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Micah's Message for Today
August 22, 1889
by C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)
"Walk humbly with thy God." Micah 6:8 .
This is the essence of the law, the spiritual side of it; its ten commandments are an enlargement of this verse. The law is spiritual, and touches the thoughts, the intents, the emotions, the words, the actions; but specially God demands the heart. Now it is our great joy that what the law requires the gospel gives. "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." In him we meet the requirements of the law, first, by what he has done for us; and next, by what he works in us. He conforms us to the law of God. He makes us, by his Spirit, not for our righteousness, but for his glory, to render to the law the obedience which we could not present of ourselves. We are weak through the flesh, but when Christ strengthens us, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Only through faith in Christ does a man learn to do righteously, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God; and only by the power of the Holy Spirit sanctifying us to that end do we fulfil these three divine requirements. These we fulfil perfectly in our desire; we would be holy as God is holy, if we could live as our heart aspires to live, we would always do righteously, we would always love mercy; and we would always walk humbly with God. This the Holy Spirit daily aids us to do by working in us to will and to do of God's good pleasure; and the day will come, and we are pining for it, when, being entirely free from this hampering body, we shall serve him day and night in his temple, and shall render to him an absolutely perfect obedience, for "they are without fault before the throne of God."
To-night I shall have a task quite sufficient if I dwell only upon the third requirement, "Walk humbly with thy God," asking first, What is the nature of this humility? and secondly, Wherein does this humilty show itself?
I. First, WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS HUMILITY? The text is very full of teaching in that respect.
And, first, this humility belongs to the highest form of character. Observe what precedes our text, "to do justly, and to love mercy." Suppose a man has done that, suppose that in both these things he has come up to the divine standard, what then? Why, then he must walk humbly with God. If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, and have fellowship with him, still we shall need to walk before God very humbly, ever looking to the blood, for even then the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth and continues to cleanse us from all sin. If we have done both these things, we shall still have to say that we are unprofitable servants, and we must walk humbly with God. We have not reached that consummation yet, always doing justly, and loving mercy, though we are approximating to it by Christ's gracious help; but if we did attain to the ideal that is set before us, and every act was right towards man, and more, every act was delightfully saturated with a love to our neighbour as strong as our love to ourselves, even then there would come in this precept, "Walk humbly with thy God."
Dear friends, if ever you should think that you have reached the highest point of Christian grace, I almost hope that you never will think so, but suppose that you should ever think so, do not, I pray you, say anything that verges upon boasting, or exhibit any kind of spirit that looks like glorying in your own attainments; but walk humbly with your God. I do believe that the more grace a man has the more he feels his deficiency of grace. All the people that I have ever thought might have been called perfect before God, have been notable for a denial of anything of the sort; they have always disclaimed anything like perfection, they have always lain low before God, and if one has been constrained to admire them, they have blushed at his admiration. If they have thought that they were at all the objects of reverence among their fellow-Christians, I have noticed how zealously they have put that aside with self-depreciatory remarks, telling us that we did not know all, or we should not think so of them; and therein I do admire them yet more. The praise that they put from them returns to them with interest. Oh, let us be of that mind! The best of men are but men at the best, and the brightest saints are still sinners, for whom there is still a fountain open, but not opened, mark you, in Sodom and Gomorrah, but the fountain is opened for the house of David, and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that even they may still continue, with all their lofty privileges, to wash therein, and to be clean. This is the kind of humility, then, which is consistent with the highest moral and spiritual character, nay, it is the very clothing of such a character, as Peter puts it, "Be clothed with humility," as if, after we had put on the whole armour of God, we put this over all to cover it all up. We do not want the helmet to glitter in the sun, nor the greaves of brass upon the knees to shine before men; but clothing ourselves like officers in mufti, we conceal the beauties which will eventually the more reveal themselves.
The second remark is this, the humility here prescribed involves constant communion with God. Observe that we are told to walk humbly with THY God. It is of no use walking humbly away from God. I have seen some people very proudly humble, very boastful of their humility. They have been so humble that they were proud enough to doubt God. They could not accept the mercy of Christ, they said; they were so humble. In truth, theirs was a devilish humility, not the humility that comes from the Spirit of God. Oh, no! This humility makes us walk with God; and, beloved, can you conceive a higher and truer humility than that which must come of walking with God? Remember what Job said, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Remember how Abraham, when he communed with God, and pleaded with him for Sodom, said, "I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes;" "dust" that set forth the frailty of his nature, "ashes" as if he was like the refuse of the altar, which could not be burnt up, which God would not have. He felt himself to be, by sin, like the sweeping of a furnace, the ashes, refuse of no value whatsoever; and that was not because he was away from God, but because he was near to God. You can get to be as big as you like if you get away from God; but coming near to the Lord you rightly sing,
"The more thy glories strike mine eyes, The humbler I shall lie."
Depend upon it that it is so. It might be a kind of weather-gauge as to your communion, whether you are proud or humble. If you are going up, God is going down in your esteem. "He must increase," said John the Baptist of the Lord Jesus; "but I must decrease." The two things go together; if this scale rises, that scale must go down. "Walk humbly with thy God." Dare to keep with God, dare to have him as your daily Friend, be bold enough to come to him who is within the veil, talk with him, walk with him, as a man walks; with his familiar friend; but walk humbly with him. You will do so if you walk truly; I cannot conceive such a thing, it is impossible, as a man walking proudly with God. He takes his fellow by the arm, and feels that he is as good as his neighbour, perhaps superior to him; but he cannot walk with God in such a frame of mind as that. The finite with the Infinite! That alone suggests humility; but the sinful with the Thrice-holy! This throws us down into the dust.
