For more than a century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon's sermons have been consistently recognized, and their usefulness and impact have continued to the present day, even in the outdated English of the author's own day.
Why then should expositions already so successful and of such stature and proven usefulness require adaptation, revision, rewrite or even editing? The answer is obvious. To increase its usefulness to today's reader, the language in which it was originally written needs updating.
Though his sermons have served other generations well, just as they came from the pen of the author in the nineteenth century, they still could be lost to present and future generations, simply because, to them, the language is neither readily nor fully understandable.
My goal, however, has not been to reduce the original writing to the vernacular of our day. It is designed primarily for you who desire to read and study comfortably and at ease in the language of our time. Only obviously archaic terminology and passages obscured by expressions not totally familiar in our day have been revised. However, neither Spurgeon's meaning nor intent have been tampered with.
All Scripture references are taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Christ Lifted Up
July 5, 1857
C. H. SPURGEON
Revised Text copyright © Tony Capoccia, 1999
"I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."- John 12:32
This sermon, preached by Tony Capoccia, is now available on Audio CD or MP3: www.gospelgems.com
It was on an extraordinary occasion when the Savior uttered these words. It was the crisis of the world. We very often speak of the "present crisis of the world," and it is very common for persons of every period to believe their own age to be the crisis and turning point of the whole world's history. They correctly imagine that very much of the future depends upon their present exertions; but they wrongly stretch the thought, and imagine that the period of their existence is the very hinge of the history of the world: that it is the crisis.
Now, however it may be correct, in a modified sense, that every period of time is in some sense a crisis, yet there never was a time which could be truly called a crisis, in comparison with the time when our Savior spoke. In the 31st verse, immediately preceding my text, we find in the English translation, "Now is the time for judgment on this world" but we find in the Greek, "Now is the crisis of this world." The world had come to a solemn crisis: now was the great turning point of all the world's history. Should Christ die, or should he not? If he would refuse the bitter cup of agony, the world is doomed, if he would continue onward, do battle with the powers of death and hell! and come off a victor, then the world is blessed, and her future will be glorious. Will he succumb? Then is the world crushed and ruined beneath the trail of the old serpent. Will he conquer? Will he "lead captives in his train and give gifts to men?" Then this world will yet see times when there will be "a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell." "Now is the crisis of this world!" "The crisis," Jesus says, "is two-fold. Dealing with Satan and men. I will tell you the result of it. 'The prince of this world be driven out.' Do not fear that hell will conquer. I will cast him out; and, on the other hand do not doubt that I will be victorious over the hearts of men. 'I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men to myself.'" Remembering the occasion upon which these words were uttered, we will now proceed to a discussion of them.
We have three things to notice:
1. Christ crucified, Christ's glory. He calls it a lifting him up.
2. Christ crucified, the minister's theme. It is the
minister's business to lift Christ up in the gospel.
3. Christ crucified, the heart's attraction. "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
His own glory-the minister's theme-the heart's attraction.
I. I begin then: CHRIST'S CRUCIFIXION IS CHRIST'S GLORY.
He uses the word "lifted up" to express the manner of his death. "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die." But notice the choice of the word to express his death. He does not say, I, when I am crucified, I, when I am hung on the tree; no, but "I, when I am lifted up:" and in the Greek there is the meaning of exaltation. "I, when I am exalted-I , when I am lifted up on high." He took the outward and visible fashion of the cross, it being a lifting of him up, to be the type and symbol of the glory with which the cross would give to him. "I, when I am lifted up."
Now, the cross of Christ is Christ's glory.
We will show you how. Man seeks to win his glory by the slaughter of others-Christ by the slaughter of himself: men seek to get crowns of gold-he sought a crown of thorns: men think that glory lies in being exalted over others-Christ thought that his glory lies in becoming "a worm, and not a man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." He stooped when he conquered; and he counted that the glory lay as much in the stooping as in the conquest.
Christ was first glorified on the cross, because love is always glorious.
