cringing to obtain 
patronage. Her case is judged on its merits, and the 
most necessitous wins the day. We have now so 
many applicants and so few vacancies, that women 
with two or three children are advised not to apply, 
/or while there are others with five, six, or seven chiL 
dren depending upon them, they cannot hope to 
succeed." A dozen orphanages as large as the one 
at Stockwell could be filled at once with children 
needing such help. 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 



157 



A Good Investment. 

The economy with which the Orphanage has been 
managed has excited the admiration of many who are 




familiar with the details of kindred institutions. Those 
who honor Mr. Spurgeon with their contributions 
a good investment, and will share in the 



158 REV. CHARLES H. SPUflGEON. 

blessedness of the return. The office expenses are 
reduced to a minimum, and no paid canvassers are 
employed. Offerings find their way into the exchequer 
from all parts of the globe, and though at times there 
has been a little tightness felt, the children have never 
lacked a meal. 

Mr. Spurgeon is a man of unwavering faith in the 
living God, and though his faith has been put to the 
severest test, it has. never failed him. Friends who 
have not been able to give money have sent gifts in 
kind. Flour and potatoes, meat and preserves, are 
always gladly received. One manufacturer has given 
all the coverlets for the beds, and the proprietors and 
pupils of a young ladies school have endeavored to 
keep the boys supplied with shirts. 

Gratifying Results. 

The Orphanage has now existed long enough to 
form a correct opinion of its merits in every depart 
ment. Hundreds of boys have left the school and 
entered on the duties of life. The reports which 
have been received annually from those business 
men who have taken them have been most gratifying. 
With few exceptions, those who have left keep up 
communication with the home. Summing up these 
results, a recent report says : "Almost every boy 
who has gone into a situation has given satisfaction. 
Where failure has occurred it has arisen from a 
craving for the sea, or from the interference of an 
unwise mother. Some of the lads are in good pos/ 
tions, and command the esteem of their employers." 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 

Nearly all the boys have sent a portion of their first 
earnings as a donation to the orphanage, in sums 
varying from one dollar to five dollars, thus manifest 
ing a spirit of gratitude. Some of the letters received 
from them are read to the boys, and produce on their 
minds beneficial results. Many of the boys have, be 
fore they have left, become decided Christians, and 
some have made public confession of their faith by 
baptism. The head master himself was publicly bap 
tized in 1874, a d five of the boys joined him in the 
same act of dedication. 

Successful Anniversary. 

Others have become members of Christian churches 
in the towns and villages where they have gone to re 
side. One of the first boys converted is now devoting 
his evenings and Sundays to missionary work in South 
London, and showed so much talent for preaching 
that he was received into the College in January, 1876. 

It is gratifying to be able to record that the health 
of the inmates has been graciously maintained, with 
but little interruption, through the several years of its 
existence. 

The 1875 anniversary of the schools was held at the 
Orphanage on the pastor s birthday, June iQth, which 
was preceded by a bazaar. The attendance was so 
numerous that it was necessary to hold two public 
meetings to accommodate the large number of per 
sons- present. The Earl of Shaftcsbury was present, 
and spoke at both the services. The contributions 
added two thousand five hundred dollars to the funds. 



CHAPTER VIII. 
Annual Report of Stockwell Orphanage. 

A. Devoted Womar Faith Insures Success. Story of an Old Puritan. Need 
of a Double Income. Health of the Orphanage. An Appeal Hard to Re 
sist. Young Choristers. Spontaneous Charity. A Notable Year. Enlarg 
ing the Bounds. Girls Orphanage. Liberal Response to Appeals for Help. 
The Miracle of Faith and Labor. 

IN issuing the twelfth annual report of the Stock, 
well Orphanage the Committee writes : With pro 
found gratitude to our Heavenly Father we issue the 
Twelfth Report of the Stockwell Orphanage, and our 
gratitude will be shared, we doubt not, by all who 
have given of their substance towards the mainte 
nance and development of the institution. We there 
fore invite all our readers to " rejoice with us " in the 
tokens of the divine favor which has crowned our 
labors during another year. "The Lord hath been 
mindful of us : He will bless us." 

When we remember how this gracious work began 
by the consecrated thought of a holy woman, and thenA 
grew into an actual gift from her hand, and further 
developed, by the large help of others, into houses 
and schools, infirmary and dining-hall, and all manner 
of provision for destitute children, we feel bound to 
cry, " What hath God wrought ! " Our God has sup 
plied all our need according to His riches in glory by 

U60) 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 161 

Christ Jesus. The story of the Stockwell Orphanage 
will be worth telling in heaven when the angels shall 
learn from the Church the manifold wisdom and good 
ness of the Lord. 

Unfailing Friends. 

Incidents which could not be published on earth 
will be made known in the heavenly city, where every 
secret thing shall be revealed. How every need has 
been supplied before it has become a want; how 
guidance has been given before questions have be 
come anxieties ; how friends have been raised up in 
unbroken succession, and how the One Great Friend 
has been ever present, no single pen can ever record. 
To care for the fatherless has been a work of joyful 
faith all along, and in waiting upon God for supplies 
we have experienced great delight. The way of faith 
in God is the best possible. We could not have car 
ried on the work by a method more pleasant, more 
certain, more enduring. If we had depended upon 
annual subscribers we should have had to hunt them 
up and pay a heavy poundage, or perhaps fail to keep 
up the roll ; if we had advertised continually for funds 
our outlay might have brought in a scanty return; but 
dependence upon God has been attended with no such 
hazards. 

Watchful Care. 

We have done our best as men of business to keep 
the Orphanage before the public, but we have desired 
in all things to exercise faith as servants of God. 
Whatever weakness we have personally to confess 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

and deplore, there is no weakness in the plan of faith 
in God. Our experience compels us to declare that 
He is the living God; the God that heareth prayer; 
the God who will never permit those who trust in Him 
to be confounded. The business world has passed 
through trying times during the last few years, but the 
Orphanage has not been tried ; men of great enter- 
prise have failed, but the home for the fatherless has 
not failed ; for this enterprise is in the divine hand, an 
eye watches over it which neither slumbers nor sleeps, 
Let the people of God be encouraged by the fact 
of the existence and prosperity of the Stockwell 
Orphanage. Miracles have come to an end, but God 
goes on to work great wonders. The rod of Moses 
is laid aside, but the rod and staff of the Great Shep 
herd still compass us. 

Story of an Old Puritan. 

The son of an old Puritan rode some twenty miles 
to meet his father, who came a similar distance to the 
half-way house. " Father," said the son, " I have met 
with a special providence, for my horse stumbled at 
least a dozen times, and yet it did not fall." " Ah," 
replied the father, "I have had a providence quite as 
remarkable, for my horse , did not stumble once all the 
way." This last is the happy picture of the Orphan 
age for some time past, and, indeed, throughout its 
whole career; we have never had to issue mournful 
appeals because of exhausted resources, and in this 
we must see and admire the good hand of the Lord. 

We now enter more fully upon a fresh stage of oui 



STOCKWELL ORPfiANAGE. 



168 



existence; we shall need to double the amount of our 
present income, and we shall have it from the ever- 
opened hand of the Lord our God. Friends will be 
moved to think of our great family, for our Great 




ONE OF THE SCHOOL-ROOMS. 



Remembrancer will stir them up. The duty ot each 
Christian to the mass of destitute orphanhood is clear 
enough, and if pure minds are stirred up by way of 
remembrance ther^ will be no lack in the larder, no 



164 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

want in the wardrobe, no failing in the funds of ou* 
Orphan House. 

We labor under one great difficulty. Many people 
say, " Mr. Spurgeon will be sure to get the money, 
and there is no need for us to send." It is clear that 
if everybody talked so, our president s name would be 
a hindrance instead of a help. He will be the means 
of finding money for our institution, for the Lord will 
honor his faith and hear his prayers, and be glorified 
in him ; but there will be no thanks due to those who 
fabricate an excuse for themselves out of the faithful 
ness of God. 

Give Ye Them to Eat. 

This difficulty, however, does not distress us. We 
go forward, believing that when we have twice oui 
present number of children the Lord will send us 
double supplies. We cannot entertain the suspicion 
that the girls will be left without their portion, for we, 
being evil, care as much for our daughters as for ou> 
sons, and our Heavenly Father will do the same. It 
is well, however, to remind our friends of this, that 
each helper of the Orphanage may try to interest an 
other generous heart, and so enlarge the circle of our 
friends. It may be that by such means the Great 
Provider will supply us ; for we know that when our 
Lord fed the multitude He first said to His disciples, 
" Give ye them to eat." 

The sanitary condition of the Orphanage has been 
all that we could desire. Considering that so large a 
proportion of the children come to us in a delicate 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 165 

condition, and some with the taint of hereditary dis 
ease, it is a matter for devout thankfulness that their 
general health is so good, and that so few deaths have 
occurred. Out of the entire number who have left, 
only one boy was unable to enter upon a situation in 
consequence of an enfeebled constitution. We owe it 
to an ever-watchful Providence that, during the pre 
vailing epidemic, not a single case of fever or small 
pox has occurred in the institution. 

Religious Culture* 

Family worship is conducted twice daily, before the 
morning and evening meals, by the head master or 
his assistants, the service being taken occasionally by 
the president, or a member of the committee, or a 
visitor to the institution who may happen to be pres 
ent. The Word of God is read and expounded, hymns 
sung, and prayer offered, and the whole of the boys 
repeat a text selected for the day. A service is con 
ducted for the elder boys every Wednesday evening 
by Mr. W. J. Evans, when addresses are given by 
ministers and other friends. 

During their term of residence in the institution all 
the boys are total abstainers, no alcoholic liquors being 
jallowed except by order of the doctor, but most of 
them are pledged abstainers, with the approval of their 
friends. Band of Hope meetings are held every month, 
when the children receive instruction from competent 
speakers ; and lectures are given at intervals during 
the winter months. 



166 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

The Cry of the Orphan. 

The operations of the institution reveal co the 
managers the wide-spread necessity which exists. 
The cry of the orphan comes from every part of our 
beloved land, and the plea of the widow for Christian 
sympathy and help is restricted to no one class of the 
community. Faces once radiant with smiles are sad 
dened with grief, for the dark shadow which death 
casts falls everywhere. How true are the lines of the 
poet: 

" There is no fireside, howsoe er defended, 
But has one vacant chair." 

It is a constant joy to the president and the committee 
that they are able to mitigate to such a large extent 
the misery and need which are brought under their 
notice ; and it must be an equal joy to the subscribers 
to know that their loving contributions furnish the 
sinews for this holy war. 

As our Sunday-school is affiliated to the Sunday- 
school Union, we allow the boys who desire to do so 
to sit for examination. Of the candidates who were 
successful at the last examination, three gained prizes, 
twelve first-class certificates, and thirty-eight second- 
class certificates. 

Young- Choristers. 

During the year the boys took part in the Crysta 
Palace Musical Festivals, arranged by the Band of 
Hope Union and the Tonic Sol-fa Association. 

In order to make the character and claims of the 
institution more widely known, the head master and 
the secretary have held meetings in London and the 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 167 

provinces, and the success which has crowned their 
efforts is of a very gratifying character. The boys 
who accompany them to sing and to recite furnish a 
powerful appeal by their appearance and conduct, and 
commend the institution to which they owe so much. 
The local papers speak in terms of the highest praise 
of their services, and thus a most effective advertise 
ment is secured without any cost to the institution. 
So far as the boys are concerned these trips have an 
educational value, for they get to know a great deal 
of the products and industries of different parts of 
the country, besides securing the advantage of being 
brought into contact with Christian families where 
they reside during their visit. 

The amount realized during the year, after defraying 
all expenses, is $3,320, and our thanks are hereby 
tendered to all who assisted in anyway to secure such 
a splendid result. 

Spontaneous Benevolence. 

The committee record with thankfulness that there 
has been no lack in the funds contributed for the 
efficient maintenance of the institution. Friends pre 
fer to give donations rather than pledge themselves to 
send annual subscriptions, and the benevolence thus 
manifested is purely spontaneous. The admirable 
custom of making shirts for the boys is still continued 
by the young ladies of an educational establishment, 
who send in a supply of two hundred shirts every 
year. Their efforts are supplemented by several 
working associations, but the supply is not yet equal 



168 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

to the demand, and we cordially invite the co-operation 
of others, to whom we shall be glad to send samples 
and patterns.. 

The work of caring for the widow and the fatherless 
is specially mentioned by the Holy Spirit as one of 
the most acceptable modes of giving outward expres- 
tion to pure religion and undefiled before God and 
the Father, and therefore the Lord s people will not 
question that they should help in carrying it out. 
Will it need much pleading ? If so, we cannot use it, 
as we shrink from marring the willinghood which is 
the charm of such a service. The work is carried on 
in dependence upon God, and as His blessing evidently 
rests upon it, we are confident the means will be 
forthcoming as the need arises. While commending 
the work to our Heavenly Father in prayer, we deem, 
it right to lay before the stewards of His bounty the 
necessities and claims of the institution. 

A Memorable Year. 

The year 1880 .will be a memorable one in the, 
history of the institution, and we record with gratitude 
the fact that the foundation-stones of the first four 
houses for the Girls* Orphanage were laid on the 22d 
k>f June, when the president s birthday was celebrated, 
It was a joy to all present that Mrs. Spurgeon was 
able to lay the memorial stone of "The Sermon 
House, the gift of C. H. Spurgeon and his esteemed 
publishers, Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster." The 
memorial stone of another house, the gift of Mr. W, 
R. Rickett, and called "The Limes, in tender memory 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 1 

of five beloved children," was laid by C. H. Spurgeon. 
who made a touching allusion to the sad event thus 
commemorated. Mrs. Samuel Barrow laid the memo 
rial stone of the house called " The Olives," the amount 
for its erection having been given and collected by her 
beloved husband. The trustees of the institution, 
having subscribed the funds for the erection of a 
house, the treasurer, Mr. William Higgs, laid, in their 
name, the memorial stone which bears the inscription, 
" Erected by the Trustees of the Orphanage to express 
their joy in this service of love." 

Plans for Enlarged Usefulness. 

At the present moment the buildings of the Orphan 
age form a great square, enclosing a fine space for air 
and exercise. Visitors generally express great sur 
prise at the beauty and openness of the whole estab 
lishment. Much remains to be done before the 
institution is completely accommodated ; there is 
needed an infirmary for the girls, and till that is built 
one of the houses will have to be used for that pur 
pose, thus occupying the space which would otherwise 
be filled by thirty or forty children ; this should be 
attended to at an early date. 

Baths and washhouses will be urgently required for 
the girls, and we propose to make them sufficiently 
commodious for the girls to do the washing for the 
entire community of five hundred children, thus in^ 
structing them in household duties and saving consid 
erable expense. We would not spend a sixpence 
needlessly. No money has been wasted in lavish 



170 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

ornament or in hideous ugliness. The buildings are 
not a workhouse or a county jail, but a pleasant resi 
dence for those children of whom God declares him 
self to be the Father. The additional buildings 
which we contemplate are not for luxury, but for 
necessary uses ; and as we endeavor to lay out 
money with judicious economy, we feel sure that we 
shall be trusted in the future as in the past. 

Honored Names. 

Are there not friends waiting to take a share in the 
Stockwell Orphanage Building ? They cannot better 
commemorate personal blessings, nor can they find a 
more suitable memorial for departed friends. No 
storied urn or animated bust can half so well record 
the memory of beloved ones as a stone in an Orphan 
House. Most of the buildings are already appropri 
ated as memorials in some form or other, and only a 
few more will be needed. Very soon all building 
operations will be complete, and those who have lost 
the opportunity of becoming shareholders in the 
Home of Mercy may regret their delay. 

At any rate, none who place a stone in the walls 
of the Stockwell Orphanage will ever lament that 
they did this deed of love to the little ones for 
whom Jesus cares. Honored names are with us 
already engraven upon the stones of this great 
Hostelry of the AK-merciful ; and many others are 
our co-workers whose record is on high, though 
unknown among men. Who will be the next to join 
us in this happy labor ? 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 171 

When the whole of the buildings are complete, the 
institution will afford accommodation for five hundred 
children, and prove a memorial of Christian gener 
osity and of the loving-kindness of the Lord. 

The Girls Orphanage. 

The following description of the Girls Orphanage 
is from Mr. Spurgeon s own pen : 

In our address at the presentation of the late testi 
monial, we disclaimed all personal credit for the 
existence of any one of the enterprises over which 
we preside, because each one of them has been 
forced upon us. " I could not help undertaking 
them," was our honest and just confession. This 
is literally true, and another illustration of this fact is 
now to come before the Christian public. 

Several of us have long cherished the idea that the 
time would come in which we should have an Orphan 
age for girls as well as for boys. It would be hard to 
conceive why this should not be. It seems ungallant, 
not to say unrighteous, to provide for children of one 
sex only, for are not all needy little ones dear to 
Christ, with whom there is neither male nor female ? 
We do not like to do such things by halves, and it is 
but half doing the thing to leave the girls out in the 
cold. We have all along wished to launch out in the 
new direction, but we had quite enough on hand for 
the time being, and were obliged to wait. The matter 
has been thought of, and talked about, and more than 
half promised, but nothing has come of it till this 
present, and now, as we believe at the exact moment, 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

the hour has struck, and the voice of God in provi 
dence says, " Go forward." 

The Work Begun. 

The fund for the Girls Orphanage has commenced, 
and there are about a dozen names upon the roll at 
the moment of our writing. The work will be car 
ried on with vigor as the Lord shall be pleased to 
,send the means, but it will not be unduly pushed 
upon any one so as to be regarded as a new burden, 
for we want none but cheerful helpers, who will count 
it a privilege to have a share in the good work. We 
shall employ no collector to make a percentage by 
dunning the unwilling, and shall make no private 
appeals to individuals. There is the case : if it be a 
good one and you are able to help it, please do so ; 
but if you have no wish in that direction, our Lord s 
work does not require us to go a-begging like a 
pauper, and we do not intend to do so. 

We have never been in debt yet, nor have we had 
a mortgage upon any of our buildings, nor have we 
even borrowed money for a time, but we have always 
been able to pay as we have gone on. Our prayer is 
that we may never have to come down to a lower 
platform and commence borrowing. 

Abundance of Girls. 

It has often happened that we have been unable 
to assist widows in necessitous circumstances with 
large families, because there did not happen to be a 
boy of the special age required by the rules of our 
Boys Orphanage. There were several girls, but then 



174 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

we could not take girls, and however deserving the 
case, we have been unable to render any assistance to 
very deserving widows, simply because their children 
were not boys. This is one reason why we need a 
Girls Orphanage. 

Everywhere also there is an outcry about the scarcity 
of good servants, honest servants, industrious servants, 
well-trained servants. We know where to find the 
sisters who will try to produce such workers out of 
the little ones who will come under their care. 

We have succeeded by God s grace and the diligent 
care of our masters and matrons in training the lads 
so that they have become valuable to business men : 
why should not the same divine help direct us with the 
lassies, so that domestics and governesses should go 
forth from us as well as clerks and artisans ? We 
believe that there are many friends who will take a 
special interest in the girls, and that there are some 
whose trades would more readily enable them to give 
articles sutiable for girls than those which are useful 
to boys. 

Help for Mary and Maggie. 

Here is a grand opportunity for Christian people 
with means to take their places among the first foun 
ders of this new institution, and if they judge tnat 
such a work will be good and useful, we hope that 
they will without fail, and without delay, come to our 
assistance in this fresh branch of service. We cannot 
afford to lose a single penny from the funds for the 
boys, but this work for the girls must be something 



STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. 175 

extra and above. You helped Willie and Tommy; 
will you not help Mary and Maggie ? 

It is very needful to add that foolish persons often 
say : Mr. Spurgeon can get plenty of money, and 
needs no help. If all were to talk in this fashion, 
where would our many works drift to ? Mr. Spurgeon 
does get large sums, but not a penny more than the 
various works require, and he gets it because God 
moves His people to give it, as he hopes, good reader, 
He may move you. 

We have no personal end to serve ; we do not, di 
rectly or indirectly, gain a single penny by the Or 
phanage, College, or any other societies over which 
we preside ; neither have we any wealthy persons 
around us who are at loss to know how to dispose of 
their property; but our hard-working church keeps 
continually consecrating its offerings, and our friends 
far and near think upon us. Our treasury is the 
bounty of God ; our motto is : THE LORD WILL PROVIDE. 
Past mercy forbids a doubt as to the future, and so in 
the name of God we set up our banners. 

Work, not Miracles. 

The girls part is not yet fully complete, but it soon 
will be so, and then we must take in the girls. Now 
it occurs to me to let my friends know the increased 
need which has arisen, and will arise from the doub* 
ling of the number of children. The income must by 
some means be doublen. My trust is in the Lord 
alone, for whose s-^ke I, bear this burden. I believe 
that He has led me all along in the erection and carry- 



176 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

ing on of this enterprise, and I am also well assured 
that His own hand pointed to the present extension, 
and supplied the means for making it. I therefore 
rest in the providence of God alone. 

But the food of the children will not drop as manna 
from heaven, it will be sent in a way which is more- 
beneficial, for the graces of His children will be dis 
played in the liberality which will supply the needs of 
the orphans. God will neither feed the children by 
angels nor by ravens, but by the loving gifts of His 
people. It is needful, therefore, that I tell my friends 
of our need, and I do hereby tell them. The institu 
tion will need, in rough figures, about one thousand 
dollars a week. This is a large sum, and when I think 
of it I am appalled if Satan suggests the question : 
" What if the money does not come in ? " 

But it is nothing to the Lord of the whole earth 
to feed five hundred little ones. He has kept two 
hundred and fifty boys for these years, and He can do 
the like for the same number of girls. Only let not 
His stewards say that there is no need at Stock well, 
for there is great and crying need that all my friends 
should inquire whether they may not wisely render 
me much more aid than they have done. The build 
ings are not all finished yet, nor the roads made, but 
Ms will soon be accomplished, and then the institution 
will be in full operation, and its requirements will be 
great. I have written these lines with a measure of 
reluctance ; and I hope that it is not in unbelief, but as 
a reasonable service, that I have thus stated the case. 



CHAPTER IX. 
The Great Preacher s Last Illness and Death, 

Alarming Reports. Messages of Sympathy. Cheering Words from the Christian 
Endeavor Convention of the United States. Message from International 
Congregational Council. Letters from the Prince of Wales and Mr. Glad 
stone. Rays of Ho pe. Anxiety and Fervent Prayers. Glowing Eulogies. 
Removal to Mentone.~*Unfavorable Reports. The Closing Scene. Immense 
Literary Labors. 

EARLY in July, 1891, alarming reports became 
current concerning Mr. Spurgeon s health. It was 
known that for a long time he had been a sufferer 
from gout and kidney complaint, and the gravest fears 
were felt lest these complaints should undermine his 
otherwise strong constitution, and end his great work. 

Daily reports were issued from the sick-chamber; 
all the newspapers throughout Christendom contained 
references to the illustrious sufferer, and among all 
classes of persons profound sympathy was awakened ; 
while thousands besides Mr. Spurgeon s own congre 
gation prayed earnestly for his recovery. On the 
t 6th of July the Christian World, the leading religious 
newspaper of London, reported as follows : 

The condition of Mr. Spurgeon is now regarded as 
quite beyond human aid. Last evening he had further 
relapsed, and there was much difficulty in getting him 
to take nourishment. 

12 (in) 



178 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOK 



On Thursday Mr. Spurgeon was in a very critical 
condition. The bulletin issued on Friday stated that 
although the kidneys were acting more freely, the 
delirium continued, and he was still very prostrate. 
On Saturday Mrs. Spurgeon considered him " no 



f 




RESIDENCE OF C. H. SPURGEON. 

worse." The report of Sunday afternoon showed a 
slight change for the better. 

Unfavorable Reports. 

On Monday night the doctors considered his con* 
dition less favorable. Tuesday s bulletin was as fol 
lows : " Rev. C. H. Spurgeon has had a very /estless 
night, with delirium. The waste of albumen from the 
kidneys suddenly increased, and the prostration of 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 179 

strength is very great." The next day s official bulletin 
was still more alarming : " After a restless night, Mr. 
Spurgeon is very weak this morning. The heart s 
action is becoming more feeble, and the amount of 
nourishment taken is less." 

The intense interest felt in Mr. Spurgeon s condition 
is shown by the messages of sympathy that literally 
pour in on Mrs. Spurgeon. On Friday the telegraph 
office at Beulah Hill was completely blocked for a 
considerable part of the day. The committee of the 
Baptist Missionary Society, the Nonconformist min 
isters of Wrexham, the South London Presbytery, the 
Primitive Methodist General Committee, the British 
and Foreign Sailors Society, an assembly of ministers 
at Grimsby, a meeting of the Loyal Orange Institution 
at Netley Abbey, the London Wesleyan Council, the 
Chesham Sunday-school Alliance, the Lambeth Auxili 
ary of the Sunday-school Union, and the Council of 
the Evangelical Alliance have all sent telegrams. 

Messages of Sympathy. 

Letters and telegrams have also been received from 
Chicago, Ontario, Massachusetts, and many other 
places. General Booth sent a message : " Four thou* 
sand officers of the Salvation Army, assembled in 
council at Congress Hall, Clapton, assure you of their 
hearty sympathy and united prayers for Mr. Spurgeon s 
recovery." 

The rector of Newington, the parish in which the 
Tabernacle is situated, between whom and Mr. Spur 
geon the most kindly feeling has existed, wrote to 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Mrs. Spurgeon expressing his sympathy, and hoping 
that her husband s life, so precious to her and his 
flock, might be spared. The Bishop of Rochester 
telegraphed : " As I am myself ill and unable to call 
and inquire for Mr. Spurgeon, I am anxious to express 
to you my warm sympathy in your anxiety." 

Kind Words from the United States. 

The Young People s Society of Christian Endeavor, 
in convention, more than 1 2,000 strong, sent " love and 
prayers " from Minneapolis, U. S. A. M. le Pasteur 
Saillens, of Paris, telegraphed : " We offer constant 
prayers for your dear husband and yourself." Dr. Mac- 
lagan, Archbishop- Designate of York, sent "prayer 
ful sympathy." The International Congregational 
Council sent an expression of profound affection for, 
and tender sympathy with, Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon, 
before commencing business at the Memorial Hall. 

During the opening services of the Council earnest 
prayer was offered for the recovery of Mr. Spurgeon, 
and after the elections had been disposed of, a resolu 
tion expressive of sympathy with Mrs. Spurgeon, and 
the earnest prayers of the Assembly that the valuable 
life of her husband might be spared to the churches. 
The hearty manner in which the resolution (which was 
forwarded by telegram) was carried, showed how 
brotherly feeling could dominate denominational dis 
tinctions and theological differences. 

o 

Letter From Mrs. Spurgeon. 

Later, the following letter was heard with sympa 
thetic interest; 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 181 

Mrs. Spurgeon is very grateful for the sympathy 
and Christian love expressed in the resolution passed 
by the International Council of Congregationalists. 
The way is very dark just now, but the light of God s 
love is beyond the darkness. The prayers of all are 
still needed, for the dear patient s condition is still 
very critical. Nothing is impossible with God, and we 
still hope, saying with all our hearts, "God s will be 
clone." Please to accept the warmest thanks of Mrs. 
Spurgeon and of yours sincerely, Q SpURGEON 

Most kindly allusion was made by Canon Sinclair 
3ri Sunday afternoon at St. Paul s Cathedral to Mr. 
Spurgeon s protracted illness, and the prayers of the 
congregation were asked. Among those who made 
personal calls during the week were Mrs. Benson, 
who left the Archbishop s card with her. 

Prayer meetings were held through the week at 
the Tabernacle, and were largely attended. On Mon 
day Dr. Clifford, Rev. Newman Hall, Rev. Arthur 
Mursell, and Mr. . Cuff were among those present. 
On Tuesday numbers of people were waiting as early 
as half-past six for the seven o clock prayer meeting, 
many of these being old pensioners from the neigh 
boring almshpuses. The loving sympathy of friends 
from all parts of the world is greatly appreciated, not 
only by Mrs. Spurgeon and Rev. J. A. Spurgeon, but 
by the church deacons, who expressed their gratitude 
in a statement issued on Sunday. 

Inquiries from the Prince of Wales. 

By command of the Prince of Wales Colonel Knol- 



182 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

lys wrote to Dr. Kidd, making inquiries concerning 
Mr. Spurgeon s condition, asking the doctor, in the 
event of his having an opportunity, to convey the 
expression of His Royal Highness sympathy to Mr. 
Spurgeon in his illness. Dr. Kidd read that letter at 
his patient s bedside yesterday morning, when Mr.j 
Spurgeon remembered having on a former occasion 
received a communication from the Heir-Apparent. 

Mrs. Spurgeon has been enabled to keep up so well 
that she seems to have been specially strengthened 
for the ordeal she has been passing through. Those 
only to whom rfe has been accustomed have been 
allowed to be in attendance on Mr. Spurgeon. One of 
these is the faithful man-servant known to all visitors as 
George, while the other men-servants have taken turns 
by night. Mr. Spurgeon has never been unconscious, 
nor has he all aloncr ever been delirious in the sense 

o 

of not knowing those about him. He has often asked 
for his private secretary ; he has sometimes been 
attended by his other secretary, Mr. Keys ; and when 
visited by Dr. Russell Reynolds he remembered hav 
ing seen the Doctor on a certain occasion at Mentone. 
One Catholic priest in charge of a garden party 
prayed for Mr. Spurgeon s permanent recovery ; and 
Ritualists have likewise remembered him in their, 
devotions. 

Letter from Mr. Gladstone. 

Mrs. Spurgeon has received the following letter 
from Mr. Gladstone: 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 183 

Gorton, Lowestoft, July 16. 

My dear Madam, In my own home, darkened at 
xne present time, I have read with studied interest 
daily accounts of Mr. Spurgeon s illness, and I cannot 
help conveying to you the earnest assurance of my 
sympathy with you and with him, and of my cordial 
admiration not only of his splendid powers, but still 
more of his devoted and unfailing character. May I 
humbly commend you and him, in all contingencies, to 
the infinite stores of Divine love and mercy, and sub 
scribe myself, my dear Madam, faithfully yours, 

W. E. GLADSTONE. 

Mrs. Spurgeon sent the following reply, the post 
script being in her husband s handwriting : 

Westwood, Upper Norwood, July 18, 1891. 
Dear Mr. Gladstone, Your words of sympathy 
have a special significance and tenderness coming 
from one who has just passed through the deep waters 
which seem now to threaten me. I thank you warmly 
for your expression of regard for my beloved husband, 
and with all my heart I pray that the consolations of 
God may abound toward you even as they do to me. 
Although we cannot consider the dear patient out of 
danger the doctors have to-day issued a somewhat 
more hopeful bulletin. I feel it an honor to be allowed 
to say that I shall ever be your grateful friend, 

S. SPURGEON. 

P. S. Yours is a word of love such as those only 
write who have been in the King s country, and have 
seen much of His face. My heart s love to you. 

C. H. SPURGEON. 




REV. C. H. SPURGEON IN HIS PULPIT. 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 185 

A Gleam of Hope. 

On giving the news of Mr. Spurgeon s condition to 
the congregation on Sunday morning, Mr. Stott said 
that hope of the pastor s recovery was being strength 
ened, but they must keep on praying rather than yield 
to too pleasurable excitement; for Mr. Spurgeon was 
not yet " out of the wood." Under the most happy 
circumstances, it would still be some time before the 
patient could become convalescent. 

Rev. W. Stott presided at the Monday evening 
prayer meeting in the Tabernacle. Rev. J. A. Spur 
geon, who had a sore throat and a voice weak from 
cold, said that he had seen his brother in the course 
of the day, and although he was seriously ill, he did 
not look, like a dying man. Weak as he was, he might 
yet be restored. Still he was very seriously ill, and 
their hope was only in God, who could restore him. 
When at prayer concerning his brother, he had had a 
a struggle, but he had at last left it in God s hands. 
They left all to God, but when they had dorio that, 
they felt that they could not let Him go until they had 
their pastor back. 

Mr. James Spurgeon went on to say that his brother 
was happy in his mind and was contented. Notwith 
standing all that they had heard about his wanderings, 
his heart had not wandered from Christ. He was not 
in trouble, and not in much pain, and God was to be 
thanked that in that respect he was as he was. They 
wanted him back, but would still say, "Thy will be 
done." The Lord has never made a mistake, and 



186 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

never would do so. How many were thinking of the 
sick pastor, and how many were reading his sermons 
who had not clone so for years. Thus good would 
come out of the affliction. 

A Voice to the Nation. 

If in the end prayers did not avail, and the physi 
cians found that that they could do nothing more, 
then they would have to believe that it was as the 
pastor had himself hinted some time ago, namely, 
that his time was come, and that his work was done. 
The numbers of letters and telegrams received at 
Westwood was marvelous. God was speaking to the 
nation, and it might be to the Church ; people now 
saw what a servant England had in C. H. Spurgeon. 
If he was raised up again to preach the Gospel, per 
haps the nation would learn more to appreciate his 
testimony. 

As regarded the prayer-meetings they were hold 
ing, they could not fail to be a mighty lesson to those 
who took part in them, apart from Mr. Spurgeon. 
How little earth seemed in comparison with eternal 
things ! God might have a purpose in dealing with 
them as He was doing. Then what a wonderful spirit 
of prayer was manifest. There had been one hun 
dred and fifty prayers offered on the preceding 
Monday, and one hundred had been offered in their 
meetings of that day. It was decided that their 
meetings should be continued until there was a 
decided change in their pastor s condition one way or 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 187 

the other till their Father in Heaven should say, 
" It is enough." 

Cheering- News. 

Shortly before nine o clock a telegram arrived from 
Westwood giving the cheering news of a slight im 
provement in Mr. Spurgeon s general state. The 
internal congestion was somewhat diminished, the 
gout was less painful, while the delirium was milder s 
intervals of accurate memory occurring. The condi 
tion was one of grave danger, but there was said to 

be some hope. 

Words of Appreciation. 

One of the foremost journals of the metropolis 
gave expression to the public sympathy, and voiced 
the estimate of Mr. Spurgeon s life and work, as 
follows : 

" While there is life there is hope," and we rest in 
confidence that unless the will of God our Saviour see 
that the kingdom of his clear Son will be better 
served by this his true and faithful servant being 
removed to the sanctuary above, our beloved and 
honored brother, C. H. Spurgeon, will be raised up 
to continue his labors in the gospel on earth. 

But if he should be taken up, a crowning testimony 
will have been given to the profound impressioi 
made upon his fellow-Christians and upon his fellow 
men throughout the world, of all denominations and 
of all shades of thought, by his long and faithful 
witness to the truth. Men and women of all sects 
and creeds, of every rank and position have, from 



188 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOtf. 

all parts of the world, written, telegraphed, or called 
to express their deep sympathy ; and tens of thou 
sands expect with eager interest the. morning paper, 
and the first thing they look for is the bulletin de 
scribing Mr. Spurgeon s condition. 

Why the People are Moved. 

This phenomenal interest is Lot due alone to 
personal affection for a beloved brother or father 
in Christ ; to admiration of his fearless character, 
his marked individuality, his English tenacity ; to 
Christian reverence for one who has scattered the 
gospel broadcast throughout the world, largely by 
his voice, and far more largely by the press ; to 
regard for the orphans friend, to respect for the 
gifted evangelist, pastor and teacher, who has exer 
cised his God-given gifts of perfecting other men 
for the work of ministering, though all these ele 
ments are included in it. 

But lying beneath -them all is a conviction of the 
truth of the gospel which he has ministered the 
gospel of the atonement ; the good tidings of the 
kingdom of God ; the unwavering witness of a man 
true to the core to " the precious blood of Christ, 
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, by 
whom we believe in God who raised him up from 
the dead, and gave him glory that our faith and hope 

may be in God." 

The Highest Praise. 

No higher honor could be accorded to a man than 
that, lying helpless, suffering, delirious, upon his bed 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 189 

of death, the world was moved with sympathy and 
tender love, because, like Daniel, he was found faithful 
to his God ; because he chose to have the gospel pure 
and plain, as pulse and water, rather than spiced with 
delicacies for the great and wise. 

Yet though we speak of the possibility of his being 
taken, we fervently unite in the universal, loving 
prayer that God may restore his servant to years of 
better health and greater usefulness than before he 
was laid so low. 

9 

Removal to France. 

Mr. Spurgeon continued to improve and was finally 
able to make the journey to Mentone, where the 
climate and surroundings had proved on several occa 
sions to be highly beneficial to his health. Here he 
spent the last months of 1891, apparently gaining 
strength, yet very slowly, and hopes were entertained 
that he would ultimately recover. He became well 
enough to correct the proofs of his sermons, the pub 
lication of which was continued, but his progress 
towards recovery was so slow as to be scarcely per 
ceptible. 

Suddenly in the latter part of January, 1892, news 
came that he had met with a serious relapse. At 
once the fears of his multitude of friends and admir 
ers were revived. For several days reports were 
received which were far from reassuring. The follow 
ing despatch relates the story of his death : 

" MENTONE, France, Jan. 31. The celebrated divine, 
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, died here fifteen minutes 



190 REV. CHARLES H. SFURGEON. 

before midnight to-night. Mrs. Spurgeon, his private 
secretary, and two or three friends were present at 
the last moment. He was unconscious when the end 
came, and had not spoken for some hours. 

41 Mr. Spurgeon did not recognize his wife through 
out the day ; he refused all food, and although milk 
was given him it was not retained. A large number 
of telegrams of inquiry and sympathy were received 
by the pastor s family." 

Thus ended the life of the celebrated divine, whose 
voice had held listening thousands spell-bound, and 
whose influence had been felt in all the earth. 

Enormous Literary Work. 

Glancing at Mr. Spurgeon s work it will be seen 
that it was enormous. Besides editing and furnishing 
most of the matter for his monthly magazine, The 
Sivord and Trowel, since January i, 1865, he wrote 
"The Saint and His Saviour," " The Treasury of 
David, an Exposition of the Psalms, in seven octavo 
volumes ; " The New Park Street Pulpit," and the 
"Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit," which contains 
about two thousand of his weekly sermons, from 1855 
to 1889, making thirty large volumes. Also " Lectures 
to My Students," " Commenting and Commentaries, 1 
"John Ploughman," the "Cheque Book of the Bank 
of Faith," and various other publications. Many of 
these have been translated into various tongues. 

In October, 1887, Mr. Spurgeon withdrew from the 
Baptist Union. In announcing his decision to with 
draw, and replying to his critics, he said : " To pursue 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 

union at the expense of the truth is treason to Jesus. 
To tamper with His doctrines >s to become traitors to 
Him. We have before us the wretched spectacle of 
professedly orthodox Christians publicly avowing 
union, with those who deny the faith, and deny the 
personality of the Holy Ghost." Mr. Spurgeon had 
long been contemplating the act of secession. He 
announced his determination of withdrawing if certain 
other clergymen, who were for some reason distaste 
ful to him, were not excommunicated. This, of course, 
the Union refused to do. The resignation which he 
tendered was accepted, and the great church which 
he had built up went with him without question. 

Mr. Spurg-eon s Obsequies. 

Upon the death of the celebrated divine, the news 
papers throughout the world, both secular and re 
ligious, contained lengthy obituary notices which were 
highly eulogistic of the man and his work. He had 
died at the very height of his power and usefulness, 
yet his life had been so busy that the labor of half a 
dozen ordinary men had been condensed into it. It 
was difficult for his congregation to believe that they 
never would again hear the rich, magnetic voice of 
their beloved pastor. There were demonstrations of 
sorrow on every hand ; the great heart of the public 
was moved and throbbed with sympathy and grief. 

The announcement was made at once that the 
body would be removed from Mentone to London, 
and that a public funeral would be held. The obse 
quies were attended by thousands of all religious 



BEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

denominations, and all classes of people. Such a 
demonstration has seldom been witnessed even in 
the great metropolis. Every evidence of the respect 
in which Mr. Spurgeon was held was manifested, 
while all expressed sincere sorrow that his wonderful 
life-work was finished. 

It was gratifying to know that his last days were 
cheered by the tender ministries of his family and 
friends, while he expressed his unfaltering faith 
in the great truths he had taught, and his uncom 
plaining submission to the will of that gracious provi 
dence which has a purpose even in the sparrow ? 
fall He desired further life only that he might carry 
on the work to which all his powers had been 
devoted. 

As he had spoken by his living voice to myriads, so 
by his death he gave a more impressive lesson to the 
world. At the age of fifty-seven he was called up 
higher, and " all the trumpets of heaven sounded," 
and his work, which was not to be measured merely 
by years, was ended. 

And now the great champion of the evangelistic 
faith, the flaming zealot, the magnetic orator, the pro 
lific author, the one man who more than any other 
affected the whole religious world, is laid to his final 
rest. 

Peace to his honored ashes ! May his rest be as 
sweet and satisfying, as his life was laborious and 
crowned with suffering. 



BOOK II. 

SERMONS AND LECTURES BY REV, C. H. 
SPURGEON. 

HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 

"And Samson turned aside to see the carcase of the lion : and, btiiold, there 
vras a swarm of bees and honey in the cartase of the lion. And he took thereof 
in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he 
gave them, and they did eat : but he told not ehem that he had taken the honey 
out of the carcase of the lion." Judges xiv, 8, 9. 

IT was a singular circumstance that a man unarmed 
should have slain a lion in the prime of its vigor; 
and yet more strange that a swarm of bees should 
have taken possession of the dried carcase, and have 
filled it with their honey. In that country, what with 
beasts, birds and insects, and the dry heat, a dead 
body is soon cleansed from all corruption, and the 
bones are clean and white : still the killing of the lion 
and the finding of the honey make up a remarkable 
story. These singular circumstances became after 
wards the subject of a riddle ; but with that riddle 
we have no concern at this time. Samson himself 
is a riddle. He was not only a riddle-maker ; but he 
was himself an enigma very difficult to explain : with 
his personal character I have at this time little or 
nothing to do. We are not to-day resting at the 
house of "Gaius, mine host," where the pilgrims 
* 193 



194 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

amused themselves with a dish of nuts after dinner ; 
but we are on the march, and must attend to the more 
important matter of refreshing and inspiriting those 
who are in our company. Neither are we going to 
discuss difficulties ; but as Samson took the honey with 
out being stung, so would we gain instruction without 
debate. We have in these days so much to do, that 
we must make practical use of every incident that 
comes before us in the word of God. My one design 
is to cheer the desponding and stir up all God s 
people to greater diligence in his service. I conceive 
that the text may legitimately be employed for this 
purpose. By the help of the Divine Spirit, even after 
this lapse of time, we may find honey in the lion. 

The particular part of the incident which is recorded 
in these two verses appears to have been passed over 
by those who have written upon Samson s life : I 
suppose it appeared to be too inconsiderable. They 
are taken up with his festive riddle, but they omit the 
far more natural and commendable fact of his bring 
ing forth the honey in his hands and presenting it to 
his father and mother. This is the little scene to 
which I direct your glances. It seems to me that the 
Israelitish hero with a slain lion in the background, 
standing out in the open road with his hands laden 
with masses of honeycomb and dripping with honey, 
which he holds out to his parents, makes a fine picture 
worthy of the greatest artist. And what a type we 
have here of our Divine Lord and Master, Jesus, the 
conqueror of death and hell. He has destroyed the 



HANDS FULL OF HONET. 195 

lion that roared upon us and upon him. He has. 
shouted " victory " over all our foes. " It is finished 
was His note of triumph ; and now he stands in the 
midst of his church with his hands full of sweetness 
and consolation, presenting them to those of whom 
he says, "these are my brother, and sister, and 
nother." To each one of us who believe in him he 
gives the luscious food which he has prepared for us 
by the overthrow of our foes; he bids us come and 
eat that we may have our lives sweetened and our 
hearts filled with joy. To me the comparison seems 
wonderfully apt and suggestive : I see our triumphant 
Lord laden with sweetness, holding it forth to all his 
brethren, and inviting them to share in his joy. 

But, beloved, it is written, "As he is, so are we also 
in this world." All that are true Christians are, in a 
measure, like the Christ whose name they bear, and 
it is to his image that we are finally to be conformed. 
When he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall 
see him as he is ; and meanwhile, in proportion as we 
see him now, " we are changed into the same image, 
from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 
The Samson type may well serve as the symbol of 
every Christian in the world. The believer has been 
helped by divine grace in his spiritual conflicts, and he 
has known " the victory which overcometh the world, 
even our faith." He has thus been made more than 
a conqueror through him that loved us, and now he 
stands in the midst of his fellow-men inviting them to 
Jesus. With the honey in his hands, which he con- 



196 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

tinues still to feast upon, he displays the heavenly 
sweetness to all that are round about him, saying, " O 
taste and see that the Lord is good : blessed is the 
man that trusteth in him." 

I have before now met with that popular artist Gus- 
tave Dore, and suggested subjects to him. Had he 
survived among us, and had another opportunity oc 
curred, I would have pressed him to execute a statue 
of Samson handing out the honey : strength distribut 
ing sweetness ; and it might have served as a per 
petual reminder of what a Christian should be a 
Conqueror and a Comforter, slaying lions and distrib 
uting honey. The faithful servant of God wrestles 
with the powers of evil ; but with far greater delight 
he speaks to his friends and companions, saying, " Eat 
ye that which is good, and let your souls delight thenv 
selves in sweetness." Set the statue before your 
mind s eye, and now let me speak about it. 

Three touches may suffice. First, the believer s life 
has its conflicts ; secondly, the believer s life has its 
sweets ; and, thirdly, the believer s life leads him to com 
municate of those sweets to others. Here is room for 
profitable meditation. 

I. First, then, THE BELIEVER S LIFE HAS ITS CONFLICTS. 
To become a Christian is to enlist for a soldier. To 
become a believer is to enter upon a pilgrimage, and 
the road is often rough: the hills are steep, the 
valleys are dark, giants block the way, and robbers 
lurk in corners. The man who reckons that he can 
glide into heaven without a struggle has made a great 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 197 

mistake. No cross no crown : no sweat no sweet -. 
no conflict no conquest. These conflicts, if we take 
the case of Samson as our symbol, begin early in the 
life of the believer. While Samson was a child! the 
Spirit of the Lord moved him in the camps of Can- 
see the last verse of the thirteenth chapter; and 
as soon as he was on the verge of manhood, he must 
match himself with a lion. God who intended that 
his servant should smite the Philistines, and should 
check their proud oppression of his people Israel, 
began early to train the hero for his life s conflict. So, 
when Samson was going to seek a wife, he turned 
aside into the vineyards of Timnath, and a lion roared 
upon him. Yes, and the young believer, who as yet 
has not wrestled with the powers of darkness, will not 
be long before he hears the roar of the lion, and finds 
himself in the presence of the great Adversary. Very 
soon we learn the value of the prayer, " Deliver us 
from the evil one \ " Most of the Lord s servants 
have .been men of war from their youth up. Without 
are fightings even when within there are no fears. 
This early combat with the savage beast was intended 
by God to let him know his strength when under the 
influence of the Spirit, and to train him for his future 
combats with Israel s enemies. He that is to smite 
the Philistines hip and thigh with a great slaughter, 
until he has laid them heaps on heaps by his single 
prowess, must begin by rending a Jion with his naked 
hands. He was to learn war in the same school as 
another and a greater hero, who afterwards said, 



198 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

" Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear, and 
this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them." 
Soldiers are made by war. You cannot train veter 
ans or create victors except by battles. As in the 
wars of armies so is it in spiritual contests: men must 
be trained for victory over evil by combat with it. 
Hence " it is good for a man that he bare the yoke in 
his youth ; " for it will not gall his shoulders in after 
years. It is assuredly a dangerous thing to be 
altogether free from trouble : in silken ease the soldier 
loses his prowess. Look at Solomon, one of the 
greatest and wisest, and yet, I might say, one of the 
least and most foolish of men. It was his fatal privi 
lege to sit upon a throne of gold and sun himself in 
the brilliance of unclouded prosperity, and hence his 
heart soon went astray, and he fell from his high 
places. Solomon in his early days had no trouble, 
for no war was then raging, and no enemy worth 
notice was then living. His life ran smoothly on, and 
he was lulled into a dreamy sleep, the sleep of the 
voluptuous. He had been happier far had he been, 
like his father, called from his earliest days to trial 
and conflict ; for this might have taught him to stand 
fast upon the pinnacle of glory whereon the prov 
idence of God had placed him. Learn, then, O 
young brother, that if, like Samson, you are to be a 
hero for Israel, you must early be inured to suffering 
and daring, in some form or other. When you step 
aside and seek for meditation in the quiet of the vine 
yard a young lion may roar upon you ; even as in the 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 199 

earliest days of your Lord and Master s public service he 
was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 
These conflicts, dear friends, may often be very 
terrible. By a young lion is not meant a whelp, but 
a lion in the fulness of its early strength ; not yet 
slackened in its pace, or curbed in its fury by growing 
years. Fresh and furious, a young lion is the worsi 
kind of beast that a man can meet with. Let us 
expect as followers of Christ to meet with strong 
temptations, fierce persecutions, and severe trials, 
which will lead to stern conflicts. Do not reckon, 
thou that art yet putting on thy harness, that thou 
shalt soon put it off, or that when thou puttest it off 
it will be quite as bright as it is to-day. It will be 
dimmed with blood and dust, and battered by many a 
blow ; perhaps thy foe may find a way to pierce it, 
or at least to wound thee between its joints. I would 
have every man begin to be a soldier of the cross, but 
I would at the same time have him count the cost; 
for it is no child s play, and if he thinks it will be 
such, he will be grievously disappointed. A young 
believer will, on a sudden, have a doubt suggested to 
him of which he never heard before ; and it will roar 
upon him like a young lion ; neither will he see all at 
once how to dispose of it. Or he may be placed in 
singular circumstances where his duty seems to run 
counter to the tenderest instincts of his nature ; here, 
too, the young lion will roar upon him. Or, one for 
whom he has an intense respect may treat him ill 
because he is a follower of Christ, and the affection 



200 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

and respect which he feels for this person may make 
his opposition the more grievous : in this also it is 
with him as when a lion roareth. Or he may suffer 
a painful bereavement, or sustain a severe loss ; or he 
may have a disease upon him, with consequent pains 
and depressions, and these may cast the shadow of 
death upon his spirits ; so that again a young lion 
roars upon him. Brother, sister, let us reckon upon 
this, and not be dismayed by it, since in all this is the 
life of our spirit. By such lessons as these we are 
taught to do service for God, to sympathize with our 
fellow-Christians, and to value the help of our 
gracious Saviour. By all these we are weaned from 
earth and made to hunger for that eternal glory which 
is yet to be revealed, of which we may truly say, " No 
lion shall be there, neither shall any ravenous beast 
go up thereon." These present evils are for our 
future good: their terror is for our teaching. Trials 
are sent us for much the same reason that the Canaan- 
ites were permitted to live in the Holy Land, that 
Israel might learn war, and be equipped for battle 
against foreign foes. 

These conflicts come early, and they are very 
terrible ; and, moreover, they happen to us when we 
are least prepared for them. Samson was not hunting 
for wild beasts ; he was engaged on a much more 
tender business. He was walking in the vineyards 
of Timnath, thinking of anything but lions, and 
"behold," says the Scripture, "a young lion roared 
against him." It was a remarkable and startling 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 201 

occurrence. He had left his father and mother and 
was quite alone ; no one was within call to aid him in 
meeting his furious assailant. Human sympathy is 
exceedingly precious, but there are points in our 
spiritual conflict in which we cannot expect to receive 
it. To each man there are passages in life too narrow 
for walking two abreast. Upon certain crags we 
must stand alone. As our constitutions differ, so our 
trials, which are suited to our constitutions, must 
differ also. Each individual has a secret with which 
no friend can intermeddle ; for every life has its mys 
tery and its hid treasure. Do not be ashamed, young 
Christian, if you meet with temptations which appear 
to you to be quite singular : we have each one thought 
the same of his trials. You imagine that no one 
suffers as you do r whereas no temptation hath hap 
pened unto you but such as is common to man, and 
God will with the temptation make a way of escape 
that you may be able to bear it. Yet for the time 
being you may have to ^nter into fellowship with your 
Lord when he trod the wine-press alone, and of the 
people there was none with him. Is not this for your 
good ? Is not this the way to strength ? What kind 
of piety is that which is dependent upon the friend 
ship of man? What sort of religion is that which 
cannot stand alone ? Beloved you will have to die 
alone, and you need therefore grace to cheer you in 
solitude. The dear wife can attend you weeping to 
the river s brink, but into the chill stream she cannot 
go with you ; and if you have not a religion which 



202 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

will sustain you in the solitudes of life, of what avail 
will it be to you in the grim lonesomeness of death ? 
Thus I reckon it to be a happy circumstance that you 
are called to solitary conflict that you may test your 
faith, and see of what stuff your hope is made. 

The contest was all the worse for Samson, that in 
addition to being quite alone, " there was nothing in 
his hand." This is the most remarkable point in the 
narrative. He had no sword or hunter s spear with 
which to wound the lordly savage : he had not even 
a stout staff with which to ward of his attack. Sam 
son stood an unarmed, unarmored man in the pres 
ence of a raging beast. So we in our early temp 
tations are apt to think that we have no weapon for 
the war, and we do not know what to do. We are 
made to cry out, " I am unprepared ! How can I 
meet this trial ? I cannot grasp the enemy to wrestle 
with him. What am I to do ? " Herein will the 
splendor of faith and glory of God be made manifest, 
when you shall slay the lion, and yet it shall be said 
of you " that he had nothing in his hand " nothing 
but that which the world sees not and values not. 

Now, go one step further, for time forbids our linger 
ing here. I invite you to remember that it was by the 
Spirit of God that the victory was won. We read, 
"And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him. 
and he rent him as he would have rent a kid/ Let 
the Holy Spirit help us in our trouble and we need 
neither company nor weapon ; but without him what 
can we do ? Good Bishop Hall says, " If that roaring 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 203 

lion, that goes about continually seeking whom he 
may devour, find us alone among the vineyards of the 
Philistines, where is our hope ? Not in our heels, he is 
swifter than we: not in our weapons, we are naturally 
unarmed; not in our hands, which are weak and lan 
guishing ; but in the Spirit of God, by whom we can 
do all things. If God fight in us, who can resist us ? 
There is a stronger lion in us than that against us." 

Here is our one necessity to be endowed with 
power from on high : the power of the Holy Ghost. 
Helped by the Spirit of God, the believer s victory 
will be complete: the lion shall not be driven away 
but rent in pieces. Girt with the Spirit s power, our 
victory shall be as easy as it will be perfect : Samson 
rent the lion as though it were a little lamb, or a kid 
of the goats. Well said Paul, " I can do all things 
through Christ that strengtheneth me. * Sin is soon 
overcome, temptations are readily refused, affliction is 
joyfully borne, persecution is gladly endured, when 
the Spirit of glory and of peace resteth upon us. 
" With God all things are possible ; " and as the be 
liever is with God, it cometh to pass that all things are 
possible to him that believeth. 

If we were surrounded by all the devils in hell we 
need not fear them for an instant if the Lord be on 
our side. We are mightier than all hell s legions 
when the Spirit is mightily upon us. If we were to 
be beaten down by Satan until he had set his foot 
upon our breast, to press the very life out of us, yet 
if the Spirit of God helped us we would reach out 



204 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

our hand, and grasp the sword of the Spirit, which is 
the word of God, and we would repeat the feat of 
Christian with Apollyon, when he gave the fiend such 
grievous wounds that he spread his dragon wings and 
flew away. Wherefore fear not, ye tried ones, but 
trust in the Spirit of God, and your conflict shall 
speedily end in victory. Sometimes our conflict is 
with past sin. We doubtfully inquire, " How can it 
be forgiven ? " The temptation vanishes before a 
sight of the dying Redeemer. Then inbred lust roars 
against us, and we overcome it through the blood of 
the Lamb, for " the blood of Jesus Christ his Son 
cleanseth us from all sin." Sometimes a raging cor 
ruption, or a strong habit wars upon us, and then we 
conquer by the might of the sanctifying Spirit of God, 
who is with us and shall be in us evermore. Or else 
it is the world which tempts, and our feet have almost 
gone ; but we overcome the world through the victory 
of faith : and if Satan raises against us the lust of the 
flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, all at 
once, we are still delivered, for the Lord is a wall of 
fire round about us. The inward life bravely resists 
all sin, and God s help is given to believers to pre 
serve them from all evil in the moment of urgent 
need ; even as he helped his martyrs and confessors 
to speak the right word when called unprepared to 
confront their adversaries. Care not, therefore, oh 
thou truster in the Lord Jesus, how fierce thine enemy 
may be this day ! As young David slew the lion and 
the bear, and smote the Philistine too, even so shalt 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 205 

thou go from victory to victory. " Many are the afflic 
tions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him 
out of them all." Wherefore, with a lion-like spirit, 
meet lions which seek to devour you. 

II. Now, then, we come to our second head, which 
is : THE BELIEVER S LIFE HAS ITS SWEETS. We are not 
always killing lions, we are sometimes eating honey. 
Certain of us do both at a time ; we kill lions and yet 
cease not to eat honey : and truly it has become so 
sweet a thing to enter into conflict for Christ s sake, 
that it is a joy to contend earnestly for the faith once 
delivered to the saints. The same Lord who hath 
bidden us "quit yourselves like men ; be strong," has 
also said, " Rejoice in the Lord alway ; and again I 
say, rejoice." 

The believer s life has its sweets, and these are of 
the choicest : for what is sweeter than honey ? What 
is more joyful than the joy of a saint ? What is more 
happy than the happiness of a believer ? I will not 
condescend to make a comparison between our joy 
and the mirth of fools ; I will go no further than a 
contrast. Their mirth is as the crackling of thorns 
under a pot, which spit fire, and make a noise and a 
flash, but there is no heat, and they are soon gone 
out: nothing comes of it, the pot is long in boil 
ing. But the Christian s delight is like a steady coal 
fire. You have seen the grate full of coals all burn 
ing red, and the whole mass of coal has seemed to 
be one great glowing ruby, and everybody who has 
come into the room out of the cold has delighted to 



206 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

warm his hands, for it gives out a steady heat 
warms the body even to its marrow. Such are 
our joys. I would sooner possess the joy of Christ 
five minutes than I would revel in the mirth of fools 
for half a century. There is more bliss in the tear of 
repentance than in the laughter of gaiety ; our holy 
sorrows are sweeter than the worldling s joys. But, 
oh, when our joys grow full, divinely full, then are 
they unspeakably like those above, and heaven begins 
below. Did you never cry for joy ? You say, per^ 
haps, " Not since I was a child." Nor have I ; but I 
have always remained a child as far as divine joy is con 
cerned. I could often cry for joy when I know whom 
I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to 
keep that which I have committed to him. 

Ours is a joy which will bear thinking over. You 
can dare to pry into the bottom of it and test its foun 
dation. It is a joy which does not grow stale ; you may 
keep it in your mouth by the year together, and yet it 
never cloys; you may return to it again, and again, 
and again, and find it still as fresh as ever. And the 
best of it is there is no repentance after it. You are 
never sorry that you were so glad. The world s gay 
folk are soon sick of their drink ; but we are only 
sorry that we were not gladder still, for our gladness 
sanctifies. We are not denied any degree of joy to 
which we can possibly attain, for ours is a healthy, 
health-giving delight. Christ is the fulness of joy to 
his people, and we are bidden to enjoy him to the full. 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 207 

Christians have their sweets, and those are as honey 
and the honeycomb, the best of the best. 

Of these joys there is plenty ; for Samson found, as 
it were, a living spring of honey, since he discovered 
a swarm of bees. So abundant was the honey that he 
could take huge masses of the comb and carry it in 
his hands, and go away with it, bearing it to others. 
In the love of Christ, in pardoned sin, in acceptance in 
the Beloved, in resting in God, in perfectly acquiesc 
ing in his will, in the hope of heaven, there is such 
joy that none can measure it. We have such a living 
swarm of bees to make honey for us in the precious 
promises of God, that there is more delight in store 
than any of us can possibly realize. There is infinitely 
more of Christ beyond our comprehension than we 
have as yet been able to comprehend. How blessed 
to receive of his fulness, to be sweetened with his 
sweetness, and yet to know that infinite goodness still 
remains ! Perhaps some of you have enjoyed so much 
of Christ that you could hardly bear any more ; but 
your largest enjoyments are only as tiny shells filled 
by a single wave of the sea, while all the boundless ocean 
rolls far beyond your ken. We have exceeding great 
joy, yea, joy to spare. Our Master s wedding feast is 
not so scantily furnished that we have to bring in 
another seat for an extra guest, or murmur to ourselves 
that we had better not invite at random lest we should 
be incommoded by too great a crowd. Nay. rather 
the pillared halls of mercy in which the King doth 
make his feast are so vast that it will be our lifelong 



208 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

business to furnish them with guests, compelling more 
and more to come in that his house may be filled, and 
that his royal festival may make glad ten thousand 
times ten thousand hearts. 

Dear friends, if you want to know what are the 
elements of our joy, I have already hinted at them, 
but I will for a moment enlarge thereon. Our 
joys are often found in the former places of our conflicts. 
We gather our honey out of the lions which have been 
slain for us or by us. 

There is, first, our sin. A horrible lion that ! But 
it is a dead lion, for grace has much more abounded 
over abounding sin. Oh, brothers, I have never heard 
of any dainty in all the catalogue of human joys that 
could match a sense of pardoned sin. Full forgive 
ness ! Free forgiveness ! Eternal forgiveness ! See, 
it sparkles like dew of heaven. To know that God 
has blotted out my sin is knowledge rich with unutter 
able bliss. My soul has begun to hear the songs of 
seraphim when it has heard that note, " I have blotted 
out thy sins like a cloud, and as a thick cloud thine 
iniquities." Here is choice honey for you ! 

The next dead lion is conquered desire. When a 
wish has arisen in the heart contrary to the mind of 
God, and you have said " Down with you ! I will pray 
you down. You used to master me ; I fell into a 
habit and I was soon overcome by you ; but I will not 
again yield to you. By God s grace I will conquer 
you ; " I say, when at last you have obtained the 
victry, such a sweet contentment perfumes your heart 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 209 

jhat you are filled with joy unspeakable ; and you are 
devoutly grateful to have been helped of the Spirit of 
God to master your own spirit. Thus you have again 
eaten spiritual honey. 

When you are able to feel in your own soul that 
you have overcome a strong temptation, the fiercer it 
was and the more terrible it was, the louder has been 
your song and the more joyful your thanksgiving. To 
go back to Mr. Bunyan again ; when Christian had 
passed through the Valley of the Shadow of Death 
during the night, and when he had come entirely out 
of it and the sun rose, you remember he looked back. 
(A pause.) He was long in taking that look, I war 
rant you. What thoughts he had while looking back ! 
He could just discern that narrow track with the 
quagmire on one side and the deep ditch on the 
other ; and he could see the shades out of which the 
hobgoblins hooted and the fiery eyes glanced forth. 
He looked back by sunlight and thought within him 
self, "Ah me ! What goodness has been with me ! I 
have gone through all that, and yet I am unharmed ! " 
What a happy survey it was to him ! Ah, the joy of 
having passed through temptation without having 
defiled one s garments ! How must Shadrach, Mesh- 
ach, and Abednego have felt when they stepped out 
of the fiery furnace, and were not even singed, neither 
had the smell of fire passed upon them. Happy men 
were they who have lived in the centre of the seven- 
times-heated funiace where everything else was con 
sumed. Here again is " a piece of an honeycomb/ 

14 



210 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

We find honey again from another slain lion ; 
namely, our troubles after we have been enabled to 
endure them. This is the metal of which our joy- 
bells are cast. Out of the brass of our trials we make 
the trumpets of our triumph. He is not the happy 
man who has seen no trouble ; but " blessed is he that 
endureth temptation, for when he is tried he shall 
receive a crown of life that fadeth not away." 

Death, too. Oh, the honey that is found in dead 
death. Death is indeed dead. We triumph over 
him, and are no more afraid of him than little children 
are of a dead lion. We pluck him by the beard, and 
say to him, " O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, 
where is thy victory ? " We even look forward to the 
time of our departure with delight, when we shall 
leave this heavy clay and on spirit wings ascend unto 
our Father and our God. You see there is rich store 
of honey for God s people ; and we do not hesitate to 
eat it. Let others say as they will, we are a happy 
people, happy in Christ, happy in the Holy Spirit, 
happy in God our Father. So that believers have 
their sweets. 

III. But the third is the point I want to dwell 
upon : THE BELIEVER S LIFE LEADS HIM TO COMMUNICATE 
OF THESE SWEETS. As soon as we have tasted the 
honey of forgiven sin and perceived the bliss that 
God has laid up for his people in Christ Jesus, we fee) 
it to be both our duty and our privilege to communi 
cate the good news to others. Here let my ideal 
statue stand in our midst : the strong man, conqueror 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 211 

of the lion, holding forth his hands full of honey to 
his parents. We are to be modelled according to this 
fashion. 

And, first, we do this immediately. The moment a 
man is converted, if he would let himself alone, his 
instincts would lead him to tell his fellows. I know 
that the moment I came out of that little chape? 
;wherein I found the Saviour, I wanted to pour out my 
tale of joy. I could have cried with Cennick 

" Now will I tell to sinners round, 

What a dear Savioui I have found ; 
I ll point to thy redeeming blood, 
And say, Behold the way to God ! " 

I longed to tell how happy my soul was, and what 
a deliverance I had obtained from the crushing burden 
of sin. I longed to see all others come and trust my 
Lord and live ! I did not preach a sermon, but I think 
I could have told out all the gospel at that first hour. 
Did not you, my friend, feel much the same ? Did not 
your tongue long to be telling of what the Lord had 
done for you ? Perhaps you are one of those proper 
and retiring people who are greatly gifted at holding 
their tongues ; and therefore you left the feet of Jesus 
in silence, silence which angels wondered at. Is that 
. hy you have held your tongue ever since ? Perhaps 
if you had begun to speak t*hen you would have con 
tinued your testimony to this day. I repeat my asser 
tion that it is the instinct of every new-born soul to 
communicate the glad tidings which grace has pro 
claimed in his heart. Just as Samson had no sooner 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

tasted of the honey than he carried a portion of it to 
bis father and mother, so do we hasten to invite our 
neighbors to Christ. My dear young friend, as soon 
as ever you know the joy of the Lord, open your 
mouth in a quiet, humble way, and never allow your 
self fo be numbered with the deaf and dumb. Let no 
one stop you from unburdening your heart. Do not 
follow the bad example of those who have become 
dumb dogs because of their cowardice at the begin 
ning. 

The believer will do \ti\sfirsttothose who are nearest 
to him. Samson took the honey to his father and 
mother who were not far away. With each of us the 
most natural action would be to tell a brother or a 
sister or a fellow-workman, or a bosom friend. It will 
be a great joy to see them eating the honey which is 
so pleasant to our own palate. It is most natural in a 
parent at once to wish to tell his children of divine 
love have you all done so? You pray for your chil 
dren, but many of you would be the means of answer 
ing your own prayers if you would talk with them one 
by one. This may appear difficult, but once com 
menced it will soon grow easy : and, indeed, if it be 
difficult we should aspire to do it for that very 
reason. Should we not do many a difficult thing for 
him who overcame all difficulties for us? At the least r 
Jo not deny to your own children the personal testi 
mony of their father or their mother to the surpassing 
power of grace and the unutterable sweetness of 
livine love. Tell it to tho<^ who are nearest to you. 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 213 

The believer will do this as best he can. Samson, you 
see, brought the honey to his father and mother in a 
rough and ready style, going on eating it as he brought 
it. If I wished to give honey to my father and mother 
I should do it up rather daintily : I would at least put 
it in as respectable a dish as our kitchen could afford : 
tit there were no plates and dishes out there in that 
Timnath vineyard, and so his own hands were the only 
salvers upon which Samson could present the delicacy, 
"he took thereof in his hands, and came to his 
father and mother, and he gave them, and they did 
eat." Perhaps you think, " If I am to speak to any 
person upon true religion, I should like to do it in 
poetry." Better do it in prose, for perhaps they will 
take more notice of your verse than of your subject. 
Give them the honey in your hands, and if there is no 
dish they cannot take notice of the dish. "Ay, but I 
should like to do it very properly," says one ; " it is a 
very important matter ; I should like to speak most 
correctly." But my judgment is, that, as you will not 
be likely to attain to correct speech all in a hurry, and 
your friends may die while you are learning your 
grammar and your rhetoric, you had better tell them 
pf Jesus according to your present ability. Tell them 
[here is life in a look at Jesus. Tell them the story 
simply, as one child talks to another. Carry the honey 
in your hands, though it drip all round: no hurt will 
come of the spilling ; there are always little ones wait, 
ing for such dr^ps. If you were to make the gospel 
drip about everywhere, and sweeten all things, it would 



214 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

be no waste, but a blessed gain to all around. There 
fore, I say to you, tell of Jesus Christ as best you can, 
and never cease to do so while life lasts. 

But then Samson did another thing, and every true 
believer should do it too : he did not merely tell his 
parents about the honey, but he took them some of it. 
I do not read, "And he told his father and mother of 
the honey/ but I read, "and he took thereof in his 
hands." Nothing is so powerful as an exhibition of 
grace itself -to others. Do not talk about it, but carry 
it in your hands. " I cannot do that," says one. Yes, 
you can, by your life, your temper, your spirit, your 
whole bearing. If your hands serve God, if your 
heart serves God, if your face beams with joy in the 
service of God, you will carry grace wherever you go, 
and those who see you will perceive it. You will 
hardly have need to say, " Come and partake of 
grace ; " for the grace of God in you will be its own 
invitation and attraction. Let our lives be full of 
Christ and we shall preach Christ. A holy life is the 
best of sermons. Soul-winning is wrought by a win 
ning life more surely than by winning words. 

Take note, also, that Samson did this with great 
modesty. We have plenty of people about nowadays 
who could not kill a mouse without publishing it in the 
Gospel Gazette ; but Samson killed a lion and said 
nothing about it. He holds the honey in his hand for 
his father and mother he shows them that; but we 
are specially informed that he told not his father or 
his mother that he had taken it out of the carcase of 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 215 

the lion. The Holy Spirit finds modesty so rare that 
he takes care to record it. In telling your own experi 
ence be wisely cautious. Say much of what the Lord 
has done for you, but say little of what you have done 
for the Lord. You need not make much effort to be 
brief on that point, for I am afraid that there is not 
much of it, if all were told. Do not utter a seli- 
glorifying sentence. Let us put Christ to the front, 
and the joy and blessedness that comes of faith in 
him ; and as for ourselves, we need not speak a word 
except to lament our sins and shortcomings. 

The sum of what I have to say is this, if we have 
tasted any joy in Christ, if we have known any conso 
lation of the Spirit, if faith has been to us a real 
power, and if it has wrought in us peace and rest, let 
us communicate this blessed discovery to other- If 
you do not do so, mark you, you will have missed the 
very object for which God has blessed you. I heard 
the other day of a Sunday-school address in America 
which pleased me much. The teacher, speaking to the 
boys, said, " Boys, here s a watch, what is it for? " The 
children answered, " To tell the time." " Well," he said, 
" suppose my watch does not tell the time, what is it 
good for? "Good-for-nothing, sir." Then he took 
out a pencil. "What is this pencil for?" "It is to 
write with, sir." " Suppose this pencil won t make a 
mark, what is it good for ? " " Good-for-nothing, sir." 
Then he took out his pocket-knife. " Boys, what is this 
for ? " They were American boys and so they shouted, 
"To whittle with," that is, to experiment on any 



216 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

substance that came in their way by cutting a notch 
in it. " But," said he, " suppose it will not cut, what 
is the knife good for?" "Good-for-nothing, sir." 
Then the teacher asked, "What is the chief end of 
man ? " and they replied, " To glorify God." " But 
suppose a man does not glorify God, what is he good 
for ? " " Good-for-nothing, sir." That brings out my 
point most clearly ; there are many professors of 
whom / will not say that they are good-for-nothing, 
but methinks if they do not soon stir themselves up to, 
glorify God by proclaiming the sweetness of God s 
love it will go hard with them. Remember how Jesus 
said of the savourless salt, " henceforth it is good for 
nothing." What were you converted for ? What 
were you forgiven for? What were you renewed for? 
Wha have you been preserved on earth for but to tell 
to others the glad tidings of salvation and so to glorify 
God ? Do, then, go out with your hands full of the 
honey of divine love and hold it out to others. 

You must assuredly do good by this ; you cannot 
possibly do harm. Samson did not invite his father 
and mother to see the lion when he was alive and 
roaring, he might have done some hurt in that case 
by frightening them, or exposing them to injury ; but 
he settled the lion business himself, and when it came 
to honey he knew that even his mother could not be 
troubled about that; therefore he invited them both to 
share his gains. When you get into a soul-conflict, do 
not publish your distress to all your friends, but fight 
manfully in God s name ; but when you possess the 



HANDS FULL OF HONEY. 217 

joy of Christ and the love of the Spirit, and grace is 
abundant in your soul, then tell the news to all around. 
You cannot do any hurt by such a proceeding: grace 
does good, and no harm, all its days. Even if you 
blunder over it you will do no mischief. The gospel 
spilled on the ground is not lost. Good, and only 
good, must come of making known salvation by Jesus 
Christ. 

It will be much better for you to tell of the sweets 
of godliness than it will be to make riddles about the 
doctrine of it. Samson afterwards made a riddle 
about his lion and the honey ; and that riddle ended 
in fighting and bloodshed. We have known certain 
Christians spend their lives in making riddles about 
the honey and the lion, by asking tough doctrinal 
questions which even angels cannot answer: "Riddle 
me this," they say, and then it has ended in a fight, 
and brotherly love has been murdered in the fray. It 
is much better to bring your hands full of honey to 
those who are needy, and present it to them that they 
may eat of it, than it is to cavil and discuss. No 
hurt can come of telling what the Lord has done for 
your soul, and it will keep you out of mischief. There 
fore, I would stir up all Christian people to continue 
from day to day exhibiting to needy sinners the 
blessedness of Christ, that unbelievers may come and 
eat thereof. 