But, next, this humility implies constant activity. "Walk humbly with thy God." Walking is an active exercise. These people had proposed to bow before God, as you notice in the sixth verse, "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?" But the answer is not, "Bow humbly before God," but "Walk humbly with God." Now, beloved, when we are very actively engaged, pressed with business, one thing after another coming in, if the great Master employs us in some large concern, large, of course, only to us, if we have work after work, we are too apt to forget that we are only servants, we are doing all the business for our Master, we are only commission agents for him. We are apt to think that we are the head of the firm; we should not think so if we did think steadily for a moment, for we should know our right position; but in the midst of activity we get cumbered with much serving, and we are too apt to get off our proper level. We have, perhaps, to rule others; and we forget that we also are men under authority. It is easy to play the little king over the little folk; but it must not be so. You must learn, not only to be humble in the closet of communion, and to be humble with your Bible before you, but to be humble in preaching, to be humble in teaching, to be humble in ruling, to be humble in everything that you do, when you have as much as ever you can do. When from morning to night you are still pressed with this and that service, still keep your proper place. That is where Martha went wrong, you know; not in having much serving, but by getting to be mistress. She was Mrs. Martha, and the housewife is a queen; but Mary sat in the servant's place at Jesus' feet. If Martha's heart could have been where Mary's body was, then had she served aright. The Lord make us Martha-Maries, or Mary-Marthas, when ever we are busy, that we may walk humbly with God!
Next, I do not think that it is far-fetched if I say that this humility denotes progress. The man is to walk, and that is progress, advancing. "Walk humbly:" I am not to be so humble that I feel that I cannot do any more, or enjoy any more, or be any better; they call that humility. It begins with an S in English, and the full word is SLOTH. "I cannot be as believing, as bold, as useful as such a man is." Thou art not told to be humble and sit still, but to be humble and walk with God. Go forward, advance, not with a proud desire to excel your fellow-Christians, not even with the latent expectation of being more respected because you have more grace; but still walk, go on, advance, grow. Be enriched with all the precious things of God; be filled with all the fulness of God; walk on, walk ever. Lie not down in despair; roll not in the dust with desperation because thou thinkest high things impossible to thee; walk, but walk humbly. Thou wilt soon find out, if thou dost make any progress, that thou hast need to be humble. I believe that when a man goes back he gets proud, and I am persuaded that when a man advances he gets humbler, and that it is a part of the advance to walk more and more and more humbly. For this the Lord tries many of us, for this he visits us in the night, and chastens us, that we may be qualified to have more grace, and get to higher attainments, by being more humble, "for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." If thou wilt climb the mountain-side, thou shalt be thirsty among the barren crags; but if thou wilt descend into the valleys, where the red deer wander, and the brooks flow among the meadows, thou shalt drink to thy full. Doth not the hart pant for the water-brooks? Do thou pant for them; they flow in the valley of humiliation. The Lord bring us all there!
Next, the humility here prescribed implies constancy: "Walk humbly with thy God." Not sometimes be humble; but ever walk humbly with thy God. If we were always what we are sometimes, what Christians we should be! I have heard you say, I think, and I have said the same myself, "I felt very broken down, and lay ‘very low at my Master's feet." Were you so the next day? And the day after did you continue so? Is it not very possible for us to be one day, because of our great debt to our Master, begging that he would not be hard with us, and is it not possible tomorrow to be taking our brother by the throat? I do not say that God's people would do that; but I do feel that the spirit that is in them may lead them to think of doing it, one day acknowledging your Father's authority, and doing his will, and another day standing outside the door, and refusing to go in because the prodigal son has come home. "Thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends; I have been a consistent believer, yet I never have any high joys; but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. Here is a wretched sinner only just saved, and he is in an ecstacy of delight. How can this be right?" O elder son, O elder brother, walk humbly with thy Father! Always be so under any circumstances. It is all very fine to have a lot of humility packed away in a box with which to perfume your prayers, and then to come out, and to be "My lord," and some very great one in the midst of the church and in the world. This will never do. It is not said, "Bow humbly before God now and then; "but as a regular, constant thing, "Walk humbly with thy God." It is not, "Bow thy head like the bulrush under some conscious fault which thou canst not deny," but, in the brightness of thy purity, and the clearness of thy holiness, still keep thy heart in lowly reverence bowing before the throne.
Once more only, and then we will quit this part of the subject, the humility that is here prescribed includes delightful confidence. Do let me read the text to you, "Walk humbly with God." No, no, we must not maul the passage that way, "Walk humbly with thy God." Do not think that it is humility to doubt your interest in Christ; that is unbelief. Do not think that it is humility to think that he is another man's God, and not yours; "Walk humbly with thy God." Know that he is your God, be sure of it, come up from the wilderness leaning upon your Beloved. Have no doubt, nor even the shadow of a doubt, that you are your Beloved's, and that he is yours. Rest not for a moment if there is any question upon this blessed subject. He gives himself to you; take him to be yours by a covenant of salt that never shall be broken; and give yourself to him, saying, "I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine." "Walk humbly with thy God." Let not anything draw you away from that confidence; but then, in comes the humility. This is all of grace; this is all the result of divine election; therefore, be humble. You have not chosen Christ, but he has chosen you. This is all the effect of redeeming love; therefore, be humble. You are not your own, you are bought with a price; so you can have no room to glory. This is all the work of the Spirit.
"Then give all the glory to his holy name, To him all the glory belongs."
"Walk humbly with thy God." I lie at his feet as one unworthy, and cry, "Whence is this to me? I am not worthy of the least of the mercies that thou hast made to pass before me." I think this is the humility prescribed in the text. May the Spirit of God work it in us!
II. And now, secondly, with great brevity upon many points, I have to answer the question, WHEREIN DOES THIS HUMILITY SHOW ITSELF? I have what might be a long task; a Puritan would want an hour and a half more for the second part of the subject. Our Puritan forefathers preached, you know, by a glass, an hour-glass which stood by them, and sometimes, when they had let one glass run out at the end of the hour, they would say to the people, "Let us have another glass," and they turned it over again, and went on for another hour. But I am not going to do that, I do not wish to weary you, and I would rather send you away longing than loathing. Wherein, then, does this humility show itself? It ought to show itself in every act of life. I would not advise any of you to try to be humble, but to be humble. As to acting humbly, when a man forces himself to it, that is poor stuff. When a man talks a great deal about his humility, when he is very humble to everybody, he is generally a canting hypocrite. Humility must be in the heart, and then it will come out spontaneously as the outflow of life in every act that a man performs.