If I might prefer any glory, I should ask to be beloved by men. Surely, the greatest glory that a man can have among his fellows is not that of mere admiration, when the throngs stare at him as he passes through the street, riding in his triumph; no the greatest fame, the greatest glory of a patriot is the love of his country-to feel that men and women, young and old, are prepared to fall at his feet in love, to give up all they have to serve him who has served them. Now, Christ won more love by the cross than he ever won elsewhere. O Lord Jesus, you never would have been so much loved, if you had sat in heaven forever, as you are loved now since you have stooped to death. No cherubim, or seraphim, or angels dressed in light, could ever have loved with hearts so warm as your redeemed above, or even your redeemed below. You won more abundant love by the nail than by your scepter. Your open side brought you the fullness of love, for your people love you with all their hearts. Christ won glory by his cross. He was never so lifted up as when he was cast down; and the Christian will bear witness, that though he loves his Master for all that He has done, yet nothing moves his heart to rapture and passion of love, like the story of the crucifixion and the agonies of Calvary.
Again: Christ at the cross won a great deal of glory by fortitude.
The cross was a trial of Christ's fortitude and strength, and it was a garden in which his glory was planted. The laurels of his crown were sown in a soil that was saturated with his own blood. Sometimes the ambitious soldier pants for battle, because in days of peace he cannot distinguish himself. "Here I sit," he says, "and my sword rusts in my scabbard, and I win no glory; let me rush to the cannon's mouth; though some call honor a faded trinket, it may be so, yet I am a soldier, and I want it" and he pants for the encounter that he may win glory. Now, in an infinitely higher sense than that poor glory which the soldier gets, Christ looked upon the cross as being his way to honor. "Oh!" he said, "now will be the time of my endurance: I have suffered much, but I will suffer more, and then will the world see what a strong heart of love I have; how patient is the Lamb, how mighty to endure." Christ would have had such joyous songs of praise and such songs of honor, if he would have avoided the conflict, and the battle, and the agony. We might have blessed him for what he is and for what he wished to do; we might have loved him for the very longings of his heart but we could never have praised him for his strong endurance, for his intrepid spirit, for his unconquerable love, if we had not seen him put to the severe test of crucifixion and the agonies of that awful day. Christ did win the glory by his being crucified.
Again: Christ looked upon his crucifixion as the completion of all his work, and therefore he looked upon it as an exaltation.
The completion of an enterprise is the harvest of its honor. Though thousands have perished in the arctic regions, and have obtained fame for their intrepid conduct, yet, my friends, the man who finally discovers the passage is the one honored most of all; and though we will forever remember those bold men who pushed their way through winter in all its might, and dared the perils of the deep, yet the man who accomplishes the deed wins more than his share of the glory. Surely the accomplishment of an enterprise is just the point where the honor hangs. And, my listeners, Christ longed for the cross, because he looked for it as the goal of all his exertions. It was to be the place upon which he could say, "It is finished." He could never say "It is finished" on his throne: but on his cross he cried it out. He preferred the sufferings of Calvary to the honors of the multitude who crowded around him; for, preach as he might, and bless them as he might, and heal them as he might, still his work was not finished. He was restricted; he had a baptism to be baptized with, and he was restricted until it was accomplished. "But," he said, "now I pant for my cross, for it is the crowning achievement of my labor. I long for my sufferings, because they will be the completion of my great work of grace." Brethren, it is the end that brings the honor; it is the victory that crowns the warrior rather than the battle. And so Christ longed for this, his death, that he might see the completion of his labor. "Yes," he said, "I am crucified, I am exalted, and I am lifted up."
And, once again, Christ looked upon his crucifixion with the eye of firm faith as the hour of triumph.
His disciples thought that the cross would be a degradation; Christ looked through the outward and visible, and beheld the spiritual. "The cross," Jesus said, "the gallows of my doom may seem to be cursed with shame, and the world will stand around and hiss at the crucified; my name will be forever dishonored, by the world, as one who died upon the cross of shame; and critics and scoffers may forever throw this in the teeth of my friends that I died with criminals; but I do not look not at the cross as they do. I know its disgrace, but I do not despise the shame-I am prepared to endure it all. I look upon the cross as the gate of triumph, as the portal of victory. Oh, let me tell you what I will see upon the cross?-just when my eyes are swimming with the last tear, and when my heart is throbbing with its last beat; just when my body is torn with its last pain of anguish, then my eyes will see the head of the dragon broken, it will see hell's towers dismantled and its castle fallen. My eyes will see my elect ones eternally saved, I will see the prisoners of sin and death ransomed and coming from their prisons. In that last moment of my doom, when my mouth is just preparing for its last cry of 'It is finished;' I will see the year of my redeemed come, I will shout my triumph of the delivery of all my beloved! Yes, and I will see then, the world, my own earth conquered, and usurpers all dethroned, and I will see in a vision the glories of the last days, when I will sit upon the throne of my father David and judge the earth, attended with the pomp of angels and the shouts of my beloved!"
