The Uses of the Law
AUTHOR: Spurgeon, C.H.
PUBLISHED ON: April 7, 2003
TAGS: the law

                                                  The Uses of the Law

                                                        A Sermon

                              Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 19, 1857, by the
                                              REV. C.H. SPURGEON
                                    at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

              “Wherefore then serveth the law? ” Galatians 3:19.

          THE APOSTLE, by a highly ingenious and powerful argument, had proved that the law was never
          intended by God for the justification and salvation of man. He declares that God made a covenant of
          grace with Abraham long before the law was given on Mount Sinai; that Abraham was not present at
          Mount Sinai, and that, therefore, there could have been no alteration of the covenant made there by his
          consent; that, moreover, Abraham’s consent was never asked as to any alteration of the covenant, without which
          consent the covenant could not have been lawfully changed, and, besides that, that the covenant stands fast and
          firm, seeing it was made to Abraham’s seed, as well as to Abraham himself. “This I say, that the covenant, that
          was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul,
          that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but
          God gave it to Abraham by promise.” Therefore, no inheritance and no salvation ever can be obtained by the law.
          Now, extremes are the error of ignorance. Generally, when men believe one truth, they carry it so far as to deny
          another; and, very frequently, the assertion of a cardinal truth leads men to generalise on other particulars, and so
          to make falsehoods out of truth. The objection supposed may be worded thus: “You say, O Paul, that the law
          cannot justify; surely then the law is good for nothing at all; ‘Wherefore then serveth the law?’ If it will not save a
          man, what is the good of it? If of itself it will never take a man to heaven, why was it written? Is it not a useless
          thing?” The apostle might have replied to his opponent with a sneer he must have said to him, “Oh, fool, and
          slow of heart to understand. Is it proved that a thing is utterly useless because it is not intended for every purpose
          in the world? Will you say that, because iron cannot be eaten, therefore, iron is not useful? And because gold
          cannot be the food of man, will you, therefore, cast gold away, and call it worthless dross? Yet on your foolish
          supposition you must do so. For, because I have said the law cannot save, you have foolishly asked me what is
          the use of it? and you foolishly suppose God’s law is good for nothing, and can be of no value whatever.” This
          objection is, generally, brought forward by two sorts of people. First, by mere cavillers who do not like the gospel,
          and wish to pick all sorts of holes in it. They can tell us what they do not believe; but they do not tell us what they
          do believe. They would fight with everybody’s doctrines and sentiments, but they would be at a loss if they were
          asked to sit down and write their own opinions. They do not seem to have got much further than the genius of the
          monkey, which can pull everything to pieces, but can put nothing together. Then, on the other hand, there is the
          Antinomian, who says, “Yes, I know I am saved by grace alone;” and then breaks the law says, it is not binding
          on him, even as a rule of life; and asks, “Wherefore then serveth the law?” throwing it out of his door as an old
          piece of furniture only fit for the fire, because, forsooth, it is not adapted to save his soul. Why, a thing may have
          many uses, if not a particular one. It is true that the law cannot save; and yet it is equally true that the law is one
          of the highest works of God, and is deserving of all reverence, and extremely useful when applied by God to the
          purposes for which it was intended.
              Yet, pardon me my friends, if I just observe that this is a very natural question, too. If you read the doctrine
          of the apostle Paul you find him declaring that the law condemns all mankind. Now, just let us for one single
          moment take a bird’s eye view of the works of the law in this world. Lo, I see, the law given upon Mount Sinai.
          The very hill doth quake with fear. Lightnings and thunders are the attendants of those dreadful syllables which
          make the hearts of Israel to melt Sinai seemeth altogether on the smoke. The Lord came from Paran, and the Holy
          One from Mount Sinai; “He came with ten thousand of his saints.” Out of his mouth went a fiery law for them. It
          was a dread law even when it was given, and since then from that Mount of Sinai an awful lava of vengeance has
          run down, to deluge, to destroy, to burn, and to consume the whole human race, if it had not been that Jesus
          Christ had stemmed its awful torrent, and bidden its waves of fire be still. If you could see the world without
          Christ in it, simply under the law you would see a world in ruins, a world with God 8 black seal put upon it,
          stamped and sealed for condemnation; you would see men, who, if they knew their condition, would have their
          hands on their loins and be groaning all their days you would see men and women condemned, lost, and ruined;
          and in the uttermost regions you would see the pit that is digged for the wicked, into which the whole earth must
          have been cast if the law had its way, apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Ay, beloved, the law is
          a great deluge which would have drowned the world with worse than the water of Noah’s flood, it is a great fire
          which would have burned the earth with a destruction worse than that which fell on Sodom, it is a stern angel with