But now, specially, walk humbly with God when your graces are strong and vigorous, when there has been a very clear display of them, when you have been very patient, when you have been very bold, when you have been very prayerful, when the Scriptures have opened themselves up to you, when you have enjoyed a grand season of searching the Word, and especially when the Lord gives you success in his service, when there are more souls than usual brought to Christ, when God has made you a leader among his people, and has laid his hand upon you, and said, "Go in this thy might." Then, "Walk humbly with thy God." The devil will tell you when you have preached a good sermon; perhaps you will not have preached a good one when he tells you that you have, for he is a great liar; but you may go home wonderfully pleased with a sermon with which God is not pleased, and you may go home wonderfully humble about a sermon that God means to bless. But when there really does seem to be something that the evil one tempts you to glory in, then hear this word, "Walk humbly with thy God."
Next, when you have a great deal of work to do, and the Lord is calling you to it, then, before you go to it, walk humbly with God. Do you ask, How? By feeling that you are quite unfit for it, for you are unfit in yourself; and by feeling that you have no strength, for you have not any. When you are weak, by owning your weakness you will grow strong. Lean hard upon your God, cry to him in prayer. Do not open your own mouth, but from your heart pray, "Open thou my lips, and my mouth shall speak forth thy praise." Be intensely subservient to the Spirit of God, yield yourself up to be worked upon by him, that you may work upon others. Oh, there is such a difference between a sermon preached by our own power and a sermon preached in the power of the Holy Spirit! If you do not feel the difference, my brother, your people will soon find it out.
"Oh, to be nothing, nothing! Only to lie at his feet!" Then it is, when walking humbly with God in service, that he will fill us, and make us strong.
Next, walk humbly with God in all your aims. When you are seeking after anything, mind what your motive is. Even if it be the best thing, seek it only for God. If any man, or any woman either, tries to work in the Sunday-school, or if anyone preaches in the open air, or in the house of God, with a view of being somebody, with the idea of being thought to be a very admirable, zealous brother or sister, then let this word come into your ear, "Walk humbly with thy God." There is a word which Jeremiah spoke to Baruch which we need to have said to ourselves sometimes: "Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not." You young men of the College, do not be always hunting up big places; be willing to go to small places to preach the gospel to poor people. Never mind if the Lord sends you right down to the lowest slum; but go, and let your aim always be this, "I do not desire for myself anything great except the greatest thing of all, that I may glorify God." "Walk humbly with thy God." You are the kind of man who will be promoted in due time if you are willing to go down. In the true Church of Christ, the way to the top is downstairs; sink yourself into the highest place. I say not this that even in sinking you may think of the rising; think only of your Lord's glory. "Walk humbly with thy God."
Walk humbly with God, also, in studying his Word, and in believing his truth. We have a number of men, nowadays, who are critics of the Bible; the Bible stands bound at their bar, nay, worse than that, it lies on their table to be dissected, and they have no feeling of decency towards it; they will cut out its very heart, they will rend asunder its tenderest parts, even the precious Song of Solomon, or the beloved apostle's Gospel, or the Book of the Apocalypse, is not sacred in their eyes. They shrink from nothing, their scalpel, their knife, cuts through everything. They are the judges of what the Bible ought to be, and it is deposed from its throne. God save us from that evil spirit! I desire ever to sit at the feet of God in the Scriptures. I do not believe that, from one cover to the other, there is any mistake in it of any sort whatever, either upon natural or physical science, or upon history or anything whatever. I am prepared to believe what ever it says, and to take it believing it to be the Word of God; for if it is not all true, it is not worth one solitary penny to me. It may be to the man who is so wise that he can pick out the true from the false; but I am such a fool that I could not do that. If I do not have a guide here that is infallible, I would as soon guide myself, for I shall have to do so after all; I shall have to be correcting the blunders of my guide perpetually, but I am not qualified to do that, and so I am worse off than if I had not any guide at all. Sit thou down, Reason, and let Faith rise up. If the Lord hath said it, let God be true, and every man a liar. If science contradicts Scripture, so much the worse for science; the Scripture is true, whatever the theories of men may be. "Ah ! "you say, "you are an old-fashioned fogy." Yes, I am; I will not disclaim any compliment which you choose to pass upon me; and I will stand or fall by this blessed Book. This was the mighty weapon of the Reformation; it smote the Papacy, and I shall not throw it down, whoever does. Stand thou still, my brother, and listen to the voice of the Lord, and "walk humbly with thy God" as to his truth.
Walk humbly with God, next, as to mercies received. You were ill a little while ago; and now you are getting well. Do not let pride come in because you feel that you can lift so many pounds. You are getting on in business; you wear a much better coat than you used to come here in; but do not begin to think yourself a mighty fine gentleman. Now you get into very good society, you say; but do not be ashamed to come to the prayer-meeting along with the Lord's poor, and to sit next to one who has not had a new coat for many a day. "Walk humbly with thy God," or else it may be that he will take thee down a notch or two, and bring thee back to thy old poverty; and then what wilt thou say to thyself for thy folly?
Next, walk humbly with God under great trials. When you are brought very low, do not kick against the pricks. When wave after wave comes, do not begin to complain. That is pride; murmur not, but bow low. Say, "Lord, if thou smite me, I deserve more than thou dost lay upon me. Thou hast not dealt with me according to my sin. I accept the chastisement." Let not the rebellious spirit rise when a child is taken away, or when the wife is taken from your bosom, or the husband from the head of the house. Oh, no; say, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good."
And next, walk humbly with God in thy devotions, as between thyself and God in thy chamber. Dost thou read? Read humbly. Dost thou pray? Pray humbly. Dost thou sing? Sing joyfully, but sing humbly. Do take care, when thy God and thyself are together, and none besides, that there thou showest to him thy humble heart, with deep humility that it is no more humble than it is.
