SUIT AID HIS SAVIOUR;
THE PROGRESS OF THE SOUL IN THE
KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS.
THE KEY. 0. H. SPUEGEON.
Chrwt u nil." Cot. iii. 11.
SHELDON, BLAKEMAN & CO
BOSTON: GOULD & LINCOLN.
CHICAGO I S. C. GRIGGS & CO.
" THE special work of our ministry is to lay open Christ, to hold up the
tapestry and unfold the mysteries of Christ. Let us labour therefore to be
always speaking somewhat about Christ, or tending that way. When we speak
of the law, let it drive us to Christ ; when of moral duties, let them teach us to
walk worthy of Christ. Christ, or something tending to Christ, should be our
theme, and mark to aim at."
" And surely this is the sweetest subject that ever was preached on ; is it not
as ointment poured forth, whose smell is so fragrant, and whose savour is so
sweet, that therefore all the virgins love him? Is it not a subject which com
prehends all the glory and excellency and beauty of all the things in heaven
and in earth ?"
W. H. TINSON, Stereotyper.
THE ONE GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH,
THE TRINITY OF HIS SACRED PERSONS,
BE ALL HONOUR AND GLORY,
WORLD WITHOUT END,
TO THE GLORIOUS FATHER,
COVENANT GOD OF ISRAEL ;
TO THE GRACIOUS S tf,
THE REDEEMER OF HIS PEOPLE ;
TO THE HOLY GHOST,
THE AUTHOR OF S A N C T I F I C A TI N ;
BE EVERLASTING PRAISE FOR THAT EXPERIENCE OF FREE GRACK
AND SOVEREIGN LOVE
WHICH IS SIMPLY DESCRIBED IN THIS VOLUME.
I HAVE no idea of what I am expected to say in
a preface, and am of opinion that a book is better
without an appendage usually so unmeaning. I
will, however, make one or two faithful declarations
which may, perhaps, shield me from the reader s
wrath, should he find my work of less value than
Never was a book written amid more incessant
toil. Only the fragments of time could be allotted
to it, and intense mental and bodily exertions have
often rendered me incapable of turning even those
fragments to advantage.
Writing is to me the work of a slave. It is a
delight, a joy, a rapture to talk out one s thoughts
in words that flash upon the mind at the instant
when they are required ; but it is poor drudgery to
sit still and groan for thoughts and words without
succeeding in obtaining them. Well may a man s
books be called his "works," for, if every mind
were constituted as mine, it would be work indeed
to produce a quarto volume. Nothing but a sense
of duty has impelled me to finish this book, which
has been more than two years on hand. Yet have
I, at times, so enjoyed the meditation which my
writing has induced, that I would not discontinue
the labour were it ten times more irksome: and
moreover, I have some hopes that it may yet be a
pleasure to me to serve God with the pen as well
as the lip.
The subject of religious experience is a very
wide one, and those points of it upon which I have
touched deserve larger notice from a far abler hand
than mine. The aged Christian will find very little
instruction here ; it will not be proper for him to
expect it when he is reminded of the object of the
volume. It has been my aim to deal only with the
more common and shallow experiences of beginners,
and I have left the great deeps for those who have
long done business upon them. To comfort the
mourner, to confirm the weak, to guide the wander
ing, and reassure the doubting has been my great
desire. If I may but hear of some trembling sin
ners led to Jesus by the following pages, or of some
distressed believer enabled to rejoice, it will be an
ample recompence to me.
I have dedicated the work to God, and I now
crave His abundant blessing upon it.
CLAPHAM, September, 1857.
THE DESPISED FRIEND 9
FAITHFUL WOUNDS 43
JESUS DESIRED 99
JESUS PARDONING 155
JOT AT CONVERSION If 6
COMPLETE IN CHRIST.. . 217
LOVE TO JESUS 241
LOVE S LOGIC 272
JESUS IN THE HOUR OF TROUBLE 315
JESUS HIDING HIMSELF 354
THE CAUSES OF APPARENT DESERTION 378
COMMUNION PRESERVED , 413
THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUR,
THE DESPISED FRIEND.
"We esteemed him not." ISA. liii. 3.