          a sword, athirst for blood, and winged to slay; it is a great destroyer sweeping down the nations; it is the great
          messenger of God’s vengeance sent into the world. Apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ, the law is nothing but
          the condemning voice of God thundering against mankind. “Wherefore then serveth the law?” seems a very
          natural question. Can the law be of any benefit to man? Can that Judge who puts on a black cap and condemns us
          all this Lord Chief Justice Law, can he help in salvation? Yes, he did; and you shall see how he does it, if God
          shall help us while we preach. “Wherefore then serveth the law?”
              I. The first use of the law is to manifest to man his guilt. When God intends to save a man, the first thing he
          does with him is to send the law to him, to show him how guilty, how vile, how ruined he is, and in how
          dangerous a position. You see that man lying there on the edge of the precipice; he is sound asleep, and just on the
          perilous verge of the cliff. One single movement, and he will roll over and be broken in pieces on the jagged rocks
          beneath, and nothing more shall be heard of him. How is he to be saved? What shall be done for him what shall
          be done! It is our position; we, too, are lying on the brink of ruin, but we are insensible of it. God, when he begins
          to save us from such an imminent danger, sendeth his law, which, with a stout kick, rouses us up, makes us open
          our eyes, we look down on our terrible danger, discover our miseries, and then it is we are in a right position to cry
          out for salvation, and our salvation comes to us. The law acts with man as the physician does when he takes the
          film from the eye of the blind. Self-righteous men are blind men, though they think themselves good and excellent.
          The law takes that film away, and lets them discover how vile they are, and how utterly ruined and condemned if
          they are to abide under the sentence of the law.
              Instead, however, of treating this doctrinally, I shall treat it practically, and come home to each of your
          consciences. My, hearer, does not the law of God convince you of sin this morning? Under the hand of God’s
          Spirit does it not make you feel that you have been guilty, that you deserve to be lost, that you have incurred the
          fierce anger of God? Look ye here, have ye not broken these ten commandments; even in the letter have ye not
          broken them? Who is there among you who hath always honored his father and mother? Who is there among us
          who hath always spoken the truth? Have we not sometimes borne false witness against our neighbor? Is there one
          person here who has not made unto himself another God, and loved himself, or his business, or his friends, more
          than he has Jehovah, the God of the whole earth? Which of you hath not coveted your neighbour’s house, or his
          man-servant, or his ox, or his ass? We are all guilty with regard to every letter of the law; we have all of us
          transgressed the commandments. And if we really understood these commandments, and felt that they condemned
          us, they would have this useful influence on us of showing us our danger, and so of leading us to fly to Christ.
          But, my hearers, does not this law condemn you, because even if you should say you have not broken the letter of
          it, yet you have violated the spirit of it. What, though you have never killed, yet we are told, he that is angry with
          his brother is a murderer. As a negro said once, “Sir, I thought me no kill me innocent there; but when I heard
          that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, then me cry guilty, for me have killed twenty men before breakfast
          very often, for I have been angry with many of them very often.” This law does not only mean what it says in
          words, but it has deep things hidden in its bowels. It says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but it means, as
          Jesus has it, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
          It says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” it meaneth that we should reverence God in
          every place, and have his fear before our eyes, and should always pay respect unto his ordinances and evermore
          walk in his fear and love. Ay, my brethren, surely there is not one here so fool-hardy in self-righteousness as to
          say, “I am innocent.” The spirit of the law condemns us. And this is its useful property; it humbles us, makes us
          know we are guilty, and so are we led to receive the Savior.
              Mark this, moreover, my dear hearers, one breach of this law is enough to condemn us for ever. He that
          breaketh the law in one point is guilty of the whole. The law demands that we should obey every command, and
          one of them broken, the whole of them are injured. It is like a vase of surpassing workmanship, in order to destroy
          it you need not shiver it to atoms, make but the smallest fracture in it and you have destroyed its perfection. As it
          is a perfect law which we are commanded to obey, and to obey perfectly, make but one breach thereof and
          though we be ever so innocent we can hope for nothing from the lay; except the voice, “Ye are condemned, ye are
          condemned, ye are condemned.” Under this aspect of the matter ought not the law to strip many of us of all our
          boasting? Who is there that shall rise in his place and say, “Lord, I thank thee I am not as other men are?” Surely
          there cannot be one among you who can go home and say, “I have tithed mint and cummin; I have kept all the
          commandments from my youth?” Nay, if this law be brought home to the conscience and the heart we shall stand
          with the publican, saying, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” The only reason why a man thinks he is righteous is
          because he does not know the law. You think you have never broken it because you do not understand it. There
