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Christ- Our Substitute
AUTHOR: Spurgeon, C.H.
PUBLISHED ON: April 2, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Sermons
TAGS: the Gospel

                                                                                 

                                                  Christ Our Substitute

                                                        A Sermon
                                                          (No. 310)

                            Delivered on Sabbath Evening, April 15th, 1860, by the
                                              REV. C.H. SPURGEON
                                          At New Park Street, Southwark.

              “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of
              God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

                    SOMETIME AGO an excellent lady sought an interview with me, with the object as she said, of enlisting
                    my sympathy upon the question of “Anti-Capital Punishment.” I heard the excellent reasons she urged
                    against hanging men who had committed murder, and though they did not convince me, I did not seek
                    to answer hem. She proposed that when a man committed murder, he should be confined for life. My
          remark was, that a great many men who had been confined half their lives were not a bit the better for it, and as
          for her belief that they would necessarily be brought to repentance, I was afraid it was but a dream. “Ah,” she
          said, good soul as she was, “that is because we have been all wrong about punishments. We punish people
          because we think they deserve to be punished. Now, we ought to show them,” said she, “that we love them; that
          we only punish them to make them better.” “Indeed, madam,” I said, “I have heard that theory a great many
          times, and I have seen much fine writing upon the matter, but I am no believer in it. The design of punishment
          should be amendment, but the ground of punishment lies in the positive guilt of the offender. I believe that when a
          man does wrong, he ought to be punished for it, and that there is a guilt in sin which justly merits punishment.”
          “Oh no; she could not see that. Sin was a very wrong thing, but punishment was not a proper idea. She thought
          that people were treated too cruelly in prison, and that they ought to be taught that we love them. If they were
          treated kindly in prison, and tenderly dealt with, they would grow so much better, she was sure.” With a view of
          interpreting her own theory, I said, “I suppose, then, you would give criminals all sorts of indulgences in prison.
          Some great vagabond who has committed burglary dozens of times I suppose you would let him sit in an easy
          chair in the evening before a nice fire, and mix him a glass of spirits and water, and give him his pope, and make
          him happy, to show him how much we love him.” “Well, no, she would not give him the spirits, but, still, all the
          rest would do him good.” I thought that was a delightful picture certainly. It seemed to me to be the most prolific
          method of cultivating rogues which ingenuity could invent. I imagine that you could row any number of thieves in
          that way; for it would be a special means of propagating all manner of roguery and wickedness. These very
          delightful theories to such a simple mind as mine, were the source of much amusement, the idea of fondling
          villains, and treating heir crimes as if they were the tumbles and falls of children, made me laugh heartily. I fancied
          I saw the government resigning its functions to these excellent persons, and the grand results of their marvellously
          kind experiments. The sword of the magistrate transformed into a gruel-spoon, and the jail become a sweet retreat
          for injured reputations.
              Little however, did I think I should live to see this kind of stuff taught in pulpits; I had no idea that there
          would come out a divinity, which would bring down God’s moral government from he solemn aspect in which
          Scripture reveals it, to a namby-pamby sentimentalism, which adores a Deity destitute of every masculline virtue.