And then, next, walk humbly as between thyself and thy brethren. Ask not to be head choir-master; desire not to be the principal man in the church. Be lowly. The best man in the church is the man who is willing to be a doormat for all to wipe their boots on, the brother who does not mind what happens to him at all so long as God is glorified. I have heard brethren say, "Well, but you must stand up for your dignity." I lost mine a long time ago, and I never thought it was worth while to look for it. As to the dignity of the pastor, the dignity of the minister, if we have no dignity of character, the other is a piece of rag. We must try to earn our position in the Church of God by being willing to take the lowest room; and if we will do so, our brethren will take care that before long they will say to us, "Go up higher." In thy dealings with weak Christians, with feeble Christians, do not always scold. Remember that, if thou art strong now, thou mayest very soon be as weak as thy brethren are.
And in dealing with sinners, "walk humbly with thy God." Do not stand a long way off, as if you loved them so much that distance lent enchantment to the view. Do you not think that, sometimes, we deal with sinners as if we would like to pluck them from the burning if there was a pair of tongs handy; but we do not care to do it if our own dainty fingers would be smutted by the brands? Ah, beloved, we must come down from all lofty places, and feel a deep and tender pity towards the lost, and so walk humbly with God!
Now, I have not time to go through all this subject as to your circumstances. If you are poor, if you are obscure, do not be pining after a higher place; walk humbly with your God, take what he gives you. In looking back, rejoice in all his mercy; and walk humbly at the recollection of all your stumbles. In looking forward, anticipate the future with delight, but do not be proudly imagining how great you will yet be made. "Walk humbly with thy God." In all thy thoughts of holy things, be humble; thoughts of God should lay thee low, thoughts of Christ should bring thee to his feet, thoughts of the Holy Ghost should make thee grieve for having vexed him. Thoughts of every covenant blessing should make thee wonder that such privileges ever came to thee. Thoughts of heaven should make thee marvel that thou shouldst ever be found among the seraphim. Thoughts of hell should make thee humble,
"For were it not for grace divine, That fate so dreadful had been thine."
Oh, brethren, the Lord help us to walk humbly with God! This will keep us right. True humility is thinking rightly of thyself, not meanly. When you have found out what you really are, you will be humble, for you are nothing to boast of. To be humble will make you safe. To be humble will make you happy. To be humble will make music in your heart when you go to bed. To be humble here will make you wake up in the likeness of your Master by-and-by. The Lord bless this word, for Jesus' sake! Amen.
Held at the
CRYSTAL PALACE, SYDENHAM,
On Wednesday, October 7th, 1857, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon,
Being the Day appointed by Proclamation for a Solemn Fast, Humiliation, and Prayer before Almighty God: in order to obtain Pardon of our Sins, and for imploring His Blessing and Assistance on our Arms for the Restoration of Tranquillity in India.
O GOD, the God of heaven and of earth, we do this day pay Thee reverence, and meekly bow our heads in adoration before Thine awful throne. We are the creatures of Thine hand; Thou hast made us, and not we ourselves. It is but just and right that we should pay unto Thee our adoration. O God! we are met together in a vast congregation for a purpose which demands all the power of piety, and all the strength of prayer. Send down Thy Spirit upon Thy servant, that he, whilst trembling in weakness, may be made strong to preach Thy Word, to lead forth this people in holy prayer, and to help them in that humiliation for which this day is set apart. Come, O God, we beseech Thee; bow our hearts before Thee; instead of sackcloth and ashes give us true repentance, and hearts meekly reverent; instead of the outward guise, to which some pay their only homage, give us the inward spirit; and may we really pray, really humiliate ourselves, and really tremble before the Most High God. Sanctify this service; make it useful unto us and honorable to Thyself. And O Thou dread Supreme, unto Thee shall be the glory and the honor, world without end. Amen.
Let us now praise God by singing the first Hymn. I shall read it through; and then, perhaps, you will be kind enough to sing it through.
BEFORE Jehovah's awful throng,
Ye nations bow with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone;
He can create and he destroy.
His sovereign power, without our aid,
made us of clay and form'd us men!
And when like wand'ring sheep, we stray'd,
He brought us to his fold again.
We are his people, we his care,
Our souls and all our mortal frame;
What lasting honors shall we rear,
Almighty Maker to thy name?
We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs,
High as the heavens our voices raise;
And earth with her ten thousand tongues,
Shall fill thy courts with sounding praise.
Wide as the world is thy command;
Vast as eternity thy love;
Firm as a rock thy truth must stand,
When rolling years shall cease to move.
Daniel 9:1-19 .
"In the first year of Darius the Son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
"In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, withfasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
"And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
"We have sinned, and have committed, iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
"Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
"O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
"O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
"To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him."
There is the first bright star which shines in the midst of the darkness of our sins. God is merciful. He is just as just as if he were not merciful. He is merciful as merciful as if he were not just, and in very deed more merciful than if he were too lenient; instead of blending a wise severity of justice with a gracious clemency of long-suffering. My brethren, we should rejoice that we have not this day to address the gods of the heathens. You have not to-day to bow down before the thundering Jove; you need not come before implacable deities, who delight in the blood of their creatures, or rather, of the creatures whom it is pretended that they have made. Our God delights in mercy, and in the deliverance of Britain from its ills. God will be as much pleased as Britain; yea, when Britain shall have forgotten it, and only the page of history shall record his mercies, God will still remember what he did for us in this day of our straits and our difficulties. As to the hope that he will help us it is a certainty. There is no fear that when we unite in prayer God will refuse to hear. It is as sure as that there is a God, that God will hear us; and if we ask him aright, the day shall come when the world shall see what Britain's God has done, and how he has heard her cry, and answered the voice of her supplications.
"Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
"Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
"And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under this whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn front our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
"Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
"And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renoun, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly."