Yes, my brothers and sisters, Christ saw in his cross the victories of it, and therefore he panted and longed for it as being the place of victory and the means of conquest. "I," said Jesus, "if I am lifted up, if I am exalted," he puts his crucifixion as being his glory. This is the first point of our text.
II. But, now, secondly, CHRIST HAS ANOTHER LIFTING UP, not disgraceful, but truly honorable; there is a lifting of him upon the pole of the gospel, in the preaching of the Word.
Christ Jesus is to be lifted up every day; for that purpose he came into the world: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert," even so Jesus might by the preaching of the truth be lifted up, "that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Christ is THE MINISTER'S GREAT THEME, in opposition to a thousand other things which most men choose. I would prefer that the most prominent feature in my ministry should be the preaching of Christ Jesus.
Christ should be most prominent, not hell and damnation.
God's ministers must preach God's terrors as well as God's mercies; we are to preach the thunder of God's law. If men will sin, we are to tell them that they must be punished for it. If they will transgress, woe to the preacher who is ashamed to say, "The Lord will come and punish." We would be unfaithful to the solemn charge which God has given us if we were to wickedly stifle all the threats of God's word. Does God say, "The wicked will be thrown into hell, with all the nations that forget God?" It is our business to say so. Did the loving Savior talk of the pit that burns, of the worm that never dies, and of the fire that can never be extinguished? It is ours responsibility to speak as he spoke, and not to minimize the threat. You do not show mercy to men by hiding their doom.
But, my brethren, terrors never ought to be the prominent feature of a minister's preaching. Many great old preachers thought they would do a great deal of good by preaching like this. I do not believe it. Some souls are awakened and terrified by such preaching; they however, are but few. Sometimes, the solemn and sacred mysteries of eternal wrath must be preached, but more often let us preach the wondrous love of God. There are more souls won by wooing than by threatening. It is not hell, but Christ, we desire to preach. O sinners, we are not afraid to tell you of your doom, but we do not choose to be forever dwelling on that mournful theme. We would rather love to tell you of Christ, and him crucified. We want to have our preaching full of the frankincense of the merits of Christ than of the smoke, and fire, and terrors of Mount Sinai, we have not come to Mount Sinai, but to Mount Zion-where milder words declare the will of God, and rivers of salvation are abundantly flowing.
Again, the theme of a minister should be Christ Jesus in opposition to mere doctrine.
Some of my good brethren are always preaching doctrine. Well, they are right in doing so, but I would not care myself to have as the characteristic of my preaching, doctrine only. I would rather have it said, "He preached mostly upon the person of Christ, and seemed most pleased when he began to tell about the atonement and the sacrifice. He was not ashamed of the doctrines, he was not afraid to declare the coming wrath, but he seemed as if he preached the wrath with tears in his eyes, and the doctrine solemnly as God's own word; but when he preached of Jesus his tongue was set free, and his heart was at liberty."
Brethren, there are some men who preach only doctrine, and they end up damaging God's church rather than bringing it a blessing. I know of men who have set themselves up as umpires over all spirits. They are the men. Wisdom will die with them. If they were taken away the great standard of truth would be removed. We do not wonder that they hate the Pope, two of a trade never agree, for they are far more of a Pope than he, they consider themselves infallible. I am afraid that very much of the soundness of this age, is but a mere sound, and is not real; it does not enter into the center of the heart, nor affect the person. Brethren, we would rather preach Christ than election. We love election, we love predestination, we love the great doctrines of God's word, but we would rather preach Christ than preach these. We desire to put Christ over the head of the doctrine, we make the doctrine the throne for Christ to sit on, but we dare not put Christ at the bottom, and then press him down, and overload him with the doctrines of his own word.
Again, the minister ought to preach Christ in opposition to mere morality.