          But we never know to-day what may occur to-morrow. We have lived to see a certain sort of men thank God
          they are not Baptists though I am sorry to say there are a great many Baptists who are beginning to follow in
          their trail who seek to teach now-a-days, that God is a universal Father, and that our ideas of his dealing with the
          impenitent as a Judge, and not as a Father, are remnants of antiquated error. Sin, according to these men, is a
          disorder rather than an offence, an error rather than a crime. Love is the only attribute they can discern, and the
          full-orbed Deity they have not known. Some of these men push their way very far into the bogs and mire of
          falsehood, until they inform us that eternal punishment is ridiculed as a dream. In fact, books now appear, which
          teach us that there is no such thing as the Vicarious Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. They use the word
          Atonement it is true, but in regard to its meaning, they have removed the ancient landmark. They acknowledge
          that the Father has shown his great love to poor sinful man by sending his Son, but not that God was inflexibly just
          in the exhibition of his mercy, not that he punished Christ on the behalf of his people, nor that indeed God ever
          will punish anybody I his wrath, or that there is such a thing as justice apart from discipline. Even sin and hell are
          but old words employed henceforth in a new and altered sense. Those are old-fashioned notions, and we poor
          souls who go on talking about election and imputed righteousness, are behind our time. Ay, and the gentlemen
          who bring out books on this subject, applaud Mr. Maurice, and Professor Scott, and the like, but are too cowardly
          to follow them, and boldly propound these sentiments. These are the new men whom God has sent down from
          heaven, to tell us that the apostle Paul was all wrong, that our faith is vain, that we have been quite mistaken, that
          there was no need for propitiating blood to wash away our sins; that the fact was, our sins needed discipline, but
          penal vengeance and righteous wrath are quite out of the question. When I thus speak, I am free to confess that
          such ideas are not boldly taught by a certain individual whose volume excites these remarks, but as he puffs the
          books of gross perverters of the truth, I am compelled to believe that he endorses such theology.
              Well, brethren, I am happy to say that sort of stuff has not gained entrance into this pulpit. I dare say the
          worms will eat the wood before there will be anything of that sort sounded in his place; and may these bones be
          picked by vultures, and this flesh be rent in sunder by lions, and may every nerve in this body suffer pangs and
          tortures, ere these lips shall give utterance to any such doctrines or sentiments. We are content to remain among
          the vulgar souls who believe the old doctrines of grace. We are wolling still to be behind in the great march of
          intellect, and stand by that unmoving cross, which, like the pole star, never advances, because it never stirs, but
          always abides in its place, the guide of the soul to heaven, the one foundation other than which no man can lay,
          and without building upon which, no man shall ever see the face of God and live.
              Thus much have I said upon a matter which just now is exciting controversy. It has been my high privilege to
          be associated with six of our ablest brethren in the ministry, in a letter of protest against the countenance which a
          certain newspaper seemed willing to lend to this modern heresy. We trust it may be the means, in the hands of
          God, of helping to check that downward march that wandering from truth which seems by some singular
          infatuation, to have unsettled the minds of some brethren in our denomination. Now I come to address you upon
          the opic which is most continually assailed by those who preach another gospel “which is not another but there
          be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ,” namely, the doctrine of the substitution of
          Christ on our behalf, his actual atonement for our sins, and our positive and actual justification through his
          sufferings and righteousness. It seems to me that until language can mean the very reverse of what it says, until by
          some strange logic, God’s Word can be contradicted and can be made to belief itself, the doctrine of substitution
          can never be rooted out of the words which I have selected for my text “He hath made him to be sin for us, who
          knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
              First, then, the sinlessness of the substitute; secondly, the reality of the imputation of sin to him; and thirdly,
          the glorious reality of the imputation of righteousness to us.
              I. First, THE SINLESSNESS OF THE SUBSTITUTE.
              The doctrine of Holy Scripture is this, that inasmuch as man could not keep God’s law, having fallen in Adam,
          Christ came and fulfilled the law on the behalf of his people; and that inasmuch as man had already broken the
          divine law and incurred the penalty of the wrath of God, Christ came and suffered in the room, place, and stead of
          his elect ones, that so by his enduring the full vials of wrath, they might be emptied out and not a drop might ever
          fall upon the heads of his blood-bought people. Now, you will readily perceive that if one is to be a substitute for
          another before God, either to work out a righteousness or to suffer a penalty, that substitute must himself be free
          from sin. If he hath sin of his own, all that he can suffer will but be the due reward of his own iniquity. If he hath
          himself transgressed, he cannot suffer for another, because all his sufferings are already due on his own personal
          account. On the other and, it is quite clear that none but a perfect man could ever work out a spotless
          righteousness for us, and keep the law in our stead, for if he hath dishonoured the commandment in his thought,
          there must be a corresponding flaw in his service. If the warp and woof be speckled, how shall he bring forth the
          robe of milk-white purity, and wrap it about our loins? He must be a spotless one who shall become the
          representative of his people, either to give them a passive or active righteousness, either to offer a satisfaction as
          the penalty of their sins, or a righteousness as the fulfilment of God’s demand.