The prophet in his prayer pleads what God has done for them, as the reason why he should make bare his arm; he tells how God delivered Israel out of Egypt; and he therefore prays that God would deliver them from their present trouble. And, my brethren, not Israel itself could boast a nobler history than we, measuring it by God's bounties. We have not yet forgotten an armada scattered before the breath of heaven, scattered upon the angry deep as a trophy of what God can do to protect his favored Isle. We have not yet forgotten a fifth of November, wherein God discovered divers plots that were formed against our religion and our commonwealth. We have not yet lost the old men, whose tales of even the victories in war are still a frequent story. We remember how God swept before our armies the man who thought to make the world his dominion, who designed to cast his shoe over Britain, and make it a dependency of his kingdom. God wrought for us; he wrought with us; and he will continue to do so. He hath not left his people, and he will not leave us, but he will be with us even to the end. Cradle of liberty! Refuge of distress! Storms may rage around thee, but not upon thee, nor shall all the wrath and fury of men destroy thee, for God hath pitched his tabernacle in thy midst, and his saints are the salt in the midst of thee.
"O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
"Now, therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to thine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
"O my God, incline thins ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
"O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name."
And now for a few moments let us endeavor to pray:
UR Father, which art in heaven," we will be brief, but we will be earnest if Thou wilt help us. We have a case to spread before Thee this day. We will tell out our story, and we will pray that Thou wouldst forgive the weakness of the words in which it shall be delivered, and hear us, for Jesus' sake. O Father, Thou hast smitten this our land, not in itself, but in one of its dependencies. Thou hast allowed a mutinous spirit to break out in our armies, and Thou hast suffered men who know not Thee, who fear neither God nor man, to do deeds for which earth may well blush, and for which we, as men, desire to cover our faces before Thee. O Lord God, Thou couldst not bear the sin of Sodom; we are sure Thou canst not endure the sin which has been committed in India. Thou didst rain hell out of heaven upon the cities of the plain. The cities of Inde are not less vile than they, for they have committed lust and cruelty, and have much sinned against the Lord. Remember this, O God of Heaven.
But, O Lord our God, we are not here to be the accusers of our fellow-man; we are here to pray that Thou wouldst remove the scourge which this great wickedness has brought upon us. Look down from heaven, O God, and behold this day the slaughtered thousands of our countrymen. Behold the wives, the daughters of Britain, violated, defiled! Behold her sons, cut in pieces and tormented in a manner which earth hath not beheld before. O God, free us, we beseech Thee, from this awful scourge! Give strength to our soldiers to execute upon the criminals the sentence which justice dictates; and then, by Thy strong arm, and by Thy terrible might, do Thou prevent a repetition of so fearful an outrage.
We pray Thee, remember this day the widow and the fatherless children; think Thou of those who are this day distressed even to the uttermost. Guide the hearts of this great multitude, that they may liberally give and this day bestow of their substance to their poor destitute brethren. Remember especially our soldiers, now fighting in that land. God shield them! Be Thou a covert from the heat! Wilt Thou be pleased to mitigate all the rigours of the climate for them! Lead them on to battle; cheer their hearts; bid them remember that they are not warriors merely, but executioners; and may they go with steady tramp to the battle, believing that God wills it that they should utterly destroy the enemy, who have not only defied Britain, but thus defiled themselves amongst men.
But, O Lord, it is ours this day to humble ourselves before Thee. We are a sinful nation; we confess the sins of our governors and our own particular iniquities. For all our rebellions and transgressions, O God have mercy upon us! We plead the blood of Jesus. Help every one of us to repent of sin, to fly to Christ for refuge and grant that each one of us may thus hide ourselves in the rock, till the calamity be overpass, knowing that God will not desert them that put their trust in Jesus. Thy servant is overwhelmed this day; his heart is melted like wax in the midst of him; he knoweth not how to pray. Yet Lord if Thou canst hear a groaning heart which cannot utter itself in words, thou hearest his strong impassioned cry, in which the people join. Lord save us! Lord arise and bless us; and let the might of Thine arm and the majesty of Thy strength be now revealed in the midst of this land, and throughout those countries which are in our dominion God save the Queen! A thousand blessings on her much-loved head! God preserve our country! May every movement that promotes liberty and progress be accelerated, and may everything be done in our midst, which can shield us from the discontent of the masses, and can protect the masses from the oppression of the few. Bless England, O our God. "Shine, mighty God, on Britain shine;" and make her still glorious Britain, "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth." Lord accept our confessions; hear our prayers, and answer us by Thy Holy Spirit! Help Thy servant to preach to us; and all the glory shall be unto Thee, O Father, to Thee, O Son, and Thee, O Holy Spirit; world without end. Amen and Amen.
Let us now sing the second hymn. It is made up of verses selected from different psalms, which I thought to be appropriate to the occasion
OUR God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
Under the shadow of thy throne,
Thy saints have dwelt secure
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
Our foes insult us, but our hope
In thy compassion lies
This thought shall bear our spirits up,
That God will not despise.
In vain the sons of Satan boast
Of armies in array;
When God has first despised their host,
They fall an easy prey.
Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.
Hoping to receive help from God's Holy Spirit, I shall now proceed to address you from a part of the 9th verse of the 6th chapter of Micah:
"Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it." Micah 6:9 .
HIS world is not the place of punishment for sin; not the place; it may sometimes be a place, but not usually. It is very customary among religious people, to talk of every accident which happens to men in the indulgence of sin, as if it were a judgment. The upsetting of a boat upon a river on a Sunday is assuredly understood to be a judgment for the sin of Sabbath-breaking. In the accidental fall of a house, in which persons were engaged in any unlawful occupation, the inference is at once drawn that the house fell because they were wicked. Now, however some religionists may hope to impress the people by such childish stories as those, I, for one, forswear them all. I believe what my Master says is true, when he declared, concerning the men upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, that they were not sinners above all the sinners that were upon the face of the earth. They were sinners; there is no doubt about it; but the falling of the wall was not occasioned by their sin, nor was their premature death the consequence of their excessive wickedness. Let me, however, guard this declaration, for there are many who carry this doctrine to an extreme. Because God does not usually visit each particular offense in this life upon the transgressor, men are apt to deny altogether the doctrine of judgments. But here they are mistaken. I feel persuaded that there are such things as national judgments, national chastisements for national sins great blows from the rod of God, which every wise man must acknowledge to be, either a punishment of sin committed, or a monition to warn us to a sense of the consequences of sins, leading us by God's grace to humiliate ourselves, and repent of our sin.