          are some of you most respectable people; you think you have been so good that you can go to heaven by your
          own works. You would not exactly say so, but you secretly think so; you have devoutly taken the sacrament, you
          have been mightily pious in attending your church or chapel regularly, you are good to the poor, generous and
          upright, and you say, “I shall be saved by my works.” Nay, sir, look to the flame that Moses saw, and shrink, and
          tremble, and despair. The law can do nothing for us except condemn us. The utmost it can do is to whip us out of
          our boasted self-righteousness and drive us to Christ. It puts a burden on our backs and makes us ask Christ to
          take it off. It is like a lancet, it probes the wound. It is, to use a parable as when some dark cellar has not been
          opened for years and is full of all kinds of loathsome creatures, we may walk through it not knowing they are
          there. But the law comes, takes the shutters down, lets light in, and then we discover what a vile heart we have,
          and how unholy our lives have been; and, then, instead of boasting, we are made to fall on our faces and cry,
          “Lord, save or I perish. Oh, save me for thy mercy’s sake, or else I shall be cast away.” Oh, ye self-righteous ones
          now present, who think yourselves so good that ye can mount to heaven by your works blind horses, perpetually
          going round the mill and making not one inch of progress do you think to take the law upon your shoulders as
          Sampson did the gates of Gaza? Do you imagine that you can perfectly keep this law of God? Will you dare to
          say, you have not broken it. Nay, surely, you will confess, though it be in but an under tone, “I have revolted.”
          Then, this know: the law can do nothing for you in the matter of forgiveness. All it can do is just this: It can make
          you feel you are nothing at all; it can strip you; it can bruise you; it can kill you, but it can neither quicken, nor
          clothe, nor cleanse it was never meant to do that. Oh, art thou this morning, my hearer, sad, because of sin?
          Dost thou feel that thou hast been guilty? Dost thou acknowledge thy transgression? Dost thou confess thy
          wandering? Hear me, then, as God’s ambassador, God hath mercy upon sinners. Jesus Christ came into the world
          to save sinners. And though you have broken the law, he has kept it. Take his righteousness to be yours. Cast
          yourself upon him. Come to him now, stripped and naked and take his robe as your covering, Come to him, black
          and filthy, and wash yourself in the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; and then you shall know “wherefore
          then serveth the law?” That is the first point.
              II. Now, the second. The law serves to slay all hope of salvation of a reformed life. Most men when they
          discover themselves to be guilty, avow that they will reform. They say, “I have been guilty and have deserved
          God’s wrath, but for the future I will seek to win a stock of merits which shall counterbalance all my old sins.” In
          steps the law, puts its hand on the sinner’s mouth, and says, “Stop, you cannot do that, it is impossible.” I will
          show you how the law does this. It does it partly thus, by reminding the man that future obedience can be no
          atonement for past guilt. To use a common metaphor that the poor may thoroughly understand me, you have run
          up a score at your chop. Well, you cannot pay it. You go off to Mrs. Brown, your shopkeeper, and you say to
          her, “Well, I am sorry, ma’am, that through my husband being out of work,” and all that, “I know I shall never be
          able to pay you. It is a very great debt I owe you, but, if you please ma’am, if you forgive me this debt I will never
          get into your debt any more; I will always pay for all I have.” “Yes,” she would say, “but that will not square our
          accounts. If you do pay for all you have, it would be no more than you ought to do. But what about the old bills?
          How are they to be receipted? They won’t be receipted by all your fresh payments.” That is just what men do
          towards God. “True,” they say, “I have gone far astray I know; but then I won’t do so any more.” Ah, it was time
          you threw away such child’s talk. You do but manifest your rampant folly by such a hope. Can you wipe away
          your trangression by future obedience? Ah, no. The old debt must be paid somehow. God’s justice is inflexible,
          and the law tells you all your requirements can make no atonement for the past. You must have an atonement
          through Christ Jesus the Lord. “But,” says the man, “I will try and be better, and then I think I shall have mercy
          given to me.” Then the law steps in and says, “You are going to try and keep me, are you? Why, man, you cannot
          do it.” Perfect obedience in the future is impossible. And the ten commandments are held up, and if any
          awakened sinner will but look at them, he will turn away and say, “It is impossible for me to keep them.” “Why,
          man, you say you will be obedient in the future. You have not been obedient in the past, and there is no likelihood
          that you will keep God’s commandments in time to come. You say you will avoid the evils of the past. You
          cannot. ‘Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good that are
          accustomed to do evil.'” But you say “I will take greater heed to my ways.” “Sir, you will not; the temptation that
          overcame you yesterday will overcome you to-morrow. But, mark this, if you could, you could not win salvation
          by it.” The law tells you that unless you perfectly obey you cannot be saved by your doings, it tells you that one
          sin will make a flaw in it all, that one transgression will spoil your whole obedience. It is a spotless garment that
          you must wear in heaven; it is only an unbroken law which God can accept. So, then, the law answers this