              It is satisfactory for us to know, and to believe beyond a doubt, that our Lord Jesus was without sin. Of
          course, in his divine nature he could not know iniquity; and as for his human nature, it never knew the original
          taint of depravity. He was of the seed of the woman, but not of the tainted and infected see of Adam.
          Overshadowed as was the virgin by the Holy Ghost, no corruption entered into his nativity. That holy thing which
          was born of her was neither conceived in sin nor shapen in iniquity. He was brought into this world immaculate.
          He was immaculately conceived and immaculately born. In him that natural black blood which we have inherited
          from Adam never dwelt. His heart was upright within him; his soul was without any bias to evil; his imagination
          had never been darkened. He had no infatuated mind. There was no tendency whatever in him that to do that
          which was good, holy, and honourable. And as he did not share in the original depravity, so he did not share in the
          imputed sin of Adam which we have inherited not, I mean, in himself personally, though he took the
          consequences of that, as he stood as our representative. The sin of Adam had never passed over the head of the
          second Adam. All that were in the loins of Adam sinned in him when he touched the fruit; but Jesus was not in the
          loins of Adam. Though he might be conceived of as being in the womb of the woman “a new thing which the
          Lord created in the earth,” he lay not in Adam when he sinned, and consequently no guilt from Adam, either of
          depravity of nature, or of distance from God, ever fell upon Jesus as the result of anything that Adam did. I mean
          upon Jesus as considered in himself though he certainly took the sin of Adam as he was the representative of his
          people.
              Again, as in his nature he was free from the corruption and condemnation of the sin of Adam, so also in his
          life, no sin ever corrupted his way. His eye never flashed with unhallowed anger; his lip never uttered a
          treacherous or deceitful word; his heat never harboured an evil imagination. Never did he wander after lust; no
          covetousness ever so much as glanced into his soul. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.”
          From the beginning of his life to the end, you cannot put your finger even upon a mistake, much less upon a wilful
          error. So perfect was he, that no virtue seems to preponderate, or by an opposing quality give a bias to the scale of
          absolute rectitude. John is distinguished for his love, Peter for his courage; but Jesus Christ is distinguished for
          neither one above the another, because he possesses all in such sublime unison, such heavenly harmony, that no
          one virtue stands out above the rest. He is meek, but he is courageous. He is loving, but he is decided; he is bold
          as a lion, yet he is quiet and peaceful as a lamb. He was like that fine flour which was offered before God in the
          burnt offering; a flour without grit, so smooth, that when you rubbed it, it was soft and pure, no particles could be
          discerned: so was his character fully ground, fully compounded. There was not one feature in his moral
          countenance which had undue preponderance above the other; but he was replete in everything that was virtuous
          and good. Tempted he was, it is true, but sinned he never. The whirlwind came from he wilderness, and smote
          upon the four corners of that house, but it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. The rains descended, heaven
          afflicted him; the winds blew, the mysterious agency of hell assailed him; the floods came, all earth was in arms
          against him, but yet he stood firm in the midst of all. Never once did he even seem to bend before the tempest; but
          buffetting the fury of the blast, bearing all the temptations that could ever happen to man, which summed
          themselves up and consummated their fury on him, he stood to the end, without a single flaw in his life, or a stain
          upon his spotless robe. Let us rejoice, then, in this, my beloved brothers and sisters, that we have such a
          substitute one who is fit and proper to stand in our place, and to suffer in our stead, seeing he has no need to
          offer a sacrifice for himself; no need to cry for himself, “Father, I have sinned;” no need to bend the knee of the
          penitent and confess his own iniquities, for he is without spot or blemish, the perfect lamb of God’s passover.