How many ministers in London could preach as well out of Shakespeare as out the Bible, for all they want is a moral saying. These ministers never thinks of mentioning regeneration. They sometimes talks of moral renovation. They do not think of talking about perseverance by grace. No, continuance in doing good is his perpetual cry. They do not think of preaching "believe and be saved." No; their continual exhortation is, "Good Christian people, say your prayers, and behave well, and by these means you will enter the kingdom of heaven." The sum and substance of their gospel is that we can do very well without Christ, that although certainly there is a little wrong in us, yet if we just mend our ways in some little degree, that old text, "except a man be born again," need not trouble us.
If you want to be become drunkards, if you want to be become dishonest, if you want to be taught every vice in the world, go and hear a moral preacher. These gentlemen, in their attempts to reform and make people moral, are the very men that lead the people away from morality. Listen to the testimony of that holy minister Lavington, "We have long been attempting to reform the nation by moral preaching. With what effect! None. On the contrary, we have skillfully preached the people into downright infidelity. We must change our voice; we must preach Christ and him crucified; nothing but the gospel is the power of God unto salvation."
And yet one more remark. The minister ought to preach Christ in opposition to some who think they ought to preach knowledge.
God forbid we should ever preach against knowledge. The more of it a man can get, the better for him; and the better for his listeners if he has grace enough to use it well, but there are some who have so much of knowledge, that if in the course of their readings they find a very hard word, out comes the pencil: they jot it down, to be glorified in the next Sunday morning's sermon. Do they find some outlandish German expression, which, if pulled to pieces, would mean nothing, but which looks as if it must be something wonderful, that must always come out, even at the expense of the gospel. You ought to pray to God that they may never be allowed to read anything but their Bibles all week long, because then you might hear something you could understand: but this would not suit him, if he could be understood, he would not be a great preacher, for a great preacher, according to the opinion of some, is a man who is called intellectual-that is to say, a man who knows more about the Bible than the Bible knows about itself, a man who can explain all mysteries by mere intellect, who laughs at zeal or passion, or the influence of God's Spirit as being nothing but mere fanaticism. Intellect with him is everything. You sit and hear him, you go out, "Dear me, what a remarkable man he is. I suppose he made something out of the text, but I did not know what it was. He seemed to me to be in a fog himself, although I admit it was an extremely luminous haze." Then people will go again to hear him, because they say he is such a clever man. The only reason is because they cannot understand him.
The other day I was reading a book that was giving advice to ministers, I found it stated, and very seriously too, by some good old tutor of a college, "Always have one part of your sermon which the common people cannot comprehend, because in that way you will have a name for knowledge, and what you say that they can understand, will impress them even more, for by putting in a sentence or two which is incomprehensible, you at once strike their minds as being a superior man, and they believe in the weight and the authority of your knowledge, and therefore, give credence to the rest which they can comprehend."
Now, I contend that is all wrong. Christ does not want us to preach knowledge, but to preach the Word of God in the simplest possible manner. Why, if I could only get the highly refined and educated to listen to me, by preaching to them so that they alone could understand me, well I wouldn't do it. I desire to preach so that the maidservant can understand, that the common laborer can understand, that the poor and illiterate may eagerly listen and gladly receive the word. And note this, there never will be much good come to the ministry until it is simplified, until our brethren learn one language, which they do not seem to know. Latin, Greek, French, Hebrew, and twenty other languages they know. There is one I would recommend to their very serious study-it is called Anglo-Saxon. If they would just try and learn that, it is astonishing what a mighty language they would find it to move the hearts of men. Saxon before every language in the world. When every other has died out for lack of power, Saxon will live, and triumph with its iron tongue, and its voice of steel. We must have the common, plain language in which to address the people. And note this, we must have Christ lifted up, Christ crucified, without the trinkets and trivialities of knowledge, without the trappings of attempted eloquence or rhetoric. If Christ Jesus is seriously preached he will draw all men to himself.
III. NOW WE GO TO THE THIRD POINT, WHICH IS, INDEED, THE ESSENCE OF THE TEXT, THE ATTRACTIVE POWER OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
If Christ is preached, fully held up, simply proclaimed to the people, the effect will be, he will draw all men to himself. Now, I will show the attracting power of Christ in various ways. Christ draws like a trumpet attracting men to hear the proclamation. Christ draws like a net bringing men out of the sea of sin. Christ draws, also, with bonds of love. And in the next place, Christ attracts like a banner, bringing all the soldiers around him, and, in the last place, Christ draws like a chariot. "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
First, I said that Christ draws as a trumpet.
