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Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel

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  • Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



    IT is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, "Spare him yet a little." Many sinners, when converted to God, have gratefully acknowledged that it was of the Lord's mercy that they were not consumed. John Bunyan had three memorable escapes before his conversion, and mentions them in his "Grace Abounding" as illustrious instances of long-suffering mercy. Occasionally such deliverances are made the means of affecting the heart with tender emotions of love to God, and grief for having offended him. Should it not be so?

    Ought we not to account that the longsuffering of God is salvation? (2 Peter 3:15.) An officer during a battle was struck by a nearly spent ball near his waistcoat pocket, but he remained uninjured, for a piece of silver stopped the progress of the deadly missile. The coin was marked at the words DEI GRATIA (by the grace of God). This providential circumstance deeply impressed his mind, and led him to read a tract which a godly sister had given him when leaving home. God blessed the reading of the tract, and he became, through the rich grace of God, a believer in the Lord Jesus.

    Reader, are you unsaved? Have you experienced any noteworthy deliverances? Then adore and admire the free grace of God, and pray that it may lead you to repentance! Are you enquiring for the way of life? Remember the words DEI GRATIA, and never forget that by grace we are saved. Grace always pre-supposes unworthiness in its object. The province of grace ceases where merit begins: what a cheering word is this to those of you who have no worth, no merit, no goodness whatever! Crimes are forgiven, and follies are cured by our Redeemer out of mere free favour. The word grace has the same meaning as our common term gratis: Wickliffe's prayer was, "Lord save me gratis" No works can purchase or procure salvation, but the heavenly Father giveth freely, and upbraideth not.

    Grace comes to us through faith in Jesus. Whosoever believeth on Him is not condemned. O, sinner, may God give thee grace to look to Jesus and live. Look now, for to-day is the accepted time!
    A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

    ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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  • #2
    Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



    TWO learned doctors are angrily discussing the nature of food, and allowing their meal to lie untasted, while a simple countryman is eating as heartily as he can of that which is set before him. The religious world is full of quibblers, critics, and sceptics, who, like the doctors, fight over Christianity without profit either to themselves or others; those are far happier who imitate the farmer and feed upon the Word of God, which is the true food of the soul. Luther's prayer was, "From nice questions the Lord deliver us." Questioning with honesty and candour is not to be condemned, when the object is to "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good;" but to treat revelation as if it were a football to be kicked from man to man is irreverence, if not worse. Seek the true faith, by all manner of means, but do not spend a whole life in finding it, lest you be like a workman who wastes the whole day in looking for his tools. Hear the true Word of God; lay hold upon it, and spend your days not in raising hard questions, but in feasting upon precious truth.

    It is, no doubt, very important to settle the point of General or Particular Redemption; but for unconverted men, the chief matter is to look to the Redeemer on the cross with the eye of faith. Election is a doctrine about which there is much discussion, but he who has made his election sure, finds it a very sweet morsel. Final perseverance has been fought about in all time; but he who by grace continues to rest in Jesus to the end, knows the true enjoyment of it. Reader, argue, if you please, but remember that believing in the Lord Jesus gives infinitely more enjoyment than disputing can ever afford you. If you are unsaved, your only business is with the great command, "Believe!" and even if you have passed from death unto life, it is better to commune with Jesus than to discuss doubtful questions. When Melancthon's mother asked him what she must believe amidst so many disputes, he, knowing her to be trusting to Jesus in a simple-hearted manner, replied, "Go on, mother, to believe and pray as you have done, and do not trouble yourself about controversy." So say we to all troubled souls, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him."
    A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

    ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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    • #3
      Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



      MANY a man may see his portrait here! The spendthrift hacks away his estate and falls into destitution and disgrace. The drunkard cuts at his health and strength, his family comfort and household peace, and when he has finished his mad work, he drops into ruin, through his own folly. The man of low, debauched habits, is chopping, with fearful effect, at his own body and soul, and will, ere long, rue the lusts which hurl him into disease, agony, and death. There are other fools beside the man in the woodcut, who are lopping off the branch which holds them up. It is base ingratitude when men are malicious and cruel to those who are their best friends. Wives and parents often have to feel sharp cuts from those whom they lovingly support and are anxious to preserve from ruin. Shame that it should be so! Self-righteous reader, you are ready to join with us in any censure which we may pass upon the madness of the sins we have just hinted at; but permit us to ask you, whether you yourself are not photographed in our picture? You are resting upon the bough of good works, and yet, every day, your faults, imperfections, and sins are rendering it less and less able to bear your weight.