By doing this you will be blessing men far more 
than Samson could bless his parents, for our honey is 
honey unto eternity, our sweets are sweets that last to 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

heaven, and are best enjoyed there. Call upon others 
to taste and see that the Lord is good, and you shall 
have therein much joy. You shall increase your own 
pleasure by seeing the pleasure of the Lord prosper 
ing in your hand. What bliss awaits useful Christians 
when they enter into heaven, for they shall be met 
there by many who have gone before them whom they 
were the means of turning- to Christ. I do often in- 

o 

wardly sing when I perceive that I can scarce go into 
any town or village but what somebody hunts me up 
to say to me, " Under God I owe my salvation to your 
sermons or to your books." What will be the felici 
ties of heaven when we shall meet those who were 
turned to righteousness by our holding forth the word 
of life ! Our heaven will be seven heavens as we see 
them there. If you have done nothing but exhibit in 
your lives the precious results of grace you will have 
done well. If you have presented to your companions 
truths that were sweetness itself to you, and tried to 
say in broken accents, " Oh that you knew this peace ! " 
it shall give you joy unspeakable to meet those in 
glory who were attracted to Christ by such a simple 
means. 

God make you all to be his witnesses in all the 
circles wherein you rr^ve. 



GLORY. 



219 



GLORY! 

Who hath called us unto his eternal glory." I Peter v. IO. 

A FORTNIGHT ago, when I was only able to creep to 
the front of this platform, I spoke to you concerning 
the future of our mortal bodies. "We know that if 
our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved 
we have a building of God, a house not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens." On the next Sabbath 
day we went a step further, and we did not preach so 
much about the resurrection of the body as upon the 
hope of glory for our entire nature, our text being, 
" Christ in you, the hope of glory." Thus we have 
passed through the outer court, and have trodden the 
hallowed floor of the Holy Place, and now we are the 
more prepared to enter within the veil, and to gaze 
a while upon the glory which awaits us. We shall say 
a little and oh, how little it will be upon that glory 
of which we have so sure a prospect, that glory which 
is prepared for us in Christ Jesus, and of which he is 
the hope ! I pray that our eyes may be strengthened 
that we may see the heavenly light, and that our ears 
may be opened to hear sweet voices from the better 
land. As for me, I cannot say that I will speak of th^r 
glory, but I will try to stammer about it ; for the best 
language to which a man can reach concerning glory 
must be a mere stammering. Paul did but see a lit 
of it for a short time, and he confessed that he heard 
things that it wac not lawful for a man to utter; and I 
doubt not that he felt utterly nonplussed as to describ- 



220 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

ing what he had seen. Though a great master of 
language, yet for once he was overpowered ; the 
grandeur of his theme made him silent. As for us, 
what can we do, where even Paul breaks down ? 
Pray, dear friends, that the spirit of glory may rest 
upon you, that he may open your eyes to see as much 
as can at present be seen of the heritage of the saints. 
We are told that " eye hath not seen, neither hath ear 
heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the 
things which God hath prepared for them that love 
him." Yet the eye has seen wonderful things. There 
are sunrises and sunsets, Alpine glories and ocean 
marvels which, once seen, cling to our memories 
throughout life ; yet even when nature is at her best 
she cannot give us an idea of the supernatural glory 
which God has prepared for his people. The ear has 
heard sweet harmonies. Have we not enjoyed music 
which has thrilled us ? Have we not listened to 
speech which has seemed to make our hearts dance 
within us ? And yet no melody of harp nor charm of 
oratory can ever raise us to a conception of the glory 
which God hath laid up for them that love him. As 
for the heart of man, what strange things have entered 
it ! Men have exhibited fair fictions, woven in the 
loom of fancy, which have made the eyes to sparkle 
with their beauty and brightness ; imagination has re 
velled and rioted in its own fantastic creations, roam* 
ing among islands of silver and mountains of gold, or 
swimming in seas of wine and rivers of milk ; but 
imagination has never been able to open the gate of 



GLORY. 221 

pearl which shuts in the city of our God. No, it hath 
not yet entered the heart of man. Yet the text goes 
on to say, " but he hath revealed it unto us by his 
Spirit." So that heaven is not an utterly unknown 
region, not altogether an inner brightness shut in with 
walls of impenetrable darkness. God hath revealed 
joys which he has prepared for his beloved ; but mark 
you, even though they be revealed of the Spirit, yet it 
is no common unveiling, and the reason that it is 
made known at all is ascribed to the fact that " the 
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 
So we see that the glory which awaits the saints is 
ranked among the deep things of God, and he that 
would speak thereof after the manner of the oracles 
of God must have much heavenly teaching. It is 
easy to chatter according to human fancy, but if we 
would follow the sure teaching of the word of God 
we shall have need to be taught of the Holy Spirit, 
without whose anointing the deep things of God must 
be hidden from us. Pray that we may be under that 
teaching while we dwell upon this theme. 

There are three questions which we will answer 
this morning. The first is, what is the destiny of the 
saints? " Eternal glory," says the text. Secondly, 
wherein doth this glory consist? I said we would an 
swer the questions, but this is not to be answered this 
side the pearl-gate. Thirdly, what should be the influ 
ence of this prospect upon our hearts? What manner 
of people ought we to be whose destiny is eternal 



222 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

glory ? How should we live who are to live forever 
in the glory of the Most High ? 

I. First, WHAT THEN IS THE DESTINY OF THE SAINTS ? 

Our text tells us that God has " called us unto his eter 
nal glory " Glory! " does not the very word astound 
you ? " Glory ! " surely that belongs to God alone ! 
Vet the scripture says "glory," and glory it must 
mean, for it never exaggerates. Think of glory for us 
who have deserved eternal shame ! Glory for us poor 
creatures who are often ashamed of ourselves ! Yes, 
I look at my book again, an dit actually says "glory" 
nothing less than glory. Therefore so must it be. 

Now, since this seems so amazing and astonishing 
a thing, I would so speak with you that not a relic of 
incredulity may remain in your hearts concerning it. I 
would ask you to follow me while we look through the 
Bible, not quoting every passage which speaks of 
glory, but mentioning a few of the leading ones. 

This glory has been promised. What said David ? In 
the seventy-third Psalm and twenty-fourth verse we 
meet with these remarkable words : " Thou shalt guide 
me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to 
, glory." In the original Hebrew there is a trace of 
David s recollection of Enoch s being translated ; and, 
though the royal Psalmist did not expect to be caught 
away without dying, yet he did expect that after he 
had followed the guidance of the Lord here below the 
great Father would stoop and raise up his child to be 
with himself forever. He expected to be received 
into glory. Even in those dim days, when as yet the 



GLORY. 223 

light ot the gospel was but in its dawn, this prophet 
and king was able to say, " Thou shalt afterward re 
ceive me to glory." Did he not mean the same thing 
when in the eighty-fourth Psalm, verse eleven, he 
said, " The Lord will give grace and glory : no good 
thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly ? " 
Not only no good thing under the name of grace will 
God withhold from the upright, but no good thing under 
the head of glory. No good of heaven shall be kept 
from the saints ; no reserve is even set upon the throne 
of the great King, for our Lord Jesus has graciously 
promised, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit 
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and 
am set down with my Father in his throne." "No 
good thing," not even amongst the infinitely good 
things of heaven, will God " withhold from them that 
walk uprightly." If David had this persuasion, much 
more may we walk in the light of the gospel. Since 
our Lord Jesus hath suffered and entered into his glory, 
and we know that we shall be with him where he is, 
we are confident that our rest shall be glorious. 

Brethren, it is to this glory that we have been called. 
The people of God having been predestinated, have 
been called with an effectual calling called so -that 
they have obeyed the call, and have run after him who 
has drawn them. Now, our text says that he has "called 
us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus." We are 
called to repentance, we are called to faith, we are 
called to holiness, we are called to perseverance, and 
all this that we may afterwards attain unto glory. We 



224 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

have another scripture of like import in i Thessa- 
lonians ii. 12: "Who hath called you unto his king 
dom and glory." We are called unto his kingdom 
according to our Lord s word, " Fear not, little flock; 
for it is your Father s good pleasure to give you the 
kingdom." We are called to be kings, called to wear 
a crown of life that fadeth not away, called to reign 
with Christ in his glory. If the Lord had not meant 
us to have the glory he would not have called us unto 
it, for his calling is no mockery. He would not by 
his Spirit have fetched us out from the world and sep 
arated us unto himself if he had not intended to keep 
us from falling and preserve us eternally. Believer, 
you are called to glory ; do not question the certainty 
of that to which God has called you. 

And we are not only called to it, brethren, but glory 
is especially joined with justification. Let me quote 
Romans viii. 30: " Moreover whom he did predesti 
nate, them he also called : and whom he called, them 
he also justified : and whom he justified, them he also 
glorified." These various mercies are threaded to 
gether like pearls upon a string: there is no breaking 
the thread, no separating the precious things. They 
are put in their order by God himself, and they are 
kept there by his eternal and irreversible decree. If 
you are justified by the righteousness of Christ, you 
shall be glorified through Christ Jesus, for thus hath 
God purposed, and so must it be. Do you not remem 
ber how salvation itself is linked with glory? Paul, 
in 2 Timothy ii. 10, speaks of the salvation which 



GLORY. 225 

is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." The two things 
nre riveted together, and cannot be separated. 

The saved ones must partake of the glory of God, for 
for this are they being prepared every day. Paul, in the 
ninth of Romans, where he speaks about the predesti 
nating will of God, says in the twenty-third verse : " The 
vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto 
glory." This is the process which commenced in 
regeneration, and is going on in us every day in the 
work of sanctification. We cannot be glorified so long 
as sin remains in us ; we must first be pardoned, re 
newed, and sanctified, and then we are fitted to be 
glorified. By communion with our Lord Jesus we are 
made like to him, as saith the apostle in 2 Corinthians 
iii. 18: "But we all, with open face beholding as in 
a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the 
same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit 
of the Lord." It is very wonderful how by the wisdom 
of God everything is made to work this way. Look 
at the blessed text in 2 Corinthians iv. 17, where Paul 
says, " For our light affliction, which is but for a mo- 
ment tl worketh for us a far more exceeding and eter 
nal weight of glory ; " where he represents that all 
that we can suffer, whether of body or of mind, is pro 
ducing for us such a mass of glory that he is quite unable 
to describe it, and he uses hyperbolical language in 
saying^ * a far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory." Oh, blessed men, whose very losses are their 
gains, whose sorrows produce their joys, whose griefs 
are big with heaven ! Well may we be content to suf- 



15 



226 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

fer if so it be that all things are working together for 
our good and are helping to pile up the excess of our 
future glory. 

Thus, then, it seems we are called to glory, and we 
are being prepared for it ; is it not also a sweet 
thought that our present fellowship with Christ is the 
guarantee of it? In Romans viii. 17 it is said, "If so 
be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glori 
fied together." Going to prison with Christ will 
bring us into the palace with Christ ; smarting with 
Christ will bring us into reigning with Christ ; being 
ridiculed, and slandered, and despised for Christ s 
sake will bring us to be sharers of his honor, and 
glory, and immortality. Who would not be with 
Christ in his humiliation if this be the guarantee that 
we shall be with him in his glory ? Remember those 
dear words of the Lord Jesus, " Ye are they which 
have continued with me in my temptations. And I 
appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath ap 
pointed unto me." Let us shoulder the cross, for it 
leads to the crown. " No cross, no crown : " but he 
that has shared the battle shall partake in the victory. 

I have not yet done, for there is a text, in Hebrews 
ii. 10, which is well worthy of our consideration: we 
are to be brought to glory. It is said of our Lord that 
it " became him, for whom are all things, in bringing 
many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their 
salvation perfect through sufferings." See, beloved, 
we are called to glory, we are being prepared for it, 
and we shall be brought to it. We might despair of 



GLORY. 227 

ever getting into the glory land if we had not One to 
bring us there, for the pilgrim s road is rough and be 
set with many foes ; but there is a " Captain of our 
salvation," a greater than Bunyan s Greatheart, who 
is conducting the pilgrim band through all the treach 
erous way, and he will bring the " many sons"- 
where ? " unto glory" nowhere short of that shall be 
\he\rultimatum. Glory, glory shall surely follow upon 
grace ; for Christ the Lord, who has come into his 
glory, has entered into covenant engagements that he 
will bring all the " many sons " to be with him. 

Mark this, and then I will quote no more Scriptures : 
this glory will be for our entire manhood, for our body 
as well as for our soul. You know that text in the 
famous resurrection chapter ; in i Cor. xv. 43 Paul 
speaks of the body as being " sown in dishonor," but 
he adds, " it is raised in glory ; " and then, in Philip- 
pians iii. 21, he says of our divine Lord at his coming, 
"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be 
fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the 
working whereby he is able even to subdue all things 
unto himself." What a wonderful change that will be 
for this frail, feeble, suffering body ! In some respects 
it is not vile, for it is a wonderful product of divine 
skill, and power, and goodness ; but inasmuch as it 
hampers our spiritual nature by its appetites and in 
firmities, it may be called a " vile body." It is an un 
handy body for a spirit: it fits a soul well enough, but 
a spirit wants something more ethereal, less earth- 
bound, more full of life than this poor flesh and blood 



228 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

and bone can ever be. Well, the body is to be 
changed. What alteration will it undergo ? It will 
be rendered perfect. The body of a child will be 
fully developed, and the dwarf will attain to full stat 
ure. The blind shall not be sightless in heaven, 
neither shall the lame be halt, nor shall the palsied 
tremble. The deaf shall hear, and the dumb shall 
sing God s praises. We shall carry none of our de 
ficiencies or infirmities to heaven. As good Mr. 
Ready-to-Halt did not carry his crutches there, neither 
shall any of us need a staff to lean upon. There we 
shall not know an aching brow, or a weak knee, or a 
failing eye. " The inhabitant shall no more say, I am 
sick." 

And it shall be an impassive body, a body that will 
be incapable of any kind of suffering : no palpitating 
heart, no sinking spirit, no aching limbs, no lethargic 
soul shall worry us there. No, we shall be perfectly 
delivered from every evil of that kind. Moreover, it 
shall be an immortal body. Our risen bodies shall 
not be capable of decay, much less of death. There 
are no graves in glory. Blessed are the dead that die 
in the Lord, for their bodies shall rise never to know 
death and corruption a second time. No smell or 
taint of corruption shall remain upon those whom 
Jesus shall call from the tomb. The risen body shall 
be greatly increased in power: it is "sown in weak 
ness," says the Scripture, but it is "raised in power." 
I suppose there will be a wonderful agility about our 
renovated frame : probably it will be able to move as 



GLORY. 229 

swiftly as the lightning flash, for so do angels pass 
from place to place, and we shall in this, as in many 
things else, be as the angels of God. Anyhow, it will 
be a "glorious body," and it will be "raised in glory," 
so that the whole of our manhood shall participate of 
that wonderful depth of bliss which is summed up in 
the word " glory." Thus I think I have set before 
you much of what the word of God saith upon this 
matter. 

II. Secondly, may the Holy Spirit help me while I 
try very hesitatingly and stammeringly to answer the 
inquiry, WHEREIN DOTH THIS DESTINY CONSIST ? 

Do you know how much I expect to do ? It will be 
but little. You remember what the Lord did for 
Moses when the man of God prayed " I beseech 
thee show me thy glory ! " All that the Lord himself 
did for Moses was to say, <l Thou shalt see my back 
parts ; but my face shall not be seen." How little, 
then, can we hope to speak of this glory ! Its back 
parts are too bright for us : as for the face of that 
glory, it shall not be seen by any of us here below, 
though by-and-by we shall behold it. I suppose if one 
who had been in glory could come straight down from 
heaven, and occupy this platform, he would find that 
his discoveries could not be communicated because of 
the insufficiency of language to express such a weight 
of meaning. 

The saints destiny is glory. What is glory, breth 
ren ? What is It, I mean, among the sons of men ? 
It is generally understood to be fame, a great repute, 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

the sound of trumpets, the noise of applause, the 
sweets of approbation among the crowd and in high 
places. The Queen of Sheba came from afar to see 
the glory of Solomon. What was that glory, breth 
ren ? It was the glory of a rare wisdom excelling all 
others ; it was the glory of immense riches expended 
upon all manner of magnificence and splendor. As 
for this last glory the Lord says of it that a lily of the 
field had more of it than Solomon ; at least " Solomon 
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." 
Yet that is what men mean by glory rank, position, 
power, conquest things that make the ears of men to 
tingle when they hear of them things extraordinary 
and rare. All this is but a dim shadow of what God 
means by glory ; yet out of the shadow we may ob 
tain a little inkling of what the substance must be. 
God s people shall be wise, and even famous, for they 
shall "shine as the stars for ever and ever." God s 
people shall be rich ; the very streets of their abode 
are paved with gold exceeding rich and rare. God s 
people shall be singularly honored ; there shall be a 
glory about them unrivalled, for they shall be known 
as a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a race of 
beings lifted up to reveal their Maker s character be 
yond all the rest of his works. 

I reckon that glory to a saint means, first of all, 
purified character. The brightest glory that really can 
come to any one is the glory of character. Thus 
God s glory among men is his goodness, his mercy, 
his justice, his truth. But shall such poor creatures 



GLORY. 231 

as we are ever have perfect characters? Yes, we 
shall one day be perfectly holy. God s Holy Spirit, 
when he has finished his work, will leave in us no 
trace of sin : no temptation shall be able to touch us v 
there will be in us no relics of our past and fallen 
state. Oh, will not that be blessed ? I was going to 
say it is all the glory I want the glory of being per. 
feet in character, never sinning, never judging unjustly, 
never thinking a vain thought, never wandering away 
from the perfect law of God, never vexed again with 
sin which has so long been my worst enemy. One 
day we shall be glorious because the devil himself 
will not be able to detect a fault in us, and those eyes 
of God, which burn like fire and read the inmost secrets 
of the soul, will not be able to detect anything blame 
worthy in us. Such shall be the character of the saints 
that they shall be meet to consort with Christ himself, 
fit company for that thrice Holy Being before whom 
angels veil their faces. This is glory ! 

Next, I understand by "glory" our perfected manhood. 
When God made Adam he was a far superior being to 
any of us. Man s place in creation was very remark 
able. The Psalmist says, " For thou hast made him a 
little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with 
glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion 
over the works of thy hands ; thou hast put all things 
under his fe^t : all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts 
of the field ; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the 
sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the 
seas. * No king among men in these days could rival 



232 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 



Adam in the garden of Eden : he was indeed monarch 
of all that he surveyed, and from the lordly lion down 
to the tiniest insect all living creatures paid him 
willing homage. Can we ever rise to this last honor? 
Brethren, listen, "It doth not yet appear what we shall 
be, but we know that when Christ shall appear we shall 
be like him, for we shall see him as he is." Is there 
any limit to the growth of the mind of a man ? Can 
we tell what he may reach ? We read of Solomon 
that God gave him largeness of heart as the sand of 
the sea : God will give to his people glory that will 
include in it more largeness of heart than Solomon 
ever knew. Then shall we know even as we are 
known by God. Now we see, but it is " through a 
glass darkly," but then we shall see " face to face." 
You have met with men of great intellect and you have 
looked up to them : but assuredly the smallest babe 
in Christ when he shall reach heaven shall have a 
greater intellect than the most profound philosopher 
who has ever astounded mankind by his discoveries. 
We shall not always be as we are to-day, contracted 
and hampered because of our little knowledge, and 
our slender faculties, and our dull perceptions. Our 
ignorance and prejudice shall vanish. What a man 
will become we can scarcely tell when he is remade in 
the image of God, and made like unto our divine 
Lord who is " the first-born, among many brethren." 
Here we are but in embryo: our minds are but the 
seeds, or the bulbs, out of which shall come the flower 
and glory of a nobler manhood. Your body is to be 



GLORY. 



233 



developed into something infinitely brighter and better 
than the bodies of men here below : and as for the 
soul, we cannot guess to what an elevation it shall be 
raised in Christ Jesus. There is room for the largest 
expectation here, as we conjecture what will be the full 
accomplishment of the vast intent of eternal love, an 
intent which has involved the sacrifice of the only-be 
gotten Son of God. That can be no mean design 
which has been carried on at the expense of the* best 
that heaven itself possessed. 

Further, by " glory " and coming to glory I think we 
must understand complete victory. Dwelling in the 
age of the Romans, men said to themselves, as they 
read the Scriptures, "What does the apostle mean by 
glory ? ; and they could scarcely help connecting 
it with conquest, and the return of the warrior in 
triumph. Men called it glory in those days when 
valiant warriors returned from fields of blood with cap 
tives and spoil. Then did the heroes ride through the 
streets of Rome, enjoying a triumph voted them by 
the senate. Then for the while the men of war were 
covered with glory, and all the city was glorious be 
cause of them. A^ Christians, we hate the word 
"glory " when it is linked with wholesale murder, and 
girt in garments rolled in blood ; but yet there is a 
kind of fighting to which you and I are called, for we 
are soldiers of the cross; and if we fight valiantly under 
our great Captain, and rout every sin, and are found 
faithful even unt^ death, then we shall enter glory, and 
receive the honor which belongs to men who have 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

fought a good fight, and have kept the faith. It will 
be no small glory to obtain the crown of life which 
fadeth not away. Is not this a full glory if we only 
place these three things together, a purified character, 
a perfected nature, and a complete victory? 

An invaluable ingredient in true glory is the divim 
approval. " Glory " among men means approbation 
it is a man s glory when he is honored of his Queen, 
and she hangs a medal on his breast, or when his name 
is mentioned in the high court of Parliament, and he is 
ennobled for what he has done. If men speak of our 
actions with approval, it is called fame and glory. 
Oh, but one drop of the approbation of God has more 
glory in it than a sea full of human praise ; and the 
Lord will reward his own with this holy favor. He 
will say, " Well done, good and faithful servant/* 
and Christ before the universe will say, " Come, ye 
blessed of my Father." Oh, what glory that will be! 
They were despised and rejected of men, they " wan- 
dered about in sheepskins and goatskins; destitute, 
afflicted, tormented ; " but now God approves them, 
and they take seats among the peers of heaven, made 
noble by the approbation of the Judge of all. This 
is glory with an emphasis substantial glory. One 
approving glance from the eye of Jesus, one accept 
ing word from the mouth of the Father, will be glory 
enough for any one of us, and this we shall have if we 
follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. 

But this is not all : children of God will have the 
glory of reflecting the glory of God. When any of 



GLORY. 235 

od s uiifallen creatures shall wish to see the great 
ness of God s goodness, and mercy, and love, they 
that dwell in heaven will point out a glorified saint. 
Whenever any spirit from far-off regions desires to 
know what is meant by faithfulness and grace, some 
angel will reply, "Go and talk with those who have 
been redeemed from among men." I believe that you 
and I will spend much of eternity in making known 
to principalities and powers the unsearchable riches 
of the grace of God. We shall be mirrors reflecting 
God ; and in us shall his glory be revealed. There 
may be myriads of races of pure and holy beings of 
whom we have never heard as yet, and these may 
come to the New Jerusalem as to the great metropolis 
of Jehovah s universe, and when they come there they 
will gaze upon the saints as the highest instances of 
divine grace, wisdom, power, and love. It will be 
their highest pleasure to hear how eternal mercy dealt 
with us unworthy ones. How we shall delight to re 
hearse to them the fact of the Father s eternal purpose, 
the story of the incarnate God the God that loved 
and died, and the love of the blessed Spirit who 
sought us in the days of our sin, and brought us to 
the cross foot, renewing us in the spirit of our minds, 
and making us to be sons o God. Oh, brothers and 
sisters, this shall be our glory, that God shall shine 
through us to the astonishment of all. 

Yet I think glory includes somewhat more than this. 
In certain case^ a man s glory lies in his relationships. 
If any of the royal family should come to your houses 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

you would receive them with respect ; yes, and even 
as they went along the street they would be spied out, 
and passers-by would say, " That is the prince ! " and 
they would honor the son of our good Queen. But 
royal descent is a poor business compared with being 
allied to the King of kings. Many angels are ex 
ceeding bright, but they are only servants to wait upon 
the sons. I believe that there will be a kind of awe 
upon the angels at the sight of men ; when they see 
us in our glory they will rejoice to know our near re 
lation to their Lord, and to fulfil their own destiny as 
ministering spirits appointed to minister to the heirs 
of salvation. No pride will be possible to the per 
fected, but we shall then realize the exalted position 
to which by our new birth and the divine adoption we 
have been raised. " Behold what manner of love the 
Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be 
called the sons of God." Sons of God ! Sons of 
the Lord God Almighty ! Oh what glory this will be ! 
Then there will be connected with this the fact that 
we shall be connected with Jesus in everything. For do 
not you see, brethren, it was because of our fall that 
Christ came here to save men ; when he wrought out 
a perfect righteousness, it was all for us ; when he 
died, it was all for us ; and when he rose again, it was 
all for us ? And what is more, we lived in Christ, we 
died in him, we were buried in him and rose in him, 
and we shall ascend into heaven to reign with him. 
All our glory is by Christ Jesus and in all the glory of 
Christ Jesus we have a share. We are members of 



GLORY. 237 

his body; we are one with him. I say, the creatures 
that God has made, when they shall come to worship 
in the New Jerusalem will stand and gaze at glorified 
men, and with bated breath will say one to another, 
" These are the beings whose nature the Son of God 
assumed ! These are the chosen creatures whom the 
Prince of heaven bought with his own blood." They 
will stand astonished at the divine glory which will be 
manifested in beings emancipated from sin and hell 
and made heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. 
Will not even angels be surprised and awed as they 
look on the church and say to one another, " This is 
the bride, the Lamb s wife ! " They will marvel how 
the Lord of glory should come to this poor earth to 
seek a spouse and that he should enter into eternal 
union with such a people. Glory, glory dwelleth in 
Immanuel s land ! Now we are getting near to the 
centre of it. I feel inclined, like Moses, to put off my 
shoes from off my feet, for the place whereon we 
stand is holy ground, now that we are getting to see 
poor bushes like ourselves aglow with the indwelling 
God, and changed from glory unto glory. 

And yet this is not all, for there in heaven we shall 
dwell in the immediate presence of God. We shall 
dwell with him in nearest and dearest fellowship ! 
All the felicity of the Most High will be our felicity. 
The blessedness of the triune Jehovah shall be our 
blessedness for ever and ever. Did you notice that 
our text says, He hath called us unto his glory? * 
This outshines everything : the glory which the saints 



SERMONS AND LECTURES 

will have is the same glory which God possesses, and 
such as he alone can bestow. Listen to this text : - 
"Whom he justified, them he also glorified." He 
glorifies them, then ! I know what it is to glorify God, 
and so do you; but when we poor creatures glorify 
God it is in a poor way, for we cannot add anything 
to him. But what must it be for God himself to 
glorify a man ! The glory which you are to have for 
ever, my dear believing brother, is a glory which God 
himself will put upon you. Peter, as a Hebrew, per 
haps uses a Hebraism when he says " his glory : " it 
may be that he means the best of glory that can be, 
even as the Jews were wont to say " The trees of 
God," when they meant the greatest trees, or " the 
mountains of God," when they intended the highest 
mountains ; so by the glory of God Peter may mean 
the richest, fullest glory that can be. In the original 
the word "glory" has about it the idea of "weight," 
at which the apostle Paul hints when he speaks of a 
" weight of glory." This is the only glory that has 
weight in it, all else is light as a feather. Take all the 
glories of this world and they are outweighed by the 
small dust of the balance. Place them here in the 
hollow of my hand, all of them : a child may blow 
them away as thistledown. God s glory has weight ; 
it is solid, true, real, and he that gets it possesses no 
mere name, or dream, or tinsel, but he has that which 
will abide the rust of ages and the fire of judgment. 
The glory of God ! How shall I describe it 1 I 
must set before you a strange Scriptural picture. 



GLORY. 



239 



Mordecai must be made glorious for his fidelity to his 
king, and singular is the honor which his monarch or 
dains for him. This was the royal order. " Let the 
royal apparel be brought which the king useth to 
wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the 
crown royal which is set upon his head : and let this 
apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of 
the king s most noble princes, that they may array the 
man withal whom the king delighteth to honor, and 
bring him on horseback through the street of the city, 
and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the 
man whom the king delighteth to honor." Can you 
not imagine the surprise of the Jew when robe and 
ring were put upon him, and when he found himself 
placed upon the king s horse. This may serve as a 
figure of that which will happen to us: we shall be 
glorified with the glory of God. The best robe, the 
best of heaven s array, shall be appointed unto us, 
and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 

Highest of all our glory will be the enjoyment of God 
himself. He will be our exceeding joy: this bliss will 
swallow up every other, the blessedness of God. 
"The Lord is my portion," saith my soul. "Whom 
have I in heaven but thee ? and there is none upon 
earth that I desire beside thee." Our God shall be 
our glory. 

Yet bear with me, I have left out a word again : the 
text has it, " Unto his eternal glory." Ay, but that is 
the gem of the ring. The glory which God has in re 
serve for his chosen will never come to an end : it will 



240 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

stay with us, and we shall stay with it, for ever. It 
will always be glory, too ; its brightness will never be 
come dim ; we shall never be tired of it, or sated with 
it. After ten thousand thousand millions of years in 
heaven our happiness shall be as fresh as when it first 
began. Those are no fading laurels which surround 
immortal brows. Eternal glory knows no diminution. 
Can you imagine a man being born at the same time 
that Adam was created and living all these thousands 
of years as a king like Solomon, having all he could 
desire ? His would seem to be a glorious life. But 
if at the end of seven thousand years that man must 
needs die, what has it profited him? His glory is all 
over now, its fires have died out in ashes. But you 
and I, when we once enter glory, shall receive what 
we can neither lose nor leave. Eternity ! Eternity ! 
This is the sweetness of all our future bliss. Rejoice, 
ye saintly ones ! Take your harps down from the 
willows, any of you who are morning, and if you 
never sang before, yet sing this mourning " God has 
called us unto his eternal glory," and this is to be our 
portion world without end. 

III. I can only find time for a few words upon the 
concluding head, which is WHAT INFLUENCE SHOULD 

ALL THIS HAVE UPON OUR HEARTS ? 

I think, first, it ought to excite desire in many here 
present that they might attain unto glory by Christ 
Jesus. Satan, when he took our blessed Lord to the 
top of an exceeding high mountain, tempted him to 
^worship him by offering him the kingdoms of the 



<*LORY. 241 

world and all the glories thereof. Satan is very clever, 
and I will at this time take a leaf out of his book. 
Will you not fall down and worship the Lord Jesus 
when he can give you the kingdom of God and all the 
glory thereof, and all this, not in pretence, but in 
reality ? If there was any force in the temptation to 
worship Satan for the sake of the glory of this world, 
how much more reason is there for urging you to^ 
worship the Son of God that you may obtain his sal 
vation with eternal glory ! I pray the Holy Ghost to 
drop a hot desire into many a poor sinner s breast 
this morning that he may cry, " If this glory is to be 
had, I will have it, and I will have it in God s way, for 
I will believe in Jesus, I will repent, I will come to God, 
and so obtain his promise." 

Secondly, this ought to move us to the feeling of 
fear, If there be such a glory as this, let us tremble 
lest by any means we should come short of it. Oh, 
my dear hearers, especially you that are my fellow- 
members, brother church officers, and workers asso 
ciated with me, what a dreadful thing it will be if any 
one of us should come short of this glory ! Oh, if 
there were no hell, it would be hell enough to miss of 
heaven ! What if there were no pit that is bottomless, 
nor worm undying, nor fire unquenchable, it would be 
boundless misery to have a shadow of a fear of not 
reaching to God s eternal glory? Let us therefore 
pass the time of our sojourning here in fear, and let 
us watch unto prayer and strive to enter in at the 



242 SERMONS AND LBCTTO4S& 

strait gate. God grant we may be found of him at 
last to praise and honor ! 

If we are right, how this ought to move us to grati 
tude. Think of this, we are to enjoy " his eternal 
glory! What a contrast to our deserts! Shame 
and everlasting comtempt are our righteous due apart 
from Christ. If we were to receive according to our 
merits, we should be driven from his presence and 
from the glory of his power. Verily, he hath not 
dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us accord 
ing to our iniquities ; for, after all our transgressions, 
he has still reserved us for glory, and reserved glory 
for us. What love and zeal should burn in our 
bosoms because of this ! 

Last of all, it should move us to a dauntless courage. 
If this glory is to be had, do we not feel like the 
heroes in Bunyan s picture? Before the dreamer 
there stood a fair palace, and he saw persons walking 
upon the top of it, clad in light, and singing. Around 
the door stood armed men to keep back those who 
would enter. Then a brave man came up to one who 
had a writer s ink-horn by his side, and said, " Set 
/down my name ; " and straightway the warrior drew 
.his sword, and fought with all his might, until he had 
,cut his way to the door, and then he entered, and they 
within were heard to sing 



" Come in, come in, 
Eternal glory thou shalt win." 



Will 



you not draw your swords this morning, and 



GLORY. 243 

fight against sin, till you have overcome it ? Do you 
not desire to. win Christ, and to be found in him ? Oh, 
let us now begin to feel a passion for eternal glory, 
and then in the strength of the Spirit, and in the name 
of Jesus, let us press forward till we reach it. Even 
)n earth we may taste enough of this glory to fill us 
/vith delight. The glory which I have described to 
you dawns on earth, though it only comes to its noon^ 
tide in heaven : the glory of sanctified character, the 
glory of victory over sin, the glory of relationship to 
God, the glory of union with Christ these are all to 
be tasted in a measure here below. These glories 
send their beams down even to these valleys and low 
lands. Oh, to enjoy them to-day and thus to have 
earnests and foretastes of glory. If we have them, 
let us go singing on until we reach the place where 
God s eternal glory shall surround us. Amen. 



244 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

THt UJTHER SERMON AT EXETER-HALL 

" For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircum- 
clsion- but faith which worketh by love." Galatians v. 6. 

PAUL makes a clean sweep of that trust in the 
externals of religion which is the common temptation 
of all time. Circumcision was a great thing with the 
Jew, and oftentimes he trusted in it; but Paul declares 
that it availeth nothing. There might be others who 
were glad that they were not Jews, but Paul declares 
that their uncircumcision availeth no more than its op 
posite. Certain matters connected with godliness are 
external, and yet they are useful in their places : espec 
ially is that the case with baptism and the Lord s sup 
per, the assembling of ourselves together, the reading 
of the word, and public prayer and praise. These 
things are proper and profitable ; but none of them 
must be made in any measure or degree the ground 
of our hope of salvation ; for this text sweeps them all 
away, and plainly describes them as availing nothing 
if they are made to be the foundations of our trust. 

In Luther s day superstitious confidence in external 
observances had overlaid faith in the gospel ; cere- 
monies had multiplied excessively, and the plain and 
simple way of salvation was obscured. There was- 
need of some sturdy soul who, seeing the truth himself,- 
should show it to others. When God raised up 
Martin Luther, who was born four centuries ago, he 
bore emphatic testimony against salvation by outward 
forms and by the power of priestcraft, affirming that 
salvation is by faith, and that the church of God is 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 245 

a company of priests, every believer being a priest 

unto God. 

God s Clergy. 

If Luther had not affirmed it, the doctrine would 
have been just as true, for the distinction between 
clergy and laity has no excuse in Scripture, which calls 
the saints, "God s kleros" God s clergy, or heritage. 
Again we read, " Ye are a royal priesthood." Every 
man that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is anointed 
to exercise the Christian priesthood, and therefore he 
need not put his trust ir another, seeing the supposed 
priest is no more than any other man. Each man 
must be accountable foi himself before God. Each 
one must read and search the Scriptures for himself, 
and must believe for himself, and when saved, he must 
offer up himself as a living sacrifice unto God by Jesus 
Christ, who is the only High Priest of our profession. 
So much for the negative side of the text, which is full 
of warning to this Ritualistic age. 

The chief testimony of our great Reformer was to 
the justification of a sinner in the sight of God by 
faith in Jesus Christ, and by that alone. He could 
fitly have taken this for his motto, " In Jesus Christ 
(neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircum- 
cision ; but faith which worketh by love." He was in 
the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg troubled 
and perturbed in mind ; and he read there, in an old 
Latin Bible, this text, "The just shall live by faith." 
It was a new idea to him, and by its means spiritual 
light entered his soul in some degree ; but such were 



246 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

the prejudices of his up-bringing, and such the dark 
ness of his surroundings, that he still hoped to find 
salvation by outward performances. 

Long Fasting-. 

He therefore fasted long, till he was found swooning 
from hunger. He was exceedingly zealous for salva 
tion by works. At last he made a pilgrimage to Rome, 
hoping to find there everything that was holy and 
helpful : he was disappointed in his search, but yet 
found more than he looked for. On the pretended 
staircase of Pilate, while in the act of climbing it upon 
his knees, the Wittenberg text again sounded in his 
-*ar like a thunder-clap : "The just shall live by faith/ 

Up he started and descended those stairs, never to 
grovel upon them again. The chain was broken, the 
soul was free. Luther had found the light ; and hence 
forth it became his life s business to flash that light 
upon the nations, crying evermore, "The just shall 
live by faith." The best commemoration which I can 
make of this man is to preach the doctrine which he 
held so dear, and you who are not saved can best 
assist me by believing the doctrine, and proving its 
truth in your own cases. May the Holy Ghost cause 
it to be so in hundreds of instances. 

I. First, let us inquire WHAT is THIS FAITH? We are 
always talking about it; but what is it? Whenever 
I try to explain it, I am afraid lest I should confuse 
rather than expound. 

Story of Bunyan. 

There is a story told concerning John Bunyan s 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 247 

" Pilgrim s Progress." Good Thomas Scott, the 
Commentator, wrote notes to it; he thought the 
" Pilgrim s Progress " a difficult book, and he would 
make it clear. A pious cottager in his parish had the 
book, and she was reading it when her minister 
called. He said to her, " Oh, I see, you are reading 
Bunyan s Pilgrim s Progress. Do you understand 
it ? " She answered innocently enough, " Oh, yes v 
sir, I understand Mr. Bunyan very well, and I hope 
that one day I shall be able to understand your ex 
planations." I am afraid lest you should say when I 
have done, "I understand what faith is, as I find it in 
\he Bible, and one day, perhaps, I may be able to 
understand the preacher s explanation of it." Warned 
by this, I will speak as plainly as I can. 

And first, it is to be remembered that faith is not a 
mere creed-holding. It is very proper to say, " I be 
lieve in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven 
and earth," and so forth ; but you may repeat all thav. 
and be no " believer " in the Scriptural sense of that 
term. Though the creed be true, it may not be true 
to you ; it would have been the same to you if the 
opposite had been true, for you put the truth away 
like a paper in a pigeon-hole, and it has no effect 
upon you. " A very proper doctrine," you say, 
"a very proper doctrine," and so you put it to sleep. 
It does not influence your heart, nor affect your life. 
Do not imagine that the professing an orthodox 
creed is the san;e thing as faith in Christ. A truthful 
creed is desirable for many reasons ; but if it be a 



248 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

dead, inoperative thing, it cannot bring salvation. 
Faith is belief of the truth ; but it is more. 

Important Distinction. 

Again, faith is not the mere belief that there is a 
God, though that we must have, for we cannot come 
, to God except we " believe that he is, and that he is a 
rewarder of them that diligently seek him." We are 
to believe in God that he is good, blessed, true, 
right, anJ therefore to be trusted, confided in, and 
praised. Whatever he may do, whatever he may say, 
God is not to be suspected, but believed in. 

You know what it is to believe in a man, do you 
not ? to believe in a man so that you follow him, and 
confide in him, and accept his advice ? In that same 
way faith believes in God not only believes that he 
is, but finds rest in his character, his Son, his promise, 
his covenant, his word, and everything about him. 
Faith livingly and lovingly trusts in her God about 
everything. Especially must we believe in what God 
has revealed in Scripture that it is verily and indeed 
a sure and infallible testimony to be received without 
question. We accept the Father s witness concerning 
Jesus, and take heed thereto " as unto a light that 
shineth in a dark place." 

Faith has specially to believe in him who is the 
/sum and substance of all this revelation, even Jesus 
Christ, who became God in human flesh that he might 
redeem our fallen nature from all the evils of sin, 
and raise it to eternal felicity. We believe in Christ, 
on Christ, and upon Christ ; accepting him because 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 249 

of the record which God has given to us concern 
ing his Son, that he is the propitiation for our sins. 
We accept God s unspeakable gift, and receive Jesu? 
as our all in all. 

If I wanted to describe saving faith in one word, 
I should say that it is trust. It is so believing God 
and so believing in Christ that we trust ourselves 
and our eternal destinies in the hands of a reconciled 
God. 

II. In the second place we will consider, WHY FAITH 

IS SELECTED AS THE WAY OF SALVATION ? 

I would remind you that if we could not answer this 
question it would not matter ; for since the Lord has 
appointed believing as the way of grace it is not ours 
to challenge his choice. Beggars must not be choos 
ers ; let us trust, if so the Lord ordains. 

No Help for Past Defects. 

But we can answer this question in a measure. 
First, it is clear that no other way is possible. It is not 
possible for us to be saved by our own merits, for we 
have broken the law already, and future obedience, 
being already due, cannot make up for past defects. 

" Could my tears for ever flow, 
Could my zeal no respite know, 
All for sin could not atone : 
Thou must save, and thou alone." 

The road of good works is blocked up by our past 
sins, and it is sure to be further blocked up by future 
sins ; we ought therefore to rejoice that God has 
commended to us the open road of faith. 



250 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

God has chosen the way of faith that salvation might 
be by grace. If we had to do anything in order to 
save ourselves, we should be sure to impute a meas 
ure of virtue to our own doings, or feelings, or prayers, 
or almsgivings, and we should thus detract from the 
pure grace of God. But salvation comes from God 
as a pure favor an act of undeserved generosity and 
benevolence, and the Lord will, therefore, only put it 
into the han* of faith since faith arrogates nothing to 
herself. Faith, in fact, disowns all idea of merit, and 
the Lord of grace therefore elects to place the treasure 
of his love in the hand of faith. 

Pride Crucified. 

Again, it is of faith that there may be no boasting ; 
for if our salvation be of our doings or feelings, we 
are sure to boast ; but, if it be of faith, we cannot 
glory in self. " Where is boasting then ? It is ex 
cluded. By what law ? of works ? Nay : but by the 
law of faith." Faith is humble, and ascribes all praise 
to God. Faith is truthful, and confesses her obligation 
to the sovereign grace of God. 

I bless the Lord that he has chosen this way of 
faith, because it is so suitable for pw sinners. Some 
among us to-night would never have been saved if 
salvation had only been prepared for the good and 
righteous. Suppose that you were in the last article 
of death, what good works could you do ? Yonder 
dying thief found it a happy thing that by faith he 
could trust the Crucified One, and before set of sun 
could be with him in Paradise. Faith is a way suitable 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 

for sinners, and especially for sinners who are soon 
to die ; in some sense we are all in that condition, and 
some of us peradventure are especially so ; for what 
man among 1 us knows that he will see to-morrow s 
dawn ? 

I bless God again that the way of salvation is by 
faith, because it is a way open to the most unlearned, 
What fine theology we get nowadays deep thinking 
they call it. The men go down so deep into their 
subjects, and so stir the mud at the bottom, that you 
cannot see them and they cannot see themselves. I 
apprehend that teachers of a certain school do not 
themselves know what they are talking about. Now, 
if salvation were only to be learned by reading through 
huge folios, what would become of multitudes of poor 
souls in Bow, and Bethnal Green, and Seven Dials? 
If the gospel had consisted of a mass of learning, how 
could the unlearned be saved ? But now we can go 
to. each one of them and say, "Jesus died." 

" There is life in a look at the Crucified One ; 
There is life at this moment for thee." 

III. Now, I am going to finish in a way suitable to 
rfhis Luther memorial. You have heard a great deal 
about Luther s preaching salvation by faith alone. 
Now LET us TURN TO LUTHER S LIFE, and see what 
Luther himself meant by it. What kind of faith did 
Luther himself exhibit by which he was justified ? 

First, in Luther s case, faith led him to an open 
avowal of what tie believed. Luther did not mean to 
go up to heaven by the back stairs, as many young 



252 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

men hope to do. You wish to be Christians on the 
sly, so as to escape the offence of the cross. Luther 
did not refuse to confess Christ and take up his cross 
and follow him. He knew that he who with his heart 
believeth, must also with his mouth make confession, 
and he did so right nobly. He began teaching and 
Breaching the truth which had enlightened his own 
soul. One of his sermons displeased Duke George 
of Saxony ; but as it saved a lady of high rank Luther 
did not fret. He was not the man to conceal truth 
because it was dangerous to avow it. It cost him 
something to stand up boldly for a pure and simple 
gospel, but he believed the testimony he gave was 
\vorth much^more than it cost. 

"Without Money and Without Price," 

The river of life is as free as any river that flows to 
the sea, and all the world may stoop down and drink. 
Luther wished the people to have free access to the 
Bible. He was not always excessively polite in his 
speech ; he was too earnest for that. He spoke from 
the heart, he was all on fire, and his words were 
heated sevenfold. 

" without money and without price," and he did not 
^conceal his convictions. He nailed his theses to the 
church door where all might read them. When 
astronomers require a new constellation in the heavens 
let it be " the hammer and nails." O you who make 
no profession, let this man s outspoken faith rebuke 
you ! 

His dauntless valor for truth caused him to be 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 263 

greatly hated in his own day with a ferocity which has 
not yet died out. It has always been so, and always 
will be so. Light has no fellowship with darkness ; 
oU and water will not unite ; there is no concord be 
tween Christ and Belial. Yet Luther would not sac 
rifice his convictions for the sake of the applause of 
men. Feeling that he was right he went ahead, and 
did not stop to count the consequences. Ridicule, mal 
ice, even the dark dungeon could not turn him aside, 
nor daunt his holy courage. 

Appeal to Young Men. 

Young men, I do not know what your ambition may 
be ; but I hope you do not wish to be in this world 
mere chips in the porridge, giving forth no flavor 
whatever. My ambition does not run in that line. I 
know that if I have no intense haters, I can have no 
intense lovers ; and I am prepared to have both. 
When right-hearted men see honest love of truth in a 
man, they cry, " He is our brother. Let him be our 
champion." When the wrong-hearted reply, " Down 
with him !" we thank them for the unconscious homage 
which they thus pay to decision of character. No 
child of God should court the world s approbation. 
Certainly Luther did not. He pleased God, and that 
was enough for him. 

His faith was of this kind also that it moved him 
to a hearty reverence for what he believed to be Holy 
Scripture. I am sorry that he was not always wise in 
his judgment of what the Bible contains ; but yet to 
him Scripture was the last court of appeal. If any had 



254 LECTURES AND SERMONS. 

convinced Luther of error out of that book, he would 
gladly have retracted ; but that was not their plan, they 
simply said, " He is a heretic : condemn him or make 

him retract." 

A Fool for a Client. 

To this he never yielded for an instant. Alas, in 
this age numbers of men are setting up to be their 
own inspired writers. I have been told that every 
man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client ; 
and I am inclined to think that, when any man sets up 
to be his own Saviour and his own revelation, much 
the same thing occurs. That conceited idea is in the 
air at this present : every man is excogitating his own 
Bible. Not so Luther. He loved the sacred book ! 
He fought by its help. It was his battle-axe and his 
weapon of war. A text of Scripture fired his soul ; 
but the words of tradition he rejected. He would not 
yield to Melancthon, or Zwingle, or Calvin, or whoever 
it might be, however learned or pious ; he took his 
own personal faith to the Scripture, and according to 
his light he followed the word of the Lord. May many 
a Luther be in this place ! 

The next thing I note was the intense activity of his 
faith. Luther did not believe in God doing his own 
work, so as to lie by in idleness himself. Not a bit of 
it. A disciple once said to Mahomet, " I am going to 
turn my camel loose, and trust in providence." " No," 
said Mahomet, "trust in providence, but tie up your 
camel carefully." This resembled Oliver Cromwell s 
Puritan precept, "Trust in God, but; keep your powder 



THE LUTHER SE RMON. 26& 

dry." Luther believed above most men in keeping 

his powder dry. How he worked ! By pen, by 

mouth, by hand ; he was energetic almost beyond belief. 

Many Men in One. 

He seemed a many-handed man. He did works 
which would have taxed the strength of hundreds of 
smaller men. He worked as if everything depended 
upon his own activity, and then he fell back in holy 
trust upon God as though he had done nothing. This 
is the kind of faith which saves a man both in this life 
and in that which is to come. 

Again, Luther s faith abounded in prayer. What 
supplications they were ! Those who heard them tell 
us of his tears, his wrestlings, his holy arguments. He 
would go into his closet heavy at heart, and remain 
there an hour or two, and then come forth singing, 
" I have conquered, I have conquered." " Ah," said he 
one day, " I have so much to do to-day that I cannot 
get through it with less than three hours* prayer." I 
thought he was going to say, " I cannot afford to give 
even a quarter of an hour to prayer ; " but he increased 
his prayer as he increased his labor. This is the faith 
that saves a faith that lays hold on God and prevails 
with him in private supplication. 

Dukes could not Stop Him. 

His was a faith that delivered him entirely from the 
fear of man. Duke George is going to stop him. " Is 
he?" said Luther. "If it were to rain Duke Georges 
I would go." He is exhorted not to go to Worms, for 
he will be in danger. If there were as many devils in 



256 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

Worms &ti there are tiles on the house-tops he would 
be there. And he was there, as you all know, playing 
the man for the gospel and for his God. He committed 
himself to no man, but kept his faith in God pure and 
unmingled. Dukes, emperors, doctors, electors were 
all as nothing to Luther when they stood against the 
Lord. Be it so with us also. 

His was a faith that made him risk all for the truth. 
There seemed no hope of his ever coming back from 
Worms alive. He was pretty sure to be burned like 
John Huss ; and the wonder is that he escaped. His 
very daring brought him safety from peril. He ex 
pressed his regret that the crown of martyrdom would, 
in all probability, be missed by him ; but the faith 
which is prepared to die for Jesus was within him. He 
who in such a case saves his live shall lose it, but he 
that loses his life for Christ s sake shall find it unto life 

eternal. 

Religion in a Glass Case. 

This was the faith that made Luther a man among^ 
men, and saved him from priestly affectation. I do not 
know whether you admire what is thought to be very 
superior religion : it is a thing of beauty, but not of use ; 
it ought always to be kept in a glass case ; it is made 
up for drawing-rooms and religious meetings, but 
would be out of place in a shop or on a farm. Now, 
Luther s religion was with him at home, at the table as 
well as in the pulpit. His religion was part and parcel 
of his common life, and that life was free, open, bold, 
and unrestrained 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 257 

It is easy to find fault with him from the superfine 
standpoint, for he lived in an honest unguardedness. 
My admiration kindles as I think of the hearty open 
ness of the man. I do not wonder that even ungodly 
Germans revere him, for he is all a German and all a 
man. When he speaks he does not take his words 
out of his mouth to look at them, and to ask Melanc- 
thon whether they will do ; but he hits hard, and he has 
spoken a dozen sentences before he has thought 
whether they are polished or not. Indeed, he is utterly 
indifferent to criticism, and speaks what he thinks and 
feels. He is at his ease, for he feels at home : is he 
not everywhere in his great Father s house ? Has he 
not a pure and simple intent to speak the truth and do 
the right ? 

Luther s Home Life. 

I like Luther with a wife and children. I like to 
see him with his family and a Christmas-tree, mak 
ing music with little Johnny Luther on his knee. 
I love to hear him sing a little hymn with the chil 
dren, and tell his pretty boy about the horses in 
heaven with golden bridles and silver saddles. Faith 
had not taken away his manhood, but sanctified it 
to noblest uses. Luther did not live and move as 
if he were a mere cleric, but as a brother to our 
common humanity. 

After all, brethren, you must know that the greatest 
divines have to eat bread and butter like other 
people. They shut their eyes before they sleep, 
and they open them in the morning, just like other 

17 



266 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

folks. This is matter of fact, though some stilted 
gentlemen might like us to doubt it. They feel 
and think like other men. Why should they seem 
as if they did not ? Is it not a good thing to eat 
and drink to the glory of God, and show people 
that common things can be sanctified by the word 
of God and prayer? What if we do not wear 
canonicals, and so on ? The best canonicals in the 
world are thorough devotion to the Lord s work ; 
and if a man lives aright, he makes every garment 
a vestment, every meal a sacrament, and every house 
a temple. All our hours are canonical, all our days 
holy days, every breath \s incense, every pulse music 
for the Most High. 

Luther s Charity. 

They tell us that Luthef ignored good works. It 
is true he would not allow good works to be spoken 
of as the means of salvation ; but of those who pro 
fessed faith in Jesus he demanded holy lives. Luther 
abounded in prayer and charity. What an almsgiver 
Luther was ! I fear he did not at all times duly 
regard the principles of the Charity Organization 
Society. As he goes along, if there are beggars he 
empties his pockets for them. Two hundred crown* 
have just come in, and, though he has a family abou* 
him, he cries, " Two hundred crowns ! God is giving 
rne my portion in this life." " Here," say he to a 
poor brother minister, " take half. And where are 
the poor? Fetch them in. I must be rid of this !" 

I am afraid that his Catherine was forced at 



THE LUTHER SERMON. 



259 



to shake her head at him ; for, in truth, he was not 
always the most economical husband that might be. 
In almsgiving he was second to none, and in all the 
duties of life he rose far beyond the level of his age. 
Like all other men he had his faults; but as his 
enemies harp on that string, and go far beyond the 
truth, I need not dwell upon his failings. I wish that 
the detractors of Luther were half as good as he. 
All the glory of his grand career be unto the Lord 
alone. 

Lastly, Luther s faith was a faith that helped him 
under struggles that are seldom spoken of. I suppose 
that never man had greater soul-conflict than Luther. 
He was a man of heights and depths. Sometimes 
he went up to heaven and he sang his hallelujahs ; 
and then he went down again into the abyss with 
his " misereres." I am afraid that, great, vigorous 
man that he was, he had a bad liver. He was 
grievously afflicted in body in ways which I need not 
mention ; and he was sometimes laid aside for 
months together, being so racked and tortured that 
he longed to die. His pains were extreme, and we 
wonder how he endured them so well. But ever 
Between the attacks of illness Luther was up agam 
preaching the word of God. Those desperate strug 
gles with the devil would have crushed him but foi 
his faith. The devil seems to have been constantly 
assailing him, and he was constantly assailing the 
devil. In that tremendous duel he fell back upon his 



2GO SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

Lord, and, trusting in Omnipotence, he put Satan to 
rout. 

Young men, I pray that a Luther may spring up 
from your ranks. How gladly would the faithful wel 
come him ! I, who am more a follower of Calvin than 
of Luther, and much more a follower of Jesus than of 
either of them, would be charmed to see another 
Luther upon this earth. 

God bless you, brethren, for Christ s sake. Amen. 



THE BEST WAR-CRT, 261 

THE BEST WAR-CRY. 

* The Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them." 
Numbers xxiii. 21. 

IT was a singular spectacle to see the king of Moab 
and his lords climbing to the tops of the craggy rocks, 
accompanied by that strange being, the Eastern 
prophet Balaam. They are seeking to look upon 
Israel with the evil eye, and flash down curses upon 
her tents in the plain beneath. You see them gazing 
down from the mountains upon the encampment in the 
wilderness below, like vultures from aloft spy out their 
prey. They watch with keen and cruel eyes. Cunning 
and malice are in their countenances. How Balak 
longs to crush the nation which he fears ! They are 
secretly endeavoring by spell and enchantment to 
bring evil upon the people whom Jehovah has chosen 
and led into the wilderness. 

You see them offering their seven bullocks and 
their seven rams upon the seven altars which they have 
set upon Pisgah s rocks ; and Balaam retires to wait 
until the afflatus shall come upon him, and he shall be 
able to prophesy. In all probability Moses knew 
nothing about this at the time ; and certainly the people 
below knew nothing of the foul conspiracy. There 
lay the tribes in the valley, unaware that mischief was 
brewing, and quite unable to meet the dark design 
even if they had been aware of it. What a mercy it was 
for them that they were guarded by a Watcher, and a 
Holy One, whose eyes can never slumber. How true 



262 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

it is " I the Lord do keep it ; I will water it every 
moment : lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." 
The Lord s eyes are fixed upon Balaam the hireling, 
and Balak the Son of Zippor : in vain do they weave 
the enchantment and work the divination ; they shall 
be utterly ashamed and confounded. They were baf 
fled in their machinations, and utterly defeated in their 
schemes, and that for one single reason : it is written, 
"JEHOVAH SHAMMAH the Lord is there." God s 
presence in the midst of his people is as a wall of fire 
round about them, and a glory in their midst. The 
Lord is their light and their salvation, whom shall they 
fear? 

Crafty Intrigues. 

At this present time God has a people, a remnant 
according to the election of grace, who still dwell like 
sheep in the midst of wolves. When, as a part of the 
Lord s church, we look at our surroundings, we see 
much that might cause us alarm ; for never, either day 
or night, is Satan quiet. Like a roaring lion he goeth 
about, seeking whom he may devour: he plots in 
secret his crafty devices : if it were possible he would 
deceive even the very elect. This prince of darkness has 
on earth many most diligent servants, compassing sea 
and land to make proselytes, laying out all their 
strength, and using ail their craft and cunning if by 
any means they may destroy the kingdom of God, and 
blot out the truth from under heaven. 

It is saddest of all to see certain men who know the 
truth in some degree, as Balaam did, entering into 



THE BEST WAR-CRT. 268 

league with the adversary against the true Israel. 
These combine their arts, and use all possible means 
that the gospel of the grace of God, and the church 
that holds it, may utterly be destroyed. If the church 
be not destroyed it will be no thanks to her enemies^ 
for they would swallow her up quick. When we look 
upon the signs of the times our hearts grow heavy ; 
for iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold, 
many false spirits have gone abroad into the earth, 
and some whom we looked upon as helpers are proving 
themselves to be of another order. What then ? Are 
we dismayed ? By no means, for that same God who 
was in the midst of the church in the wilderness is in 
the church of these last days. 

The Immortal Cliurch. 

Again shall her adversaries be defeated. Still will 
he defend her, for the Lord has built his church upon 
a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
her. The reason of her safety is this : 

" God in the midst of her doth dwell 

Nothing shall her remove ; 
The Lord to her a helper shall, 
And that right early, prove." 

Our text declares the grand safeguard of the church 
of God, ensuring her against every peril known and 
unknown, earthly or Satanic; "Jehovah his God is 
with him, and the shout of a king is among them." 

May the Holy Spirit help me while I try to speak 
first upon God s presence with his people ; secondly, 
upon tht results of that presence ; and, thirdly, upon 



264 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

how, by the grace of God, that presence may be preserved 
continually amongst us. 

I. First, let me speak a little upon GOD S PRESENCE 
AMONG HIS PEOPLE. It is an extraordinary presence, for 
God s ordinary and usual presence is everywhere. 
Whither shall we flee from his presence ? He is in 
the highest heaven and in the lowest hell : the hand 
of the Lord is upon the high hills, and his power is in 
all deep places. 

A Peculiar Presence. 

This knowledge is too high and wonderful for us : 
yet everywhere is God, for in him we live and move 
and have our being. Still there is a peculiar presence ; 
for God was among his people in the wilderness as he 
was not among the Moabites and the Edomites their 
foes, and God is in his church as he is not in the 
world. It is a peculiar promise of the covenant that 
God will dwell with his people and walk among them. 
By the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord is with us and 
in us at this hour. He saith of his church, " Here 
will I dwell, for I have desired it." This is much 
more than God s being about us ; it includes the favor 
of God towards us, his consideration of us, his work 
ing with us. An active nearness to bless is the pres 
ence of which we speak. 

Here we may say with great reverence that God is 
with his people in the entireness of his nature. The 
Father is with us, for the Father himself loveth us, 
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth 
them that fear him. He is near to us, supplying our 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 



265 



needs, guiding our steps, helping us in time, and 
tutoring us for eternity. God is where his children 
are, hearing every groan of their sorrow, marking 
every tear of their distress. The Father is in the 
midst of his family, acting a father s part towards 
them. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in 
all generations." He is never far from any into whose 
breasts he has put the spirit of adoption whereby we 
cry, " Abba, Father ! " Come, ye children of God, 
rejoice in this : your heavenly Father has come unto 
you, and abides with you. 

f lx>, I am with You." 

We have also the presence of the divine Son of 
God. Said he not to his apostles, " Lo, I am with you 
alway, even unto the end of the world ? " Have we 
not this for our joy whenever we come together, that 
we meet in his name, and that he still says, u Peace 
be unto you," and manifests himself unto us as he 
doth not unto the world? Many of you know most 
delightfully what it is to have fellowship with God, for 
"truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his 
Son, Jesus Christ ;" and this fellowship were not ours 
if we were not made nigh by his precious blood. 
Very near are we to the heart of Christ ; he dwells 
with us ; yea, he is one with us. 

Peculiarly this presence relates to the Holy Ghost. 
It is he who represents the Lord Jesus who has gone 
from us. We have a double portion of Christ s spirit, 
because we see him now that he is taken up ; even as 
Elisha had a double portion of Elijah s spirit, according 



266 LECTURES AND SERMONS. 

to the prophet s saying, " If thou see me when I am 
taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee ;" that is, a 
double portion of my spirit shall rest upon thee. It 
was expedient that our Lord and Master should go, 
that the Spirit might be given. That Spirit once out 
poured at Pentecost has never been withdrawn. He 
is still in the midst of this dispensation, working,, 
guiding, quickening, comforting, exercising all the 
blessed office of the Paraclete, and being for us and 
in us God s advocate, pleading for the truth, and 

for us. 

The Glory of the Church. 

Yes, dear friends, the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Spirit are in the midst of the true church of God when 
that church is in a right and healthy state ; and if the 
triune God be gone away from the church, then her 
banners must trail in the dust, for her warriors have 
lost their strength. This is the glory of the church of 
God- to have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
the love of God the Father, and the communion of the 
Holy Ghost to be her never-failing benediction. What 
a glory to have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit manifest 
ing the Godhead in the midst of our assemblies, and 
blessing each one of us. 

For God to dwell with us : what a condescending 
presence this is ! And will God in very truth dwell 
among men ? If the heaven of heavens cannot contain 
him, will he abide among his people ? He will ! He 
will ! Glory be to his name ! " Know ye not that 
your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost?" 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 267 

God dwelleth in us. Wonderful word! Who can 
fathom the depth of this grace ? The mystery of the 
incarnation is equalled by the mystery of the indwell 
ing. That God the Holy Ghost shall dwell in our 
bodies is as extraordinary as that God the Son should 
inhabit that body which was born of the blessed virgin. 
Strange, strange is this, that the Creator should dwell 
in his creatures, that the Infinite should tabernacle in 
finite beings. Yet so it is, for he has said, " Certainly 
I will be with thee." 

True Worship. 

What an awe this imparts to every true church of 
God ! You may go in and out of certain assemblies, 
and you may say, " Here we have beauty! here we have 
adornment, musical, ecclesiastical, architectural, orator 
ical, and the like ! " but to my mind there is no worship 
like that which proceeds from a man when he feels 
the Lord is here. What a hush comes over the soul ! 
Here is the place for the bated breath, the unsandalled 
foot, and the prostrate spirit. Now are we on holy 
ground. When the Lord descends in the majesty of 
his infinite love to deal with the hearts of men, then it 
is with us as it was in Solomon s temple when the 
priests could not stand to minister by reason of the 
glory that filled the place. Man is set aside, for God 
is there. 

In such a case the most fluent think it better to be 
silent; for then* is at times more expressiveness in 
absolute silence than in the fittest words. " How 
dreadful is this place ! this is none other but the house 



268 LECTURES AND SERMONS. 

of God, and this is the gate of heaven." For why? 
Because Jacob had said, " Surely the Lord is in this 
place." We regard the lowliest assemblies of the 
most illiterate people with solemn reverence if God be 
there ; we regard the largest assemblies of the wealth 
iest and most renowned with utter indifference if God 

be not there. 

Nothing Without God. 

This is the one necessary of the church ; the Lord 
God must be in the midst of her, or she is nothing. If 
God be there, peace will be within her walls, and pros 
perity within her palaces ; but if the Lord be not there 
woe unto the men that speak in his name, for they 
shall cry in bitterness, " Who hath believed our report ? " 
Woe unto the waiting people, for they shall go away 
empty ! Woe unto the sinners in a forsaken Zion, for 
them comes no salvation ! The presence of God makes 
the Church to be a joyful, happy, solemn place: this 
brings glory to his name and peace to his people ; 
but without it, all faces are pale, all hearts are heavy. 

Brethren, this presence of God is clearly discerned^ 
the gracious, though others may not know it. Yet 
methinks even the ungracious in a measure perceive 
: it, coming into the assembly they are struck with a 
secret something, they know not what ; and if they do 
not immediately join in the worship of the present 
God, yet a deep impression is made upon them beyond 
any that could be caused by the sound of human 
speech, or by the grandeur of outward show. They 
feel awed, and retire abashed. 



fHE BEST WAR-CRY. 269 

The Great Enemy. 

Certainly the devil knows where God is, -none 
better than he. He hates the camp of which Jehovah 
is the leader ; against it he doubles his enmity, multi 
plies his plots, and exercises all his power. He knows 
where his kingdom finds its bravest assailants, and he 
therefore attacks their head-quarters, even as did 
Balaam and Balak of old. 

Let us look at Balaam for a moment. May we 
never run in the way of Balaam for a reward ; but let 
us stand in his way for a moment that he may be our 
beacon. This man had sold himself for gold, and 
though he knew God and spoke under inspiration, yet 
he knew him not in his heart, but was willing to curse 
God s people for hire. He was thwarted in his design 
because God was there. It is worth our while to see 
what kind of a God Jehovah is in Balaam s estimation. 
He describes our God in verse nineteen, " God is not 
a man that he should lie ; neither the son of man that 
he should repent ; hath he said, and shall he not do it? 
or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ? " 
Balaam perceived that the God who was in the midst 
of his people is not a changeable God, not a false God, 
not one who promises and forgets, or promises and 
eats his words, or promises what he cannot and will 
not perform. 

The Sure Promises. 

The God of Israel is faithful and true, immutable 
unchanging: everyone of his promises shall be ful 
filled: none of his words shall fall to the ground 



270 LECTURES AND SERMONS. 

" Hath he said, and shall he not do it ? hath he 
spoken, and shall it not come to pass ? " What a joy 
it is to have such a God as this among us, a promise- 
making and a promise-keeping God ; a God at work 
for his people, as he has declared he would be ; a God 
comforting and cheering his people, and fulfilling in 
their experience that which his word had led them to 
expect. This God is our God for ever and ever ; he 
shall be our guide even unto death. 

My dear friends, we sometimes hear men talk of 
the failure of the church. We are afraid that some 
churches do fail. Wherever failure occurs, the bottom 
of it is the absence of the Lord of hosts, for he cannot 
fail. I heard one, speaking of the district in which he 
lives, say, " We are a religious people ; almost all the 
people attend a place of worship, but," he added, " I 
am bound to add that of spiritual life we have few 
traces. One church has given up its prayer-meetings; 
another feels that its entertainments are more impor 
tant than its worship, and another is notorious for 
worldliness." This is a testimony as terrible as it is 

common. 

Dead Christians. 

The worst thing that can be said of any Christian 
community is this : " Thou hast a name to live and art 
dead." " Thou art neither cold nor hot." Our Lord 
Jesus says, " I would thou wert cold or hot. So then 
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, 
I will spew thee out of my mouth." A church without 
life and zeal makes Christ sick ; he cannot bear it. He 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 271 

can put up with downright godlessness sooner than 
with a profession of religion out of which the life and 
the power are gone, since it has cooled down into 
lukewarmness. This, then, we should pray for contin 
ually the presence of God in the midst of his people. 

" Great Shepherd of thine Israel 
Who didst between the cherubs dwell, 
And ledd st the tribes, thy chosen sheep, 
Safe through the desert and the deep 

Thy church is in the desert now ; 

Shine from on high, and guide us through ( 

Turn us to thee, thy love restore ; 

We shall be saved, and sigh no more." 

II. To whet your desire for this let me pass on to 
the second head of my subject, which is briefly to 
describe THE RESULTS OF THIS DIVINE PRESENCE. Some 
of these results are mentioned in the context. One of 
the first is leading "God brought them out of Egypt" 
(verse 22). The best critics give us another render 
ing : " God is bringing them out of Egypt." When 
God is in the midst of his people he is leading them, 
so that we may cheerfully sing that song, "He leadeth 
me ; he leadeth me," and go on with David to word it, 
" He leadeth me beside the still waters." We want no 
other leader in the church when we have God; for his 
eye and arm will guide his people. 

Human Inefficiency. 

I am always afraid of having human rules in a 
church, and equally fearful of being governed by human 
precedents. I am afraid of power being vested in one, 
or two, or twenty men ; the power must be in the Lord 



272 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

himself. That church which has God in the midst of 
it rules itself, and goes right without any other guid 
ance but that which comes of the Holy Spirit s work 
ing. Such a church keeps together without aiming at 
uniformity, and goes on to victory even though it 
makes no noise. That movement is right which is led 
by God, and that is sure to be all wrong which is led 
in the best possible way if God be absent. Organiza 
tion is all very well, but I sometimes feel inclined to 
join with Zwingle in the battle when he said, " In the 
name of the Holy Trinity let all loose : " for when 
everybody is free, if God be present, everybody is 
bound to do the right. When each man moves 
according to the divine instinct in him there will be 
little need of regulations: all is order where God 
rules. 

Empty Schemes and Systems. 

Just as the atoms of matter obey the present power 
of God, so do separate believers obey the one great 
impelling influence. Oh; for God to be in the church 
to lead it : and it shall be rightly guided. Do not fall 
in love with this particular system or that, my brother ; 
do not cry up this scheme of working or that! Get 
the Spirit of God, and almost any shape that spiritual 
life takes will be a form of energy suitable for the 
particular emergency. God never leads his people 
wrongly. It is for them to follow the fiery, cloudy 
pillar ; though it lead them through the sea, they shall 
traverse it dry-shod ; though it lead them through a 
desert, they shall be fed ; though it bring them into a 



THE BEST WAR-CRT. 273 

thirsty land, they shall drink to the full of water from 
the rock. We must have the Lord with us to guide 
us into our promised rest. 

The next blessing is strength. " He hath as it were 
the strength of an unicorn" (verse 22). It is gener 
ally agreed that the creature here meant is an extinct 
species of urus or ox, most nearly represented by the 
buffalo of the present period. This gives us the sen 
tence, " He hath as it were the strength of a buffalo." 
When God is in a church, what rugged strength, what 
massive force, what irresistible energy is sure to be 

there ! 

Backbone Wanting-. 

And how untamable is the living force ! You can 
not yoke this buffalo to everybody s plough : it has its 
own free way of living, and it acts after its own style. 
When the Lord is with a church her power is not in 
numbers, though very speedily she will increase ; her 
power is not wealth, though God will take care that 
the money cornes when it is needed: her power lies in 
God, and that power becomes irresistible, untamable, 
unconquerable. Force and energy are with the Lord. 

I do fear me that what many bodies of Christian 
people need is this force. 

Examine yonder religious body : it is huge, but it 
lacks muscle ; it is a fine-looking organization, but soul, 
sinew, backbone are wanting. Where God is there is 
sure to be life-force. When the Spirit of God de- 
.scended upon the first saints they began to speak with 
wondrous power ; and though they were persecuted, 

18 



274 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

they were not subdued. No bit could be put into their 
mouths to hold them in, for they went everywhere 
preaching the word. Of the true Israel it shall be 
said his strength is as the strength of the buffalo : it 
cannot be controlled or conquered. 

The next result is safety. " Surely there is no en 
chantment against Jacob, neither is there any divina 
tion against Israel." The presence of God quietly baf 
fles all the attempts of the evil one. I have noticed, 
dear brethren, in this church, where we have had God s 
presence in a great measure, that all around us people 
have gone off to this opinion and to the other fancy, yet 
our members as a rule have stood firm. 

Skepticism to be Ignored. 

Persons say to me, " Do you not sometimes answer 
the scepticisms of the day ? " I answer, No. They 
do not come in my way. " Do not modern opinions 
trouble your church?" They have not done so, Why? 
because God is there, and spiritual life in vigorous ex 
ercise does not fall a victim to disease. A gracious 
atmosphere does not agree with modern doubt. 
When people fall into that evil they go where the thing 
is indulged, or at least where it is combated ; where 
in some way or other they can develop their love of 
novelty and foster the notion of their own wisdom. 
Infidelity, Socinianism, and modern thought can make 
no headway where the Spirit is at work. Enchant 
ment does not lie against Israel, and divination does 
not touch Jacob. 

If a church will keep to truth, keep to God, and dp 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 275 

its own work, it can live like a lamb in the midst of 
wolves without being torn in pieces. Have God with 
you, and not only the evil of doctrinal error but every 
other shall be kept far from you. There was even when 
Christ was in the Church a Judas in the midst of it ; 
and even in the apostles days there were some that 
went out from them because they were not of them, 
lor if they had been of them doubtless they would 
have continued with them ; hence we may not expect 
to be without false brethren. But the true safety of 
the church is not a creed, not an enactment for ex 
pelling those who violate the creed ; the presence of 
God alone can protect his people against the cunning 
assaults of their foes. 