              I would have you carefully notice the particular expression of the text, for it struck me as being very beautiful
          and significant, “who knew no sin.” It does not merely say did none, but knew none. Sin was no acquaintance of
          his; he was acquainted with grief, but no acquaintance of sin. He had to walk in the midst of its most frequented
          haunts, but did not know it; not that he was ignorant of its nature, or did not know its penalty, but he did not know
          it; he was a stranger to it, he never gave it the wink or nod of familiar recognition. Of course he knew what sin
          was, for he was ver God, but with the sin he had no communion, no fellowship, no brotherhood. He was a perfect
          stranger in the presence of sin; he was a foreigner; he was not an inhabitant of that land where sin is acknowledge.
          He passed through the wilderness of suffering, but into the wilderness of sin he could never go. “He knew no sin;”
          mark that expression and treasure it up, and when you are thinking of your substitute, and see him hang bleeding
          upon the cross, think that you see written in those lines of blood written along his blessed body, “He knew no sin.”
          Mingled with the redness of his blood that Rose of Sharon; behold the purity of his nature, the Lily of the
          Valley “He knew no sin.”
              II. Let us pass on to notice the second and most important point; THE ACTUAL SUBSTITUTION OF
          CHRIST, AND THE REAL IMPUTATION OF SIN TO HIM. “He made him to be sin for us.”
              Here be careful to observe who transferred the sin. God the Father laid on Jesus the iniquities of us all. Man
          could not make Christ sin. Man could not transfer his guilt to another. It is not for us to say whether Christ could
          or could not have made himself sin for us; that certain it is, he did not take this priesthood upon himself, but he
          was called of God, as was Aaron. The Redeemer’s vicarious position is warranted, nay ordained by divine
          authority. “He hath made him to be sin for us.” I must now beg you to notice how very explicit the term is. Some
          of our expositors will have it that the word here used must mean “sin-offering.” “He made him to be a sin-offering
          for us.” I thought it well to look to my Greek Testament to see whether it could be so. Of course we all know that
          the word here translated “sin,” is very often translated “sin-offering,” but it is always useful, when you have a
          disputed passage, to look it through, and see whether in this case the word would bear such a meaning. These
          commentators say it means a sin-offering, well, I will read it: “He hath made him to be a sin-offering for us who
          knew no sin-offering.” Does not that strike you as being ridiculous? But they are precisely the same words; and if
          it be fair to translate it “sin-offering” in one place, it must, in all reason, be fair to translate it so in the other. The
          fact it, while in some passages it may be rendered “sin-offering,” in this passage it cannot be so, because it would
          be to run counter to all honesty to translate the same word in the same sentence two different ways. No; we must
          take hem as they stand. “He hath made him to be sin for us,” not merely an offering, but sin for us.
              My predecessor, Dr. Gill, edited the works of Tobias Crisp, but Tobias Crisp went further than Dr. Gill or any
          of us can approve; for in one place Crisp calls Christ a sinner, though he does not mean that he ever sinned
          himself. He actually calls Christ a transgressor, and justifies himself by that passage, “He was numbered with the
          transgressors.” Martin Luther is reputed to have broadly said that, although Jesus Christ was sinless, yet he was
          the greatest sinner that ever lived, because all the sins of his people lay upon him. Now, such expressions I think to
          be unguarded, if not profane. Certainly Christian men should take care that they use not language which, by the
          ignorant and uninstructed, may be translated to mean what they never intended to teach. The fact is, brethren, that
          in no sense whatever take that as I say it in no sense whatever can Jesus Christ ever be conceived of as having
          been guilty. He knew no sin.” Not only was he not guilty of any sin which he committed himself, but he was not
          guilty of our sins. No guilt can possibly attach to a man who has not been guilty. He must have had complicity in
          the deed itself, or else no guilt can possibly be laid on him. Jesus Christ stands in the midst of all the divine
          thunders, and suffers all the punishment, but not a drop of sin ever stained him. In no sense is he ever a guilty
          man, but always is he an accepted and a holy one. What, then, is the meaning of that very forcible expression f
          my text? We must interpret Scriptural modes of expression by the verbage of the speakers. We know that our
          Master once said himself, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood;” he did not mean that the cup was the
          covenant. He said, “Take, eat, this is my body” no one of us conceives that the bread is the literal flesh and
          blood of Christ. We take that bread as if it were the body, and it actually represents it. Now, we are to read a
          passage like this, according to the analogy of faith. Jesus Christ was made by his Father sin for us, that is, he was
          treated as if he had himself been sin. He was not sin; he was not sinful; he was not guilty; but, he was treated by
          his Father, as if he had not only been sinful, but as if he had been sin itself. That is a strong expression used here.