O, my friends, what a rod is that which has just fallen upon our country! My poor words will fall infinitely short of the fearful tale of misery and woe which must be told before you can know how smartly God hath smitten, and how sternly he hath chidden us. We have to-day to mourn over revolted subjects, for to-day a part of our fellow-countrymen are in open arms against our government. That, of itself, were a heavy blow. Happily the government of this land is so constituted that we know little of revolutions except by name; but the horrors of anarchy, the terrors of a government shaken to its foundations, are so great, that should I preach alone upon that subject, you might hear the rod, and cry aloud beneath its strokes. But this is as but the letting forth of water. A flood succeedeth. The men that have revolted were our subjects, and I challenge all the world to deny what I am going to say: they were our subjects rightly. Whatever the inhabitants of India might be (and undoubtedly that people have grave faults to find with us), the Sepoys had voluntarily given themselves up to our dominion, they had themselves taken oaths of fealty to Her Majesty and their officers, and they have no cause to murmur if they are made to endure the sentence uttered by a government of which they were the sworn and willing supporters. They were always petted, always dandled upon the knee of favoritism. Their revolt is not the revolt of a nation. If India had revolted, history might perhaps have taught us that she had patriots in her midst, who were delivering her from a tyrannical nation; but in the present cave it is only men who are impelled by a lust and ambition for empire, who have risen against us. And, ah I my friends, what crimes have they committed! Not to-day shall I detail their acts of debauchery, bloodshed, and worse than bestiality this tongue will not venture to utter what they have dared to do. Ye would rise from your seats and hiss me from the pulpit which I now occupy, if I should but dare to hint at the crimes which have been done of them, not in secret, but in the very streets of their cities.
And, again, equally as painful, we have now rebels to be executed. I look upon every gallows as a fearful chastisement. I regard every gibbet as being a dreadful visitation upon our land; and I think that whenever the arm of the ruler is outstretched for the punishment of death, it must always be looked upon by the country as a serious affliction to it. Just as the father thinks it a high affliction to chastise his child, so should a country ever esteem it to be a visitation when they have to punish, especially with the punishment of death. Now, these men must be punished; both heaven and earth demand it. I am no soldier, I love not war; I do not believe that this is a war at all, in the proper sense of the term. We are not fighting with enemies; our troops are going forth against revolted subjects against men who, by their crimes, by their murder, and by other unmentionable sins, have incurred the punishment of death; and as the arrest of a murderer by authority of the law is not war, so the arrest of Indian Sepoys, and their utter destruction is not war it is what earth demands, and what I believe God sanctions. But it is a horrible necessity. It is a dreadful thing to think of taking away the lives of our fellow-subjects; we must look upon it as being an affliction: and, to-day, amongst the other evils that we bemoan, we must bemoan this that the sword must be taken out of its sheath, to cut off our fellow-subjects by their thousands. The rod, the rod, THE ROD hath indeed fallen heavily; no mortal tongue can tell the anguish it hath caused, nor perhaps can we yet dream where its ill effects shall end.
Remember, however, the words of my text. It is a rod; but it is an appointed rod. Every deed that has been done against us has been appointed by God. God is most fully to be cleared from the sin of it, but it is undoubtedly true that he has overruled and permitted it. The rod was ordained of God. I myself see God everywhere. I believe that "the foreknown station of a rush by the river is as fixed as the station of a king, and the chaff from the hand of the winnower as steered as the stars in their courses." And I see God in this war. The wheels of providence may revolve in a mysterious manner, but I am certain that wisdom is the axle upon which they revolve, so that at last it shall be seen that God, who ordained the rod, only permitted it that greater good might follow, and that his name might be exalted through the earth. The sin is man's own deed, but the affliction that we suffer through it, God hath ordained. Let us bow before it, and let us now hearken to the exhortation of the text "Hear ye the rod, and him that hath appointed it."
I shall have your attention whilst as briefly as I can I endeavor to bid you hear this rod of God.
First, let me remark, it would have been as well if we had heard this rod BEFORE IT FELL upon us. God's rod by the wise man may be heard before it smiteth. He that understandeth God's moral government, knows that sin carries punishment in its bowels. A wise man believing revelation, could have prophesied that God would visit us. The sins of the government of India have been black and deep. He who has heard the shrieks of tormented natives, who has heard the well-provoked cursing of dethroned princes, might have prophesied that it would not be long before God would unsheath his sword to avenge the oppressed. With regard to India itself, I am no apologist for our dominion there; with regard to the Sepoys, they are our voluntary subjects, they deserve the utmost rigour of the law. From their own oath they were our subjects; and if they have revolted let them suffer the punishment of their treason. But had it been the Indian nation that had revolted, I would have prayed God that they might have been brought under British rule again, for the sake of civilization, but I would not have preached a crusade against them, lest haply we should have been smiting patriots who were but delivering an oppressed country. My brethren, I say it would have been as well if the rod had been heard before it fell. If in the midst of sin the Indian government had paused, and endeavored to undo the evil, it would have been well for them if instead of following the policy of creed they had followed the policy of right, they might have looked for divine support. They never ought to have tolerated the religion of the Hindoos at all. I believe myself (for it in no way infringes the law of right) entitled to my religion; but if my religion consisted in bestiality, infanticide, and murder, I should have no right to my religion, unless I were prepared to be hanged for it. Now, the religion of the Hindoos is neither more nor less than a mass of the rankest filth that ever imagination could have conceived. The gods they worship are not entitled to the least atom of respect. Had they given a decent character to their demons, we might have tolerated their idolatry; but when their worship necessitates everything that is evil, not religion, but morality must put it down. I do not believe that in this land there ever ought to have been any toleration for the Agapemone, a place of lust and abomination, where sin is committed before which God's sun might blush, never ought to be tolerated. Any religion that does not infringe upon morality is beyond the force of legislature. But when once religious teachers teach immorality, and when once a religion compels men to sin, down with it; no toleration to it. It is impossible that there should be any quarter strewn to vice, even though embellished with the name of religion. If it be any man's religion to blow my brains out, I shall not tolerate it. If it be any man's religion to meet me as the Thugs do, and garotte me, and murder me, I shall not tolerate his Thugism. If it be a man's religion to commit bestial acts in public, I for one would touch his conscience, but believing that he has none, I would touch him somewhere else. Such a religion as the religion of the Hindoo, the Indian Government were bound, as in the sight of God, to put down with all the strength of their hand. But they have allowed it, in some cases they have even aided and abetted their filthy deeds; and now God visits them; and, I repeat, it would have been well if they had heard the rod before it fell; they might have perhaps avoided all this evil, and certainly they would have avoided the remorse which some of them must feel in having thus brought it upon themselves.