IT would not be easy for some of us to recall the
hour when we first heard the name of Jesus. In
very infancy that sweet sound was as familiar to our
ear as the hush of lullaby. Our earliest recollec
tions are associated with the house of God, the
family altar, the Holy Bible, the sacred song, and
the fervent prayer. Like young Samuels, we were
lighted to our rest by the lamps of the sanctuary,
and were awakened by the sound of the morning
hymn. Many a time has the man of God, whom a
parent s hospitality has entertained, implored a
blessing on our head, desiring in all sincerity that
we might early call the Redeemer blessed ; and to
his petition a mother s earnest " Amen " has
solemnly responded. Ours were happy portions
10 THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUR.
and goodly heritages ; but nevertheless, being born
in sin, and shapen in iniquity," these heavenly pri
vileges did not of themselves avail to give us love
to Jesus, and pardon by his blood.
We are often compelled to weep over sins aggra
vated by light as clear as noonday ordinances un-
(Jervalued from their very frequency warnings
despised, although accompanied with tears from a
parent s eye and loathings felt in the heart, if not
expressed by the lips, to those very blessings which
were the rich benisons of heaven. In our own per
sons we are witnesses to the fact of innate depra
vity, the birth-plague of man ; and we can testify
to the doctrine that grace, and grace alone, can
change the heart. The words of Isaiah are ours
with an emphasis, notwithstanding all the hallowed
influences which surrounded us : and in uttering
the confession, " we esteemed him not," the haunts
of our childhood, the companions of cur youth, and
the sins of our manhood, unanimously confirm our
Starting, then, with our own experience, we are
led to infer that those who were denied our advan
tages will certainly be compelled to adopt the same
humble language. If the child of pious parents,
who by divine power was in youth brought to know
the Lord, feels constrained to acknowledge that
once he did not esteem the Saviour, shall the man
whose education was irreligion, whose childhood
THE DESPISED FKIEND. 11
was riot, whose youth was license, and whose ma
turity was crime, be able to adopt language less
humiliating ? No ; we believe that all men of this
class, who are now redeemed from the hand of the
enemy, will readily acknowledge that they were
the blind neglecters of the beauties of our glorious
Emmanuel. Aye, more, we venture to challenge
the " Church of the first-born" to produce a single
saint who did not once pass by the cross with indif
ference, if not contempt.
Whether we review the " noble army of mar
tyrs," "the goodly fellowship of the prophets," "the
glorious company of the apostles," or "the holy
Church throughout all the world," we shall not dis
cover a single lover of the adorable Redeemer who
will not join the general confession, " We esteemed
Pause, attentive reader, and ask thyself whether
thou dost esteem him now ; for possibly it may
happen that thou hast not as yet seen in him any
" beauty that thou shouldest desire him," nor canst
thou subscribe to the exclamation of the spouse,
"Yea, he is altogether lovely." Should this be
thine unhappy condition, a meditation thereon may,
under the Holy Spirit s influence, be of much use
to thee ; and I beseech thee, while we unfold the
secrets of what was once our prison-house, be thou
intensely anxious that by any means thou also may-
est escape a bondage which deprives thee of joy
12 THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUK.
here, and will shut thee out from bliss here
"We propose to endeavour first of all to bring the
fact of our light estimation of Jesus vividly before
our eye ; then, secondly, we will discuss the causes
of this folly ; and, thirdly, seek to excite emotions
proper to such a mournful contemplation.
I. Let us go to the potter s house, and view the
unshapen clay which we once were ; let us remem
ber "the rock whence we were hewn," and the
"hole of the pit from which we were digged,"
that we may with deeper feeling repeat the text,
" "We esteemed him not," Let us here seriously
peruse the diary of memory, for there the witnesses
of our guilt have faithfully recorded their names.
"We pause, and consider first our overt acts of sin,
for these lie like immense boulders on the sides of
the hill of life, sure testifiers to the rock within.
Few men would dare to read their own autobi
ography, if all their deeds were recorded in it ; few
can look back upon their entire career without a
blush. " "We have all sinned and come short of
his glory." None of us can lay claim to perfection.