          purpose, to tell men that their acquirements, their amendings, and their doings, are of no use whatever in the
          matter of salvation. It is theirs to come to Christ, to get A new heart and a right spirit; to get the evangelical
          repentance which needeth not to be repented of, that so they may put their trust in Jesus and receive pardon
          through his blood. “Wherefore then serveth the law?” It serveth this purpose, as Luther hath it, the purpose of a
          hammer. Luther, you know, is very strong on the subject of the law. He says, “For if any be not a murderer, an
          adulterer, a thief, and outwardly refrain from sin, as the Pharisee did, which is mentioned in the gospel, he would
          swear that he is righteous, and therefore he conceiveth an opinion of righteousness, and presumeth of his good
          works and merits. Such a one God cannot otherwise mollify and humble, that he may acknowledge his misery and
          damnation, but by the law, for that is the hammer of death, the thundering of hell, and the lightning of God’s
          wrath, that beateth to powder the obstinate and senseless hypocrites. For as long as the opinion of righteousness
          abideth in man, so long there abideth also in him incomprehensible pride, presumption, security, hatred of God,
          contempt of his grace and mercy, ignorance of the promises and of Christ. The preaching of free remission of sins,
          through Christ, cannot enter into the heart of such a one, neither can he feel any taste or savor thereof; for that
          mighty rock and adamant wall, to wit, the opinion of righteousness, wherewith the heart is environed, doth resist
          it. Wherefore the law is that hammer, that fire, that mighty strong wind, and that terrible earthquake rending the
          mountains, and breaking the rocks, (1 Kings 19:11-13) that is to say, the proud and obstinate hypocrites. Elijah,
          not being able to abide these terrors of the law, which by these things are signified, covered his face with his
          mantle. Notwithstanding, when the tempest ceased, of which he was a beholder, there came a soft and a gracious
          wind, in the which the Lord was; but it behoved that the tempest of fire, of wind, and the earthquake should pass,
          before the Lord should reveal himself in that gracious wind.”
              III. And now, a step further. You that know the grace of God can follow me in this next step. The law is
          intended to show man the misery which will, fall upon him through his sin. I speak from experience, though
          young I be, and many of you who hear me will hear this with ears of attention, because you have felt the same.
          There was a time with me, when but young in years, I felt with much sorrow the evil of sin. My bones waxed old
          with my roaring all day long. Day and night God’s hand was heavy upon me. There was a time when he seared
          me with visions, and affrighted me by dreams; when by day I hungered for deliverance, for my soul fasted within
          me: I feared lest the very skies should fall upon me, and crush my guilty soul. God’s law had got hold upon me,
          and was strewing me my misery. If I slept at night I dreamed of the bottomless pit, and when I awoke I seemed to
          feel the misery I had dreamed. Up to God’s house I went; my song was but a groan. To my chamber I retired, and
          there with tears and groans I offered up my prayer, without a hope and without a refuge. I could then say with
          David, “The owl is my partner and the bittern is my companion,” for God’s law was flogging me with its
          ten-thonged whip, and then rubbing me with brine afterwards, so that I did shake and quiver with pain and
          anguish, and my soul chose strangling rather than life, for I was exceeding sorrowful. Some of you have had the
          same. The law was sent on purpose to do that. But, you will ask, “Why that misery?” I answer, that misery was
          sent for this reason: that I might then be made to cry to Jesus. Our heavenly Father does not usually make us seek
          Jesus till he has whipped us clean out of all our confidence; he cannot make us in earnest after heaven till he has
          made us feel something of the intolerable tortures of an aching conscience, which has foretaste of hell. Do you not
          remember, my hearer, when you used to awake in the morning, and the first thing you took up was Alleine’s
          Alarm, or Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted? Oh, those books, those books, in my childhood I read and devoured
          them when under a sense of guilt, but they were like sitting at the foot of Sinai. When I turned to Baxter, I found
          him saying some such things as these: “Sinner, bethink thee, within an hour thou mayest be in hell. Bethink thee;
          thou mayest soon be dying death is even now gnawing at thy cheek. What wilt thou do when thou standest
          before the bar of God without a Savior? Wilt thou tell him thou hadst no time to spend on religion? Will not that
          empty excuse melt into thin air? Oh, sinner, wilt thou, then, dare to insult thy Maker? Wilt thou, then, dare to
          scoff at him? Bethink thee; the flames of hell are hot and the wrath of God is heavy. Were thy bones of steel, and
          thy ribs of brass, thou mightest quiver with fear. Oh, hadst thou the strength of a giant, thou couldst not wrestle
          with the Most High. What wilt thou do when he shall tear thee in pieces, and there shall be none to deliver thee?
          What wilt thou do when he shall fire off his ten great guns at thee? The first commandment shall say, ‘Crush him;
          he hath broken me!’ The second shall say, ‘Damn him; he hath broken me!’ The third shall say, ‘A curse upon
          him; he hath broken me!’ And so shall they all let fly upon thee; and thou without a shelter, without a place to flee
          to, and without a hope.” Ah! you have not forgotten the days when no hymn seemed suitable to you but the one
          that began,