Useless Nonsense. 

Upon these words " there is no enchantment against 
Jacob, no divination against Israel," suffer a few sen 
tences. There are still a few foolish people in the 
world who believe in witchcraft and spells, but ye, be 
loved, if you love the Lord, throw such nonsense to the 
winds. Do you not hear people talk about this being 
lucky and that unlucky ? This notion is heathenish 
and unchristian. Never utter such nonsense. But 
even if there were such things as witchcraft and divi 
nation, if this house were full of devils and the 
air swarmed with invisible sprites of an evil sort, yet 
if we be the people of God, surely there is no enchant 
ment against us. Divination cannot touch a child of 
God : the evil one is chained. Wherefore be of good 
courage : if GoH be for us, who can be against us? 



7 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

Further than that, God gives to his people the next 
blessing, that is of his so working among them as to make 
them a wonder, and cause outsiders to raise inquiries 
about them. " According to this time it shall be said 
of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought ? 
Is not that a singular thing ? Here is Balaam with 
his seven altars, and seven bullocks, and seven rams, 
and here is Balak, and they are all going to compass 
some dreadful evil against Israel. 

Signs and Wonders. 

The prophet is a man of great skill in the occult 
arts : and what does God say ? In effect he says, 
From this hour in which you try to curse them I will 
bless them more than ever, until I will make them 
say, and their enemies say, "What hath God wrought? " 
Brethren, there is another question, " What hath Israel 
wrought ? " I am glad that Israel s work is not my 
subject just now, because I should make a very 
wretched sermon out of it; we have better music in 
the words, "What hath God wrought? " Let me tell 
not what / have done, but what God has done; not 
what human nature is, but what God s nature is, and 
what the grace of God will work in the midst of his 
people. 

If God be with us we shall be signs and wonders, 
until those about us shall say, " What is this that God 
is doing? " Yes, in you, poor Jacob, wrestling, halting 
on your thigh, men shall see marvels and cry, "What 
hath God wrought? " Much more shall it be so with 
you. my brother Israel, you who have prevailed and 



THE BEST WAR-CRT. 277 

won the blessing ; you are as a prince with God, and 
you shall make men inquire, " What hath God 

wrought ? " 

The Invincible Lion. 

When God is with his people he will give them 
power of a destructive kind. Do not be frightened. 
Here is the text for it : " Behold, the people shall rise 
jp as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young 
lion " that is, as a lion in the fulness of his vigor, 
"he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and 
drink the blood of the slain." God has put into his 
church, when he is in it, a most wonderful destructive 
power as against spiritual wickedness. 

A healthy church kills error, and tears in pieces 
evil. Not so very long ago our nation tolerated slav 
ery in our colonies. Philanthropists endeavored to 
destroy slavery ; but when was it utterly abolished ? 

It was when Wilberforce roused the church of God, 
and when the church of God addressed herself to the 
conflict, then she tore the evil thing to pieces. I have 
been amused with what Wilberforce said the day after 
they passed the Act of Emancipation. He merrily 
said to a friend when it was all done, " Is there not 
something else we can abolish ? " That was said play 
fully, but it shows the spirit of the church of God. 
She lives in conflict and victory ; her mission is to de 
stroy everything that is bad in the land. See the fierce 
devil of intemperance, how it devours men ! Earnest 
men have been laboring against it, and they have done 
something for which we are grateful, but if ever in- 



278 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

temperance is put down, it will be when the entire 
church of God shall arouse herself to protest against 
it. When the strong lion rises up the giant of drunk 
enness shall fall before him. " He shall not lie down 
until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the 
slain." 

A Hopeful Prophecy. 

L augur for the world the best results from a fully 
aroused church. If God be in her there is no evil 
which she cannot overcome. This crowded London 
of ours sometimes appals me, the iniquity which 
reigns and rages in the lower districts, the general 
indifference and the growing atheism of the people, 
these are something terrible ; but let not the people 
of God be dismayed. If the Lord be in the midst of 
us we shall do with this as our sires have done with 
other evils : we shall rise up in strength, and not lie 
down till the evil is destroyed. For the destructions, 
mark you, of God s people, are not the destructions 
of men and women ; they consist in the overthrow of 
sin, the tearing in pieces of systems of iniquity. This 
it is which God shall help his church to do, he being 
in the midst of her. 

Once more : the results of God s presence are to be 
seen, not only in the context, but in other matters 
which we have personally experienced and hope to ex 
perience more fully still. Note them. When God is 
in a church there is a holy awe upon the hearts of his 
people; there is also childlike trustfulness and hope 
fulness, and consequent courage and joy. 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 279 

Delightful Ordinances. 

When the Lord is in the midst of his people the or 
dinances of his house are exceeding sweet ; baptism 
and the Lord s Supper become divinely painted pic 
tures of our burial in Christ, and of our life through 
him ; the preaching of the word drops as dew and 
distils as the rain ; the meetings for prayer are fress 
and fervent; we want to stay in them hour after horn, 
we feel it such a happy thing to be there. The very 
house wherein we meet grows beautiful to us ; we 
love the place where our Lord is wont to meet with 
us. Then work for Christ is easy, nay, delightful ; 
God s people never want urging on, they are eager 
for the fray when the Lord is with them. Then, too, 
suffering for Christ becomes pleasant, yea, any kind 
of suffering is easily borne. 

" I can do all things, or can bear 
All sufferings, if my Lord be there: 
Sweet pleasures mingle with the pains, 
While his left hand my head sustains." 

Then prayer grows abundant all over the church, 
both in private and in public. Then life is made 
vigorous ; the feeblest becomes as David, and David 
like the angel of the Lord. Then love is fervent: 
unity is unbroken ; truth is esteemed, and the living 
of truth in the life is sought after by all the people of 
God. Then effort is successful ; the church enlarges 
the bounds of her tent, for she breaks forth on the 
right hand and on the left. Then her seed inherits 
the Gentiles, anJ the desolate places are inhabited. 
Then God gives unto her the holy energy with which 



280 SERMOF4 AND LECTURES. 

she vanquishes nations. When God is with her she 
becomes like a sheaf of fire in the midst of the stubble, 
and consumes her adversaries round about. " Fair as 
the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army 
with banners/ is a church which has God in her midst 

The King s Battle-Cry. 

But now notice one thing in my text, and with that 
I close this description. Where God is, we are told, 
"The shout of a king is among them." What is the 
shout of a king ? When great commanders are known 
to have come into a camp what a thrill of joy it causes 
among their trusty warriors ! When the soldiers 
have been much dejected it has been whispered in 
their tents 

** The king has come to marshal us, 
All in his armor dressed," 

and from that moment every man is cheered up. At 
the sight of the king as he comes riding into the camp 
the host raises a great shout. What means it? It is 
a shout of loyal love they are glad to welcome their 
leader. So it is when we sing 

" The King himself comes near ; " 

we are all as glad as glad can be. Those who cannot 
come out to see their prince, because they are lying 
on their sick beds in hospitals, clap their hands, while 
even the little children in their mothers arms join in 
the general joy. " The king is come," say they, and 
his presence kindles their enthusiasm till they make 
the hills ring again. 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 
Cromwell and Heroes. 

You know how the stern Ironsides felt when Crom 
well came along ; every man was a hero when he led 
the way. They were ready for any adventure, no 
matter how difficult, as long as their great chief was 
there. That enthusiasm which was inspired by Alex- 
inder, and by Napoleon, and by other great com 
manders, is the earthly image of the spiritual fervoi 
felt by the church when the Lord Jesus is in her midst. 

What next? When the King comes and theyhav^ 
received him with enthusiasm, he cries, " Now is tht 
hour of battle ; " and at once a shout goes up from his 
warriors who are eager for the fight. When a clan 
of Highlanders was led to the battle by their chief 
he had only to show them the enemy and with one 
tremendous shout they leaped upon them like lions. 
It is so with the people of God. When God is with us 
then are we strong, resolute, determined. The charge 
of the servants of God is as the rush of a hurricane 
against a bowing wall and a tottering fence. In God 
is our confidence of victory. With God present no 
man s heart fails him ; no doubt enters the host. " Be 
strong, and quit themselves like men," is the word 
that is passed round, for their king s eye makes them 
brave and the presence of his majesty secures them 
triumph. 

The Great Need. 

My brethren, let us cry to God, entreating him to be 
among us. Tnis it is that you want in your Sunday- 
schools, in your mission halls, in your street preaching, 



282 SERMONS AN!) LECTURES. 

in your tract distributing; it is this that I want beyond 
everything when I have to speak to you in this vast 
house. If I could hear the sound of my Master s feet 
behind me I would speak though I were lying upon 
the borders of the grave ; but if God be gone I am 
bereft of power. What is the use of words without 
the Spirit ? We might as well mutter to the whistling 
winds as preach to men without the Lord. O God, if 
thou be with us then the shout of a King is among us, 
but without thee we pine away. 

III. Thirdly, let us look at a very important point, 
and a very practical one too : What can be done for 

THE SECURING AND PRESERVING OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD 

WITH THE CHURCH ? This is a matter that would 
require several sermons to discuss it fully ; but I notice 
that there is something even in the confirmation of a 
church to secure this. God is very tolerant, and he 
bears with many mistakes in his servants and yet 
blesses them ; but depend upon it, unless a church is 
formed at the very outset upon scriptural principles 
and in God s own way, sooner or later all the mistakes 
of her constitution will turn out to be sources of weak 
ness 

Power of the Bible. 

Christ loves to dwell in a house which is buili 
according to his own plans, and not according to the 
whims and fancies of men. The church ought not to 
set up as her authority the decrees of men, either living 
or dead ; her ruler is Christ. Associations formed 
Otherwise than according to Scripture must fail in the 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 283 

long- run. I wish Christians would believe this. Chil- 
lingworth said, " The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the 
religion of Protestants." That is not true. 

Certain Protestants have tacked many other things 
to the Bible ; and they are suffering as the result of 
their folly, for they cannot keep their church from 
becoming formal. Of course they cannot : they have 
admitted a little unhealthy leaven, and it will leaven 
the whole lump. The dry rot in one part of the house 
will spread throughout the whole fabric sooner or 
later. Let us be careful to build on the foundation of 
Christ, and then let every man take heed how he build 
thereon ; for even if the foundation is good, yet if he 
build with hay and stubble the fire will cause him 
grievous loss. 

But next, God will not only dwell with a church 
which is full of life. The living God will not inhabit 
a dead church. Hence the necessity of having really 
regenerated people as members of the church. We 
cannot secure this in every case with all our watching; 
tares will grow among the wheat. But if the admis 
sion of unregenerate men is usual, and there are no 
restrictions, then the Lord will be grieved and leave 
us. God dwelleth not in temples made with hands ; 
He has nothing to do with bricks and mortar ; He 
dwells in living souls. Remember that text : " God is 
not the God of the dead, but of the living," and it 
bears this sense among others, that He is not the God 
of a church made up of unconverted people. Oh that 



284 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

we may all live unto God, and may that life be past 
all question. 

Helpless Paralysis. 

That being supposed, we next notice that to have 
God among us we must be full of faith. Unbelief 
gives forth such a noxious vapor that Jesus Himself 
could not stop where it was. His strength was para 
lyzed ; " He could not do mighty works there because 
of their unbelief." Faith creates an atmosphere in 
which the Spirit of God can work. Meanwhile the 
Spirit of God Himself creates that faith, so that it is 
all of His own working from first to last. Brothers, 
sisters, do you believe your God ? Do you believe up 
to the hilt ? Alas ! too many only believe a little. 
But do you believe His every word ? Do you believe 
His grandest promises? Is he a real God to you, 
making His words into facts every day of your lives ? 
If so, then the Lord is among us as in the holy place. 
Faith builds a pavilion in which her King delights to 
sit enthroned. 

With that must come prayer. Prayer is the breath 
of faith. I do not believe God will ever be long with 
a church that does not pray, and I feel certain that 
when meetings for prayer, when family prayer, when 
private prayer, when any form of prayer comes to be 
at a discount, the Lord will leave the people to learn 
their weakness. 

Fervent Prayer Wanted. 

Want of prayer cuts the sinews of the church for 
practical working; she is lame, feeble, impotent, if 



THE BEST WA&-CRY. 285 

prayer be gone. If anything be the matter with the 
lungs we fear consumption. Prayer-meetings are the 
lungs of the church, and anything the matter there 
means consumption to the church, or at best, a gradual 
decline, attended with general debility. Oh, my 
brothers, if we want to have God with us, pass the 
watchword round, " Let us pray." Let us pray after 
the fashion of the widow who was importunate and 
would not be repulsed ; remember, it is written, " Men 
ought always to pray, and not to faint." Where prayer 
is fervent God is present. 

Supposing there is this faith and prayer, we shall 
also need holiness of life. You know what Balaam 
did when he found he could not curse the people. 
Satanic was his advice. He bade the king of Moab 
seduce the men of Israel by the women of Moab that 
were fair to look upon. These were to fascinate them 
by their beauty, and then to invite them to their idola 
trous rites, which rites were orgies of lust ; he hoped 
that the lewdness of the people would grieve the 
Lord and cause Him to leave them, and then Moab 
could smite them. He sadly succeeded. 

Phineas and His Javelin. 

If it had not been for Phineas who in holy wrath 
drove his javelin right through a man and woman in 
the very act of sin, sparing none in the vehemence of 
his zeal, Israel had been quite undone. So in a 
church. The devil will work hard to lead one into 
licentiousness, another into drunkenness, a third into 
dishonesty, and others into worldliness. If he can 



286 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

only get the goodly Babylonish garment and the 
wedge of gold buried in an Achan s tent, then Israel 
will be chased before her adversaries. God cannot 
dwell in an unclean church. A holy God abhors the 
very garments spotted by the flesh. Be ye holy as 
Christ is holy. Do not take up with this German-silver 
electrotype holiness, which is so much boasted of 

nowadays. 

A Dangerous Delusion. 

Do not be deluded into self-righteousness, but seek 
after real holiness ; and if you do find it you will never 
boast about it : your life will speak, but your lips will 
never dare to say, " See how holy I am." Real holi 
ness dwells with humility, and makes men aspire after 
that which yet lies beyond them. Be holy, upright, 
just, straight, true, pure, chaste, devout. God send us 
this behavior, and then we shall keep him among us 
as long as we live. 

Lastly, when we have reached to that, let us have 
practical consecration. God will not dwell in a house 
which does not belong to him. No, the first thing 
with any one of us is to answer this question : Dost 
thou give thyself up to Christ, body, soul, and spirit, 
to live for him and to die for him ? Wilt thou give 
him all that thou hast of talent and ability, and sub 
stance, and time, and life itself? Where there is a 
church made up of consecrated people, there God will 
remain, and there he will make a heaven below, and 
there the shout of a king shall be heard, and there 
his strength shall be revealed, and there his glory shall 



THE BEST WAR-CRY. 287 

be seen even as it is beheld on high. The Lord send 
us this, for Jesus sake. Amen and Amen. 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 

Candles were far more familiar objects in my boy 
hood than in these days of gas and electricity. Now, 
fathers show their boys and girls how to make gas at 
the end of a tobacco pipe ; but in my time the greatest 
of wonders was a lucifer-match. Our lights were so 
few that they justified the wit who declared that the 
word " luxury J> was derived from lux, the Latin for 
light. Assuredly, a good light is a high form of 
luxury. I can never forget the rushlight, which dimly 
illuminated the sitting-room of the old house ; nor the 
dips, which were pretty fair when there were not too 
many of them to the pound ; nor the mould candles, 
which came out only when there was a party, or some 
special personage was expected. Short sixes were 
very respectable specimens of household lights. Com 
posites have never seemed to me to be so good as the 
old sort, made of pure tallow; but I dare say I may 
be wrong. Nevertheless, I have no liking for compo 
sites in theology, but prefer the genuine article without 
compromise. 

Once I thoughtlessly hung a pound of tallow candles 
on a clothes-horse. This construction was moved 
near the fire, and the result was a mass of fat on the 
floor, and the cottons of the candles almost divested 
pf tallow: a lesson to us all not to expose certain 



288 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

things to a great heat, lest we dissolve them. I fear 
that many a man s good resolutions only need the 
ordinary fire of daily life to make them melt away. 
So, too, with fine professions, and the boastings of 
perfection which abound in this age of shams. 

Joke on Youngsters. 

In my early days it was a youthful joke to send a 
boy to the shop for a pound of cotton rushes. The 
grocer, if of an angry sort, was apt to make a rush 
at the lad, who thus appeared to mock him. It was 
in these times that we heard the story of the keeper 
of the chandler s-shop, who told her customers that 
" candles was riz." " Riz ? " said her neighbor, " every 
thing is riz except my wages. But why have they 
riz?" "They tell me," said the other, "that tallow 
has gor. e up because of the war with Russia." " Well/ 
replied the customer, " that is a queer story. Have 
they begun to fight by candle-light ?" That woman 
had some inkling of the law of supply and demand, 
She may never have read "Adam Smith," but it is pos 
sible that she was a Smith herself. 

Those were the days when a wit is represented as 
saying to his tradesman, " I hope these candles will be 
better than the last." "I am sure I don t know, sir; 
was anything the matter with those I sent you?" 
" Matter enough," replied the wit ; " they burned very 
well till they were about half gone, and then they 
would burn no longer." The catch is that, of course, 
they burned shorter. 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 289 

The Caudle Box. 

I have here a case for candles, a casket for those 
jewels of light. Look well at this curiosity, ye dwell 
ers in cities ; for I do not suppose that any of you have 
such a piece of furniture in your houses. It is a 
candle-boj,, well-fashioned and neatly japanned. Here 
at the back are two plates with holes in them by which 
to hang up the box against the wall. It closes very 
neatly, opens very readily, and keeps its contents out 
of harm s way. I can assure you that I have within 
it a number of the very best candles, from the most 
notable makers. Wax, stearine, palmatine, and so 
forth ; there could not be a handsomer assortment 
than I now exhibit to you. Let no one despise this 
display : here we have capacity, elegance, preparation, 
and plenty of each. 

But suppose that we were in this room without the 
gas, and I were simply to exhibit the candle-box and 
its contents, and say, " Here is brilliance ! You need 
no electric lighting: this box abundantly suffices for 
the enlightenment of this large assembly ! " You 
would reply, " But we see none the better for your 
boasted illumination. The candles are shut up in 
their box, and yield no single beam of light." Herein 
detect a resemblance to many a church. We could 
readily find communities of Christian people, who are 
shut up to themselves, and are without the living fire 
of the Spirit of God. What is the good of them ? 

Dying of Respectability. 

This is a very respectable candle-box; is it not? 

no 



290 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

It could hardly be more respectable. Even so, yondd 
is a highly respectable congregation ! Very refined 
and select ! The minister is a " man of high culture 
and advanced thought." He can confound a text of 
Scripture with any living man. He attracted at least 
five horses to his place of preaching last Sunday 
They say it takes a great deal of ability to draw a 
horse to church ! As for his hearers, they are all the 
cream of the cream. Don t you know that the doctor, 
and the brewer, and the lawyer, and the auctioneer all 
attend that most honored sanctuary ? What with an 
M. D., and a D. D., and an F. R. S., two wealthy dow 
agers, a colonel, a county councilman, and a professor 
it is worth while for a fellow to go to that church for 
the sake of the social distinction which it will bestow 
upon him. 

The people are so very respectable that they do nof 
know one another, and never think of shaking hands. 
They are all so very select, that they float about in 
distinguished isolation, like so many icebergs in the 
Atlantic. The families walk up the aisles with the 
most becoming dignity, and they walk down the aisles 
with the most proper decorum. They can do without 
warmth, brotherly love, sympathy, and co-operation ; 
for their eminent " respectability " suffices for every 
need. Of course, they can do nothing more ; for it 
costs them all their time, talent, thought, and spare 
cash to maintain their superior respectability. Like 
the gentleman with his well-brushed hat, no wonder 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 291 

that they look so superior, for they give their whole 

minds to it. 

Charming- Variety. 

I see before me quite an array of candles. Variety 
is charming, and number is cheering The more the 
merrier, and especially of such reputable and notable 
light-givers as these. We may consider that we are 
having quite an illumination. With so many lumiri 
aries we need hardly regret the set of sun. But is it 
so ? I, for one, am none the better for these promis* 
ing lights ; are you ? I put on my spectacles. But 
there is no improvement. I can see nothing ; and yet 
there are candles enough and to spare ! There is no 
mystery about it the candles are not lighted: and 
until they are lighted they cannot remove our dark 
ness. Grace is needed to make gifts available for the 
service of God. 

Let us look more closely into our collection of 
lights. Here is one which I should suppose to be an 
archbishop at the least. This specimen is a Doctor 
of Divinity. These are gentry, and these are mer 
chants, and those are "cultured" individuals; but 
without the light from on high they are all equally 

m serviceable. 

A Grand Rushlight. 

A poor converted lad in a workshop will be of more 
spiritual use than a parliament of unregenerate men. 
I introduce to you a lighted rushlight, and there is 
more to be seen by this ignoble luminary than by all 
the rest. Little ability, set on fire by the light of Go<i, 



292 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

may produce greater results than ten talents without 
the divine power. " A living dog is better than a 
dead lion : " a zealous but illiterate Christian may be 
worth twenty lifeless philosophers. 

Herein is great encouragement, dear friends, that 
if you once get a light, it will spread from one to 
another without end. This one lighted candle would 
suffice to set a hundred candles shining. It may light 
a much finer candle than itself. 

Fire is one of those things for which there is no 
accounting as to what may come of it. Its spread is 
not to be measured even by leagues when it once gets 
firm hold, and the wind drives it on. Piety in a cottage 
may enlighten a nation. If the church of God were 
reduced to one person, it might, within an incredibly 
short time, become a great multitude. 

How One Light Kindles Another. 

There is a true apostolical succession in the kingdom 
of grace. Office has the pretence of it, but grace 
gives the reality. At Mr. Jay s Jubilee, Timothy East, 
of Birmingham, told how, by the youthful ministry of 
William Jay, a thoughtless youth was converted and 
became a minister. Under the preaching of that man, 
Timothy East himself was led to repentance ; and then 
by a sermon from Timothy East, John Williams, who 
became the martyr of Erromanga and the apostle of 
the South Sea Islands, was savingly impressed. See 
how the light goes from Jay to another, from that 
other to East, from East to Williams, and from Wil 
liams to the savages of the Southern Seas I 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 293 

A family tree of an equally interesting character 
has been traced with regard to books as surely as with 
living witnesses for God. A Puritan tract, old and 
torn, was lent by a poor man to Baxter s father. It 
was called Bunny s Resolutions. Through reading this 
^little book, Richard Baxter, afterwards, the great 
preacher of Kidderminster, received a real change of 

heart. 

Some Wonderful Books. 

Baxter wrote The Saint s Everlasting Rest, which 
was blessed to the conversion of Doddridge. He 
wrote The Rise and Progress, which was the means of 
the conversion of Legh Richmond, and he wrote his 
Dairyman s Daughter, which has been translated into 
more than fifty languages, and has led to the conver 
sion of thousands of souls. How many of these con 
verted ones have in their turn written books and tracts 
which have charmed others to Jesus, eternity alone 
will reveal. We can never see the issues of our acts. 
We may strike a match, and from that little flame a 
street may be lighted. 

Give a light to your next door neighbor, and you 
may be taking the nearest way to instruct the twen 
tieth century, or to send the gospel to Chinese Tartary, 
/or to overthrow the popular science fetish of the hour. 
A spark from your kitchen candle may, in its natural 
progression from onejto another, light the last gener 
ation of men ; so the word of the hour may be the light 
of the age, by v^hich men may come in multitudes to 



294 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

see their Saviour and Lord. Let thy light shine, and 
what will come of it thou shalt see hereafter. 
" I Saw a Light." 

Coming one Thursday in the late autumn from an 
engagement beyond Dulwich, my way lay up to the 
top of the Herne Hill ridge. I came along the level 
out of which rises the steep hill I had to ascend 
While I was on the lower ground, riding in a cab, I 
saw a light before me, and when I came near the hill, 
I marked that light gradually go up the hill, leaving a 
train of stars behind it. This line of new-born stars 
remained in the form of one lamp, and then another, 
and another. It reached from the foot of the hill to 
its summit. I did not see the lamplighter. I do not 
know his name, nor his age, nor his residence ; but 1 
saw the lights which he had kindled, and these 
remained when he himself had gone his way. As I 
rode along I thought to myself, " How earnestly do I 
wish that my life may be spent in lighting one soul 
after another with the sacred flame of eternal life ! I 
would myself be as much as possible unseen while at 
my work, and would vanish into the eternal brilliance 
above when my work is done." 

The taper which I hold in my hand is in itself a poor 
thing as an illuminator, but it has created quite a 
splendor in the room by the light which it has conv 
municated to others. Andrew was not a very great 
personage, but he called his brother Peter, and led 
him to Jesus, and Peter was a host in himself. Never 
mind how small a taper you may be ; burn on, shine 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 295 

at your best, and God bless you. You may lead on to 
grand results despite your feebleness. 

Unknown Great Ones. 

He that called Dr. John Owen is forgotten : I 
might almost say was never known : he was a small 
taper but what a candle he lighted ! Those holy? 
women who talked together as they sat in the sun a! 
Bedford were a blessing to John Bunyan ; but we know 
not the name of even one of them. Everywhere the 
hidden ones are used of the Lord as the means of 
lighting up those who shine as stars in the churches. 

In the service of God we find the greatest expansion 
of our being. It makes the dead man speak, and it 
also makes a single living man spread himself over 
a province. Our forefathers were fond of riddles. I 
cannot say that they were very witty. ones, but there 
was solidity in them. Here is one What is that of 
which twenty could be put into a tankard, and yet one 
would fill a barn ? Twenty candles unlighted would 
scarce fill a jug ; but one when it is lighted will bene 
ficially fill a barn with light, or viciously fill it with fire 
and smoke. A man, what is he ? A man of God, what 
is he not? Our influence may enlighten the world 
and shine far down the ages, if the Holy Spirit s fire 
shall kindle us. 

The Wrong Candlestick. 

Here is a candle which has never given any light 
yet, and never will as it now is. Hear its reason for 
not giving light ! It is so unfortunate that it cannot 
find a proper candlestick, in which to stand upright 



296 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

and fulfil the purpose for which it was made. Let us 
try to accommodate it. Here is a fine church candle 
stick, and we set our candle in the socket. Does it 
shine ? No. Shall we try a lower place ? It does not 
shine any better. We will put this candle in the most 
enviable position in this real silver candlestick, of 
, the most elaborate workmanship. It does not shine 
one whit the more. Neither high nor low places will 
make a man what he is not. 

I know persons who cannot get on anywhere ; but, 
according to their own belief, the fault is not in them 
selves, but in their surroundings. 

No Church Good Enough for him. 

I could sketch you a brother who is unable to dc 
any good because all the churches are so faulty. He 
was once with us, but he came to know us too well, 
and grew disgusted with our dogmatism and want of 
taste. He went to the Independents, who have so 
much more culture, breadth, and liberality. He grew 
weary of what he called "cold dignity." He wanted 
more fire, and therefore favored the Methodists with 
his patronage. Alas ! he did not find them the flaming 
zealots he had supposed them to be : he very soon 
outgrew both them and their doctrines, and joined our 
most excellent friends, the Presbyterians. These 
proved to be by far too high and dry for him, and he 
became rather sweet upon the Swedenborgians, and 
would have joined them had not his wife led him 
among the Episcopalians. 

Here he might have even grown into a churchwar 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 297 

den ; but he was not content ; and before long I heard 
that he was an Exclusive Brother ! There I leave 
him, hoping that he may be better in his new line than 
he has ever been in the old ones. " The course of 
nature could no further go : " if he has not fallen 
among a loving, united people now, where will he find 
them ? Yet I expect, that as Adam left Paradise, so 
will he ultimately fall from his high estate. 

A Rolling Stone. 

He reminds me of a very good man who changed 
his religious views so often, that I once asked him 
" What are you now ? " He told me, and I went on 
my way ; but when I met him next, and made the same 
inquiry, he was something else. At our next meeting 
my reverend brother was grieved because I said to 
him the third time, " What are you now ? " He re 
proved me for it; but when I somewhat impenitently 
repeated the query, and pressed it home, I found that 
he really had entered another denomination since I 
had last seen him. What a pity that the churches 
should be so bad, that when a man has gone the com 
plete round he finds none which quite comes up to his 
mark ! If some of these brethren go on their way to 
heaven alone, they will increase the heaven below of 
.hose who are not forced to put up with them. 

The same illustration suggests to me to ask you 
whether you know the young man who cannot serve 
God as an apprentice, but is going to do wonders 
when he is out of his time? Yes, he only wants to 
be put into another candlestick. So he thinks : but 



298 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

we know better. When he is out of his time, and 
has become a journeyman, he will postpone his grand 
plans of usefulness till he has started as a master on 
his own account. Alas ! when he is a master, he will 
wait till he has made money and can retire from busi 
ness. So, you see, the candle does not shine, but it 
imputes its failure to the candlesticks ! The candle^ 
sticks are not to be blamed. 

The Self-fitting Candle. 

Poor Dick Miss-the-Mark believes that he ought to 
have been Oliver Cromwell ; but as that character is 
hardly in season in this year of grace, Richard is un 
able to be Cromwell, and therefore he is not himself 
at all. That wart over the eye, and other Cromwel- 
lian distinctions, are a dead loss in his case. He can 
not develop his genius for want of a King Charles 
and a Prince Rupert. The proper candlestick is not 
forthcoming, and so this fine candle cannot shine. 

Here is a very simple affair Field s Self-fitting 
Candle ; but it is very handy. You see, owing to the 
shape of its lower end, the candle will fit into any 
Candlestick, whether it be large or small. A man of 
this sort makes himself useful anywhere. In poverty 
he is content ; in wealth he is humble. Put him in a 
village, and he instructs the ignorant; place him in a 
city, and he seeks the fallen. If he can preach, he 
will do so ; and if that is beyond his capacity, he will 
teach in the Sabbath-school. Like the holy mission* 
ary Brainerd, if he cannot convert a tribe, he will, 
even on his dying bed, be willing to teach a poor child 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 299 

his letters. It is a great thing not only to be able to 
fit in to all kinds of work, but to cope with all sorts 

of people. 

Riding- any Kind of a Horse. 

The power of adaptation to high and low, learned 
and ignorant, sad and frivolous, is no mean gift. If, 
like Nelson, we can lay our vessel side by side with 
die enemy, and come to close quarters without de 
lay, we shall do considerable execution. Commend 
me to the man who can avail himself of any conversa 
tion, and any topic, to drive home saving truth upon 
the conscience and heart. He who can ride a well- 
trained horse, properly saddled, does well ; but the 
fellow who can leap upon the wild horse of the prairie, 
and ride him bare-backed, is a genius indeed. "All 
things to all men," rightly interpreted, is a motto 
worthy of the great apostle of the Gentiles, and of 
all who, like him, would win souls for Jesus. 

It is a pity when a man is too big for his 
position as some candles are too big to fit in 
certain candlesticks. - Don t I know some Jacks-in- 
Office who are a world too great to be of the slightest 
use to anybody ? Don t ask them a question unless 
you desire to be eaten up alive. On the other hand, 
it is not pretty to see a candle with paper round it tc 
keep it in its place ; nor is it nice to see a little man 
padded out to make him fill up an important office. 
Do Your Work Anywhere. 

Some men in prominent positions are like the small 
Loy on the high horse ; they need a deal of holding 



300 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

on. Be fit for your office, or find one for which you 
are fit. It is not a very great invention to make a 
candle self-fitting, but the result is very pleasant. 
Though the expression, " the right man in the right 
place," is said to be a tautology, I like it, and I like 
best of all to see it in actual life. Try to fit yourself 
to whatever comes in your way. 

Hearty service, rendered from pure motives, is 
acceptable to God, even when persons of education 
and taste have just cause to find fault with its imper 
fections. If we cannot bear witness for the gospel in 
grammatical language, we may be thankful that we 
can do it at all, and we may be encouraged by the. 
unquestionable fact that God blesses the most unpol 
ished utterances. When you go to do a bit of car 
pentering in the shed, and need a light, you are some, 
times on the look-out for the means of setting up youi 
bit of candle in a handy way. Here is the great 
invention in which your researches usually end. 

Curious Candlestick. 

You see I have stuck a candle into a ginger-beer 
bottle, and the light which comes from it is quite as 
clear as if I had a fine-plated candlestick. Here is a 
popular implement, and it is both handy and cheap 
tWho would find any fault with it if he were in the 
dark, and wanted to find something in a hurry ? If 
you have no fitter candlestick, a ginger-beer bottle 
does mightily well. How often our Lord has used 
men of scanty education, or of none at all ! How 
useful he has made the things which are despised ! 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 301 

Yet, at the same time, if it were left to me to make 
my choice as to how I -would have my candle set up, 
I should not object to have it in a more presentable 
stand. I would not quarrel even if the candle given 
to me to go to bed with were in a silver candlestick. 

For use I would sooner have a ginger-beer bottle 
with a bright candle in it than a plated candlestick with 
a dead candle in it, which I could not light. Who 
would object to be rid of the guttering and the hot- 
dropping tallow, and to handle a concern which would 
not dirty his hands ? A thing of beauty and of bright 
ness is a joy for ever. 

That Fatal Extinguisher. 

Have you ever heard of a person who, in real 
earnest, did the very foolish thing which I am attempt 
ing in pretence ! I have a candle here, and I want to 
light it. What shall I do ? 

Before me I see a candle burning very brightly, and 
I will take a light from it for this other candle. I have 
not succeeded. How is it that I have altogether failed ? 
I am of a very persevering turn of mind ; I will give 
it a fair trial. I cannot succeed in lighting my candle, 
and you are all laughing at me, and you whisper that 
I must be over-much stupid to try to light a candle 
while an extinguisher is upon it. I subside. 

Do you not think that very many persons go with 
an extinguisher on to hear a minister preach ? Listen 
to yonder young lady: "Well, I will go to hear him, 
Mary Anne, because you press me, but I am sure I 
shall not like him." Is she not very like a candle 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

covered with an extinguisher? Why our nameless 
friend does not like the preacher she has not told us ; 
but probably her prejudice will be the more intense in 
proportion as she is unable to give a reason for it. 
Prejudice is a blind and deaf judge, who decides a case 
before he has seen or heard the evidence. " Hang 
ihem first, and try them afterwards," is one of his sage 
observations. Remember the old lines about unrea 
sonable dislikes : 

" I do not like you, Dr. Fell, 
The reason why I cannot tell ; 
But this I know and know full well, 
I do not like you, Dr. Fell." 

Just so. That is a very effective extinguisher. 

Our young lady friend showed the prejudice of 
ignorance, but there is such a thing as the prejudice 
of learning, and this is a very effectual extinguisher. 
Dr. Taylor, of Norwich, once said that he had read 
the Bible through I think it was ten times and he 
could not anywhere find the Deity of Christ in it. 
Honest John Newton observed, " Yes, and if I were 
to try ten times to light a candle with an extinguisher 
on it, I should not succeed." Once make up your 
mind to refuse a doctrine or a command, and you will 
not see it where God himself has written it as with a 
3unbeam. Kick against a truth, and the arguments 
for it will seem to have no existence. Let prejudice 
of any sort wholly cover the candle of your mind, and, 
whatever you do, there is no likelihood of your re 
ceiving the light. There are none so deaf as those 
who will not hear. 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 303 

Wide- Awake Hearers. 

The only case in which I am willing to bear with 
prejudice is when a dislike of me leads people to watch 
the more carefully what I have to say. If they will, 
during a sermon, be wide awake that they may find 
fault, I will forgive their object out of respect to their 
action. Of all devils, the worst is the devil of slum- 
ber. He haunts places of worship, and it is not easy 
to chase him away, especially in warm weather. I 
greatly fear lest my people should become so used to 
me, that, like the miller, they can go to sleep all the 
easier for the grinding of the wheels I mean, all the 
quicker for the sound of my voice. 

Butchers, it seems, are accustomed to do their work 
with a candle fastened upon their foreheads in this 
fashion. As I a^ not one of those gentlemen "who 
kills his own," you \vi!l excuse me if I have not man 
aged the affair in an orthodox manner. There is an 
old story of one who had lost his candle, and travelled 
all round his premises searching for it by its own light. 
It is told as a jest, and it must have been a mirthful 
incident where it happened. I remember an old gen 
tleman .ao- could see very little without spectacles, 
but wt it up and down the house searching for his 
glasses, looking through them all the time. 

The Candle on the Forehead. 

The parable is this : a person full of doubts and 
fears about his personal condition before God is search 
ing for grace w ; thin, by the light of that very grace 
for which he is looking. He is fearfully anxious be- 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

cause he can see no trace of gracious anxiety in his 
mind. He feels sad because he cannot feel sad. He 
repents because he cannot repent. He has the candle 
on his forehead, and is seeing by the light of it, and 
yet he is searching for that very light, without which 
he could not search at all. Many a time a man 
laments that he does not feel, and all the while he isS 
overwhelmed with pain through the impression that 
he does not feel pain as he should. 

Some seem to have a great capacity for denying light 
to their fellows. I have known persons almost glory 
in their reticence with their own children. " I never 
spoke to him about religion," was the complacent con- 
Cession of an old professor as to his son. Some of 
these hide away in the dark themselves, lest they 
should be called upon to work. A prospectus of a 
Burial Club began, "Whereas many persons find it 
difficult to bury themselves. M Alas ! to my knowledge 
many persons bury themselves most easily, and one 
of my constant labors is to fetch them out of the sep 
ulchre of their indolence. I wish they would respond 
to my call, and not lie in their coffins and grumble at 
my disturbing them. Again, dark lantern, I must turn 
you on ! 

Here is a candle which is in a lantern of a tolerably 
respectable sort : at least, it was respectable long ago, 
and you might not now have noticed its forlorn con 
dition if it had not been for the candle within. 

Faults Show Themselves. 
So soon as you light within, the imperfections 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 305 

of the lantern are shown up ; and it is the same with 
human characters. Many a man would have seemed 
a decent sort of fellow if he had not professed to be 
a Christian ; but his open confession of religion fixed 
many eyes upon him, and his imperfections were at 
once observed of all observers. He who unites with 
a church, and takes upon himself the name of Christ,, 
claims a higher character than others ; and if he is 
not true to his profession, his inconsistency is marked; 
and very justly so. How often do we see that an un 
converted man may steal a horse, but a Christian must 
not look over the hedge at it ! That which is winked 
at in a man of the world, is a grave fault in a Chris 
tian. It is no more than natural and just that great 
professors should be expected to be better than oth 
ers. It is inevitable that the very light they have 
should reveal their faults and flaws. 

Brethren, let us not exhibit our candle in a dirty 
lantern, nor our religion in a doubtful character. I 
have heard of a minister who was a capital preacher, 
but he bought a wig of one of his hearers and forgot 
to pay for it. A bad habit that. Not to pay at all is 
worst of all ; but even to be long-winded is objection 
able. When the barber came home from the meeting 
he said, " That was a beautiful discourse ; but his wig 
spoiled it. I like his deep expositions, but, oh, that 
wig ! Will he ever pay for that wig ? " A friend who 
heard me tell this story remarked that " the wig stuck, 
in the man s throat--" 
20 



306 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

Jewel of Consistency. 

Let us pay for our wigs if we wear such inventions, 
and let us see to it that there is nothing else about 
our person or character which may bring the gospel 
into discredit. We have heard of a wonderful 
preacher, of whom they said that he preached so well 
and lived so badly, that when he was in the pulpit 
they thought he ought never to come out of it ; but 
when he was out of the pulpit they changed their 
minds, and sorrowfully concluded that he ought never 
to go into it again. 

In the case of this other lantern, little or no light 
would come from it if it were not for its cracks and 
rents. The light passes through the broken places. 
Do you not think that the sicknesses and infirmities 
of many godly people have been the making of them, 
and that the light divine has gleamed through the 
rifts in their tenements of clay ? Do not light-givers 
sometimes shine the better for sickness ? Some min 
isters preach the better for being afflicted. Do not 
wish your minister to be ill or to be tried; but I can 
not doubt the fact that the trials of ministers are the 
best part of their education. One who was rather a 
critic in sermons used to ask, " Has the doctor been 
ill within the last six months ? For he is not worth 
hearing else." 

An Old Scotch Woman s Saying 1 . 

An old Scotch woman found that when h^r ministei 
lost his sight he could not read his dry old nianu 
scripts, and was therefore forced to preach cxteropo- 



ON CANDLES. <*fi 

raneously. Perhaps she was a little cruel when she 
said, " Praise be to God. It would have been well if 
he had lost his sight twenty years ago." To her 
mind the sermons were so much better when they 
came forth from his heart than when he read them 
from the sapless manuscript, that to her the good 
man s loss of sight was a gain. If, in any way, you 
are able to tell out a sweeter experience, and so afford 
greater comfort to others through your body being 
like a broken lantern, be thankful for it. Happy are 
we if our losses are the gains of others. So long as 
our soul shines out with holier radiance we will glory 
in infirmities. 

Honored among women be the memory of Florence 
Nightingale ! Her name and fame gave an impetus 
to the movement for trained nurses, which has been 
so fraught with comfort to thousands. Our young 
ladies who devote themselves to this sacred service 
deserve all the encouragement we can give them. 
God bless you, gentle night-lights ! 

Our night-light is set in water to make it quite safe. 
We do well to guard ourselves against the personal 
dangers of our position : even when doing good we 
must be on our watch lest we fall into temptation, 

Night-Lights. 

Night-lights are marked to burn just so many hours, 
and no more ; and so are we. Long may you each 
one shine and yield comfort to those around you ; but, 
whether your honrs be few or many, may you burn 
steadily to the end! If we may but fulfil our mission 



308 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

it will be enough. May none of us take fire in a wrong 
way, blaze into a shameful notoriety, fill the air with an 
ill savor, and then go out in darkness ere half our 
work is done ! 

There is room for fresh forms of candle still, and 
we should not wonder if the article once more became 
the subject of advertising, as soap is at present. In 
other lands, as, for instance, on the north-west coast of 
America, candles have a singular originality about 
them ; for there they burn a fish, a species of smelt, 
which grows nearly a foot long and is full of fat. 
We should rather think the smelt smelleth, when they 
put a rush or a piece of bark down the centre of him, 
and make a natural candle of him. The light must be 
rather fishy ; but so is everything else in that region, 
and therefore it does not matter much. 

Fire-flies and Glow-worms. 

There is, in China and the East Indies, a candle fly ; 
but though it bears the name, we do not suppose that 
it serves the purpose of a candle. We have heard of 
reading by the light of glow-worms in our hedges, but 
we doubt whether ordinary type could thus be deci 
phered. Glow-worms remind us of most expositors, 
of whom Young says, 

The commentators each dark passage shun, 
And hold their failing candles to the sun." 

Fire-flies might serve our turn better, for they are like 
living lamps. They had a great charm for us when we 
saw them for the first time by the Italian lakes. The 
night-light is a sober night-comforter : may it be long 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 309 

before any of you learn its value in long hours of 
suffering ! 

Here is a candle which is as good as candle can 
well hope to be. The light is clear and pure. Speak 
ing popularly, the candle is perfect, and is .giving forth 
a bright light. Yet, if you knew it better, you would 
take another view of it. It is disseminating black 
,smoke as well as clear light. Here is a sheet of bright 
tin plate. Just hold it over the candle, and you will 
see that it is yielding something other than light. Of 
course, there will be nothing on the bright tin but that 
which comes out of the candle. 

Will one of you be so good as to put his finger on 
this tin, and then touch the tip of his nose and his fore 
head with it ? I cannot persuade any of you to try 
the effect ; but if you did so, you would prove to us 
all that the best of candles does not yield unmingled 
light. I am told that a man may be perfect. Well, 
no doubt we ought to be so, and in the biblical sense 
I hope many are so. But if all possible tests were 
applied to them, a measure of imperfection would be 
found in the brightest of the saints. It is as old Mas* 
terTrapp says, "We may be perfect, but not perfectly 
perfect." Grace makes us perfect after our kind \ 
but only in glory will the last remains of sin be alto 
gether removed. 

I should not care to be like this sheet of tin, used to 
expose the faults of others, when it would be better to 
leave them unnoticed. Some Peeping Toms have the 
gift of detecting the imperfections of good mea. J do 



810 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

not covet their talent. In the process, these prying 
folk, like this tin, grow very sooty themselves. Do 
not attempt to imitate them. 

In the next similitude you have a simpler reminder 
of the imperfections to which men are liable. A can- 
die, needs snuffers, and men need chastisements, for 
th >y are both of them subject to infirmity. In the 
temple of Solomon there were snuffers and snuff 
d shes ; but they were all of gold. 

Snuffers of Gold. 

God s rebukes are in love, and so should ours be ; 
loly reproofs in the spirit of affection are snuffers of 
old. Never use any other, and use even these with 
discretion, lest you put out the flame which it is your 
aim to improve. Never reprove in anger. * Do not 
deal with a small fault as if it were a great crime. If 
you see a fly on your boy s forehead don t try to kill 
it with a sledge-hammer, or you may kill the boy also. 
Do the needful but very difficult work of reproof in 
the kindest and wisest style, so that the good you aim 
at may be attained. 

It was a shocking habit of bad boys to snuff the 
candle, and then open the snuffers and let the smoke 
and the smell escape. The snuffers are made on pur* 
pose to remove the snuff, or consumed wick, and then 
to quench it by pressure, and prevent any offensive 
smoke ; but young urchins of a mischievous sort 
would set the snuffers wide, and let the filthy smoke 
fill the room with its detestable odor. So do some , ; 
who hear of a brother s faults, make them known, and 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 311 

seem to take pleasure in filling society with unsavory 
reports. I pray you, do not so. If the candle has 
something wrong with it, touch it carefully, snuff it 
with discretion, and shut up the obnoxious matter 
very carefully. 

Strange that the Secret Got Out. 

Let us be silent about things which are a discredi 
to Christian character. Keep an ill report secret , 
and do not be like the young lady who called in a 
dozen friends to help her keep a secret, and yet, strange 
to say, it got out. Remember, you may yourself de 
serve rebuke one of these days ; and as you would 
like this to be done gently and privately, so keep your 
remarks upon others within the happy circle of tender 
love. To rebuke in gentle love is difficult, but we 
must aim at it till we grow proficient. GOLDEN snuffers, 
remember; only golden snuffers. Put away those old 
rusty tilings those unkind, sarcastic remarks. They 
will do more harm than good, and they are not fit 
things to be handled by servants of the Lord Jesus. 

See how precious material runs to waste if the light 
is not trimmed ! There is a thief in the candle, and 
so it takes to guttering and running away, instead of 
yielding up its substance to be used for the light. Il 
ls sad when a Christian man has some ill habit, or 
sinister aim. 

Wasted Lives. 

We have seen fine lives wasted through a love of 
wine. It never c^ine to actual drunkenness, but it 
lowered the man and spoiled his influence. So it is 



812 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

with a hasty temper, or a proud manner, or a tendency 
to find fault. How many would be grandly useful but 
for some wretched impediment ! Worldliness runs 
away with many a man s energies ; love of amuse 
ment makes great gutters in his time ; or fondness for 
feasts and gilded society robs him of his space for 
service. With some, political heat runs away with the 
zeal which should have been spent upon religion, and 
in other cases sheer>Jolly and extravagance cause a 
terrible waste of energy which belonged to the Lord. 
You see there is fire, and there is light ; but some 
thing extraneous and mischievous is at work, and it 
needs to be removed. If this is your case, you may 
well desire the Lord to snuff you, however painful the 
operation may be. Depend upon it, we have no life- 
force to spare, and everything which lessens our con 
secrated energy is a robbery of God. 

The Sputtering Candle. 

Here is a sputtering candle. You can light the 
thing, but it seems to spit at you, and crackle as if in 
a bad temper. Never mind : it is its pretty way, and 
it will get over it, and burn comfortably by-and-by. 
We once had among us a good brother it is years 
ago, and he is now beyond our censure he would 
always give, and give liberally, too ; but he took the 
money out in grumbling. He thought there were too 
many appeals ; he thought the thing ought to be pro 
vided for in another way; he thought in fact he 
seemed to be full of discontented thoughts ; but ho 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 313 

ended up by saying, " There s my share of it." It was 
a pity, for he was real good. 

If any of you have the sputtering habit, I would 
advise you not to spend much pains in cultivating it: 
it is not pretty, and does not commend a man to those 
about him. When a candle has been so long in the 
(cellar that it has become thoroughly damp, it is apt to 
ppit and sputter a little ; but there is no reason why 
you and I should keep in the cellar, and be sick of 
the blues ; let us abide in the sunnier side of the house, 
and then we shall burn and shine with a happy cheer 
fulness. I hope we are not cut-on-the-cross, nor born 
like Attila to be " the scourge of mankind." I suppose 
it needs all sorts of people to make up a world ; but 
the fewer of the grizzling, complaining sort, the better 
for those who have to live with them. 

Chronic Growlers. 

Our sputtering candle has now got over his weak 
ness, for he has burned out his damp bit ; and when 
ever you and I come to a cantankerous half-hour, may 
we get through it as fast as possible, and keep our 
selves to ourselves all the time, that nobody may know 
that we have been in the sulks. Go into your growl- 
ery, and get it over : better still, go into your closet 
and get it under. 

We have seen a courteous contrivance at some 
tobacco shops for giving a light to passers-by. It may 
serve as a^uggestion to ourselves for far higher pur 
poses. If we know the divine truth, let us be ready 
to communicate it, and by our winning manner con- 



814 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

stantly say, "Take a light" Let us be approachable 
in reference to spiritual things, and we shall soon have 
the joy of seeing others taking a light from us. We 
know people to whom no one would ever speak in the 
hour of trial ; as well might they make a pillow of a 
thorn-bush. If people to whom they have never been 
introduced were to intrude their personal sorrows, 
they would be looked at with one of those searchers 
which read you from top to toe, and at the same time 
wither you up. On the other hand, there are faces 
which are a living advertisement running thus : GOOD 
ACCOMMODATION FOR MAN AND GRIEF. You are sure 
of a friend here. 

"Take a Light." 

Certain persons are like harbors of refuge, to which 
every vessel will run in distress. When you want to 
ask your way in the street, you instinctively shun the 
stuck-up gentleman of importance; and you most 
readily put the question to the man with the smiling 
face and the open countenance. In our church we 
have friends who seem to say to everybody, TAKE A 
LIGHT; may their number be greatly multiplied ! 

It should be a joy to hold a candle to another, (j 
will not waste our own light to impart it. Yet holding 
a candle to another has a bitter meaning, as in these 
lines : 

* Some say compared to Buononcini 
That Mynheer Handel s but a ninny s 
Others aver that he to Handel 
Is scarcely fit to hold a candle." 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 315 

This candle is upside down, and it cannot be long 
before it puts itself out. When in our hearts the lower 
nature is uppermost, and the animal dominates the 
spiritual, the flame of holy light cannot be long kept 
alight When the world is uppermost, and eternal 
things have a low place in the heart, the sacred life is 
in serious jeopardy. 

When the intellect crushes down the affections, the 
soul is not in an upright state. It needs that matters 
be quickly righted, or the worst consequences must 
ensue. -Our prayer should rise to God that this 
happen not to ourselves; and when we see that it is 
so with others, we should be full of prayerful concern 
that they may be turned by the hand of God into a 
true and upright condition. 

Wasting the Tallow. 

Some men who are viot quite upright waste much of 
their influence. To such we might apply the old and 
almost obsolete word candle-waster. It is a pity to 
lose life in harmful or unprofitable ways. 

Here is a very important-looking candle. Its 
dimensions are aldermanic. You expect great 
things from so portly an illuminator. Look at the 
size of it. But when I light it, the illuminating power 
is very small. Can you see any light coming from it ? 
It is a star of the smallest magnitude. We have here 
the maximum of tallow and the minimum of light. 
The fact is, that only a little of the fat ju.^t near the 
centre ever gets melted. This makes a little well of 
hot grease, but the rest is as hard and cold au if there 



316 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

were no burning wick in the middle. Thus it is with 
men of more talent than heart: the chief part nf them 
is never used. 

Many a great and learned minister, with any quan 
tity of Latin and Greek tallow, is but very little useful 
because his ability is not touched by his heart. He 
remains cold as to the bulk of him. Many a great* 
rich man, with any amount of the fat of wealth, never 
gets warmed through : he is melted to the extent of a 
shilling or two, but his thousands are unaffected. 
Partial consecration is a very doubtful thing ; and yet 
how much we have of it ! What is wanted is " grace 
more abundant," to fuse the whole man, and make 
every part and parcel of him subservient to GooVs 
great design of light-giving. 

A Son of Thunder. 

The main business is to have plenty of heart. I 
have noticed that speakers produce an effect upon 
their audiences rather in proportion to their heurts 
than their heads. I was present at a meeting where 
a truly solid and instructive speaker succeeded in 
mesmerizing us all, so that in another half minute we 
should all have been asleep. His talk was as good 
as gold, and as heavy. He was followed by a gentle 
man who was "all there," what there was of him, 
He was so energetic that he broke a chair, and made 
us all draw in our feet, for fear he should come down 
upon our corns. How the folks woke up ! The gal 
leries cheered him to the echo. I do not know what 
it was all about, and did not know at the time ; but it 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 317 

was very wonderful. An express at sixty miles an 
hour is nothing to that orator. He swept past us like 
Well, like nothing at all. He meant it, and we felt 
that he deserved to be cheered for such zealous inten 
tions. He was all ablaze, and we were willing for a 
season to rejoice in his light. 

Powder Needs Shot. 

I do not hold him up as an example, for in warfare 
we need shot as well as powder ; but I could not help 
seeing that a warm heart and an energetic manner 
will carry the day, where a cold ponderosity affects 
nothing. My friend was like the cobbler s candle with 
two wicks. His blaze was very large in proportion to 
the material which sustained it. 

In our labor to do good we must not let our learn 
ing remain cold and useless. Dr. Manton was one of 
the best of preachers, being both instructive and simple. 
On one occasion, however, he preached before an 
assembly of the great, and he very naturally used a 
more learned style than was his wont. He felt greatly 
rebuked when a poor man plucked him by the gown, 
and lamented that, whereas he had often been fed 
under his ministry, there had been nothing for him on 
that occasion. The fire had not been so fierce as the 
tallow had been cold. It is a dreadful thing when 
hearers have more use for a dictionary than for a Bible 
under a sermon. A preacher may pile books on his 
head and heart till neither of them can work. Give 
me rather the enthusiastic Salvationist bearing a burn- 



318 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

ing testimony, than your cultured philosopher prosing 
with chill propriety. 

The Safety Lantern. 

Here is what your wise aunt in the country used to 
give you at night when you went down to the old farm 
house, and time had come for bed. You said, "Aunt, 
.vhat is this cage for ? Is this a mad candle, that it 
needs to be thus straitly shut up ? " " No," she said, 
"we have had young people here who have been so 
wicked as to read in bed, and you know how dangerous 
it is. Why, they might set all the bed-curtains alight, 
and so the house might take fire, and all your uncle s 
ricks would soon be blazing, and soon the whole village 
would go like a bunch of matches. 

" So I put the candle in a guard to prevent mischief." 
Still, after all your aunt s lucid explanation, you did 
not like the look of this muzzled candle ; and I should 
not wonder if you took it out of its prison, and did a 
bit of reading by its naked light. Young people are 
so venturesome ! Now, it is very proper to be on 
your guard, in what you say, and what you do. In all 
companies it is well to be guarded in your behavior. 
But is there not a way of being on your guard without 
diminishing the light of your cheerfulness? May you 
not be careful without being suspicious? Here is just 
as effectual a guard for a candle as that wire cage ; 
but it is far more bright and attractive. 

Sugar Versus Vinegar. 

Let your prudence be always mated to your cheep 
fulness. Be on the watch, but don t look as if you had 



LECTURES ON CANDLES. 319 

been drinking a quart of vinegar. Guard against sin, 
but do not check everything that would make life 
bright and happy. Don t put out the candle for fear 
of burning down the house. 

In the matter of being on your guard against impos 
tors who seek your chanty, use common-sense but not 
harshness. I had rather be taken in every now and 
then than be always suspicious. One does not care to 
go about in armor all day and all night ; one is glad to 
get his head out of the helmet, and lay it down on a 
pillow. It may be useful to us to be taken in some 
times, that we may see how weak we are I mean the 
shrewdest of us. 

This second guard, so pleasant and bright, is my 
ideal. Here you have care without anxiety, and 
prudence without gloom. Be it so with us, that with 
a mortal hatred to all sin, we have a delight in all that 
is glad, and joyous, and pure. 

Here is an hour-glass and a candle. As the hour 
glass runs, and the candle burns, we mark how the 
time passes away. In the old Puritan pulpits there 
used to be an hour-glass, and the preacher was ex 
pected to preach as long as the sand of the hour-glass 
was running; which, of course, was just an hour. 

A Long-winded Brother. 

A witty preacher, having on one occasion only 
reached to "Eighteenthly" when the hour-glass had 
run out, and having thirty heads to dilate upon, turned 
the machine over and cried, " Brethren, let us have 
another glass." When you hear of the length of 



320 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

time that your ancestors gave to hearing discourses, 
be ashamed at the grumbling about long sermons, and 
do try to take in every scrap of the poor pennyworth 
which we are allowed to give you in three poor quar 
ters of an hour. Whether we preach, or hear, time 
is hastening on, Our sands of life will soon run out. 
just as we are being borne along irresistibly every 
moment as the earth speeds in her orbit, so are we 
being carried away by the resistless course of time. 
How it flies to a man of middle age ! How exceed 
ingly fast to the aged ! We may say of the hours, as 
x>f the cherubim, " each one had six wings. * If every 
thing is made secure by faith in the Lord Jesus, we 
need not wish it to be otherwise ; for the faster time 
passes, the sooner shall we be at home with our Father 
and our God. 

We feel, as we watch the decreasing candle and 
the falling sand, that we, at least, have no time which 
needs killing. What we have is all too little for our 
high and holy purposes. We want not cards, and dice, 
and scenic displays for a pastime : our time passes all 
too rapidly without such aids. Those who kill time 
will soon find that time kills them, and they would 
gladly give worlds, if they had them, to win back a 
single hour. Remember the story of Queen Eliza 
beth s last moments, and take care to spend each hour 
as carefully as if you had no other hour to follow it. 

Burning 1 the Candle at Both Ends. 

The next illustration is a warning, and not an 
example. You have often heard it said of such and 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 321 

such a person, " he is burning the candle at both 
ends." Spendthrifts waste both capital and interest ; 
and by both neglecting business and wasting their 
substance on expensive pleasures, they burn the 
candle at both ends. The vicious not only exhaust 
their daily strength, but they draw upon the future of 
their constitutions, so that when a few years have gone 
they are old men before their time. Beware of burn 
ing the candle at both ends. It \vill ge fast enough if 
you burn it only at one end ; for your stock of strength 
and life is very limited. 

If there is any one here who is sinning on the right 
ha^nd and on the left, let him forbear, and not be in 
such fearful haste to endless ruin. Let this candle 
cast a light upon the folly of prodigality, and may the 
prodigal hasten home before his candle is burned out. 
Did you ever see a candle used in that way ? You do 
not live with folks so mad ; but if you look abroad in 
the wide world, you may see how thousands are 
squandered and lives are cut short by burning the 
candle at both ends. 

Some good people are unreasonable towards min 
isters and evangelists, and want them to be worked 
to death. Many a valuable man of God has been 
lost to the church by his burning his candle at both 
ends. 

Candle Meteors. 

This candle has fallen upon evil times. I have a 
bottle here full of a black material, which is to fall 
upon the flame of this candle. When I tell you that 



322 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

this bottle contains a quantity of steel-filings, you will 
at once prophesy that the light will be put out. 

Let us see what will happen ! Why, well, instead 
of putting the candle out, I am making it disport itself 
as candle never did before ! Here we have fireworks, 
which, if they do not quite rival those of the Crystal 
Palace, have a splendor of their own. Do you not 
think that often when Satan tries to throw dust upon 
a Christian by slander, he only makes him shine the 
brighter ? He was bright before, but now he corus 
cates, and sends forth a glory and a beauty which we 
could not have expected from him, for it never could 
have come from him if it had not been for the tempta 
tions, trials and spiritual difficulties with which he has 
been assailed. God grant that it may be so with us 
in all time of our tribulation ! May we turn the filings 
of steel into flashes of light! 

United Splendor. 

We will conclude as they do at open-air entertain 
ments with the greatest display of our fireworks. 

Here are many candles uniting their brilliance ; 
they all hang upon one support, and shine by the 
same light, May they not represent the church of 
vChrist in its multiplicity, variety and unity? These 
candles are all supported upon one stem, they are all 
giving forth the same light, and yet they are of all 
manner of sorts, sizes and colors. A great way off 
they would seem to be but one light. They are many, 
and yet but one. I happened one evening to say that 
nobody could tell which was the " U, P.. " and which 



LECTURE ON CANDLES. 323 

was the Free Church, or which was the Wesleyan, or 
the Primitive, or the Salvation Army, or the Baptists, 
and so on ; but one strong old Baptist assured me 
that the " Dips " gave the best light. 

Another said the Presbyterians were, on the whole, 
rast in the best mould ; and a third thought the Eng 
lish Church was made of the truest wax. I told them 
that some of the Baptists would be the better if they 
had another Baptism. The Free Churches might be 
none the worse for being more established in the 
faith ; and even the Methodists might improve their 
methods. The main question is possession of the one 
light and fire of God, the flame of divine truth. Those 
who shine by divine grace are all one in Christ Jesus. 

What a glory will there be in the one church when 
all her members shine, and all are one ! May such a 
day come quickly ! Amen. 

Have I not proved that a world of illustration may 
be found in a candle ? 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 



LECTURE TO STUDENTS ON THE BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR, 

HAVING often said in this room that a minister ought 
to have one blind eye and one deaf ear, I have excited 
the curiosity of several brethren, who have requested 
an explanation ; for it appears to them, as it does also 
to me, that the keener eyes and ears we have the 
better. Well, gentlemen, since the text is somewhat 
mysterious, you shall have the exegesis of it. 

A part of my meaning is expressed in plain lan 
guage by Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes (vii. 
21): "Also take no heed unto all words that are 
spoken ; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee." The 
margin says, " Give not thy heart to all words that are 
spoken ; " do not take them to heart or let them 
weigh with you, do not notice them, or act as if you 
heard them. You cannot stop people s tongues, and 
therefore the best thing is to stop your own ears and 
never mind what is spoken. 

There is a world of idle chit-chat abroad, and he who 
takes note of it will have enough to do. He will find 
that even those who live with him are not always sing 
ing his praises, and that when he has displeased his 
most faithful servants they have, in the heat of the 
moment, spoken fierce words which it would be better 
for him not to have heard. Who has not, under tem 
porary irritation, said that of another which he has 
afterwards regretted ? It is the part of the generous 
to treat passionate words as if they had never been 



BLIND EYE ANb owAF EAR. 325 



uttered. When a man is in an angry mood it is wise 
to walk away from him, and leave off strife before it 
be meddled with ; and if we are compelled to hear 
hasty language, we must endeavor to obliterate it from 
the memory, and say with David, " But I, as a deaf 
man, heard not. I was as a man that heareth not, and 
in whose mouth are no reproofs." Tacitus describes 
a wise man as saying to one that railed at him, " You 
are lord of your tongue, but I am also master of my 
ears " you may say what you please, but I will hear 
what I choose. 

Village Gossips. 

We cannot shut our ears as we do our eyes, for we 
have no ear lids, and yet, as we read of him that 
" stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood," it is, no 
doubt, possible to seal the portal of the ear so that 
nothing contraband shall enter. We would say of the 
general gossip of the village, and of the unadvised 
words of angry friends do not hear them, or if you 
must hear them, do not lay them to heart, for you also 
have talked idly and angrily in your day, and would 
even now be in an awkward position if you were called 
to account for every word that you have spoken, even 
.about your dearest friend. Thus Solomon argued as 
jhe closed the passage which we have quoted, 
*" For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that 
thou thyself likewise hast cursed others." 

In enlarging upon my text, let me say first, when 
you commence your ministry make up your mind to 
begin with a clean sheet ; be deaf and blind to the Img 



326 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

standing differences which may survive in the church. 
As soon as you enter upon your pastorate you may 
be waited upon by persons who are anxious to secure 
your adhesion to their side in a family quarrel or church 
dispute ; be deaf and blind to these people, and 
assure them that bygones must be bygones with you 
and that as you have not inherited your predecessor s 
cupboard you do not mean to eat his cold meat. If 
any flagrant injustice has been done, be diligent to set 
it right, but if it be a mere feud, bid the quarrelsome 
party cease from it, and tell him once for all that you 
will have nothing to do with it. 

People With Large Feet. 

The answer of Gallio will almost suit you : " If it 
were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye 
Jews, reason would that I should bear with you ; but 
if it be a question of words and names, and vain jang- 
lings, look ye to it ; for I will be no judge of such 
matters." When I came to New Park Street Chapel 
as a young man from the country, and was chosen 
pastor, I was speedily interviewed by a good man who 
had left the church, having, as he said, been "treated 
shamefully." He mentioned the names of half a dozen 
persons, all prominent members of the church, who 
had behaved in a very unchristian manner to him, he, 
poor innocent sufferer, having been a model of patience 
and holiness. I learned his character at once from 
what he said about others (a mode of judging which 
has never misled me), and I made up my mind how 
to act. I told him that the church had been in a sadly 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 327 

unsettled state, and that the only way out of the snarl 
was for every one to forget the past and begin again. 
He said that the lapse of years did not alter facts, 
and I replied that it would alter a man s view of them 
if in that time he had become a wiser and better man. 
However, I added, that all the past had gone away 
with my predecessors, that he must follow them tc 
their new spheres, and settle matters with them, for 1 
would not touch the affair with a pair of tongs. He 
waxed somewhat warm, but I allowed him to radiate 
until he was cool again, and we shook hands and 
parted. He was a good man, but constructed upon 
an uncomfortable principle, so that he came across the 
path of others in a very awkward manner at times, 
and if I had gone into his narrative and examined his 
case, there would have been no end to the strife. I 
am quite certain that, for my own success, and for the 
prosperity of the church, I took the wisest course by 
applying my blind eye to all disputes which dated pre 
viously to my advent. 

Bribed by Flattery. 

It is the extreme of unwisdom for a young man fresh 
from college, or from another charge, to suffer himself 
to be earwigged by a clique, and to be bribed by 
kindness and flattery to become a partisan, and so to 
ruin himself with one-half of his people. Know noth 
ing of parties and cliques, but be the pastor of all the 
flock, and care for all alike. Blessed are the peace 
makers, and one sure way of peacemaking is to let the 
fire of contention alone. Neither fan it, nor stir it, 



328 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

nor add fuel to it, but let it go out of itself. Begin 
your ministry with one blind eye and one deaf ear. 

/ should recommend the use of the same faculty, or 
want of faculty, with regard to Jinance in the matter of 
your own salary. There are some occasions, espe 
cially in raising a new church, when you may have no 
deacon who is qualified to manage that department, 
and, therefore, you may feel called upon to undertake 
it yourselves. In such a case you are not to be cen 
sured you ought even to be commended. 

Many a time also the work would come to an end 
altogether if the preacher did not act as his own deacon, 
and find supplies both temporal and spiritual by his 
own exertions. To these exceptional cases I have 
nothing to say but that I admire the struggling worker 
and deeply sympathize with him. for he is over 
weighted, and is apt to be a less successful soldier for 
his Lord because he is entangled, with the affairs of 
this life. In churches which are well established, and 
afford a decent maintenance, the minister will do well 
to supervise all things, but interfere with nothing. 

Preachers Must Eat. 

If deacons cannot be trusted they ought not to be 
deacons at all, but if they are worthy of their office 
they are worthy of our confidence. I know that in 
stances occur in which they are sadly incompetent, 
and yet they must be borne with, and in such a state 
of things the pastor must open the eye which other 
wise would have remained blind. Rather than the 
management of church funds should become a scan 



EYE AND DEAF EAR. 329 

dal, we must resolutely interfere, but if there is no 
urgent call for us to do so, we had better believe in 
the division of labor, and let deacons do their own 
work. 

We have the same right as other officers to deal 
with financial matters if we please, but it will be our 
wisdom as much as possible to let them alone, if otlv 
ers will manage them for us. When the purse is* 
bare, the wife sickly, and the children numerous, the 
preacher must speak if the church does not properly 
provide for him ; but to be constantly bringing before 
the people requests for an increase of inceme is not 
wise. When a minister is poorly remunerated, and 
he feels that he is worth more, and that the church 
could give him more, he ought kindly, boldly and 
firmly to communicate with the deacons first, and if 
they do not take it up, he should then mention it to 
the brethren in a sensible, business-like way, not as 
craving a charity, but as putting it to their sense of 
honor, that the " laborer is worthy of his hire." Let him 
say outright what he thinks, for there is nothing to be 
ashamed of, but there would be much more cause for 
shame if he dishonored himself and the cause of God 
by plunging into debt : let him therefore speak to the 
point in a proper spirit to the proper persons, and 
there end the matter, and not resort to secret com* 
plaining. 

A Shrewd Kind of Faith. 

Faith in God should tone down our concern about 
temporalities, and enable us to practice what we preach, 



380 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

namely "Take no thought, saying, What shall we 
eat ? or, What shall we drink ? or, Wherewithal shall 
we be clothed ? for your heavenly Father knoweth 
that ye have need of all these things." Some who 
have pretended to live by faith have had a very shrewd 
way of drawing out donations by turns of the indirect 
corkscrew, but you will either ask plainly, like men 
or you will leave it to the Christian feeling of your 
people, and turn to the items and modes of church 
finance a blind eye and a deaf ear. 

The blind eye and the deaf ear will come in exceed 
ingly well in connection with the gossips of the place. 
Every church, and, for the matter of that, every vil 
lage and family, is plagued with certain Mrs. Grundys, 
who drink tea and talk vitriol. They are never quiet, 
but buzz around to the great annoyance of those who 
are devout and practical. No one needs to look far 
for perpetual motion, he has only to watch their 

tongues. 

The Minister s Wife s Bonnet. 

At tea meetings, Dorcas meetings and other gath 
erings, they practise vivisection upon the characters of 
their neighbors, and of course they are eager to try 
their knives upon the minister, the minister s wife, the 
minister s children, the minister s wife s bonnet the 
dress of the minister s daughter, and how many new 
ribbons she has worn for the last six months, and so 
on ad infinilum. There are also certain persons who 
are never so happy as when they are " grieved to the 
heart" to have to tell the minister that Mr. A. is a 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 381 

in the grass, that he is quite mistaken in think 
ing so well of Messrs. B. and C., and that they have 
heard quite " promiscuously " that Mr. D. and his wife 
are badly matched. 

Then follows a long string about Mrs. E., who says 
that she and Mrs. F. overheard Mrs. G. say to Mrs., 
H, that Mrs. J. should say that Mr. K. and Miss L 
were going to move from the chapel and hear Mr. M., 
and all because of what old N. said to young O. about 
that Miss P. Never listen to such people. Do as 
Nelson did when he put his blind eye to the telescope 
and declared that he did not see the signal, and there 
fore would go on with the battle. 

Busy Mrs. Grundy. 

Let the creatures buzz, and do not even hear them, 
unless indeed they buzz so much concerning one per 
son that the matter threatens to be serious ; then it 
will be well to bring them to book and talk in sober 
earnestness to them. Assure them that you are 
obliged to have facts definitely before you, that your 
memory is not very tenacious, that you have many 
things to think of, that you are always afraid of mak 
ing any mistake in such matters, and that if they would 
be good enough to write down what they have to say 
the case would be more fully before you, and you could 
give more time to its consideration. Mrs. Grundy will 
not do that ; she has a great objection to making clear 
and definite statements ; she prefers talking at random. 

I heartily wish that by any process we could put 
down gossip, but I suppose that it will never be done so 



332 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

long as the human race continues what it is, for James 
tells us that " every kind of beasts, and of birds, and 
of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed and hath 
been tamed of mankind ; but the tongue can no man 
tame ; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." 
What can t be cured must be endured, and the best 
way of enduring it is not to listen to it. Over one of 
our old castles a former owner has inscribed these 
lines 

THEY SAY. 

WHAT DO THEY SAY ? 

LET THEM SAY. 

Thin-skinned persons should learn this motto by heart. 
The talk of the village is never worthy of notice, and 
you should never take any interest in it except to 
mourn over the malice and heartlessness of which it is 
too often the indicator. 

Killing a Duck for a Feather. 

Mayow in his " Plain Preaching " very forcibly says, 
" If you were to see a woman killing a farmer s ducks 
and geese, for the sake of having one of the feathers, 
you would see a person acting as we do when WQ 
speak evil of any one, for the sake of the pleasure WQ 
feel in evil speaking. For the pleasure we feel is not 
^worth a single feather, and the pain we give is often 
greater than a man feels at the loss of his property." 
Insert a remark of this kind now and then in a sermon, 
when there is no special gossip abroad, and it may be 
of some benefit to the more sensible : I quite despair 
of the rest. 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 333 

Above all, never join in tale-bearing yourself, and 
beg your wife to abstain from it also. Some men are 
too talkative by half, and remind me of the young 
man who was sent to Socrates to learn oratory. On 
being introduced to the philosopher he talked so 
incessantly that Socrates asked for double fees. "Why 
charge me double ? " said the young fellow. " Because/ 
said the orator, " I must teach you two sciences : the 
one how to hold your tongue and the other how to 
speak." The first science is the more difficult, but 
aim at proficiency in it, or you will suffer greatly, and 
create trouble without end. 

