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Long For Truth: A Post for the Outcast And The Heavy Laden

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Post for the Outcast And The Heavy Laden

This is part of a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon on August 25, 1855 called Law and Grace. I love how it begins: "Listen O heavy laden..."

Listen, O heavy laden, condemned sinner, while in my Master's name, I publish superabounding grace. Grace excels sin in its measure and efficacy. Though your sins are many, mercy hath many pardons. Though they excel the stars, the sands, the drops of dew in their number, one act of remission can cancel all. Your iniquity, though a mountain, shall be cast into the midst of the sea. Your blackness shall be washed out by the cleansing flood of your Redeemer's gore. Mark! I said YOUR sins, and I meant to say so, for if you are now a law-condemned sinner, I know you to be a vessel of mercy by that very sign. Oh, hellish sinners, abandoned profligates, off-casts of society, outcasts from the company of sinners themselves, if ye acknowledge your iniquity, here is mercy, broad, ample, free, immense, INFINITE. Remember this O sinner,—

"If all the sins that men have done,

In will, in word, in thoughts, in deed,

Since words were made, or time began,

Were laid on one poor sinner's head.

The stream of Jesus' precious blood

Applied, removes the dreadful load."

Yet again, grace excelleth sin in another thing. Sin shows us its parent, and tells us our heart is the father of it, but grace surpasseth sin there, and shows the Author of grace—the King of kings. The law traces sin up to our heart; grace traces its own origin to God, and

"In his sacred breast I see

Eternal thoughts of love to me."

O Christian, what a blessed thing grace is, for its source is in the everlasting mountains. Sinner, if you are the vilest in the world, if God forgives you this morning, you will be able to trace your pedigree to him, for you will become one of the sons of God, and have him always for your Father. Methinks I see you a wretched criminal at the bar, and I hear mercy cry, "Discharge him!" He is pallid, halt, sick, maimed—heal him. He is of a vile race—lo, I will adopt him into my family. Sinner! God taketh thee for his son. What, though thou art poor, God says, "I will take thee to be mine for ever. Thou shalt be my heir. There is thy fair brother. In ties of blood he is one with thee—Jesus is thy actual brother!" Yet how came this change? Oh! is not that an act of mercy? "Grace did much more abound."

"Grace hath put me in the number

Of the Saviour's family."

Grace outdoes sin, for it lifts us higher than the place from which we fell.

And again, "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound"; because the sentence of the law may be reversed, but that of grace never can. I stand here and feel condemned, yet, perhaps, I have a hope that I may be acquitted. There is a dying hope of acquittal still left. But when we are justified, there is no fear of condemnation. I cannot be condemned if I am once justified; fully absolved I am by grace. I defy Satan to lay hands on me, if I am a justified man. The state of justification is an unvariable one, and is indissolubly united to glory. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Oh! poor condemned sinner, doth not this charm thee, and make thee in love with free grace? And all this is YOURS. Your crimes, if once blotted out, shall never be laid to your charge again. The justification of the gospel is no Arminian sham, which may be reversed if you should in future turn aside. No; the debt once paid, cannot be demanded twice—the punishment, once endured, cannot again be inflicted. Saved, saved, saved, entirely saved by divine grace, you may walk without fear the wide world over.

And yet, once more. Just as sin makes us sick, and grievous, and sad, so does grace make us far more joyful and free. Sin causeth one to go about with an aching heart, till he seems as if the world would swallow him, and mountains hang above ready to drop upon him. This is the effect of the law. The law makes us sad; the law makes us miserable. But, poor sinner, grace removeth the evil effects of sin upon your spirit, if thou dost believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, thou shalt go out of this place with a sparkling eye and a light heart. Ah! well do I remember the morning when I stepped into a little place of worship, as miserable almost as hell could make me—being ruined and lost. I had often been at chapels where they spoke of the law, but I heard not the gospel. I sat down the pew a chained and imprisoned sinner; the Word of God came, and I went out free. Though I went in miserable as hell, I went out elated and joyful. I sat there black; I went away whiter than driven snow. God had said, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be whiter than snow." Why not this be thy lot, my brother, if thou feelest thyself a sinner now? It is all he asks of thee, to feel thy need of him, this thou hast, and now the blood of Jesus lies before thee. "The law has entered that sin might abound." Thou are forgiven, only believe it; elect, only believe it; 'tis the truth that thou are saved.

And now, lastly, poor sinner, has sin made thee unfit for heaven? Grace shall render thee a fit companion for seraphs and the just made perfect. Thou who art to-day lost and destroyed by sin, shalt one day find thyself with a crown upon thy head, and a golden harp in thine hand, exalted to the throne of the Most High. Think, O drunkard, if thou repentest, there is a crown laid up for thee in heaven. Ye guiltiest, most lost and depraved, are ye condemned in your conscience by the law? Then I invite you, in my Master's name, to accept pardon through his blood. He suffered in your stead, he has atoned for your guilt and you are acquitted. Thou art an object of his eternal affection, the law is but a schoolmaster, to bring thee to Christ. Cast thyself on him. Fall into the arms of saving grace. No works are required, no fitness, no righteousness, no doings. Ye are complete in him who said, "It is finished."

"Ye debtors whom he gives to know

That you ten thousand talents owe,

When humble at his feet you fall,

Your gracious God forgives them all.

"Slaves, that have borne the heavy chain

Of sin, and hell's tyrannic reign,

To liberty assert your claim,

And urge the great Redeemer's name.

"The rich inheritance of heaven,

Your joy, your boast, is freely giv'n;

Fair Salem your arrival waits,

With golden streets, and pearly gates.

"Her blest inhabitants no more

Bondage and poverty deplore!

No debt, but love immensely great;

Their joy still rises with the debt."



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