But it has fallen. The rod has smitten; the scourge has ploughed deep furrows upon India's back. What then? "Hear ye the rod" that has fallen. Now, it is an opinion published by authority and who am I, that I should dispute the great authorities of England? that one part of the reason for this dreadful visitation, is the sin of the people of England themselves. We are exhorted this day to humble ourselves for sin. Granting me that as being a truth and mark, I am not the originator of it; it is in the Proclamation who am I, that I should dispute such a high authority as that? it is our sin that has brought it us, so they say what, then, are our sins? Now, I will be honest with you as honest as I can, and I will try and tell you. What are the most glaring sins for which, if it be true that God is now punishing us, are the most likely to have brought this visitation upon us?
First, there are sins in the community that never ought to have been allowed. O Britain, weep for deeds which thy governors have not yet strength of mind to stop. We have long been allowing the infamous nuisances of Holywell-street; bless God they are pretty well done for! But now what do I see every night? If I return from preaching in the country, in the Haymarket and in Regent-street, what stares me before my eyes? If there be a crime for which God will visit England, it is the sin of allowing infamy to walk before our eyes thus publicly. I do not know whose fault it is some say it is the fault of the police: it is somebody's fault, that I do know, and against that somebody I do now most solemnly protest. It is a most fearful thing that those who are honest and moral cannot walk the streets, without being insulted by sin in the robes of the harlot. My voice perhaps this day may reach some who have power to repeat this protest powerfully and successfully. I see before me gentlemen who are the representatives of the press. I believe they will do their duty in that matter; and if they will sting as some of them can sting, right sharply, they perhaps may be able to sting a little virtue into some of our governors, and that will be a good thing. But I do protest that this has been one of the causes why God has visited us, if indeed our sins have brought this evil upon us, as I verily believe. Look ye too, men and brethren, at some of those amusements of yours, in which ye are wont to indulge. God forbid I should deny you those of your amusements which are innocent, but I must maintain that they should be always moral; when we know that lords and ladies of the land, have sat in playhouses, and listened to plays that were a long way from decent, it is time that some voice should be lifted up against them. These are glaring sins. I am not raking now for private faults; we have had these things before our eyes, and there have been some that have dared to protest against them long ago. I say, these sins of the community in part have brought the rod upon us.
But, my friends, I am inclined to think that our class sins are the most grievous. Behold this day the sins of the rich. How are the poor oppressed! How are the needy down-trodden! In many a place the average wage of men is far below their value to their masters. In this age there is many a great man who looks upon his fellows as only stepping-stones to wealth. He builds a factory as he would make a cauldron. He is about to make a brew for his own wealth. "Pitch him in." He is only a poor clerk, he can live on a hundred a year. Put him in! There is a poor time-keeper: he has a large family; it does not matter; a man can be had for less: in with him! Here are the tens, the hundreds, and the thousands that must do the work. Put them in; heap the fire; boil the cauldron; stir them up; never mind their cries. The hire of the laborers kept back may go up to heaven: it does not matter, the millions of gold are safe. The law of demand and supply is with us, who is he that would interfere? Who shall dare to prevent the grinding of the faces of the poor? Cotton-lords and great masters ought to have power to do what they like with the people: ought they not? "Ah! but ye great men of the earth, there is a God, and that God has said he executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. And yet the sempstress in her garret, and yet the tailor in his den, and yet the artizan in his crowded factory, and yet the servants who earn your wealth, who have to groan under your oppression, shall get the ear of God, and he will visit you. "Hear ye the rod." It is for this the rod falleth on you.
Mark, again, the sins of merchants. Was there ever an age when the merchants of England had more fallen from their integrity? The mass of them, I believe, are honest to the core; but I do not know who among them are so. We can trust none in these times. Ye heap up your companies, and ye delude your myriads; ye gather the money of fools; ye scatter it to the winds of heaven, and when the poor call upon you ye tell them it is gone: but where? O! England, thou wast once true, upright, honest; men could not rightly call thee, then, "Perfidious Albion;" but now, O Britain, alas! for thee! Unless thou dost recover thyself, who can trust thee? God will visit the nation for this, and it shall be seen that this alone is one of the things which God would have us hear, when we hear the rod.
There are many of you that are poor. I saw you smile when I spoke to the rich. I will have at you also. If we are to humble ourselves this day as a nation, ye have cause also to humble. Ah, my God, what multitudes there are of men who deserve but little of their employers, for they are eye-servers, men-pleasers, and do not with singleness of heart serve the Lord. Were men better workmen, their masters would be better. There are hundreds of you that are here to-day who are the best hands in all the world to prop up walls, when you ought to be busy at your own work who, when your time is bought and paid for, steal it for something else. And how many there are in what are called the lower ranks and God forgive the man that invented that word, for we are none of us lower than the other before the Judge of all the earth how many are there that do not know what it is to look up to God, and say, "Though he has made me a servant, I will discharge my duty, and I will serve my master and serve my God with all my might." Many are the sins of the poor. Humble yourselves with the rich; bow your heads and weep for your iniquities; for these things God doth visit us, and ye should hear the rod.
It is impossible for me to-day to enter into all the sins of illiberality, of deceit, of bigotry, of lasciviousness, of carnality, of pride, of covetousness, and of laziness which infest this land. I have tried to indicate some of the chief, and I pray God humble us all for them.
