Neglect Not the Gift
J. C. Ryle
“Neglect not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14
Brethren, the leading topics of the subject committed to me appear to be the ministerial office, and the imperative duty of not neglecting it. Paul speaks to Timothy of his office, as “a gift.” And he says of this gift, “neglect it not.” In opening the subject I trust I may be allowed to remind my brethren that the orders of Timothy and Titus ought to be specially interesting to them.
I consider that, strictly speaking, no minister of the Gospel of the present day, whatever may be his church or denomination, has any right to regard himself as a “successor of the apostles.” I believe that, in strict accuracy, the apostles had no successors at all. Their office was a peculiar office. Their order was a peculiar order. Both office and order ceased at their death. The apostles were specially called, and immediately set apart by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. They had the power of speaking with other languages. They were enabled to confirm the doctrines they preached by miracles and signs. They had the power of infallibly declaring God’s truth, and expounding His mind to the world. They were commissioned to bind and loose sins with authority. They could confer gifts upon others. In all these respects they stood alone. We are not their successors. They never had any successors! They were an order intended to continue until the Canon of Scripture was concluded, and no longer. The ministers of the present day are the successors of Timothy and Titus; but not of Paul, Peter, James, and John. I feel that this is a digression, but the importance of the subject must be my apology. Continue reading
The Sword of the Spirit
Delivered on Lord’s-Day Morning, April 19th, 1891,
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
“Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” — Ephesians 6:17
TO BE A CHRISTIAN is to be a warrior. The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battle-field. Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God. His occupation is war. As he puts on piece by piece of the panoply provided for him, he may wisely say to himself, “This warns me of danger; this prepares me for warfare; this prophesies opposition.”
Difficulties meet us even in standing our ground; for the apostle, two or three times, bids us — “Stand.”
In the rush of the fight, men are apt to be carried off their legs. If they can keep their footing, they will be victorious; but if they are borne down by the rush of their adversaries, everything is lost. You are to put on the heavenly armor in order that you may stand; and you will need it to maintain the position in which your Captain has placed you. If even to stand requires all this care, judge ye what the warfare must be! Continue reading
All of Grace
Published on Thursday, October 7th, 1915.
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” — Ephesians 2:8
IF THE THINGS which I have spoken unto you these many years, this is the sum. Within the circle of these words my theology is contained, so far as it refers to the salvation of men. I rejoice also to remember that those of my family who were ministers of Christ before me preached this doctrine, and none other. My father, who is still able to bear his personal testimony for his Lord, knows no other doctrine, neither did his father before him.
I am led to remember this by the fact that a somewhat singular circumstance, recorded in my memory, connects this text with myself and my grandfather. It is now long years ago. I was announced to preach in a certain country town in the Eastern Counties. It does not often happen to me to be behind time, for I feel that punctuality is one of those little virtues which may prevent great sins. But we have no control over railway delays, and breakdowns; and so it happened that I reached the appointed place considerably behind the time.
Like sensible people, they had begun their worship, and had proceeded as far as the sermon. As I neared the chapel, I perceived that someone was in the pulpit preaching, and who should the preacher be but my dear and venerable grandfather! He saw me as I came in at the front door and made my way up the aisle, and at once he said, “Here comes my grandson! He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel; can you, Charles?” Continue reading
The Star and the Wise Men
December 24, 1882
C. H. SPURGEON
“Now Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”—Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10.
See, dear friends, the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ even in his state of humiliation! He is born of lowly parents, laid in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling bands; but, lo! the principalities and powers in the heavenly places are in commotion. First, one angel descends to proclaim the advent of the new-born King and suddenly there is with him a multitude of the heavenly host singing glory unto God. Nor was the commotion confined to the spirits above; for in the heavens which overhang this card, there is a stir. A star is deputed on behalf of all the stars, as if he were the envoy and plenipotentiary of all worlds to represent them before their King. This star is put in commission to wait upon the Lord, to be his herald to men afar off, his usher to conduct them to his presence, and his body-guard to sentinel his cradle. Continue reading
Salvation of the Lord
delivered on sabbath morning, may 10, 1857, by the
rev. c. h. spurgeon
at the music hall, royal surrey gardens.
“Salvation is of the Lord.” — Jonah 2:9.
JONAH learned this sentence of good theology in a strange college. He learned it in the whale’s belly, at the bottom of the mountains, with the weeds wrapped about his head, when he supposed that the earth with her bars was about him for ever. Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. No man is competent to judge in matters of the kingdom, until first he has been tried; since there are many things to be learned in the depths which we can never know in the heights.
We discover many secrets in the caverns of the ocean, which, though we had soared to heaven, we never could have known. He shall best meet the wants of God’s people as a preacher who has had those wants himself; he shall best comfort God’s Israel who has needed comfort; and he shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it. Jonah, when he was delivered from his great danger, when, by the command of God the fish had obediently left its great deeps and delivered its cargo upon dry land, was then capable of judging; and this was the result of his experience under his trouble—”Salvation is of the Lord.” Continue reading
True Unity Promoted
delivered on sunday morning, january 1, 1865,
by c.h. spurgeon
at the metropolitan tabernacle, newington
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
YOU will remember that for several years I have received my morning’s text for the first Sunday in the year from an esteemed Brother, a clergyman of the Church of England. This year he very kindly sends me this verse, which I hope will be useful to us all, reminding us of our former faults and of our present duty in the matter of “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The Pope has lately been most lustily cursing us all. According to his nature, of course, must be his utterances. We could not expect a blessing where no blessing abides. And if we get a curse we only receive a polluted stream from a polluted fountain. It is an old saying that England never prospers so well as when the Pope curses her. I hope to see a year of great prosperity this year! Continue reading
The Christian Pilgrim
The True Christian’s Life a Journey Toward Heaven
Dated September, 1733
“And confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country.” — Hebrews 11:13, 14
this life ought so to be spent by us as to be only a journey
The apostle is here setting forth the excellencies of the grace of faith, by the glorious effects and happy issue of it in the saints of the Old Testament. He had spoken in the preceding part of the chapter particularly, of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob. Having enumerated those instances, he takes notice that “these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers,” etc. — In these words the apostle seems to have a more particular respect to Abraham and Sarah, and their kindred, who came with them from Haran, and from Ur of the Chaldees, as appears by the 15th verse, where the apostle says, “and truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.” Continue reading