Avoid with your whole soul that spirit of suspicion 
which sours some men s lives, and to all things from 
-which you might harshly draw an unkind inference turn 
a blind eye and a deaf ear. Suspicion makes a man a 
torment to himself and a spy towards others. Once 
begin to suspect and causes for distrust will multiply 
around you, and your very suspiciousness will create 
the major part of them. Many a friend has been 
transformed into an enemy by being suspected. 

People who are Suspicious. 

Do not, therefore, look about you with the eyes of 
mistrust, nor listen as an eaves-dropper with the quick 
ear of fear. To go about the congregation ferreting 
out disaffection, like a game-keeper after rabbits, is a 
mean employment and is generally rewarded most 
sorrowfully. Lord Bacon wisely advises " the provi 
dent stay of inquiiy of that which we would be loath 
to find." When nothing is to be discovered which will 



334 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

help us to love others we had better cease from the 
inquiry, for we may drag to light that which may be 
the commencement of years of contention. 

I am not, of course, referring to cases requiring dis 
cipline, which must be thoroughly investigated and 
boldly dealt with, but I have upon my mind mere per 
sonal matters where the main sufferer is yourself; 
here it is always best not to know, nor wish to know> 
what is being said about you, either by friends or foes. 
Those who praise us are probably as much mistaken 
as those who abuse us, and the one may be regarded 
as a set off to the other, if indeed it be worth while 
taking any account at all of man s judgment. If we 
have the approbation of our God, certified by a placid 
conscience, we can afford to be indifferent to the 
opinions of our fellow-men, whether they commend or 
condemn. If we cannot reach this point we are babes 
and not men. 

Angry at Honest Criticism. 

Some are childishly anxious to know their friend s 
opinion of them, and if it contains the smallest 
element of dissent or censure, they regard him as an 
enemy forthwith. Surely we are not popes, and do 
not wish our hearers to regard us as infallible ! We 
have known men become quite enraged at a perfectly 
fair and reasonable remark, and regard an honest friend 
as an opponent who delighted to find fault ; this mis 
representation on the one side has soon produced heat 
on the other, and strife has ensued. How much bet 
ter is gentle forbearance ! You must be able to bear 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 335 

criticism, or you are not fit to be at the head of a 
congregation ; and you must let the critic go without 
reckoning him among your deadly foes, or you will 
prove yourself a mere weakling. 

It is wisest always to show double kindness where 
you have been severely handled by one who thought 
it his duty to do so, for he is probably an honest man 
and worth winning. He who in your early days hardly 
thinks you fit for the pastorate may yet become your 
firmest defender if he sees that you grow in grace, 
advance in qualification for the work ; do not, there 
fore, regard him as a foe for truthfully expressing his 
doubts ; does not your own heart confess that his fears 
were not altogether groundless ? Turn your deaf ear 
to what you judge to be his harsh criticism, and en 
deavor to preach better. 

Uneasy Hearers. 

Persons from love of change, from pique, from ad 
vance in their tastes, and other causes, may become 
uneasy under our ministry, and it is well for us to 
know nothing about it. Perceiving the danger, we 
must not betray our discovery, but bestir ourselves to 
improve our sermons, hoping that the good people 
will be better fed and forget their dissatisfaction. If 
they are truly gracious persons, the incipient evil will 
pass away, and no real discontent will arise, or if it 
does you must not provoke ft by suspecting it. 

Where I have known that there existed a measure 
of disaffection to myself, I have not recognized it, 
unless it has been forced upon me, but have, on the 



336 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

contrary, acted towards the opposing person with all 
the more courtesy and friendliness, and I have never 
heard any more of the matter. If I had treated the 
good man as an opponent, he would have done his 
best to take the part assigned him, and carry it out to 
his own credit: but I felt that he was a Christian man, 
and had a right to dislike me if he thought fit, and thai 
if he did so I ought not to think unkindly of him ; and 
therefore I treated him as one who was a friend to my 
Lord, if not to me, gave him some work to do which 
implied confidence in him, made him feel at home, and 
by degrees won him to be an attached friend as well 
as a fellow-worker. 

Out at the Elbows. 

The best of people are sometimes out at elbows and 
say unkind things ; we should be glad if our friends 
could quite forget what we said when we were peev 
ish and irritable, and it will be Christlike to act towards 
others in this matter as we would wish them to do 
towards us. Never make a brother remember that 
he once uttered a hard speech in reference to yourself. 
If you see him in a happier mood, do not mention the 
former painful occasion ; if he be a man of right spirit 
he will in future be unwilling to vex a pastor who has 1 
treated him so generously, and if he be a mere boor 
it is a pity to hold any argument with him, and there 
fore the past had better go by default. 

It would be better to be deceived a hundred times 
than to live a life of suspicion. It is intolerable. The 
miser who traverses his chamber at midnight and hears 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 337 

a burglar in every falling leaf is not more wretched 
than the minister who believes that plots are hatching 
against him, and that reports to his disadvantage are 
being spread. 

I remember a brother who believed that he was 
being poisoned, and was persuaded that even the seat 
he sat upon and the clothes he wore had, by some, 
subtle chemistry, become saturated with death ; his 
life was one perpetual scare, and such is the existence 
of a minister when he mistrusts all around him. Nor 
is suspicion merely a source of disquietude, it is a 
moral evil, and injures the character of the man who 

harbors it. 

Human Spiders. 

Suspicion in kings creates tyranny, in husbands 
jealousy, and in ministers bitterness ; such bitterness 
as in spirit dissolves all the ties of the pastoral relation, 
eating like a corrosive acid into the very soul of the 
office and making it a curse rather than a blessing. 
When once this terrible evil has curdled all the milk 
of human kindness in a man s bosom, he becomes 
more fit for the detective force than for the ministry ; 
like a spider, he begins to cast out his lines, and 
fashions a web of tremulous threads, all of which lead 
up to himself and warn him of the least touch of even 
the tiniest midge. 

There he sits in the centre, a mass of sensation, all 
nerves and raw wounds, excitable and excited, a self- 
immolated martyr drawing the blazing fagots about 
him, and apparently anxious to be burned. The most 

22 



338 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

faithful friend is unsafe under such conditions. The 
most careful avoidance of offence will not secure 
immunity from mistrust, but will probably be construed 
into cunning and cowardice. Society is almost as 
much in danger from a suspecting man as from a mad 
dog, for he snaps on all sides without reason, and 
scatters right and left the foam of his madness. It is 
vain to reason with the victim of this folly, for with 
perverse ingenuity he turns every argument the wrong 
way, and makes your plea for confidence another 
reason for mistrust. 

It is sad that he cannot see the iniquity of his ground 
less censure of others, especially of those who have 
been his best friends and the firmest upholders of the 
cause of Christ. 

* I would not wrong 

Virtue so tried by the least shade of doubt ; 
Undue suspicion is more abject baseness 
Even than the guilt suspected." 

No one ought to be made an offender for a word ; but, 
when suspicion rules, even silence becomes a crime. 
Brethren, shun this vice by renouncing the love of 
self. Judge it to be a small matter what men think or 
say of you, and care only for their treatment of your 

Lord 

How to Treat Busybodies. 

If you are naturally sensitive do not indulge the 
weakness, nor allow others to play upon it. Would 
it not be a great degradation of your office if you were 
to keep an army of spies in your pay to collect in 
formation as to all that your people said of you ? And 



BLIND EYE AND DEA* EAR. 339 

yet it amounts to this if you allow certain busybodies 
to bring you all the gossip of the place. Drive the 
creatures away. Abhor those mischief-making, tat 
tling hand-maidens of strife. Those who will fetch 
will carry, and no doubt the gossips go from your 
house and report every observation which falls from 
your lips , with plenty of garnishing of their own. 

Remember that, as the receiver is as bad as the 
thief, so the hearer of scandal 1 is a sharer in the guilt 
of it. If there were no listening ears there would be 
no tale-bearing tongues. While you are a buyer of 
ill wares the demand will create the supply, and the 
factories of falsehood will be working full time. No 
one wishes to become a creator of lies, and yet he 
who hears slanders with pleasure and believes their, 
with readiness will hatch many a brood into active life. 

Solomon says, "A whisper separateth chief friends." 
(Prov. xvi. 28.) Insinuations are thrown out and 
jealousies aroused till " mutual coolness ensues, and 
neither can understand why ; each wonders what can 
possibly be the cause. Thus the firmest, the longest, 
the warmest, and most confiding attachments, the 
sources of life s sweetest joys, are broken up perhaps 
(or ever." This is work worthy of the arch-fiend him- 
^olf, but it could never be done if men lived out of the 
atmosphere of suspicion. 

Mischievous Scandal- Mongers. 

As it is the world is full of sorrow through this 
cause, a sorrow as sharp as it is superfluous. This is 
grievous indeed. Campbell eloquently remarks, " The 



340 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

ruins of old friendships are a more melancholy spec 
tacle to me than those of desolated palaces. They 
exhibit the heart, which was once lighted up with joy, 
all damp and deserted, and haunted by those birds of 
ill-omen that nestle in ruins." O suspicion, what 
desolations thou hast made in the earth ! 

Learn to disbelieve those who have no faith in their 
brethren. Suspect those who would lead you to sus 
pect others. A resolute unbelief in all the scandal 
mongers will do much to repress their mischievous 
energies. Matthew Pool, in his Cripplegate Lecture, 
says : " Common fame hath lost its reputation long 
since, and I do not know anything which it hath done 
in our day to regain it ; therefore it ought not to be 
credited. How few reports there are of any kind 
which, when they come to be examined, we do not 
find to be false ! For my part, I reckon, if I believe 
one report in twenty, I make a very liberal allowance. 
Especially distrust reproaches and evil reports, because 
these spread fastest, as being grateful to most persons 
who suppose their own reputation to be never so well 
grounded as when it is built upon the ruins of other 
men s/ Because the persons who would render you 
mistrustful of your friends are a sorry set, and because 
suspicion is in itself a wretched and tormenting vice, 
resolve to turn towards the whole business your blind 
eye and your deaf ear. 

Detestable Eavesdroppers. 

Need I say a word or two about the wisdom of 
hearing what was not meant for you. The eaves- 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. X 

dropper is a mean person, very little if anything bet 
ter than the common informer ; and he who says he 
overheard may be considered to have heard over and 
above what he should have done. 

Jeremy Taylor wisely and justly observes, " Never 
listen at the door or window, for besides that it con 
tains in it a danger and a snare, it is also invading my 
neighbor s privacy, and a laying that open, which ho 
therefore encloses that it might not be open." It is a 
well-worn proverb that listeners seldom hear any good 
of themselves. Listening is a sort of larceny, but the 
goods stolen are never a pleasure to the thief. Infor, 
mation obtained by clandestine means must, in all but 
extreme cases, be more injury than benefit to a cause. 

The magistrate may judge it expedient to obtain 
evidence by such means, but I cannot imagine a case 
in which a minister should do so. Ours is a mission 
of grace and peace ; we are not prosecutors who 
search out condemnatory evidence, but friends whose 
love would cover a multitude of offences. The peep 
ing eyes of Canaan, the son of Ham, shall never be 
in our employ ; we prefer the pious delicacy of Shem 
and Japhet, who went backward and covered the 
shame which the child of evil had published with glee. 

Do Not be Thin-skinned. 

To opinions and remarks about yourself turn also as 
a general rule the blind eye and the deaf ear. Public 
men must expect public criticism, and as the public 
cannot be regarded as infallible, public men may expect 
to be criticised in a way which is neither fair nor 



342 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

pleasant. To all honest and just remarks we are 
bound to give due measure of heed, but to the bitter 
verdict of prejudice, the frivolous faultfinding of men 
of fashion, the stupid utterances of the ignorant, and 
the fierce denunciations of opponents, we may very 
safely turn a deaf ear. We cannot expect those to, 
approve of us whom we condemn by our testimony* 
against their favorite sins ; their commendation would 
show that we had missed our mark. 

We naturally look to be approved by our own 
people, the members of our churches, and the adher 
ents of our congregations, and when they make 
observations which show that they are not very great 
admirers, we maybe tempted to discouragement if not 
to anger: herein lies a snare. When I was about to 
leave my village charge for London, one of the old 
men prayed that I might be " delivered from the bleat 
ing of the sheep." For the life of me I could not 
imagine what he meant, but the riddle is plain now, 
and I have learned to offer the prayer myself. Too 
much consideration of what is said by our people, 
whether it be in praise or in depreciation, is not good 
for us. If we dwell on high with " that great Shepherd 
of the sheep," we shall care little for all the confused 
bleatings around us, but if we become " carnal, and 
walk as men," we shall have little rest if we listen to 
this, that, and the other which every poor sheep may 
bleat about us. 

Mrs. Clack and her Brood. 

Perhaps it is quite true that you were uncommonly 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 

dull last Sabbath morning, but there was no need that 
Mrs. Clack should come and tell you that Deacon 
Jones thought so. It is more than probable that hav 
ing been out in the country all the previous week, 
your preaching was very like milk and water, but 
there can be no necessity for your going around 
among the people to discover whether ,they noticed it 
or not. Is it not enough that your conscience is uneasy 
upon the point ? Endeavor to improve for the future, 
but do not want to hear all that every Jack, Tom, and 
Mary may have to say about it. 

On the other hand, you were on the high horse in 
your last sermon, and finished with quite a flourish of 
trumpets, and you feel considerable anxiety to know 
what impression you produced. Repress your curi 
osity : it will do you no good to inquire. If the people 
should happen to agree with your verdict, it will only 
feed your pitiful vanity, and if they think otherwise 
your fishing for their praise will injure you in their 
esteem. In any case it is all about yourself, and this 
is a poor theme to be anxious about ; play the man, 
and do not demean yourself by seeking compliments 
like little children when dressed in new clothes, who 
say, " Set my pretty frock." Have you not by this 
time discovered that flattery is as injurious as it is. 
pleasant? It softens the mind and makes you more 
sensitive to slander. In proportion as praise pleases 
you censure will pain you. 

Besides, it is a crime to be taken off from your great 
object of glorifying the Lord Jesus by petty consider- 



344 SERMONS AND LECTURED 

ations as to your little self, and, if there were no other 
reason, this ought to weigh much with you. Pride is 
a deadly sin, and will grow without your borrowing 
the parish water-cart to quicken it. Forget expres 
sions which feed your vanity, and if you find yourself 
relishing the unwholesome morsels confess the sin 
vvith deep humiliation. 

Water Cannot Quench Pride. 

Payson showed that he was strong in the Lord when 
he wrote to his mother, " You must not, certainly, my 
dear mother, say one word which even looks like an 
intimation that you think me advancing in grace. I 
cannot bear it. All the people here, whether friends 
or enemies, conspire to ruin me. Satan and my own 
heart, of course, will lend a hand; and if you join too, 
I fear all the cold water which Christ can throw upon 
my pride will not prevent its breaking out into a 
destructive flame. As certainly as anybody flatters 
and caresses me my heavenly Father has to whip me : 
and an unspeakable mercy it is that he condescends 
to do it. I can, it is true, easily muster a hundred 
reasons why I should not be proud, but pride will not 
mind reason, nor anything else but a good drubbing. 
Even at this moment I feel it tingling in my fingers 
ends, and seeking to guide my pen." Knowing some- 
thing myself of those secret whippings which our good 
Father administers to -his servants when he sees them 
unduly exalted, I heartily add my own solemn warn 
ings against your pampering the flesh by listening to 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 345 

the praises of the kindest friends you have. They are 
injudicious, and you must beware of them. 

A sensible friend who will unsparingly criticize you 
from week to week will be a far greater blessing to 
you than a thousand undiscriminating admirers if you 
have sense enough to bear his treatment, and grace 
enough to be thankful for it. 

A Helpful Critic. 

When I was preaching at the Surrey Gardens, an 
unknown censor of great ability used to send me a 
weekly list of my mispronunciations and other slips 
of speech. He never signed his name, and that was 
my only cause of complaint against him, for he left 
me in a debt which I could not acknowledge. I take 
this opportunity of confessing my obligations to him, 
for with genial temper, and an evident desire to ben 
efit me, he marked down most relentless!)" everything 
which he supposed me to have said incorrectly. Con 
cerning some of these corrections he was in error 
himself, but for the most part he was right, and his 
remarks enabled me to perceive and avoid many 
mistakes. 

I looked for his weekly memoranda with much 
interest, and I trust I am all the better for them. If 
I had repeated a sentence two or three Sundays before, 
he would say, " See same expression in such a ser 
mon," mentioning number and page. He remarked 
on one occasion that I too often quoted the line, 

" Nothing in my hands I bring," 

and he added, " we are sufficiently informed of the 



346 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

vacuity of your hands." He demanded my authority 
for calling a man covechus ; and so on. 

Profitable Corrections. 

Possibly some young men might have been discour 
aged, if not irritated, by such severe criticisms, but 
they would have been very foolish, for in resenting 
such correction they would have been throwing away 
a valuable aid to progress. No money can purchase 
outspoken honest judgment, and when we can get it 
for nothing let us utilize it to the fullest extent. The 
worst of it is that of those who offer their judgments 
few are qualified to form them, and we shall be 
pestered with foolish, impertinent remarks, unless we 
turn to them all the blind eye and the deaf ear. 

In the case of false reports against yourself, for the 
most part use the deaf ear. Unfortunately liars are not 
yet extinct, and, like Richard Baxter and John Bunyan, 
you may be accused of crimes which your soul abhors. 
Be not staggered thereby, for this trial has befallen 
the very best of men, and even your Lord did not es 
cape the envenomed tongue of falsehood. In almost 
all cases it is the wisest course to let such things die a 
natural death. 

A great lie, if unnoticed, is like a big fish out of 
water, it dashes and plunges and beats itself to death 
in a short time. To answer it is to supply it with its 
element, and help it to a longer life. Falsehoods 
usually carry their own refutation somewhere about 
them, and sting themselves to death. Some lies 
especially have a peculiar smell, which betrays their 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 347 

rottenness to every honest nose. If you are disturbed 
by them the object of their invention is partly answered, 
but your silent endurance disappoints malice and gives 
you a partial victory, which God in his care of you 
will soon turn into a complete deliverance. 

Defence of a Blameless Life. 

Your blameless life will be your best defence, and 
;hose who have seen it will not allow you to be con 
demned so readily as your slanderers expect. Only 
abstain from fighting your own battles, and in nine 
cases out of ten your accusers will gain nothing by 
their malevolence but chagrin for themselves and con 
tempt from others. To prosecute the slanderer is very 
seldom wise. 

I remember a beloved servant of Christ who in his 
youth was very sensitive, and, being falsely accused, 
proceeded against the person at law. An apology was 
offered, it withdrew every iota of the charge, and was 
most ample, but the good man insisted upon its being 
printed in the newspapers, and the result convinced 
him of hi3 own unwisdom. Multitudes, who would 
otherwise have never heard of the libel, asked what 
it meant, and made comments thereon, generally con* 
eluding with the sage remark that he must have done 
something imprudent to provoke such an accusation, 
He was heard to say that so long as he lived he would 
never resort to such a method again, for he felt that 
the public apology had done him more harm than the 
slander itself. Standing as we do in a position which 
makes <M choice targets for the devil and his allies, our 



SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

best course is to defend our innocence by our silence 
and leave our reputation with God. 

Enemies must Sometimes be Answered. 

Yet there are exceptions to this general rule. When 
distinct, definite, public charges are made against a 
pan he is bound to answer them, and answer them in 
the clearest and most open manner. To decline all 
investigation is in such a case practically to plead 
guilty, and whatever may be the mode of putting it, 
the general public ordinarily regard a refusal to reply 
as a proof of guilt. Under mere worry and annoy- 
ance it is by far the best to be altogether passive, but 
when the matter assumes more serious proportions, 
and our accuser defies us to a defence, we are bound 
to meet his charges with honest statements of fact. In 
every instance counsel should be sought of the Lord 
as to how to deal with slanderous tongues, and in the 
issue innocence will be vindicated and falsehood con 
victed. 

Some ministers have been broken in spirit, driven 
from their position, and even injured in character by 
taking notice of village scandal. I know a fine young 
man, for whom I predicted a career of usefulness, who 
ifell into great trouble because he at first allowed it to 
jbe a trouble and then worked hard to make it so. He 
came to me and complained that he had a great griev 
ance ; and so it was a grievance, but from beginning 
to end it was all about what some half-dozen women 
had said about his procedure after the death of his 
wife. It was originally too small a thing to deal with, 



BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 349 

a Mrs. Q. had said that she should not wonder if 
the minister married the servant then living in his 
house ; another represented her as saying that he 
ought to marry her, and then a third, with a malicious 
ingenuity, found a deeper meaning in the words, and 
construed them into a charge. 

If You Can t Pray, Whistle. 

Worst 01 all, the dear sensitive preacher must needs 
trace the matter out and accuse a score or two of 
people of spreading libels against him, and even 
threaten some of them with legal proceedings. If he 
could have prayed over it in secret, or even have whis 
tled over it, no harm would have come of the tittle- 
tattle ; but this dear brother could not treat the slander 
wisely, for he had not what I earnestly recommend to 
you, namely, a blind eye and a deaf ear. 

Once more, my brethren, the blind eye and the deaf 
ear will be useful to you in relation to other churches 
and their pastors. I am always delighted when a 
brother in meddling with other people s business 
burns his fingers. Why did he not attend to his own 
concerns and not episcopize in another s diocese ? 
I am frequently requested by members of churches to 
meddle in their home disputes; but unless they come 
to me with authority, officially appointing me to be 
umpire, I decline. 

Alexander Cruden gave himself the name of " the 
Corrector," and I have never envied him the title. 
It would need a peculiar inspiration to enable a man 
to settle all the controversies of our churches, and as 



360 SERMONS AND LECTURES. 

a rule those who are least qualified are the most "eager 
to attempt it. For the most part interference, how 
ever well-intentioned, is a failure. Internal dissensions 
in our churches are very like quarrels between man 
and wife : when the case conies to such a pass that 
they must fight it out, the interposing party will be 
the victim of their common fury. 

Officious Mr. Verdant Green. 

No one but Mr. Verdant Green will interfere in a 
domestic battle, for the man of course resents : ,t v and 
the lady, though suffering from many a blow, will say, 
"You leave my husband alone ; he has a right to beat 
me if he likes." However great the mutual animosity 
of conjugal combatants, it seems to be forgotten in 
resentment against intruders ; and so, amongst the 
very independent denomination of Baptists, the per 
son outside the church who interferes in any manner 
is sure to get the worst of it. 

Do not consider yourself to be the bishop of all the 
neighboring churches, but be satisfied with looking 
after Lystra, or Derbe, or Thessalonica, or whichever 
church may have been allotted to your care, and leave 
Philippi and Ephesus in the hands of their own pas 
tors. Do not encourage disaffected persons in finding 
fault with their minister, or in bringing you news of 
evil in other congregations. When you meet your 
brother ministers do not be in a hurry to advise them ; 
they know their duty quite as well as you know yours, 
and your judgment upon their course of action is 
probably founded upon partial information supplied 



BUND EYE AND DEAF EAR. 35X 

from prejudiced sources. Do not grieve your neigh 
bor by your meddlesomeness. We have all enough 
to do at home, and it is prudent to keep out of all 
disputes which do not belong to us. 

Washing Dirty Linen at Home. 

We are recommended by one of the world s prov 
erbs to wash our dirty linen at home, and I will add 
another line to it, and advise that we do not call on 
our neighbors while their linen is in the suds. This 
is due to our friends, and will best promote peace. 
" He that passeth by and meddleth with strife belong 
ing not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the 
ears " he is very apt to be bitten, and few will pity 
him. Bridges wisely observes that "Our blessed 
Master has read us a lesson of godly wisdom. He 
healed the contentions in his own family, but when 
called to meddle with strife belonging not to him, he 
gave answer, * Who made me a judge or a divider 
over you ? Self-constituted judges win but little 
respect ; if they were more fit to censure they would 
be less inclined to do so. 

Many a trifling difference within a church has been 
fanned into a great flame by ministers outside who 
had no idea of the mischief they were causing. They 
gave verdicts upon ex parte statements, and so egged 
on opposing persons who felt safe when they could 
say that the neighboring ministers quite agreed with 
them. My counsel is that we join the " Knownoth- 
ings," and never ^ay a word upon a matter till we 
have heard both sides ; and, moreover, that we do our 



352 SHORT SERMONS 

best to avoid hearing either one side or the other if 
the matter does not concern us. 

Is not this a sufficient explanation of my declaration 
that I have one blind eye and one deaf ear and that 
they are the best eye and ear I have ? 



SHORT SERMONS ON PRACTICAL SUBJECTS. 



LADIES 7 DRESS. 
I will that women adorn themselves in modest apparel. I TIM. ii. 8, 9. 

ON the nth of April, in the course of an action 
brought by the well-known modiste, " Madame Rosa 
lie," against a gentleman of property to compel him 
to pay a debt contracted by his wife, it was stated in 
evidence that from $2,500 to $10,000 a year might be 
considered a reasonable sum for a lady moving in good 
society to expend on dress. The gentleman s wife, in 
the witness-box, repudiated with lofty scorn the idea 
that the former amount was sufficient The lady is an 
invalid, has never been presented at court, and is not 
called into company, and yet was indebted for millinery 
to a very large amount. 

Is it, then, a fact that so large a sum is considered 
needful for the clothing of one human form ? Surely 
the luxury of the old Roman Empire is infecting our 
beloved country : may God grant that it may not, in 
our case also, be a sign of the decay of the nation. 
Women should be too considerate of the needs of the 



ON PRACTICAL SUBJECTS. 353 

sick artd suffering to spend their money so wastefully. 
A blanket placed on the bed of a poor old woman 
would be a better ornament to a lady s character than 
all the lace a dukedom could purchase. Yet so it is; 
but tell it not in Gath a lady cannot be dressed 
under $10,000 a year ! 

Attempt to Conceal Ugliness. 

The only excuse we can think of for some dressy 
women is that they think themselves very ugly. What 
deformity must exist if it needs ten thousand a year 
to cover it ! If these persons accurately gauge their 
lack of personal charms, they must be suffering under 
a fearful measure of uncomeliness. Why, ten or 
twenty families could be reared in comparative com 
fort upon the amount thus expended in wastefulness ; 
and as matters go with the agricultural laborers in 
many of the shires, forty of the families owned by 
Hodge and his companions, including all the father 
Hodges and their wives, could be decently provided 
for upon ten thousand a year. It will not bear think 
ing of. Yet many women professing godliness are 
shockingly extravagant, and can never be happy till 
their heads are tricked out with strange gear and 
their bodies with fashionable millinery. They little 
think how much they degrade themselves and grieve 
the Spirit of God. 

Wicked Extravagance. 

A forgiven sinner decked out in the flaunting gar 
ments of a worldling, casts suspicion upon her own 
pardon ; if she had ever been renewed in heart, would 



354 SHORT SERMONS 

she, could she, adorn herself after the manner of a 
Jezebel ? It is hard to think of a disciple of the Lord 
wasting her substance upon personal decoration. 
Does the lowly Jesus keep company with persons who 
spend hours at the glass, adorning, if not adoring, their 
own flesh ? Can extravagance and fashionableness 
|be pleasing to the Lord ? No. Assuredly not. 

We are not judging that " neat handsomeness " 
which George Herbert says " doth bear the sway," but 
we are sorrowful when we see those who set them 
selves up as examples, and move in a position where 
no outward show is required, going beyond ordinary 
worldly women in extravagance. It is the bane of 
society and the disgrace of religion. 

THE RACE AND ITS SPECTATORS. 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of 
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset 
us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. HEB. xii. I. 

IN an article upon the University boat-race of April 

13, the " Times " alludes to the dense throng upon the 

banks of the river, and to the interest which every- 

^body seemed to feel in the struggle, and it then very 

truthfully adds : 

" Nor clo the competitors themselves fail to gain 
much from the sight of the vast crowds which attest 
the strength of the popular interest. The rivalry 
would hardly be so keen if the race were to be rowed 
amid the comparative privacy of a provincial stream 
or lake. Some years ago this was kept -out of sight 



ON PRACTICAL SUBJECTS. 355 

in a high and mighty way, by the suggestion that, to 
prevent the contest from being vulgarized, or for some 
other reason, it ought to be held at some quieter place 
than the neighborhood of London. Loch Maree, in 

o 

the wilds of Ross-shire, would afford charming tran- 
quility and a few scores of cool spectators. But the 
stimulus of a great public competition would be gone* 
and, if we may venture to assume that undergraduates 
are made of the same stuff as other human beings, 
that stimulus is essential to such muscular exertion 
as we see at Oxford and Cambridge." 

o 

Myriads of Heavenly Spectators. 

This excellently illustrates the meaning of the 
apostle when he represents believers as running for a 
prize, with saints, apostles, and martyrs looking on. 
The stimulus communicated by spectators is his prom 
inent idea. No doubt the young oarsmen find a 
stimulus in every eye that gazes upon them, and if the 
crowd were thinned they would take less interest in 
their task. The crowds which line the Thames may 
well be compared to clouds, so completely do they 
darken the banks from end to end of the course ; and 
much more may those who gaze upon the Christian s 
life be thus spoken of. 

. Myriads lean from heaven, or look from earth, or peer 
upward from the pit. Holy men of all ages, now 
with God, join with a great host still abiding here 
below. Angels and principalities and powers unite as 
one vast army and observe us intently ; and frowning 
demons of the pit in their dread array all gaze with 



356 SHORT SERMONS 

interest upon the Christian s work and way. Should 
not every glance animate us to do our utmost ? 

And what eyes there are among those who observe 
us ! Had the queen been present, we could imagine the 
young athletes straining themselves even more than 
they had done, for the glance of royalty quickens en-j 
ergy to the utmost. In our case, the King of king^j 
looks down upon us, and the Prince of Life with ten 
der sympathy watches our progress. What manner 
of race should ours be under the Lord s own eye! 

Wrestling 1 for Victory. 

Competitors of former years were at the boat race 
to see whether the newcomers would maintain the 
honor of their university. Even so the worthies of 
ancient times, who counted not their lives dear unto 
them, take pleasure in the efforts of those who to-day 
are wrestling for victory, as they themselves did in 
ages past. The approving glances of prophets and 
apostles may well stir our souls. Dear ones who have 
gone before also mark our behavior in the race. A 
mother in heaven takes delight in the ardor of her 
son ; brothers " gone over to the majority " are se 
renely glad as they see their brothers pushing forward 
in the noble cause. Our leaders in the faith, oarsmen 
who taught us how to fly over the waves, regard us 
with anxious interest, and joy in our successes. These 
things should quicken us, and lend us arguments for 
unabated energy. 



ON PRACTICAL SUBJECTS. 



RELIGIOUS SLUGGARDS. 

AN American paper has the following in its corner 
of wit and anecdote: "A Sunday-school boy at Mays- 
ville, Kentucky, was asked by the superintendent the 
other day if his father was a Christian. Yes, sir, he 
replied, but he is not working at it much. 

In too many cases the same statement might be 
made, for multitudes have a name to live and are dead, 
and the love of many has waxed cold. Religion is a 
profession with them, but it is not accompanied by 
practice. Now, of all pursuits in the world, the Chris 
tian profession requires the most energetic action, and 
it utterly fails where diligence and zeal are absent. 
What can a man do as a farmer, a merchant, a carpen 
ter, or even as a beggar, unless he follows up his 
calling with activity and perseverance ? A sluggard 
desireth and hath nothing, whatever his trade may be. 
What, then, can he hope to win .who calls himself a 
Christian, and neither learns of Christ as his Teacher, 
nor follows him as his Master, nor serves him as his 
Prince ? Salvation is not by works, but it is salvation 
from idleness. We are not saved because we are 
^earnest ; but he who is not earnest has great reasor 
Ito question whether he is saved. 

Not Worth a Shilling. 

Do you know a Christian who never attends week 
day services, and only comes to public worship once 
on a Sunday ? " He is not working at it much." Do 



358 FHORT SERMONS 

you know a professor who is not engaged in the Sab 
bath-school, the Visiting Society, the Tract Associa 
tion, or in any other form of usefulness ? " He is not 
working at it much." Do you know a man who gives 
little or nothing to the work of the Lord, neglects 
family prayer, never says a word for Jesus, and never 
intercedes for perishing souls ? " He is not working 
at it much." Perhaps he is the best judge of his relig 
ion, and does not think it worth being diligent about. 

We heard of one who said his religion did not cost 
him a shilling a year, and a friend observed that he 
thought it was more than it was worth ; and in the 
present case we may conclude that a man s religion 
is a very poor affair when " he does not work at it 
much." 

Our Lord does not set before us the Christian life 
as a dainty repose, but as a warfare and a struggle. 
He bids us " strive to enter in at the strait gate," and 
never suggests to us that we can enter into his rest if 
we are not willing to bear his yoke. Faith saves us, 
but it is the faith which worketh by love ; all our sal 
vation is wrought in us by the Lord both as to willing 
and doing, but yet we are to work it out with fear and 
trembling ; which also by his grace we will hence 
forth do. 

" Sure I must fight if I would reign : 

Increase my courage, Lord ! 
I ll bear the toil, endure the pain, 
Supported by thy Word." 



ON PRACTICAL SUBJECTS. 359 

THE EVIL WROUGHT BY ONE MAN. 

One sinner destroyeth much good. ECCLES. ix. 18. 

Ax American paper contains the following 1 para 
graph: "An oil -train of forty oil-tanks ran into a heavy 
freight-train near Slatington, Pennsylvania. The engi 
neer of the latter train had been compelled to stop tc 
cool off a hot journal, but the conductor had sent no 
one back to warn following trains of danger. Several 
persons were killed and about forty injured, the 
result of one man s carelessness." 

Amid the blaze of the oil, the screams of burning 
men and women, and the charred remains of the 
unhappy victims, we see how great a calamity may 
arise out of a little neglect, and how much the destiny 
of others may hang upon the acts of one man. Have 
we a due sense of our own personal responsibility? 
Have we ever reflected that our own conduct may 
influence others for good or evil throughout eternity? 
We may have no wicked intent, and yet our careless 
ness and indifference may be as fatal to immortal souls 
as if we had been profane or profligate. 

Moral virtues, apart from religion, may suggest to 
our children that godliness is needless ; was not their 
father an excellent man, and yet Ire was unconverted ? 
Thus may generation after generation be kept in -spir 
itual death by an argument fetched from the irreligion 
of one who was in other respects a model character. 
Who among us -vould desire this ? 

Even if we hope that we are ourselves saved, it 



360 SHORT SERMONS. 

should cause us grave question if we are not bringing 
others to Jesus. A destroyer of souls will have an 
awful doom at the last, and he who failed to do his 
best to save his fellows will not be held guiltless before 
the Lord. 

THE WITHERING OF UNBELIEF. 

Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it growth 
Up. Ps. cxxix. 5, 6, 7. 

" NOTWITHSTANDING the humidity of the season, the 
grass crop on Wandsworth Bridge will not be cut this 
year." This witty paragraph, taken from the " South 
London Press," an interesting local paper, of May 25, 
refers to a bridge upon which there is little traffic. 
Of course the grass will not be mown, for it has no 
depth of earth to grow upon, and is of no value. 

The text which we have quoted here finds an illus 
tration. It is true, a bridge is not a house-top, but in 
scantiness of soil it is much the same, The opponents 
of the Gospel are very numerous, but they never come 
to anything; they are always confounded before they 
can well establish their theories. Various orders of 
infidels have sprung up suddenly, and have almost as 
suddenly disappeared, and even those which have 
endured for a longer season have ultimately passed 
away> leaving scarcely any memorial behind them. 



BOOK III. 

CHOICE SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS 
OF REV. C. H. SPURGEON. 

JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK AND PICTURES. 

A HAND-SAW IS A GOOD THING, BUT NOT TO 
SHAVE WITH. 

OUR friend will cut more than he will eat, and shave 
off something 1 more than hair, and then he will blame 
the saw. His brains don t lie in his bea-d, nor yet in 
the skull above it, or he would see that his saw will 
only make sores. There s sense in choosing your 
tools, for a pig s tail will never make a good arrow, 
nor will his ear make a silk purse. You can t catch 
rabbits with drums, nor pigeons with plums. A good 
thing is not good out of its place. It is much the 
same with lads and girls ; you can t put all boys to 
one trade, nor send all girls to the same service. One 
< hap will make a London clerk, and another will do 
better to plow and sow, and reap and mow, and be a 
farmer s boy. It s no use forcing them ; a snail will 
rrever run a race, nor a mouse drive a wagon. 

" Send a boy to the well against his will, 
The pitcher will break and the water spill." 

(861) 



3*2 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



With unwilling hounds it is hard to hunt hares. To 
go against nature and inclination is to row against 
wind and tide. They say you may praise a fool till 
make him useful : I don t know so much about 




that, but I do know that if I get a bad knife I gener 
ally cut my finger, and a blunt axe is more trouble 
than profit. No, let me shave with a razor if I shave, 
st all, and do my work with the best tools I can get. 

The Wrong- Occupation. 

Never set a man to work he is not fit for, for he will 
never do it well. They say that if pigs fly they always 
go with their tails forward, and awkward workmen are 
much the same. Nobody expects cows to catch crows, 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 363 

or hens to wear hats. There s reason in roasting eggs, 
and there should be reason in choosing servants. 
Don t put a round peg into a square hole, nor wind 
up your watch with a corkscrew, nor set a tender 
hearted man to whip wife-beaters, nor a bear to be a 
relieving-officer, nor a publican to judge of the licens 
ing laws. Get the right man in the right place, anc 
then all goes as smooth as skates on ice ; but the 
wrong man puts all awry, as the sow did when she 
folded the linen. 

It is a temptation to many to trust them with money: 
don t put them to take care of it if you ever wish to 
see it again. Never set a cat to watch cream, nor a 
pig to gather peaches, for if the cream and the peaches 
go a-missing you will have yourself to thank for it. It 
is a sin to put people where they are likely to sin. If 
you believe the old saying, that when you set a beggar 
on horseback he will ride to the devil, don t let him 
have a horse of yours. 

Be Your Own Errand Boy. 

If you want a thing well done, do it yourself, aiiC? 
pick your tools. It is true that a man must row witK 
such oars as he has, but he should not use the boat- 
hook for a paddle. Take not the tongs to poke the 
fire, nor the poker to put on the coals. A newspaper 
on Sundays is as much out of place as a warming-pan 
on the first of August, or a fan on a snowy day : the 
Bible suits the Sabbath a deal better. 

He who tries to make money by betting uses a 
wrong tool, and is sure to cut his fingers. As well 



364 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



hope to grow golden pippins on the bottom of the sea 
as to make gain among gamblers if you are an honest 
man. Hard work and thrifty habits are the right 
razor, gambling is a handsaw. 

Killing Flies With Sledge-Hammers. 

Some things want doing gently, and telling a man 
of his faults is one of them. You would not fetch c 
hatchet to break open an egg, nor kill a fly on youi 
boy s forehead with a sledge-hammer, and so you 
must not try to mend your neighbor s little fault by 
blowing him up sky-high. Never fire off a musket to 
kill a midge, and don t raise a hue and cry about the 
half of nothing. 

Do not throw away a saw because it is not a razor, 
for it will serve your turn another day, and cut your 
ham-bone if it won t shave off your stubble. A whet 
stone, though it cannot cut, may sharpen a knife that 
will. A match gives little light itsdf, but it may light 
a candle to brighten up the room. Use each thing 
and each man according to common-sense, and you 
will be uncommonly sensible. You don t milk horses 
nor ride cows, and by the same rule you must make 
of every man what he is meant for, and the farm will 
be as right as a trivet. 

Everything has its use, but no one thing is good for 
all purposes. The baby said, " The cat crew, and the 
cock rocked the cradle ; M but old folks knew better-: 
the cat is best at mousing, and the cock at rousing. 
That s for that, as salt is for herrings, and sugar for 
gooseberries, and Nan for Nicholas. Don t choose 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 365 

your tools by their looks, for that s best which docs 
best, A silver trowel lays very few bricks. 
Pretty Tools but Poor. 

You cannot curry ahorse with a tortoise-shell comb, 
or fell oaks with a penknife, or open oysters with a 
gold toothpick. Fine is not so good as Jit when work 
is to be done. A good workman will get on pretty 
well with a poor tool, and a brave soldier never lacks 
a weapon ; still, the best is good enough for me, and 
John Ploughman does not care to use a clumsy tool 
because it looks pretty. Better ride on an ass that 
carries you than on a steed which throws you ; it is far 
better to work with an old-fashioned spade which suits 
your hand than with a new-fangled invention you don t 
understand. 

In trying to do good to your fellow-men the Gospel 
is out of sight the best instrument to work with. The 
new doctrine which they call " modern thought " is 
nothing better than a handsaw, and it won t work a bit. 
This fine new nothing of a gospel would not save a 
mouse, nor move the soul of a tomtit ; but the glorious 
Gospel of Jesus Christ is suited to man s need, and by 
God s grace does its work famously. Let every 
preacher and teacher keep to it, for they will never 
find a better. Try to win men with its loving words 
and precious promises, and there s no fear of labor in 
vain. 

Some praise the balm of Gilead, or man s morality ; 
many try the Roman salve, or the oil of Babylon ; and 
others use a cunning ointment mixed by learned phi- 



366 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



losophers ; but for his own soul s wounds, and for the 
hurts of others, John Ploughman knows but one cure, 
and that is given gratis by the Good Physician to all 
who ask for it. A humble faith in Christ Jesus will 
soon bring you this sovereign remedy. Use no other 
Jfor no other is of use. 




HE LIVES UNDER THE SIGN OF THE CAT S FOOT, 

The question was once asked, When should a man 
marry? and the merry answer was, that for young men it 
is too soon, and for old men it is too late. This is all very 
fine, but it will not wash. Both the wisdom and the folly 
of men seem banded together to make a mock of this 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 367 

0r 

doctrine. Men are such fools that they must and will 
marry, even if they marry fools. It is wise to marry when 
we can marry wisely, and then the sooner the better. 
How many show their sense in choosing a partner it is 
not for me to say, but I fear that in many cases love is 
blind, and makes a very blind choice. I don t suppose 
that some people would ever get married at all if love 
had its wits about it. 

It is a mystery how certain parties ever found park 
ners ; truly there s no accounting for tastes. However, 
as they make their bed they must lie on it, and as 
they tie the knot they must be tied by it. If a man 
catches a tartar, or lets a tartar catch him, he must 
take his dose of tartaric acid, and make as few ugly 
faces as he can. If a three-legged stool come flying 
through the air, he must be thankful for such a plain 
token of love from the woman of his choice, and the 
best thing he can do is to sit down on it and wait for 
the next little article. 

Twenty of One and a Score of the Other. 

When it is said of a man, " He lives under the sign 
of the cat s foot," he must try and please his pussy, 
that she may not scratch him more than such cats 
generally do. A good husband will generally have a 
good wife, or make a bad wife better. Bad Jack 
makes a great noise about bad Jill, but there s gener 
ally twenty of one where there s a score of the other. 
They say a burden of one s own choosing is never felt 
to be heavy ; but I don t know, some men are loaded 



368 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

v 

with mischief as soon as they have a wife to carry. 
Yet 

A good woman is worth, if she were sold, 
The fairest crown that s made of gold. 

She is a pleasure, a treasure, and a joy without measure. 
A good wife and health are a man s best wealth ; and 
he who is in such a case should envy no man s place. 
Even when a women is a little tart, it is better than if 
she had no spirit, and made her house into a dirt pie. 
A shrew is better than a slut, though one can be quite 
miserable enough with either. If she is a good house 
wife, and looks well after the children, one may put 
up with a Caudle lecture now and then, though a 
cordial lecture wonld be a deal better. 

A husband is in a pickle indeed if he gets tied up 
to a regular scold , he might as well be skinned and 
set up to his neck in a tub of brine. Did you ever 
hear the scold s song? Read it, you young folks who 
think of committing matrimony, and think twice before 
you get married once. 

When in the morn I ope mine eyes 

To entertain the day, 
Before my husband e en can rise, 

I scold him, then I pray. 

When I at table take my place, 

Whatever be the meat, 
X first do scold, and then say gradfc^ 

If so disposed to eat. 

Too fat, too lean, too hot, too cold, 

I always do complain ; 
Too raw, too roast, too young, too oW 

Faults I will find or feign. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 

Let it be flesh, or fowl, or fish, 

It never shall be said 
But I ll find fault with meat or dUh, 

With master or with maid. 

But when I go to bed at night 

I heartily do weep, 
That I must part with my delight, 

I cannot scold and sleep. / 

However, this doth mitigate 

And much abate my sorrow, 
That though to-night it be too late, 

I ll early scold to-morrow. 

When the husband is not a man, it is not to be 
wondered at if the wife wears the top-boots : the mare 
may well be the best horse when the other horse is a 
donkey. Well may a woman feel that she is lord and 
master when she has to earn the living for the family, 
as is sometimes the case. She ought not to be the 
head, but if she has all the brains, what is she to do ? 

Shiftless Husbands. 

What poor dawdles many men would be without 
their wives ! As poor softy Simpkins says, if Bill s 
wife becomes a widow, who will cut the pudding up 
for him, and will there be a pudding at all ? It is 
grand when the wife knows her place, and keeps it, 
and they both pull together in everything. Then she 
is a helpmeet indeed, and makes the house a home. 
Old friend Tusser says, 

" When husband is absent let housewife be chief, 
And look t^ their labor who live from their sheaf; 
The housewife s so named for she keepeth the house, 
And must tend on her profit as cat on a mouse." 
24 



870 CHOICE SJLECTIONS. 

He is very pat upon it that much of household affairs 
must rest on the wife, and he writes : 

" Both out, not allow, 
Keep home, housewife thou." 

Like the old man and woman in the toy which shows 
the weather, one must be sure to be in if the other 
goes out. When the king is abroad the queen must 
reign at home, and when he returns to his throne he 
is bound to look upon her as his crown, and prize her 
above gold and jewels. He should feel, " If there s 
only one good wife in the whole world, Pve got her." 
John Ploughman has long thought just that of his own 
wife, and after five and twenty years he is more sure 
of it than ever. He never bets, but he would not 
mind wagering a farthing cake that there is not a better 
woman on the surface of the globe than his own, very 

own beloved. 

A Taste of Tongue. 

Happy is the man who is happy in his wife. Let 
him love her as he loves himself, and a little better, 
for she is his better half. 

Thank God that hath so blest thee, 
And sit down John, and rest thee. 

There is one case in which I don t wonder if the 
wife does put her mate under the cat s foot, and that is 
when he slinks off to the public and wastes his wages. 
Even then love and gentleness is the best way of get 
ting him home ; but, really some topers have no feel 
ing, and laugh at kindness, and therefore nobody can 
be surprised if the poor wife bristles up and gives her 



JOHN 



PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 371 



lord and master a taste of tongue. Nothing tries 
married love more than the pothouse. Wages wasted, 
wife neglected, children in rags : if she gives it him 
hot and strong, who can blame her ? Pitch into him, 
good woman, and make him ashamed of himself, if 
you can. No wonder that you lead a cat-and-dog life 
while he is such a sorry dog. 

Still, you might as well go home and set him a bet 
ter example, for two blacks will never make a 
white, and if you put him in hot water he s sure to get 
some spirits to mix with it. 

A GOOD WORD FOR WIVES. 

We pulled up the horses at the sign of the " Good 
Woman ; " and as there is good entertainment for man, 
if not for beast, under that sign, we will make a stay 
of it, and dip our pen into some of that superfine ink 
which has no galls in it. When he writes on so fair a 
subject, John Ploughman must be on his best behavior. 

It is astonishing how many old sayings there are 
against wives: you may find nineteen to the dozen of 
them. The men years ago showed the rough side oi 
their tongues whenever they spoke of their spouses. 
Some of these sayings are downright shocking ; as for 
instance, that very wicked one, " Every man has two 
good days with his wife, the day he marries her and 
the day he buries her ; " and that other, " He that 
loseth his wife and a farthing, has a great loss of the 
farthing." 



372 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Quaint Old Ballad. 

I recollect an old ballad that Gaffer Brooks used to 
sing about a man s being better hung than married ; 
it shows how common it was to abuse the married life. 
It is almost too bad to print it ; but here it is as near 
as I remember it : 

" There was a victim in a cart, 
One day for to be hanged, 
And his reprieve was granted, 
And the cart made for to stand. 

** * Come, marry a wife and save your lift,* 

The judge aloud did cry ; 
Oh, why should I corrupt my life ? 
The victim did reply. 

* For here s a crowd of every sort, 

And why should I prevent their sport ? 
The bargain s bad in every part, 
The wife s the worst, drive on the cart. * 

Now this rubbish does not prove that the women 
are bad, but that their husbands are good for nothing, 
or else they would not make up such abominable 
slanders about their partners. The rottenest bough 
cracks first, and it looks as if the male side of the 
house was the worse of the two, for it certainly has 
made up the most grumbling proverbs. 

Angelic Women. 

There have, no doubt, been some shockingly bad 
wives in the world, who have been provoking enough 
to make a man say: 

" If a woman were as little as she is good, 

A peashell would make her a gown and a hood." 

But how many thousands have there been of true 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 373 

helpmeets, worth far more than their weight in gold ! 
There is only one Job s wife mentioned in the Bible 
and one Jezebel, but there are no end of Sarahs 
and Rebekahs. I am of Solomon s mind, that, as a 
rule he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing. If 
there s one bad shilling taken at the grocer s, all the 
neighbors hear of it, but of the hundreds of good ones 
report says nothing. A good woman makes no noise, 
and no noise is made about her ; but a shrew is noted 
all over the parish. Taking them for all in all, they 
are most angelical creatures, and a great deal too good 
for half the husbands. 

It is much to the women s credit that there are very 
few old sayings against husbands, although in this case 
sauce for the goose would make capital sauce for the 
gander ; and the mare has as good reasons for kicking 
as the horse has. They must be very forbearing, or 
they would have given the men a Roland for every 
Oliver. Pretty dears, they may be rather quick in 
their talk, but is it not the nature of bells and belles to 
have tongues that swing easy? 

Henpecked Husbands. 

They cannot be so very bad after all, or they would 
have had their revenge for the many cruel things 
which are said against them ; and if they are a bit 
masterful, their husbands cannot be such very great 
victims, or they would surely have sense enough to 
hold their tongues about it. Men don t care to have 
it known when they are thoroughly well henpecked, 
and I feel pretty certain that the old sayings are notb 



374 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

ing but chaff, for if they were true, men would never 
dare to own it. 

A true wife is her husband s better half, his lump of 
delight, his flower of beauty, his guardian angel, and 
his heart s treasure. He says to her : " I shall in thee 
most happy be. In thee, my choice, I do rejoice. In 
thee I find content of mind. God s appointment is my/ 
contentment." In her company he finds his earthly 
heaven ; she is the light of his home, the comfort of his 
soul, and (for this world) the soul of his comfort. 
Whatever fortune God may send him, he is rich so 
long as she lives. His rib is the best bone in his body. 

The man who weds a loving wife, 
Whate er betideth him in life, 

Shall bear up under all ; 
But he that finds an evil mate, 
No good can come within his gate, 

His cup is filPd with gall. 

A good husband makes a good wife. Some men 
can neither do without wives nor with them ; they are 
wretched alone in what is called single blessedness, 
and they make their homes miserable when they get 
married ; they are like Tompkin s dog, which could not 
bear to be loose, and howled when it was tied up. 
Happy bachelors are likely to be happy husbands, and 
a happy husband is the happiest of men. 

Birds of Paradise. 

A well-matched couple carry a joyful life between 
them, as the two spies carried the cluster of Eshcol. 
They are a brace of birds of Paradise. They multiply 
their joys by sharing them, and lessen their troubles 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 375 

by dividing them : this is fine arithmetic. The wagon 
of care rolls lightly along as they pull together ; and 
when it drags a little heavily, or there s a hitch any 
where, they love each other all the more, and so 
lighten the labor. 

When a couple fall out, there are always faults on 
both sides, and generally there is a pound on one and 
sixteen ounces on the other. When a home is miser 
able, it is as often the husband s fault as the wife s. 
Darby is as much to blame as Joan, and sometimes 
more. If the husband won t keep sugar in the cup 
board, no wonder his wife gets sour. 

Want of bread makes want of love ; lean dogs fight. 
Poverty generally rides homes on the husband s back, 
for it is not often the woman s place to go out working 
for wages. A man down our parts gave his wife a 
ring with this on it : " If thee don t work, thee sha nt 
eat." He was a brute. It is no business of hers to 
bring in the grist, she is to see it is well used and not 
wasted ; therefore, I say, short commons are not her 
fault. She is not the bread-winner, but the bread- 
maker. She earns more at home than any wages she 
can get abroad. 

STICK TO IT AND DO IT. 

Set a stout heart to a stiff hill, and the wagon will 
get to the top of it. There s nothing so hard but a 
harder thing will get through it ; a strong job can be 
managed by a strong resolution. Have at it and have 
it. Stick to it and succeed. Till a thing is done, men 



376 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

wonder that you think it can be done, and when you 
have done it they wonder it was never done before. 

In my picture the wagon is drawn by two horses ; 
but I would have every man who wants to make his 
way in life pull as if all depended on himself. Very 
little is done right when it is left to other people. 
The more hands to do work the less there is done. 
One man will carry two pails of water for himself; two 
men will only carry one pail between them ; and three 
will come home with never a drop at all. A child with 
several mothers will die before it runs alone. Know 
your business and give your mind to it, and you will 
find a buttered loaf where a sluggard loses his last 
crust. 

In these times it s no use being a farmer if you 
don t mean work. The days are gone by for gentle 
men to make a fortune off of a farm by going out 
shooting half their time. If foreign wheats ke*ep on 
coming in, farmers will soon learn that, 

" He who by the plough would thrive, 
Himself must either hold or drive." 

Going to Australia is of no use to a man if he 
carries a set of lazy bones with him. There s a living 
to be got in old England at almost any trade if a fellow 
will give his mind to it. A man who works hard 
,(and has his health and strength is a great deal hap 
pier than my lord Tom Noddy, who does nothing 
and is always ailing. Do you know the old song of 
" The Nobleman s Generous Kindness ? " You should 
hear our Will sing it. I recollect some of the verses. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK, 377 

The first one gives a picture of the hard-working 
laborer with a large family, 

Thus careful and constant, each morning he went, 
Unto his day labor with joy and content ; 
So jocular and jolly he d whistle and sing, 
As blithe and as brisk as the birds in the spring." 




The other lines are the ploughman s own story of how 
; he spent his life, and I wish that all countrymen could 
say the same, > 

" I reap and I mow, I harrow and I sow, 
Sometimes a-hedging and ditching I go ; 
No work comes amiss, for I thrash and I plough, 
Thus my bread I do earn by the sweat of my broW 



S78 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

99 My wife she is willing to pull in a yoke, 
We live like two lambs, nor each other provoke ; 
We both of us strive, like the laboring ant, 
And do our endeavors to keep us from want 

u And when I come home from my labor at night, 
To my wife and my children in whom I delight, 
1 see them come round me with prattling noise. 
Now these are the riches a poor man enjoys. 

M Though I am as weary as weary may be, 
The youngest I commonly dance on my knev, 
I find in content a continual feast, 
And never repine at my lot in the least* 

So, you see, the poor laborer may work hard and 
be happy all the same ; and surely those who are in 
higher stations may do the like if they like. 

He is a sorry dog who wants game and will not 
hunt for it; let us never lie down in idle despair, but 
follow on till we succeed. 

c< Little Sweat, Little Sweet." 

Rome was not built in a day, nor much else, unless 
it be a dog-kennel. Things which cost no pains are 
slender gains. Where there has been little sweat 
there will be little sweet. Jonah s gourd came up in 
a night, but then it perished in a night. Light come, 
light go ; that which flies in at one window will be 
likely to fly cut at another. It s a very lean hare that 
hounds catch without running for it, and a sheep that 
is no trouble to shear has very little wool. For this 
reason a man who cannot push on against wind and 
weather stands a poor chance in this world. 

Perseverance is the main thing in life. To hold on, 
and hold out to the end, is the chief matter. If the 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 379 

race could be won by a spurt, thousands would wear 
the blue ribbon ; but they are short-winded, and pull 
up after the first gallop. They begin with flying, and 
end in crawling backward. When it comes to collar 
work, many horses turn to jibbing. If the apples do 
not fall at the first shake of the tree, yourjiasty folks 
are too lazy to fetch a ladder, and in too much of a 
hurry to wait till the fruit is ripe enough to fall of 
itself. 

The hasty man is as hot as fire at the outset, and 
as cold as ice at the end. He is like the Irishman s 
saucepan, which had many good points about it, but 
it had no bottom. He who cannot bear the burden 
and heat of the day is not worth his salt, much less 
his potatoes. 

Before you begin a thing, make sure it is the right 
ihing to do : ask Mr. Conscien.ee about it. Do not 
try to do what is impossible : ask Common Sense. It 
is of no use to blow against a hurricane, or to fish for 
whales in a washing-tub. Better give up a foolish 
plan than go on and burn your fingers with it: better 
bend your neck than knock your forehead. 
Brag- and Perseverance. 

But when you have once made up your mind to go 
JL certain iroad, don t let every molehill turn you out 
of the path. One stroke fells not an oak. Chop away, 
axe, you ll down with the tree at last ! A bit of iron 
does not soften the moment you put it into the fire. 
Blow, smith ! Put on more coals ! Get it red hot and 
hit hard with the hammer, and you will make a plough* 



380 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

share yet. Steady does it. Hold on, and you have 
it ! Brag is a fine fellow at crying " Tally-ho !" but 
Perseverance brings home the brush. 

We ought not to be put out of heart by difficulties : 
they are sent on purpose to try the stuff we are made 
of; and depend upon it they do us a world of good. 
There s a sound reason why there are bones in our 
meat and stones in our land. A world where every 
thing was easy would be a nursery for babies, but not 
at all a fit place for men. Celery is not sweet till it 
has felt a frost, and men don t come to their perfection 
till disappointment has dropped a half-hundred weight 
or two on their toes. 

Who would know good horses if there were no 
heavy loads ? If the clay was not stiff, my old Dapper 
and Violet would be thought no more of than Tom- 
kin s donkey. Besides, to work hard for success makes 
us fit to bear it : we enjoy the bacon all the more 
because we have got an appetite by earning it. When 
prosperity pounces on a man like an eagle, it often 
throws him down. If we overtake the cart, it is a fine 
thing to get up and ride ; but when it comes behind 
us at a tearing rate, it is very apt to knock us down 
and run over us, and when we are lifted into it we 
find our leg is broken, or our arm out of joint, and we 
cannot enjoy the ride. 

Patient Waiting. 

Work is always healthier for us than idleness ; it is 
always better to wear out shoes than sheets. I some 
times think, when I put on my considering cap, that 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 381 

success in life is something like getting married : there s 
a very great deal of pleasure in the courting, and it is 
not a bad thing when it is a moderate time on the 
road. Therefore, young man, learn to wait, and work 
on. Don t throw away your rod, the fish will bite 
some time or other. The cat watches long at the hole, 
but catches the mouse at last. 

The spider mends her broken web, and the flies are 
taken before long. Stick to your calling, plod on and 
be content ; for, make sure, if you can undergo you 
shall overcome. 

If bad be your prospects, don t sit still and cry, 
But jump up, and say to yourself, " I will try." 

Miracles will never cease ! My neighbor, Simon 
Gripper, was taken generous about three months ago. 
The ^tory is well worth telling. He saw a poor blind 
man, led by a little girl, playing on a fiddle. His 
heart was touched, for a wonder. He said to me, 
" Ploughman, lend me a penny, there s a good fellow." 
I fumbled in my pocket, and found two halfpence, and 
handed them to him. More fool I, for he will never 
pay me again. He gave the blind fiddler one of those 
halfpence, and kept the other, and I have not seen 
either Gripper or my penny since, nor shall I get the 
money back till the gate-post outside my garden 
grows Ribstone pippins. There s generosity for you ! 

Poor as a Church Mouse. 

The old saying which is put at the top of this bit of 
talk brought him L:to my mind, for he sticks to it most 
certainly : he lives as badly as a church mouse, and 



382 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

works as hard as if he was paid by the piece and had 
twenty children to keep ; but I would no more hold 
him up for an example than I would show a toad as a 
specimen of a pretty bird. When I talk to you yeung 
people about getting on, I don t want you to think that 
hoarding up money is real success ; nor do I wish you 
to rise an inch above an honest ploughman s lot if it 
cannot be done without being mean or wicked. The 
workhouse, prison as it is, is a world better than a 
mansion built by roguery and greed. 

If you cannot get on honestly, be satisfied not to get 
on. The blessing of God is riches enough for a wise 
man, and all the world is not enough for a fool. Old 
Gripper s notion of how to prosper has, I dare say, a 
great deal of truth in it, and the more s the pity. The 
Lord deliver us from such a prospering, I say. That 
old sinner has often hummed these lines into my ears 
when we have got into an argument, and very pretty 
lines theuare not, certainly : 

" To win the prize in the world s great race, 
A man should have a brazen face ; 
An iron arm to give a stroke, 
And a heart as sturdy as an oak ; 
Eyes like a cat, good in the dark, 
And teeth as piercing as a shark; 
t Ears to hear the gentlest sound, 

Like moles that burrow in the ground; 

A mouth as close as patent locks, 

And stomach stronger than an ox; 

His tongue should be a razor-blade, 

His conscience india-rubber made 

His blood as cold as oolar ice, 

His hand as grasping as a vie*;, ^ 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 

His shoulders should be adequate 
To bear a couple thousand weight; 
His legs, like pillars, firm and strong, 
To move the great machine along; 
With supple knees to cringe and crawl, 
And cloven feet placed under all." 

It amounts to this : Be a devil in order to be happy. 
Sell yourself outright to the old dragon, and he will 
give you the world and the glory thereof. But remem 
ber the question of the old Book : " What shall it 
profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his 
own soul ? " 



ALL IS LOST THAT IS POURED INTO A CRACKED 

DISH. 

COOK is wasting her precious liquor, for it runs out 
almost as fast as it runs in. The sooner she stops 
that game the better. This makes me think of a good 
deal of preaching ; it is labor in vain, because it does 
not stay in the minds of the hearers, but goes in at 
one ear and out at the other. When men go to market 
they are all alive to do a trade, but in a place of wor 
ship they are not more than half awake, and do not 
seem to care whether they profit or not by what they 
hear. 

/ I once heard a preacher say, " Half of you are asleep, 
half are inattentive, and the rest " He never 
finished that sentence, for the people began to smile, 
and here and t^ ere one burst out laughing. Certainly, 
many only go to meeting to stare about 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

* Attend your church, the parson cries j 

To church each fair one goes ; 
The old ones go to close their eyes, 
The young to eye their clothes." 



You might as well preach to the stone images in 
old church as to people who are asleep. Some old 
felk"ws come into our meeting, pitch into their corner. 




and settle themselves down for a quiet snooze as 
knowingly as if the pew was a sleeping-car on the rail 
way. Still, all the sleeping at service is not the fault 
of the poor people, for some parsons put a lot of 
sleeping stuff into their sermons. Will Shepherd says 
they mesmerize the people. (I think that is the right 
word, but I m not sure.) I saw a verse in a real live 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 385 

book, by Mr. Cheales, the vicar of Brockham, a place 
which is handy to my home. I ll give it you : 

" The ladies praise our curate s eyes : 

I never see their light divine, 
For when he prays he closes them, 
And when he preaches closes mine." 

Well, if curates are heavy in style, the people will 
soon be heavy in sleep. Even when hearers are 
awake, many ol them are forgetful. It is like pouring 
a jug of ale between the bars of a gridiron, to try and 
teach them good doctrine. Water on a duck s back 
does have some effect, but sermons by the hundred 
are as much lost upon many men s hearts as if they 
had been spoken to a kennel of hounds. Preaching 
to some fellows is like whipping the water or lashing 
the air. As well talk to a turnip, or whistle to a dead 
donkey, as preach to these dull ears. A year s ser 
mons will not produce an hour s repentance till the 
grace of God comes in. 

"Argifying " About Doctrine. 

We have a good many hangers-on who think that 
their duty to God consists in hearing sermons, and 
that the best fruit of their hearing is to talk of what 
they have heard. How they do lay the law down when 
they get argifying about doctrines ! Their religion all 
runs to ear and tongue ; neither their heart nor their 
hand is a scrap the better. This is poor work, and 
will never pay the piper. The sermon which only gets 
as far as the ear is like a dinner eaten in a dream. It 
is ill to lie soakLg in the gospel like a bit of coal in 
i milkpan, never the whiter for it all. 

26 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

What can be the good of being hearers only? It 
disappoints the poor preacher, and it brings no bless 
ing to the man himself. Looking at a plum won t 
sweeten your mouth, staring at a coat won t cover your 
back, and lying on the bank won t catch the fish in 
the river. The cracked dish is never the better for all 
that is poured into it ; it is like our forgetful heart, it 
wants to be taken away, and a new one put instead 
of it, 




A BLACK HEN LAYS A WHITE EGG. 

THE egg is white enough, though the hen is bfack 
as a coal This is a very simple thing, but it has 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 38? 

pleased the simple mind of John Ploughman, and 
made him cheer up when things have gone hard with 
him. Out of evil comes good, through the great good 
ness of God. From threatening clouds we get refresh^ 
ing showers ; in dark mines men find bright jewels ; 
and so from our worst troubles come our best bless 
ings. The bitter cold sweetens the ground, and the 
rough winds fasten the roots of the old oaks. God 
sends us letters of love in envelopes with black bor 
ders. Many a time have I plucked sweet fruit from 
bramble-bushes, and taken lovely roses from among 
prickly thorns. Trouble is to believing men and 
women like the sweetbrier in our hedges, and where 
it grows there is a delicious smell all around, if the dev* 
do but fall upon it from above. 

Cheer up, mates, all will come right in the end. 
The darkest night will turn to a fair morning in due 
time. Only let us trust in God, and keep our heads 
above the waves of fear. When our hearts are right 
with God everything is right Let us look for the 
silver which lines every cloud, and when we do not se 
it let us believe that it is there. We are all at school, 
and our great Teacher writes many a bright lesson on 
the blackboard of affliction. 

Scant fare teaches us to live on heavenly bread 
sickness bids us send off for the good Physician, /oss 
of friends makes Jesus more precious, and even the 
sinking of our spirits brings us to live more entirely 
upon God. Ah things are working together for the 
good of those who love God, and even death itself 



388 



0&OXGE SELECTIONS. 



will bring them their highest gain. Thus the black 
hen lays a white egg. 

* Since all that I meet shall work for my good, 
The bitter is sweet, the medicine is food ; 
Though painful at present, twill cease before long, 
And then, oh how pleasant the conqueror s song ! " 

HE HAS GOT THE FIDDLE, BUT NOT THE STICK. 

IT often comes to pass that a man steps into 
another s shoes, and yet cannot walk in them. A poor 
of a parson gets into a good man s pulpit, and 




t 

takes the same texts, but the sermons are chalk, and 
not cheese. A half-baked young swell inherit, his 
father s money, but not his generosity, his barns, but 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 

not his brains, his title, but not his sense, he has the 
fiddle without the stick, and the more s the pity. 

Some people imagine that they have only to get 
hold of the plough-handles, and they would soon beat 
John Ploughman. If they had his fiddle they are sure 
they could play on it. J. P. presents his compliments, 
and wishes he may be there -when it is done. 

" That I fain would see, 
Quoth blind George of Hollowee.* ? 

However, between you and me and the bedpost, there 
is one secret which John does not mind letting out. 
John s fiddle is poor enough, but the stick is a right 
good one, too good to be called a fiddlestick. Do you 
want to see the stick with which John plays his fiddle ? 
Here it is Looking to God for help, John always tries 
to do his best, whatever he has to do, and he has 
found this to be the very best way to play all kinds of 
tunes. What little music there is in John s poor old 
fiddle comes out of it in that way. Listen to a scrape 
or two : 

If I were a cobbler, I d make it .my pride 

The best of all cobblers to be ; 
If I were a tinker, no tinker beside 

Should mend an old kettle like me. 

And being a ploughman, I plough with the bert, 

No furrows run straighter than mine ; 
I waste not a moment, and stay not to rest, 

Though idlers to tempt me combine. 

Yet I wish not to boast, for trust I have none 

In ..ught I can do or can be; 
I rest in my Saviour, and what He has doot> 

To ransom poor sinners like me. 



390 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



"GREAT CRY AND LITTLE WOOL," AS THE MAN SAID 
WHO CLIPPED THE SOW. 

OUR friend Hodge does not seem to be making 
much of an out at shearing. It will take him all his 
time to get wool enough for a blanket, and his neigh- 
bors are telling hin* so: but he does not heed them, 
Cor a man never listens to reason when he has made 




uj? his mind to act unreasonably. Hodge gets plenty 
of music of a sort : Hullah s system is nothing to it, 
and even Nebuchadnezzar s flutes, harps, sackbuts, 
and dulcimers could not make more din. He gets 
" cry " enough to stock a Babylon of babies, but not 
wool enough to stop his ears with. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 391 

Now is not this very like the world with its notions 
of pleasure ? There is noise enough : laughter and 
shouting and boasting; but where is the comfort 
which can warm the heart and give peace to the spirit? 
Generally there s plenty of smoke and very little fire 
in what is called pleasure. It promises a nag and 
gives an egg. Gayety is a sort of flash in the pan, a 
fifth-of-November squib, all fizz and bang and done 
for. The devil s meat is all bran, and the world s wine 
turns to vinegar. It is always making a great noise 
over nutshells. Thousands have had to weep over 
their blunder in looking for their heaven on earth; 
but they follow each other like sheep through a gap, 
not a bit the wiser for the experience of generations. 

It seems that every man must have a clip at his own 
particular pig, and cannot be made to believe that, 
like all the rest, it will yield him nothing but bristles. 
Men are not all of one mind as to what is best for 
them ; they no more agree than the clocks in our vil 
lage, but they all hang together in following after van 
ity, for to the core of their hearts they are vain. 

One shears the publican s hog, which is so fond of 
the swill-tub, and he reckons upon bringing home a 
wonderful lot of wool ; but everybody knows tnat he 
who goes to the "Woolpack " for wool will come home 
shorn; the "Blue Boar" is an uncommonly ugly 
animal to shear, and so is the " Red Lion." Better 
sheer off as fast as you can ; it will be sheer folly to 
stop. You may loaf about the tap of the " Half-moon " 
till you get the full moon in your noodle, and need a 



392 



CHOICE SELECTIONS 



keeper ; it is the place for men whose wits go wool 
gathering, but wool there is none. 

Another is covetous, and hopes to escape misery by 
being a miser ; his greedy mind can no more be filled 
than a lawyer s purse; he never has enough, and so 
he never has a feast. He makes money with his 
teeth, by keeping them idle. That is a very lean hog 
to clip at, for poverty wants some things, luxury many 
things, but covetousness wants all things. If we conld 
hoard up all the money in the world, what would it be 
to us at last? To-day at good cheer, to-morrow on 
the bier ; in the midst of life we are in death. 

Some, like old Mrs. Too-good, go in for self-right 
eousness, and their own mouths dub them saints. 
They are the pink of perfection, the cream of creation, 
the gems of their generation, and yet a sensible man 
would not live in the same house with them for all the 
money you could count. 

A Saint Abroad and a Devil at Home. 

They are saints abroad, but ask their maids what 
they are at home. Great cry and little wool is common 
enough in religion : you will find that those who crack 
themselves up are generally cracked, and those who 
despise their neighbors come to be despised them 
selves. 

Many try wickedness, and run into bad company, 
and rake the kennels of vice. I warrant you they may 
shear the whole sty-ful of filthy creatures and never 
find a morsel of wool on the whole lot of them. Loose 
characters, silly amusements, gambling, wantonness, 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 393 

and such like, are swine that none but a fool will try 
his shears upon. I don t deny that there s plenty of 
swinish music, who ever expected that there would 
be silence in a piggery ? But then noise cannot fill 
the heart, nor laughter lighten the soul. 

John Ploughman has tried for himself, and he knows 
by experience that all the world is nothing but a hog 
that is not worth the shearing: " Vanity of vanities, 
all is vanity." But yet there is wool to be had : there 
are real joys to be got for the asking if we ask aright. 
Below, all things deceive us, but above us there is a 
true Fi lend. "Wherefore do ye spend your money 
for that which is not bread, and your labor for that 
which ^atisfieth not ? " This is John Ploughman s 
verdict which he wishes all his readers to take note 
of 

Faith in Jesus Christ will give 
Sweetest pleasures while we live i 
Faith in Jesus must supply 
Solid comfort when we die,** 

YOU CAN T CATCH THE WIND IN A NET. 

Some people get windmills in their heads and go in 
for all sorts of silly things. They talk of ruling the 
nation as if men were to be driven like sheep, and 
they prate of reforms and systems as if they could cut 
out a world in brown paper with a pair of scissors. 
Such a body thinks himself very deep, but he is as 
shallow as a milkpan. You can soon know him as 
well as if you had gone through him with a lighted 
candle, and yet you will not know a great deal after 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

all. He has a great head, and very little in it. He 
can talk by the dozen or the gross, and say nothing. 
When he is fussing and boasting of his fine doings, 
you soon discover that he makes a long harvest of 
very little corn. His tongue is like a pig s tail, going 
all day long and nothing done. 

Falling into the Ditch. 

This is the man who can pay off the national debt, 
and yet, in his little shop he sells two apples in three 
days; he has the secret of high farming, and loses 
more at it than any man in the county. The more he 
studies the more he misses the mark ; he reminds me 
of a blind man on a blind horse, who rode out in the 
middle of a dark night, ind the more he tried to keep 
out of ditches, the more he fell in. 