          Not only hath he made him to be the substitute for sin, but to be sin. God looked on Christ as if Christ had been
          sin; not as if he had taken up the sins of his people, or as if they were laid on him, though that were true, but as if
          he himself had positively been that noxious that God-hating that soul-damning thing, called sin. When the
          Judge of all the earth said, “Where is Sin?” Christ presented himself. He stood before his Father as if he had been
          the accumulation of all human guilt; as if he himself were that thing which God cannot endure, but which he must
          drive from his presence for ever. And now see how this making of Jesus to be sin was enacted to the fullest
          extent. The righteous Lord looked on Christ as being sin, and therefore Christ must be taken without the camp.
          Sin cannot be borne in God’s Zion, cannot be allowed to dwell in God’s Jerusalem; it must be taken without the
          camp, it is a leprous thing, put it away. Cast out from fellowship, from love, from pity, sin must ever be. Take him
          away, take him away, ye crowd! Hurry him through the streets and bear him to Calvary. Take him without the
          camp as was the beast which was offered for sin without the camp, so must Christ be, who was made sin for us.
          And now, God looks on him as being sin, and sin must bear punishment. Christ is punished. The most fearful of
          deaths is exacted at his hand, and God has no pity for him. How should he have pity on sin? God hates it. No
          tongue can tell, no soul can divine the terrible hatred of God to that which is evil, and he treats Christ as if he were
          sin. He prays, but heaven shuts out his prayer; he cries for water, but heaven and earth refuse to wet his lips
          except with vinegar. He turns his eye to heaven, he sees nothing there. How should he? God cannot look on sin,
          and sin can have no claim on God: “My God, my God,” he cries, “why hast thou forsaken me?” O solemn
          necessity, how could God do anything with sin but forsake it? How could iniquity have fellowship with God? Shall
          divine smiles rest on sin? Nay, nay, it must not be. Therefore is it that he who is made sin must bemoan desertion
          and terror. God cannot touch him, cannot dwell with him, cannot come near him. He is abhorred, cast away; it
          hath pleased the Father to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. At last he dies. God will not keep him in life how
          should he? Is it not the meetest thing in the world that sin should be buried? “Bury it out of my sight, hide this
          corruption,” and lo! Jesus, as if he were sin, is put away out of the sight of God and man as a thing obnoxious. I
          do not know whether I have clearly uttered what I want to state, but what a rim picture that is, to conceive of sin
          gathered up into one mass murder, lust and rapine, and adultery, and all manner of crime, all piled together in
          one hideous heap. We ourselves, brethren, impure though we be, could not bear this; how much less should God
          with his pure and holy eyes bear with that mass of sin, and yet there it is, and God looked upon Christ as if he
          were that mass of sin. He was not sin, but he looked upon him as made sin for us. He stands in our place,
          assumes our guilt, takes on him our iniquity, and God treats him as if he had been sin. Now, my dear brothers and
          sisters, let us just lift up our hearts with gratitude for a few moments. Here we are to-night; we know that we are
          guilty, but our sins have all been punished years ago. Before my soul believed in Christ, the punishment of my sin
          had all been endured. We are not to think that Christ’s blood derives its efficacy from our faith. Fact precedes
          faith. Christ hath redeemed us; faith discovers his; but it was a fact of that finished sacrifice. Though still defiled
          by sin, yet who can lay anything to he charge of the man whose guilt is gone, lifted bodily from off him, and put
          upon Christ? How can any punishment fall on that man who ceases to possess sins, because his sin has eighteen
          hundred years ago been cast upon Christ, and Christ has suffered in his place and stead? Oh, glorious triumph of
          faith to be able to say, whenever I feel the guilt of sin, whenever conscience pricks me, “Yes, it is true, but my
          Lord is answerable for it all, for he has taken it all upon himself, and suffered in my room, and place, and stead.”