Men have often sounded a trumpet to attract an audience to the reading of a proclamation. The people come from their houses at the well-known sound, to listen to what they are to know. Now, my brethren, part of the attractive power of the gospel lies in attracting people to hear it. You cannot expect people to be blessed by the preaching of the gospel if they do not hear it. One part of the battle is to get them to listen to its sound. Now, the question is asked in these times, "How are we to get the working-classes to listen to the word?" The answer is, Christ is his own attraction, Christ is the only trumpet that you need to trumpet Christ. Preach the gospel, and the congregation will come by themselves. The only infallible way of getting a good congregation, is to do this. "Oh!" said a liberal and false preacher once, to a good Christian minister, "I cannot figure it out; my church is always empty, and yours is always crammed full. And yet I am sure that my sermon are more rational in doctrine than yours, and you are not by any means so talented a preacher as I am" "Well," said the other "I will tell you the reason why your church is empty, and mine is full. The people have a conscience, and that conscience tells them that what I preach is true and that what you preach is false, so they will not listen to you."
Brethren, you can look through the history of Christianity ever since the beginning of the days of Protestantism, and I will dare to say, without fear of contradiction, that you will almost in every case find that the men who have attracted the greatest mass of people to hear them, have been men who were the most evangelical-who preached the most about Christ and him crucified. What was there in Whitfield to attract an audience, except the simple gospel preached with a fervent passion. Oh, It was not his ability to preach, but the gospel that drew the people.
There is a something about the truth that always makes it popular. For if you tell me that if a man preaches the truth, that his church will be empty, well, Sir, I defy you to prove that. Christ preached his own truth, and the common people gladly listened to him, and the multitude flocked to listen to him. My good fellow minister, have you got an empty church? Do you want to fill it? I will give you a good receipe, and if you will follow it, you will, in all probability, have your church full to the doors. Burn all your manuscripts, that is No. 1. Give up your notes, that is No. 2. Read your Bible and preach it as you find it in the simplicity of its language. And give up all your hard to understand English phrases. Begin to tell the people what you have felt in your own heart, and beg the Holy Spirit to make your heart as hot as a furnace for zeal. Then go out and talk to the people. Speak to them like their brother. Be a man among men. Tell them what you have felt and what you know, and tell it energetically with a good, bold face; and, my dear friend, I do not care who you are, you will get a congregation. But if you say, "Now, to get a congregation, I must first buy an organ." That will not serve you a bit. "But we must have a good choir." I would not care to have a congregation that comes through a good choir. "No," says another, "but I really must alter my style of preaching a little." My dear friend, it is not the style of preaching, it is the style of feeling. People sometimes begin to mimic other preachers, because they are successful. Why, the worst preachers are those who mimic others, whom they look upon as standards preach naturally. Preach out of your hearts just what you feel to be true, and the old soul-stirring words of the gospel will soon draw a congregation. "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."
But if it ended there, what good was it? If the congregation came and listened to the sound, and then went away unsaved, what was the use it? But in the next place,
Christ acts as a net to draw men to himself.
The gospel ministry is, in God's Word, compared to the fishing industry; God's ministers are the fishermen, they go to catch souls, as fishermen go to catch fish. How will souls be caught? They will be caught by preaching Christ. Just preach a sermon that is full of Christ, and throw it to your congregation, as you throw a net into the sea-you needn't look where they are, nor try to fit your sermon to different cases; but, throw it in, and as sure as God's Word is what it is, "it will not return to him empty, but will accomplish what he desires and achieve the purpose for which he sent it."
The gospel has never been unsuccessful, when it was preached with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. It is not fine speeches made at the death of princes, or the movements of politics which will save souls. If we wish to have sinners saved and to have our churches increased in number; if we desire the spread God's kingdom, the only thing which we can hope to accomplish the end, is the lifting up of Christ; for, "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
In the next place, Christ Jesus draws just like the ropes of love.