                                            “Stoop down my soul that used to rise
                                                  Converse awhile with death
                                              Think how a gasping mortal lies,
                                                And pants away his breath.”

          Or else,

                                              “That awful day shall surely come,
                                                The ‘pointed hour makes haste,
                                            When I must stand before my Judge,
                                                  And pass the solemn test.”

          Ay, that was why the law was sent to convince us of sin, to make us shake and shiver before God. Oh! you that
          are self-righteous, let me speak to you this morning with just a word or two of terrible and burning earnestness.
          Remember, sirs, the day is coming when a crowd more vast than this shall be assembled on the plains of earth;
          when on a great white throne the Savior, Judge of men, shall sit. Now, he is come; the book is opened; the glory
          of heaven is displayed, rich with triumphant love, and burning with unquenchable vengeance; ten thousand angels
          are on either hand; and you are standing to be tried. Now, self-righteous man, tell me now that you went to church
          three times a day! Come, man, tell me now that you kept all the commandments! Tell me now that you are not
          guilty! Come before him with a receipt of your mint, and your anise, and your cummin! Come along with you!
          Where are you? Oh, you are fleeing. You are crying, “Rocks hide us; mountains on us fall.” What are you after,
          man? Why, you were so fair on earth that none dare to speak to you; you were so good and so comely; why do
          you run away? Come, man, pluck up courage; come before thy Maker; tell him that thou wert honest, sober,
          excellent, and that thou deservest to be saved! Why dost thou delay to repeat thy boastings? Out with it come,
          say it! No, you will not. I see you still flying, with shrieks, away from your Maker’s presence. There will be none
          found to stand before him, then, in their own righteousness. But look! look! look! I see a man coming forward out
          of that motley throng; he marches forward with a steady step, and with a smiling eye. What! is there any man
          found who shall dare to approach the dread tribunal of God? What! is there one who dares to stand before his
          Maker? Yes, there is one; he comes forward, and he cries, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”
          Do you not shudder? Will not the mountains of wrath swallow him? Will not God launch that dreadful thunderbolt
          against him? No; listen while he confidently proceeds: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea,
          rather, that hath risen again.” And I see the right hand of God outstretched “Come, ye blessed, enter the
          kingdom prepared for you.” Now is fulfilled the verse which you once sweetly sang:

                                              “Bold shall I stand in that great day,
                                            For who aught to my charge shall lay?
                                            While, through thy blood, absolv’d I am
                                          From sin’s tremendous curse and shame.”

              IV. And now, my dear friends, I am afraid of wearying you; therefore, let me briefly hint at one other thought.
          “Wherefore then serveth the law.” It was sent into the world to shew the value of a Saviour. Just as foils set off
          jewels, and as dark spots make bright tints more bright, so doth the law make Christ appear the fairer and more
          heavenly. I hear the law of God curse, but how harsh its voice. Jesus says, “come unto me;” oh, what music! all
          the more musical after the discord of the law. I see the law condemns; I behold Christ obeying it. Oh! how
          ponderous that price when I know how weighty was the demand! I read the commandments, and I find them
          strict and awfully severe oh! how holy must Christ have been to obey all these for me! Nothing makes me value
          my Savior more than seeing the law condemn me. When I know this law stands in my way, and like a flaming
          cherubim will not let me enter paradise, then I can tell how sweetly precious must Jesus Christ’s righteousness be,
          which is a passport to heaven, and gives me grace to enter there.
              V. And, lastly, “Wherefore serveth the law.” It was sent into the world to keep Christian men from
          self-righteousness. Christian men do they ever get self-righteous? Yes, that they do. The best Christian man in
          the world will find it hard work to keep himself from boasting, and from being self-righteous. John Knox on his