When they catch live red herrings on Newmarket 
Heath he will bring out a good thing, and line his 
pockets with gold ; up till now, he says, he has been 
unlucky, and he believes that if he were to make a 
man a coffin he would be sure not to die. He is going 
to be rich next year, and you will then see what you 
shall see: just now he would be glad of half a crown 
on account, for which he will give you a share in his 
invention for growing wheat without ploughing or 
sowing. 

It is odd to see this wise man at times when his wits 
are all up in the moon : he is just like Chang the Chi 
naman, who said, " Here s my umbrella, and here s my 
bundle ; but where am I?" He cannot find his spec 
tacles, though he is looking through them ; and when 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 

he is out riding on his own ass, he pulls up and says, 
" Wherever is that donkey ? " 

I have heard of one learned man who boiled his 
watch and stood looking at the egg, and another who 
forgot that he was to be married that day, and would 




have lost his lady if his friend had not fetched him out 
of his study. Think of that, my boy, and don t fret 
yourself because you are not so overdone with learn 
ing as to have forgotten your common sense. 

Always Laying and Never Hatching-. 

The regular wind-catcher is soft as silk and as green 
as grass, and yet he thinks himself very long-headed; 
and so indeed he would be if his ears were taken into 



898 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

the measurement. He is going to do well there s 
no telling what. He is full of wishes but short of 
will, and so his buds never come to flowers or fruit. 
He is like a hen that lays eggs, and never sits on them 
long enough to hatch a single chick. 

Moonshine is the article our friend deals in, and it 
is wonderful what he can see by it. He cries up his 
schemes, and it is said that he draws on his imagina 
tion for his facts. When he is in full swing with one 
of his notions, he does not stick at a trifle. Will 
Shepherd heard one of these gentry the other day 
telling how his new company would lead all the share 
holders on to Tom Tiddler s ground to pick up gold 
and silver ; and when all the talk was over, Will said 
to me, " That s a lie with the lid on, and a brass handle 
to take hold of it." Rather sharp this of Will, for I 
do believe the man was caught on his own hook, and 
believed in his own dreams ; yet I did not like him, 
for he wanted us poor fellows to put our little savings 
into his hands, as if he could afford to fly kites with 

laborers wages. 

Wonderful Schemes. 

What a many good people there are who have re* 
ligious crazes ! They do nothing, but they have won 
derful plans for doing everything in a jiffy. So many 
thousand people are to give half a crown each, and 
so many more a crown, and so many more a sovereign, 
and the meeting-house is to be built just so, and no 
how else. The mischief is that the thousands of people 
do not rush forward with their money, and the minister 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 397 

und a few hard-working friends have to get it together 
little by little in the old-fashioned style, while your 
wonderful schemer slinks out of the way and gives 
nothing. 

I have long ago found out that pretty things on pa 
per had better be kept there. Our master s eldest 
son had a plan for growing plum-trees in our hedges 
as they do in Kent; but he never looked to see 
whether the soil would suit, and so he lost the trees 
which he put in, and there was an end of his damsons. 

" Circumstances alter cases ; 
Different ways suit different places." 

New brooms sweep clean, but they mostly sweep 
up dirt. Plough with what you please, I stick to the 
old horses which have served me so well. Fine 
schemes come to nothing ; it is hard work that does it, 
whether it be in the world or in the Church. 

" In the laborious husbandman you see 
What all true Christians are or ought to be." 

NEVER STOP THE PLOUGH TO CATCH A MOUSE. 

There s not much profit in this game. Think of a 
man and a boy and four horses all standing still for 
the sake of a mouse ! What would old friend Tusser 
say to that ? I think he would rhyme in this fashion : 

A ploughman deserveth a cut of the whip, 
If for idle pretence he let the hours slip. 

Heaps of people act like the man in our picture. They 
have a great work in hand which wants all their wits, 



396 



CHOICE SELECTIONS, 



and they leave it to squabble over some pretty nothing, 
not worth a fig. Old Master Tom would say to them : 

No more tittle-tattle, go on with your cattle. 

He could not bear for a farmer to let his horses out 
for carting even, because it took their work away from 
the farm, and" so I am sure he would be in a great stew 




if he saw farmers wasting their time at matches and 
hunts and the like. He says : 

" Who slacketh his tillage a carter to be, 
For groat got abroad, at home shall lose three ; 
For sure by so doing he brings out of heart 
Both land for the corn and horse for the cart." 

The main chance must be minded, and the little things 
must be borne with. Nobody would burn his house 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 399 

down to kill the black beetles, and it would never 
answer to kill the bullocks to ieed the cats. If ouf 
baker left off making bread for a week while hs 
cracked the cockroaches, what should we all do for 
breakfast ? If the butcher sold no more meat till he 
had killed all the blowflies, we should be many a day 
without mutton. If the water companies never gave 
the Londoners a drink till they had fished every gud 
geon out of the Thames, how would the old ladies 
make their tea? There s no use in stopping your 
fishing because of the seaweed, nor your riding because 

of the dust. 

A Grand Mouse Hunt. 

Now, our minister said to me the other day: "John, 
if you were on the committees of some of our societies 
you would see this mouse-hunting done so perfection. 
Not only committees, but whole bodies of Christian 
people go mouse-hunting." " Well," said I, " minister, 
just write me a bit, and I will stick it in my book ; it 
will be beef to my horse-radish." Here s his writing: 

"A society of good Christian people will split into 
pieces over a petty quarrel, or mere matter of opinion, 
while all around them the masses are perishing for 
want of the gospel. A miserable little mouse, which 
no cat would ever hunt, takes them off from their 
Lord s work. Again, intelligent men will spend 
months of time and heaps of money in inventing and 
publishing mere speculations, while the great field of 
the world lies unploughed. 

"They seem to care nothing how many may perish 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

so long as they can ride their hobbies. In other mat 
ters a little common sense is allowed to rule, but in 
the weightiest matters foolishness is sadly conspicuous. 
As for you and me, John, let us kill a mouse when it 
nibbles our bread, but let us not spend our lives over 
it. What can be done by a mousetrap or a cat shoulc^ 
not^occupy all our thoughts. 

" The paltry trifles of this world are much of the 
same sort. Let us give our chief attention to the 
chief things, the glory of God, the winning of souls 
for Jesus, and our own salvation. There are fools 
enough in the world, and there can be no need that 
Christian men should swell the number. Go on with 
your ploughing, John, and I vvijl go on with my preach 
ing, and * in due season we shall reap if we faint not/ 

DON T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE. 

ANGER is a short madness. The less we do when 
we go mad the better for everybody, and the less we 
go mad the better for ourselves. He is far gone who 
hurts himself to wreck his vengeance on others. The 
old saying is: "Don t cut off your head because it- 
aches;" and another says: "Set not your house on 
fire to spite the moon, " If things go awry, it is a poor 
way of mending to make them worse, as the man did 
who took to drinking because he could not marry the 
girl he liked. 

He must be a fool who cuts off his nose to spite his 
face; and yet this is what Dick did when he had 
vexed his old master, and because he was chid must 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 



401 



needs give up his place, throw himself out of work, 
and starve his wife and family. Jane had been idle, 
and she knew it; but sooner than let her mistress 
speak to her, she gave warning, and lost as good a 
service as a maid could wish for. Old Griggs was 
wrong, and could not deny it ; and yet because the 
parson s sermon fitted him rather close, he took the 




sulks, and vowed he would never hear the good man 
again. It was his own loss, but he wouldn t listen to 
reason, but was as wilful as a pig. 

Do nothing when you are out of temper, and then 
you will have the less to undo. Let a hasty man s 
passion be a warning to you : if he scalds you, take 



402 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

heed that you do not let your own pot boil over. 
Many a man has given himself a box on the ear in his 
blind rage ; ay, and ended his own life out of spite ! 
He who cannot curb his temper carries gunpowder in 
his bosom, and he is neither safe for himself nor his 
neighbors. 

When passion comes in at the door, what little sense 
there is indoors flies out at the window. By and by 
a hasty man cools and comes to himself, like Mac- 
Gibbon s gruel when he put it out of the window ; but 
if his nose is off, in the mean time, who is to put it on 
again ? He will only be sorry once, and that will be 
all the rest of his life. Anger does a man more hurt 
than that which made him angry. It opens his mouth 
and shuts his eyes, and fires his heart and drowns his 
sense, and makes his wisdom folly. 

Don t Hunt for a Lost Temper. 

Old Tompkins told me that he was sorry that he 
lost his temper, and I could not help thinking that the 
pity was that he ever found it again, for it was like an 
old shoe with the sole gone and the upper leathers 
worn out, only fit for a dunghill. A hot-tempered 
juan would be all the better for a new heart and a 
right spirit. Anger is a fire which cooks no victuals 
fond comforts no household ; it cuts and curses and 
kills, and no one knows what it may lead to ; there 
fore, good reader, don t let it lodge in your bosom, 
and if it ever comes there, pass the vagrant on to the 
next parish. 

Gently, gently, little pot ; 
Why so hasty to be hot? 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 403 

Over you will surely boil, 

And I know not what you ll spoil, 

The old gent in our picture has a fine nose of his 
own, and though he will be a fool to cut it off, he would 
be wise to cut off the supplies which have made it 
such a size. That glass and jug on the table are the 
paint-pots that he colors his nose with, and everybody 
knows, whether he knows it or knows it not, that his 
nose is the outward and visible sign of a good deal of 
inward and spirituous drink, and the sooner he drops 
his drops the better. So here we will cut off not our 
nose, but the present subject. 

BEWARE OF THE DOG 1 

JOHN PLOUGHMAN has not wearied his friends by 
preaching; but he makes bold to try his hand at a 
sermon, and hopes he will be excused if it should 
prove to be only a ploughman s preachment. 

If this were a regular sermon preached from a 
pulpit, of course I should make it long and dismal, 
like a winter s night, for fear people should call me 
eccentric. As it is only meant to be read at home, I 
will make it short, though it will not be sweet, for I 
have not a sweet subject. The text is one which has 
a great deal of meaning in it, and Js to be read on 
many a wall. " Beware of the Dog !" You know 
what dogs are, and you know how you beware of 
them when a bull-dog flies at you to the full length of 
his chain ; so the words don t want any clearing up. 

It is very odd that the Bible never says a good word 



404 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

for dogs ; I suppose the breed must have been bad in 
those eastern parts, or else, as our minister tells me, they 
were nearly wild, had no master in particular, and were 
left to prowl about half-starved. No doubt a dog is very 
like a man, and becomes a sad dog when he has him 
self for a master. We are all the better for having 
somebody to look up to ; and those who say they care 
for nobody and nobody cares for them, are dogs of 
the worst breed, and, for a certain reason, are never 
likely to be drowned. 

Dirty Dogs. 

Dear friends, I shall have heads and tails like other 
parsons, and I am sure I have a right to them, for they 
are found in the subjects before us. 

Firstly, let us beware of a dirty dog, or, as the 
grand old Book calls them, " evil workers," those who 
love filth and roll in it. Dirty dogs will spoil your 
clothes, and make you as foul as themselves. A man 
is known by his company ; if you go with loose fel 
lows your character will be tarred with the same brush 
as theirs. 

People can t be very nice in their distinctions ; if 
they see a bird always flying with the crows, and feed- 
ing and nesting with them, they call it a crow, and 
ninety-nine times out of a hundred they are right. If 
you are fond of the kennel, and like to run with the 
hounds, you will never make the world believe that 
you are a pet lamb. Besides, bad company does a 
man real harm, for, as the old proverb has it, if you 
lie down with dogs you will get up with fleas. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 405 

You cannot keep too far off a man with the fever 
and a man of wicked life. If a lady in a fine dress 
sees a big dog come out of a horse-pond, and run 
about shaking himself dry, she is very particular to 
keep out of his way ; and from this we may learn a 
lesson when we see a man half gone in liquor, 
sprinkling his dirty talk all around him, our best place 
is half a mile off at the least. 

Unpleasant Growlers. 

Secondly, beware of all snarling dogs. There are 
plenty of these about ; they are generally very small 
creatures, but they more than make up for their size 
by their noise. They yap and snap without end. Dr. 
Watts said 

" Let dogs delight to bark and bite, 
For God has made them so." 

But I cannot make such an excuse for the two-legged 
dogs I am writing about, for their own vile tempers 
and the devil together have made them what they are. 
They find fault with anything and everything. When 
they dare they howl, and when they cannot do that 
they lie down and growl inwardly. Beware of these 
creatures ! 

Make no friends with an angry man ; as well make 
a bed of stinging-nettles or wear a viper for a neck 
lace. Perhaps the fellow is just now very fond of 
you ; but beware of him, for he who barks at others 
to-day without a cause will one day howl at you for 
nothing. Don t offer him a kennel down your yard 
unless he will let you chain him up. 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Chronic Faultfinders. 

When you see that a man has a bitter spirit, and 
gives nobody a good word, quietly walk away and 
keep out of his track if you can. Loaded guns and 
quick-tempered people are dangerous pieces of furni 
ture ; they don t mean any hurt, but they are apt to go 
off and do mischief before you dream of it. Better 
go a mile out of your way than get into a fight; better 
sit down on a dozen tin tacks with their points up than 
dispute with an angry neighbor. 

Thirdly, beware of fawning dogs. They jump up 
upon you and leave the marks of their dirty paws. 
How they will lick your hand and fondle you as long 
as there are bones to be got: like the lover who 
said to the cook, " Leave you, dear girl ? Never, 
while you have a shilling ! " Too much sugar in the 
talk should lead us to suspect that there is very little 
in the heart. The moment a man praises you to your 
face, mark him, for he is the very gentleman to rail at 
you behind your back. 

Fawning- Puppies. 

If a fellow takes the trouble to flatter he expects to 
be paid for it, and he calculates that he will get his 
wages out of the soft brains of those he tickles. When 
people stoop down it generally is to pick something 
up, and men don t stoop to flatter you unless they 
reckon upon getting something out of you. When 
you see too much politeness you may generally smell 
a rat if you give a good sniff. Young people need to 
be on the watch against crafty flatterers. Young 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 40V 

women with pretty faces and a little money should 
especially beware of puppies. 

Fourthly, oeware of a greedy dog, or a man who never 
has enough. Grumbling is catching ; one discontented 
man sets others complaining, and this is a bad state 
of mind to fall into. Folks who are greedy are not 
Always honest, and if they see a chance they will put 
their spoon into their neighbor s porridge ; why not 
into yours ? See how cleverly they skin a flint ; be 
fore long you will find them skinning you, and as you 
are not quite so used to it as the eels are, you had 
better give Mr. Skinner a wide berth. When a man 
boasts that he never gives anything away, you may 
read it as a caution, " Beware of the dog! " 

Swallowing Farms and Houses* 

A liberal, kind-hearted friend helps you to keep 
down your selfishness, but a greedy grasper tempts 
you to put an extra button on your pocket. Hungry 
dogs will wolf down any quantity of meat, and then 
look out for more ; and so will greedy men swallow 
farms and houses, and then smell around for some 
thing else. I am sick of the animals I mean both 
the dogs and the men. Talking of nothing but gold, 
and how to make money and how to save it ; why, 
one had better live with the hounds at once, and howl 
over your share of dead horse. The mischief a 
miserly wretch may do to a man s heart no tongue 
can tell ; one might as well be bitten by a mad dog, 
for greediness is as bad a madness as mortal can be 
tormented with. Keep out of the company of screw- 



408 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

drivers, tight-fists, hold-fasts, and bloodsuckers : " Be 
ware of dogs." 

Fifthly, beware of a yelping dog. Those who talk 
much tell a great many lies, and if you love truth you 
had better not love them. Those who talk much are 
likely enough to speak ill of their neighbors, and of 
yourself among the rest ; and therefore, if you do not 
want to be town talk, you will be wise to find other 
friends. 

Lodgers in Clack Street. 

Mr. Prate-apace will weary you out one day, and 
you will be wise to break off his acquaintance before 
it is made. Do not lodge in Clack street, nor next door 
to the Gossip s Head. A lion s jaw is nothing com 
pared to a tale-bearer s. If you have a dog which is 
always barking, and should chance to lose him, don t 
spend a penny in advertising for him. Few are the 
blessings which are poured upon dogs which howl all 
night and wake up honest householders, but even 
these can be better put up with than those incessant 
chatterers who never let a man s character rest either 
day or night. 

Sixthly, beware of a dog that worries the sheep. Such 
get into our churches, and cause a world of misery. 
Some have new doctrines as rotten as they are new ; 
others have new plans, whims, and crotchets, and 
nothing will go right till these are tried ; and there 
is a third sort which are out of love with everybody 
and everything, and only come into the churches to 
see if they can make a row. Mark these, and keep 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 409 

clear of them. There are plenty of humble Christians 
who only want leave to be quiet and mind their own 
business, and these troublers are their plague. 

Too Many "Ologles." 

To hear the gospel and to be helped to do good is 
all that the most of our members want; but these 
worries come in with their u ologies " and puzzlements 
.and hard speeches, and cause sorrow upon sorrow. 
A good shepherd will soon fetch these dogs a crack 
of the head ; but they will be at their work again if 
they see half a chance. What pleasure can they find 
in it? Surely they must have a touch of the wolf in 
their nature. At any rate, beware of the dog. 

Seventhly, beware of dogs who have returned to their 
vomit. An apostate is like a leper. As a rule, none 
are more bitter enemies of the cross than those who 
once professed to be followers of Jesus. He who can 
turn away from Christ is not a fit companion for any 
honest man. There are many abroad now-a-days who 
have thrown off religion as easily as a ploughman puts 
off his jacket. It will be a terrible day for them when 
the heavens are on fire above them, and the world is 
ablaze under their feet. If a man calls himself my 
friend, and leaves the ways of God, then his way and 
/mine are different; he who is no friend to the good 
cause is no friend of mine. 

Hogs in a Flower Garden. 

Lastly, finally, and to finish up, beware of a dog that 
lias no master. If a fellow makes free with the Bible 
and the laws of his country and common decency, it i$ 



410 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

time to make free to tell him we had rather have his 
room than his company. A certain set of wonderfully 
wise men are talking very big things, and putting their 
smutty fingers upon everything which their fathers 
thought to be good and holy. Poor fools, they are 
not half as clever as they think they are. 

Like hogs in a flower-garden, they are for rooting 
up everything; and some people are so frightened 
that they stand as if they were struck, and hold up 
their hands in horror at the creatures. When the 
hogs have been in my master s garden, and I have had 
the big whip handy, I warrant you I have made a clear 
ance, and I only wish I was a scholar, for I would lay 
about me among these free-thinking gentry, and make 
them squeal to a long-metre tune. As John Plough 
man has other fish to fry and other tails to butter, he 
must leave these mischievous creatures, and finish his 
rough ramshackle sermon. 

" Beware of the dog ! " Beware of all who will do 
you harm. Good company is to be had ; why seek 
bad ? It is said of heaven, " without are clogs." Let 
us make friends of those who can go inside of heaven, 
for there we hope to go ourselves. We shall go to 
our own company when we die ; let it be such that we 
shall be glad to go to it. 

HOME. 

THAT word home always sounds like poetry to me. 
It rings like a peal of bells at a wedding, only more 
soft and sweet, and it chimes deeper into the ears of 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 411 

my heart. It does not matter whether it means 
thatched cottage or manor-house, home is home, be it 
ever so homely, and there s no place on earth like it. 
Green grow the houseleek on the roof for ever, and 
let the moss flourish on the thatch. Sweetly the spar 
rows chirrup and the swallows twitter around the- 
chosen spot which is my joy and rest. 

Every bird loves its own nest ; the owl thinks the 
old ruins the fairest spot under the moon, and the fox 
is of the opinion that his hole in the hill is remarkably 
cosey. When my master s nag knows that his head is 
towards home he wants no whip, but thinks it best to 
put on all steam ; and I am always of the same mind, 
for the way home, to me, is the best bit of road in the 
country. I like to see the smoke out of my own 
chimney better than the fire on another man s hearth ; 
there s something so beautiful in the way in which it 
furls up among the trees. 

Your Own is Always the Best. 

Cold potatoes on my own table taste better than 
roast meat at my neighbor s, and the honeysuckle at 
my own door is the sweetest I ever smell. When you 
are out, friends do their best, but still it is not home. 
" Make yourself at home," they say, because everybody 
knows that to feel at home is to feel at ease. 

East and west, 
Home is best." 

Why, at home you are at home, and what more do 
you want? Nobody grudges you, whatever your 
appetite may be ; and you don t get put into a damp 



412 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

bed. Safe in his own castle, like a king in his palace, 
a man feels himself somebody, and is not afraid of 
being thought proud for thinking so. Every cock 
may crow on his own dunghill ; and a dog is a lion 
when he is at home. A sweep is master inside his 
own door. No need to guard every word because 
some enemy is on the watch, no keeping the heart 
under lock and key ; but as soon as the door is shut it 
is liberty hall, and none to peep and pry. 

I cannot make out why so many workingmen spend 
their evenings at the public house, when their own 
fireside would be so much better, and cheaper too. 
There they sit, hour after hour, boozing and talking 
nonsense, and forgetting the dear good souls at home^ 
who are half-starved and weary with waiting for them. 
Their money goes into the publican s till, when it ought 
to make their wives and children comfortable; as for 
the beer they get, it is just so much fool s milk to 
drown their wits in. Such fellows ought to be horse 
whipped ; and those who encourage them and live on 
their spendings deserve to feel the butt end of the 

whip. 

England s Curse. 

Those beershops are the curse of this country ; no 
good ever can come of them, and the evil they do no 
tongue can tell. The publics were bad enough, but 
the beershops are a pest : I wish the man who made 
the law to open them had to keep all the families that 
they have brought to ruin. Beershops are the ene, 
mies of home, and therefore the sooner their licenses 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 413 

are taken away, the better. Poor men don t need 
such places, nor rich men either ; they are all worse 
and no better, like Tom Norton s wife. Anything that 
hurts the home is a curse, and ought to be hunted 
down as gamekeepers do the vermin in the copses. 

Husbands should try to make home happy and holy. 
It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest, a bad man who, 
makes his home wretched. Our house ought to be 
a little church, with holiness to the Lord over the door; 
but it ought never to be a prison, where there is plenty 
of rule and order, but little love and no pleasure. 
Marred life is not all sugar, but grace in the heart 
.vill keep away most of the sours. Godliness and love 
can make a man, like a bird in a hedge, sing among 
thorns and briers, and set others a-singing too. 
It should be the husband s pleasure to please his 
wife, and the wife s care to care for her husband. 
He is kind to himself who is kind to his wife. 

Husband and Wife Well Yoked. 
I am afraid some men live by the rule of self, and 
when that is the case home happiness is a mere sham. 
When husbands and wives are well yoked, how light 
their load becomes ! It is not every couple that is a, 
pair, and the more s the pity. In a true home all the 
strife is which can do the most to make the family 
happy. A home should be a Bethel, not Babel. The 
husband should be the house-band, binding all together 
like a corner-stone, but not crushing everything like 
* millstone. Unkind and domineering husbands ought 



414 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

not to pretend to be Christians, for they act clean co\ ~ 
trary to Christ s demands. 

Yet a home must be well ordered, or it will become 
a Bedlam, and be a scandal to the parish. If the 
father drops the reins, the family coach will soon be 
in the ditch. A wise mixture of love and firmness 
will do it ; but neither harshness nor softness alone 
will keep home in happy order. Home is no home 
where the children are not in obedience : it is rather 
a pain than a pleasure to be in it. Happy is he who 
is happy in his children, and happy are the children 
who are happy in their father. All fathers are not 
wise. Some are like Eli, and spoil their children. 
Not to cross our children is the way to make a cross 
of them. Those who never give their children the 
rod must not wonder if their children become a rod 
to them. Solomon says : " Correct thy son, and he 
shall give thee rest ; yea, he shall give delight to thy 
soul." I am not clear that anybody wiser than Solo 
mon lives in our time, though some think they are. 

The Home May be a Hell. 

Young colts must be broken in, or they will make 
wild horses. Some fathers are all fire and fury, filled 
with passion at the smallest fault ; this is worse than 
the other, and makes home a little hell instead of a 
heaven. No wind makes the miller idle, but too much 
upsets the mill altogether. Men who strike in their 
anger generally miss their mark. When God helps 
us to hold the reins firmly, but not to hurt the horses 
mouths, all goes well. When home is ruled according 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 415 

to God s Word, angels might be asked to stay a night 
with us, and they would not find themselves out of 
their element. 

Wives should feel that home is their place and theif 
kingdom, the happiness of which depends mostly 
upon them. She is a wicked wife who drives her hus 
band away by her long tongue. A man said to his 
wife the other day, "Double up your whip" He 
meant, keep your tongue quiet: it is wretched living 
with such a whip always lashing you. When God 
gave to men ten measures of speech, they say the 
women ran away with nine, and in some cases I am 
afraid the saying is true. A dirty, slatternly, gossiping 
wife is enough to drive her husband mad ; and if he 
goes to the public-house of an evening, she is the 
cause of it. 

Some Women Ought to be Deaf and Dumb. 

It is doleful living where the wife, instead of rever 
encing her husband, is always wrangling and railing at 
him. It must be a good thing when such women are 
hoarse, and it is a pity that they have not as many 
blisters on their tongues as they have teeth in their 
jjaws. God save us all from wives who are angels in 
the streets, saints in the church, and devils at home! 
I have never tasted of such bitter herbs, but I pity 
from my very heart those who have this diet every day 
of their lives. 

Show me a loving husband, a worthy wife, and good 
children, and no pair of horses that ever flew along the 
road could take me in a year where I could see a more 



416 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

pleasing sight. Home is the grandest of all institu 
tions. Talk about parliament, give me a quiet little 
parlor. Boast about voting and the Reform Bill if 
you like, but I go in for weeding the little garden and 
teaching the children their hymns. Franchise may be 
a very fine thing, but I should a good deal sooner get 
the freehold of my cottage, if I could find the money 
to buy it. Magna Charta I don t know much about ; 
but if it means a quiet home for everybody, three 
cheers for it. 

LIKE CAT LIKE KIT. 

MOST men are what their mothers made them. The 
father is away from home all day, and has not half the 
influence over the children that the mother has. The 
cow has most to do with the calf. If a ragged colt 
grows into a good horse, we know who it is that 
combed him. A mother is therefore a very responsi 
ble woman, even though she may be the poorest in the 
land, for the bad or the good of her boys and girls very 
much depends upon her. As is the gardener, such is 
the garden ; as is the wife, such is the family. 

Samuel s mother made him a little coat every year, 
but she had done a deal for him before that: Samuel 
would not have been Samuel if Hannah had not been 
Hannah. We shall never see a better set of men till 
the mothers are better. We must have Sarahs and 
Rebekahs before we shall see Isaacs and Jacobs. Grace 
does not run in the blood, but we generally find that 
the Timothies have mothers of a goodly sort. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 417 

Spoiled Children. 

Little children give their mother the headache ; but 
if she lets them have their own way, when they 
grow up to be great children they will give her 
the. heartache. Foolish fondness spoils many, and 
letting faults alone spoils more. Gardens that are 1 
never weeded will grow very little worth gathering ; 
all watering and no hoeing will make a bad crop. A 
child may have too much of its mother s love, and in 
the long run it may turn out that it had too little. 

Soft-hearted mothers rear soft-hearted children ; they 
hurt them for life because they are afraid of hurting 
them when they are young. Coddle your children, and 
they will turn out noodles. You may sugar a child 
till everybody is sick of it. Boys jackets need a little 
dusting every now and then, and girls dresses are all 
the better for occasional trimming. Children without 
chastisement are fields without ploughing. The very 
best colts want breaking in. Not that we like seventy ; 
cruel mothers are not mothers, and those who are 
always flogging and fault-finding ought to be flogged 
themselves. There is reason in all things, as the mad 
man said when he cut off his nose. 

Good mothers are very dear to their children. 
There s no mother in the world like our own mother. 
My friend Sanders, from Glasgow, says, " The mith- 
er s breath is aye sweet." Every woman is a hand 
some woman to her own son. That man is not worth 
hanging who doe^ not love his mother. When good 
women lead their little ones to the Saviour, the Lord 

27 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Jesus blesses not only the children, but their mothers 
as well. Happy are they among women who see their 
sons and their daughters walking in the truth. 

Sons Who Turn Out Fools. 

He who thinks it easy to bring up a family never 
had one of his own. A mother who trains her chil 
dren aright had need be wiser than Solomon, for his 
son turned out a fool. Some children are perverse 
from their infancy : none are born perfect, but some 
have a double share of imperfections. Do what you 
will with some children, they don t improve. Wash a 
dog, comb a dog, still a dog is but a dog : trouble 
seems thrown away on some children. Such cases 
are meant to drive us to God, for he can turn blacka 
moors white, and cleanse out the leopard s spots. 

It is clear that whatever faults our children have, 
we are their parents, and we cannot find fault with 
the stock they came of. Wild geese do not lay tame 
eggs. That which is born of a hen will be sure to 
scratch in the dust. The child of a cat will hunt after 
mice. Every creature follows its kind. If we are 
black, we cannot blame our offspring if they are dark 
too. Let us do our best with them, and pray the 
mighty Lord to put his hand to the work. Children 
of prayer will grow up to be children of praise ; 
mothers who have wept before God for their sons 
will one day sing a new song over them. Some colts 
often break the halter, and yet become quiet in har 
ness. God can make those new whom we cannot 
mend, therefore let mothers never despair of their 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 419 

children as long as they live. Are they away from 
you across the sea ? Remember, the Lord is there as 
well as here. Prodigals may wander, but they are 
never out of sight of the Great Father, even though 
they may be " a great way off." 

Happy Homes. 

Let mothers labor to make home the happiest place 
in the world. If they are always nagging and grum 
bling they will lose their hold on their children, and 
the boys will be tempted to spend their evenings away 
from home. Home is the best place for boys and 
men, and a good mother is the soul of home. The 
smile of a mother s face has enticed many into the 
right path, and the fear of bringing a tear into her 
eye has called off many a man from evil ways. The 
boy may have a heart of iron, but his mother can 
hold him like a magnet. The devil never reckons a 
man to be lost so long as he has a good mother alive. 
Oh, woman, great is thy power ! See to it that it be 
used for him who thought of his mother even in the 
agonies of death. 

VERY IGNORANT PEOPLE. 

I HAVE heard tell of a man who did not know a 
great A from a bull s foot, and I know a good many 
who certainly could not tell what great A, or little A 
either, may mean ; but some of these people are not 
the most ignorant in the world for all that. For in 
stance, they know a cow s head from its tail, and one of 
the election gentlemen said lately that the candidate from 



420 CHOICE SELECTIONS, 

London did not know that. They know that turnips 
don t grow on trees, and they can tell a mangel-wurzel 
from a beet-root, and a rabbit from a hare, and there 
are fine folk who play on pianos who could hardly 
know as much as that. If they cannot read they can 
plough and mow, and reap and sow, and bring up 
seven children on ten shillings a week, and yet pay 
their way ; and there s a sight of people who are much 
too ignorant to do that. 

The Worst Ignorance. 

Ignorance of spelling-books is very bad, but ignor 
ance of hard work is worse. Wisdom does not al 
ways speak Latin. People laugh at smock-frocks, and 
indeed they are about as ugly garments as could well 
be contrived ; but some who wear them are not half 
such fools as people take them for. If no ignorant 
people ate bread but those who wear hobnail shoes, 
corn would be a fine deal cheaper. Wisdom in a poor 
man is like a diamond set in lead, only judges can see 
its value. Wisdom walks often in patched shoes, and 
men admire her not ; but I say, never mind the coat, 
give me the man : nutshells are nothing, the kernel is 
everything. You need not go to Pirbright to find ig 
noramuses, there are heaps of them near St. Paul s. 

I would have everybody able to read and write and 
cipher ; indeed, I don t think a man can know too 
much ; but, mark you, the knowing of these things is 
not education, and there are millions of your reading 
and writing people who are as ignorant as neighbor 
Norton s calf, that did not know its own mother. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 421 

This is as plain as the nose on your face, if you only 

think a little. 

Horses not Intended to Fly. 

To know how to read and write is like having tools 
to work with ; but if you don t use these tools, and 
your eyes and your ears too, you will be none the 
better off. Everybody should know what most con 
cerns him and makes him most useful. It is little use 
for a horse to know how to fly, it will do well enough 
if it can trot. A man on a farm o^ghl to learn all that 
belongs to farming, a blacksmith si ould study a horse s 
foot, a dairymaid should be well up in skimming the 
milk and making the butte;, and a laborer s wife should 

o 

be a good scholar in the sciences of bqiling and bak 
ing, washing and mending ; and John Ploughman 
ventures to say that those men and women who have 
not learned the duties of their callings are very ignor 
ant people, even if they can tell the Greek name for 
a crocodile, or write an ode on a black-beetle. It is 
too often very true 

" Jack has been to school 
To learn to be a fool." 

When a man falls into the water, to know how to 
swim will be of more use to him than all his mathe 
matics ; and yet how very few boys learn swimming. 
Girls are taught dancing and French, when stitching 
and English would be a hundred per cent, more use 
to them. When men have. to earn their livings in 
these hard times, a good trade and industrious habits 
will serve their turn a world better than all the classics 



422 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

in Cambridge and Oxford ; but who now-a-days 
advocates practical training at our schools ? School 
masters would go into fits if they were asked to teach 
poor people s boys to hoe potatoes and plant cauli 
flowers. 

Blacking Shoes and Sewing Buttons. 

If you want a dog to be a pointer or a setter, you 
train him accordingly: why ever don t they do the 
same with men ? It ought to be, " Every man for his 
business, and every man master of his business." Let 
Jack and Tom learn geography by all means, but don t 
forget to teach them how to black their own boots and 
put a button on to their own trousers ; and as for Jane 
and Sally, let them sing and play the music if they 
like, but not till they can darn a stocking and make a 
shirt. When they bring on the new act for general 
education, I hope they will put in a clause to teach 
children practical common-sense home duties, as well 
as the three R s and the folderols which I think they 
call " accomplishments." 

There s poor Gent with six girls, and about fifty 
pounds a year to keep his family on, and yet not one 
of them can do a hand s turn, because their mother 
would go into fits lest Miss Sophia Elfrida should 
have chapped hands through washing the family linen, 
or lest Alexandra Theodora should spoil her com 
plexion in picking a few gooseberries for a pudding. 
It s enough to make a cat laugh to hear the poor 
things talk about fashion and etiquette, when they are 
not half so well off as the higgler s daughters down 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 423 

the lane, who earn their own living, and are laying 
money by against the time when some young farmer 
will pick them up. 

Marrying a Wax Doll. 

Trust me, he who marries these highty-tighty young 
ladies will have as bad a bargain as if he married a 
wax doll. How the fat would be in the fire if Mis 
Gent heard me say it ! but I do say it for all that : she 
and the girls are ignorant, very ignorant, because they 
do not know what would be of most service to them. 

Every sprat now-a-days calls itself a herring ; every 
donkey thinks itself fit to be one of the queen s horses ; 
every candle thinks itself the sun. But when a man 
with his best coat on, and a paper collar, a glass in 
his eye, a brass chain on his waistcoat, a cane in his 
hand, and emptiness in his head, fancies that people 
cannot see through his swaggers and brags, he must 
be ignorant, very ignorant, for he does not know him 
self. Flats, dressed up to the top of the fashion, 
think themselves somebodies, but nobody else does. 
Dancing-masters and tailors may rig up a fop, but 
they cannot make a nothing into a man. You may 
color a millstone as much as you like, but you cannot 
improve it into a cheese. 

When tradesmen put their earnings into companies 
and expect to see it again ; when they take shares in 
railways and look for dividends ; when they lend money 
at high interest and think to make their fortunes, they 
must be ignorant, very ignorant. As well hang a 



424 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

wooden kettle over the fire and get ready for tea, or 
sow beans in a river and look for a fine crop. 
Plucked Goslings. . 

When men believe in lawyers and money-lenders 
(whether Jews or Gentiles), and borrow money and 
speculate, and think themselves lucky fellows, they arc 
shamefully ignorant. The very gander on the com 
mon would not make such a stupid of himself, for he 
knows when anyone tries to pluck him, and won t lose 
his feathers and pride himself in the operation. 

The man who spends his money with the publican, 
and thinks that the landlord s bows and " How do ye 
do, my good fellow ? " mean true respect, is a perfect 
natural ; for with them it is 

If you have money, take a seat ; 
If you have none, take to your feet. 

The fox admires the cheese, not the raven. The bait 
is not put into the trap to feed the mouse, but to catch 
him. We don t light a fire for the herring s comfort, 
but to roast him. 

He who believes in promises made at elections has 
long ears, and may try to eat thistles. Mr. Plausible 
has been round asking all the working men for their 
*votes, and he will do all sorts of good things for them. 
Will he ? Yes, the day after to-morrow, a little later 
than never. Poor men who expect the " friends of 
the working man " to do anything for them must be 
ignorant, very ignorant. When they get their seats, 
of course they cannot stand up for their principles, 
except when it is to their interest to do so. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 425 

Stupid as a Donkey. 

To lend umbrellas and look to have them sent home, 
to do a man a good turn and expect another from him 
when you want it, to hope to stop some women s 
tongues, to try to please everybody, to hope to hear 
gossips speak well of you, or to get the truth of a 
/story from common report is all evidence of great 
ignorance. Those who know the world best trust it 
least ; those who trust it at all are not wise ; as well 
trust a horse s heel or a dog s tooth. 

Trusting to others ruins many. The mouse knows 
when the cat is out of the house, and servants know 
when the master is away. No sooner is the eye of 
the master gone than the hand of the workman 
slackens. " I ll go myself," and " I ll see to it," are 
two good servants on a farm. Those who lie in bed 
and reckon that their trade will carry on itself are 
ignorant, very ignorant. 

When I see a young lady with a flower garden on 
her head and a draper s shop on her body, tossing her 
head about as if she thought everybody was charmed 
with her, I am sure she must be ignorant, very ignorant. 
Sensible men don t marry a wardrobe or a bonnet- 
box ; they want a woman of sense, and these dress 
sensibly. 

Shallow Blusterers. 

To my mind, those who sneer at religion and set 
themselves up to be too knowing to believe in the 
Bible are shallow fellows. They generally use big 
words and bluster a great deal ; but if they fancy they 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

can overturn the faith of thinking people, who have 
tried and proved the power of the grace of God, they 
must be ignorant, very ignorant. He who looks at the 
sunrise and the sunset, and does not see the footprints 
of God, must be inwardly blinder than a mole, and 
only fit to live under ground. God seems to talk to, 
me in every primrose and daisy, to smile upon me 
from every star, to whisper to me in every breath of 
morning air, and call aloud to me in every storm. 

They say that man is the god of the dog : that man 
must be worse than a dog who will not listen to the 
voice of God, for a dog follows at his master s whistle. 
They call themselves philosophers, don t they ? Their 
proper name is fools, for the fool hath said in his 
heart, "There is no God." The sheep know when 
rain is coming, the swallows foresee the winter, and 
even the pigs, they say, can see the wind ; how much 
worse than a brute must he be who lives where God 
is everywhere present, and yet sees Him not ! So 
you see a man may be a great hand at learning, and 
yet be ignorant, very ignorant. 

HE LOOKS ONE WAY AND PULLS THE OTHER. 

HE faces the shore, but he is pulling for the ship. 
This is the way of those who row in boats, and also 
of a great many who never trust themselves on the 
water. The boatman is all right, but the hypocrite is 
all wrong, whatever rites he may practice. I cannot 
endure Mr. Facing-both-ways, yet he has swarms of 
cousins. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 427 

It is ill to be a saint without and a devil within to be 
a servant of Christ before the world in order to serve 
the ends of self and the devil, while inwardly the heart 
hates all good things. There are good and bad of all 
classes, and hypocrites can be found among plough 
men as well as among parsons. It used to be so in 
the olden times, for I remember an old verse which 
draws out just such a character. The man says : 

" I ll have a religion all of my own, 

Whether Papist or Protestant shall not be known ; 
And if it proves troublesome I will have none." 

In our Lord s day many followed him, but it was 
only for the loaves an3 fishes. They do say that some 
in our parish don t go quite so straight as the Jews 
did, for they go to the church for the loaves, and then 
go over to the Baptist chapel for the fishes. I don t 
want to judge, but I certainly do know some who, if 
they do not care much for faith, are always following 

after charity. 

A Wolf in a Sheepskin. 

Better die than sell your soul to the highest bidder. 
Better be shut up in the workhouse than fatten upon 
hypocrisy. Whatever else we barter, let us never try 
to turn a penny by religion, for hypocrisy is the mean 
est vice a man can come to. 

It is a base thing to call yourself Christ s horse, and 
yet carry the devil s saddle. The worst kind of wolf 
is that which wears a sheep s skin. Jezebel was never 
so ugly as when she had finished painting her face. 
Above all things, then, brother laborers, let us be 
straight as an arrow and true as a die, and never let 



428 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

us be timeservers or turncoats. Never let us carry 
two faces under one hat, nor blow hot- and cold with 
the same breath. 



RUNNING IN DEBT. 

WHEN I was a very small boy, in pinafores, and 
went to a woman s school, it so happened that I wanted 
a stick of slate-pencil, and had no money to buy it 
with. I was afraid o f being scolded for losing my 
pencils so often, for I was a real careless little fellow, 
and so did not dare to ask at home. What then was 
John to do ? 

There was a little shop in the place, where nuts and 
tops and cakes and balls were.sold by old Mrs. Dear- 
son, and sometimes I had seen boys and girls get 
trusted by the old lady. I argued with myself that 
Christmas was coming, and that somebody or other 
would be sure to give me a penny then, and perhaps 
even a whole silver sixpence. I would therefore go 
into debt for a stick of slate-pencil, and be sure to pay 
at Christmas. I did not feel easy about it, but still I 
screwed my courage up, and went into the shop. One 
farthing was the amount, and as I had never owed 
^anything before, and my credit was good, the pencil 
was handed over by the kind dame, and / was in debt. 
It did not please me much, and I felt as if I had done 
wrong, but I little knew how soon I should smart for 
it. How my father came to hear of this little stroke 
of business I never knew, but some little bird or other 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 429 

whistled it to him, and he was very soon down upon 
me in right earnest. God bless him for it. 

Powerful Lecture on the Side of the Head. 

He was a sensible man, and none of your children- 
spoilers ; he did not intend to bring up his children to 
speculate and play at what big rogues call financing, 
and therefore he knocked my getting into debt on the 
head at once, and no mistake. He gave me a very 
powerful lecture upon getting into debt, and how like 
it was to stealing, and upon the way in which people 
were ruined by it ; and how a boy who would owe a 
farthing might one day owe a hundred pounds, and 
get into prison and bring his family into disgrace. It 
was a lecture indeed ; I think I can hear it now, and 
can feel my ears tingling at the recollection of it. 

Then I was marched off to the shop like a deserter 
marched into barracks, crying bitterly all down the 
street, and feeling dreadfully ashamed, because I 
thought everybody knew I was in debt. The farthing 
was paid amid many solemn warnings, and the poor 
debtor was set free, like a bird let out of a cage. How 
sweet it felt to be out of debt ! How did my littfe 
heart vow and declare that nothing should ever tempt 
me into debt again ! It was a fine lesson, and I have 
never forgotten it. If all boys were inoculated with 
the same doctrine when they were young, it would be 
as good as a fortune to them, and save them wagon- 
loads of trouble in after life. 

God bless my father, say I, and send a breed of such 
fathers into old England to save her from being eaten 



430 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

up with villany ; for what with companies and schemes 
and paper money, the nation is getting to be as rotten 
as touch-wood. 

Debt, Dirt, and the Devil. 

Ever since that early sickening I have hated debt 
as Luther hated the Pope, and if I say some fierce 
things about it, you must not wonder. To keep debt, 
(dirt, and the devil out of my cottage has been my 
greatest wish ever since I set up housekeeping ; and 
although the last of the three has sometimes got in by 
the door or the window, for the old serpent will wrig 
gle through the smallest crack, yet thanks to a good 
wife, hard work, honesty, and scrubbing-brushes, the 
two others have not crossed the threshold. Debt is 
so degrading, that if I owed a man a penny I would 
walk twenty miles, in the depth of winter, to pay him, 
sooner than feel that I was under an obligation. 

I should be as comfortable with peas in my shoes, 
or a hedgehog in my bed, or a snake up my back, as 
with bills hanging over my head at the grocer s and 
the baker s and the tailor s. Poverty is hard, but debt 
is horrible ; a man might as well have a smoky house 
and a scolding wife, which are said to be the two 
worst evils of our life. We may be poor, and yet re 
spectable, which John Ploughman and wife hope they 
are and will be; but a man in debt cannot even respect 
himself, and he is sure to be talked about by the 
neighbors, and that talk will not be much to his credit. 

Everlasting Borrowers. 

Some persons appear to like to be owing money; 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 431 

but I would as soon be a cat up a chimney with the 
fire alight, or a fox with the hounds at my heels, or a 
hedgehog on a pitchfork, or a mouse under an owl s 
claw. An honest man thinks a purse full of other 
people s money to be worse than an empty one ; he 
cannot bear to eat other people s cheese, wear other 
people s shirts, and walk about in other people s shoes, 
neither will he be easy while his wife is decked out in 
the milliner s bonnets and wears the draper s flannels. 
The jackdaw in the peacock s feathers was soon 
plucked, and borrowers will surely come to poverty 
a poverty of the bitterest sort, because there is 
shame in it. 

Living beyond their incomes is the ruin of many of 
my neighbors ; they can hardly afford to keep a rabbit, 
and must needs drive a pony and chaise. I am afraid 
extravagance is the common disease of the times, and 
many professing Christians have caught it, to their 
shame and sorrow. Good cotton or stuff gowns are 
not good enough now-a-days ; girls must have silks 
and satins, and then there s a bill at the dressmaker s as 
long as a winter s night, and quite as dismal. 

Great Show on an Empty Pocket. 

Show and style and smartness run away with a 
man s means, keep the family poor, and the father s 
tiose down on the grindstone. Frogs try to look as 
big as bulls, and burst themselves. A pound a week 
apes five hundred a year, and comes to the county 
court. Men burn the candle at both ends, and then 
say they are very unfortunate ; why don t they put the 



432 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

saddle on the right horse, and say they are extravagant? 
Economy is half the battle in life ; it is not so hard to 
earn money as to spend it well. Hundreds would 
never have known want if they had not first known 
waste. If all poor men s wives knew how to cook, 
how far a little might go ! 

Our minister says the French and the Germans beat 
us hollow in nice cheap cookery, I wish they would 
send missionaries over to convert our gossiping 
women into good managers ; this is a French fashion 
which would be a deal more useful than those fine 
pictures in Mrs. Frippery s window, with ladies rigged 
out in a new style every month. 

Dainty People. 

Dear me ! some people are much too fine now-a- 
days to eat what their fathers were thankful to see on 
the table, and so they please their palates with costly 
feeding, come to the workhouse, and expect everybody 
to pity them. They turned up their noses at bread 
and butter, and came to eat raw turnips stolen out of 
the fields. They who live like fighting-cocks at other 
men s costs, will get their combs cut, or perhaps get 
roasted for it one of these days. If you have a great 
store of peas, you may put the more in the soup ; but 
everybody should fare according to his earnings. He 
is both a fool and a knave who has a shilling coming 
in, and on the strength of it spends a pound which 
does not belong to him. 

Cut your coat according to your cloth is sound ad 
vice; but cutting other people s cloth by running into 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALE. 433 

debt is as like thieving as fourpence is like a groat. If 
I meant to be a rogue I would deal in marine stores. 

o 

or be a pettifogging lawyer, or a priest, or open a loan 
office, or go out picking pockets, but I would scorn the 
dirty art of getting into debt without a prospect of 
being able to pay. 

Debt and Deception. 

Debtors can hardly help being liars, for they prom 
ise to pay when they know they cannot, and when 
they have made up a lot of false excuses they promise 
agsin, and so they lie as fast as a horse can trot 

" You have debts, and make debts still, 
If you ve not lied, lie you will." 

Now if owing leads to lying, who shall say that it is 
not a most evil thing ? Of course there are excep 
tions, and I do not want to bear hard upon an honest 
man who is brought down by sickness or heavy losses ; 
but take the rule as a rule, and you will find debt to 
be a great dismal swamp, a huge mud-hole, a dirty 
ditch. Happy is the man who gets out of it after once 
tumbling in, but happiest of all is he who has been by 
God s goodness kept out of the mire altogether. 

If you once ask the devil to dinner it will be hard to 
get him out of the house again : better to have noth 
ing to do with him. Where a hen has laid one egg, 
she is very likely to lay another ; when a man is once 
in debt, he is likely to get into it again ; better keep 
clear of it from the first. He who gets in for a penny 
will soon be in for a pound, and when a man is over 

28 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

f 

shoes, he is very liable to be over boots. Never owe 
a farthing, and you will never owe a guinea. 

Out of Debt, Out of Danger. 

If you want to sleep soundly, buy a bed of a man 
who is in debt ; surely it must be a very soft one, or 
he never could have rested so easy on it. I suppose 
people get hardened to it, as Smith s donkey did when 
its master broke so many sticks across its back. It 
seems to me that a real honest man would sooner get 
as lean as a greyhound than feast on borrowed money, 
and would choke up his throat with March dust before 
he would let the landlord make chalks against him 
behind the door for a beer-score. What pins and 
needles trademen s bills must stick in a fellow s soul ! 

A pig on credit always grunts. Without debt, with 
out care; out of debt, out of danger: but owing and 
borrowing are bramble-bushes full of thorns. If ever 
I borrow a spade of my next-door neighbor I never 
feel safe with it for fear I should break it ; I never can 
dig in peace as I do with my own : but if I had a spade 
at the shop and knew I could not pay for it, I think I 
should set to dig my own grave out of shame. Scrip 
ture says, " Owe no man anything," which does not 
mean pay your debts, but never have any to pay ; and 
my opinion is, that those who wilfully break this law 
ought to be turned out of the Christian Church, neck 
and crop as we say. 

Rich Bankrupts. 

Our laws are shamefully full of encouragement to 
credit; nobody need be a thief now; he has only to 



JOHN PLOUGBTttATTS TALK. 

open a shop and make a fail of it, and it will pay him 
much better ; as the proverb is, " He who never fails 
will never grow rich." Why, 1 know tradesmen who 
have failed five or six times, and yet think they are on 
the road to heaven. The scoundrels, what would they 
do if they got there ? They are a deal more likely to 
go where they shall never come out till they have paid 
the uttermost farthing. But people say, " How liberal 
they are ! " Yes, with other people s money. 

I hate to see a man steal a goose, and then give 
religion the giblets. Piety by all means> but pay your 
way as part of it. Honesty first, and then generosity. 
But how often religion is a cloak for deceiving! 
There s Mrs. Scamp as fine as a peacock, all the girls 
out at boarding-school, learning French and the piano, 
the boys swelling about in kid gloves, and G. B. 
Scamp, Esq., driving a fast-trotting mare, and taking 
the chair at public meetings, while his poor creditors 
cannot get more than enough to live from hand to 
mouth. 

Genteel Swindlers. 

It is shameful and beyond endurance to see how 
genteel swindling is winked at by many in this country. 
I d off with their white waistcoats and kid gloves and 
patent-leather boots, if I had my way, and give them 
the county crop and the prison livery for six months. 
Gentlemen or not, I d let them see that big rogues 
could dance on the treadmill to the same tune as little 
ones; I d make tha land too hot to hold such scamp 
ing gentry if I were a member of Parliament or 



436 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

prime minister. As I ve no such power, I can at least 
write against the fellows, and let off the steam of my 
wrath in that way. 

My motto is : Pay as you go, and keep from small 
scores. Short reckonings are soon cleared. Pay 
what you owe, and what you re worth you ll know. 
Let the clock tick, but no " tick " for me. Better go 
to bed without your supper than get up in debt. Sins 
and debt are always more than we think them to be. 
Little by little a man gets over his head and ears. It 
is the petty expenses that empty the purse. Money 
is round, and rolls away easily. 

Buying What You Don t Want. 

Tom Thriftless buys what he does not want because 
it is a great bargain, and so is soon brought to sell 
what he does want, and finds it a very little bargain ; 
he cannot say " No " to his friend who wants him to 
be security. He gives grand dinners, makes many 
holidays, keeps a fat table, lets his wife dress tine, 
never looks after his servants, and by and by he is 
quite surprised to find the quarter-days come round so 
very fast, and that his creditors bark so loud. He has 
sowed his money in the field of thoughtlessness, and 
now he wonders that he has to reap the harvest of 
poverty. Still he hopes for something to turn up to 
help him out of difficulty, and so muddles himself into 
more trouble, forgetting that hope and expectations 
are fools income. Being hard up, he goes to market 
with empty pockets, ^nd buys at whatever prices 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. -43? 

tradesmen like to charge him, and so he pays them 
double, and gets deeper and deeper into the mire. 

This leads him to scheming, and trying little tricks 
and mean dodges, for it is hard for an empty sack to 
stand upright. This is sure not to answer, for schemes 
are like spiders webs, which never catch anything 
better than flies, and are soon swept away. As well 
attempt to mend your shoes with brown paper, or 
stop a broken window with a sheet of ice, as try to 
patch up falling business with manoeuvring and 
scheming. When the schemer is found out, he is like 
a dog in church, whom everybody kicks at, and like a 
barrel of powder, which nobody wants for a neighbor. 

Paying by Borrowing 1 . 

They say poverty is a sixth sense, and it had need 
be, for many debtors seem to have lost the other five, 
or were born without common sense, for they appear 
to fancy that you not only make debts, but pay them 
by borrowing. A man pays P^ter with what he has 
borrowed of Paul, and thinks he is getting out of his 
difficulties, when he is putting one foot in the mud to 
pull his other foot out. It is hard to shave an egg, or 
pull hairs out of a bald pate ; but they are both easier 
than paying debts out of an empty pocket. 

Samson was a strong man, but. he could not pay 
debts without money, and he is a fool who thinks he 
can do it by scheming. As to borrowing money of 
loan societies, it s like a drowning man catching at 
razors; both Jews and Gentiles, when they lend 
money, generally pluck the geese as long as they have 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

any feathers. A man must cut down his outgoings 
and save his incomings if he wants to clear himself; 
you can t spend your penny and pay debts with it too. 
Stint the kitchen if your purse is bare. Don t believe 
in any way of wiping out debts except by paying hard 
cash. Promises make debts, and debts make promises, 
but promises never pay debts ; promising is om 
thing, and performing is quite another. A good man s 
word should be as binding as an oath, and he should 
never promise to pay unless he has clear prospect of 
doing so in due time ; those who stave off payment 
by false promises deserve no mercy. It is all very 
well to say, " I m very sorry," but 

" A hundred years of regret 
Pay not a farthing of debt." 

Now I m afraid all this souna aclvicfe mignt as well 
have been given to my master s cocks and hens as to 
those who have got in the way of spending what is 
not their own, for advice to such people goes in at one 
ear and out at the other. Well, those who won t lis 
ten will have to feel, and those who refuse cheap 
advice will have to buy dear repentance ; but to young 
people beginning life, a word may be worth a world, 
and this shall be John Ploughman s short sermon, with 
chree heads to it always live a little below your means, 
never get into debt, and remember 

* He who goes a borrowing 
Goes a sorrowing." 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 439 



A MAN IN A PASSION RIDES A HORSE THAT RUNS 
AWAY WITH HIM. 

WHEN passion has run away with a man, who knows 
where it will carry him ? Once let a rider lose power 
over his horse, and he may go over hedge and ditch 
and end with a tumble into the stone-quarry and a 
broken neck. No one can tell in cold blood what he 
may do when he gets angry ; therefore it is best to run 
no risks. Those who feel their temper rising will be 
wise if they rise themselves and walk off to the pump. 
Let them fill their mouths with cold water, hold it there 
ten minutes at the least, and then go indoors and keep 
there till they feel cool as a cucumber. 

If you carry loose gunpowder in your pocket, you 
had better not go where sparks are flying; and if you 
are bothered with an irritable nature, you should move 
off when folks begin teasing you. Better keep out of 
a quarrel than fight your way through it. 

Nothing is improved by anger, unless it be the arch 
of a cat s back. A man with his back up is spoiling 
his figure. People look none the handsomer for be 
ing red in the face. It takes a great deal out of a man 
to get into a towering rage ; it is almost as unhealthy 
as having a fit, and time has been when men have 
actually choked themselves with passion, and died on 
the spot. Whatever wrong I suffer, it cannot do me 
half so much hurt as being angry about it; for pas 
sion shortens life and poisons peace. 



440 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Thunder-storms Curdle Milk. 

When once we give way to temper, temper will 
claim a right of way, and come in easier every time. 
He that will be in a pet for any little thing will soon 
be out at elbows about nothing at all. A thunder 
storm curdles the milk, and so does a passion sour the 
heart and spoil the character. 

He who is in a tantrum shuts his eyes and opens 
his mouth, and very soon says what he will be sorry 
for. Better bite your lips now than smart for life. It 
is easier to keep a bull out of a china shop than it is 
to get him out again ; and, besides, there s no end of 
a bill to pay for damages. 

A man burning with anger carries a murderer in 
side his waistcoat; the sooner he can cool down, the 
better for himself and all around him. He will have 
to give an account for his feelings, as well as for his 
words and actions, and that account will cost him 
many tears. It is a cruel thing to tease quick-tem 
pered people, for, though it may be sport to you, it is 
death to them ; at least, it is death to their peace, and 
may be something worse. We know who said, " Woe 
to that man by whom the offence cometh." 
Put Him in an Iron Cage. 

Shun a furious man as you would a mad dog ; but 
do it kindly, or you may make him worse than he 
would be. Don t put a man out when you know he 
is out with himself. When his monkey is up be very 
careful, for he means mischief. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 441 

"A man in a rage 
Needs a great iron cage ; 
He ll tear and he ll dash 
Till he comes to a smash ; 
So let s out of his way 
As quick as we may." 

As we quietly move off, let us pray for the angry 
person ; for a man in a thorough passion is as sad a 
sight as to see a neighbor s house on fire, and no 
water handy to put out the flames. 

Let us wish the fellow on the runaway horse a soft 
ditch to tumble in, and sense enough never to get on 
the creature s back again. 

EVERY BIRD LIKES ITS OWN NEST. 

IT pleases me to see how fond the birds are of their 
little homes. No doubt each one thinks his OWN nest 
is the very best : and so it is for him, just as my home 
is the best palace for me, even for me, King John, the 
king of the Cottage of Content. I will ask no more 
if Providence only continues to give me 

"A little field well tilled, 
A little house well filled, 
And a little wife well willed." 

An Englishman s house is his castle, and the true 
Briton is always fond of the old roof-tree. Green 
grows the houseleek on the thatch, and sweet is the 
honeysuckle at the porch, and dear are the gillyflowers 
in the front garden ; but best of all is the f, ood wife 
within, who keeps all as neat as a new pin. French* 



442 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

men may live in their coffee-houses, but an English 
man s best life is seen at home. 

" My own house, though small, 
Is the best house of all." 

When boys get tired of eating tarts, and maids have 
done with winning hearts, and lawyers cease to take 
their fees, and leaves leave off to grow on trees, then 
will John Ploughman cease to love his own dear home, 
John likes to hear some sweet voice sing, 

" Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there s no place like home ; 
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there, 
Which, wherever we rove, is not met with elsewhere. 

Home ! Home ! sweet, sw^et home 1 

There s no place like home 1 " 

People who take no pleasure in their own homes are 
queer folks, and no better than they should be. Every 
dog is a lion at his own door, and a man should make 
most of those who make most of him. Women should 
be housekeepers, and keep in the house. 

Busy Mrs. Cackle. 

That man is to be pitied who has married one of 
the Miss Gadabouts. Mrs. Cackle and her friend 
Mrs. Dressemout are enough to drive their husbands 
into the county jail for shelter; there can be no peace 
where such a piece of goods as either of them is to be 
found. Ok) Tusser said : 

te 111 huswifery pricketh 

Herself up with pride ; 
Good huswifery tricketh 
Her house as a bride. 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. 443 

" 111 huswifery moveth 

With gossip to spend ; 
Good huswifery loveth 
Her household to tend." 

The woman whose husband wastes his evenings 
with low fellows at the beershop is as badly off as a 
slave ; and when the act of Parliament shuts up most 
of these ruin-houses, it will be an act of emancipation 
for her. Good husbands cannot have too much of 
their homes, and if their wives make their homes com 
fortable they will soon grow proud of them. When 
good fathers get among their children they are as 
merry as mice in malt. 

Poor, Tired Soul! 

Our Joe Scroggs says he is tired of his house, and 
the house certainly looks tired of him, for it is all out 
of windows, and would get out of doors if it knew how. 
He will never be weary in well-doing, for he never 
began. What a different fellow he would be if he 
could believe that the best side of the world is a man s 
own fireside ! I know it is so, and so do many more. 

" Seek home for rest, 
For home is best." 

What can it be that so deludes lots of people who 
ought to know better ? They have sweet wives and 
nice families and comfortable houses, and they are 
several cuts above us poor country bumpkins, and yet 
they must be out of an evening. What is it for? 
Surely it can t be the company ; for the society of the 
woman you love, who is the mother of your children, 



444 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

is worth all the companies that ever met together. I 
fear they are away soaking their clay, and washing all 
their wits away. If so, it is a great shame, and those 
who are guilty of it ought to be trounced. Oh! that 
drink, that drink ! 

The Best Home-brewed. 

Dear, dear, what stuff people will pour into then 
insides ! Even if I had to be poisoned I should like 
to know what I was swallowing. A cup of tea at 
home does people a sight more good than all the mix 
tures you get abroad. There s nothing like the best 
home-brewed, and there s no better mash-tub for mak 
ing it in than the old-fashioned earthenware teapot. 
Our little children sing, " Please, father, come home," 
and John Ploughman joins with thousands of little 
children in that simple prayer, which every man who 
is a man should be glad to answer. I like to see 
husband and wife longing to see each other. 

" An ear that waits to catch 

A hand upon the latch ; 
A step that hastens its sweet rest to win. 
A world of care without, 
A world of strife shut out, 
A world of love shut in." 

Fellow-workmen, try to let it be so with you and 
your wives. Come home and bring your wages with 
you, and make yourselves happy by making every one 
happy around you. 

A Thankful Heart. 

My printer jogs my elbow, and says, "That will 
do ; I ran t get any more in." Then, Mr. Passmore, 



JOHN PLOUGHMAN S TALK. . 445 

I must pass over many things, but I cannot leave off 
without praising God for his goodness to me and mine, 
and all my brother ploughmen, for it is of his great 
mercy that he lets us live in this dear old country, 
and loads us with so many benefits. 

This bit of poetry shall be my finish. I mean every 
word of it. Let us sing it together : 

" What pleasant groves, what goodly fields ! 

What fruitful hills and vales have we ! 
How sweet an air our climate yields ! 

How blest with flocks and herds we be ! 
How milk and honey doth o erflow I 

How clear and wholesome are our springs! 
How safe from ravenous beasts we go ! 

And oh, how free from poisonous things ! 

" For these and for our grass, our corn, 

For all that springs from blade or bough, 
For all those blessing* that adorn 

Both wood and field, this kingdom through 
For all of these Thy praise we sing; 

And humbly, Lord, entreat thee too, 
That fruit to thee we forth may bring, 

As unto us thy creatures do." 

TRY. 

Of all the pretty little songs I have ever heard my 
youngsters sing, that is one of the best which winds 
up, 

" If at first you don t succeed, 
Try, try, try again." 

I recommend it to grown-up people who are down 
m the mouth, and fancy that the best thing they can 
do is to give up. Nobody knows what he can do till 
he tries, " We shall get through it now," said Jack to 



446 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Harry, as they finished up the pudding. Everything 
new is hard work, but a little of the " Try " ointment 
rubbed on the hand and worked into the heart makes 
all thiags easy 

Can t do it sticks in the mud, but Try soon drags 
the wagon out of the rut. The fox said Try, and he 
gx)t away from the hounds when they almost snapped 
at him. The bees said Try, and turned flowers into 
honey. The squirrel said Try, and up he went to the 
top of the beech-tree. The snowdrop said Try, and 
bloomed in the cold snows of winter. The sun said 
Try, and the spring soon threw Jack Frost out f the 
saddle. The young lark said Try, and he found his 
new wings took him over hedges and ditches, and up 
where his father was singing. The ox said Try, and 
ploughed the field from end to end. No hill too steep 
for Try to climb, no clay too stiff for Try to plough, 
no field too wet for Try to drain, no hole too big for 
Try to mend. 

By little strokes 
Men fell great oaks." 

By a spadeful at a time the navvies digged the cut 
ting, cut a big hole through the hill, and heaped *f 
the embankment. 

The stone is hard, and the drop is small, 
ijut a hole is made by the constant fall." 



FEATHERS FOR ARROWS; 

OR, 

LIFE THOUGHTS OF REV, C H. SPURGEOK 



The Power of aii Earnest Life. 

THE upper galleries at Versailles are filled with por* 
traits, many of them extremely valuable and ancient. 
These are the likenesses of the greatest men of all 
lands and ages, drawn by the ablest artists. Yet most 
visitors wander through the rooms with little or no in 
terest ; in fact, after noticing one or two of the more 
prominent pictures, they hasten through the suite of 
chambers and descend to the other floors. Notice 
the change when the sightseers come to fine paintings 
like those of Horace Vernet, where the men and 
women are not inactive portraits, but are actively en 
gaged. There the warrior, who was passed by without 
notice upstairs, is seen hewing his way to glory over 
heaps of slain, or the statesman is observed delivering 
himself of weighty words before an assembly of 
princes and peers. Not the men but their actions en 
gross attention. Portraits have no charm when scenes 
of stirring interest are set in rivalry with them. After 
all, then, let us be who or what we may, we must be 
stir ourselves or be mere nobodies, chips in the por 
ridge, forgotten shells of the shore. If we would im- 

4*7 



448 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

press we must act. The dignity of standing still will 
never win the prize, we must run for it. Our influ 
ence over our times will arise mainly from our doing 
and suffering the will of God, not from our office or 
person. Life, life in earnest, life for God, this will tell 
on the age ; but mere orderliness and propriety, inac 
tive and passionless, will be utterly inoperative. 

Trial of Faith. 

At the battle of Crecy, where Edward, the Black 
Prince, then a youth of eighteen years of age, led the 
van, the king, his father, drew up a strong party on a 
rising ground, and there beheld the conflict in readi 
ness to send relief when it should be wanted. The 
young prince being sharply charged, and in some dan 
ger, sent to his father for succor ; and as the king de 
layed to send it, another messenger was sent to crave 
immediate assistance. To him the king replied, " Go, 
tell my son that I am not so inexperienced a com 
mander as not to know when succor is wanted, nor so 
careless a father as not to send it." He intended the 
honor of the day should be his son s, and therefore 
let him with courage stand to it, assured that help 
should be had when it might conduce most to his re 

o 

nown. God draws forth his servants to fight in the 
spiritual warfare, where they are engaged, not only 
against the strongholds of carnal reason, and the ex 
alted imaginations of their own hearts, but also in the 
pitched field against Satan and his wicked instruments. 
But they, poor hearts, when the charge is sharp, are 
ready to despond, and cry with Peter, " Save, Lord, 



CHOIC SELECTIONS. 449 

we perish ; " but God is too watchful to overlook their 
exigencies, and too much a Father to neglect their 
succor. If help, however, be delayed, it is that the 
victory may be more glorious by the difficulty of 

overcoming. 

Gratitude. 

There is a very touching little story told of a poor 
woman with two children, who had not a bed for them 
to lie upon, and scarcely any clothes to cover them. 
In the depth of winter they were nearly frozen, and 
the mother took the door of a cellar off the hinges, 
and set it up before the corner where they crouched 
down to sleep, that some of the draught and cold 
might be kept from them. One of the children whis 
pered to her, when she complained of how badly off 
they were, " Mother, what do those dear little children 
do who have no cellar door to put up in front of 
them ? " Even there, you see, the little heart found 
cause for thankfulness. 

Growth in Grace. 

The venders of flowers in the streets of London 
are wont to commend them to customers by crying, 
" All a blowing and a growing." It would be no small 
praise to Christians if we could say as much for them, 
but, alas ! of too many professors the cry would truth 
fully be, " All a stunting and a withering." 

Grumblers. 

A heavy wagon was being dragged along a country 
lane by a team of oxen. The axle-trees groaned and 

creaked terribly, when the oxen turning round, thus 
29 



460 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

addressed the wheels : " Halloa, there ! why do you 
make so much noise ? we bear all the labor, and we, 
not you, ought to cry out ! " Those complain first in 
our churches who have least to do. The gift of 
grumbling is largely dispensed among those who have 
.no other talents, or who keep what they have wrapped 
up in a napkin. 

Destructive Power of Habits. 

The surgeon of a regiment in India relates the fol 
lowing incident : " A soldier rushed into the tent to 
inform me that one of his comrades was drowning in 
a pond close by, and nobody could attempt to save him 
in consequence of the dense weeds which covered the 
surface. On repairing to the spot, we found the poor 
fellow in his last struggle, manfully attempting to ex 
tricate himself from the meshes of rope-like grass 
that encircled his body ; but, to all appearances, the 
more he labored to escape, the more firmly they be 
came coiled round his limbs. At last he sank, and the 
floating plants closed in, and left not a trace of the 
disaster. After some delay, a raft was made, and we 
put off to the spot, and sinking a pole some twelve 
feet, a native dived, holding on by the stake, and 
brought the -body to the surface. I shall never forget 
the expression on the dead man s face the clenched 
teeth, and fearful distortion of the countenance, while 
coils of long trailing weeds clung round his body and 
limbs, the muscles of which stood out stiff and rigid, 
whilst his hands grasped thick masses, showing how 
bravely he had struggled for life." 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 451 

This heart-rending picture is a terribly accurate 
representation of a man with a conscience alarmed by 
remorse, struggling with his sinful habits, but finding 
them too strong for him. Divine grace can save the 
wretch from his unhappy condition, but if he be desti 
tute of that, his remorseful agonies will but make him 
more hopelessly the slave of his passions. Laocoon, 
in vain endeavoring to tear off the serpents coils from 
himself and children, aptly portrays the long- enslaved 
sinner contending with sin in his own strength. " Can 
the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his 

spots?" 

Power of Evil. 

So long as a man is dead in trespasses and sin, 
there is no iniquity which may not get the mastery of 
him. Where the body is, thither will the vultures of 
hell be gathered together. The devil, finding him 
dead, calls up his hosts of temptations and his bands 
of evils to feed on him. The great destroyer, who at 
other times is as a lion, often plays the part of a jackal, 
whose cry, when it finds its prey, is said to sound ex 
actly like the words 

" Dead Hindoo, dead Hindoo ! 
Whfere, whfere, where, whftre ? 
Here, here, here, here ! " 

Nothing but the new life can secure a man from the 
worst fiends in the Pandemonium of vice, for they 
gather like a scattered pack to a feast when they hear 
their master cry 



REV. OHARLEB H. .SFURGEON. 

Dad sinner, dead sinner ! 
Where, where, where, where ? 
Here, here, here, here J 

Vices seldom come alone ; where there is room for 
one devil, seven other spirits more wicked than him- 




PUNISHMENT OF SIN ADAM AND EVE DRIVEN FROM PARADISE 

self will find a lodging. We may say of sins as Long 
fellow of birds of prey, in his song of Hiawatha: 

" Never stoops the soaring vulture 
On his quarry in the desert, 
On the sick or wounded bison, 
But another vulture watching, 
From his high aerial look-out 
Sees the downward plunge and 
And a third pursues the second, 
Coming from the invisible ether, 
First a speck, and then a vulture, 
Till the air is dark with pinion^" 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



453 



Punishment of Sin. 

What a diabolical invention was the " Virgin s kiss," 
once used by the fathers of the Inquisition ! The vic 
tim was pushed forward to kiss the image, when, lo, 
its arms enclosed him in a deadly embrace, piercing 
his body with a hundred hidden knives. The tempt 
ing pleasures of sin offer to the unwary just such a 
virgin s kiss. The sinful joys of the flesh lead, even 
in this world, to results most terrible, while in the 
world to come the daggers of remorse and despair 
will cut and wound beyond all remedy. 
Excuse for Sin. 

A traveller in Venezuela illustrates the readiness of 
men to lay their faults on the locality, or on anything 
rather than themselves, by the story of a hard drinker 
who came home one ni^ht in such a condition that he 

o 

could not for some time find his hammock. When 
this feat was accomplished, he tried in vain to get off 
his big riding-boots. After many fruitless efforts he 
lay down in his hammock, and soliloquized aloud, 
" Well, I have travelled all the world over ; I lived five 
years in Cuba, four in Jamaica, five in Brazil, I have 
travelled through Spain and Portugal, and been in 
Africa, but I never yet was in such an abominable 
country as this, where a man is obliged to go to bed 
with his boots on." 

Commonly enough are we told by evildoers in ex 
cuse for their sins that no man could do otherwise 
were he in their position, that there is no living at their 
trade honestly, that in such a street shops must be 



454 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

open on a Sunday, that their health required an excur 
sion to Brighton on the Sabbath because their labors 
were so severe, that nobody could be religious in the 
house in which they were engaged, and so on, all to 
the same effect, and about as truthful as the soliloquy 
of the drunkard of Venezuela. 

Doing- Good a Blessing- to Ourselves. 