And now, "Hear ye the rod." O church of God, the rod has fallen, and the church ought to hear it. I am afraid that it is the church that has been the greatest sinner. Do I mean by "the church" that established by law? No, I mean the Christian church as a body. We, I believe, have been remiss in our duty; for many and many a year pulpits never condescended to men of low estate. Our ministers were great and haughty; they understood the polish of rhetoric, they had all the grandeur of logic; to the people they were blind guides and dumb dogs, for the people knew not what they said, neither did they regard them. The churches themselves slumbered; they wrapped themselves in a shroud of orthodoxy, and they slept right on; and, whilst Satan was devouring the world, and taking his prey, the church sat still, and said, "Who is my neighbor?" and did not arouse herself to serve her God. I do hope that we have already seen the beginning of a revival. The last year has seen more preaching than any year since the days of the apostles. We are stirring in ragged schools, and in various efforts for doing good; but still the church is only half awake; I fear she still slumbers. O church of God! awake I awake I awake! for verily the rod has fallen for thy sake. "Hear thou the rod, and him that hath appointed it."
We have had many rods, friends; we have had many great afflictions, and we did bear them for a time; and now I close my sermon by saying, "Hear ye the rod, when the rod SHALL AGAIN BE STILL." We trust that in a little while our soldiers will carve us out peace and victory with their triumphant swords; we trust that, perhaps this very day a great fight is being fought, and a great victory being won. I seem to hear to-day the shout of the triumphant warrior; I think I hear the trump of victory even now. The hour of prayer is often the hour of deliverance. At any rate, we hope that ere long this black cloud will be overblown, and then I fear you will all forget it. You will pray to-day: will you pray when victory comes? You will buy some fireworks, will you not? That is how you will thank God! You had a victory over a potent enemy, and peace was established: your votive offerings consisted of rockets and illuminations grand offerings to the Dread Supreme! If a heathen were here he would say, "Their God is the God of humiliation, not the God of victory: their God is a God of trouble, certainly not the God of blessings, for they forget him when they receive deliverance." I remember, when last time the cholera swept through your streets, ye hurried to your churches, and ye prayed; terror sat upon your countenances, and many of you cried aloud for deliverance. It came. What did you do? Alas! for your piety! It was as the morning cloud, and as the early dew it passed away. It will be so again. It is but as the lashing of the water; it is smitten, but it soon recovers itself, and all marks are effaced. It is so with this land; I fear it is so with each of us to a degree. How often have you and I been laid upon our beds with cholera, or with fever, or with some other disease which threatened to take us away! We prayed; we sent for the minister; we devoted ourselves to God; we vowed, if he would spare us, we would live better. Here thou art, my hearer, just what thou wast before thy sickness. Thou hast forgotten thy vow; but God hath not forgotten it. Thy resolutions were filed in heaven, and in the day of judgment God shall take them forth, and say, "Here is one solemn covenant broken; here is another vow forgotten, another resolution made in sickness broken after recovery!" I do think that to-day will be a most solemn mockery if our humiliation ends to-day. With some of you it will not even begin to-day, and, therefore, it will not end, for it is not begun. But the mass who will pray to-day, will they pray in a week? Not they; they will go their way, to heap again the faggots of their sins upon the pile of vengeance, and still stand by and weep, because the fire is burning, the fire which they themselves have kindled. Oh! my hearers, permit me to charge home to your hearts; and would God that he would make the charge of my language against your consciences as heavy as the charge of British soldiery against the enemy! How many of you have been awakened, convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement! How many times have you vowed you would repent! How many times have you declared that you did hear the rod, and that you would turn to God! And yet you have been liars to the Almighty; you have defrauded the Most High; and whilst the bill is due it still stands dishonored. Tremble! God may smite you yet; and if to-day you are despisers of Christ, remember, you have no guarantee that you will be in this world another hour. You may before this sun is set stand before your Maker's bar. What then? what then? what then? To perish for ever is no light matter; to be cast into the flames of hell is no little consideration. "Turn ye, turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die, O house of Israel!" Repent! "The times of your ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." And remember that when he gives repentance and faith he has appended the blessing to them. "Jesus Christ of the seed of David" was nailed to a cross; he died that we might not die, and to every believer heaven's gate is open, to every penitent the path to paradise is free. Sinner I dost thou believe? If so, Christ hath blotted out thy sin. Be happy! Soul! dost thou repent? Thou art safe. God has helped thee to repent, and inasmach as he hath done that, he hath proved that he loves thee.
Oh! if I might but have some souls won to Christ to-day, what would I give? What is all this great gathering to me? It is an extra labor, that is all. For this I do not labor. God is my witness, I sought you not; never once have I said a thing to court a smile from any man. When God first sent me to the ministry he bade me fear no man, and I have not yet met the man to whom I have feared to tell of God's truth. Nor you have I sought to please, nor you have I sought to gather here. I would preach the gospel; may God give me some souls as my reward! And if but one poor sinner shall look to Jesus, clap your wings, ye angels! enough is done, for God is honored.
I have done my sermon, but I want to make an appeal to you to give liberally.
Lives there a man in England who will this day refuse his help to those of his countrymen who have suffered? No; there does not live such a man not such a Briton. Is there a miserable miscreant without a heart, who will, when God has given him enough, shut up his bowels of compassion against those whose sons and daughters have been murdered, and who themselves have escaped as by the skin of their teeth? No, I will not slander you by such a supposition. I cannot think that I have such a monster here. When the box shall pass round, give give as you can afford; if it be a penny, let the working man give. You that are rich must not give pence, however. Many a man has said, "There is my mite." He was worth a hundred thousand pounds, and it was not a mite at all; if he had given a thousand it would only have been a mite to him. Give as ye can afford it; may God be pleased to grant a liberal spirit.
The following Chorus was then sung
GLORY, honor, praise, and power,
Be unto the Lamb for ever;
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer,
After which, the benediction having been pronounced, the service terminated.
There were upwards of 24,000 persons present at this service; and the amount collected towards the Indian Relief Fund amounted to nearly £500, of which £25 was given by Miss Nightingale. The Crystal Palace Company contributed £200 in addition making a total of nearly £700.
"To God be all the glory."
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Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Micah 6". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26