          death-bed was attacked with self-righteousness. The last night of his life on earth, he slept some hours together,
          during which he uttered many deep and heavy moans. Being asked why he moaned so deeply, he replied, “I have
          during my life sustained many assaults of Satan; but at present he has assaulted me most fearfully, and put forth
          all his strength to make an end of me at once. The cunning Serpent has labored to persuade me, that I have
          merited heaven and eternal blessedness by the faithful discharge of my ministry. But blessed be God, who has
          enabled me to quench this fiery dart, by suggesting to me such passages as these: ‘What hast thou that thou hast
          not received?’ and, ‘By the grace of God I am what I am.'” Yes, and each of us have felt the same. I have often
          felt myself rather amused at some of my brethren, who have come to me, and said, “I trust the Lord will keep you
          humble,” when they themselves were not only as proud as they were high, but a few inches over. They have been
          most sincere in prayer that I should be humble, unwittingly nursing their own pride by their own imaginary
          reputation for humility. I have long since given up entreating people to be humble, because it naturally tends to
          make them proud. A man is apt to say, “Dear me, these people are afraid I shall be proud; I must have something
          to be proud of.” Then we say to ourselves, “I will not let them see it;” and we try to keep our pride down, but
          after all, are as proud as Lucifer within. I find that the proudest and most self-righteous people are those who do
          nothing at all, and have no shadow of presence for any opinion of their own goodness. The old truth in the book
          of Job is true now. You know in the beginning of the book of Job it is said, “The oxen were ploughing, and the
          asses were feeding beside them.” That is generally the way in this world. The oxen are ploughing in the
          church we have some who are laboring hard for Christ and the asses are feeding beside them, on the finest
          livings and the fattest of the land. These are the people who have so much to say about self-righteousness. What
          do they do? They do not do enough to earn a living, and yet they think they are going to earn heaven. They sit
          down and fold their hands, and yet they are so reverently righteous, because forsooth they sometimes dole out a
          little in charity. They do nothing, and yet boast of self-righteousness. And with Christian people it is the came. If
          God makes you laborious, and keeps you constantly engaged in his service, you are less likely to be proud of our
          self-righteousness than you are if you do nothing. But at all times there is a natural tendency to it. Therefore, God
          has written the law, that when we read it we may see our faults; that when we look into it, as into a looking-glass,
          we may see the impurities in our flesh, and have reason to abhor ourselves in sackcloth and ashes, and still cry to
          Jesus for mercy. Use the law in this fashion, and in no other.
              And now, says one, “Sir, are there any here that you have been preaching at?” Yes, I like to preach at people.
          I do not believe it is of any avail to preach to people; preach right into them and right at them. I find in every circle
          a class, who say, in plain English, “Well, I am as good a father as is to be found in the parish, I am a good
          tradesman; I pay twenty shillings in the pound; I am no Sir John Dean Paul; I go to church, or I go to chapel, and
          that is more than everybody does; I pay my subscriptions I subscribe to the infirmary; I say my prayers;
          therefore, I believe I stand as good a chance of heaven as anybody in the world.” I do believe that three out of
          four of the people of London think something of that sort. Now, if that be the ground of your trust, you have a
          rotten hope; you have a plank to stand upon that will not bear your weight in the day of God’s account As the
          Lord my God liveth, before whom I stand, “Unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and
          Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And if ye think the best performance of your
          hands can save you, this know, that “Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the
          law of righteousness.” Those who sought not after it have attained it. Wherefore? Because the one hath sought it
          by faith, the other hath sought it by the deeds of the law, where justification never was to be found. Hear, now,
          the gospel, men and women; down with that boasting form of your righteousness; away with your hopes, with all
          your trusts that spring from this

