WHAT IS OR WHAT SHOULD BE THE INFLUENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE UPON MEN?
(Copied from 12 Sermons On The Plan Of Salvation by Charles H. Spurgeon, pages 18-20)
A. The Sinner
Why, first, With sinners, This doctrine is a great battering-ram against Their pride . I will give you a figure. The sinner in Natural His estate reminds me of a man Who has a strong and well-nigh impenetrable castle into Which I've fled. There is the outer moat; there is a second moat; there are the high walls; And Then afterwards there is the dungeon and keep, into Which the sinner will retire. Now, the first moat That goes round the sinner's trusting place is His good works. "Ah!" I says, "I am as good as my neighbor, twenty shillings in the pound down, ready money, I have always paid; I am no sinner; I tithe mint and cummin;. a good respectable gentleman I am indeed" Well, When God comes to Work With him, to save him, I SENDS His army across the first moat; and as They Go Through It, They cry, "Salvation is of the Lord;" and the moat is dried up, for if it be of the Lord, how can it be of good works? But That Is When done, I have a second intrenchment - ceremonies. "Well," I says, "I will not trust in my good works, but I Have Been Baptized, I Have Been confirmed,? Do not I take the sacrament That Shall be my trust," "Over the moat Over the moat ! " And the soldiers go over again, shouting, "Salvation is of the Lord." The second moat is dried up; With it it is all over that. Now they come to the first strong wall; the sinner, looking over it, says, "I can repent, I can believe Whenever I like; I will save myself by repenting and believing." Up come the soldiers of God, His great army of conviction, And They batter esta wall to the ground, crying. "Sa lvation is of the Lord. You faith and your repentance must all be Given you, or else you will neither believe nor repent of sin." And now the castle is taken; the man's hopes are all cut off; I feels That it is not of self; the castle of self is Overcome, and the great banner upon Which is written "Salvation is of the Lord" is displayed upon the battlements. But the battle is over? Oh no; the sinner has retired to the keep, in the center of the castle; and now I've Changes His tactics. "I can not save myself," says he, "therefore I will despair; there is no salvation for me." Now this second castle is as hard to take as the first, for the sinner sits down and says, "I can not be saved, I must perish." But God commands the soldiers to Take This castle too, shouting, "Salvation is of the Lord;" though it is not of man, it is of God ; "I is Able to save, even to the uttermost," though you can not save yourself. This sword, you see, cuts two ways; it cuts down pride, And Then it cleaves the skull of despair. If any man say I can save himself, it halveth His pride at once; and if another man say I can not be saved; it dasheth His despair to the earth; for it Affirms That I can be saved, seeing, "Salvation is of the Lord." That is the effect esta doctrine has upon the sinner: it May Have That effect on you!
B. The Saint
But what influence has it upon the saint? Why, it is the keystone of all divinity. I will defy you to be heterodox if you believe this truth. You must be sound in the faith if you Have Learned to spell esta sentence - "Salvation is of the Lord;" and if you feel it in your soul you will not be proud ; you can not be; you will cast everything at His Feet, Confessing That You have done nothing, save what I've Helped you to do; and THEREFORE the glory must be Where the salvation is. If you believe this you will not be distrustful . You will say, "My salvation does not depend on my faith, but on the Lord; my keeping does not depend on myself, but on God Who keepeth me my Being Brought to heaven rests not now in my own hands, but in the hand of God; " you will, When Doubts and fears prevail, fold your arms, look upwards, and say,
"And now my eye of faith is dim,
I trust in Jesus, sink or swim. "
If you can keep your mind este May you always be joyful . I can have no cause for trouble who knows and feels That His salvation is of God. Come on, legions of hell; come on demons of the pit!
"He That Has Helped me bears me through,
And makes me more than conqueror too, "
Salvation resteth not on Your poor arm, else should i despair, but on the arm of yon Omnipotent - That Which arm on the pillars of the heavens do lean. "? Whom Should I fear The Lord is my strength and my life; of Whom Shall I be afraid?"
And esta, may be grace, nerve you to work for God . If You Had to save your neighbors You Might sit down and do nothing; but since "Salvation is of the Lord," go on and prosper. Go and preach the gospel; go and tell the gospel everywhere. Tell it in your house, tell it in the street, tell it in every land and every nation; for it is not of yourself, it is "of the Lord." Why do not our friends go to Ireland to preach the gospel? Ireland is a disgrace to the Protestant church. Why Do not They Go and preach there? A year or so ago a number of our brave Ministers Went over there to preach; They did right bravely; They went there, and They Came back again, and That is about the sum all of the glorious expedition against Popery. But why come back again? Because They Were stoned, good easy men! Do they not think That the gospel ever will spread without a few stones? But They Would Have Been Killed! They brave martyrs! Let them be enrolled in the chronicle network. Did the martyrs of old, did the apostles, shrink from going to any country would Because They Have Been Killed? No, They Were ready to die; and if half a dozen Ministers HAD Been killed in Ireland, It Would Have Been the finest thing in the world for liberty in future; That the people for after Dare not have any touched us; the strong arm of the law would Have put them down; Might Have we gone through every village of Ireland afterwards, and Been to peace; the constabulary would soon put an end to Have Such infamous murder; it Would Have Awakened the Protestantism of England to claim the liberty Which is our right there as we give it elsewhere. We shall never see any great change till we have some men in our ranks Who are willing to be martyrs. That deep ditch can never be crossed till the bodies of a few of us Shall fill it up; That and after it will be easy work to preach the gospel there. Should our brethren go there once more. They can leave Their white cravats at home, and the white feather too, and go forth with a brave heart and a bold spirit; and if the people mock and scoff, let them mock and scoff on. George Whitfield Said When He Preached on Kennington Common, Where They Threw dead cats and rotten eggs at him, "This is only the manure of Methodism, the best thing in the world to make it grow; throw away as fast as you please. " And when to a stone cut him on the forehead, I Seemed to preach the better for a little blood-letting. Such Oh for a man to give you the mob, And Then the mob would not need to be Dared. Let us go there, recollecting That "Salvation is of the Lord," and let us in every place and at every time preach God's Word, believing That God's Word is more than a match for man's sin, and God will yet be master over all the earth. CHS
THE PERSUADER - Aug.-Sept, 1993.