If we view this microcosm, the human body, we 
shall find that the heart does not receive the blood to 
store it up, but while it pumps it in at one valve, it 
sends it forth at another. The blood is always circu 
lating everywhere, and is stagnant nowhere ; the same 
is true of all the fluids in a healthy body, they are in a 
constant state of expenditure. If one cell stores for 
a few moments its peculiar secretion, it only retains it 
till it is perfectly fitted for its appointed use in the 
body ; for if any cell in the body should begin to store 
up its secretion, its store would soon become the cause 
of inveterate disease ; nay, the organ would lose the 
power to secrete at all, if it did not give forth its pro 
ducts. The whole of the human system lives by giv 
ing. Tire eye cannot say to the foot, I have no need 
of thee, and will not guide thee ; for if it does not 
perform its watchful office, the whole man will be in 
the ditch, and the eye will be covered with mire. If 
the members refuse to contribute to the general stock, 
the whole body will become poverty-stricken, and be 
given up to the bankruptcy of death. Let us, learn, 
then, from the analogy of nature, the great lesson, that 
to get, we must give ; that to accumulate, we must 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 455 

scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make 
others happy ; and that to get good- and become 
spiritually vigorous, we must do good, and - seek the 
spiritual good of others. 

Foolish Doubts. 

A Christian once, in doubt and discouragement, coru 
sidered the darkness that overspread her soul as a 
proof that she was finally cast away. She stumbled 
over mole-hills when she should have been removing 
mountains. To an old minister who was trying to 
comfort her, with impassioned emphasis she said, " Oh ! 
I m dead, dead, twice dead, and plucked up by the 
roots!" After a pause, he replied, "Well, sitting in 
my study the other day, I heard a sudden scream 
John s in the well ! John s fallen into the well ! Be 
fore I could reach the spot, I heard the sad mournful 
cry, John s dead poor little Johnny s dead ! Bend 
ing over the curb, I called out, John, are you dead? 
Yes, grandfather/ replied John, I m dead. I was 
glad to hear it from his own mouth." 

Many doubts are so absurd that the only way to 
combat them is by gentle ridicule. 

Double-Mindedness. 

Faraday notes that whilst at breakfast at Llangollen, 
he heard a Welsh harper playing in very excellent 
style, and he adds, " wishing to gratify myself with a 
sight of the interesting bard, I went to the door and 
beheld ike bootblack / I must confess I was sadly dis 
appointed and extremely baulked." It is no small 
stumbling-block to souls when they observe that pro- 



456 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

fessors who preach and talk like men inspired, live as 
meanly as worldlings themselves. 
Spiritual Dwarfs. 

There was once in London a club of small men 
whose qualification for membership lay in their not ex 
ceeding five feet in height ; these dwarfs held, or pre 
tended to hold, the opinion that they were nearer the 
perfection of manhood than others, for they argued 
that primeval men had been far more gigantic than the 
present race, and consequently that the way of pro 
gress was to grow less and less, and that the human 
race as it perfected itself would become as diminutive 
as themselves. Such a club of Christians might be 
established in most cities, and without any difficulty 
might attain to an enormously numerous membership ; 
for the notion is common that our dwarfish Christi 
anity is, after all, the standard, and many even imagine 
that nobler Christians are enthusiasts, fanatical and 
hot-blooded, while they themselves are cool because 
they are wise, and indifferent because they are in- 
telligent. 

Money-Making- Nothing but Play. 

Mr. Ruskin, in his lecture on " Work," says : 
" Whatever we do to please ourselves, and only for 
jthe sake of the pleasure, not for an ultimate object, is 
4 play, the pleasing thing, not the useful thing. The 
first of all English games is making money. That is 
an all-absorbing game ; and we knock each other 
down oftener in playing at that than at football, or any 
other rougher sport; and it is absolutely without pur- 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

pose ; no one who engages heartily in that game ever 
knows why. Ask a great money-maker what he wants 
to do with his money he never knows. He doesn t 
make it to do anything with it. He gets it only that 
he may get it. What will you make of what you 
have got? you ask. Well, I ll get more, he says. 
Just as at cricket, you get more runs. There s no use 
in the runs, but to get more of them than other people 
is the game. And there s no use in the money, but to 
have more of it than other people is the game. So 
all that great foul city of London there rattling, 
growling, smoking, stinking a ghastly heap of fer 
menting brickwork, pouring out poison at every pore 
you fancy it is a city of work ? Not a street of it ! 
It is a great city of play ; very nasty play, and very 
hard play, but still play. * It is only Lord s Cricket 
Ground without the turf a huge billiard-table without 
the cloth, and with pockets as deep as the bottomless 
pit, but mainly a billiard-table after all." 

No Time for Making- Money. 

A gentleman of Boston, an intimate friend of Pro 
fessor Agassiz, once expressed his wonder that a man 
of such abilities as he (Agassiz) possessed should re 
main contented with such a moderate income. " I 
have enough," was Agassiz s reply. "I have not time 
to make money. Life is not sufficiently long to enable 
a man to get rich, and do his duty to his fellow-men 
at the same time." Christian, have you time to serve 
your God and yet to give your whole soul to gaining 
wealth ? The question is left for conscience to answer, 



453 



REV. CHARLES H. SFURGEON. 



The Moralist. 

The dahlia would surely be a very empress among 
flowers if it had but perfume equal to its beauty; 
even the rose might need to look to her sovereignty 
Florists have tried all their arts to scent this lovely 
child of autumn, but in vain ; no fragrance can be do- 




THE MONEY-CHANGERS DRIVEN FROM THE TEMPLE. 

veloped or produced ; God has denied the boon, and 
human skill cannot impart it. The reflecting mind 
will be reminded of those admirable characters which 
are occasionally met with, in which everything of good 
repute and comely aspect may be seen, but true re 
ligion, that sweet ethereal perfume of grace, is want 
ing ; if they had but love to God, what lovely beings 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 459 

they would be ; the best of the saints could not excel 
them, and yet that fragrant grace they do not seek, 
and after every effort we may make for their conver 
sion, they remain content without the one thing which 
is needful for their perfection. " O that the Lord would 
impart to them the mystic sweetness of his grace by 

the Holy Spirit ! 

Motives. 

There are overshot water-wheels and undershot. 
In the one case the motive power falls from above, in 
the other the water turns the wheel from below ; the 
first is the more powerful. Men, like wheels, are 
turned by forces from various sources, and too many 
move by the undercurrent mercenary desires and sel 
fish aims drive them ; but the good man s driving force 
falls from above ; let him endeavor to prove to all 
men that this is the most mighty force in existence. 

Standing near the remarkable spring at Ewell, in 
Surrey, and watching the uprising of the waters, one 
sees at the bottom of the pool innumerable circles 
with smaller circles within them, from which extremely 
fihe sand is continually being upheaved by the force 
of the rising water. Tiny geysers upheave their little 
founts, and from a myriad openings bubble up with 
the clear crystal. The perpetual motion of the water, 
and the leaping of the sand, are most interesting. It 
is not like the spring-head in the field, where the cool 
ing liquid pours forth perpetually from a spout, all un 
seen, till it plunges into its channel ; nor like the river- 
head, where the stream weeps from a mass of mossy 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

rock ; but here are the fountains of earth s hidden 
deeps all unveiled and laid bare, the very veins of 
lature opened to the public gaze. 

How would it amaze us if we could in this fashion 
peer into the springs of human character and see 
whence words and actions flow ! What man would 
\vish to have his designs and aims exposed to every 
onlooker? But why this aversion to being known 
and read of all men ? The Christian s motives and 
springs of action should be so honest and pure that 
he might safely defy inspection. He who has nothing 
to be ashamed of has nothing to conceal. Sincerity 
can afford, like our first parents in Paradise, to be 
naked and not ashamed. 

If other men cannot read our motives, we ought at 
least to examine them carefully for ourselves. Day 
by day with extreme rigor must we search into our 
hearts. Motive is vital to the goodness of an action. 
He who should give his body to be burned might yet 
lose his soul if his ruling passion were obstinacy, and 
not desire for God s glory. Self may be sought under 
many disguises, and the man may be utterly unaware 
that thus he is losing all acceptance with God. We 
must not impute ill motives to others, but we must be 
equally clear of another more fascinating habit, namely, 
that of imputing good motives to ourselves. 

Severity in estimating our own personal character 
very seldom becomes excessive ; our partiality is 
usually more or less blinding to our judgment. We 
will not suspect ourselves if we can help it ; evidence 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



461 



must be very powerful before it can convince us of 
being governed by sordid aims. The stream of gen 
erosity does not always spring from gratitude to GoJ. 
Zeal is not at all times the offspring of deep-seated 
faith. Even devotional habits may be fostered by 
other than holy affections. The highest wisdom 
suggests that we spend much patient and impartial 
consideration upon a matter so fundamental as the 
heart s intent in the actions which it directs. " If thine 
eye be single, thine whole body shall be full of light." 
Dear reader, stand by thine inner springs and watch, 
and make faithful notes of what thou seest, lest thou 
be deceived. 

Foolish Questions. 

The follies of the schoolmen should be a warning 
to all those who would mingle metaphysical specula 
tions or prophetical theories with the simple doctrines 
of the Bible. There was among those learned men 
such a rage for Aristotle, that his ethics were fre 
quently read to the people instead of the gospel and 
the teachers themselves were employed either in 
wresting the words of Scripture to support the most 
monstrous opinions, or in discussing the most trivial 
questions. Think of men gravely debating whether 
the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary in the 
shape of a serpent, of a dove, of a man, or of a 
woman ? Did he seem to be young or old? In what 
dress was he ? Was his garment white or of two 
colors ? Was his linen clean or foul ? Did he appear 
in the morning, noon, or evening ? What was the 



462 EEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

color of the Virgin s hair? etc. Think of all this non 
sense veiled in learned terms and obscure phrases. 

While human minds were engaged in weaving such 
cobwebs as these, no progress was made in real 
knowledge, and the gloom of the dark ages deepened 
into ten-fold night. We are much in danger of the 
same evil from another quarter. The reign of ob 
scure nonsense and dogmatic trifling may yet return. 
An ultra-spiritual sect has arisen whose theological 
language is a jargon, whose interpretations are mysti 
cal, whose prophetical hypotheses are ridiculous, and 
whose arrogance is superlative. To leave the con 
sideration of well-known soul-saving truths to fight 
over unimportant subtleties, is to turn our corn-fields 
into poppy gardens. To imagine that the writers of 
unintelligible mysticism are men of great depth, is to 
find wisdom in the hootings of owls. True spirituality 
shuns the obscure and the dilettanti, and delights in 
the plain and practical ; but there is much to fascinate 
in the superfine shams of the hour. 

Quintilian justly observes that the obscurity of an 
author is generally in proportion to his incapacity; 
and we might add, that the ferocity of a bigot is fre 
quently in proportion to the absurdity of his belief. 
Some are zealots for a certain theory of 666, and the 
two witnesses, and the little horn, who would be far 
better employed in training up their children in the 
fear of God, or listening for their instruction to a 
sober preacher of the word of God. It is a most 
fitting thing to be looking for the coming of the Lord, 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

but a most miserable waste of time to be spinning 
theories about it, and allowing the millions around us 
to perish in their sins. Ragged-schools, orphanages, 
street-preaching, tract distributing, almsgiving, these 
are the present and pressing questions for the Chris 
tian church; whether the stream of the Euphrates is 
likely to diminish, or the Dead Sea to flow into the 
Mediterranean, may be settled in less needy times. 

Reason and Faith. 

An old writer says: Faith and Reason may be 
compared to two travellers : Faith is like a man in full 
health, who can walk his twenty or thirty miles at a 
time without suffering ; Reason is like a little child 
who can only, with difficulty, accomplish three or four 
miles. " Well," says this old writer, " on a given day 
Reason says to Faith, O good Faith, let me walk 
with thee ; Faith replies, O Reason, thou canst never 
walk with me ! However, to try their paces they set 
out together, but they soon find it hard to keep com 
pany. When they come to a deep river, Reason says, 
I can never ford this, but faith wades through it 
singing. When they reach a lofty mountain, there is 
the same exclamation of despair; and in such cases, 
Faith, in order not to leave Reason behind, is obliged 
to carry him on his back ; and," adds the writer, "oh! 
what a luggage is Reason to Faith ! " 

The New Gun. 

A raw countryman having brought his gun to the 
gunsmith for repairs, the latter is reported to have ex 
amined it, and finding it to be almost too far gone for 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

repairing, said, " Your gun is in a very worn-out, 
ruinous, good-for-nothing condition ; what sort of re 
pairing do you want for it ? " " Well," said the 
countryman, " I don t see as I can do with anything 
short of a new stock, lock, and barrel ; that ought to 
set it up again." "Why," said the smith, "you had 
better have a new gun altogether." " Ah ! " was the 
reply, " I never thought of that ; and it strikes me 
that s just what I do want. A new stock, lock, and 
barrel ; why that s about equal to a new gun alto 
gether, and that s what I ll have." 

Just the sort of repairing that man s nature requires, 
The old nature cast aside as a complete wreck and 
good for nothing, and a new one imparted. 

Religion must be Personal. 

"A little girl, whom we will call Ellen, was some 
time ago helping to nurse a sick gentleman, whom she 
loved very dearly. One day he said to her, Ellen, it 
is time for me to take my medicine, I think. Will 
you pour it out for me? You must measure just a 
table-spoonful, and then put it in that wine-glass close 
by/ Ellen quickly did so, and brought it to his bed 
side ; but, instead of taking it in his own hand, he 
quietly said, * Now, dear, will you drink it for me? 
* Me drink it ! What do you mean ? I am sure I 
would, in a minute, if it would cure you all the same; 
but you know it won t do you any good, unless you 
take it yourself. Won t it really? No, I suppose it 
will not. But, Ellen, if you can t take my medicine 
for me, I can t take your salvation for you. You must 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 



465 



go to Jesus, and believe in him for yourself. In this 
way he tried to teach her that each human being must 
seek salvation for himself, and repent, and believe, and 
obey, for himself 

The New Jerusalem. 

"Who," saith an old divine, "chides a servant for 
taking away the first course at a feast when the second 




THE NEW JERUSALEM. 

consists of far greater delicacies?" Who then can 
feel regret that this present world passeth away, when 
he sees that an eternal world of joy is coming ? The 
first course is grace, but the second is glory, and that 
is as much better as the fruit is better than the blossom. 

30 



466 REY. CHARLES IT. SPUR&EON. 

You will very often perceive in your rain-water cer 
tain ugly little things, which swim and twist about in 
it, always trying if they can to reach the surface, and 
breathe through one end of their bodies. What 
makes these little things so lively, these innumerable 
little things like very small tadpoles, why are they so 
energetic? Possibly they have an idea of what they 
are going to be. The day will come when all of a 
sudden there will emerge from the case of the creature 

o 

which now navigates your basin, a long-legged thing 
with two bright gauze-like wings, which will mount 
into the air, and on a summer s evening will dance in 
the sunlight. It is nothing more or less than a gnat 
in one of its earliest stages. Mark in that creature an 
image of your present self; you are an undeveloped 
being ; you have not your wings as yet, and are earth- 
bound, and yet sometimes in your activity for Christ, 
when the strong desires for something better are upon 
you, you leap in foretaste of the bliss to come. 

Julius Caesar coming towards Rome with his army, 
and hearing that the senate and people had fled from 
it, said, " They that will not fight for this city, what 
city will they fight for ? " If we will not take pains 
for the kingdom of heaven, what kingdom will we 
take pains for? 

At heaven s gate there stands an angel with charge 
to admit none but those who in their countenances 
bear the same features as the Lord of the place. 
Here comes a monarch with a crown upon his head. 
The angel pays him no respect, but reminds him that 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 467 

the diadems of earth have no value in heaven. A 
company of eminent men advance, dressed in robes 
of state, and others adorned with the gowns of learn 
ing, but to these no deference is rendered, for their 
faces are very unlike the Crucified. A maiden comes 
forward, fair and comely, but the celestial watcher sees 
not in that sparkling eye and ruddy cheek the beauty 
for which he is looking. A man of renown cometh up 
heralded by fame, and preceded by the admiring 
clamor of mankind ; but the angel saith, " Such ap 
plause may please the sons of men, but thou hast no 
right to enter here." But free admittance is always 
given to those who in holiness are made like their 
Lord. Poor they may have been ; illiterate they may 
have been ; but the angel as he looks at them smiles 
a welcome as he says, " It is Christ again ; a transcript 
of the holy child Jesus. Come in, come in ; eternal 
glory thou shalt win. Thou shalt sit in heaven with 
Christ, for thou art like him." 

Heaven to be Shut Out of at Last. 

Several years ago we heard an old minister relate 
the following incident : He had preached the Word 
for many a year in a wood hard by a beautiful village 
in the Invernesshire Highlands, and it was his invari 
able custom, on dismissing his own congregation, to 
repair to the Baptist chapel in this village to partake 
of the Lord s Supper with his people assembled there. 
It was then usual to shut the gates during this service, 
in order that communicants might not be exposed to 
any disturbance through persons going out or coming 



4#8 REV. CHARLES H. SPTTR<SE0ff. 

in. On one occasion the burden of the Lord pressed 
upon his servant with more than ordinary severity, 
and anxious to deliver it and clear his soul, he detained 
his hearers a little beyond the time, and consequently 
had to hurry to the chapel. As he drew near he 
noticed the doorkeeper retire from the outer gate, 
after having shut it. He called to him, quickening his 
pace at the same time, but his cry was not heard, the 
attendant retreated inside and the minister came up 
just in time to see the door put to, and hear it 
fastened from within. He walked round the chapel 
looking up at the windows, but could gain no admit 
tance ; there was only one door, and that door was 
shut. He listened and heard the singing, and thought 
how happy God s people were inside, while he himself 
was shut out. The circumstance made an impression 
upon him at the time which he could never afterwards 
forget, and he was led to ask himself the question, 
Shall it be so at the last? Shall I come up to the 
gate of heaven only in time to be too late, to find the 
last ransomed one admitted, and the door everlast 
ingly shut? " 

Prospect of Heaven. 

One Palmer, of Reading, being condemned to die, 
in Queen Mary s time, was much persuaded to recant, 
and among other things a friend said to him, " Take 
pity on thy golden years and pleasant flowers of 
youth, before it be too late." His reply was as beauti 
ful as it was conclusive " Sir, I long for those spring 
ing flowers which shall never fade away." When he 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 469 

was in the midst of the flames he exhorted his com 
panions to constancy, saying, " We shall not end our 
lives in the fire, but make a change for a better life ; 
yea, for coals we shall receive pearls." Thus do we 
clearly see, that although " if in this life only we have 
hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable," yet 
the prospect of a better and enduring substance en 
ables us to meet all the trials and temptations of this 
present life with holy boldness and joy. 

We cannot stay to read the catalogue now, but 
heavenly joys shall be like the tree of life in the New 
Jerusalem, which brings forth twelve manner of fruits, 
and yields her fruit every month. Robert Hall used 
to cry, " O for the everlasting rest! " but Wilberforce 
would sigh to dwell in unbroken love. Hall was a 
man who suffered he longed for rest ; Wilberforce 
was a man of amiable spirit, loving society and fellow 
ship he looked for love. Hall shall have his rest, 
and Wilberforce shall have his love. There are joys 
at God s right hand, suitable for the spiritual tastes of 
all those who shall come thither. The heavenly 
manna tastes to every man s peculiar liking. 

My horse invariably comes home in less time than 
he makes the journey out. He pulls the carriage 
with a hearty good will when his face is towards home. 
Should not I also both suffer and labor the more 
joyously because my way lies towards heaven and I 
am on pilgrimage to my Father s house, my soul s 
dear home and resting place ? 



470 KEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Influence of Novelty. 

Yes, the people gathered in crowds around the 
statue, and looked at it again and again. It was not 
the finest work of art in the city, nor the most intrin 
sically attractive. Why, then, did the citizens of 
Verona stand in such clusters around the effigy of 
Dante on that summer s evening? Do you guess the 
reason ? It was a fete in honor of the poet ? No, 
you are mistaken ; it was but an ordinary evening, 
and there was nothing peculiar in the date or the 
events of the day. You shall not be kept in sus 
pense, the reason was very simple : the statue was new, 
it had, in fact, only been unveiled the day before. 
Every one passes Dante now, having other things to 
think of; the citizens are well used to his solemn 
visage, and scarcely care that he stands among them. 
Is not this the way of men ? I am sure it is their way 
with us ministers. New brooms sweep clean. What 
crowds follow a new man ! how they tread upon one 
another to hear him, not because he is so very wise 
or eloquent, much less because he is eminently holy, 
but he is a new man, and curiosity must gratify itself! 
In a few short months, the idol of the hour is stale, 
flat, and unprofitable ; he is a mediocrity ; there are 
scores as good as he ; indeed, another new man, at 
the end of the town, is far better. Away go the 
wonder-hunters ! Folly brought them, folly removes 
them : babies must have new toys. 
Obedience. 

* Sir/ said the Duke of Wellington to an officer 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 471 

of engineers, who urged the impossibility of execut 
ing the directions he had received, " I did not ask 
your opinion, I gave you my orders, and I expect them 
to be obeyed." Such should be the obedience of 
every follower of Jesus. The words which he has 
spoken are our law, not our judgments or fancies. 
Even if death were in the way it is 

" Not ours to reason why 
Ours but to dare and die ; 

and, at ou< Master s bidding, advance through flood 
or flame. 

" I wish I could mind God as my little dog minds 
me/ said a little boy, looking thoughtfully on his 
shaggy friend ; " he always looks so pleased to mind, 
and I don t." What a painful truth did this child 
speak ! Shall the poor little dog thus readily obey 
his master, and we rebel against God, who is our 
Creator, our Preserver, our Father, our Saviour and 
the bountiful Giver of everything we love? 

Omniscience. 

A plate of sweet cakes was brought in and laid 
upon the table. Two children played upon the 
hearth-rug before the fire. " Oh, I want one of those 
cakes ! " cried the little boy, jumping up as soon asi 
his mother went out, and going on tiptoe towards the 
table. "No, no," said his sister, pulling him back; 
no, no; you must not touch." " Mother won t know 
it; she did not count them," he cried, shaking her 
off, and stretching out his hand. " If she didn t, 



472 



RET. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 



perhaps God counted," answered the other. The 
little boy s hand was stayed. Yes, children, be sure 
that God counts ! 

Beauty in Nature. 

Linnaeus, the great Swedish botanist, observing the 
beautiful order which reigns among flowers, proposed 
the use of a floral clock, to be composed of plants 
which open and close their blossoms at particular 
hours ; as for instance the dandelion which opens its 
petals at six in the morning, the hawkweed at seven, 
the succory at eight, the celandine at nine, and so on; 
the closing of the flowers being marked with an 
equal regularity so as to indicate the progress of 
the afternoon and the evening. 

" Thus has each hour its own rich hue, 

And its graceful cup or bell, 
In whose colored vase may sleep the dew, 
Like a pearl in an ocean shell." 

Would it not be a lovely thing if thus with flowers 
of grace and blossoms of virtue we bedecked every 
passing hour ; fulfilling all the duties of each season 
and honoring him who maketh the outgoings of the 
morning and the evening to rejoice ! Thus with un- 
deviating regularity to obey the influence of the Sun 
of Righteousness, and give each following moment 
its due, were to begin the life of heaven beneath the 

stars. 

Order of Gracious Operations. 

A discussion arose between some members of a 
Bible-class, in reference to the first Christian exercise 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 47? 

of the converted soul. One contended that it was 
penitence or sorrow ; another that it wasy^^r, another 
love, another hope, another faith, for how could one 
fear or repent without belief? Elder G , over 
hearing the discussion, relieved the minds of the dis 
putants with this remark : " Can you tell which 
spoke of the wheel moves first ? You may be look 
ing at one spoke, and think that it moves first, but 
they all start together. Thus, when the Spirit of God 
operates upon the human heart, all the graces begin 
to affect the penitent soul, though the individual may 
be more conscious of one than another." 

Peace of a Believer. 

The believer s peace is like a river for continuance. 
Look at it, rising as a little brook among the mosses 
of the lone green hill ; by and by it leaps as a rugged 
cataract ; anon it flows along that fair valley where 
the red deer wanders, and the child loves to play. 
With hum of pleasant music the brook turns the 
village mill. Hearken to its changeful tune as it 
ripples over its pebbly bed, or leaps adown the wheel, 
or sports in eddies where the trees bend down their 
branches to kiss the current. Anon the streamlet has 
become a river, and bears upon its flood full many a 
craft. Then its bosom swells, bridges with noble 
arches span it, and, grown vaster still, it becomes an 
estuary, broad enough to be an arm of old Father 
Ocean, pouring its water-floods into the mighty main. 

The river abides the lapse of ages, it is no evanes- 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOX. 

cent morning cloud, or transient rain-flood, but in all 
its stages it is permanent. 

" Men may come, and men may go, 
But I flow on for ever." 

Evermore, throughout all generations, the river 
speedeth to its destined place. Such is the peace of 
the Christian. He has always reason for comfort. 
He has not a consolation like a swollen torrent which 
is dried up under the hot sun of adversity, but peace 
is his rightful possession at all times. Do you inquire 
for the Thames ? You shall find it flowing in its own 
bed in the thick black night, as well as in the clear 
bright day. You shall discover the noble river when 
it mirrors the stars or sends back the sheen of the 
moon, as well as when multitudes of eyes gaze upon 
the pompous pageantry of civic procession at mid 
day. You may see its waves in the hour of tempest 
by the lightning s flash, as well as in the day of calm 
when the sun shineth brightly on them. Ever is the 
river in its place. And even thus, come night, come 
day, come sickness, come health, come what will, the 
peace of God which passeth all understanding wall 
keep the Christian s heart and mind, through Jesus 
Christ. 

Nor must we exclude the idea of progress. You 
can leap the Thames at Cricklade, for the tiny brook 
is spanned by a narrow plank across which laughing 
village girls are tripping ; but who thinks of laying 
down a plank at Southend, or at Grays? No, the 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 475 

river has grown how deep ! At the mouth of it, 
comparable to the sea how broad ! There go the 
ships, and even leviathan might play therein. 

Such is the Christian s peace. At the first, little 
temptations avail to mar it, and the troubles of life 
threaten to evaporate it. Be not dismayed, but quietly 
wait. When the Christian is somewhat grown, and 
has wandered for awhile along- the tortuous course of 

o 

a gracious experience, his peace will gather force like 
a flowing stream. Wait twenty or thirty years, till he 
has traversed yonder rich lowlands of fellowship with 
Christ in his sufferings, and conformity to his death, 
and you shall mark that the believer s rest will be like 
a river deep and broad, for he shall know the peace 
which was our Master s precious legacy ; and he will 
cast all his care upon God, who careth for him. True 
peace will increase till it melts into the eternal rest 
of the beatific vision, where 

" Not a wave of trouble rolls 
Across the peaceful breast." 

False Peace. 

Your peace, sinner, is that terribly prophetic calm 
which the traveller occasionally perceives upon the 
higher Alps. Everything is still. The birds suspend 
their notes, fly low, and cower down with fear. The 
hum of bees among the flowers is hushed. A horrible 
stillness rules the hour, as if death had silenced all 
things by stretching over them his awful sceptre. 
Perceive ye not what is surely at hand ? The tempest 



476 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

is preparing ; the lightning will soon cast abroad its 
flames of fire. Earth will rock with thunder-blasts; 
granite peaks will be dissolved ; all nature will trem 
ble beneath the fury of the storm. Yours is that 
solemn calm to-day, sinner. Rejoice not in it, for the 
hurricane of wrath is coming, the whirlwind and the 
tribulation which shall sweep you away and utterly 

destroy you. 

Rejoicing- in Abasement. 

When Latimer resigned his bishopric, Foxe tells 
us that as he put off his rochet from his shoulders he 
gave a skip on the floor for joy, " feeling his shoulders 
so light at being discharged of such a burden." To 
be relieved of our wealth or high position is to be 
unloaded of weighty responsibilities, and should not 
cause us to fret, but rather to rejoice as those who are 
lightened of a great load. If we cease from office in 
the church, or from public honors, or from power of 
any sort, we may be consoled by the thought that there 
is just so much the less for us to answer for at the 
great audit, when we must give an account of our 
stewardship. 

Absence from Week-night Services. 

" Prayer-meeting and lecture as usual on Wednes 
day evening, in the lecture-room. Dear brethren, I 
urge you all to attend the weekly meetings. For 
sake not the assembling of yourselves together." 1 
Some of the " dear brethren " deported themselves in 
this way : Brother A. thought it looked like rain, and 
concluded that his family, including himself of course, 



RET. CHARLES H. SFURGEON. 477 

had better remain at home*. On Thursday evening a 
was raining very hard, and the same brother hired a 
carriage, and took his whole family to the Academy of 
Music, to hear M. Agassiz lecture on the " Intelligence 
of the Lobster." 

Brother B. thought he was too tired to go, so he 
stayed at home and worked at the sledge he had 
promised to make for Billy. Sister C. thought the 
pavements were too slippery. It would be very dan 
gerous for her to venture out. I saw her next 
morning, going down street to get her old bonnet 
" done up." She had an old pair of stockings drawn 
over her shoes. Three-fourths of the members stayed 
at home. God was at the prayer-meeting. The pas 
tor was thtre, and God blessed them. The persons 
who stayed at home were each represented by a vacant 
seat. God don t bless empty seats. 

Access to the Lord s Treasury. 

There are many locks in my house and all with 
different keys, but I have one master-key which opens 
all. So the Lord has many treasuries and secrets all 
shut up from carnal minds with locks which they can 
not open ; but he who walks in fellowship with Jesus 
possesses the master-key which will admit him to all 
the blessings of the covenant ; yea, to the very heart 
of God. Through the Wellbeloved we have access 
to God, to heaven, to every secret of the Lord. 

Activity a Help to Courage, 

Courage maintains itself by its ardent action, as 
some birds rest on the wing. There is an energy 



478 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

about agility that will often give a man a fortitude 
which otherwise he might not have possessed. We 
can picture the gallant regiment at Balaclava riding 
into the valley of death at a dashing gallop, but we 
could scarcely imagine their marching slowly up to 
the guns, coolly calculating all the deadly odds of the 
adventure. 

There is much in our obeying as our Lord did, 
" straightway." When the Lord gives his servants 
grace to follow out their convictions as soon as they 
feel them, then they act courageously. First thoughts 
are best in the service of God, they are like Gideon s 
men that lapped. Second thoughts come up timor 
ously and limpingly, and incite us to make provision 
for the flesh, they are like those men whom Gideon 
discarded because they went down on their knees to 
drink, they took things too leisurely to be fit for the 
Lord s battles. 

Affliction Attendant upon Honor. 

In ancient times a box on the ear given by a master 
to a slave meant liberty ; little would the freedman care 
how hard was the blow. By a stroke from the sword 
the warrior was knighted by his monarch; small 
matter was it to the new-made knight if the royal 
hand was heavy. When the Lord intends to lift his 
servants into a higher stage of spiritual life, he fre 
quently sends them a severe trial ; he makes his 
Jacobs to be prevailing princes, but he confers the 
honor after a night of wrestling, and accompanies it 
with a shrunken sinew. Be it so, who among us 



REV. CHARLES H. SPUBGEON. 479 

would wish to be deprived of the trials if they are the 
necessary attendants of spiritual advancement ? 

Affliction Awakening- Gratitude. 

Afflictions when sanctified make us grateful for 
mercies which aforetime we treated with indifference. 
We sat for half-an-hour in a calf s shed the other day, 
quite grateful for the shelter from the driving rain, yet 
at no other time woul<^ we have entered such a hovel. 
Discontented persons need a course of the bread of 
adversity and the water of affliction, to cure them of 
the wretched habit of murmuring. Even things which 
we loathed before we shall learn to prize when in 
troublous circumstances. 

We are no lovers of lizards, and yet at Pont St, 
Martin, in the Val D Aosta, where the mosquitoes, 
flies, and insects of all sorts drove us nearly to dis 
traction, we prized the little green fellows, and felt 
quite an attachment to them as they darted out their 
tongues and devoured our worrying enemies. Sweet 
are the uses of adversity, and this among them that 
it brings into proper estimation mercies aforetime 
lightly esteemed. 

Affliction Endears the Promises. 

We never prize the precious words of promise till 
we are placed in conditions in which their suitability 
and sweetness are manifested. We all of us value 
those golden words, " When thou walkest through the 
fire thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame 
kindle upon thee," but few if any of us have read them 
with the delight of the martyr Bilney, to whom this 



480 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

passage was a stay, while he was in prison awaiting his 
execution at the stake. His Bible, still preserved in 
the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, has 
the passage marked with a pen in the margin. Per 
haps, if all were known, every promise in the Bible 
has borne a special message to some one saint, and 
so the whole volume might be scored in the margin 
with mementos of Christian experience, every one 
appropriate to the very letter. 

Effects of Affliction in Different People. 

How different are summer storms from winter ones ! 
In winter they rush over the earth with their violence ; 
and if any poor remnants of foliage or flowers have 
lingered behind, these are swept along at one gust. 
Nothing is left but desolation ; and long after the rain 
has ceased, pools of water and mud bear tokens of 
what has been. But when the clouds have poured out 
their torrents in summer, when the winds have spent 
their fury, and the sun breaks forth again in glory, all 
things seem to rise with renewed loveliness from their 
refreshing bath. The flowers, glistening with rain 
bows, smell sweeter than before ; the grass seems to 
have gained another brighter shade of green ; and 
the young plants which had hardly come into sight,, 
have taken their place among their fellows in the 
border, so quickly have they sprung among the 
showers. The air, too, which may previously have 
been oppressive, is become clear, and soft, and fresh. 

Such, too, is the difference when the storms of afflic 
tion fall on hearts unrenewcd by Christian faith, and 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 481 

on those who abide in Christ. In the former they 
bring out the dreariness and desolation which may 
before have been unapparent. The gloom is not 
relieved by the prospect of any cheering ray to follow 
it; of any flowers or fruits to show its beneficence. 
But in the true Christian soul, " though weeping may 
endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning." A 
sweet smile of hope and love follows every tear ; and 
tribulation itself is turned into the chief of blessings. 

Affliction an Incentive to Zeal. 

There is an old story in the Greek annals of a 
soldier under Antigonus who had a disease about him, 
an extremely painful one, likely to bring him soon to 
the grave. Always first in the charge was this sol 
dier, rushing into the hottest part of the fray, as the 
bravest of the brave. His pain prompted him to fight, 
that he might forget it ; and he feared not death, be 
cause he knew that in any case he had not long to 
live. Antigonus, who greatly admired the valor of 
his soldier, discovering his malady, had him cured by 
one of the most eminent physicians of the day ; but, 
alas ! from that moment the warrior was absent from 
the front of the battle. He now sought his ease ; for, 
as he remarked to his companions, he had something 
worth living for health, home, family, and other com 
forts, and he would not risk his life now as aforetime. 

So, when our troubles are many, we are often by 
grace made courageous in serving our God; we feel 
that we have nothing to live for in this world, and we 
are driven, by hope of the world to come, to exhibit 

31 



CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

zeal, self-denial, and industry. But how often is it 
otherwise in better times ! for then the joys and pleas 
ures of this world make it hard for us to remember 
the world to come, and we sink into inglorious ease. 

Affliction Increased with Our Strength. 

" I had," said Latimer, describing the way in which 
his father trained him as a yeoman s son, " my bows 
bought me according to my age and strength ; as 1 
increased in them so my bows were made bigger and 
bigger." Thus boys grew into cross-bowmen, and by 
a similar increase in the force of their trials, Christians 
become veterans in the Lord s host. The affliction 
which is suitable for a babe in grace would little serve 
the young man, and even the well-developed man 
needs severer trials as his strength increases. 

God, like a wise father, trains us wisely, and as we 
are able to bear it, he makes our service and our suf 
fering more arduous. As boys rejoice to be treated 
like men, so will we rejoice in our greater tribulations* 
for here is man s work for us, and by God s help we 
will not flinch from doing it. 

Ambition Never Satisfied. 

Ambition is like the sea, which swallows all the riv- 
Jers and is none the fuller ; or like the grave, whose 
insatiable maw forever craves for the bodies of men. 
It is not like an amphora, which being full receives no 
more, but its fulness swells it till a still greater vacuum 
is formed. In all probability, Napoleon never longed 
for a sceptre till he had gained the baton, nor dreamed 
of being emperor of Europe till he had gained the 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 483 

crown of France. Caligula, with the world at his feet, 
was mad with a longing for the moon, and could he 
bave gained it, the imperial lunatic would have coveted 
the sun. 

It is in vain to feed a fire which grows the more vo. 
racious the more it is supplied with fuel ; he who lives 
to satisfy his ambition has before him the labor of 
Sisyphus, who rolled up hill an ever-rebounding stone, 
and the task of the daughters of Danaus, who are 
condemned forever to attempt to fill a bottomless ves 
sel with buckets full of holes. Could we know the 
secret heart-breaks and weariness of ambitious men, 
we should need no Wolsey s voice crying, " I charge 
thee, fling away ambition," but we should flee from it 
as from the most accursed blood-sucking vampiro 
which ever uprose from the caverns of hell. 

The Black Curtain. 

In the long line of portraits of the Doges, in the 
palace at Venice, one space is empty, and the sem 
blance of a black curtain remains as a melancholy 
record of glory forfeited. Found guilty of treason 
against the state, Marino Falieri was beheaded, and 
his image as far as possible blotted from remem 
brance. 

As we regarded the singular memorial we thought 
of Judas and Demas, and then, as we heard in spirit 
the Master s warning word, " One of you shall betray 
me," we asked within our soul the solemn question, 
" Lord, is it I ? " Every one s eye rests longer upon 
the one dark vacancy than upon any one of the many 



484 ( jJOICE SELECTIONS. 

fine portraits of the merchant monarchs ; and so the 
apostates of the church are far more frequently the 
theme of the world s talk than the thousands of good 
men and true who adorn the doctrine of God our 
Saviour in all things. Hence the more need of care 
m the: part of those of us whose portraits are- publicly 
exhibited as saints, lest we should one day Le paint <: 
out of the church s gallery, and our persons only re- 
membered as having been detestable hypocrites. 

\V<; Must Not tlnd^c lv A pjM-nrai.ro. 

Whatever truth there may be in phrenology, or in 
Lavater s kindred science of physiognomy, we shall 
do well scrupulously to avoid forming an opinion 
against a man from his personal appearance. If we 
so judge we shall often commit the greatest injustice, 
which may, if we should ever live to be disfigured by 
sickness or marred by age, be returned into our own 
bosom to our bitter sorrow. 

Plato compared Socrates to the gallipots of the 
Athenian apothecaries, on the outside of which were 
painted grotesque figures of apes and owls, but they 
contained within precious balsams. All the beauty 
of a Cleopatra cannot save her name from being infa 
mous ; personal attractions have adorned some of the 
grossest monsters that ever cursed humanity. Ju< 
then no man nor woman after their outward fashion, 
but with purified eye b : Ad the hidden beauty of the 
heart and life. 



EEV. CHAELES H. SPUBGEON. 485 

Exaggeration. 

In certain ancient Italian frescoes Mary Magda 
lene is drawn as a woman completely enveloped in 
her own hair, which reaches to her feet and entirely 
wraps up her body as in a seamless garment. These 
queer draughtsmen must needs exaggerate; granted 
that the woman had long hair, they must enfold her 
in it like a silkworm in its own silk. The practice 
survives among the tribe of talkers, everything with 
them is on the enlarged scale ; a man with ordinary 
abilities is a prodigy, another with very pardonable 
faults is a monster, a third with a few failings is a dis 
grace to humanity. Truth is as comely and beautiful 
as a woman with flowing hair, but exaggeration is as 
grotesque and ugly as the Magdalene, all hair from 
head to foot. 

Excuses. 

Bishop W , we are told, was one day rebuking 

one of his clergy for fox-hunting. " My lord," was 
the clergyman s answer, <( every man must have some 
relaxation. I assure you I never go to balls." "Oh," 
said the bishop, "I perceive you allude to my having 

been to the Duchess of S s party; but I give you 

my word that I was never in the same room with the 
dancers!" "My lord," responded the clergyman, 
" my horse and I are getting old, and we are never in 
the same fields with the hounds." Thus each had satis- 
fied his conscience, because of some point beyond 
which he had nut gone. What he had done was to be 
overlooked on account of what he had not done. The 



486 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

habit of making precisely similar excuses is all but 
universal ; though we see the absurdity of it in others 
we continue to practice it ourselves. 

Depth of Experience. 

In my house there is a well of extraordinary depth, 
which reminds me of something better than the 
boasted deep experience of certain censorious profes 
sors, who teach that to feel sin within is the main 
thing, but to be delivered from it of small consequence. 
When this well was commenced, the owner of the 
place resolved to have water, cost what it might. The 
well-sinkers dug through mud, and clay, and stone, 
but found no water ; here was the deep experience of 
the corruptionist, all earth and no living spring, the 
filth revealed but not removed, the leper discovered 
but not healed. Another hundred feet of hard dig 
ging deep in the dark, but no water still deeper 
experience. 

Then a third hundred teet, and still dirt, but no crys 
tal the very finest grade of your deeply experimental 
professor, who ridicules the joys of faith as being of 
the rlesh and presumptuous. Still on, on, on went the 
workers, till one day leaving their tools to go to din 
ner, upon their return they found that the water was 
rising fast, and their tools were drowned. 

Be this last my experience to go so deep as to 
reach the springs of everlasting love, and find all my 
poor doings and efforts totally submerged, because the 
blessed fountains of grace have broken in upon me, 
covering all the mire, and rock, and earth of my poor, 
naturally evil heart. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 487 

Experience Necessary to a Minister. 

Biichsell says: " Orthodoxy can be learnt from 
others ; living faith must be a matter of personal ex 
perience. The Lord sent out his disciples, saying, Ye 
shall testify of me because ye have been with me from 
the beginning. He only is a witness who speaks of 
what he has seen with his own eyes, heard with hisj 
own ears, and handled with his own hands. Ortho 
doxy is merely another form of rationalism, if it be 
learnt from without." 

Variety of Experience. 

Ruskin, that most accurate observer, says : " Break 
off an elm-bough three feet long, in full leaf, and lay 
it on the table before you, and try to draw it, leaf for 
leaf. It is ten to one if in the whole bough (provided 
you do not twist it about as you work) you find one 
form of a leaf exactly like another ; perhaps you will 
not even have one complete. Every leaf will be ob 
lique, or foreshortened, or curled, or crossed by an 
other, or shaded by another, or have something or 
other the matter with it; and though the whole bough 
will look graceful and symmetrical, you will scarcely 
be able to tell how or why it does so, since there is 
not one line of it like another." 

If such infinite variety prevails in creation, we may 
reasonably expect to find the same in the experience 
of the saints. Uniformity is no rule 01 spiritual life. 
Let us not judge others because their feelings have 
not been precisely similar to ours. All the saints arc 
led in a right way, but no two of them precisely in the 



488 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

same way. Far be it from us to set up a standard 
and expect all to be conformed to it ; if we reject all 
believers who labor under infirmities, or are marred 
with faults, our fellowship will be scant indeed. 

Faith Holds the Rope. 

The stupendous Falls of Niagara have been spoken 
of in every part of the world ; but while they are 
marvellous to hear of, and wonderful as a spectacle, 
they have been very destructive to human life, when 
by accident any have been carried down the cataract. 
Some years ago, two men, a bargeman and a collier, 
were in a boat and found themselves unable to man 
age it, it being carried so swiftly down the current 
that they must both inevitably be borne down and 
dashed to pieces. At last, however, one man was 
saved by floating a rope to him, which he grasped. 
The same instant that the rope came into his hand, 
a log floated by the other man. The thoughtless 
and confused bargeman, instead of seizing the rope, 
laid hold on the log. It was a fatal mistake, they 
were both in imminent peril, but the one was drawn 
to shore because he had a connection with the people 
on the land, whilst the other, clinging to the loose, 
floating log, was borne irresistibly along, and never 
heard of afterwards. 

Faith has a saving connection with Christ. Christ 
is on the shore, so to speak, holding the rope, 
and as we lay hold of it with the hand of our confi 
dence, he pulls us to shore ; but our good works hav 
ing no connection with Christ are drifted along down 



EEV. CHAELES H. SPUKGEON. 489 

to the gulf of despair. Grapple our virtues as tightly 
as we may, even with hooks of steel, they cannot 
avail us in the least degree ; they are the discon 
nected log which has no holdfast on the heavenly 

shore. 

Worthless Habits of Formality. 

That honored servant of Christ, Richard Knill, 
notes in his journal the following amusing incident of 
the force of habit, as exemplified in his horse: "Mr. 
and Mrs. Loveless would have me live with them, but 
they charged me very little for my board, whereby I 
was enabled, with my salary, to support seven native 
schools. These were so situated that I could visit them 
all in one day. My horse and gig were seen constantly 
on the rounds ; and my horse at last knew where to 
stop as well as I did. This nearly cost a Bengal offi 
cer his life. 

" Cap tain Page, a godly man, who was staying with 
us until a ship was ready to take him to the Cape, one 
morning requested me to lend him my horse and gig 
to take him to the city. The captain was driving of 
ficer-like, when the horse stopped suddenly, and nearly 
threw him out. He inquired What place is this ? 
The answer was, It s the Sailors Hospital. They 
started again, and soon the horse stopped suddenly, 
and the captain was nearly out as before. * What s 
this? A school, sir, was the reply. At last he 
finished his business and resolved to return another 
way. By doing this he came near my schools, and 
again and again the horse stopped. When he got 



90 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

home, he said, I am glad that I have returned without 
broken bones, but never will I drive a religious horse 
again/ " 

Persons who go to places of religious worship from 
mere habit and without entering into the devotions of 
the service, may here see that their religion is only 
such as a horse may possess, and a horse s religion 
will never save a man. 

Friendship of the World. 

The vanity of all friendship which is not founded in 
true principle, was never more plainly expressed than 
in an honest but heartless sentence of one of Horace 
Walpole s letters : " If one of my friends happens to 
die, I drive down to St. James s Coffee-house, and 
bring home a new one." The name of "friend" is 
desecrated in a worldling s mouth <but there is a 
friend. 

Experience Teaching- the Value of Grace. 

In the olden time when the government of England 
had resolved to build a wooden bridge over the Thames 
at Westminster, after they had driven a hundred and 
forty piles into the river, there occurred one of the 
most severe frosts in the memory of man, by means 
of which the piles were torn away from their strong 
fastenings, and many of them snapped in two. The 
apparent evil in this case was a great good ; it led the 
commissioners to reconsider their purpose, and a sub 
stantial bridge of stone was erected. 

How well it is when the fleshly reformations of un- 



BEV. CHARLES H. SPUEGEON. 491 

regenerate men are broken to pieces, if thus they are 
led to fly to the Lord Jesus, and in the strength of His 
Spirit are brought to build solidly for eternity. Lord, 
if Thou sufferest my resolves and hopes to be carried 
away by temptations and the force of my corruptions, 
grant that this blessed calamity may drive me to de 
pend wholly on Thy grace, which cannot fail me. 

Frivolities Render Men Callous. 

"When Bonaparte put the Duke d Enghien to death, 
all Paris felt so much horror at the event that the 
throne of the tyrant trembled under him. A counter 
revolution was expected, and would most probably have 
taken place, had not Bonaparte ordered a new ballet to 
be brought out, with the utmost splendor, at the Opera. 
The subject he pitched on was * Ossian, or the Bards 
It is still recollected in Paris as perhaps the grandest 
spectacle that had ever been exhibited there. The con 
sequence was that the murder of the Duke d Enghien 
was totally forgotten, and nothing biit the new ballet 
was talked of." 

After this fashion Satan takes off men s thoughts 
from their sins, and drowns the din of their consciences. 
Lest they should rise in revolt against him, he gives 
them the lusts of the flesh, and the vanities of pride, 
the cares of this world, or the merriment of fools, to 
lead away their thoughts. Poor silly men are ready 
enough for these misleading gayeties, and for the sake 
of them the solemnities of death and eternity are 
forgotten. 



492 CHOICE SELECTIONS, 

Generous Feeling- Towards Brethren* 

" One incident gives high proof of the native gener 
osity of Turner s nature. He was one of the hanging 
committee, as the phrase goes, of the Royal Academy. 
The walls were full when Turner s attention was at 
tracted by a picture sent in by an unknown provincial 
artist by the name of Bird. A good picture, he ex 
claimed. It must be hung up and exhibited. Im 
possible ! responded the committee of academicians, 
* The arrangement cannot be disturbed. Quite impos 
sible ! A good picture, iterated Turner, it must be 
hung up ; and, finding his colleagues to be as ob 
stinate as himself, he hitched down one of his own 
pictures, and hung up Bird s in its place." 

Would to God that in far more instances the like 
spirit ruled among servants of the Lord Jesus. The 
desire to honor others and to give others a fair oppor 
tunity to rise should lead ministers of distinction to 
give place to less eminent men to whom it may be of 
essential service to become better known. We are 
not to look every man on his own things, but every 
man also on the things of others. 

Giving. 

A woman who was known to be very poor came to 
a missionary meeting in Wakefield, and offered to sub 
scribe a penny a week to the mission fund. " Surely," 
said one, "you are too poor to afford this?" She re 
plied, " I spin so many hanks of yarn a week for my 
living, and F II spin one hank more, and that wiU be a 
penny a week for the society." 



KEY. OHARLES H. SPUEGEON. 493 

God Acting- as a Father. 

A king is sitting with his council deliberating on 
high affairs of state involving the destiny of nations, 
when suddenly he hears the sorrowful cry of his little 
child who had fallen down, or been frightened by a 
wasp ; he rises and runs to his relief, assuages his 
sorrows and relieves his fears. Is there anything un- 
kingly here? Is it not most natural? Does it not even 
elevate the monarch in your esteem? Why then do 
we think it dishonorable to the King of kings, our 
heavenly Father, to consider the small matters of his 
children ? It is infinitely condescending, but is it not 
also superlatively natural that being a Father he 
should act as such ? 



Conception of God. 

One day, in conversation with the Jungo-kritu, 
head pundit of the College of Fort William, on the 
subject of God, this man, who is truly learned in his 
own shastrus, gave me, from one of their books, this 
parable : "In a certain country there existed a village 
of blind men. These men had heard that there was an 
amazing animal called the elephant, but they knew not 
how to form an idea of his shape. One day an ele 
phant happened to pass through the place : the villagers 
crowded to the spot where the animal was standing. 
One of them got hold of his trunk, another seized his 
ear, another his tail, another one of his legs, etc. After 
thus trying to gratify their curiosity they returned into 
the village, and sitting down together they began to 
give their ideas on what the elephant was like : the 



494 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

man who had seized his trunk said he thought the 
elephant was like the body of a plantain tree ; the 
man who had felt his ear said he thought he was like 
the fan with which the Hindoos clean the rice; the 
man who had felt his tail said he thought he mu.st be 
like a snake, and the man who had seized hi? leg, 
thought he must be like a pillar. 

"An old blind man of some judgment was present, 
who was greatly perplexed how to reconcile these 
jarring notions respecting the form of the elephant ; 
but he at length said, * You have all been to examine 
this animal, it is true, and what you report cannot be 
false : I suppose, therefore, that that which was like 
the plantain tree must be his trunk ; that which was 
like a fan must be his ear ; that which was like a snake 
must be his tail, and that which was like a pillar must 
be his body. In this way the old man united all their 
notions, and made out something of the form of the 
elephant. Respecting God, added the pundit, we 
are all blind ; none of us has seen him ; those who 
wrote the shastrus, like the old blind man, have col 
lected all the reasonings and conjectures of mankind 
together, and have endeavored to form some idea of 
the nature of the Divine Being. " 

The pundit s parable may be appropriately applied 
to the science of theology. Some Christians see one 
truth and some another, and each one is quite sure 
that he has beheld the whole. Where is the master 
mind who shall gather up the truth out of each creed, 
and see the theology of the Bible in its completeness ? 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 495 

sublimer sight than the believers in the isms have 
yet been able to imagine. 

Jesus the Sum of the Gospel. 

In a village church in one of the Tyrolese valleys, 
we saw upon the pulpit an outstretched arm, carved in 
wood, the hand of which held forth a cross. We 
noted the emblem as full of instruction as to what all 
true ministry should be, and must be a holding forth 
of the cross of Christ to the multitude as the only 
trust of sinners. Jesus Christ must be set forth evi 
dently crucified among them. Lord, make this the 
aim and habit of all our ministers ! 

Godliness no Burden to True Saints. 

The Princess Elizabeth carried the crown for her 
sister in the procession at Mary s coronation, and 
complained to Noailles of its great weight. "Be 
patient," was the adroit answer, "it will seem lighter 
when on your own head." The outward forms of 
godliness are as burdensome to an unregenerate man 
as was the crown to the princess ; but let him be born 
again and so made a possessor of the good things of 
divine grace, and they will sit easily enough upon his 
head, as his glory and delight. 

Gold in Bough Places. 

Did the eye ever rest upon a more utter desolation 
than that which surrounds the gold mines near 

o 

Goldau in the Hartz mountains ? It is worse than a 
howling wilderness, it is a desert with its bowels <orn 
out, and scattered in horrid confusion. More 01 less 



496 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

this is true of all gold-mining regions, and Humboldt, 
when writing of the Pearl Coast, says that it presents 
the same aspect of misery as the countries of gold 
and diamonds. Is it so, then ? Are riches so near 
akin to horror? Lord, let me set my affections on 
better things, and seek for less dangerous wealth. 

Duty of Spreading- the Gospel. 

Huber, the great naturalist, tells us that if a single 
wasp discovers a deposit of honey or other food, he 
will return to his nest and impart the good news to 
his companions, who will sally forth in great numbers 
to partake of the fare which has been discovered for 
them. Shall we, who have found honey in the rock 
Christ Jesus, be less considerate of our fellow-men 
than wasps are of their fellow-insects? Ought we 
not rather like the Samaritan woman to hasten to tell 
the good news ? Common humanity should prevent 
one of us from concealing the great discovery which 
grace has enabled us to make. 

Grace Equal to Our Day. 

Whenever the Lord sets his servants to do extraor 
dinary work, he always gives them extraordinary 
strength ; or if he puts them to unusual suffering, he 
gives them unusual patience. When we enter upon 
war with some petty New Zealand chief, our troops 
expect to have their charges defrayed, and accordingly 
we pay them gold by thousands, as their expenses may 
require ; but when an army marches against a grim 
monarch, in an unknown country, who has insulted the 



REV. CHAELES H. SPUEGEON. 497 

British flag, we pay, as we know to our cost, not by 
thousands but by millions. And thus, if God calls us 
to common and ordinary trials, he will defray the 
charges of our warfare by thousands, but if he com 
mands us to an unusual struggle with some tremen 
dous foe, he will discharge the liabilities of our war by 
millions, according to the riches of his grace in which 
he has abounded towards us through Christ Jesus. 

Maturity in Grace. 

Maturity in grace makes us willing to part with 
worldly goods ; the green apple needs a sharp twist 
to separate it from the bough ; but the ripe fruit parts 
readily from the wood. Maturity in grace makes it 
easier to part with life itself; the unripe pear is scarcely 
beaten down with much labor, while its mellow com 
panion drops readily into the hand with the slightest 
shake. Rest assured that love to the things of this 
life, and cleaving to this present state, are sure indica 
tions of immaturity in the divine life. 

The Gospel Should be Preached Constantly. 

When Le Tourneau preached the Lent sermon at St. 
Benoit, at Paris, Louis XIV. enquired of Boileau, " if 
he knew anything of a preacher called Le Tourneau, 
whom everybody was running after?" " Sire," replied 
the poet, "your Majesty knows that people always run 
after novelties ; this man preaches the gospel." Boil- 
eau s remark as to the novelty of preaching the gospel 
in his time, brings to mind the candid confession of a 
Flemish preacher who, in a sermon delivered before 
32 



498 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

an audience wholly of his own order, said, " We ar* 
worse than Judas ; he sold and delivered his Master, 
we sell him too, but deliver him not/ 

Graces Should be Seasonable. 

It is said in praise of the tree planted by the rivers 
of water, that it bringeth forth its fruit in its season; 
good men should aim to have seasonable virtues. For 
instance, a forgiving spirit is golden if it display itself 
in the moment when an injury is received ; it is but 
silver if it show itself upon speedy reflection, and it is 
mere lead if it be manifested after a long time for 
cooling. The whole matter reminds us of thfi War 
wickshire estimate of swarms of bees : 

"A swarm of bees in May 
Is worth a load of hay ; 
A swarm of bees in June 
Is worth a silver spune (spoon) ; 
A swarm of bees in July 
Is not worth a fly." 

Hearing- for Others. 

The negro preachers are often marked by great 
shrewdness and mother wit, and will not only point 
the truth, but barb it so that if once in it will stick fast. 
One of these was once descanting with much earnest 
ness on different ways in which men lose their souls. 
Under one head of remark, he said that men often 
lose their souls through excessive generosity. 
"What!" he exclaimed, " you say, ministers often tell 
us we lose our souls for stinginess, and for being 
covetous ; but who ever heard of a man that hurt 



KEV. CHAELES H. SPUEGEON. 499 

himself by going too far t other way ? I tell you how 
they do it. They sit down under the sermon, and 
when the preacher touch this sin or that sin, they no 
take it to themselves, but give this part of the sermon 
to one brother, and that part to another brother. And 
so they give away the whole sermon, and it do them 
no good. And that s the way they lose their souls by 
being too generous." 

There is great truth in this remark. The want of 
a self-applying conscience causes much of the best of 
preaching to fall like rain upon a rock, from which it 
soon runs off; or if a little is caught in a hollow, it 
only stagnates, and then dries away, leaving no bless 
ing behind. A sermon, however true and forcible, 
thus disposed of, does no good to those among whom 
it is so silently distributed, while it leaves him who 
squanders its treasures to perish at last in the poverty 
and emptiness of his soul. 

Hope. 

Once on a time, certain strong laborers were sent 
forth by the great King to level a primeval forest, to 
plough it, to sow it, and to bring to him the harvest. 
They were stout-hearted and strong, and willing 
enough for labor, and much they needed all their 
strength and more. One stalwart laborer was named 
Industry consecrated work was his. His brother 
Patience, with thews of steel, went with him, and tired 
not in the longest days under the heaviest labors. To 
help them they had Zeal, clothed with ardent and in- 



600 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

domitable energy. Side by side there stood his kins 
man Self-denial, and his friend Importunity. 

These went forth to their labor, and they took with 
them, to cheer their toils, their well-beloved sister 
Hope ; and well it was they did, for they needed the 
music of her consolation ere the work was done, for 
the forest trees were huge, and demanded many 
sturdy blows of the axe ere they would fall prone 
upon the ground. One by one the giant forest kings 
were overthrown, but the labor was immense and 
incessant. At night when they went to their rest, the 
day s work seemed so light, for as they crossed 
the threshold, Patience, wiping the sweat from his 
brow, would be encouraged, and Self-denial would be 
strengthened, by hearing the voice of Hope within 
singing, " God will bless us, God, even our own God, 
will bless us." 

They felled the lofty trees to the music of that 
strain ; they cleared the acres one by one, they tore 
from their sockets the huge roots, they delved the 
soil, they sowed the corn, and waited for the harvest, 
often much discouraged, but still held to their work as 
by silver chains and golden fetters by the sweet sound 
of the voice which chanted so constantly, " God, even 
our own God, will bless us." They never could re 
frain from service, for Hope never could refrain 
from song. They were ashamed to be discour 
aged, they were shocked to be despairing, for still the 
voice rang clearly out at noon and eventide, "God 
will bless us, God, even our own God, will bless us." 



CHARLES H. SPUHGEON. 501 

You know the parable, you recognize the voice ; may 
you hear it in your souls to-day ! 

It is reported that in the Tamul language there is 
no word for hope. Alas ! poor men, if we were all as 
destitute of blessed comfort itself as these Tamul 
speakers are of the word ! What must be the misery 
of souls in hell where they remember the word, but 
can never know hope itself ! 

Humility. 

Wise men know their own ignorance and are ever 
ready to learn. Humility is the child of knowledge. 
Michael Angelo was found by the Cardinal Farnese 
walking in solitude amid the ruins of the Coliseum, 
and when he expressed his surprise, the great artist 
answered, " I go yet to school that I may continue to 
learn." Who among us can after this talk of finish 
ing our education ? We have need to learn of all 
around us. He must be very foolish who cannot tell 
us something ; or more likely we must be more foolish 
not to be able to learn of him. 

Hypocrisy. 

In the olden times even the best rooms were usually 
of bare brick or stone, damp and mouldy ; but over 
these in great houses when the family was resi 
dent, were hung up arras or hangings of rich materials, 
between which and the wall persons might conceal 
themselves, so that literally walls had ears. It is to be 
feared that many a brave show of godliness is but an 
arras to conceal rank hypocrisy ; and this accounts 



502 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

for some men s religion being but occasional, since it 
is folded up or exposed to view as need may demand. 
Is there no room for conscience to pry between thy 
feigned profession and thy real ungodliness, and bear 
witness against thee ? Remember, if conscience do it 
not, certainly "the watcher and the Holy One" will 
make a thorough search within thee. 

In the pursuit of pastoral duty, I stood a little while 
ago in a cheesemonger s shop, and being in a fidgety 
humor, and having a stick in my hand, I did what most 
Englishmen are sure to do, I was not content with 
seeing, but must needs touch as well. My stick came 
gently upon a fine cheese in the window, and to my 
surprise a most metallic sound emanated from it. The 
sound was rather hollow, or one might have surmised 
that all the tasteholes had been filled up with sover 
eigns, and thus the cheese had been greatly enriched, 
and the merchant had been his own banker. There 
was, however, a sort of crockery jingle in the sound, 
like the ring of a huge bread or milk-pan, such as our 
country friends use so abundantly; and I came to the 
very correct conclusion that I had found a very well 
got-up hypocrite in the shop window. 

Mark, from this time, when I pass by, I mentally 
whisper, " Pottery;" and the shams may even be ex 
changed for realities, but I shall be long in believing it. 
In my mind the large stock has dissolved into pot 
sherds, and the fine show in the window only suggests 
the potter s vessel. The homely illustration is simply 
introduced because we find people of this sort in our 



KEV. CHARLES H. SPUEGEON. 503 

churches, looking extremely like what they should be, 
yet having no substance in them, so that if, accidentally, 
one happens to tap them somewhere or other with 
sudden temptation or stern duty, the baked earth gives 
forth its own ring, and the pretender is esteemed no 
longer. 

The shops in the square of San Marco were all re 
ligiously closed, for the day was a high festival ; we 
were much disappointed, for it was our last day, and 
we desired to take away with us some souvenirs of 
lovely Venice ; but our regret soon vanished, for on 
looking at the shop we meant to patronize, we readily 
discovered signs of traffic within. We stepped to the 
side door, and found when one or two other customers 
had been served, that we might purchase to our* heart s 
content, saint or no saint. After this fashion too 
many keep the laws of God to the eye, but violate 
them in the heart. The shutters are up as if the man 
no more dealt with sin and Satan ; but a brisk com 
merce is going on behind the scenes. From such 
deceit may the Spirit of truth preserve us. 

The counterfeit will always have some admirers, 
from its cheapness in the market. One must dig deep 
in dark mines for gold and silver ; the precious treas 
ure must be brought from far across the seas ; it 
must be melted down, it must pass through many 
assays, and the dies must be worked with ponderous 
engines before the coin can be produced ; all this to 
the sluggish many is a heavy disadvantage. Hush! 
hearken ! steal silently upstairs ; the spirit of deceit 



504 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

invites you to her chamber ; a little plaster of Paris, a 
fire, a crucible, molten lead, the mould, and there is 
your money, sir, without troubling Peru, Potosi, Cali 
fornia or the Mint. Slink out and change your fine 
new shillings, and your fortune s made without the 
ignoble waste of sweat and labor. But be quiet, for a 
detective may be near, a coarse-minded minion of un- 
poetic law, who may cruelly block up your road, or 
even lead you into prison. Short cuts to wealth have 
brought many to the hulks ; and, let me add, there are 
short cuts to godliness which have brought many to 
perdition. 

There was an age of chivalry, when no craven 
courted knighthood, for it involved the hard blows, the 
dangerous wounds, the rough unhorsings and the un 
gentle perils of the tournament ; nay, these were but 
child s play ; there were distant eastern fields, where 
Paynim warriors must be slain by valiant hands, and 
blood must flow in rivers from the Red-cross knights. 
Then men who lacked valor preferred their hawks and 
their jesters, and left heroes to court death and glory 
on the battle-field. This genial time of peace breeds 
carpet knights, who flourish their untried weapons, and 
bear the insignia of valor, without incurring its incon- 
jvenient toils. Many are crowding to the seats of the 
heroes, since prowess and patience are no more re 
quired. The war is over, and every man is willing to 
enlist. 

When Rome commenced her long career of victory, 
it was no pleasant thing to be a soldier in the Roman 



BEV. CHAELES H. SPURGEON. 505 

legions. The power which smote the nations like a 
rod of iron abroad, was a yoke of iron at home. 
There were long forced marches, with hunger and cold 
and weariness ; heavy armor was the usual load when 
the legionary marched at ease ; but " ease " was a word 
he seldom used. Rivers were forded ; mountains were 
scaled ; barbarians were attacked ; proud nations were 
assailed ; kingdoms were subdued. No toil too stern 
for the scarred veteran, no odds too heavy, no on 
slaught too ferocious, no arms too terrible. Scarcely 
were his wounds healed ere he was called to new 
fields ; his life was battle ; his home the tent ; his re 
past was plunder ; his bed the battle-field ; while the 
eagle s bloody talons removed all need of sepulchre 
for his slaughtered body. 

But afterwards, when Rome was mistress of the 
world, and the Praetorian cohorts could sell the impe 
rial purple to the highest bidder, many would follow 
the legions to share their spoils. It is not otherwise 
to-day. Into the triumphs of martyrs and confessors 
few are willing to enter; in a national respect to 
religion, which is the result of their holiness, even 
ungodly men are willing to share. They have gone 
before us with true hearts valiant for truth, and false 
traitors are willing to divide their spoils. 

The Evils of Inactivity. 

What a mournful sight the observer may see in some 
of the outskirts of our huge city; row after row of 
houses all untenanted and forlorn. The owners had 
far better let them at the lowest rent than suffer them 



506 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

to remain empty, for the boys make targets of the 
windows, enterprising purveyors for the marine store 
shops rend off all the lead, thieves purloin every mov 
able fitting, damp swells the window frames and doors, 
and mustiness makes the whole place wretched to all 
the senses ; into the bargain the district gets a bad name 
which it probably never loses. Better a poor tenant 
than a house running to ruin unused. 

The similitude may well suggest the desirableness of 
an object and a service to those Christians whose time 
is wasted in slothful ease. All sorts of mischief hap 
pen to unoccupied professors of religion ; there is no 
evil from which they are secure ; better would it be 
for them to accept the lowest occupation for the Lord 
Jesus than remain the victims of inaction. 

Inconsistency. 

Mark Antony once yoked two lions together, and 
drove them through the streets of Rome, but no 
human skill can ever yoke together -the Lion of the 
Tribe of Judah and the Lion of the Pit. I did see a 
man once trying to walk on both sides of the street 
at one time, but he was undoubtedly drunk ; and when 
we see a man laboring day by day to walk on both 
sides of the street, morally in the shady side of sin 
and the sunny side of holiness, or reeling in the even 
ing, at one time towards the bright lights of virtue, 
and anon staggering back to sin in dark places, where 
no lamp is shining we say of him, " He is morally 
intoxicated ;" and wisdom adds, "He is mad, and if 
the Great Physician heal him not, his madness will 
bring him to destruction." 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 50? 

Shameful Sickness. 

There once lived in Ghent a beggar, who was accus 
tomed to collect alms upon the pretence that he had a 
secret disease lying in his bones and weakening his 
whole body, and that he dared hot for shame mention 
the name of it. This appeal was exceedingly success 
ful, until a person in authority, more curious than the 
rest, insisted upon following him and examining him 
at home. At last the beggar confessed as follows : 
"That which pains me you see hot ; but I have a shame 
ful disease in my bones, so that I cannot work ; some 
call it sloth, and others term it idleness." Alas ! that 
so many in our churches should be so far gone with 

THIS SAME SICKNESS. 

Invitations of the Gospel. 

* In the courts of law if a man be called as a witness, 
no sooner is his name mentioned, though he may be 
at the end of the court, than he begins to force his way 
up to the witness-box. Nobody says, " Why is this 
man pushing here ?" or, if they should say, " Who are 
you ?" it would be a sufficient answer to say, " My 
name was called." " But you are not rich, you have 
no gold ring upon your finger!" " No, but that is not 
my right of way, but I was called." " Sir, you are not 
a man of repute, or rank, or character !" " It matters 
not, I was called. Make way." So make way, ye 
doubts and fears, make way, ye devils of the infernal 
lake, Christ calls Hie sinner. Sinner, come, for though 
thou hast nought to recommend thee, yet it is written, 
"Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." 



508 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Use of Infirmities. 

Some of the arable land along the shore on the 
southeast coast of Sutherland is almost covered with 
shore stones, from the size of a turkey s egg to eight 
pounds weight. Several experiments have been made 
to collect these off the land, expecting a better crop ; 
but in every case the land proved less productive by 
/removing them ; and on some small spots of land it 
was found so evident, that they were spread on the 
land again, to ensure their usual crop of oats or 
pease. 

We would fain be rid of all our intimities which, to 
our superficial conceptions, appear to be great hin 
drances to our usefulness, and yet it is most question 
able if we should bring forth any fruit unto God with 
out them. Much rather, therefore, will I glory in in 
firmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

Irascible Persons Not to be Provoked. 

In the Jardin des Plantes we saw a hooded snake in 
a most unamiable condition of temper. There was a 
thick glass and. a stout wire between us, and we did 
nothing but look at him, yet he persisted in darting at 
us with the utmost vehemence of malice, until the 
keeper requested us to move away, with the advice 
that it was not well to irritate such creatures. 

When one meets with an irascible person, on the 
lookout to pick a quarrel, ill conditioned, and out of 
elbows with the whole world, it is best to move on, 
and let him alone. Even if he can do you no harm, 
and if his irritation be utterly unreasonable, it is best 



REV. CHAELES H. SPUEGEON. 509 

to remove all exciting causes of provocation, for it is 
never wise to irritate vipers. You do not on purpose 
walk heavily across the floor to teach a gouty man that 
you have no respect for his tender feelings since" he 
ought not to be so susceptible; neither should you 
vex those afflicted with a bad temper, and then plead 
chat they have no right to be so excitable. If our 
neighbors tempers are gunpowder, let us not play 

with the fire. 

Perverted Judgment. 

When a traveller is newly among the Alps, he is 
constantly deceived in his reckoning. One English 
man declared that he could climb the Rigi in a half 
hour, but after several panting hours the summit was 
still ahead of him ; yet when he made the boast, some 
of us who stood by were much of his mind the ascent 
seemed so easy. This partly accounts for the mis 
takes men make in estimating eternal things : they 
have been too much used to molehills to be at home 
with mountains. Only familiarity with the sublimities 
of revelation can educate us to a comprehension of 
their heights and depths. 

Kingdom of Christ Its Glories. 

The palace of Versailles, with its countless repre 
sentations of battles, sieges, stormings, surprises and 
all other forms of wholesale and retail murder, is dedi 
cated, according to an inscription on its front," To all the 
glories of France." Bah ! As well consecrate a shambles 
to all the glories of a butcher. But what a glorious 
spiritual palace is the Church, and how truly is it dedi- 



610 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

cated to all the glories of the Lord Jesus ! Within its 
walls hang the memorials of battles far more worthy 
of the historian s quill than those of Austerlitz or Wa- 
graVn ; victories are there commemorated which put 
to the blush all the achievements of Charlemagne or 
Napoleon ; for the contests are with evil principles, 
and the conquests are triumphs over iniquity and re 
bellion ; there are no garments rolled in blood ; fire 
and vapor of smoke are not there, but the efficacy of 
atonement, the energy of grace, the Omnipotence of 
the Holy Ghost, the puissance of eternal love, all these 
are there, and happy are the eyes that see them. May 
the life of each one of us contribute a new work of 
celestial art to those which already represent to angels 
and heavenly intelligences "the glories of Christ." 

Lethargy of Soul. 

Two of my hearers perished by a fire in their own 
house. They were not consumed by the flames, but 
they were suffocated by the smoke. No blaze was 
ever visible, nor could any remarkable sign of fire be 
seen from the street, yet they died as readily as if they 
had been burned to ashes by raging flames. In this 
way sin also is deadly. Comparatively few of our 
hearers are destroyed by outrageous and flaming vices, 
such as blasphemy, theft, drunkenness, or uncleanness ; 
but crowds of them are perishing by that deadly 
smoke of indifference which casts its stifling clouds of 
carelessness around them, and sends them asleep into 
everlasting destruction. O that they could be saved 
from the smoke as well as from the flame ! 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 511 

Knowledge Lies not in Mere Words. 

I heard two persons on the Wengern Alp talking 
by the hour together of the names of ferns ; not a 
word about their characteristics, uses, or habits, but a 
medley of crack-jaw titles, and nothing more. They 
evidently felt that they were ventilating their botany, 
and kept each other in countenance by alternate volleys 
of nonsense. Well, friend, they were about as sensi 
ble as those doctrinalists who forever talk over the 
technicalities of religion, but know nothing by experi 
ence of its spirit and power. Are we not all too apt 
to amuse ourselves after the same fashion ? He who 
knows mere Linnaean names, but has never seen a 
flower, is as reliable in botany as he is in theology who 
can descant upon supralapsarianism, but has never 
known the love of Christ in his heart. 

True religion s more than doctrine, 
Something must be known and felt. 

Spiritual Life. 