          How precious when I see my debts, to be able to say, “Yes, but the blood of Christ, God’s dear Son, hath
          cleansed me from all sin!” How precious, not only to see my sin dying when I believe, but to know that it was
          dead, it was gone, it ceased to e, eighteen hundred years ago. All the sins that you and I have ever committed, or
          ever shall commit, if we be heirs of mercy, and children of God, are all dead things.

                                              “Our Jesus nailed them to his cross,
                                            And sung the triumph when he rose.”

          These cannot rise in judgment to condemn us; they have all been slain, shrouded, buried; they are removed from
          us as far as the east is from the west, because “He hath made him to be sinf or us who knew no sin.”
              III. You see then the reality of the imputation of sin to Christ from the amazing doctrine that Christ is made
          sin for us. But now notice the concluding thought, upon which I must dwell a moment, but it must be ver briefly,
          for two reasons, my time has gone, and my strength has gone too. “THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE
          RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” Now, here I beg you to notice, that it does not simply say that we might
          be made righteous, but “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” as if righteousness, that lovely,
          glorious, God-honouring, God-delighting thing as if we were actually made that. God looks on his people as
          being abstract righteousness, not nly righteous, but righteousness. To be righteous, is as if a man should have a
          box covered with gold, the box would then be golden; but to be righteousness is to have a box of solid gold. To be
          a righteous man is to have righteousness cast over me; but to be made righteousness, that is to be made solid
          essential righteousness in the sight of God. Well now, this is a glorious fact and a most wonderful privilege, that we
          poor sinners are made “the righteousness of God in him.” God sees no sin in any one of his people, no iniquity in
          Jacob, when he looks upon them in Christ. In themselves he sees nothing but filth and abomination, in Christ
          nothing but purity and righteousness. Is it not, and must it not ever be to the Christian, one of his most delightful
          privileges to know that altogether apart from anything that we have ever done, or can do, God looks upon his
          people as being righteous, nay, as being righteousness, and that despite all of the sins they have ever committed,
          they are accepted in him as if they had been Christ, while Christ was punished for hem as if he had been sin.
          Why, when I stand in my own place, I am lost and ruined; my place is the place where Judas stood, the place
          where the devil lies in everlasting shame. But when I stand in Christ’s place and I fail to stand where faith has
          put me till I stand there when I stand in Christ’s place, the Father’s everlastingly beloved one, the Father’s
          accepted one, him whom the Father delighteth to honour when I stand there, I stand where faith hath a right to
          put me, and I am in the most joyous spot that a creature of God can occupy. Oh, Christian, get thee up, get thee
          up into the high mountain, and stand where thy Saviour stands, for that is thy place. Lie not there on the dunghill
          of fallen humanity, that is not thy place now; Christ has once taken it on thy behoof. “He made him to be sin for
          us.” Thy place is yonder there, above the starry hosts, where he hath raised us up together, and made us sit
          together in heavenly places in him. Not there, at the day of judgment, where the wicked shriek for shelter, and beg
          for the hills to cover hem, but there, where Jesus sits upon his throne there is thy place, my soul. He will make
          thee to sit upon his throne, even as he has overcome, and has sat down with his Father upon his throne. Oh! That
          I could mount to the heights of this argument to-night; it needs a seraphic preacher to picture the saint in Christ,
          robed in Christ’s righteousness, wearing Christ’s nature, bearing Christ’s palm of victory, sitting on Christ’s throne,
          wearing Christ’s crown. And yet this is our privilege! He wore my crown, the crown of thorns; I wear his crown,
          the crown of glory. He wore my dress, nay, rather, he wore my nakedness when he died upon the cross; I wear
          his robes, the royal robes of the King of kings. He bore my shame; I bear his honour. He endured my sufferings to
          this end that my joy may be full, and that his joy may be fulfilled in me. He laid in the grave that I might rise from
          the dead and that I may dwell in him, and all this he comes again to give me, to make it sure to me and to all hat
          love his appearing, to show that all his people shall enter into their inheritance.