True, at times a forgetful self-complacency bids us
exult in the virtue of our lives ; but when faithful
memory awakes, how instantly she dispels the illu
sion ? She waves her magic wand, and in the
king s palace, frogs arise in multitudes ; the pure
THE DESPISED FKIEND. 13
rivers at her glance become blood ; the whole land
is creeping with loathsomeness. Where we ima
gined purity, lo, imperfection ariseth. The snow-
wreath of satisfaction melts before the sun of truth ;
the nectared bowl of gratulation is embittered by
sad remembrances ; while, under the glass of
honesty, the deformities and irregularities of a
life apparently correct are rendered, alas ! too
Let the Christian, whose hair is whitened by the
sunlight of heaven, tell his life-long story. He may
have been one of the most upright and moral, but
there will be one dark spot in his history, upon
which he will shed the tear of penitence, because
then he knew not the fear of the Lord. Let yon
heroic warrior of Jesus recount his deeds ; but he
too points to deep scars, the offspring of wounds re
ceived in the service of the Evil One. Some
amongst our chosen men, in their days of unregene-
racy, were notorious for guilt, and could well write
with Bunyan* " As for my own natural life, for
the time that I was without God in the world,
it was, indeed, according to the course of this world
and the spirit that now worketh in the children of
disobedience (Eph. ii. 2, 3). It was my delight to
be taken captive by the devil at his will (2 Tim. ii.
26), being filled with all unrighteousness ; the
* Grace Abounding.
14: THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUR.
which did also so strongly work, both in my heart
and life, that I had but few equals, both for curs
ing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy
name of God." Suffice it, however, that by each
of us open sins have been committed, which mani
fest that " we esteemed him not."
Could we have rebelled against our Father with,
so high a hand, if his son had been the object of
our love ? Should we have so perpetually tram
pled on the commands of a venerated Jesus?
Could we have done such despite to his authority,
if our hearts had been knit to his adorable person ?
Could we have sinned so terribly, if Calvary had
been dear to us ? Nay ; surely our clouds of trans
gressions testify our former want of love to him.
Had we esteemed the God-man, should we so
entirely have neglected his claims? could we have
wholly forgotten his loving words of command?
Do men insult the persons they admire? Will
they commit high treason against a king they love ?
Will they slight the person they esteem, or wan
tonly make sport of him they venerate ? And yet
we have done all this, and more ; whereby the
least word of flattery concerning any natural love
to Christ is rendered to our now honest hearts as
hateful as the serpent s hiss. These iniquities
might not so sternly prove us to have despised our
Lord had they been accompanied by some little
service to him. Even now, when we do love his
THE DESPISED FRIEND. 15
name, we are offc unfaithful, but now our affection
helps us " to creep in service where we cannot
go ;" but before our acts were none of them sea
soned with the salt of sincere affection, but were
all full of the gall of bitterness. O beloved, let us
not seek to avoid the weight of this evidence, but
let us own that our gracious Lord has much to lay
to our charge, since we chose to obey Satan rather
than the Captain of salvation, and preferred sin to
Let the self-conceited Pharisee boast that he was
born free we see on our wrists the red marks of
the iron ;.. let him glory that he was never blind
our eyes can yet remember the darkness of Egypt,
in which we discerned not the morning star. Others
may desire the honour of a merited salvation we
know that our highest ambition can only hope for
pardon and acceptance by grace alone ; and well
we remember the hour when the only channel of
that grace was despised or neglected by us.
The Boole of Truth shall next witness against us.
The time is not yet erased from memory when this
sacred fount of living water was unopened by us,
our evil hearts placed a stone over the mouth of the
well, which even conscience could not remove.
Bible dust once defiled our fingers; the blessed vo
lume was the least sought after of all the books in
Though now we can truly say that His word is
16 THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOTJR.
" a matchless temple where we delight to be, to
cotemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the mag
nificence of the structure, to increase our awe, and
excite our devotion to the Deity there preached
and adored ;"* yet at one sad period of our lives
we refused to tread the jewelled floor of the tem
ple, or when from custom s sake we entered it, we
paced it with hurried tread, unmindful of its sanc
tity, heedless of its beauty, ignorant of its glories,
and unsubdued by its majesty.
Now we can appreciate Herbert s rapturous affec
tion expressed in his poem :
" Oh book ! infinite sweetness ! let my heart
Suck every letter, and a honey gain,
Precious for any grief in any part ;
To clear the breast, to mollify all pain."
But then every ephemeral poem or trifling novel
could move our hearts a thousand times more easily
than this "book of stars," "this god of books."
