For the Sake of a Clear Conscience

I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth… – Psalm 40:10 

How awful to remember that every hour there are hundreds of men and women who are dying without Christ. Turn to the bills of mortality of this one city. Be our sentiments ever so charitable, let us judge with the utmost liberality, the dreadful fact fills our mind, and every knell speaks it to our heart, “They go out of this world unforgiven; they go before their Maker’s bar without a hope!” I think our hearts would break with the dread recollection of this if we could not say, “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation; lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest. I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.”

And how many deaths there always are among our hearers! What comfort can any Christian who knows you have if you die unsaved, unless he is able to appeal to God, and say, “My Father, I did all I could to teach that soul the way of salvation; I did all I could to persuade him to accept the Christ of God”?

Dear friends, whenever you see any of your neighbors, your relatives, your acquaintance die, can you forbear to ask yourselves, shall their blood be required at my hands? Are your skirts stained? Are there no blood drops there? Come, look them down, and say if you can ponder with a clear conscience the fact of a sinner dying in a Christless state without your being able to say, “I have done all I could to bring that soul to Christ”? ~ C.H. Spurgeon

What Men Must Know of God

I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. – Psalm 40:10

Our Lord, with eagle eye, descries what is most important for men to know, and upon that He dwells. Sinners must know of God’s righteousness; they will never know their sinfulness else knowing it they will think it to be a little thing. The righteousness of God comes like a stream of light into the soul and reveals its corruption. God’s salvation, again, must be shown in its true colors. It does not owe its origin, its accomplishment, or its application to our works or our merits, but it proceeds from God’s grace, and redounds to His glory…Jesus Christ preached God’s righteousness, and showed God’s righteousness even in salvation, and then He preached that salvation fully.

Nor, dear friends, did He withhold His testimony of the other attributes of God. Think for an instant of God’s faithfulness. Oh, what a delightful theme! As immutability is a glory that belongs to all His attributes, so faithfulness pertains to all His purposes and promises…Moreover, He will rest in His love, “for the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake.” He is “the Father of lights, with whom is, no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” His promises and His threatenings abide steadfast. Side by side with the faithfulness of God there is witness of His lovingkindness. Oh, what a glorious revelation! the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the God of pity and of pardon, the God of love…The God whom Jesus preached is full of gentleness and tenderness. May we learn to believe in the God and Father whom His only begotten Son Jesus Christ delighted to make known, and if called to testify of Him may we testify fully and heartily as Jesus did. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Great Testifier

 I have declared... – Psalm 40:10

Jesus was constantly testifying to the gospel of God, the gospel of His righteousness and of His grace. From the first moment when He, being full of the Holy Ghost, began to preach the gospel, until the day when He was taken up into heaven, while He blessed His disciples, He was instant in season and out of season. There were no wasted moments of time, no neglected opportunities, no talents held in reserve. “I must work,” was His motto. The zeal of God’s house consumed Him. It was His meat and His drink to do the will of Him that sent Him. Mark ye how He concentrated every attribute of His nature, every faculty of His mind, and every power of His body in the one work He had undertaken-to do His Father’s will? He seems all His life through to have challenged the enquiry, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” He was continually preaching the gospel. “Never a man spake as this Man,” may apply to the quantity as well as the quality of His utterances…He could speak anywhere-even along the crowded thoroughfare, where the multitudes thronged Him. He went down the lowest streets, and from the poorest beggars He didn’t turn aside. He was not thwarted by the sneers, and sarcasms, and subtle questioning of the Pharisees and Sadducees. One thought possessed Him, and He persistently wrought it out. His life-sermon was so thorough that nothing of earthly splendor could allure or distract Him or break the thread. He was always and everywhere either pleading with God for men, or else pleading with men for God…”I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained My lips, O Lord, Thou knowest. I have not hid Thy righteousness within My heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness, and Thy truth from the great congregation.” He was the great Witness for God, the great Testifier, who went proclaiming everywhere the kingdom of God, and the good tidings of salvation to man. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

But for the Divine Grace of God

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. Hebrews 11:15

It is a wonder of wonders that we have not gone back to the world, with its sinful pleasures and its idolatrous customs. When I think of the strength of divine grace, I do not marvel that saints should persevere; but, when I remember the weakness of their nature, it seems a miracle of miracles that there should be one Christian in the world who could maintain his steadfastness for a single hour. It is nothing short of Godhead’s utmost stretch of might that keeps the feet of the saints and preserves them from going back to their old unregenerate condition. We have had opportunities to have returned. My brethren, we have such opportunities in our daily calling. Some of you are engaged in the midst of ungodly men, and those engagements supply you with constant opportunities to sin as they do, to fall into their excesses, to lapse into their forgetfulness of God, or even to take part in their blasphemies. Oh, have you not often strong inducements, if it were not for the grace of God, to become as they are? Or, if your occupation keeps you alone, yet, my brethren, there is one who is pretty sure to intrude upon our privacy, to corrupt our thoughts, to kindle strange desires in our breasts, to tantalise us with morbid fancies, and to seek our mischief. The Tempter he is, the Destroyer he would be, if we were not delivered from his snares. Ah, how frequently will solitude have temptations as severe as publicity could possibly bring. There are perils in company, but there are perils likewise in our loneliness. We have many opportunities to return…. Opportunities to return! Ah! Who that knows himself does not find strong, incentives to return. Ah! how often will our imagination paint sin in very glowing colors, and, though we loathe sin and loathe ourselves for thinking of it, yet how many a man might say, “had it not been for divine grace, where should I have been? -for my feet had almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped.” C.H. Spurgeon