How like to a Christian a man may be and yet pos 
sess no vital godliness! Walk through the British 
Museum, and you will see all the orders of animals 
standing in their various places, and exhibiting them 
selves with the utmost possible propriety. The rhino 
ceros demurely retains the position in which he 
was set at first, the eagle soars not through the 
window, the wolf howls not at night, every creature,, 
whether bird, beast or fish, remains in the particular 
glass alloted to it ; but we all know that these are not 
the creatures, but only the outward semblances of 



612 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

them. Yet in what do they differ ? Certainly in 
nothing which you could readily see, for the well- 
stuffed animal is precisely like what the living animal 
vould have been ; and that eye of glass even appears 
to have more of brightness in it than the natural eye 
of the creature itself; there is a secret inward some 
thing lacking, which, when it has once departed, you 
cannot restore. 

So in the churches of Christ, many professors are 
not living believers, but stuffed Christians. They pos 
sess all the externals of religion and every outward 
morality that you could desire ; they behave with 
great propriety, they keep their places, and there is no 
outward difference between them and the true believer, 
except upon the vital point, the life which no power 
on earth can possibly confer. There is this essential 
distinction, spiritual life is absent. 

Longings of the Soul. 

Have you never seen a caged eagle with its breast 
or wing bleeding from blows received by dashing 
against the wire of its cage? The poor creature 
dreamed of the forest and the craggy rock, and, filled 
with aspirations for sublimest flight, it stretched its 
wings and flew upward, only to bring itself into sharp 
contact with its prison. 

Even thus the new-born nature, stirred in its inmost 
depths with longings suitable to its celestial origin, 
aspires after the joys of heaven, stretching all its wings 
to soar toward perfection ; but alas ! we who are in 
this body do groan, we find the flesh to be a prison, 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 513 

and so the more we long the more we pine, and pining 
we sigh and cry, and wound our hearts with insatiable 
desires and bleeding discontents. The pangs of strong 
desire for the presence of the Lord in glory, who 
among believers has not felt them ? Who among us 
has not found our flight upward brought to a painful 
pause by the stern facts of flesh and blood, and earth 
and sin? 

Little Things May Grow. 

When the air balloon was first discovered, a mat 
ter-of-fact gentleman contemptuously asked Dr. 
Franklin what was the use of it. The doctor an 
swered this question by asking another : " What is 
the use of a newborn infant ? It may become a man." 
This anticipation of great springing from small begin 
nings should induce us to put into practice those holy 
promptings which at certain seasons move our souls. 
What if we ourselves and our work should be little in 
Zion ; cannot the Lord cause the grandest issues to 
proceed from insignificant beginnings ? Who hath 
despised the day of small things ? 

The L.ove of God. 

Frequently at the great Roman games, the emperors, 
in order to gratify the citizens of Rome, would cause 
sweet perfumes to be rained down upon them through 
the awning which covered the amphitheatre. Behold 
the vases, the huge vessels of perfume ! Yes, but 
there is nought here to delight you so long as the jars 
are sealed ; but let the vases be opened, and the ves- 
II 



514 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

sels be poured out, and let the drops of perfumed rain 
begin to descend, and every one is refreshed and 
gratified thereby. Such is the love of God. There is 
a richness and a fulness in it, but it is not perceived 
till the Spirit of God pours it out like the rain of fra 
grance over the heads and hearts of all the living chil 
dren of God. See, then, the need of having the love 
of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost ! 

A Good Man s Influence. 

Alexander von Humboldt thus writes of the cow 
tree : "On the barren flank of a rock grows a tree 
with coriaceous and dry leaves. Its large woody roota 
can scarcely penetrate into the stone. For several 
months of the year not a single shower moistens its 
foliage. Its branches appear dead and dried ; but 
when the trunk is pierced there flows from it a sweet 
and nourishing milk. It is at the rising of the sun that 
this vegetable foundation is most abundant. The 
negroes and natives are then seen hastening from all 
quarters, furnished with large bowls to receive the 
milk, which grows yellow, and thickens at its surface. 
Some empty their bowls under the tree itself, others 
carry the juice home to their children." 

May not the earnest Christian ministering good on 
all sides be imagined in this marvellous tree ? He is 
in his own esteem full often a withered and dead tree, 
but there is within him a living sap, which wells up with 
blessing to all around. His surroundings are all against 
him, the soil in which he grows is hostile to grace, yet 
he not only lives on, but luxuriates. He derives noth- 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEOIf. 515 

h?g from earth, his fountain is from above, but he en 
riches the sons of earth with untold blessings, and 
though they often wound him they experimentally 
know his value. To him full many of the poor and 
needy look up to as a friend in need, he is full of the 
milk of human kindness ; where he cannot give in 
golden coin he distributes comfort in sympathy and 
words of cheer. 

Personal Effort Needed for Success. 

According to Christ s law, every Christian is to b^ 
active in spreading the faith, which was delivered, not 
to the ministers, but to the saints, to every one of 
them, that they might maintain it, and spread it accord 
ing to the gift which the Spirit has given them. 

Shall I venture a parable ? A certain band of war 
like knights had been exceedingly victorious in all 
their conflicts. They were men of valor and of 
indomitable courage ; they had carried everything be 
fore them, and subdued province after province fo* 
their king. But on a sudden they said in the council- 
chamber : " We have at our head a most valiant war 
rior, one whose arm is stout enough to smite down 
fifty of his adversaries ; would it not be better if, leav 
ing a few such as he to go out to the fight, the mere 
men-at-arms, who make up the ordinary ranks, were 
to rest at home ? We should be much more at our 
ease ; our horses would not so often be covered with 
foam, nor our armor be bruised ; the many would en 
joy abundant leisure, and great things would be done 
by the valiant few." 



616 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Now, the foremost champions, with fear and trem 
bling, undertook the task and went to the conflict, and 
they fought well, as the rolls of fame can testify; to 
the best of their ability they unhorsed their foes and 
performed great exploits. But still, from the very hour 
in which that scheme was planned and carried out no 
city was taken, no province was conquered. Then the 
knights met together and said, " How is this ? Our 
former prestige is departed, our ranks are broken, our 
pennons are trailed in the dust; what is the cause 
of it?" 

When out spoke the champion and said : " Doubtless 
it is so, and for a reason clear and plain. How did you 
think that a slender band could do the work of all the 
thousands ? When you all went to the fight, and every 
man took his share, we dashed upon the foe like an 
avalanche, and crushed him beneath our tramp ; but 
now that you stay at home, and put us, who are but a 
handful, to fight every battle, how can you expect that 
great things should be done ?" So each man resolved 
to put on his helmet and his armor once again, and 
hasten to the battle, and lo, the angel of victory re 
turned. 

If we are to subdue the earth, every one o f us must 
join in the fight. We must not exempt a single sol 
dier of the cross, neither man nor woman, rich nor 
poor; but each must fight for the Lord Jesus according 
to his ability, that his kingdom may come, and that his 
will may be done in earth even as it is in heaven. We 
shall see great things when all agree to this and put it 
in practice. 



EEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 517 

I once heard a story of an American, who declared 
he could fight the whole British army, and when he 
was asked how he could draw so long a bow as that, 
he said : " Why, this is what I would do. I know I am 
the best swordsman in the world, so I would go and 
challenge one Britisher, and kill him ; and take another, 
and kill him. Thus," said he, " I only want time enough 
and I will kill the whole British army." It was a ridic 
ulous boast, but there is something in it which I could 
not bring out so well in any other way. If we 
want to conquer the world for the Lord Jesus 
Christ, rest assured we must do it in the Yankee s 
fashion ; we must take men one by one, and these ones 
must be brought to Christ, or otherwise the great mass 
must remain untouched. Do not imagine for a mo 
ment that you are going to convert a nation at once ; 
you are to convert the men of that nation one by one, 
through the power of God s Holy Spirit. It is not for 
you to suit your machinery, and arrange your plans 
for the moving of a mass as such, you must look to the 
salvation of the units. 

Divine Mercies. 

If the Lord has enriched you in temporals, though 
you have not feared him, have you not every reason 
to expect that he will do as well for you in spirituals, 
if you ask him to do so? You call at a friend s house 
on horseback ; he takes your horse into the stable 
and is remarkably attentive to it ; the creature is well 
groomed, well housed, well fed; you are not at all 
afraid that you will be shut out, there is surely a warm 



518 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

place in the parlor for the rider, where the horse is so 
well accommodated in the stable. Now, your body, 
which we may liken to the horse, has enjoyed tem 
poral prosperity in abundance, and surely the Lord 
will take care of your soul if you seek his face ! Let 
your prayer be, " My God, my Father, be my guide. 
Since thou hast dealt so well with me in these external 
matters, give me true riches, give me to love thy Son 
and trust in him, and so be henceforth thy child." 

A benevolent person gave Mr. Rowland Hill a hun 
dred pounds to dispense to a poor minister, and, think 
ing it was too much to send him all at once, Mr. Hill 
forwarded five pounds in a letter, with simply these 
words within the envelope, " More to follow." In a 
few days time, the good man received another letter 
by the post and letters by the post were rarities in 
those days ; this second messenger contained another 
five pounds, with the same motto, "And more to fol 
low." A day or two after came a third and a 
fourth, and still the same promise, "And more to fol 
low." Till the whole sum had been received the aston 
ished minister was made familiar with the cheering 
words, "And more to follow." 

Every blessing that comes from God is sent with the 
self-same message, "And more to follow." "I forgive 
you your sins, but there s more to follow." " I justify 
you in the righteousness of Christ, but there s more to 
follow." " I adopt you into my family, but there s 
more to follow." " I educate you for heaven, but there s 
more to follow." "I give you grace upon grace, but 



REV. CHAKLES H. 8PURGEON. 519 

there s more to follow." "I have helped you even to 
old age, but there s still more to follow." " I will up 
hold you in the hour of death, and as you are passing 
into the world of spirits, my mercy shall still continue 
with you, and when you land in the world to come 
there shall still be MORE TO FOLLOW." 

A man convicted of high treason and condemned to 
die is not only pardoned, but taken into the favor of 
his sovereign. He is riding in the royal carriage, and 
on the road he sees some of his fellow-traitors pin 
ioned and manacled, led forth in the midst of officers 
to die for the offence in which he had as deep a hand 
as they. What think you, will he not entreat the gra 
cious monarch to extend his clemency to his fellow- 
rebels ? Will not the tears stand in his eyes as he ad 
mires the difference which his sovereign s free mercy 
has made? Will he not be moved with emotions im 
possible to describe, of mingled joy and grief, pity and 
gratitude, wonder and compassion? Christian, see 
your likeness here drawn to the life ; you must surely 
feel ready to fall down on your knees and cry, " Lord, 
why dost thou reveal thy mercy to me and not to these? 
Save them also, O Lord, for thy name s sake." 

I remember well being taken one day to see a gor 
geous palace at Venice, where every piece of furniture 
was made with most exquisite taste, and of the richest 
material, where statues and pictures of enormous price 
abounded on all hands, and the rloor of each room was 
paved with mosaics of marvellous art and extraordinary 
value. As I was shown from room to room, and allowed 



520 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

to roam amid the treasures by its courteous owner, I felt 
a considerable timidity ; I was afraid to sit anywhere, 
nor did I hardly dare to put down my foot or rest my 
hand to lean. Everything seemed to be too good for 
ordinary mortals like myself; but when one is intro 
duced into the gorgeous palace of infinite goodness 
costlier and fairer far, one gazes wonderingly with rev 
erential awe at the matchless vision. " How excellent 
is thy loving-kindness, O God !" "I am not worthy of 
the least of all thy benefits. Oh ! the depths of the 
love and goodness of the Lord." 

Self-Righteousness. 

A ship on her way to Australia met with a very ter 
rible storm and sprung a leak. As evils seldom come 
alone, a little while after another tempest assailed her. 
There happened to be a gentleman on board, of the 
most nervous temperament, whose garrulous tongue 
and important air were calculated to alarm all the pas 
sengers. When the storm came on, the captain, who 
knew what mischief may be done by a suspicious and 
talkative individual, managed to get near him with a 
view to rendering him quiet. 

The gentleman, addressing the captain, said in a tone 
of alarm, "What an awful storm; I am afraid we shall 
go to the* bottom, for I hear the leak is very bad." 
"Well," said the captain, "as you seem to know it, 
and perhaps the others do not, you had better not 
mention it to any one, lest you should frighten the 
passengers or dispirit my men. Perhaps, as it is a very 
bad case, you would lend us yourvaluable help, 



KEV. CHAKLES H. SPUKGEON. 521 

then we may possibly get through it. Would you have 
the goodness to stand here and hold hard on this 
rope ; pray do not leave it, but pull as hard as ever 
you can till I tell you to let it go/ So our friend 
clenched his teeth, and put his feet firmly down, and 
kept on holding this rope with all his might, till he 
earnestly wished for a substitute. 

The storm abated ; the ship was safe, and our friend 
was released from his rope-holding. He expected a 
deputation would bring him the thanks of all the pas 
sengers, but they were evidently unconscious of his 
merits ; for it is too often the case that we forget our 
greatest benefactors. Even the captain did not seem 
very grateful ; so our hero ventured, in a roundabout 
style, to hint that such valuable services as his, having 
saved the vessel, ought to be rewarded at least with 
some few words of acknowledgment ; when he was 
shocked to hear the captain say, " What, sir, do you 
think you saved the vessel ? Why, I gave you that 
rope to hold to keep you engaged, that you might not 
be in such a feverish state of alarm." 

The self-righteous may here see how much men con 
tribute to their own salvation apart from Christ. They 
think they can certainly save themselves, and there they 
stand holding the rope with their teeth clenched and 
their feet tightly fixed, while they are really doing no 
more than our officious friend, who was thus befooled. If 
ever you get to heaven, you will find that everything 
you did towards your own salvation, apart from the 
Lord Jesus, was about as useful as holding the rope ; 



522 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

that, in fact, the safety of the soul lies somewhere else, 
and not in you ; and that what is wanted with you is 
just to get out of the way, and let Christ come in and 
magnify his grace. 

Perseverance. 

A poor woman had a supply of coal laid at hef 
door by a charitable neighbor. A very little girl came 
out with a small fire-shovel, and began to take up a 
shovelful at a time, and carry it to a sort of bin in the 
cellar. I said to the child, "Do you expect to get all 
that coal in with that little shovel ? " She was quite 
confused at my question, but her answer was very 
striking, " Yes, sir, if I work long enough. " 

Humble worker, make up for your want of ability 
by abundant continuance in well-doing, and your life- 
work will not be trivial. The repetition of small 
efforts will effect more than the occasional use of great 

talents. 

Perversion of Human Faculties. 

According to the fable, the tail of the snake obtained 
precedence of the head and led the way in the crea 
ture s journeying. Being altogether blind, the new 
guide dashed against a stone at one moment, and the 
next came violently against a tree, and at last drowned 
both itself and the head in the river of death. Here 
may be seen the unhappy condition of men in whom 
their baser nature is dominant, the animal controlling 
the intellectual. They invert the order of nature, they 
rebel against common sense ; their course cannot but 
be unwise and dangerous, and their end must be fatal. 



UEV. CHARLES H. SPUEGEON. 523 

God made man upright, and placed his thoughtful 
faculties aloft in the place of sovereignty, but man in 
his folly permits the appetites which he holds in com 
mon with the brute creation to reign supreme, while 
the mind, which ought to rule, is degraded to meanest 

servitude. 

The Poor as Hearers. 

John Wesley always preferred the middling and 
lower classes to the wealthy. He said : " If I might 
choose, I should still, as I have done hitherto, preach 
the gospel to the poor." Preaching in Monktown 
Church, a large, old, ruinous building, he says: " I sup 
pose it has scarce had such a congregation during 
this century. Many of them were gay, genteel people, 
so I spoke on the first elements of the gospel, but I 
was still out of their depth. Oh, how hard it is to be 
shallow enough fora polite audience." 

Position no Barrier to Grace. 

Grace makes itself equally at home in the palace and 
the cottage. No condition necessitates its absence, no 
position precludes its flourishing. One may compare 
it in its power to live and blossom in all places to the 
beautiful blue-bell of Scotland, of which the poetess 
sings: 

No rock is too high, no vale too low, 
For its fragile and tremulous form to grow. 
It crowns the mountain 

With azure bells, 
And decks the fountain 

In forest dells. 

It wreaths the ruin with the clusters gray, 
Bowing and smiling the livelong day. 



524 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Effectual Prayer. 

A scholar at a boarding-school near London was 
remarked for repeating her lessons well. A school 
companion, who was idly inclined, said to her one day, 
"How is it that you always say your lessons so per 
fectly ?" She replied, " I always pray that I may say 
my lessons well." " Do you ?" replied the other, 
"then I ll pray too." But, alas! next morning she 
could not repeat one word of her lesson. Very much 
confounded, she ran to her friend. " I prayed," said 
she, "but I could not repeat a word of my lesson." 
"Perhaps," rejoined the other, "you took n^ pains to 
learn it." "Learn it! learn it!" answered the first, 
" I did not learn it at all. I didn t know I needed to 
learn it, when I prayed that I might say it." She 
loved her idleness, poor girl ; and her praying was 
but a mockery. 

Is it not a sad thing that we should think it wonder 
ful for God to hear prayer? Much better faith was 
that of a little boy in one of the schools in Edinburgh, 
who had attended a prayer-meeting, and at last said 
to his teacher who conducted it, "Teacher, I wish my 
sister could be got to read the Bible ; she never reads 
it." " Why, Johnny, should your sister be taught to 
read the Bible?" "Because if she should once read 
it, I am sure it would do her good, and she would be 
converted and be saved." "Do you think so, 
Johnny?" "Yes, I do, sir; and I wish the next time 
there s a prayer-meeting, you would ask the people to 
pray for my sister, that she may begin to read the 
Bible." Well, well, it shall be done, John," 



BEV. CHAELES H. SPURGEON. 525 

So the teacher gave out that a little boy was very 
anxious that prayer should be offered that his sister 
might begin to read the Bible. John was observed to 
get up and go out. The teacher thought it very rude 
of the boy to disturb the people in a crowded room, 
and so the next day when the lad came, he said, " John, 
I thought it was very rude of you to get up in the 
prayer-meeting and go out. You ought not to have 
done so." "Oh, sir," said the boy, " I did not mean 
to be rude ; but I thought I should just like to go home 
and see my sister reading her Bible for the first time." 

Thus we ought to believe, and watch with expecta 
tion for answers to our prayer. Do not say, " Lord, 
turn my darkness into light," and then go out with 
your candle as though you expected to find it dark. 
After asking the Lord to appear for you, expect him 
to do so, for according to your faith so be it unto you. 

Sweet Uses of Prayer. 

On the ist of May, in the olden times, according to 
annual custom, many inhabitants of London went into 
the fields to bathe their faces with the early dew upon 
the grass, under the idea that it would render them 
beautiful. Some writers call the custom superstitious ; 
it may have been so, but this we know, that to bathe 
one s face every morning in the dew of heaven by 
prayer and communion, is the sure way to obtain true 
beauty of life and character. 

Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings 
above in the.ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, 
for they pray so languidly ; others give but an occa- 



526 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

sional pluck at the rope ; but he who wins with heaven 
is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls con 
tinuously with all his might. 

Philip James Spener had a son of eminent talents, 
but perverse and extremely vicious. All means of 
love and persuasion were without success. The father 
could only pray, which he continued to do, that the 
Lord might yet be pleased to save his son at any time 
and in any way. The son fell sick ; and while lying 
on his bed in great distress of mincl, nearly past the 
power of speech or motion, he suddenly started up, 
clasped his hands, and exclaimed : " My father s 
prayers, like mountains, surround me ! " Soon after 
his anxiety ceased a sweet peace spread over his face, 
his malady came to a crisis, and the son was saved in 
body and soul. He became another man. Spener lived 
to see his son a respectable man, in public office, and 
happily married. Such was the change of his life after 
his conversion. 

Pride. 

When men refuse to hear the gospel from the lips 
of a gracious but uneducated preacher, they remind 
us of the Spaniard in South America, who suffered 
severely from the gout, but refused to be cured by an 
Indian. "I know," said he, " that he is a famous man, 
and would certainly cure me ; but he is an Indian, and 
would expect to be treated with attentions which I 
cannot pay to a man of color, and therefore I prefer 
remaining as I am." 

The petty sovereign of an insignificant tribe in 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 527 

North America stalks out of his hovel, bids the sun 
good-morrow, and points out to him with his finger the 
course he is to take for the day. Is this arrogance 
more contemptible than ours when we dictate to God 
the course of his providence, and summon him to our 
bar for his dealings with us? How ridiculous does 
man appear when he attempts to argue with his God ! 

Promptness in Doing Good. 

Quick must be the hand if an impression is to be 
made upon the melted wax. Once let the wax cool 
and you will press the seal in vain. Cold and hard it 
will be in a few moments, therefore let the work be 
quickly done. When men s hearts are melted under 
the preaching of the Word, or by sickness, or the loss 
of friends, believers should be very eager to stamp the 
truth upon the prepared mind. Such opportunities 
are to be seized with holy eagerness. Reader, do you 
know of such ? If you be a lover of the Lord Jesus, 
hasten with the seal before the wax is cool. 

The Vanity of Mere Profession. 

Forget not that the pretence of religion without the 
power of it is one of the most comfortless things in the 
world. It is like a man who should call his servant, 
and say to him, " Is the larder well stored ?" " There 
is nothing, sir, not even a mouldy crust." " Let the 
cloth be laid," saith he ; and it is laid, and all the appur 
tenances thereof. "And now," he says, "I will sit 
down to my meal and you shall wait upon me." The 
empty dishes are brought in proper course ; froru in- 



628 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

visible joints he cuts imperceptible slices, and from the 
empty plates he lifts upon his fork mouthfuls of noth 
ingness and dainty morsels of vacuum. There, the 
cloth can be removed, the feaster has finished the at 
mospheric banquet, and rises from the table free from 
*ny charge of immoderate eating. 

Now, this may be a very pleasant operation for once, 
although its charms require a very poetic and imagina 
live mind to appreciate them ; but if continued several 
days, this unsubstantial festival would, I conceive, be 
come somewhat undesirable and cheerless, and in 
the end the guest might perish amid his empty 
platters. Yet such must be the life of the man who 
professes to feed on the bread of heaven and knows 
not its sustaining virtues, who boasts of drinking the 
water of life and has never sipped that heavenly 
stream. 

Artificial piety, like flowers in wax, droops not in the 
hour of drought, but the fair lily of true grace hangs 
its head if the rain of heaven be denied. True faith, 
like fire, has its attendant smoke of unbelief, but pre 
sumption, like a painted flame, is all brightness. Like 
ships at sea, true Christians have storms ; but mere 
professors, like pictured galleys on the canvas, ride on 
an unruffled ocean. Life has its changes ; tis death 
that abideth the same. Life has muscle, sinew, brain, 
spirit, and these vary in physical condition ; but the 
petrified limbs of death lie still until the worm has 
devoured the carcass. Life weeps as well as smiles, 
but the ghastly grin of death relaxes not with anxiety 
or fear. 



KfiV. CHABLES EL SPUB&E05. 529 

Moab hath no changes ; he is " settled upon his lees; 
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel." " They 
are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued 
like other men." As no weather can give ague to 
marble, as no variation of temperature can bring fever 
to iron, so to some men the events of life, the tempta 
tions of prosperity, or the trials of adversity bring lit 
tle change. Yet were it better to ebb and flow forever 
like the sea, than rot in endless stagnation of false 
peace. Better to be hunted by the hounds of hell, and 
so driven to the shelter of the cross, than to dwell at 
ease and be fattening for the devil s shambles. 

Providence, Good and Kind. 

An old authority assures us that " the Jews fancy, 
concerning the cloud that conducted Israel through the 
wilderness, that it did not only show them the way, but 
also plane it ; that it did not only lead them in the way 
which they must go, but also fit the way for them to go 
upon it ; that it cleared all the mountains and smothered 
all the rocks ; that it cleared all the bushes and removed 
all the rubs." 

What is probably a mere legend as to the type is 
abundantly true of the providence of God, which it so 
accurately represents. Our gracious God not only 
leads us in the way of mercy, but he prepares our path 
before us, providing for all our wants even before they 
occur. 

That image in Lowell s poem of "The Changeling" 
fascinates me It is so much what I am and ever wish 
to be : 
34 



530 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

I feel as weak as a violet 
Alone neath the awful sky. 

Unable to defend myself and apparently undefended, 
yet guarded by omnipotent love, I would fain pour out 
a perfume of praise to the Great Invisible who watches 
over me, and would feel that under the care of Provi 
dence I may claim the sweetness of the poet s next 
stanza : 

As weak, yet as trustful also ; 

For the whole year long I see 
All the wonders of faithful nature 

Still worked for the love of me. 
Winds wander and dews drip earthward, 

Rains fall, suns rise and set, 
Earth whirls, and all but to prosper 

A poor little violet. 

Suppose the mole should cry, " How I could hav& 
honored the Creator had I been allowed to fly ! " it 
would be very foolish, for a mole flying would be a 
most ridiculous object ; while a mole fashioning its 
tunnels and casting up its castles, is viewed with ad 
miring wonder by the naturalist, who perceives its re 
markable suitability to its sphere. The fish of the sea 
might say, " How could I display the wisdom of God 
if I could sing, or mount a tree, like a bird ;" but a 
dolphin in a tree would be a very grotesque affair, and 
there would be no wisdom of God to admire in trouts 
singing in the groves ; but when the fish cuts the wave 
with agile fin, all who have observed it say how won 
derfully it is adapted to its habitat, how exactly its 
every bone is fitted for its mode of life. 

Brother, it is just so with you. If you begin to say, 



BEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 531 

"I cannot glorify God where I am, and as I am," I 
answer, neither could you anywhere if not where you 
are. Providence, which arranged your surroundings, 
appointed them so that, all things being considered, 
you are in the position in which you can best display 
the wisdom and the grace of God. 

Unity of Purpose. 

It is said of Thomas Pett, the miser, that his pulse 
rose and fell with the funds. He never lay down or 
rose that he did not bless the inventor of compound 
interest. His one gloomy apartment was never 
brightened with coal, candle, or the countenance of a 
visitor, and he never ate a morsel at his own expense. 
Of course he made money, for he gave himself wholly 
to it ; and we ought not to forget that the same single- 
mindedness and self-denial would make Christians 
rich towards God. What is wanted in the service of 
Christ, is the same unity of purpose which has ruled 
all men who have won the object for which they lived. 
He who makes God s glory the one only aim before 
which all other things bow themselves, is the man to 
bring honor to his Lord. 

When Audubon, the celebrated American ornithol 
ogist, was in Paris, he grew quite weary of it, and his 
diary does not contain a cheerful word about that gay 
city until he writes : " The stock-pigeon roosts in the 
trees of the garden of the Tuileries in great numbers; 
blackbirds also do the same, and are extremely noisy 
before dark ; some few rooks and magpies are seen 
there also. In the jardin, or walks of the Palais 



532 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Royal, common sparrows are prodigiously plentiful. 
The mountain finch passes in scattered numbers over 
Paris at this season, going northerly." So also when 
in London, the great naturalist was quite out of his 
element, and only seemed pleased when a flight of 
wildfowl passed over the city. Here was the secret 
of his success his complete absorption in his one* 
study birds alone had charms for him. 

We who would attain to eminence in the service of 
Christ must let the love of souls, in an equal way, 
master and engross us. When writing a paper for 
the Natural History Society upon the habits of the 
wild pigeon, Audubon says : " So absorbed was my 
whole soul and spirit in the work, that I felt as if I 
were in the woods of America, among the pigeons, 
and my ears were filled with the sound of their rustling 
wings." We should all write, speak and preach for 
our Lord Jesus far more powerfully if our love to the 
Lord were a passion so dominant as to make the great 
realities of eternity vividly real and supremely com 
manding in our minds. 

Evils of Prosperity. 

Too long a period of fair weather in the Italian val 
leys creates such a superabundance of dust that the 
traveller sighs for a shower. He is smothered, his 
clothes are white, his eyes smart, the grit even grates 
between his teeth and finds its way down his throat ; 
welcome are the rain clouds, as they promise to abate 
the nuisance. Prosperity long continued breeds a 
plague of dust even more injurious, for it almost blinds 



EEV. CHAKLES H. SPUBOEON. 533 

the spirit and insinuates itself into the soul ; a shower 
or two of grief proves a mighty blessing, for it deprives 
the things of earth somewhat of their smothering power. 
A Christian making money fast is just a man in a 
cloud of dust; it will fill his eyes if he be not careful. 
A Christian full of worldly care is in the same condition, 
and had need look to it lest he be choked with earth. 
Afflictions might almost be prayed for if we never had 
them, even as in long stretches of fair weather men beg 
for rain to lay the dust. 

Procrastination Deprecated. 

Do any of you remember the loss of the vessel called 
the " Central America?" She was in a bad state, had 
sprung a leak and was going down, and she therefore 
hoisted a signal of distress. A ship came close to her, 
the captain of which asked, through the trumpet, 
"What is amiss?" "We are in bad repair, and are 
going down ; lie by till morning," was the answer. But 
the captain on board the rescue-ship said, "Let me 
take your passengers on board now." " Lie by till 
morning," was the message which came back. Once 
again the captain cried, " You had better let me take 
your passengers on board now." "Lie by till morn 
ing," was the reply which sounded through the trum 
pet. About an hour-and-a-half after, the lights were 
missing, and though no sound was heard, she and all 
on board had gone down to the fathomless abyss. O 
unconverted friends, for God s sake, do not say, " Lie 
by till morning." To-day, even to-day, hear ye the 
voice of God. 



534 CHOICE SELECTIONS, 

Resignation Sustained by Faith. 

The habit of resignation is the root of peace. A 
godly child had a ring given him by his mother, and 
he greatly prized it, but on a sudden he unhappily lost 
his ring, and he cried bitterly. Recollecting himself, 
he stepped aside and prayed ; after which his sister 
laughingly said to him : " Brother, what is the good of 
prpying about a ring will praying bring back your 
ring?" "No, sister," said he, " perhaps not, but pray 
ing has done this for me, it has made me quite willing 
to do without the ring, if it is God s will ; and is not 
that almost as good as having it ?" Thus faith quiets 
us by resignation, as a babe is hushed in his mother s 
bosom. Faith makes us quite willing to do without 
the mercy which once we prized ; and when the heart 
is content to be without the outward blessing, it is as 
happy as it would be with it ; for it is at rest. 

A lady who had lost a beloved child, was so op 
pressed with grief, that she even secluded herself from 
the society of her own family, and kept herself locked 
:n her chamber, but was at length prevailed on by her 
husband to come down stairs and take a walk in the 
garden. While there, she stooped to pluck a flower, 
but her husband appeared as though he would hinder 
her. She plaintively said, " What ! deny me a flower !" 
He replied, "You have denied God your flower, and 
surely you ought not to think it hard, in me to deny 
you mine." The lady suitably felt the gentle reproof, 
and had reason to say, " A word spoken in season, 
how good is it!" 



REV. CHABLES H. SPURGEON. 535 

Resolution Overcoming Difficulties. 

Look at that perpendicular mountain side why, it 
is worse than perpendicular, it overhangs the lake ; 
yet the bold Tyrolese have carried a road right along 
the bald face of the rock, by blasting out a gallery, or, 
as it looks from below, by chiselling out a groove.! 
One would have readily written down that feat as im 
possible, and yet the road is made, and we have trav 
elled it from Riva into the Tyrol, the Lago Garda lying 
far below our feet. Henceforth that road shall be to 
us a cheering memory when our task is more than 
usually difficult. If anything ought to be done it shall 
be done. With God in front, we shall soon leave diffi 
culties in the rear, transformed into memorials of 
victory. 

How to be Had in Remembrance. 

Sir Bernard Burke thus touchingly writes in his 
Vicissitudes of Families: " In 1850 a pedigree research 
caused me to pay a visit to the village of Fyndern, 
about five miles southwest of Derby. I sought for the 
ancient hall. Not a stone remained to tell where it 
had stood ! I entered the church. Not a single record 
of a Finderne was there ! I accosted a villager, hoping 
to glean some stray traditions of the Findernes. 
Findernes ! said he, we have 4 no Findernes here, 
but we have something that once belonged to them ; 
we have Findernes flowers! Show them me, I 
replied ; and the old man led me into a field which still 
retained faint traces of terraces and foundations. 
There, said he, pointing to a bank of garden flowers 



536 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

grown wild/ there are the Findernes" flowers, brought 
by Sir Geoffrey from the Holy Land, and do what we 
will, they will never die P " 

So be it with each of us. Should our names perish 
may the truths we taught, the virtues we cultivated, 
the good works we initiated, live on and blossom with 
undying energy 

When time his withering hand hath laid 
On battlement and tower. 

Dangers of Riches. 

Crossing the Col D Obbia, the mule laden with ouf 
luggage sank in the snow, nor could it be recovered 
until its load was removed ; then, but not till then ; it 
scrambled out of the hole it had made and pursued 
its journey. It reminded us of manners casting 
out the lading into the sea to save the vessel, and we 
are led to meditate upon the dangers of Christians 
heavily laden with earthly possessions, and the 
wise way in which the gracious Father unloads them 
by their losses, that they may be enabled to pursue 
their journey to heaven, and no longer sink in the 
snow of carnal-mindedness. 

Do not be over-anxious about riches. Get as much 
)of true wisdom and goodness as you can ; but be satis 
fied with a very moderate portion of this world s good. 
Riches may prove a curse as well as a blessing. 

I was walking through an orchard, looking about 
me, when I saw a low tree laden more heavily with 
fruit than the rest. On a nearer examination, it ap- 



HEV. CHARLES H. SPUBGEON. 537 

peared that the tree had been dragged to the very 
earth, and broken by the weight of its treasures. 
" Oh ! " said I, gazing on the tree, " here lies one who 
has been ruined by his riches." 

In another part of my walk, I came up with a shep 
herd, who was lamenting the loss of a sheep that lay 
mangled and dead at his feet. On inquiry about the 
matter, he told me that a strange dog had attacked 
the flock, that the rest of the sheep had got away 
through a hole in the hedge, but that the ram now dead 
had more wool on his back than the rest, and the thorns 
of the hedge held him fast and the dog worried him. 
"Here is another/ said I, " ruined by his riches." 

At the close of my ramble, I met a man hobbling 
along on two wooden legs, leaning on two sticks. " Tell 
me, " said I, " my poor fellow, how you came to lose 
your legs?" "Why, sir," said he, "in my younger 
days I was a soldier. With a few comrades I attacked 
a party of the enemy, and overcame them, and we be 
gan to load ourselves with spoil. My comrades were 
satisfied with little, but I burdened myself with as much 
as I could carry. We were pursued ; my companions 
escaped, but I was overtaken and so cruelly wounded, 
that I only saved my life afterwards by losing my legs. 
It was a bad affair, sir ; but it is too late to repent of it 
now." "Ah, friend, " thought I, "like the fruit tree 
and the mangled sheep, you may date your downfall to 
your possessions. It was your riches that ruined you." 

When I see so many rich people, as I do, caring so 
much for their bodies, and so little for their souls, I pity 



538 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

them from the bottom of my heart, and sometimes 
think there are as many ruined by riches as by poverty. 
"They that will be rich fall into temptation and a 
snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which 
drown men in destruction and perdition/* The prayer 
will suit you, perhaps, as well as it does me, " Give me 
neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food conven 
ient for me : lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who 
is the Lord ? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the 
name of my God in vain." 

Reward Sometimes Immediate. 

Occasionally a benevolent action wrought in faith 
brings with it an instantaneous recompense in kind; 
therein Providence is seen as smiling upon the deed. 
The late John Andrew Jones, a poor Baptist minister, 
whilst walking in Cheapside, was appealed to by some 
one he knew for help. He had but a shilling in the 
world, and poised it in his mind, to give or not to give ? 
The greater distress of his acquaintance prevailed, and 
he gave his all, walking away with a sweet remem 
brance of the promise, " He that hath pity on the poor, 
lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given, 
will he pay him again." He had not gone a hundred 
yards further before he met a gentleman who said, 
"Ah, Mr. Jones, I am glad to see you. I have had 
this sovereign in my waistcoat pocket this week past 
for some poor minister, and you may as well have it." 
Mr, Jones was wont to add, when telling the story, "If 
I had not stopped to give relief I should have missed 
the gentleman and the sovereign too." 



REV. CHARLES H. SPTTRGEON. 539 

Resurrection . 

The doctrine of the resurrection is full of joy to the 
bereaved. It clothes the grave with flowers and 
wreathes the tomb with unfading laurel. The sepul 
chre shines with a light brighter than the sun, and 
death grows fair, as we say in full assurance of faith: 
"I know that my brother shall rise again." Rent from 
the ignoble shell the pearl is gone to deck the crown 
of the Prince of Peace ; buried beneath the sod the 
seed is preparing to bloom in the King s garden. 
Altering a word or two of Beattie s verse we may even 
now find ourselves singing : 

Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more ; 

Yet ye beautiful woodlands, I mourn not for you ; 
*For morn is approaching your charms to restore, 

Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew. 
Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn ; 

Kind nature the embryo blossom will save ; 
The spring shall yet visit the mouldering urn ; 

The day shall yet dawn on the night of the grave. 

Safety of Feeble Saints. 

You can buy a complete set of all the flowers of the 
.\lpine district at the hotel near the foot of the Rosen- 
laui glacier, very neatly pressed and enclosed in cases. 
Some of the flowers are very common, but they must 
be included, or the flora would not be completely rep 
resented. The botanist is as careful to see that the 
common ones are there, as he is to note that the rarer 
specimens are not excluded. Our blessed Lord will 
be sure to make a perfect collection of all the flowers 
of his field, and even the ordinary believer, the every- 



540 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

day worker, the common convert, will not be forgotten. 
To Jesus eye, there is beauty in all his plants, and 
each one is needed to perfect the flora of Paradise. 
May I be found among his flowers, if only as one out 
of myriad daisies, who with sweet simplicity shall look 
up and wonder at his love forever. 

Saints Preserve the World. 

We saw in Venice a picture of St. Mark and other 
holy champions delivering the fair city from the devil, 
who had resolved to raise a great storm in the Adri 
atic, flood the lagunes, and drown the inhabitants of 
the " bride of the sea." All mere legend and lie, but 
for all that capable of mirroring the truth that the in 
tercession of saints and God s peculiar regard for them 
have oftentimes delivered the church. 

A piece of plate may become battered and scratched, 
so that its beauty is hopelessly gone, but it loses not 
its real worth ; put it into the scale, and its weight and 
not its fashion shall be the estimate of its precious- 
ness ; throw it into the melting-pot and its purity will 
show its actual value. So there are many outward 
circumstances which may spoil the public repute in 
which a Christian is held, but his essential preciousness 
remains unchanged. God values him at as high a rate 
as ever. His unerring balance and crucible are not 
guided by appearances. How content may we be to 
be vile in the sight of men if we are accepted of the 
Lord! 

In the Cathedral of St. Mark, in Venice a marvel 
lous building, lustrous with an Oriental splendor far 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 541 

beyond description there are pillars said to have been 
brought from Solomon s Temple ; these are of ala 
baster, a substance firm and durable as granite, and 
yet transparent, so that the light glows through them. 
Behold an emblem of what all true pillars of the 
church should be firm in their faith, and transparent 
in their character ; men of simple mould, ignorant of 
tortuous and deceptive ways, and yet men of strong 
will, not readily to be led aside, or bent from their up 
rightness. A few such alabaster men we know ; may 
the great Master-builder place more of them in his 
temple ! 

Salvation in Christ. 

We lately read in the papers an illustration of the 
way of salvation. A man had been condemned in a 
Spanish court to be shot, but being an American citizen 
and also of English birth, the consuls of the two coun 
tries interposed, and declared that the Spanish author 
ities had no power to put him to death. What did 
they do to secure his life, when their protest was not 
sufficient ? They wrapped him up in their flags, they 
covered him with the Stars and Stripes and the Union 
Jack, and defied the executioners. " Now fire a shot 
if you dare, for if you do so, you defy the nations re 
presented by those flags, and you will bring the powers 
of those two great empires upon you." 

There stood the man, and before him the soldiery, 
and though a single shot might have ended his life, 
yet he was as invulnerable as though encased in triple 
steel. Even so Jesus Christ has taken my poor guilty 



542 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

soul ever since I believed in him, and has wrapped 
around me the blood-red flag of his atoning sacrifice, 
and before God can destroy me or any other soul that 
is wrapped in the atonement, he must insult his Son, 
and dishonor his sacrifice, and that he will never do, 
blessed be His name. 

It is said that some years ago a vessel sailing on the 
northern coast of the South American continent, was 
observed to make signals of distress. When hailed by 
another vessel, they reported themselves as " Dying 
for water!" "Dip it up then," was the response, 
" you are in the mouth of the Amazon river." There 
was fresh water all around them, and they had nothing 
to do but to dip it up, and yet they were dying of thirst 
because they thought themselves to be surrounded by 
the salt sea. How often are men ignorant of their 
mercies ? How sad that they should perish for want of 
knowledge! Jesus is near the seeker even when he is 
tossed upon oceans of doubt. The sinner has but to 
stoop down and drink and live ; and yet he is ready to 
perish, as if salvation were hard to find. 

I have heard of a certain divine, that he used 
always to carry about with him a little book. This 
tiny volume had only three leaves in it ; and truth to 
tell, it contained not a single word. The first was a 
leaf of black paper, black as jet ; the next was a leaf 
of red-scarlet ; and the last was a leaf of white, with 
out spot. Day by day he would look upon this singu 
lar book, and at last he told the secret of what it 
meant. 



REV. CHARLES H. 8PUKGEON. 543 

He said, " Here is the black leaf, that is my sin, and 
the wrath of God which my sin deserves ; I look, and 
look, and think it is not black enough to represent 
my guilt, though it is as black as black can be. The 
red leaf reminds me of the atoning sacrifice, and the 
precious blood ; and I delight to look at it, and weep, 
and look again. The white leaf represents my soul, 
as it is washed in Jesus blood and made white as 
snow." The little book was fuller of meaning than 
many a learned folio. 

The Scriptures. 

There is gold in the rocks which fringe the Pass of 
the Spliigen, gold even in the stones which mend the 
roads, but there is too little of it to be worth extracting. 
Alas, how like too many books and sermons ! Not so 
the Scriptures, they are much fine gold ; their very 
dust is precious. 

Lord Bacon tells of a certain bishop who used to 
bathe regularly twice every day, and on being asked 
why he bathed thus often replied, " Because I cannot 
conveniently do it three times." If those who loved the 
Scriptures were asked why they read the Bible so often, 
they might honestly reply, " Because we cannot find 
time to read it oftener." The appetite for the Word 
grows on that which it feeds on. We would say with 
Thomas a Kempis, " I would be always in a nook with 
a book." 

The late William Jay, in his u Practical Illustrations 
of Character," says, " What a difference must a Chris 
tian and a minister feel, between the trammels of some 



544 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

systems of divinity and the advantage of Scripture 
freedom, the glorious liberty of the sons of God. The 
one is the horse standing in the street in harness, feed 
ing indeed, but on the contents of a bag tossed up 
and down ; the other, the same animal in a large, fine 
meadow where he lies down in green pastures and,, 
beside the still waters. 

Schools. 

By order of Government the roads in Prussia are 
lined on each side with fruit trees. Riding once, early 
in September, from Berlin to Halle, an American 
traveller noticed that some of the trees had a wisp of 
straw attached to them. He inquired of the coach 
man what it meant. He replied that those trees bore 
choice fruits, and the straw was a notice to the public 
not to take fruit from those trees without special per 
mission. " I fear," said the traveller, u that in my coun 
try such a notice would be but an invitation to roguish 
boys to attack those very trees." " Haben sie keine 
Schulen ? " (" Have you no schools ? ") was his signifi 
cant rejoinder. Rest assured, dear reader, that next 
to godliness, education is the mainstay of order. 

Watchfulness over Self. I 

An old writer, speaking of men as stewards of God, 
urges upon them as wise traders and servants to look 
to themselves carefully, and take care of four houses 
which are under their charge, i. Their warehouse, 
or heart and memory, wherein they should store up 
precious things, holy affections, grateful remembrances, 



EEV. CHAKLES H. SPUKGEON. 545 

celestial preparations, etc. Without a good stock in 
the warehouse there can be no good trade. 2. Their 
workhouse, or their actions, wherein they retail to 
others, for God s glory, the grace entrusted to them ; 
teaching the ignorant, comforting the poor, visiting 
the sick, etc. We must be active, or we cannot be 
acceptable servants. 3. Their clock-house, meaning 
their speech, which must always, like a well-timed bell, 
speak the truth accurately ; and meaning also their 
observance of time, redeeming it by promptly doing 
the duties of every hour. We must use time well, or 
our spiritual gains will be small. 4. Their counting- 
house, or their conscience, which is to be scrupulously 
watched, and no false reckonings allowed, lest we 
deceive our own souls. The Master will call for our 
accounts : let us keep them honestly. 

Self-Dissatisfaction; 

" During the nine years that I was his wife," says 
the widow of the great artist Opie, "I never saw him 
satisfied with 6ne of his productions, and often, very 
often, have I seen him enter my sitting-room, and 
throwing himself in an agony of despondence on the 
sofa, exclaim, I never, never shall be a painter as long 
as I live ! It was a noble despair, such as is never 
felt by the self-complacent daubers of signboards, and 
it bore the panting aspirant up to one of the highest 
niches in the artistic annals of his country. The self 
same dissatisfaction with present attainments is a 
potent force to bear the Christian onward to the most 
eminent degree of spirituality and holiness, 
35 



546 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Self-Examination. 

A Highlander who purchased a barometer under a 
mistaken idea of its purpose, complained that he could 
not see that it had made any improvement in the 
weather ; and those who use signs and evidences for 
an intent which they will never answer, will be sure 
to complain that their faith is not increased, though 
they are always practising self-examination. Yet a 
barometer has its uses, and so have evidences of grace. 
To feel the pulse is an admirable thing; the mistake 
is to put this in the place of strengthening food or 
tonic medicine. 

Self-Righteousness. 

The squirrel in his wire cage, continually in motion 
but making no progress, reminds me of my own self- 
righteous efforts after salvation, but the little creature 
is never one-half so wearied by his exertions as I was 
by mine. The poor chiffonier in Paris, trying to earn 
a. living by picking dirty rags out of the kennel, suc 
ceeds far better than I did in my attempts to obtain 
comfort by my own works. 

Dickens s cab-horse, which was only able to stand 
because it was never taken out of the shafts, was 
strength and beauty itself compared with my starve 
ling hopes propped up with resolutious and regula 
tions. Wretches condemned to the galleys in the 
days of the old French kings, whose only reward for 
incessant toils was the lash of the keeper, were in a 
more happy plight than I when under legal bondage. 
Slavery in mines where the sun never shines must be 



REV. CHAELES H. SPURGEON. 547 

preferable to the miseries of a soul goaded by an 
awakened conscience to seek salvation by its own 
merits. 

Some of the martyrs were shut up in a dungeon 
called Little-ease ; the counterpart of that prison-house 
I well remember. Iron chains are painful enough; but 
what is the pain when the iron enters into the soul ! 
Tell us not of the writhings of the wounded and dying 
on the battle-field; some of us, when our heart was 
riddled by the artillery of the law, would have counted 
wounds and death a happy exchange. O blessed 
Saviour, how blissful was the hour when all this horrid 
midnight of the soul was changed into the day-dawn 
of pardoning love ! 

"A gentleman in our late civil wars," says Cowley 
"when his quarters were beaten up by the enemy, was 
taken prisoner, and lost his life afterwards, only by 
staying to put on a band, and adjust his periwig: he 
would escape like a person of quality, or not at all, 
and died the noble martyr of ceremony and gentility." 
Poor fool ! and yet he is as bad who waits till he is 
dressed in the rags of his own fancied fitness before 
he will come to Jesus. He will die a martyr to pride 
and self-righteousness. 

Self-Seeking. 

A certain king had a minstrel whom he commanded 
to play before him. It was a day of high feasting; 
the cups were flowing, and many great guests were as 
sembled. The minstrel laid his fingers among the 
strings of his harp, and woke them all to the sweetest 



548 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

melody, but the hymn was to the glory of himself. It 
was a celebration of the exploits of song which the 
bard had himself performed, and told how he had ex 
celled high-born Hoel s harp, and emulated soft Lle 
wellyn s lay. In high-sou riding strains he sang him 
self and all his glories. 

When the feast was over, the harper said to the 
monarch, " O king, give me thy guerdon ; let the min 
strel s needs be paid." Then the monarch replied, 
"Thou hast sung unto thyself; pay thyself; thine own 
praises were thy theme; be thyself the paymaster." 
The harper cried, " Did I not sing sweetly ? O king, 
give me thy gold ! " But the king answered, "So 
much the worse for thy pride, that thou shouldst lavish 
such sweetness upon thyself. Get thee gone, thou shalt 
not serve in my train." 

If a man should grow gray-headed in the perforni- 
ance of good works, yet when at the last it is known 
that he has done them all for himself, that he may be 
honored thereby, his Lord will say, "Thou hast done 
well enough in the eyes of man, but so much the worse, 
because thou didst it only to thyself, that thine own 
praises might be sung, and that thine own name might 
be extolled. " 

Service, the Road to Honor. 

When the Spartan king advanced against the enemy, 
he had always with him some one that had been crowned 
in the public games of Greece. And they tell us that 
a Lacedaemonian, when large sums were offered him 
on condition that he would not enter the Olympic lists, 



KEV. CHARLES H. SPUKGEON. 54$ 

refused them. Having with much difficulty thrown his 
antagonists in wrestling, one put this question to him, 
"Spartan, what will you get by this victory ? " He an 
swered with a smile, "I shall have the honor to fight 
foremost in the ranks of my prince. " 

The honor which appertains to office in the Church 
of God lies mainly in this that the man who is set 
apart for such service has the privilege of being firstin 
holiness of example, abundance of liberality, patience 
of long-suffering, zeal in effort, and self-sacrifice in ser 
vice. Thou gracious King of kings, if thou hast made 
me a minister or deacon in thy church, enable me to be 
foremost in every good word and work, shunning no 
sacrifice, and shrinking from no suffering. 

Look at your miller on the village hill. How does 
he grind his grist? Does he bargain that he will only 
grind in the west wind, because its gales are so full of 
health? No, but the east wind, which searches joints 
and marrow, makes the mill-stones revolve, and together 
with the north and south it is yoked to his service. 
Even so should it be with you who are true workers 
for God; all your upsand your downs, your successes 
and your defeats, should be turned to the glory of God. 

Of the old hero the minstrel sang 

" With his Yemen sword for aid ; 

Ornament it carried none, 
But the notches on the blade." 

What nobler decoration of honor can any godly man 
seek after than iiis scars of service, his losses for the 
cross, his reproaches for Christ s sake, his being worn 
out in his Master s service ! 



550 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

When Calvin was banished from ungrateful Geneva, 
he said, " Most assuredly if I had merely served man, 
this would have been a poor recompense ; but it is my 
happiness that I have served him who never fails tore- 
Ward his servants to the full extent of his promise. " 

Slander. 

We saw in the Museum at Venice an instrument 
with which one of the old Italian tyrants was accus 
tomed to shoot poisoned needles at the objects of his 
wanton malignity ; we thought of gossips, backbiters 
and secret slanderers, and wished that their mis 
chievous devices might come to a speedy end. Their 
weapons of innuendo, shrug and whisper, appear to be 
as insignificant as needles, but the venom which they 
instil is deadly to many a reputation. 

Some persons reported to the amiable poet Tasso 
that a malicious enemy spoke ill of him to all the world. 
"Let him persevere," said Tasso ; " his rancor gives 
me no pain. How much better is it that he should 
speak ill of me to all the world, than that all the world 
should speak ill of me to him." 

The Rev. B. Jacobs, of Cambridgeport, could, when 
necessary, administer reproof very forcibly, though 
the gentleness of his character was always seen in the 
manner in which it was done. Some young ladies at 
his house were one day talking about one of their 
female friends. As he entered the room he heard the 
epithets " odd," "singular," etc., applied. He asked 
and was told the name of the young lady in question, 
and then said, very gravely, " Yes, she is an odd young 



EEV. CHAELES H. SPURGEON. 551 

lady ; she is a very odd young lady ; I consider her 
extremely singular." He then added very impres 
sively, " She was never heard to speak ill of an absent 
friend." The rebuke was not forgotten by those who 

heard it. 

Wide Consequences of Sin. 

Sages of old contended that no sin was ever com 
mitted whose consequences rested on the head of the 
sinner alone ; that no man could do ill and his fellows 
not suffer. They illustrated it thus : "A vessel sail 
ing from Joppa carried a passenger, who, beneath his 
berth, cut a hole through in the ship s side. When the 
men of the watch expostulated with him, What dost 
thou, O miserable man ? the offender calmly replied, 
1 What matters it to you ? The hole I have made lies 
under my own berth. 

This ancient parable is worthy of the utmost con 
sideration. No man perishes alone in his iniquity ; no 
man can guess the full consequences of his trans 
gressions. 

Sin Aroused by the Law. 

A contented citizen of Milan, who had never passed 
beyond its walls during the course of sixty years, 
being ordered by the governor not to stir beyond its 
gates, became immediately miserable, and felt so 
powerful an inclination to do that which he had so long 
contentedly neglected that, on his application for a re 
lease from this restraint being refused, he became quite 
melancholy, and at last died of grief. 

How well this illustrates the apostle s confession 



552 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

that he had not known lust, unless the law had said 
unto him, "Thou shalt not covet!" "Sin," saith he, 
"taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me 
all manner of concupiscence." Evil often sleeps in the 
soul, until the holy command of God is discovered, 
and then the enmity of the carnal mind rouses itself to 
oppose in every way the will of God. "Without the 
law," says Paul, "sin was dead." How vain to hope 
for salvation from the law when, through the perversity 
of sin, it provokes our evil hearts to rebellion, and 
works in us neither repentance nor love. 

Insidious Nature of Sin. 

In the gardens of Hampton Court you will see many 
trees entirely vanquished and well-nigh strangled by 
huge coils of ivy, which are wound about them like the 
snakes around the unhappy Laocoon ; there is no un 
twisting the folds ; they are too giant-like and fast fixed, 
and every hour the rootlets of the climber are sucking 
the life out of the unhappy tree. Yet there was a day 
when the ivy was a tiny aspirant, only asking a little 
aid in climbing ; had it been denied then, the tree had 
never become its victim, but by degrees the humble 
weakling grew in strength and arrogance, and at last 
it assumed the mastery, and the tall tree became the 
prey of the creeping, insinuating destroyer. 

The moral is too obvious. Sorrowfully do we re 
member many noble characters which have been 
ruined little and little by insinuating habits. Drink 
has been the ivy in many cases. Reader, see to it, lest 



KEV. CHAELES H. SPURGEON. 

some slowly advancing sin overpower you : men who 
are murdered by slow poisoning die just as surely as 
those who take arsenic. 

Theology Ought Not to be Petrified Scripture. 

Petrarch s works are said to have lain so long in the 
roof of St. Mark s, at Venice, that they became 
turned into stone ; by what process deponent sayeth 
not. To many men it might well seem that the Word 
of God had become petrified, for they receive it as a 
hard, lifeless creed, a stone upon which to sharpen the 
daggers of controversy, a stumbling-block for young 
beginners, a millstone with which to break opponents 
heads, after the manner experienced by AbLaelech at 
Thebez. A man must have a stout digestion to feed 
on some men s theology ; no sap, no sweetness, no life, 
but all stern accuracy and fleshless definition. Pro 
claimed without tenderness, and argued without affec 
tion, the gospel from such men rather resembles a mis 
sile from a catapult than bread from a Father s table. 

Teeth are needlessly broken over the grit of sys 
tematic theology, while souls are famishing. To turn 
stones into bread was a temptation of our Master, but 
how many of his servants yield readily to the far worse 
temptation to turn bread into stone I Go thy way, 
metaphysical divine, to the stone-yard, and break gran 
ite for McAdam, but stand not in the way of loving 
spirits who would feed the family of God with living 
bread. The inspired Word is to us spirit and life, and 
we cannot afford to have it hardened into a huge mono 
lith, or a spiritual Stonehenge sublime, but cold ; ma- 



654 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

jestic, but lifeless ; far rather would we have it as our 
own household book, our bosom companion, the poor 
man s counsellor and friend. 

Benefit of Sorrow. 

Two seeds lie before us the one is warmed in the 
sun, the other falls from the sower s hand into the cole 7 
dark earth, and there it lies buried beneath the soil 
The seed which suns itself in the noontide beam may 
rejoice in the light in which it basks, but it is liable to 
be devoured by the bird ; and certainly naught can 
come of it, however long it may linger above ground ; 
but the other seed, hidden beneath the clods in a damp, 
dark sepulchre, soon swells, germinates, bursts its 
sheath, upheaves the mould, springs up a green blade, 
buds, blossoms, becomes a flower, exhales perfume, 
and loads the wings of every wind. 

Better far for the seed to pass into the earth and 
die, than to lie in the sunshine and produce no 
fruit ; and even thus for thee the future in its sorrow 
shall be as a sowing in a fertile land ; tears shall 
moisten thee, grace shall increase within thee, and 
thou shalt grow up in the likeness of thy Lord unto 
perfection of holiness, to be such a flower of God s 
own planting as even angels shall delight to gaze 
upon in the day of thy transplanting to the celestial 
soil. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 555 

PEARLS. 

The Paris correspondent of the " Daily News " 
writes : " The French have grown so clever at imitat 
ing pearls that a jeweller in the Exhibition shows a 
necklace which purports to be a mixture of true pearls 
and false, and he challenges his customers to single 
out the real ones if they can. Nobody had yet suc 
ceeded, when I myself made an ineffectual attempt. 

The art of pearl-making is by no means a new dis 
covery; by various methods imitation pearls have 
been manufactured in divers countries for many years. 
The French have, however, proved themselves supe 
rior to all competitors. Specimens of their artificial 
productions exhibited at the Exposition of 1867 could 
neither in their lustre nor color be distinguished from 
Oriental pearls, even when the genuine and the sham 
were laid side by side. We are told that there is only 
one way by which they can be detected, and that is by 
their specific weight ; they are much lighter than the 
real pearls. 

. There is " one Pearl of great price," about whose 
genuineness there can never be a question ; but all 
the goodly pearls which this world can yield need to 
be weighed before we can conclude them to be of any 
great value indeed, the choicest pearls of earth are 
insignificant in price compared with Him who is more 
precious than rubies, and of whom it is written, that 
" all the things thou canst desire are not to be com 
pared unto Him." 

Even real pearls, the best of them, fit to adorn an 



556 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

emperor s crown and to heighten the beauty of the 
fairest of maidens, have been known to sicken and die 
and vanish in a day. Every now and then we hear of 
magnificent ancestral pearls, the pride of noble fami 
lies, turning of a sickly color and crumbling into dust. 

Not long ago the crown-jeweller of France solemnly 
Applied to the Academy of Science for the means of 
preventing the decay and corruption of the precious 
gems in the royal crown. No satisfactory answer was 
given, and many highly-prized jewels have since then 
passed away. " Behold all is vanity and vexation of 
spirit." 

In a work entitled "The Wonders of the Deep," 
M. Schele de Vere tells us the following story, of 
which we leave our readers to draw the moral for 
themselves : A dusky fisherman in the far-off seas of 
India once found a pearl in an oyster. He had heard 
of such costly gems, and sold it to an Arab for a gold 
coin which maintained him for a whole year in luxury 
and idleness. The Arab exchanged it for powder 
and shot furnished him by a Russian merchant on 
board a trading vessel, who even yet did not recognize 
the dirty, dust-covered little ball as a precious jewel. 
s He brought it home as a present for his children on 
the banks of the Neva, where a brother merchant saw 
it and bought it for a trifle. The pearl had at last 
found one who could appreciate its priceless value. 
The great man for it was a merchant of the first 
class, the owner of a great fortune rejoiced at the 
silent fraud by which he had obtained the one pearl of 



EEV. CHAELES H. SPUKGEON. 557 

great price, without selling all and buying it fairly, 
and cherished it as the pride of his heart. 

Visitors came from all parts of the world to see the 
wonder. He received them in his merchant s costume in 
a palace plain without, but resplendent inside with all 
that human art can do to embellish a dwelling, and 
led them silently through room after room, filled with 
rare collections and dazzling by the splendor of their 
ornaments. At last he opened with his own key the 
carved folding-doors of an inner room, which sur 
prised the visitor by its apparent simplicity. The 
floor, to be sure, was inlaid with malachite and costly 
marble, the ceiling carved in rare woods, and the 
walls hung with silk tapestry ; but there was no furni 
ture, no gilding nothing but a round table of dark 
Egyptian marble in the centre. 

Under it stood a strong box of apparently wonder 
ful ingenuity, for even the cautious owner had to go 
through various readings of alphabets, and to unlock 
one door after another, before he reached an inner 
cavity, in which a plain square box of Russia leather 
Was standing alone. With an air akin to reverence, 
the happy merchant would take the box and press it 
for a moment to his bosom ; then, devoutly crossing 
himself and murmuring an invocation to some saint, 
he would draw a tiny gold key, which he wore next 
his person, from his bosom, unlock the casket, and 
hold up his precious pet to the light that fell from a 
grated window above. 

It was a glorious sight for the lover of such things 



558 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

a pearl as large as a small egg, of unsurpassed beauty 
and marvellous lustre. The sphere was perfect; the 
play of colors, as he would let it reluctantly roll from 
his hands over his long white fingers down on the dark 
table, was only equalled by the flaming opal, and yet 
there was a soft, subdued light about the lifeless thing 
which endowed it with an almost irresistible charm. 

It was not only the pleasure its perfect form and 
matchless beauty gave to the eye, nor the overwhelm 
ing thought of the fact that the little ball was worth 
anything an emperor or a millionaire might choose to 
give for it there was a magic in its playful, ever- 
changing sheen as it rolled to and fro a contagion in 
the rapt fervor *with which the grim old merchant 
watched its every flash and flare, which left few hearts 
cold as they saw the marvel of St. Petersburg. For 
such it was, and the emperor himself, who loved pearls 
dearly, had in vain offered rank and titles and honors 
for the priceless gem. 

A few years afterwards a conspiracy was discovered 
and several great men were arrested. Among the 
suspected was the merchant. Taking his one great 
treasure with him, he fled to Paris. Jewellers and 
amateurs, Frenchmen and foreigners, flocked around 
him, for the fame of his jewel had long since reached 
France. He refused to show it for a time. 

At last he appointed a day when his great rival in 
pearls, the famous Dutch banker, the Duke of Bruns 
wick, and other men well known for their love of 
precious stones and pearls, were to behold the wonder. 



REV. CHAKLES H. SPUEGEON. 559 

He drew forth the golden key, he opened the casket ; 
but his face turned deadly pale, his eyes started from 
their sockets, his whole frame began to tremble, and 
His palsied hand let the casket drop. The pearl was 
discolored ! A sickly blue color had spread over it, and 
dimmed its matchless lustre. His gem was diseased. 
In a short time it turned into a white powder, and 
the rich merchant of St. Petersburg, the owner of the 
finest pearl known to the world, was a pauper. The 
pearl had avenged the poor Indian of the East, the 
Arab, and the poor traveller, and administered silent 
justice to the purchaser who paid not its price. 

MOORE S REMONSTRANCE. 

Earl Russell is dead. In biographical notices given 
by most of the papers allusion is made to the proposi^ 
tion of Lord John Russell to retire from public life 
while yet a young man, in consequence of some serious 
discouragement which he had received. It is stated 
that he was deterred from so doing by the expostula 
tions of Thomas Moore, and quotations are made from 
the "Remonstrance" which that sparkling poet ad 
dressed to him. On reading the poem it struck us at 
once that many of the remarks would apply in other 
and higher senses to any Christian who should be 
tempted to withdraw himself from the service of his 
Lord. The first three verses of the poem we will qijote 
at length: 

" Whit tkou, wl .h thy genius, thy youth, and thy name 

Thou, born of a Russell whose instinct to run 
The accustomed career of thy sires, is the same 
As the eaglet s to soar with his eyes on the sun, 



560 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

" Whose nobility comes to thee stamped with a seal 

Far, far more ennobling than monarch e er set, 
With the blood of thy race offered up for the weal 
Of a nation that swears by that martyrdom yet, 

" Shalt thou be faint-hearted and turn from the strife, 

From the mighty arena where all that is grand, 
And devoted, and pure, and adorning in life, 

Tis for high-thoughted spirits like thine to command ? " 

Born from above, and bearing the name of Christian^ 
shall the child of God cease to battle for that which is 
good ? Conscious of a sacred instinct which impels 
him onward and upward, shall he sit down in despair 
or retire into inglorious ease ? Serving a Lord who 
spared not His heart s blood for man s redemption, and 
following in the track of thousands of martyrs who 
counted not their lives dear unto them, shall we self 
ishly shun self-denial and avoid reproach ? No ; by 
God s grace let us never dream of timorous silence, nor 
think for an instant that our light can be spared from 
ihe darkening horizon of our times. 

We may have neither eloquence nor genius, but such 
as we have we will consecrate to the last moment of our 
lives to Him who hath bought us by His precious blood. 
We may address to every timorous heart the closing 
verse of Tom Moore, altered to suit the case : 

" Thus ransomed, thou never canst sleep in the shade ; 

If the strings of impulse, the terror of fame, 
And the charms of thy cause have not power to persuade, 
Yet think how to Jesus thou rt pledged by thy name." 

He who wears the name of Christian is sworn to sus 
tain the cause of God and truth with the last drop that 
warms his veins. 



EEV. CHAELES H. SPUEGEON. 561 

DESERTERS. 

One of our journals, in an article upon the charac 
ter of the men in the British army, says : " One great 
cause of misconduct is that few men enlist deliberately, 
but rather take the shilling as a means of escaping 
temporary trouble of some sort. Either a man is 
temporarily out of work, or he has a quarrel with his 
sweetheart, or he wishes for a while to keep out of the 
way of the police. Comparatively rarely does he be 
come a soldier from a conviction that it is an honorable 
mode of earning a living, and that there are some ex 
tremely good prizes to be won. Hence speedy re 
pentance, and if he is unable to purchase his discharge 
he will frequently in desperation steal, so openly that 
he must be discovered, some, to him, useless article, 
such as a broom or one boot." 

It seems, then, that very much depends upon the 
manner of the enlistment of soldiers, and we are quite 
sure that with young converts everything depends 
upon the reason for their enrolment in the army of 
Christ. If they merely come to Christ because they 
are under some temporary alarm of soul, and not be 
cause they are heartily convinced of the error of their 
ways, they will probably desert from the standard of 
the cross as soon as the temporary pressure of natural 
conviction is removed. 

The awakening sermon is forgotten, the alarming 

providence is over, the eloquent revivalist has gone to 

another town, and the superficial converts regret that 

they ever made a profession of religion, and under one 

36 



562 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

pretext or another they slide away. How well i is 
that our young friends should count the cost and under* 
stand what they are doing, and then should deliberately 
and heartily cast in their lot with the people of God 
They must be convinced that to be a Christian is right 
and honorable, and for their own eternal good ; the} 
must also be assured that the cause is one of truth 
and righteousness, and that in it lies all their hope of 
eternal salvation they must, in a word, be renewed 
in the spirit of their minds, or they will soon be the 
prey of temptation, and the Church will be filled with 
alarm at the large number of deserters. 

Our Lord was always anxious that men should be 
saved, but He was never in a hurry to gather nominal 
disciples. When the scribe said to Him, " Master, I 
will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest," He did 
not reply, as many of us would have done, with a press 
ing invitation and an enthusiastic welcome ; but He 
was far more wise in his procedure, for He replied ; 
"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
nests ; but I, the Son of man, have not where to lay 
my head." He put before him the poverty of the 
Captain and the hard fare of the soldier. When the 
multitude thronged around Him, He did not com- 
nence taking their names, enrolling them as His con 
verts, and counting heads in order to publish astound 
ing statistics, but, on the contrary, He sifted them with 
words like these: " Verily, verily, I say unto you, ys 
seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because 
ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." 



KEV. CHARLES H. SPUEGEON. 563 

The recruiting-sergeants of her Majesty s army are 
so anxious to get hold of the men that they are not 
scrupulous as to the arguments they use. Drink is 
freely given, the soldier s condition is set forth in rosy 
colors, and the young man is cajoled and seduced into 
a way of life which he would not have thoughtfully 
chosen ; but it must not be so among us. We may 
not repel any man who wishes to join our ranks, but 
we may not persuade men and women to make a 
hasty profession, and take the name of Christian upon 
them to please their friends. 

The door must not be closed with lock and key, but 
there must be a porter to open it, in order that the 
sheep, and not the goats, may go in and out and find 
pasture. Since the porter himself may be readily de 
ceived, it is every man s personal responsibility to see 
that he enters with his heart and soul into the Church 
of God, if he does enter at all ; and it is at his own 
peril that he dares to intrude unworthily or insincerely 
into the fold of Christ. 

A profession carelessly made will soon be dishonor 
ably abandoned. We know who it was that said : 
" They went out from us, but they were not of us ; for 
if they had been of us, they would no doubt have con 
tinued with us ; but they went out, that they might be 
made manifest that they were not all of us." He who 
wrote these words was of a loving nature, and never 
formed a harsh judgment, and therefore from his ver^ 
diet we conclude that the backslidings and apostasies 
which weaken the visible Church of Christ are caused 



664 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

by a want of reality at the commencement of the 
religious life. 

There was no root, and therefore the plant withered 
when the sun was risen with burning heat. There 
was no call to the soldier s life, or the reputed warrior 
of the Cross would not have so shamefully deserted the 
colors. Hence the stern necessity of our being care 
ful in examining all candidates, and honest in warning 
them cf their responsibilities. 

" Have ye counted the cost, 
Have ye counted the cost, 
Ye warriors of the Cross ? 
Are ye fixed in the heart, for your Master s sake 

To suffer all earthly loss ? 
Can ye bear the scoff of the worldly-wise, 

As ye pass by Pleasure s bower 
To watch with your Lord on the mountain-top 
Through the weary midnight hour ? 

" Do ye answer, We can, 
Do ye answer, We can/ 
Through His love s constraining power ? 
But do ye remember the flesh is weak, 
And shrinks in the trial hour ? 
Yet yield to His hand who around you now 

The cords of a man would cast, 
The bands of His love who was smitten for you, 
To the altar binding you fast. 

" In the power of His might, 
In the power of His might, 
Who was made through weakness strong, 
Ye shall overcome in the fearful fight, 

And sing His victory song. 
But count ye the cost, yea, count ye the cost 

The forsaking all ye have 
Then take up your cross and follow your Lord, 
Not thinking your life to save." 



fcEV. CHARLES H. gtttKGEON. 565 

THE BEST PREPARATION FOR THE SECOND 
ADVENT. 

There is a well-known story in New England which 
relates that about a century ago a day of remarkable 
gloom and darkness overspread the States of Massa 
chusetts and Connecticut a day still spoken of in 
local histories as " the dark day," when the light of the 
sun was slowly extinguished as if by an eclipse. The 
Legislature of Connecticut happened at that moment 
to be in session, and, to quote an American writer, 
" As its members saw the unexpected and unaccount 
able darkness coming on, they shared in the general 
awe and terror. It was supposed by many that the 
Last Day the Day of Judgment had come, and in 
the consternation of the hour some member moved 
the adjournment of the House. Then straightway 
there arose an old Puritan legislator, Davenport of 
Stamford, and said that if the Last Day had come, he 
desired to be found in his place and doing his duty ; 
for which reasons he moved that candles should be 
brought, so that the House might proceed with its 
debate." 

This Davenport of Stamford was a wise man. 
What could the other senators have suggested which 
would be equally suitable for the occasion ? If it had 
been the Last Day, would they have been more ready 
for it if they had gone to their homes and waited there 
in idleness ? Would it have been more seemly to have 
rushed into the street, and to have stood there with 
gaping mouths looking upward to the sky? What 



566 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

was better than being ready for whatever might 
happen, and waiting at the post of duty? 

We believe firmly in the second advent of Christ, 
and in the grand fact that He may come at such an 
hour as we think not ; but what of that ? What is the 
practical use of the revelation ? Are we to forego, 
matters of immediate concern in order to pry into the 
impenetrable darkness of the future ? Are we to make 
ourselves into mere star-gazers and prognosticates ? 
Are we to spend our time in idle wonder, concluding 
that every time we hear of wars, and rumors 
of wars, and read of earthquakes in divers places, 
it is an infallible token that the end of the world is 
near? Why, there have been wars and rumors of 
wars, and all the other signs, a score of times, and 
yet the world wags on at its usual rate. 

No ; rather let us give ourselves up more entirely 
to the pressing demands of our Lord s household ; let 
us bring out of His storehouse things new and old, 
continue to feed our fellow-servants, and welcome home 
the wanderers ; and then, whether the Master come at 
cock-crow or midnight, it will signify little enough 
to us. We shall welcome Him whenever He comes, 
and He will meet us with joy, for " blessed is that serv 
ant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so 
doing." 

Master Davenport of Stamford doubtless had a 
solid confidence in the Lord Jesus ; his faith had fixed 
itself upon His first advent, and received the salvation 
which Jesus came to bring; and therefore, delivered 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 567 

from all trepidation and alarm, he did not share in the 
general terror, nor draw inferences of alarm from the 
unexpected and unaccountable darkness. The heavens 
might fall, but he dwelt above the heavens, and in 
quietness and assurance was his strength. 

Moreover, the good man possessed a faith which, 
manifested itself by works; his business was his re 
ligion, and his religion was his business. He believed 
he was called of God to sit in the Legislature of Con 
necticut, and therefore there he sat : he only wanted 
candles,that he might see what he was at. He was doing 
what was right, he was there to vote for justice and truth, 
and if his Master had come he would have risen from 
his seat and said, " Here am I, in the place Thou 
wouldst have me to occupy." 