      It never was a firm support, and if you know yourself, and are candid enough to confess your shortcomings, you will at once perceive that it has become, in the judgment of conscience, a very frail dependence, quite unworthy of your confidence. Had you never sinned, and, consequently, never made one gash in the bough, we might tolerate your trusting to it; but since you have cut at it again and again, and it is ready even now to snap beneath you, we pray you, leave it for a surer resting-place. All reliance on self in any form or shape is gross folly. Feelings, works, prayers, almsgivings, religious observances, are all too feeble to support a sinful soul. "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laidóJesus Christ the righteous." "Whosoever believeth in him is not condemned." " He is able also to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Trust Jesus and he will never fail you.


      http://archive.spurgeon.org/tract05.php
      A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

      ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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      • #4
        Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



        ROWLAND HILL illustrated the folly of sinners by the story of a butcher who was followed by the swine right into the slaughterhouse. As pigs are not usually in the mind to go where they are wanted, it seemed a mystery how these animals were so eager to follow their executioner; but when it was seen that he wisely carried a bag of pease and beans with which he enticed the creatures onward, the riddle was solved at once. Unsuspicious of impending death the hogs cared only for the passing gratification of their appetites, and hastened to the slaughteróand in the same manner ungodly men follow the great enemy of souls down through the jaws of hell, merely because their depraved passions are pleased with the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of sin which the devil gives them by handfuls on the road. Alas, that there should be such likeness between men and swine!

        The joys of sin are so short and so unsatisfactory, that they can never be thought of for a moment as a fitting inducement for a rational being to lose his immortal soul. Will a few hours' foolery, gambling, drinking, or wantoning, compensate for eternal fire? Is the momentary indulgence of a base passion worth the endurance of flames which never can be quenched? To moan in vain for a drop of water! to be tormented by the never dying worm! to be shut out from hope for ever! to be eternally cursed of God! Is any sin worth all this? Can any gain make up for this? O ye who delight in the poisonous sweets of sin, remember that though pleasant in the mouth for the moment, sin will be as wormwood and gall in your bowels for ever. Why will ye swallow the bait when you know that the hook is there? Why will ye be lured by the Satanic fowler? Surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird; but you are more foolish than the birds and fly into the snare when you know it to be there. O that ye were wise, and would consider your latter end. Let that one word Eternity ring in your ears and drive out the giddy laughter of worldlings who prefer the present joys of sense. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life by Jesus Christ." Jesus receiveth sinners. Go to him and he will in no wise cast you out.

        http://archive.spurgeon.org/tract06.php
        A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

        ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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        • #5
          Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



          DIONYSIUS the tyrant king of Syracuse, was pronounced by Damocles the flatterer, the happiest man on earth. The king, in order to convince him of his mistake, invited Damocles to a banquet, and caused him to be robed and treated as a sovereign. During the entertainment, a sword hung suspended by a single horsehair from the ceiling, over the head of Damocles; and thus was typified the happiness of a tyrant.

          Unconverted sinner, behold thyself in the above picture. Thou fanciest that thou art happy. Ah! thou art woefully deceiving thyself. Thy pleasures are short in duration! Thou art clothed in borrowed garments of vanity, and art seated at the banquet table of thy pleasures, with the sword of Divine judgment suspended over thine head by a slender thread. (See Ecclesiastes 9:9, and Luke 12:16, 21.) Any moment thou mayest be cut down by the hand of death, and be hurried all unprepared before the judgment seat of Christ. Oh! be no longer blinded; but turn thine eyes upward and see thy danger. Know that thou art a sinner: "for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23.) As a sinner thou art already condemned. The curse of God hangs over thee, and in a moment thou mayest be in hell. Turn off thine eyes from sin and self, and look unto Jesus, who is now both able and willing to save even thee if thou believest on him.

          When the sinner believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is made by sovereign grace a king and a priest unto God. He is arrayed in "the best robe," the imputed righteousness of Christ. He is enabled by faith to sit down at the King's "banquetting" table, whereon are spread the dantiest dishes, and a feast of wine. Instead of the flaming sword of justice, the "banner" of Jesus' "love" hangs "over" his head. (Canticles 2:4; Isa. 25:6; Luke 15:22, 23; Rev. 1:6.) Such is the royal provision made by the Jehovah of hosts for every poor and needy sinner, who by simple clinging faith, trusts in his dear Son, whose "precious blood" cleanses the vilest from all sin. May infinite love glorify itself by admitting you to the marriage-feast of glory.
          A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

          ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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          • #6
            Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



            Such is LIFE. A bubble, brilliant with rainbow hues, delighting the eye of youth for a moment and then gone for ever, leaving not a trace behind. Man wilt thou risk thine all upon that bubble? Be wise and seek substantial good, and since this can ne'er be found beneath the skies, cry to the God of Heaven for his gracious aid.

            Such is LIFE. A gourd, like that of Jonah, which cometh up in a night and dieth in a night. Wilt thou make its leaves thine only shelter? Then what wilt thou do when the gourd is withered and the hot sun of divine wrath scorches thee? O that thou wouldst fly to Jesus who is the shadow of a great rock in a weary land!

            Such is LIFE. A meteor blazing its moment and then lost in darkness! If thou be sane thou wilt desire another and more lasting light than this can give thee! The Sun of Righteousness Shines on for ever.

