Category Archives: Old-Time Sermons

The Afflicted Remnant

The Afflicted Remnant and Their Confiding Trust
Preached at Zoar Chapel, London
by J. C. Philpot – July 6, 1845

“I will also leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.”
Zephaniah 3:12

Jerusalem was the center of the worship of the only true God from the day that David brought the ark there, until she rejected the Lord of life and glory, and brought upon herself that sentence, “Behold your house is left unto you desolate.” For this reason, Jerusalem became a type and figure of two things–first, of the TRUE church of God, his own elect family; and secondly, of the VISIBLE church. In those passages for instance, where we read, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”; “Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city”; “Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem”–in these, and similar passages, Jerusalem is addressed as representing the SPIRITUAL church of God. But, on the other hand, there are many passages where she is spoken of in language only applicable to the OUTWARD PROFESSING CHURCH; as in the beginning of this chapter, “Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!”

In the text, we find Jerusalem personally addressed. And the Lord declares that he “will leave in the midst of her an afflicted and poor people;” and that this afflicted and poor people “shall trust in the name of the Lord.” By Jerusalem, then, in the text, is not meant the true church of God, the inner sanctuary; but the outer court, the VISIBLE CHURCH, as including the invisible. And the Lord says of this professing church, of this outward visible congregation, that he will leave in her midst, a circle within a circle, a peculiar people, whom he describes under two distinct marks. Continue reading

Heavenly Teaching

Heavenly Teaching
Preached at Zoar Chapel, London
by J. C. Philpot – August 6, 1843

“All your children shall be taught of the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:13

The full extent of the “spiritual blessings” with which God has blessed the church in “heavenly places in Christ” can never be thoroughly known in this present world. It is only when the ransomed of the Lord shall reach the heavenly Canaan, that they will fully know either the dreadful gulf of misery from which they have been delivered, or the height of bliss and glory to which they are exalted in Christ. But sufficient is revealed in the word of God to show that they are indeed blessed with especial privileges and mercies; and that in being thus blessed their distinction as “a peculiar people” chiefly consists. Moses, therefore, on one occasion thus pleaded with God– “Wherein shall it be known here that I and your people have found grace in your sight? Is it not in that you go with us? so shall we be separated, I and your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth”. Ex 33:16

But of these peculiar blessings that God has blessed his church with in Christ, four seem especially prominent above the rest– their eternal election– their particular and personal redemption– their regeneration– and their heavenly teaching, which last is the promise contained in the text, “All your children shall be taught of the Lord.” Continue reading

Are You Born Again?

Are You Born Again?
by J. C. Ryle

Are you born again?

This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said:

“Except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3)

It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I’m a Christian.” Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given us —many listed in the First Epistle of John.

1. No Habitual Sinning

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin” (1 John 3:9).
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin” (5:18).

A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian–hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become a horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him.

If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying (1 John 1:8). But he can say that he hates sin —and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appealing in both his words and his actions. He knows that “we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). But he can truly say, in the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow, and that his whole nature does not consent to them.

What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again? Continue reading

Christ’s Compassion to Weak Believers

The Compassion of Christ to Weak Believers
By Samuel Davies, 1724-1761

“A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench.” Matthew 12:20

The Lord Jesus possesses all those virtues in the highest perfection, which render him infinitely amiable, and qualify him for the administration of a just and gracious government over the world. The virtues of mortals, when carried to a high degree, very often run into those vices which have a kind of affinity to them. “Right, too rigid—hardens into wrong.” Strict justice steels itself into excessive severity; and the ‘man’ is lost in the ‘judge’. Goodness and mercy sometimes degenerate into softness and a sentimentalism, inconsistent with justice.

But in Jesus Christ these seemingly opposite virtues center and harmonize in the highest perfection, without running into extremes. Hence he is at once characterized as a Lamb, and as the Lion of the tribe of Judah: a lamb for gentleness towards humble penitents; and a lion to tear his enemies in pieces!

Christ is said to judge and make war, Rev. 19:11; and yet he is called The Prince of Peace; Isaiah 9:6. He will at length show himself dreadful to the workers of iniquity; and the terrors of the Lord are a very proper topic whence to persuade men. But now he is patient towards all men, and he is all love and tenderness towards the vilest penitent. Continue reading

The Way of Salvation

The Way of Salvation
by J. C. Ryle

Where must a man go for pardon? Where is forgiveness to be found? There is a way both sure and plain, and into that way I desire to guide every inquirers feet. That way is simply to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. It is to cast your soul with all its sins, unreservedly on Christ

—to cease completely from any dependence on your own works or doings, either in whole or in part—and to rest on no other work but Christ’s work—no other righteousness but Christ’s righteousness, no other merit but Christ’s merit as your ground of hope. Take this course—and you are a pardoned soul.

Says Peter “All the prophets testify about Him, that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10:43). Says Paul at Antioch, “Through this Man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything.” (Acts 13:38). “In Him,” writes Paul to the Colossians, “we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14). Continue reading

The Power of the Holy Spirit

The Power of the Holy Spirit
by J. C. Ryle

There is hope in the Gospel for any man, so long as he lives. There is infinite willingness in Christ to pardon sin. There is infinite power in the Holy Spirit to change hearts. There are many diseases of the body which are incurable. The cleverest doctors cannot heal them. But, thank God! there are no incurable diseases of soul. All manner and quantity of sins can be washed away by Christ! The hardest and most wicked of hearts can be changed.

Reader, I say again, while there is life —there is hope. The oldest, the vilest, the worst of sinners may be saved. Only let him come to Christ, confess his sin, and cry to Him for pardon —only let him cast his soul on Christ, and he shall be cured. The Holy Spirit shall be sent down on his heart, according to Christ’s promise, and he shall be changed by His Almighty power, into a new creature.

I never despair of anyone becoming a decided Christian, whatever he may have been in days gone by. I know how great the change is from death to life; I know the mountains of division which seem to stand between some men and heaven; I know the hardness, the prejudices, the desperate sinfulness of the natural heart. But I remember that God the Father made the glorious world out of nothing. I remember that the voice of the Lord Jesus could reach Lazarus when, four days dead, and recall him even from the grave. I remember the amazing victories the Spirit of God has won in every nation under heaven. I remember all this —and feel that I never need despair. Continue reading

The Tabernacle of the Most High

The Tabernacle of the Most High
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, August 14th, 1859
by the REV. C. H. Spurgeon
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens

“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22

Under the old Mosaic dispensation God had a visible dwelling-place among men. The bright shekinah was seen between the wings of the cherubim which overshadowed the mercy-seat; and in the tabernacle while Israel journeyed in the wilderness, and in the temple afterwards, when they were established in their own land, there was a visible manifestation of the presence of Jehovah in the place which was dedicated to his service.

Now, everything under the Mosaic dispensation was but a type, a picture, a symbol of something higher and nobler. That form of worship was, as it were, a series of shadow-pictures, of which the gospel is the substance. It is a sad fact, however, that there is so much Judaism in all our hearts, that we frequently go back to the old beggarly elements of the law, instead of going forward and seeing in them a type of something spiritual and heavenly, to which we ought to aspire. Continue reading