We remember once calling upon one of our mem 
bers, a sister who managed her household with discre 
tion, She was in humble circumstances, and when we 
stopped opposite her house she was whitening the 
front steps. She rose from her pail and apologized 
for being found with her sleeves up ; but we begged 
her to make no excuse, for she was doing her duty, 
and we earnestly hoped that when our Lord should 
come He would find us in the same condition. If she 
had known we were coming, it is just possible she 
would have put on her best gown, and have been wait 
ing in the little parlor; but we should not have been 
one-half as charmed with her prepared appearance as 
with the exhibition of her every-day industry. 

The most fitting condition for death and for judg- 



568 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

ment is to be diligent in the Master s business, fervent 
in spirit, serving the Lord. The times are very dark ; 
bring in the candles, and let the House proceed with 
the present business. 

ON RAISING QUESTIONS. 

In these days, a simple, child-like faith is very rare; 
but the usual thing is to believe nothing, and question 
everything. Doubts are as plentiful as blackberries, 
and all hands and lips are stained with them. To me 
it seems very strange that men should hunt up diffi 
culties as to their own salvation. If I were doomed 
to die, and I had a hint of -mercy, I am sure I should 
not set my wits to work to find out reasons why I 
should not be pardoned. I could leave my enemies to 
do that : I should be on the look-out in a very different 
direction. 

If I were drowning, I should sooner catch at a straw 
than push a life-belt away from me. To reason against 
one s own life is a sort of constructive suicide of which 
only a drunken man would be guilty. To argue 
against your only hope is like a foolish man sitting on 
a bough, and chopping it away so as to let himself 
down. Who but an idiot would do that ? Yet many 
appear to be special pleaders for their own ruin. They 
rhunt the Bible through for threatening texts ; and 
when they have done with that, they turn to reason, 
and philosophy, and scepticism, in order to shut the 
door in their own faces. Surely this is poor employ 
ment for a sensible man. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 569 

Many, nowadays, who cannot quite get away from 
religious thought, are able to stave off the inconven 
ient pressure of conscience by quibbling over the great 
truths of revelation. Great mysteries are in the Book 
of God of necessity ; for how can the infinite God so 
speak that all His thoughts can be grasped by finite 
man? But it is the height of folly to get discussing 
these deep things, and to leave plain, soul-savingtruths 
in abeyance. 

It reminds one of the two philosophers who debated 
about food, and went away empty from the table, while 
\he common countryman in the corner asked no ques 
tion, but used his knife and fork with great diligence, 
and went on his way rejoicing. Thousands are now 
happy in the Lord through receiving the gospel like 
little children ; while others, who can always see diffi 
culties, or invent them, are as far off as ever from any 
comfortable hope of salvation. 

I know very decent people who seem to have re 
solved never to come to Christ till they can under 
stand how the doctrine of election is consistent with 
the free invitations of the gospel. I might just as 
well determine never to eat a morsel of bread till it is 
explained to me how it is that God keeps me alive, 
and yet I must eat to live. The fact is, that we most 
of us know quite enough already, and the real want 
with us is not light in the head, but truth in the heart; 
not help over difficulties, but grace to make us hate 
sin and seek reconciliation. 

Here let me add a warning against tampering with 



570 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

the Word of God. No habit can be more ruinous to 
the soul. It is cool, contemptuous impertinence to sit 
down and correct your Maker, and it tends to make 
the heart harder than the nether millstone. We re 
member one who used a penknife on his Bible, and it 
Was not long before he had given up all his former 
beliefs. The spirit of reverence is healthy, but the 
impertinence of criticising the inspired Word is de 
structive of all proper feeling toward God. 

If ever a man does feel his need of a Saviour after 
treating Scripture with a proud, critical spirit, he is 
very apt to find his conscience standing in the way, 
and hindering him from comfort by reminding him of 
ill-treatment of the sacred Word. It comes hard to 
him to draw consolation out of passages of the Bible 
which he has treated cavalierly, or even set aside alto 
gether, as unworthy of consideration. In his distress 
the sacred texts seem to laugh at his calamity. When 
the time of need comes, the wells which he stopped 
with stones yield no water for his thirst. Beware, 
when you despise a Scripture, lest you cast away the 
only friend that can help you in the hour of agony. 

A certain German duke was accustomed to call upon 
his servant to read a chapter of the Bible to him every 
morning. When anything did not square with his 
judgment he would sternly cry, " Hans, strike that out." 
At length Hans was a long time before he began to 
read. He fumbled over the Book, till his master called 
out, " Hans, why do you not read?" Then Hans an 
swered, " Sir, there is hardly anything left. It is all 



BEV. CHARLES ft. SPURGEON. 571 

struck out! " One day his master s objections had run 
one way, and another day they had taken another turn 
and another set of passages had been blotted, till noth 
ing" was left to instruct or comfort him. Let us not, by 
carping criticism, destroy our own mercies. We may 
yet need those promises which appear needless ; and 
those portions of Holy Writ which have been most as- 
sailed by sceptics may yet prove essential to our very 
life ; wherefore let us guard the priceless treasure of 
the Bible, and determine never to resign a single line 
of it. 

What have we to do with recondite questions while 
our souls are in peril ? The way to escape from sin is 
plain enough. The wayfaring man, though a fool, shall 
not err therein. God has not mocked us with a salva 
tion which we cannot understand. BELIEVE AND LIVE 
is a command which a babe may comprehend and obey. 

Doubt no more, but now believe ; 
Question not, but just receive. 
Artful doubts and reasonings be 
Nailed with Jesus to the tree. 

Instead of cavilling at Scripture, the man who is led 
of the Spirit of God will close in with the Lord Jesus at 
once. Seeing that thousands of decent, common-sense 
people people, too, of the best character are trust 
ing their all with Jesus, he will do the same, and have 
done with further delays. Then has he begun a life 
worth living, and he may have done with further fear. 
He may at once advance to that higher and better way 
of living, which grows out of love to Jesus, the Saviour. 



572 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Why should not the reader do so at once ? Oh ! that 
he would ! 

A Newark, New Jersey, butcher received a letter 
from his old home in Germany, notifying him that he had 
by the death of a relative fallen heir to a considerable 
amount of money. He was cutting up a pig at the time- 
After reading the letter, he hastily tore off his dirt} 
apron, and did not stop to see the pork cut up into sau 
sages, but left the shop to make preparations for going 
home to Germany. Do you blame him, or would you 
have had him stop in Newark with his block and his 
cleaver ? 

See here the operation of faith. The butcher be 
lieved what was told him, and acted on it at once. 
Sensible fellow, too ! 

God has sent his messages to man, telling him the 
good news of salvation. When a man believes the 
good news to be true, he accepts the blessing an 
nounced to him, and hastens to lay hold upon it. If 
he truly believes, he will at once take Christ, with all 
he has to bestow, turn from his present evil ways and 
set out for the Heavenly City, where the full blessing 
is to be enjoyed. He cannot be holy too soon, or too 
early quit the ways of sin. If a man could really see 
what sin is, he would flee from it as from a deadly 
serpent and rejoice to be freed from it by Christ 
Jesus. 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 573 

GLIMPSES OF THE HEAVENLY LIFE. 

A SERMON, SUGGESTED BY THE DECEASE OF THE EARL OF SHAFTS- 
BURY, OCT. 4, 1885, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE. 

" Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when 
he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and 
the God of Jacob. For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living : 
for all live unto Him." LUKE 20. 37, 38. 

During the past week the Church of God and the 
world at large have sustained a very serious loss. In 
the taking home to Himself by our gracious Lord of 
the Earl of Shaftesbury, we have in my judgment lost 
the best man of the age. I do not know whom I 
should place second ; but I certainly should put him 
first far beyond all other servants of God within my 
knowledge for usefulness and influence. He was a 
man most true in his personal piety, as I know from 
having enjoyed his private friendship ; a man most 
firm in his faith in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; 
a man intensely active in the cause of God and truth. 
Take him whichever way you please, he was admirable ; 
he was faithful to God in all his house, fulfilling both 
the first and second commands of the law in fervent 
love to God and hearty love to man. 

He occupied his high position with singleness of 
purpose and immovable steadfastness. Where shall 
we find his equal ? If it is not possible that he was 
absolutely perfect, it is equally impossible for me to 
mention a single fault, for I saw none. He exhibited 
Scriptural perfection, inasmuch as he was sincere, true 
and consecrated. Those things which have been re- 



574 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

garded as faults by the loose thinkers of this age are 
prime virtues in my esteem. 

They called him narrow ; and in this they bear un 
conscious testimony to his loyalty to truth. I rejoiced 
greatly in his integrity, his fearlessness, his adherence 
to principle, in a day when revelation is questioned, 
the gospel explained away, and human thought set up 
as the idol of the hour. He felt that there was a vital 
and eternal difference between truth and error ; con 
sequently he did not act or talk as if there was much 
to be said on either side, and, therefore, no one could 
be quite sure. We shall not know for how many a 
year how much we miss in missing him ; how great an 
anchor he was to this drifting generation ; and how 
great a stimulus he was to every movement for the 
benefit of the poor. 

Both man and beast may unite in mourning him ; he 
was the friend of every living thing. He lived for the 
oppressed ; he lived for London ; he lived for the 
nation ; he lived still more for God. He has finished 
his course ; and though we do not lay him to sleep in 
the grave with the sorrow of those that have no hope, 
yet we cannot but mourn that a great man and a 
priiv:e has fallen this day in Israel. Surely the right 
eous are taken away from the evil to come, and we 
are left to struggle on under increasing difficulties. 

Heaven Unveiled. My tex>. not only declares 
glorious relationship and implies eternal life, but it also 
unveils, somewhat scantily but s ziil sufficiently, what 
the glorious life must be. Look, then, and see the 

GLORIOUS LIFE UNVEILED. 



REV. CHARLP:S H. SPURGEON. 575 

It is clear that they live personally. It is not said, 
"lam the God of the whole body of the saints in one 
mass ; " but, " I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob." 
God will make his people live individually. My mother, 
my father, my child, each will personally exist. God 
is the God of saints as living distinct lives ; Abraham 
is Abraham, Isaac is Isaac, Jacob is Jacob. The three 
patriarchs were not all melted into one common 
Abraham, nor Isaac into one imaginary Isaac ; neither 
was any one so altered as to cease to be himself. 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all literally living as 
actual men, and the same men as they used to be. 
Jacob is Jacob, and not an echo of Abraham ; Isaac is 
Isaac, and not a rehearsal of Jacob. All the saints are 
existent in their personality, identity, distinction and 
idiosyncrasy. 

What is more, the patriarchs are mentioned by their 
names ; and so it is clear they are known; they are not 
three anonymous bodies, but Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob. Many inquire, " Shall we know our friends in 
Heaven?" Why should we. not? the saints in 
heaven are never spoken of in Scripture as moving 
about anonymously ; but their names are spoken of 
as written in the Book of Life. Why is this ? The 
apostles knew Moses and Elias on the Mount, though 
they had never seen them before. I cannot forget old 
John Ryland s answer to his wife. "John," she said, 
"will you know me in heaven?" "Betty," he re 
plied, " I have known you well here, and I shall not be 
bigger fool in heaven than I am now ; therefore I 



576 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

shall certainly know you there/ That seems to be 
"tlear enough. 

We read in the New Testament, "They shall sit 
down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom 
of heaven " not sit down with three unknown indi 
viduals in iron masks, or three impersonalities who 
make a part of the great Pan, nor three spirits who 
arc as exactly alike as pins made in a factory ; but 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is clear enough in 
the text. 

That glorious life, while it is a personal and a known 
life, is also free from all sorrow and misery and earthly 
grossness. They are neither married nor given in 
marriage, neither shall they die any more ; but they 
are as the angels of God. It is a life of perfect blessed 
ness, a life of hallowed worship, a life of undivided 
glory. Oh that we were in it! Oh that we may soon 
reach it ! Let us think of the many who are enjoying 
it now, and of those who have attained to it during the 
last few days. I am sure they are at home in every 
golden street, and fully engaged in the adoration and 
worship of their Lord. 

Those saints who have been in glory now these 
thousands of years cannot be more blessed than the 
latest arrivals. Within a very short space you and I 
shall be among the shining ones. Some of us may 
spend our next Sabbath with the angels. Let us re 
joice and be glad at the bare thought of it. Some of 
us are not doomed to live here through another win 
ter ; we shall pass beyond these autumn fogs into the 



. CHAKLES H. SPUKGEON. 577 

golden light of the eternal summer before another 
Christmas day has come. Oh, the joy which ought to 
thrill through our souls at the thought of such amazing 
bliss! 

Still Living. And now, taking the whole subject 
together, I want to say a few familiar things about the 
influence which all this ought to have upon us. 

Concerning those that have gone before us, we 
gather from this whole text that they are not lost ; we 
know where they are. Neither have they lost any 
thing ; for they are what they were, and more. Abra 
ham has about him still everything that is Abrahamic, 
he is Abraham still ; and Isaac has everything about 
him that properly belongs to Isaac ; and Jacob has all 
about him that makes him God s Israel. These good 
men have lost nothing that really appertained to their 
individuality, nothing that made them precious in the 
sight of the Lord. They have gained infinitely, they have 
developed gloriously. They are Abraham and Isaac 
and Jacob, now at their best ; or, rather, they are wait 
ing till the trumpet of the resurrection shall sound, 
when their bodies also shall be united to their spirits, 
and then Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will be com 
pletely Abraham and Isaac and Jacob world with 
out end. 

We are by no means deprived of our dear ones by 
their death ; they are ; they are themselves ; and they 
are ours still. As Abraham is not lost to Isaac, nor 
to Jacob, nor to God, nor to himself, so are our be 
loved ones by no means lost to us. Do not let us 

37 



678 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

think of them, then, as if they were lost. I know 
your sorrows make an excursion to the grave, to look 
there for the deceased ones. You want to lift that 
coffin-lid and to unwrap the shroud. Oh, do not so ! 
do not so ! He is not here ; the real man has gone. 
He may be dead to you for a while, but he lives unto 
God. Yes, the dead one liveth, he liveth unto God! 
Do but anticipate the passage of that little time, which 
is almost gone while I am speaking of it, and then 
your Saviour s angels shall sound their golden 
trumpets, and at the welcome noise the grave shall 
open its portals and resign its captives. "Thy brother 
shall rise again." Wherefore comfort one another 
with these words. 

Shaftesbury is as much Shaftesbury as ever, and 
even more so. We have parted with the earl, but the 
saint liveth ; he has gone past yonder veil into the 
next room, and there he is before the Lord of Hosts. 
He has gone out of this dim, dusky, cloudy chamber 
into the bright pearly light that streameth from the 
throne of God and of the Lamb. We have nothing 
to sorrow about in reference to what he is or where 
he is. 

So, too, your valued parents, and beloved children, 
and choice friends, they are yours still. Herein is great 
cause for thankfulness. Put aside your sackcloth and 
wear the garments of hope ; lay down the sackbut, and 
take up the trumpet. Draw not the beloved bodies to 
the cemetery with dreary pomp and with black horses, 
but cover the coffin with sweet flowers and drape the 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 579 

horses with the emblems of hope. It is the better 
birthday of the saint yea, his truer wedding-day. Is 
it sad to have done with sadness? Is it sorrowful to 
part with sorrow ? Nay rather, when joy beginneth 
to our friends where glory dwelleth in Immanuers 
land, we may in sympathy sing, as it were, a new song, 
and tune our harps to the melodies of the glorified. 

One with us. I want you also to recollect that the 
departed have not become members of another race , they 
have not been transferred into another family. They 
are still men, still women, still of our kindred dear ; 
their names are in the same family register on earth 
and in heaven. Oh, no, no ! Do not dream that they 
are separated and exiled ; they have gone to the home 
country. We are the exiles ; they it is who are at 
home. We are en route for the fatherland ; they are 
not so far from us as we think. 

Sin worked to divide them from us, and us from 
them, while we were here together ; but since sin is 
now taken away from them, one dividing element is 
gone. When it is also removed from us, we shall be 
nearer to each other than we could have been while 
we were both sinful. Do not let us think of them as 
sundered far, for we are one in Christ. 

And they are not gone over to the other side in the 
battle. Oh, do not speak of them as dead and lying on 
the battle-field ! They live ; they live in sympathy with 
our divine conflict ! They have marched through the 
enemy s country ; they have fought their fight and taken 
possession of their inheritance. They are still on our 



580 CHOICEf SELECTIONS. 

side, though we miss them from the daily service. When 
you number up the host of God, you must not forget 
the godlike bands that have fought the good fight, and 
kept the faith, and finished their course. They are in 
the armies of the Lord, though not at this moment 
resisting unto blood. The hundred and fourty-four 
thousand sealed unto the Lord include in their ranks ! 
all who are with God, whether here or in heaven. Our 
sacramental host marches onward to the New Jeru 
salem. 

Certain of the legionaries have forded the dividing 
flood. I see them ascending the other side ! The 
hither bank of the river is white with their rising com 
panies. Lo, I hear the splash of the ranks before us 
as they steadily pass down the hill into the chill stream ! 
In deep silence we see them solemnly wading through 
the billows! The host is ever marching on, marching 
on. The much-dreaded stream lies a little before us ; 
it is but a silver streak. We are to the margin come. 
We shudder not at the prospect. We follow the 
blessed footsteps of our Lord and Hir> redeemed. We 
are all one army still ; we are not losing our men ; 
they are simply ascending from the long campaign to 
take their endless rewards at the Lord s right hand. 

What shall we do? What then? Why, then we 
will take up their work. If they have gone into the 
upper chamber to rest, we will make up their lack of 
service in this lower room. The work they did was so 
human that we will not allow a stitch to drop, but take 
it up where they left it and persevere in earnest. They 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 581 

are in glory, but they were not glorified when they 
were here. 

The work they did was done by men of such infirm 
ities as ours ; so let us not fear to go on where they 
left off and perpetuate the work which they rejoiced 
in. There lies the plough in furrow, and the oxen are 
standing still ; for Shamgar, the champion, is gone. 
Will no one lay hold of the plough-handles ? Will 
nobody urge the oxen with the goad ? Young men, 
are you idling ? Here is work for you. Are you hid 
ing yourselves ? 

Come forward, I pray you, in the name of the Great 
Husbandman, and let the fields be tilled and sown with 
the good seed. Who will fill the gap made by death ? 
Who will be baptized for the dead ? Who will bear 
the banner, now that a standard-bearer has fallen ? I 
hope some consecrated voice will answer, " Here am 
I; send me ! " 

For, last of all, brethren, we may expect the same suc 
cors as they received who have gone before. Jehovah 
saith that He is the God of Abraham, the God of 
Isaac and the God of Jacob; but He also saith, I 
am the God of your father." The father of Moses 
had the Lord to be his God. That God is the God of 
my father, blessed be His name ! As I took the old man 
by his hand yesterday, at the age of seventy- three, I 
could not but rejoice in all the fulness of the Lord to 
him and to his house. He was the God of my father s 
father also. I cm not forget how the venerable man 
laid his hand upon his grandchild and blessed him ; 



582 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

and the blessing is with Him still. Yes, and He is the 
God of my children, and He is the God of my chil 
dren s children ; for He keepeth covenant to thou 
sands of them that love Him. 

Wherefore take courage, men and brethren ! This 
God is your God. He is a God to you, and you are a 
people to Him. Act as His true servants. Live as 
those that are elect. If you are His choice, be choice 
characters. The chosen should be the best, should they 
not? The elect should be especially distinguished 
above all others by their conversation and their fervent 
zeal for Him that chose them. As you shall rise from 
among the dead because the Lord Jesus hath redeemed 
you from among men, so stand up from among the 
dead and corrupt mass of this world and be alive unto 
God through Jesus Christ your Lord. What manner 
of people ought ye to be who serve the living God ? 
Since the living God hath manifested Himself so won 
derfully to you, ought you not to live unto Him to the 
utmost ? 



REV. CHARLES H. SPUBGEON. 58$ 

THE BIBLE. 

All things in the Bible are great. Some people 
think it does not matter what doctrines you believe ; 
that it is immaterial what church you attend ; that all 
denominations are alike. Well, I dislike Mrs. Bigotry 
above almost all people in the world, and I never give 
her any compliment or praise. But there is another 
woman I hate equally as much, and that ~ is Mrs. Lati- 
tudinarianism, a well-known character, who has made 
the discovery that all of us are alike. 

I think that all sections of Protestant Christians 
have a remnant according to the election of grace, 
and they had need to have, some of them, a little salt, 
for otherwise they would go to corruption. But when 
I say that, do you imagine that I think them all on a 
level ? Are they all alike truthful ? One sect says 
infant baptism is right; another says it is wrong; yet 
you say they are both right. I cannot see that. One 
teaches we are saved by free grace ; another says that 
we are not, but are saved by free will ; and yet you 
believe they are both right. I do not understand that. 
Dne says that God loves His people and never leaves 
off loving them ; another says that He did not love 
His people before they loved Him ; and that He often 
loves them, and then ceases to love them and turns 
them away. They may be both right in the main ; 
but can they be both right when one says " Yes," and 
the other says "No?" I must have a pair of spec 
tacles to enable me to look backwards and forwards 
at the same time before I can see that. 



684 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

Did ever any of you sit down to see which was the 
purest religion? "Oh," say you, "we never took the 
trouble. We went just where our father and mother 
went." Ah, that is a profound reason indeed ! You 
went where you father and mother did. I thought you 
were sensible people ; I didn t think you went where 
other people pulled you, but went of your own selves. 
I love my parents above all that breathe, and the very 
thought that they believed a thing to be true helps me 
to think it is correct ; but I have not followed them. I 
belong to a different denomination, and I thank God I 
do. I can receive them as Christian brethren and sis 
ters ; but I never thought because they happened to 
be one thing I was to be the same. No such thing. 
God gave me brains and I will use them ; and if you 
have any intellect, use it too. 

Never say it doesn t matter. It does matter. What 
ever God has put here is of eminent importance. He 
would not have written a thing that was indifferent. 
Whatever is here is of some value ; therefore, search 
all questions ; trysail by the Word of God. I am not 
afraid to have what I preach tried by this book. Only 
give me a fair field and no favor and this book ; if I 
say anything contrary to it, I will withdraw it the next 
Sabbath-day. By this I stand, by this I fall. Search 
and see ; but don t say, " It does not matter." If God 
says a thing, it must always be of importance. 

But while all things in God s Word are important, 
all are not equally important. There are certain funda 
mental and vital truths which must be believed, or 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

otherwise no man would be saved. If you want to 
know what you must believe if ye would be saved, you 
will find the great things of God s law between these 
two covers ; they are all contained here. As a sort of 
digest or summary of the great things of the law, I 
remember an old friend of mine once saying: "Ah, 
you preach the three R s, and God will always bless 
you! " I said : "What are the three R s? " And he 
answered : " Ruin, redemption and regeneration." 
They contain the sum and substance of divinity. R 
for ruin. We were all ruined in the fall ; we were all 
lost when Adam sinned, and we are all ruined by our 
own transgression ; we are all ruined by our own 
wicked wills ; and we all shall be ruined unless grace 
saves us. 

Then there is a second R for redemption. We are 
ransomed by the blood of Christ a Lamb without 
blemish and without spot ; we are rescued by His 
power ; we are ransomed by His merits ; we are re 
deemed by His strength. Then there is R for regen 
eration. If we would be pardoned, we must also be 
regenerated ; for no man can partake of redemption 
unless he is regenerate. Let him be as good as he 
pleases, let him serve God, as he imagines, as much 
as he likes ; unless he is regenerate, and has a new 
heart, a new birth, he will still be in the first R that 
is, ruin. These things contain an epitome of the 
gospel. 

God says : "I have written to him the great things 
of My law." Do you doubt their greatness? Do ye 



586 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

think they are not worth your attention ? Reflect a 
moment, man ! Where art thou standing now ? I 
recollect standing on a seashore once, upon a nar 
row neck of land, thoughtless that the tide might 
come up. The tide kept continually washing up on 
eithar side, and, rapt in thought, I still stood there, 
until at last there was the greatest difficulty in getting 
on shore ; the waves had washed between me and the 
shore. You and I stand each day on a narrow neck, 
and there is one wave coming up there. See, how 
near it is to your foot ! And lo ! another follows at 
every tick of the clock. "Our hearts,like muffled drums, 
are beating funeral marches to the grave." We are 
always tending downward to the grave each moment 
that we live. This book tells me that if I am con 
verted, when I die there is a heaven of joy and love 
to receive me ; it tells me that angels pinions shall 
be stretched, and I, borne by strong cherubic wings, 
shall out-soar the lightning, and mount beyond the 
stars, up to the throne of God, to dwell for ever 

Far from a world of grief and sin, 
With God eternally shut in. 

Oh, it makes the hot tear start from my eye ! It 
makes my heart too big for this my body, and my 
brain whirls at the thought of 

Jerusalem, my happy home, 
Name ever dear to me. 

Oh, that sweet scene beyond the clouds sweet fields 
arrayed in living green, and rivers of delight ! Are 
not these great things ? 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 587 

Now notice the treatment which the holy Bible re 
ceives in this world. It is accounted a strange thing. 
What does that mean the Bible accounted a strange 
thing? In the first place, it means that it is very 
strange to some people, because they never read it. 
I remember reading on one occasion the sacred story 
of David and Goliath, and there was a person present, 
positively grown up to years of maturity, who said to 
me : " Dear me ! what an interesting story ; what book 
is that in?" 

And I recollect a person once coming to me in pri 
vate. I spoke to her about her soul ; she told me 
how deeply she felt, how she had a desire to serve 
God, but she found another law^in her members. I 
turned to a passage in Romans, and read to her : 
"The good that I would, I do not ; and the evil which 
I would not, that I do ! " She said : " Is that in the Bible? 
I did not know it." I did not blame her, because she 
had no interest in the Bible till then ; but I did wonder 
that there could be found persons who knew nothing 
about such a passage. 

Ah ! you know more about your ledgers than your 
Bible ; you know more about your day-books than 
what God has written. Many of you will read a novel 
from beginning to end, and what have you got ? A 
mouthful of froth when you have done. But you can 
not read the Bible ; that solid, lasting, substantial and 
satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cup 
board of negLct; while anything that man writes, a 
catch of the day, is gr^dilv dev^nr/H. "I have writ- 



58S CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

ten unto him the great things of my law, but they were 
counted as a strange thing." Ye have never read it. 
I bring the broad charge against you. Perhaps ye 
say I ought not to charge you with any such thing. I 
always think it better to have a worse opinion of you 
than too good an one. 

I charge you with this : you do not read your Bible 
Some of you never have read it through. I know I 
speak what your heart must say is honest truth. You 
are not Bible-readers. You say you have the Bible in 
your houses ; do I think you are such heathens as not 
to have a Bible ? But when did you read it last ? 
How do you know that your spectacles, which you 
have lost, have not been there for the last three years ? 
Many people have not turned over its pages for a long 
time, and God might say unto them : " I have written 
unto you the great things of My law, but they have 
been accounted unto you a strange thing." 

Others there be who read the Bible, but when they 
read it they say it is so horribly dry. That young man 
over there says it is a "bore;" that is the word he 
uses. He says, " My mother said to me, When you 
go up to town, read a chapter every day. Well, I 
thought I would please her, and I said I would. I am 
sure I wish I had not. I did not read a chapter yes 
terday or the day before. We were so busy. I could 
not help it." You do not love the Bible, do you ? 
" No ; there is nothing in it which is interesting." 
Ah! I thought so. But a little while ago /could not 
see anything in it. Do you know why ? Blind men 



KEY CHAELES H. SPUEGEON. 589 

cannot see, can they ? But when the Spirit touches 
the scales of the eyes they fall off, and when He puts 
eye-salve on, then the Bible becomes precious. 

I remember a minister who went to see an old lady, 
and he thought he would give her some precious 
promises out of the Word of God. Turning to one, 
he saw written in the margin, "P.," and he asked, 
"What does this mean?" "That means precious, 
sir." Further down he saw " T. and P.," and he asked 
what the letters meant. "That," she said, "means 
tried and proved, for I have tried and proved it." If 
you have tried God s Word and proved it; if it is pre 
cious to your souls, then you are Christians , but those 
persons who despise the Bible have " neither part nor 
lot in the matter." If it is dry to you, you will be dry 
at last in hell. If you do not esteem it as better than 
your necessary food, there is no hope for you, for you 
lack the greatest evidence of your Christianity. 

Alas ! alas ! the worst case is to come. There are 
some people who hate the Bible, as well as despise it. 
Is there such an one stepped in here ? Some of you 
said : " Let us go and hear what the young preacher 
has to say to us." This is what he hath to say to you : 
" Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish." This 
is what he hath to say to you : "The wicked shall be 
turned into hell, and all that forget God." And this, 
again, he has to say to you : " Behold there shall come 
in the last days mockers like yourselves, walking after 
your own lusts." But more : he tells you that if you 
are saved, you must find salvation here. Therefore 



590 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

despise not the Bible, but search it, read it, and come 
unto it. 

Rest thee well assured, O scorner, that thy laughs 
cannot alter truth, thy jests cannot avert thine inevit 
able doom. Though in thy hardihood thou shouldst 
make a league with death and sign a covenant with 
hell, yet swift justice shall o ertake thee, and strong 
vengeance strike thee low. In vain dost thou jeer 
and mock, for eternal verities are mightier than thy 
sophistries ; nor can thy smart saying alter the divine 
truth of a single word of this volume of revelation. 
Oh ! why dost thou quarrel with thy best friend and 
ill-treat thy only refuge? There yet remains hope 
even for the scorner -hope in a Saviour s veins; hope 
in the Father s mercy; hope in the Holy Spirit s 
omnipotent agency. 

My friend the philosopher says it may be very well 
for me to urge people to read the Bible ; but he thinks 
there are a great many sciences far more interesting 
and useful than theology. Extremely obliged to you 
for your opinion, sir. What science do you mean ? 
The science of dissecting beetles and arranging butter 
flies? "No," you say, " certainly not." The science, 
then, of arranging stones and telling us of the strata of 
t!i e earth? "No, not exactly that." Which science, 
then ? " Oh, all sciences," say you, "are better than 
the science of the Bible." Ah, sir, that is your opinion; 
and it is because you are far from God that you say so. 
But the science of Jesus Christ is the most excellent 
of sciences. 



KEV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 591 

REV. C. H. SPURGEON S LAST SERMON. 

The closing words of the last sermon Mr. Spurgeon preached to hi* 
congregation in London, are given elsewhere in this volume. The fol 
lowing is the last sermon he ever preached, and has a pathetic interest 
from the fact that with this discourse his lips were sealed. He deliv 
ered two addresses to the friends assembled at Mentone one on the 
Jast evening of 1891 by way of retrospect, and the other on the first 
morning of the new year by way of prospect. He delivered both 
addresses sitting, and the following is his New Year s discourse : 

Passing at this hour over the threshold of the New 
Year, we look forward, and what do we see ? Could 
we procure a telescope which would enable us to see 
to the end of the year, should we be wise to use it ? 
I think not. We know nothing of the events which 
lie before us of life or death to ourselves or to our 
friends, or of changes of position, or of sickness or 
health. What a mercy that these things are hidden 
from us! 

If we foresaw our best blessings, they would lose 
their freshness and sweetness while we impatiently 
waited for them. Anticipation would sour into weari 
ness, and familiarity would breed contempt. If we 
could foresee our troubles, we should worry ourselves 
about them long before they came, and in that fretful- 
ness we should miss the joy of our present blessings. 
Great mercy has hung up a veil between us and the 
future ; and there let it hang. 

Still, all is not concealed. Some things we clearly 
see. I say, "we ; " but I mean those whose eyes have 
been opened, for it is not every one who can see in 
the truest sense. A lady said to Mr. Turner : " I have 
often looked upon that prospect, but I have never seen 



592 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

what you have put into your picture." The great 
artist simply replied, "Don t you wish you could see 
it?" Looking into the future with the eye of faith, 
believers can see much that is hidden from those who 
have no faith. Let me tell you, in a few words, what 
I see as I look into the new year. 

I see a highway cast up by the foreknowledge and 
predestination of God. Nothing of the future is left 
to chance ; nay, not the falling of a sparrow, nor the 
losing of a hair is left to haphazard ; but all the events 
of life are arranged and appointed. Not only is every 
turn in the road marked in the divine map, but every 
stone on the road and every drop of morning dew or 
evening mist that falls upon the grass which grows at 
the roadside. We are not to cross a trackless desert ; 
the Lord has ordained our path in His infallible wis 
dom and infinite love. "The steps of a good man are 
ordered by the Lord ; and he delighteth in his way." 

I see, next, a Guide provided, as our companion 
along the way. To Him we gladly say, "Thou shalt 
guide me with Thy counsel." He is waiting to go with 
us through every portion of the road. " The Lord, He it 
is that doth go before thee ; He will be with thee ; He 
will not fail thee." We are not left to pass through life 
as though it were a lone wilderness, a place of dragons 
and owls ; for Jesus says, " I will not leave you com 
fortless ; I will come to you." 

Though we should lose father and mother, and the 
dearest friends, there is One who wears our nature, 
who will never quit our side. One like unto the Son 



REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 593 

of Man is still treading the lifeways of believing hearts, 
and each true believer cometh up from the wilderness, 
leaning upon the Beloved. We feel the presence of 
the Lord Jesus even now, in this room, where two or 
three are gathered in His name, and I trust we shall 
feel it through all the months of the year, whether it 
be the time of the singing of birds, or the season of 
ripe fruits, or the dark months when the clods are 
frozen into iron. 

In this Riviera we ought the more readily to realize 
our Lord s presence, because the country is s/> like 
"Thy land, O Immanuel !" Here is the land of oil, 
olive and of figs and of the clusters of Eshcol. By 
such a blue sea He walked and up such rocky hills 
He climbed. But whether here or elsewhere, let us 
look for Him to abide with us, to make this year truly 
to be (( a year of our Lord." 

Beside the way and the Guide, I perceive very 
clearly, by the eye of faith, strength for the journey 
provided. Throughout the whole distance of the year, 
we shall find halting-places, where we may rest and 
take refreshment and then go on our way singing " He 
restoreth my soul." We shall have strength enough, 
bnt none to spare ; and that strength will come when 
it is needed and not before. When saints imagine 
that they have strength to spare, they turn sinners, 
and are apt to have their locks shorn by the Philistines. 
The Lord of the way will find the pilgrims with suffi 
cient spending-money for the road ; but He may not 
think it wise to burden them with superfluous funds t 

38 



594 CHOICE SELECTIONS. 

God all-sufficient will not fail those who trust Him. 
When we come to the place for shouldering the bur 
den, we shall reach the place for receiving the strength. 
If it pleases the Lord to multiply our troubles from 
one to ten, He will increase our strength in the same 
proportion. To each believer the Lord still says: 
" As thy days, so shall thy strength be." You do not 
feel that you have the grace to die with ; what of that ? 
You are not yet dying. While you have yet to deal 
with the business and duty of life, look to God for the 
grace which these require ; and when life is ebbing 
out, and your only thought is about landing on the 
eternal shore, then look to God your Saviour for 
dying grace in dying moments. We may expect an 
inrush of Divine strength when human strength is 
failing, and a daily impartation of energy as daily need 
requires. Our lamps shall be trimmed as long as they 
shall need to "burn. Let not our present weakness 
tempt us to limit the Holy One of Israel. There is a 
hospice on every pass over the Alps of life, and a 
bridge across every river of trial which crosses our 
way to the Celestial City. Holy angels are as numer 
ous to guard us as fallen ones to tempt us. We shall 
never have a need for which our gracious Father has 
furnished no supply. 

I see, most plainly, a Power overruling all things 
which occur in the way we tread. I see an alembic 
in which all things are transformed. " All things work 
together for good to them that love God, to them that 
are called according to His purpose/ I see a wonder- 



REV. CHAKLES H. SPURGEON. 595 

working hand which turns for us the swords of disease 
into the ploughshares of correction and the spears of 
trial into the pruning-hooks of discipline. By this 
ilivine skill bitters are made sweet and poisons turned 
to medicines. Nothing shall by any means harm 
you," is a promise too strong for feeble faith; but full 
assurance finds it true. Since God is for us, who can 
be against us ? What a joy to see Jehovah Himself 
as our banner and God Himself with us as our Cap 
tain ! Forward, then, into the New Year, " for there 
shall no evil befall you." 

One thing more, and this is brightness itself; this 
year we trust we shall see God glorified by us and in 
us. If we realize our chief end we reach our highest 
enjoyment. It is the delight of the renewed heart to 
think that God can get glory out of such poor creatures 
as we are. "God is light." We cannot add to His 
brightness ; but we may act as reflectors, which, though 
they have no light of their own, yet, when the sun 
shines upon them, reflect his beams and send them 
where, without such reflection, they might not have 
come. When the Lord shines upon us, we will cast 
that light upon dark places and make those who 
sit in the shadow of death to rejoice in Jesus our Lord. 
We hope that God has been in some measure glorified 
in some of us during the past year, but we trust He will 
be glorified by us far more in the year which now be 
gins. We will be content to glorify God either actively 
or passively. We would have it so happen that, when 
our life s history is written, whoever reads it will not 



396 CHOICE, SELECTIONS. 

think of us as " self-made men," but as the handiwork 
of God, in whom His grace is magnified. Not in us 
may men see the clay, but the Potter s hand. They 
said of one, "He is a fine preacher;" but of another 
they said : "We never notice how he preaches, but we 
feel that God is great." We wish our whole life to be 
a sacrifice ; an altar of incense continually smoking 
with sweet perfume to the Most High. 

Oh, to be borne through the year on the wings of 
praise to God ; to mount from year to year, and raise 
at each ascent a loftier and yet lowlier song unto the 
God of our life ! The vista of a praiseful life will never 
close, but continue throughout eternity. From psalm 
to psalm, from hallelujah to hallelujah, we will ascend 
the hill of the Lord, until we come into the holiest of 
all, where, with veiled faces, we will bow before the Di 
vine Majesty in the bliss of endless adoration. Through 
out this year may the Lord be with you ! Amen. 



TRIBUTES TO REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON, 



From Rev. T. DEWITT TALMAGE, D. IX 

WHEN, twenty years ago, Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon 
and myself met in London, my salutation was: ."1 
read your sermons ; " and his answer was : " Every 
body reads yours." From that day to this, at various 
times and in various ways, we have been in intercom 
munication. But the volume of his earthly life is 
closed, and he has gone up to join the immortals. 
Among the first whom he picks out in heaven will be 
the souls of the Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin 
stamp the men who believe, and believe with all 
their might, souls of a tremendous evangelism. On 
earth we seek out those with whom we are in affinity, 
and so it will be in heaven. What a long battle with 
disease the English preacher had the last seven 
months an agony ! We had hoped he would conquer 
and again take pulpit and pen. But God knows best 

What a contrast between the honor in which his 
name is now held throughout Christendom and the 
caricature and abuse with which he was for many 
years assailed. He had kept these caricatures in a 
scrap book, and was in later years accustomed to show 
them to his friends. The first picture I ever saw of 
him represented him as sliding down the railing of 
his pulpit, in the presence of his audience, to show 

597 



598 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

how easy it was to go to hell, and then as climbing up 
the opposite rail of the pulpit to show how hard it was 
for a man to climb to heaven. The most of the peo 
ple at that time actually believed that he had taken 
those two postures, descending one rail and ascending 
the other; and within a year I have seen a newspaper 
article implying that in early life he had assumed those 
attitudes. 

Within a week the old story falsely ascribed to Mr. 
Beecher was ascribed to Mr. Spurgeon that expres 
sion, on entering the pulpit, about a hot night, with a 
profane expletive. These old lies are passed on from 
age to age, now tacked on to one man and now tacked 
on to another. A while after I had moved to Brooklyn, 
while walking along Schermerhorn street with Mr. 
Beecher, he said : " Mr. Talmage, I am very glad you 
have come to Brooklyn. The misrepresentations and 
falsehoods told about me will now be divided up, and 
you will take half as your share. 

But Mr. Spurgeon outlived his critics, and in the 
long run every man comes to be taken for what he is 
worth, and you can t puff him up and you can t keep 
him down. And, as I told Mr. Martin FarquharTup- 
per when he was last in this country and disposed to ( 
complain of some things said and written in regard to 
him : " Why, we in America never think much of a 
man until we have rubbed him down with a crash 
towel." 



TRIBUTES. 599 

From Rev. WAYLAND HOYT, I>.D, 

Pastor of First Baptist Church, Minneapolis. 

Mr. Spurgeon s chief characteristic was a firm reli- 
ince upon God, a faith that kept its eye steady and 
saw a bright outcome to the darkest experiences. He 
lived upon heavenly bounty, and was so fully con- 
vinced that God would fulfil his promises that he 
never gave way to despondency. 

Once when I asked him how he expected to accomplish 
a great undertaking he had in hand, he replied, "The 
Lord has never failed me yet, and why should I not 
trust him now?" This consciousness that God was 
with him and speaking through him made him the bold 
reformer, the earnest preacher, the grand organizer 
and noble man that he was. 

From HENRY VAN DYKE, D. D. 

It is not possible to make a true estimate at the 
present moment of the work of the Rev. Charles H. 
Spurgeon. It is too near to us ; we lack perspective. 
It is too immense ; we are so overwhelmed by the 
quantity of it that we are not in a position to put a 
right value upon its quality. One thing we Americans 
are likely to forget, and that is its distinct character 
as a work in and for the city of London. It was 
adapted in every detail to the place in which it was 
performed ; there was a great natural genius shown 
in this adaptation ; it fitted London as a glove fits the 
hand, and this is one reason why it was so enormously 
useful. 

I remember the late Canon Liddon speaking to me 



600 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

about this some years ago in the course ot a long 
walk through the city. He counted Mr. Spurgeon s 
Tabernacle among the very greatest religious influ 
ences of the metropolis, because it drew together such 
vast multitudes under the power of common worship. 
It was an expression of human fellowship in aspiration 
and praise. I think the future will increase our sense 
of the value of his work in this aspect. We shall also 
come to think more and more highly of the close con 
nection which he made, by his example, between 
spiritual faith and practical benevolence. The Or 
phanage is the best of his sermons. 

From Rev. JOHN KNOX ALLEN. 

In the death of Mr. Spurgeon there passes away 
one who was probably the greatest preacher of the 
century, perhaps of any century. Mr. Beecher is 
often spoken of in connection with him, but there is a 
difference. Mr. Beecher was a great orator; he had 
a vivid and powerful imagination, and as a prose poet, 
as an intellectual genius in the closer meaning of that 
term, he probably has had no peer in the pulpit in 
any age. But as a herald of the simple gospel, as 
before all things a preacher, no one can compare with 
Mr. Spurgeon. 

And in this way he equally deserves the name of 
genius. It is a great word to apply to any one, but 
the man who did such great tilings and did them so 
easily, who could preach a sermon a day for long 
periods of time, and a sermon too which would be 
listened to by multitudes ; whose lines went out through 



TRIBUTES, 601 

all the earth, and whose words to the end of the world ; 
the man who could set in motion so many agencies for 
doing good and keep them going, was an elect man 
did not merely achieve greatness, but was born great. 
His death is a loss to the church throughout the world, 
and were it not that the power which gave him to the 
world can easily give something more and better, it 
would be a loss that is irreparable. 

From Rev. W. C. BITTING, D. D. 

It is too soon to make any final estimate of the man 
and minister, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The world 
cannot pause in its grief to weigh. When the sense 
of loss has become less keen, then the various stand 
ards of judgment may be applied. 

For the masses of Christians his sermons had in 
comparable interest. They did not appeal so strongly 
to the cultured. He meant it so, perhaps. He dared 
to judge and condemn what he thought were doctrinal 
errors in his brethren, and yet his censures were not 
of persons, but beliefs. He combined a remarkable 
tenacity of his own opinions with affection for those 
who differed most widely from him. This was true 
tolerance. 

I will not soon forget the sermon he preached on 
his fifty-third birthday anniversary, just two days be 
fore the Queen s Jubilee. "Let the children of Zion 
rejoice in their King." The soul of the man shone in 
it. He poured out himself in the opening services, 
and the discours^ seemed rather like a revelation of 
his own gladness than an exhortation to 6,000 auditors. 



602 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

The man of faith, prayer, loyalty to Christ, joy, hope, 
was at his best. 

He was like Jacob in prayer, a veritable Israel ; 
like Abraham in faith ; like Job in his suffering ; now 
like John the Baptist, and now like John the Apostle 
in his preaching ; as steady as Micaiah before Ahab 
and Zedekiah in rebuking those whom he believed to 
be false prophets ; like David in his superb religious 
emotions ; like Paul in his fidelity to his master; and 
like Jesus in humility and consecration. He was yet 
a man and imperfect, but less so than many of his 
detractors, who indeed are really few. 

It will be long before the world knows another such. 
It takes centuries to produce one like him. The 
church universal has had a loss. She mourns. Mil- 
lion-s of eyes moistened as they read of his death. To 
thousands of ears no voice will ever sound so dear as 
his. All over the world hands that have grasped his 
have taken a new might to work for the Christ whom 
he exalted while humbling himself. A true cardinal, 
a prince of the church ; a name greater than all titles ; 
a plain man more superb in unadorned manhood than 
if belettered by the world ; a childlike Christian 
heaven s honors rested on him here. They are hi* 
everlasting joy now. 

From WILLIAM T. SABINE, D. D. 

Pastor of the First Reformed Episcopal Church, New York. 

You ask a brief estimate of Mr. Spurgeon s life and 
work. Volumes would not do them justice. The 
world is his debtor. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was 



TRIBUTES. 60S 

called a Baptist, but he was one of those men too 
great to be claimed by any denomination. Millions 
of believers of every name were edified by his words, 
and quickened by the example of his wonderful life. 

Among his many admirable traits, and at the root 
of them, lay his clear apprehension of divine truth, 
his firm grasp of it, inflexible loyalty to it, and inces 
sant proclamation of it. He was a man of a whole 
Bible. From Genesis to Revelation it was to him 
" the true Word of the true God." 

If he was conspicuous for anything, he was con 
spicuous for his unswerving allegiance to " the Word." 
His theology was as broad and as narrow as the Bible. 
With him a " thus saith the Lord " settled everything. 

With a warm heart and a very clear head, a very 
busy hand and a supreme devotion to the Master he 
served, men may call him narrow if they please. God 
has set the seal of his divine approval, passing con 
tradiction, on the work of the London Tabernacle 
pastor, and called him to his reward. What a reward ! 

From Rev. JOHN JL. SCUDDER, 

Pastor of the First Congregational Church, Jersey City, New Jersey. 

When as a boy I entered Mr. Spurgeon s great. 
Tabernacle, and saw that vast concourse of people, l] 
thought the famous preacher the most wonderful man 
living ; and he was at that time. Although in this day 
he would be regarded as somewhat old-fashioned in 
his theology and narrow in his views, yet we must 
acknowledge him to be the most popular English 



BET. CHARLES H. SPURGEON". 

preacher of this century. His speech was simple, hi* 
manner direct, his earnestness unfeigned, and his mag 
netism overwhelming. He was an ideal man for the 
middle classes, and by them he was universally beloved. 
His church was one of the great sights of London, and 
was visited by travelers, especially on Sunday, as one 
of the principal points of interest. His work can be 
>summed up in the words, he loved Christ with all his 
heart, and he preached Christ with all his might. He 
kept the Cross clearly in sight, he pointed men to it, 
while he himself took a humble position behind it 

From CHARLES Lu THOMPSON, D.D., 

Pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York. 

By general consent, the death of Mr. Spurgeon 
removes from earth one of the greatest preachers of 
all the ages. Whether we understand the secret of 
his power or not, the fact is past all question. If 
called upon to group the chief elements of his pulpit 
greatness, I would say a strong mind, with all its forces 
at instant command, a marvelous knowledge of human 
nature, a heart-deep knowledge of the Bible, a spirit 
absolutely consecrated to Christ and the soub of men, 
and for the utterance o-f the Gospel such a voice as 
God has rarely given to mortal man. His greatness 
as a preacher has somewhat obscured another side of 
his greatness which should not be forgotten. He had 
a genius for organizing. It is perhaps the rarest of 
all kinds of talent. By it he gave permanence to his 
work. The wonderful voice is silent, but much of his 
work organized in Christian institutions will go on. 



TRIBUTES. 605 

On the whole I believe more elements of religious 
power were combined in that man than in any preacher 
of the sons of men. A vigorous and endlessly fertile 
brain, a great heart always breaking for the salvation 
of men, an executive hand to fasten his work, and a 
character so strong and Christ-like it illuminated every 
thing he did. Will we ever see his like again ? 

Good-night, sweet prince, 

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. 

From Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT, D.D., 

In "The Christian Union." 

As a preacher, Mr. Spurgeon possessed the quali 
ties most essential to success in the pulpit, and is well 
worth the careful study of all preachers. He was not 
what men call an orator. Whether from deliberate 
choice, like Paul, or following the instincts of his nature 
we know not, but he apparently deliberately laid aside 
all ambition to be eloquent an ambition which has 
often proved destructive to pulpit power. He was one 
of the earliest to adopt that conversational and collo 
quial style of address which is more and more sup 
planting the former rhetorical style. If he sometimes 
fell below the dignity of public discourse, he never was 
guilty of rant. 

As a student he lived in the literature of the seven 
teenth century, and derived from his study of it a 
singularly pure English. This English he used as the 
vehicle of convictions always sincerely entertained and 
earnestly presented. So, though he was sometimes 
conventional, he was never pretentious, and never 



606 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

marred his discourses by that fatal but common fault 
of religious discourse, cant. He was a great student 
of the Bible, and from it drew both the substance and 
the form of his discourses. He did not always under 
stand the Bible as we do, but he always presented 
what he understood to be Bible teaching. 

What is more important, from it he fed a nature 
which grew in spirituality as he grew in years. Even 
in so purely ethical a book as " John Ploughman s 
Talks," underneath a practical wisdom as sententious 
as that of Poor Richard himself, gleams and glows a 
light of spiritual life which Benjamin Franklin wholly 
lacked, or at least never expressed. The divisions of 
his sermons were sometimes ingenious rather than 
philosophical, sometimes artificial rather than truly 
artistic. His sometimes archaic method would not fit 
well in the hands of an imitator. But this ingenuity 
became a second nature in one who drew his literary 
as well as his theological inspiration so largely from 
an artificial age ; hence his use of it was not truly arti 
ficial. Moreover, all criticism of the form, whether of 
thought or of words, was disarmed by the genuineness 
of the life which filled and overflowed his words. That 
life was shown as notably in generous deeds and self- 
^sacrificing service as in pulpit utterances ; he was a 
great preacher because he was first of all a true man. 
His deeds and his words harmonized ; he lived as he 

preached. 

From THE CHRISTIAN AT WORK. 

With the death of Charles Haddon Spurgeon a vast 



TRIBUTES. 607 

spiritual force has gone out not only in England but 
in the world. As St. Bcuve said of Victor Cousin, he 
was not so much a person as a mighty, ever expand^ 
ing, pervasive force ! He is not indeed as some of 
his fulsome admirers maintain, to be ranked with 
Martin Luther, for he was very different in character 
from the unique German Reformer, and moreover had 
a far different sort of a battle to fight. He deserves 
rather to be compared with George Whitefield and 
John Wesley, and he was more like the latter than the 
former, since he was a grand organizer as well as 
preacher. 

His voice was wonderful. It swept in distinct, flex 
ible, sweet, strong tones, molded into faultless articula 
tion through the great tabernacle, reaching easily and 
apparently without the slightest effort six thousand 
hearers, and riveting their entire attention from the 
first sentence. There was an indefinable quality in 
his voice, as is the case with all great orators, that 
made it captivating and thrilling. Perhaps it was his 
tremendous and irresistible personality that spoke 
through it. Whatever it was it would conquer a vast 
multitude in an instant. This made him a peerless 
speaker. 

To crown all, Mr. Spurgeon was a singularly un 
selfish and noble man in his personal character. He 
seemed not to know what worldliness was. His mode 
of life was frugal and unostentatious. Nor did he 
ever evince the Jightest covetousness. Generous to 
a fault, he could not be induced to keep the fortunes 



608 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

laid freely at his feet At his silver wedding his friends 
gave him $30,000 ; at his 5oth year his congregation 
gave him $25,000 ; but both of these large sums were 
soon distributed by him to his various mission works. 
Such disinterested love illustrates the power of the 
Gospel. It will be long before this sinful world of 
ours will see his like again. 

From THE NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE. 

No preacher of modern times has enjoyed a wider 
publicity than the late Charles H. Spurgeon. The 
many volumes of his sermons and writings have gone 
out into all the world ; and could all that has been 
written about him be collected, L would form a library 
of no mean size. Yet there are many incidents untold 
and tr/.its still undescribed. Every week, one, and 
sometrnes three sermons were printed and distributed 
all over the civilized world by the regular issue from 
Passmore & Alabaster s printing office in Paternoster 
Row, London. Monday morning was the only time 
he took for rest. He was speaking on Monday even- 
ing. If he went to preach elsewhere it must be a fresh 
sermon. All were reported and printed. On Thurs 
day evening at the Metropolitan Tabernacle it was the 
same. On Friday afternoon he lectured to the stu 
dents, and all through the week went on his continual 
and laborious authorship. Such things could only be 
possible to a man to whom, as he himself once inci 
dentally and graphically described it, " sermons came 
floating in the air, so that he caught them on the wing 



TRIBUTES. 609 

and pat them away in various corners of his brain to 
be used as occasion required/ 

His mode of preparation, which was scarcely ever 
begun for Sunday morning until Saturday evening, 
while the sermon for Sunday night was prepared on 
Sunday afternoon, was to sit down and think over 
some of the topics which had " come to him," and 
then to gather round hftn all the books which bore 
upon those topics, and see which, to use his own ex 
pression, " laid hold of him the most tightly." Here 
are his own words upon the matter as spoken to the 
writer : 

" I am frequently surrounded by a little host of 
texts, each clamoring for acceptance and saying, Me, 
me, preach from me, so that I am often till ten 
o clock before I make my final selection. 

A Midnight Sermon. 

" On one memorable occasion, however, all failed 
me. It was one of the strangest experiences I have 
known. Ten, eleven, twelve o clock came and still I 
had no topic for the following Sunday morning. At 
last my wife came into the room, laid her hand on my 
shoulder, and said, Had you not better go to bed ? 
Pry what a few hours sleep will do/ 1 took her 
advice and retired. About eight o clock I sprang 
from the bed under the somewhat unpleasant con 
sciousness of still being without a topic. On leaving 
the room she asked me where I was going. I replied, 
of course, into the study. 

" Noticing an amused smile upon her face, I asked 

39 



610 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

her the cause. You will find out when you get there/ 
was the reply. Going up to the table, what was my 
astonishment to find a text jotted down, a lot of notes 
scattered about in my own handwriting, of which I had 
no recollection whatever, and to feel a train of thought 
come back to me with the notes, which at once supplied 
me with a sermon. 

" A glimmering consciousness of the truth dawned 
upon me, but I hastened to her for an explanation. 
About two o clock this morning, she said, you got 
up and went down to your study and I followed you. 
You were apparently fast asleep. You seated your 
self in your chair, gathered paper and pen, and began 
to write. I feared to disturb you, so I sat and waited. 
You thought and wrote for about one hour, then rose 
deliberately from your chair and went upstairs to bed 
again, and slept till you rose just now. I preached 
that sermon and it was certainly not inferior to my 
usual productions. 

His Style of Oratory. 

Spurgeon s style of oratory was simple, forcible and 
above everything natural. In his younger days he. 
was extremely dramatic, so much so as to give rise to 
,many absurd stories, which he has taken the trouble 
personally to deny and disprove. One was the well- 
known anecdote about his showing how sinners weni 
to hejl by sliding down the banisters of his pulpit, 
Without these absurd additions, however, his delivery 
was sufficiently histrionic and descriptive in ictL>n to 



TRIBUTES. 611 

make this no inconsiderable element in his remark 
able success. 

Preaching on one occasion from the subject of "Aaron 
staying the plague in the camp by standing between 
the living and the dead," he retired to the back of the 
large platform, almost out of sight of the audience, 
and then suddenly approaching, swinging an imaginary 
censer, he depicted the terrible earnestness of the 
High Priest with face and figure and language, so as 
almost to overwhelm the throng gathered in the vast 
building. 

The Old War-horse. 

In these latter days his corpulence necessitated a 
more formal mode of delivery. But, like an old war- 
horse, he could not altogether forget the habits of the 
past. Under the inspiration of the moment he would 
sometimes start off as in days of yore, only to find that 
the time for such things had gone by, and rheumatic 
gout would bring him up "all standing," as a sailor 
would phrase it. 

It is needless to say that such a speaker was not 
much encumbered with notes in the pulpit. The back 
of an old envelope, with the ragged edges trimmed 
off, bearing about six lines of writing, would some- 
times remain as a memento of a discourse which had 
electrified six thousand people, and which on the 
following morning would issue from the press to the 
four corners of the world, but more frequently he 
would go and leave " not a trace behind." 



c )12 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

A Marvelous Voice. 

One of the great secrets of Spurgeon s power was 
his marvelous voice. He has been heard distinctly at 
the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, by twenty-three thou 
sand people, and in the Metropolitan Tabernacle he 
:ou!d whisper so as to be heard all over the building. 
Another factor in his influence was his extreme 
naturalness. He seemed a man absolutely without 
disguise of any kind whatever, and the more fre 
quently you came in contact with him the more was 
this impression borne in upon you. 

Upon the public platform, his eyes would flash at 
some story of private or public wrong-doing ; he would 
lean forward, oblivious of everybody, with his soul in 
hi* face, listening to the story, and on its conclusion 
would start up, and rushing forward would pour forth 
for some ten minutes or quarter of an hour a stream 
of indignant denunciation which not infrequently 
brought many of his audience to their feet, wild with 
enthusiastic endorsement of his sentiments. This 
was not the mere trick of an orator. It was the 
nature of the man. Over a tale of sorrow he would 
weep so as to be unable to speak ; over a good joke 
he would laugh so as to be heard above all who were 
sitting with him on the platform. In preaching he 
was the same. You could not resist the conviction 
that, whoever in the audience doubted the truth of 
what he was saying, he himself believed it, every 
word. The nearer you got to him, the more you felt 
this. 



TRIBUTES. 613 

A Hater of Shams. 

He had a hatred of shams of all kinds. He fre 
quently said that nothing pleased him more than to 
put his foot through a false or needless code of 
etiquette. For one of the students in his college to 
be in any way marked with the characteristics of the 
:t clerical masher " was almost immediately fatal to the 
delinquent. A hard hand and a threadbare coat, a& 
companied by honesty and hard work on the part of 
the owner, were unfailing passports to his regard and 
esteem, and always to his help, if help were needed ; 
but " needless spectacles," stiff, white cravat, black 
walking cane, formal broadcloth, clerical assumption, 
and above all a frequent Sunday-school miss seen on 
the man s left arm, first drew forth the most unsparing 
sarcasm, and, if this failed, dismissal. 

It was this characteristic of downright sincerity and 
thoroughness which made Spurgeon so universally 
loved and esteemed. Throughout the six millions of 
London his name is honored by all sorts and con 
ditions of men, from cabmen to Cabinet Ministers. 
He numbered on the list of his personal friends all the 
best-known names of the British Liberal platform. 
Royal Hearers. 

Royalty visited the Tabernacle. Mr. Gladstone 
dined with him ; and a cabby, if he recognized him, 
would frequently refuse his fare, considering it an 
honor to have had him in his cab. No death, since the 
death of Chafes Dickens, will be more widely and 
truly mourned in England. Persons opposed to him 



614 REV, CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

in politics claimed his friendship, those differing from 
him in doctrine sent most generous contributions to 
his work, and he has letters from many of the crowned 
heads of Europe expressing thanks for the benefit de 
rived from his sermons. 

On one occasion he gave the substance of a letter 
he had just received from a royal personage on the 
Continent, attributing conversion to Christianity 
through reading his printed works and sermons, and 
only asking that in the announcement the name might 
be suppressed for political reasons. 

Not a Handsome Man. 

In height Spurgeon was about five feet six inches, 
and although never a handsome man in the conventional 
use of the term, he was in his youth possessed of that 
broad, powerful frame which is always attractive in a 
man from its indication of superior physical strength. 
The face, like the figure, was remarkable for strength 
rather than beauty of outline ; but when lit up by the 
mind was truly magnificent in its intensely spiritual 
expression. 

In make and mental characteristics he bore no 
slight resemblance to the first Napoleon. There was 
the same pale, powerful face, the same physical con 
formation, the same inflexible determination of pur 
pose, and the same magnetic power over the hearts 
and minds of others. It may be added that there was 
in later years the same increasing corpulency also. 
Once let Spurgeon s mind be made up that a certain 
thing was right, then the more opposition he n 



TRIBUTES. 615 

Countered, the more determined he became to do just 
that thing. And he never once failed in anything he 
undertook. The first Napoleon was styled "The 
Little Corporal. Spurgeon by his students and 
deacons was called " The Governor." The statement 
* The Governor is coming " made all stand at( 
w attention." 

His appearance toward the close of his life, and 
even within ten or fifteen years of that period, was 
certainly anything but graceful. Each year he grew 
fatter. Incessant work and constant suffering dis 
torted his features almost out^of all semblance to their 
early comeliness. Nothing but utter helplessness 
could keep him away from the fulfilment of an en 
gagement. He would frequently struggle out of bed 
and come to a large meeting of his students, leaning 
upon his stick, one eye closed entirely, face and limbs 
swollen so as to make him almost unrecognizable, de 
liver a sermon or a lecture of an hour s duration with 
all his accustomed fire and force, and then go home 
to lie utterly prostrated and almost at the point of 
death for two or three days, until the doctors brought 
him around again. 

One of His Stories. 

A visitor to the Pastor s College, who dropped in 
casually to look around, might have come across a 
stout, burly individual in a long frock overcoat, a felt 
hat of the familiar American pattern punched in at the 
crown, with a ^tout stick over his shoulder, or, if occa 
sion required, used to limp with, and would probably 



616 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

take him for some English squire who had forgotten 
his top boots, or for a well-to-do farmer come up like 
himself to look around the place. That was Spurgeon. 
He never wore a clerical coat or hat, in the pulpit or 
out of it, abhorred the title of reverend, and in all 
things aimed to be simply a man among men. A 
brother stick to the one he usually carried was laugh 
Ingly cherished by him at home, about which he de 
lighted to tell the following story : 

" It is sometimes rather difficult to get along with 
deacons. Resist the devil and he will flee from you, 
resist a deacon and he will fly at you. When I first 
began to preach at New Park street, the immense 
crowds made the heat so oppressive that I could 
scarcely preach, afld many women were carried out 
fainting. I asked that the windows be opened. The 
deacons, in the exercise of their high authority, objected- 
Next Sunday evening I ordered a man to open them 
before the commencement of service. They were 
ordered to be closed again. The following Sunday 
morning many of those windows were found mysteri 
ously broken with*wondrous regularity all around the 
building. Great was the indignation and searching 
the investigation into this act of vandalism. It was 
never found out, though possibly suspected, as I made 
no great secret of my visit to the building, but thrs old 
stick was responsible for it. Possibly thinking that 
the same thing might occur again, the windows 
left in future under my control." 



TRIBUTES. 617 

Laughed at When on Horseback. 

It was while he lived at Clapham, before his removal 
to his last residence at Beulah Hill, Norwich, that Mr. 
Spurgeon was recommended to try horseback riding 
as a remedy for his excessive corpulency. Fancy a 
man five feet six inches tall and fifty-two inches round, 
on horseback for the first time. It was calculated tc 
attract attention. And it did. His approach to the 
gates was eagerly looked for by a large crowd of small 
boys, whose remarks were humorous, but not particu 
larly flattering to his horsemanship. One well-wisher 
suggested that he should " get inside." The chorus 
of " Here he comes," " Here he comes/ increased 
morning by morning until the procession became too 
triumphant even for Spurgeon s philosophy, and he 
relinquished equestrianism for his accustomed mode of 
progression. 

The pastor of the Tabernacle was a great lover of 
a good " weed." Frequently he would " light up " on 
his way home from preaching, if he happened to be in 
a closed carriage. His many friends and admirers 
consequently kept him well supplied with the choicest 
brands, and he received boxes of cigars continually 
from all parts where tobacco is grown in the greatest 
perfection. 

His readiness and tact under the most trying- cir 
cumstances never failed him. At the commencement 
of his career, when the opposition to his ministry was 
at its highest, r.ll kinds of annoyances were poured 
upon him, which he always contrived to sei/e instantly 



618 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

and turn to good account. Sparrows were taken to 
the building at night and let loose, so as to fly at the 
gas and create a panic. He would always quote 
some passage of Scripture in his half-humorous fash 
ion, and say a few words about it which not only at 
once stopped all tumult, but delighted and interested 
his hearers. 

His Ready Wit and Resources. 

On one occasion he had been preaching about five 
minutes, when suddenly the gas went out and 10,000 
people were plunged in total darkness. Some mis 
creant had got to the meter, and the result might have 
been then what soon afterward really happened, a panic 
with great loss of life and limb. A few calm, reassur 
ing words issued from his lips, and then, without a 
moment s hesitation, he announced a fresh text "I 
am the light of the world ; he that believeth in me 
shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of 
life." He spoke from the words, with a continual 
application of the surrounding circumstances to them, 
and when the gas was at length lighted, no preacher 
could have desired a more attentive, absorbed audi 
ence. Then, casting aside his original text altogether, 
he spoke from the words, " Light is good," and sc. 
continued to the end of the service. 

The anecdotes he could tell of the many circum 
stances in which this readiness had been absolutely 
necessary to him would fill a large volume. He was 
constantly coming in contact with religious cranks. 
So frequently was this the case that at the Tabernacle 



TRIBUTES. 619 

he was never alone. Every visitor passed under the 
searching gaze of deacons and personal friends before 
being admitted to his presence. Yet on one occasion 
it was only his great tact which saved his life. A 
man applied for conversation with him in the customary 
religious terms, and was permitted to enter the room c 
In his usual affectionate manner Spurgeon placed a 
chair for him right opposite himself and began a con^ 
versation. And then, literally as well as figuratively, 
the " murder was out." The man had been commis 
sioned by God to come and tell him that his work was 
now done, and that he was the appointed minister 
who was to have the honor of sending him to his 
reward. Only by the exercise of care and tact did 
the great preacher escape the danger and get the 
man secured. Far more sensational and startling 
incidents than this could be related, for nothing pro 
duces more fanatics, enthusiasts and madmen than 
religious mania, and at the time London was shaken 
to its centre by the " hell-fire preacher," all the religious 
cranks in England literally besieged him. 

From Rev. J. M. BUCKLEY, D. D., 

In The Christian Advocate. 

The closing words of his last sermon were : " My 
time is ended, although I had much more to say. I 
can only pray the Lord to give you to believe in him. 
If I should never again have the pleasure of speaking 
for my Lord upon the face of this earth, I should like 
to deliver, as my last confession of faith, this testi 
mony That nothing but faith can save this nineteenth 



620 REV. CHARLES H a SPURGEON. 

century ; nothing but faith can save England ; nothing 
but faith can save the present unbelieving church; 
nothing but firm faith in the grand old doctrines of 
grace and in the ever-living and unchanging God can 
bring back to the church again a full tide of pros 
perity, and make her to be the deliverer of the nations 
r or Christ ; nothing but faith in the Lord Jesus can 
save you or me. The Lord give you, my brothers, to 
believe to the utmost degree for his name s sake ! 
Amen." The words seem to have been prophetic. 

An Unrivalled Voice. 

The elements of Mr. Spurgeon s character as a 
preacher were in most respects those common to good 
speakers, but were possessed by him in an extraor 
dinary degree. His voice had no equal for purposes 
of preaching to an immense congregation. Early in 
his London career, when he first preached on a special 
occasion in the Crystal Palace to an audience of more 
than twenty thousand persons, Mrs. Spurgeon, who 
was present, became almost hysterical with fear lest 
he should not succeed in controlling them. He per 
ceived her anxiety and tears, and sent a messenger to 
ask her to please sit where he could not see her, being 
afraid that she would sympathetically affect him. 
When he arose and began to speak his voice reached 
the most distant hearer, and the great multitude were 
quiet and absorbed until he finished. No other man 
known to the present generation could have done 
this ; only the traditions of Whitefield s wonderful 
voice can be compared to Spurgeon- s. 



TRIBUTES. 621 

His personal appearance was unprepossessing, 
unless the expression of the eyes was caught, or the 
face was lighted by a smile. A more homely man, in 
the ordinary meaning of the term, is seldom seen : 
irregular and coarse features, small, rather sunken 
eyes, protruding chin, bushy hair. 

In his early days he was opposed and caricatured, 
but this did not embitter his spirit ; nor did the almost 
idolatry of the worshippers at the Tabernacle make 
him unduly vain, for he always gave to God the glory 
for all his work. No one could hear him pray of late 
yean without feeling that he relied humbly upon 
God. 

Last Services over the Remains of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon. 

Mr. Spurgeon s death, as before stated, occurred at 
Mentone, France. The remains were immediately 
removed to London, and on Monday, February 8th, 
1892, were deposited in the Metropolitan Tabernacle. 

Early in the morning immense crowds were waiting 
for the doors to be opened, in order to obtain a last look 
of the illustrious dead. It became impossible to num 
ber the vast throng which passed by the casket, but it 
was estimated that in the first three hours more than 
thirteen thousand persons looked for the last time 
upon the face of the dead minister. 

The last memorial service over the remains was 
held on Wednesday evening, February loth. The 
Metropolitan Tabernacle was crowded, and the ser 
vices, which were not concluded until after midnight, 
were very solemn and impressive. 



22 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

The next morning a majority of the shops in the 
vicinity of the Tabernacle were closed, as a mark of 
respect to the dead minister, and the buildings very 
generally bore mourning emblems. The funeral ser 
vices opened at 1 1 o clock. The members of Mr. 
Spurgeon s family, the Mayor of Croydon, several 
nembers of the House of Commons, Lady Burdett- 
Coutts and deputations from sixty religious bodies 
were among those present. 

Glowing- Tribute. 

After the singing of the last hymn that Mr. Spur- 
geon had announced before he was taken sick, " The 
sands of time are sinking," the Rev. Dr. Pierson, 
the American minister who filled Mr. Spurgeon s 
pulpit during the latter s illness, made a most elo 
quent address. He dwelt at length upon Mr. Spur 
geon s powerful influence. A cedar of Lebanon had 
fallen, he said, and the crash of its downfall had 
shocked the whole land. No such vast vacancy had 
been felt in the Church for a century. 

Dr. Pierson concluded his remarks by drawing par 
allels between the work done by Mr. Spurgeon and 
that performed by John Wesley. After the offering 
of prayers and the singing of hymns, Dr. Pierson pro 
nounced the benediction. 

The olive-wood coffin containing the remains wag 
then taken from the catafalque, upon which it had 
rested since Monday night, and conveyed to the hearse 
in waiting at the main entrance of the tabernacle. As 
it was borne down the aisle the entire congregation 



TRIBUTES. 623 

arose and joined in singing the hymn, " There is no 
night in Homeland." 

Enormous Procession. 

After the mourners had entered carriages, the 
funeral procession started for Norwood Cemetery, 
where the remains will be interred. There was an 
enormous number of coaches in the procession, and 
the entire route from the tabernacle to the cemetery 
was lined by an immense concourse of people. 

Three mounted policemen preceded the hearse. 
On the coffin there lay an open Bible. The sides of 
the hearse bore the text : " I have fought a good fight, 
I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." As 
the cortege moved slowly along the spectators re 
moved their hats and bowed their heads. The bells 
of St. Mary s and St. Mark s Churches tolled solemnly 
as the funeral procession passed. The flags displayed 
along the route followed by the procession were all 
at half mast. 

Places of business between Kensington and Clap- 
ham were closed, and many of the houses had their 
blinds drawn. The children from the Stockwell Or 
phanage occupied a raised platform that had been 
erected for their use at a point where a good view of 
the procession could be had. This platform was 
draped with black crape and other mourning emblems, 

A large number of people took advantage of the 
deep feeling created by the noted divine s death, and 
they did a brisk trade in selling- Mr. Spurgeon s por 
traits, biographies and mourning rosettes. 



624 REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON. 

Impressive Scene at the Cemetery. 

There was an immense crowd in Norwood Ceme 
tery awaiting the arrival of the funeral procession. 
When the hearse entered the cemetery all bared their 
heads. The coffin was taken from the hearse and 
borne reverently to the vault, in which it was depos 
ited. This vault will be surmounted by a bronze 
statue of Mr. Spurgeon, and upon it will be placed 
;bas-reliefs symbolic of the dead minister s benevolent 
works. 

The only persons who were allowed in the cemetery 
were those who were furnished with tickets. The 
crowd began to assemble early in the morning, and 
long before the time set for the cortege to arrive an 
enormous throng was stationed about the vault and 
in its vicinity. 

The Rev. Archibald G. Brown, pastor of the East 
London Tabernacle, delivered the funeral oration at 
the cemetery. Rev. Dr. Pierson then offered a prayer, 
the language of which was touchingly eloquent. 

The Rt. Rev. Randall Thomas Davidson, Bishop 
of Rochester, then pronounced the benediction. The 
services were very impressive, and many of the peo 
ple who listened to them were moved to tears* 

After the religious cerenronies had been concluded 
the people present formed in line and slowly filed be 
fore the open vault and took their last look upon the 
coffin of the man whose loss is mourned by thousands 
in all parts of the world. 



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6495 Life and works of 

S7A54 Charles H. Spurgeon being 

a graphic account of the 
greatest preacher of modern 
times 



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