Ah ! well doth this neglected Bible prove us to
have esteemed Jesus but lightly. Yerily, had we
been full of affection to him, we should have sought
him in his word. Here he doth .unrobe himself,
showing his inmost heart. Here each page is
stained with drops of his blood, or emblazoned with
rays of his glory. At every turn we see him, as
THE DESPISED FKIEND. 17
divine and human, as dying and jet alive, as bu
ried but now risen, as the victim and the priest, as
the prince aijd saviour, and in all those various
offices, relationships and conditions, each of which
render him dear to his people and precious to his
saints. Oh let us kneel before the Lord, and own
that a we esteemed him not," or else we should
have walked with him in the fields of Scripture, and
held communion with him in the spice-beds of in
The Throne of Grace, so long unvisited by us,
equally proclaims our former guilt. Seldom were
our cries heard in heaven ; our petitions were for
mal and lifeless, dying on the lip which carelessly
pronounced them. Oh sad state of crime, when
the holy offices of adoration were unfulfilled, the
censer of praise smoked not with a savour accepta
ble unto the Lord, nor were the vials of prayer fra
grant with precious odours !
Unwhitened by devotion, the days of the calen
dar were black with sin ; unimpeded by our sup
plication, the angel of judgment speeded his way
to our destruction. At the thought of those days
of sinful silence, our minds are humbled in the
dust ; and never *can we visit the mercy-seat with
out adoring the grace which affords despisers a
But why went not " our heart in pilgrimage ?"
Why sung we not that " tune which all things hear
18 THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUR.
and fear?" Why fed we not at "the Church s
banquet," on this " exalted manna ?" What an
swer can we give more full and complete than this
" We esteemed him not ?" Our little regard of
Jesus kept us from his throne : for true affection
would have availed itself of the ready access which
prayer affords to the secret chamber of Jesus, and
would thereby have taken her fill of loves. Can
we now forsake the throne ? ~No ; our happiest
moments are spent upon our knees, for there Jesus
manifests himself to us. We prize the society of
this best of friends, for his divine countenance
" giveth such an inward decking to the house where
he lodgeth, that proudest palaces have cause to
envy the gilding." We delight to frequent the
shades of secrecy, for there our Saviour allows us
to unbosom our joys and sorrows, and roll them
alike on him.
O Lamb of God ! our prayerlessness bids us con
fess that once we considered thee to have neither
form nor comeliness.
Furthermore, our avoidance of the people of God
confirms the humiliating truth. We who now stand
in the " sacramental host of God s elect," glorjdng
in the brotherhood of the righfeous, were once
" strangers and foreigners." The language of Ca
naan was to our ear either an unmeaning babble at
which we scoffed, a harsh jargon which we sought
not to imitate, or an " unknown tongue" above our
THE DESPISED FEIEND. 19
powers of interpretation. The heirs of life were
either despised as " earthen pitchers," the work of
the hands of the potter, or we removed from their
society, conscious that we were not fit compeers for
the "precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine
gold." Many have been the weary looks which we
cast upon the time-piece when, in pious company,
the theme has been too spiritual for our grovelling
understanding ; full often have we preferred
the friendship of the laughing worldling to that of
the more serious believer.
Need we ask the source of this dislike ? The bit
ter stream is not like the river of Egypt, silent as
to its source : it proclaims its own origin plainly
enough ; and the ear of self-partiality cannot be
deaf to the truthful sound " Ye loved not the ser
vants, because ye esteemed not their master ; ye
dwelt not amid the brethren, for ye had no friend
ship towards the firstborn of the family."
One of the plainest evidences of alienation from
God is a want of attachment to his people. In a
greater or less degree this once existed in each of us.
True, there were some Christians whose presence
always afforded us pleasure ; but we must be aware
that our delight in their company was occasioned
more by the affability of their manners, or the win
ning style of their address, than by the fact of their
intrinsic excellence. We valued the gem for its
setting, but a common pebble in the same ring
20 THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUR.
would have equally engrossed our attention. The
saints, as saints, were not our chosen friends, nor
could we saj, " I am a companion of all those that
fear thee." All hail, thou leader of the host ! we
boldly own that from the moment when we first
loved thy person, all thy followers have been dear
to us, there s not a lamb amongst thy flock we
would disdain to feed ; thy servants may be mocked
by contempt, persecuted by cruelty, branded with
infamy, oppressed by power, humbled by poverty,
and forgotten by fame ; but to us they are the " ex
cellent of the earth," and we are not ashamed to
call them brethren.
Such sentiments are the finest products of esteem
for the Redeemer, and their former absence is con
clusive evidence that we then " esteemed him not."