              Now, my brothers and sisters, Mr. Maurice, McLeod, Campbell, and their great admirer, Mr. Brown, may go
          on with their preaching as long as they like, but they will never make a convert of a man who knows what the
          vitality of religion is; for he who knows what substitution means, he who knows what it is to stand where Christ
          stands, will never care to occupy the ground on which Mr. Maurice stands. He who has ever been made to sit
          together with Christ, and once to enjoy the real preciousness of a transfer of Christ’s righteousness to him and his
          sin to Christ, that man has eaten the bread of heaven, and will never renounce it for husks. No, my brethren, we
          could lay down our lives for this truth rather than give it up. No, we cannot by any means turn aside from this
          glorious stability of faith, and for this good reason, that there is nothing for us in the doctrine which these men
          teach. It may suit intellectual gentlefolk, I dare say it does; but it will not suit us. We are poor sinners and nothing
          at all, and if Christ is not our all in all, there is nothing for us. I have often thought the best answer for all these
          new ideas is, that the true gospel was always preached to the poor; “The poor have the gospel preached to
          hem.” I am sure that the poor will never learn the gospel of these new divines, for they cannot make head or tail
          of it, nor the rich either; for after you have read through one of their volumes, you have not the least idea of what
          the book is about, until you have read it through eight or nine times, and then you begin to think you are a very
          stupid being for ever having read such inflated heresy, for it sours your temper and makes you feel angry, to see
          the precious truths of God trodden under foot. Some of us must stand out against these attacks on truth, although
          we love not controversy. We rejoice in the liberty of our fellow-men, and would have them proclaim their
          convictions; but if they touch these precious things, they touch the apple of our eye. We can allow a thousand
          opinions in the world, but that which infringes upon the precious doctrine of a covenant salvation, through the
          imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, against that we must, and will, enter our hearty and solemn
          protest, as long as God spares us. Take away once from us those glorious doctrines, and where are we brethren?
          We may lay us down and die, for nothing remains that is worth living for. We have come to the valley of the
          shadow of death, when we find these doctrines to e untrue. If these things which I speak to you to-night be not the
          verities of Christ; if they be not true, there is no comfort left for any poor man under God’s sky, and it were better
          for us never to have been born. I may say what Jonathan Edwards says at the end of his book, “If any man could
          disprove the doctrines of the gospel, he should then sit down and weep to think they were not true, for,” says he,
          “it would be the most dreadful calamity that could happen to the world, to have a glimpse of such truths, and then
          for them to melt away in the thin air of fiction, as having no substantiality in them.” Stand up for the truth of
          Christ; I would not have you be bigotted, but I would have you be decided. Do not give countenance to any of this
          trash and error, which is going abroad, but stand firm. Be not turned away from your stedfastness by any pretence
          of intellectuality and high philosophy, but earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to he saints, and hold fast
          the form of sound words which you have heard of us, and have been taught, even as ye have read in this sacred
          Book, which is the way of everlasting life.
              Thus then, beloved, without gathering up my strength for the fray, or attempting to analyse the subtleties of
          those who would pervert the simple gospel, I speak out my mind and utter the kindlings of my heart among you.
          Little enough will ye reck, over whom the Holy Ghost hath given me the oversight, what the grievous wolves may
          design, if ye keep within the fold. Break not the sacred bounds wherein God hath enclosed his Church. He hath
          encircled us in the arms of covenant love. He hath united us in indissoluble bonds to the Lord Jesus. He hath
          fortified us with the assurance that the Holy Spirit shall guide us into all truth. God grant that those beyond the
          pale of visible fellowship with us in this eternal gospel may see their danger and escape from he fowler’s snare!

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