After men are saved, they are still apt to go astray; they need a rope to reach all the way from the sinner to heaven; and it needs to have a hand pulling at him all the way. Now, Christ Jesus is the hand of love that draws the saint to heaven. O child of God, you would go astray again if Jesus did not hold you tightly; it he did not draw you to himself you would still, still wander. Christian people are like our earth. Our world has two forces, it has one tendency to run off at a tangent from its orbit; but the sun draws it by a centripetal power and attracts it to itself, and so between the two forces it is kept in a perpetual circle. Oh! Christian, you will never walk rightly, and keep in the orbit of truth, if it were not for the influence of Christ perpetually attracting you to the center. You feel it, and if you do not always feel it, it is still there-you feel an attraction between your heart and Christ, and Christ is perpetually drawing you to himself, to his likeness, to his character, to his love, to his bosom, and in that way you are kept from your natural tendency to fly off and to be lost in the wide fields of sin. Bless God, that Christ lifted up draws all his people to him in that fashion.
And now, in the next place Christ Jesus is the center of attraction; even as a banner is the center of gathering.
We want unity in these days; we are now crying out, "away with sectarianism." O for unity! there are some of us who truly pant after it. We do not talk about an evangelical alliance; alliances are made between men of different countries. We believe that the phrase "Evangelical Alliance" is a faulty one-it should be "Evangelical Union"-knit together in Union. Why! I am not in alliance with a brother of the Church of England; I would not be in alliance with him if he was truly a good man! I would be in union with him, I would love him with all my heart, but I would not make a mere alliance with him. He never was my enemy, he never will be; and, therefore, it is not an alliance I want with him-it is a union. And so it is with all God's people, they do not care about alliances; they love real union and communion with one another. Now, what is the right way to bring all the churches to union? "We must revise the prayer book," says one. You may revise it, and revise it as long as ever you like, you will never bring some of us to agree to it, for we hate Prayer Books as such, however near perfection. "Well then, we must revise the doctrines, so that they may satisfy everyone." You cannot; that is impossible. "Well then, we must revise the disciplines." Yes, do that. And then after that, the mass of us will stand as distant as ever. "No," says another, "The answer lies in each of us making mutual concessions." No, that won't do, for if we have to make mutual concessions, who can guarantee that I won't have to concede a part of what I believe to be true? And that I cannot do, nor can my brother on the opposite side.
The only standard of union that can ever be lifted up in England, is the cross of Christ. As soon as we will begin to preach Christ and him crucified, we will be all one. We can fight anywhere except at the foot of the cross-for it is there that the order goes out, "put away your swords;" and those that were bitter combatants before, come and prostrate themselves there, and say, "You dear Redeemer, you have melted us into one." Oh! my brethren, let us all preach the mighty gospel, and there will be union. The only means of unity we will ever get will be all of us preaching Christ crucified; when that is done, when every minister's heart is in the right place, full of anxiety for souls-when every minister feels that, no matter what he is called-all he wants to do is to glorify God and win souls to Jesus, then, my dear friends, we can maintain our denominational distinctions, but the bigotry and division will have ceased and schism will no longer be known. I anxiously pray for that day, may God send it in his own time. As far as I am concerned there is my hand for every minister of God in creation, and my heart with it, I love all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ. And I feel persuaded that the nearer that all of us come to the one point of putting Christ first, Christ last, Christ middle, and Christ without end-the nearer we will come to the unity of the one Church of the Living Christ in the bond of holy permanence.
And now I close by noticing the last sweet thought-"I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." Then Christ Jesus will draw all his people to heaven; he says he will draw them to himself. He is in heaven;
Then Christ is the chariot in which souls are drawn to heaven.
The people of the Lord are on their way to heaven, they are carried in everlasting arms; and those arms are the arms of Christ. Christ is carrying them up to his own house, to his own throne; and in time his prayer-"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am," will be completely fulfilled. And it is being fulfill even now, for he is drawing his children in the chariot of the covenant of grace unto himself. Oh! blessed be God, the cross is the plank on which we swim to heaven; the cross is the great covenant transport which will weather out the storms, and reach its desired haven. This is the chariot, its pillars are made of pure gold, and the bottom of it of silver, it is lined with the purple of the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And now, poor sinner, I pray to God that God Christ would pardon you. Sinner, remember his death on Calvary, remember his agonies and bloody sweat-all this he did for you; if you feel yourself to be a sinner. Doesn't this draw you to him?
"Though you are guilty he is good,
He'll wash your soul in Jesus' blood."
You have rebelled against him, and revolted, but he says,
"Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding." Won't his
love draw you? I pray that both his blood and his love may have their power and
influence, that you may be drawn to Christ now, and in the end be drawn to
heaven. May God give a blessing for Jesus' sake. Amen.
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