                                                “Could your tears for ever flow,
                                              Could your zeal no respite know,
                                                  All for sin could not atone;
                                              Christ must save, and save alone.”

              If ye would know how we must be saved, hear this ye must come with nothing of your own to Christ. Christ
          has kept the law. You are to have his righteousness to be your righteousness. Christ has suffered in the stead of all
          who repent. His punishment is to stand instead of your being punished. And through faith in the sanctification and
          atonement of Christ, you are to be saved. Come, then, ye weary and heavy laden, bruised and mangled by the
          Fall, come then, ye sinners, come, then, ye moralists, come, then, all ye that have broken God’s law and feel it,
          leave your own trusts and come to Jesus, he will take you in, give you a spotless robe of righteousness, and make
          you his for ever. “But how can I come?” says one; “Must I go home and pray?” Nay, sir, nay. Where thou art
          standing now, thou mayest come to the cross. Oh, if thou knowest thyself to be a sinner, now I beseech you, ere
          thy foot shall leave the floor on which thou standest now, say this

                                                “Myself into thy arms I cast:
                                              Lord, save my guilty soul at last.”

          Now, down with you, away with your self-righteousness. Look to me look, now; say not, “Must I mount to
          heaven and bring Christ down?” “The word is nigh thee, on thy mouth and in thy heart; if thou shalt confess with
          thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe with thy heart, thou shalt be saved.” Yes, thou thou thou. Oh! I bless
          God, we have heard of hundreds who have in this place believed on Christ. Some of the blackest of the human
          race have come to me but even lately, and told me what God has done for them. Oh, that you, too, would now
          come to Jesus. Remember, he that believeth shall be saved, be his sins never so many; and he that believeth not,
          must perish, be his sins never so few. Oh, that the Holy Spirit would lead you to believe; so should ye escape the
          wrath to come? and have a place in paradise among the redeemed!


Doc Viewed 4397 times

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.