We have no further need of aid in this self-con
Broken Sabbaths start like warrior clansmen from
the wild heath of time ; they point to the deserted
sanctuary, for which they would execute a dread
revenge did not the shield of Jesus cover us ; for, lo !
their bows are stringed with neglected ordinances,
and their arrows are despised messages of mercy.
But wherefore these accusers ? Conscience, the
ranger of the soul, hath seen enough. He will af
firm that he hath beheld the ear closed to the woo
ing voice of the friend of sinners : that full often
the eyes have been averted from the cross when
THE DESPISED FKIEND. 21
Jesus himself was visibly set forth. Let him give
in his own evidence. Hear him. He saith : I
have witnessed the barring of the heart to the en
trance of Jesus ; I have seen the whole man, in
arms to repair the breaches which a powerful min
ister had caused ; I have been present when the
struggle against the Saviour has been as fierce as
the ravening wolf. In vain the sprinkled blood to
rivet the attention heedless of Calvary or Gethse-
mane, this mad soul refused to see the beauties of
the Prince of Life, but rather spurned him from the
heart which was his lawful throne. The sum and
substance of my declaration is, " "We esteemed him
Away, then, O pride ! we know that " without
the sovereign influence of God s extraordinary and
immediate grace, men do very rarely put off all thy
trappings, till they who are about them put on their
winding-sheet ;"* but if aught can lay thee in the
grave, the retrospect of our treatment of our loving
Lord might avail to do it. Pause then, O Chris
tian, and thus soliloquize : " I once scorned him
who loved me with an everlasting love, I once es
teemed him as a root out of a dry ground. I served
him not, I cared not for his blood, his cross, or his
crown ; and yet I am now become one of his own
children. Yerily, to grace I will for ever sing :
*a THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUK.
Great God of wonders ! all thy ways
Are matchless, godlike, and divine,
But the fair glories of thy face
More godlike and unrivalled shine :
Who is a pardoning God like thee ?
Or who hath grace so rich and free ? "
II. We now enter upon an examination of the
latent causes of this sin. When the disease is
removed, it may be useful to learn its origin, that
we may serve others and benefit ourselves.
Our coldness towards the Saviour resulted pri
marily from the natural evil of our hearts. We
can plainly discern why the dissolute and repro
bate entertain but little affection for purity and
excellence : the self-same reason may be given for
our disregard of the incarnation of virtue in the
person of our Lord Jesus. Sin is a madness, dis
qualifying the mind for sober judgment ; a blind
ness, rendering the soul incapable of appreciating
moral beauty ; it is in fact such a perversion of all
the faculties, that under its terrible influence men
will " call evil good, and good evil ; they will put
darkness for light, and light for darkness; bitter
for sweet, and sweet for bitter."* To us in our
fallen condition fiends often appear more fair than
angels, we mistake the gates of hell for the portals
of bliss, and prefer the garnished lies of Satan to the
* Isaiah v. 20.
THE DESPISED FKIEND. 23
eternal verities of the Most High. Revenge, lust,
ambition, pride, and self-will, are too often exalted
as the gods of man s idolatry ; while holiness,
peace, contentment, and humility are viewed as
unworthy of a serious thought. O sin, what hast
thou done ! or rather, what hast thou undone !
Thou hast not been content to rob humanity of its
crown, to drive it from its happy kingdom, to mar
its royal garments, and despoil its treasure ; but
thou hast done more than this ! It sufficed not to
degrade and dishonour; thou hast even wounded
thy victim ; thou hast blinded his eyes, stopped
his ears, intoxicated his judgment, and gagged his
conscience ; yea, the poison of thy venomed shaft
hath poured death into the fountain. Thy malice
hath pierced the heart of manhood, and thereby
hast thou filled his veins with corruption and his
bones with depravity. Yea, O monster, thou hast
become a murderer, for thou hast made us dead in
trespasses and sins !
This last word opens up the entire mystery ; for
if we are spiritually dead, it is of course impossible
for us to know and reverence the Prince of glory.
Can the dead be moved to ecstasies, or corpses
excited to rapture ? Exercise your skill on yonder
lifeless body. It has not yet become a carnival for
worms. The frame is still complete, though life
less. Bring hither lute and harp ; let melodies
most sweet, and harmonies unequalled, attempt to
24 THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOUK.
move the man to pleasure : he smileth not at thi