            Such is LIFE. Like the swift ship which skims the deep and soon disappears beneath the horizon's line! Shall thy happiness be as fleeting as this? Dost thou not long for a more enduring joy?

            Such is LIFE. As the eagle which hasteth to its prey, so passeth away thine earthly existence! Whither art thou flying? Immortal Spirit, to what country art thou bound? Thou canst not pause, but thou mayest think, and it may be the Lord may turn thee heavenwards!
            Such is LIFE. An arrow speeding from a bow, a hart bounding over the plain. Speed is found in its highest degree in our life; none can outrun it. O friend, art thou ready for the grave and the judgment? for in a few days thou must know more of them than now.
            Such is LIFE. A flower which bloometh for a little season and then withereth away. Ye young, ye gay, ye proud, are ye so silly as to dream that your earthly life will last for ever? Think of your latter end, and seek that friend, who will be with you in life and in death, even Jesus, the sinner's Saviour.

            http://archive.spurgeon.org/tract08.php
            A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

            ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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            • #7
              Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel



              A CHURCH OF ENGLAND MONK in the costume worn by Father Ignatius, and his crew! Has it come to this, that monkery is to be revived in a professedly Protestant Church? Who would have believed it had it been foretold ten years ago? Can it be true that altars are consecrated by these monks to the Virgin and to the saints, and that they are still tolerated in the Establishment? Yes, it is even so. Ignatius was introduced to a congress of clergy as a minister of the Church, and all his doings are strictly within her pale. Monkery is therefore re- established in the Anglican body. We are not at all surprised at this, nor should we be much astonished if high-mass were publicly celebrated in our parish Churches, and shrines set up to the Virgin, and the saints, within the communion-rails. These would be onlv legitimate displays of the festering corruption of that part of Antichrist which dominates over this country. But what we are astounded at above measure is, the way in which believers in the Lord Jesus and evangelical Christians continue to countenance all this Popery by remaining in communion with it! The Popish party sneer at them, the Dissenters denounce their dishonesty, and many of them feel uneasy in the organs which once were their consciences, but still they "abide by the stuff" without complaining of it!

              Verily some persons can eat a large amount of dirt! We wish we could say a word kindly but forcibly in the ear of our brethren, who are still in fellowship with the works of darkness practised in the Anglican denomination of Romanists. When will you come out? How far is the corrupt element to prevail before you will separate from it? You are mainly responsible for the growth of all this Popery, for your piety is the mainstay and salt of what would otherwise soon become too foul to be endured, and would then most readily be swept from the earth. You hinder reformation! You protect these growing upas trees which drip with death to the souls of men! You foster these vipers beneath your goodly garments! You will be used as a shield to protect the agents of the devil, until they need you no longer, and then they will cast you away! For the love you bear to your Redeemer, be duped no longer, and by your own hatred of monkery and priestcraft, come ye out from among them, be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.

              http://archive.spurgeon.org/tract09.php
              A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

              ~ Smith Wigglesworth

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              • #8
                Re: Charles Spurgeon: The Sword and the Trowel

                Originally posted by Jude View Post


                TWO learned doctors are angrily discussing the nature of food, and allowing their meal to lie untasted, while a simple countryman is eating as heartily as he can of that which is set before him. The religious world is full of quibblers, critics, and sceptics, who, like the doctors, fight over Christianity without profit either to themselves or others; those are far happier who imitate the farmer and feed upon the Word of God, which is the true food of the soul. Luther's prayer was, "From nice questions the Lord deliver us." Questioning with honesty and candour is not to be condemned, when the object is to "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good;" but to treat revelation as if it were a football to be kicked from man to man is irreverence, if not worse. Seek the true faith, by all manner of means, but do not spend a whole life in finding it, lest you be like a workman who wastes the whole day in looking for his tools. Hear the true Word of God; lay hold upon it, and spend your days not in raising hard questions, but in feasting upon precious truth.

                It is, no doubt, very important to settle the point of General or Particular Redemption; but for unconverted men, the chief matter is to look to the Redeemer on the cross with the eye of faith. Election is a doctrine about which there is much discussion, but he who has made his election sure, finds it a very sweet morsel. Final perseverance has been fought about in all time; but he who by grace continues to rest in Jesus to the end, knows the true enjoyment of it. Reader, argue, if you please, but remember that believing in the Lord Jesus gives infinitely more enjoyment than disputing can ever afford you. If you are unsaved, your only business is with the great command, "Believe!" and even if you have passed from death unto life, it is better to commune with Jesus than to discuss doubtful questions. When Melancthon's mother asked him what she must believe amidst so many disputes, he, knowing her to be trusting to Jesus in a simple-hearted manner, replied, "Go on, mother, to believe and pray as you have done, and do not trouble yourself about controversy." So say we to all troubled souls, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him."
                Couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, many forget that this is the basic essence of setting up this Platform; to diligently and objectively explore the hidden truth of scripture for spiritual enrichment and growth. And not for point scoring.

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