Our Sympathetic Counsellor

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmaties; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. – Hebrews 4:15

There is one thing that is always necessary in a man, before we can rejoice in his being a counsellor. There are some counsellors concerning the legislation of our country in whom you or I could not rejoice much, because we feel that in their counsels the most of us would be forgotten. Our farming friends would probably rejoice in them; they will consult their interests, there is not much doubt; but whoever heard of a counsellor yet who counselled for the poor? or who has these many years heard as much as an inkling of the name of a man who really counselled for economy and for the good of his nation. We have plenty of men who promise us that they will counsel for us- an abundance of men who, if we would but return them to parliament would most assuredly pour forth such wisdom in our behalf that, without doubt, we should be the most happy and enlightened people in the world according to their promise. but alas! when they get into office, they have no hearty sympathy with us; they belong to a different rank from the most of us, they do not sympathize with the wants and the desires of the middle class and of the poor. But, with regard to Christ, we can put every confidence in Him, for we know that in that council from eternity He sympathized with man. He says, “My delights were with the sons of men.” Happy men to have a counsellor who delights in them! Moreover, He then, though He was not man, yet foresaw that He was to be “bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,” and therefore in the counsels of eternity He pleaded His own cause when He pleaded our cause, for He well knew that He was to be tempted in all points like as we are and was to suffer our sufferings and to be our covenant head in union with ourselves. Sweet Counsellor! I love to think Thou wast in the everlasting council, my friend, my brother born for adversity! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Unique Counsel of the Gospel

…that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. – Romans 3:26

When the Three Divine Persons in the solemn seclusion of Their own loneliness consulted together with reference to the works of grace, one of the first things They had to consider was, how God should be just and yet the justifier of the ungodly-how the world should be reconciled unto God…The Son of God, with His Father and the Spirit, ordained the council of peace. Thus, was it arranged. The Son must suffer; He must be the substitute and must bear His people’s sins and be punished in their stead; the Father must accept the Son’s substitution and allow His people to go free, because Christ had paid their debts. The Spirit of the living God must then cleanse the people whom the blood had pardoned, and so they must be accepted before the presence of God, even the Father…I have always thought that one of the greatest proofs that the gospel is of God, is its revelation that Christ died to save sinners. That is a thought so original, so new, so wonderful; you have not got it in any other religion in the world; so that it must have come from God. As I remember to have heard an un-schooled and illiterate man say, when I first told him the simple story of how Christ was punished in the stead of His people: he burst out with an air of surprise, “Faith! that’s the gospel, I know; no man could have made that up; that must be of God.” That wonderful thought, that God Himself should die, that He himself should bear our sins, that so God the Father might be able to forgive and yet exact the utmost penalty, is super-human, super-angelic; not even the cherubim and seraphim could have been the inventors of it: but that thought was first struck out from the mind of God in the councils of eternity, when the “Wonderful, the Counsellor,” was present with His Father. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Wonderful Counsel of Providence

And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. – Colossians 1:17

From all eternity, Christ was the Counsellor of His Father with regard to providence…Was it not the Most High who divided to the nations their inheritance? Hath He not appointed the bounds of our habitation? Oh! heir of heaven, in the day of the great council Christ counselled His Father as to the weight of thy trials, as to the number of thy mercies, if they be numerable, and as to the time, the way, and the means whereby thou shouldst be brought to Himself. Remember, there is nothing that happens in your daily life, but what was first of all devised in eternity, and counselled by Jesus Christ for your good and in your behalf; that all things might work together for your lasting benefit and profit. But, my friends, what unfathomable depths of wisdom must have been involved, when God consulted with Himself with regard to the great book of providence!..Ah! Jacob, the Lord is about to provide for thee in Egypt, when there is a famine in Canaan, and He is about to make thy son Joseph great and mighty. Joseph must be sold for a slave; he must be accused wrongfully, he must be put into the pit, and in the round-house prison he must suffer. But God was going straight to His purpose all the while: He was sending Joseph before them into Egypt that they might be provided for, and when the good old patriarch said, “All these things are against me,” he did not perceive the providence of God, for there was not a solitary thing in the whole list that was against him, but everything was ruled for his weal. Let us learn to leave providence in the hand of the Counsellor, let us rest assured that He is too wise to err in His predestination, and too good to be unkind, and that in the council of eternity, the best was ordained that could have been ordained. ~ C.H. Spurgeon