William Gadsby, Sermons

36 God Is Love

20 Sep 2022, by

“God is love.”—1 John 4:8,16

Beloved of the Lord,—It is your blessedness to prove, by the divine teaching of God the Holy Ghost, that God is Love,—eternal, immutable love. This precious truth you will not deny; but then you may often struggle under very deep depression of spirit and heartrending groans, lest you should not be interested in this glorious Three-One God of love. It is not enough for you to hear that God is love, nor to believe it as a most blessed truth, nor to say he loved David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Paul, &c., nor to look round you and say, concerning others, he loved them, or, he loved you, or, he loved thee. No; your heart thirsts to say, feelingly to say, he loved me. You feel that vital godliness is personal, and to you it matters but ,little, as it respects your own comfort, who he loved, or how greatly he loved them, if he do not love you. The vehement desire of your heart is that the blessed Jehovah, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, would speak this precious truth to your heart: “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” It will not do for you to be told that you must simply believe, do your duty, and be decidedly pious, and then God will love you. This ground you have proved to be boggy, and have been necessitated to flee from it, and cry, “Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove; mine eyes fail with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.” ”The Lord has given you faith to believe that they that are in the flesh cannot please God; and that however fair a show they may make in the flesh, it is but a show, leaving them destitute of vital godliness. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world; for the kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and this kingdom must be set up in the heart; not in word merely, but in power, and that power the power of God: “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” Therefore, having eyes to…

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13 Oct 2013, by

It is one of the griefs of my life that I had not more of my dear father’s sermons taken down. It is true that in his day sermon reporting did not flourish as it did afterwards. With two or three exceptions, none of his sermons in Manchester were ever reported. A few “Scraps” I took down in 1835 and one or two following years; and that was nearly all. When he visited London, Mr. Justins, Mr. Paul, and others took a few; and all these I have, excepting one from Isaiah 63:1, which I once had, and for which, as is well known, I have offered £5; but it is not to be had. Thinking I could easily meet with another copy, I sent it, with a lot of others of which I had duplicates, to Mr. Brider, Soldiers and Sailors’ Mission, Salisbury.

It is a wonderful blessing to the church of God that Mr. Philpot was not only frequently reported in London, but that one of his hearers at Stamford was a reporter, and took down numbers of his sermons.

The two main features of my father’s ministry were the depths of the Fall and the depths and heights of Sovereign Grace,—the Two Deeps, as he termed them; the laying of the sinner and his self-righteousness in the dust and the exalting of a precious Redeemer. Few, if any, were ever enabled to live a more exemplary…

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13 Oct 2013, by

1 God In Our Nature (Matt 1:23)
2 Comfort For Spiritual Mourners (Matt 5:4)
3 Hungering And Thirsting After Righteousness (Matt 5:6)
4 The Pure In Heart (Matt 5:8)
5 Nature And Design Of The Marriage Union (Matt 5:32)
6 Going From Jerusalem To Jericho (Lk 10:30-35)
7 The Publican’s Prayer (Lk 18:12)
8 The Fall Of Peter (Lk 22:51-62)
9 On Christian Liberty (Jn 8:36)
10 The Church Commended to the Word of God’s Grace (Acts 20:32)
11 The Love Of God (Rom 5:5)
12 The Soul’s Death unto Sin (Rom 6:7)
13 Sanctification in Christ (1 Cor 1:2)
14 The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:28)
15 Another (1 Cor 12:13)
16 Christ And His Church, One (1 Cor 12:18)
17 The Body Sown And The Body Raised (1 Cor 15:43,44)
18 The Sentence of Death in Ourselves (2 Cor 1:9)
19 The Benediction (2 Cor 13:14)
20 Paul And James (Gal 2:16; Js 2:24)
21 The Glory Of God’s Grace (Eph 1:6)
22 At That Time Ye Were Without Christ (Eph 2:12)
23 To Know Christ (Phil 3:10)
24 Doing All Things in the Name of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:17)
25 The Mystery of Christ (Col 4:2,3)
26 A Holy Calling (2 Tim 1:9)
27 The Foundation Of God Standeth Sure (2 Tim 2:19)
28 A Rest For The Poeple Of God (Heb 4:9)
29 On Sanctification (Heb 10:14)
30 Doing the Will of God, and the Need of Patience (Heb 10:36)
31 The Cloud Of Witnesses (Heb 12:1)
32 The Peculiar People (1 Pet 2:9)
33 Not Willing That Any Should Perish (2 Pet 3:9)
34 Now Are We The Sons Of God (1 Jn 3:2)
35 The Scripture Rule for Testing the Spirits that are in the World (1 Jn 4:1-4)
36 God Is Love (1 Jn 4:8,16)
37 An Address to the Regenerated Church of Christ (1 Jn 5:7)
38 The Faithful God (Deut 7:1)
39 The Lord Leading And Instructing His People (Deut 32:10)
40 The True Joseph (Deut 33:18)
41 The Wrestlings of Naphtali (Deut 33:23)
42 Happy Israel (Deut 33:29)
43 The Lord’s People Righteous (Job 1:1)
44 God’s People Led By Him In His Paths (Ps 17:5)
45 No Guile In The Spirit And Keeping Silence (Ps 32:2)
46 A Godly Man (Ps 32:6)
47 God Our Salvation (Ps 35:3)
48 The Tongue Speaking of Righteousness (Ps 35:28)
49 The Starving Beggar Relieved (Ps 50:15)
50 The Long-suffering Of The Lord (Ps 86:15)
51 The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving (Ps 116:17)
52 The Great Things God Has Done For His People (Ps 126:3)
53 The Church Remembered in Her Low Estate (Ps 136:28)
54 Christ’s Invitation To His People (Song of Sol 4:8)
55 The Lord’s People Hidden (Is 26:20)
56 God’s People Dwelling Alone (Is 32:18)
57 Zion, The City Of Solemnities (Is 33:29)
58 The Wilderness And The Highway (Is 35:1-10)
59 Threshing The Mountains (Is 41:15,16)
60 The Poor And The Needy Seeking Water (Is 41:17)
61 Come And Let Us Reason Together (Is 50:18)
62 The Acceptable Year, and Day of Vengeance (Is 51:2)
63 Who Hath Believed Our Report? (Is 53:1)
64 An Exposition (Is 61:1-3)
65 Is It Nothing To You? (Lam 1:12)
66 The Wheels in Ezekiel (Ez 1:15-20)
67 God’s Glory Connected With His People’s Good (Ez 36:26)
68 The Breaker Passed Before Them (Mic 2:13)
69 The Nature And Ground Of Faith (Hab 1:12)
70 A Brand Plucked Out Of The Fire (Zech 3:2)
71 Brought Through The Fire (Zech 13:9)
72 God A Father (Mal 1:6)

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“God with us.”—Matthew 1:23

There will be such a mystery unfolded, in “God in our nature,” as will fill the church of God with immortal wonder for ever and ever. When Christ speaks of it, he says, “Father, I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine,” and “that they may be one in us.” This blessed Redeemer, this Person of the Son, takes our nature, and is “God with us.” I believe that our blessed Christ really took soul and body, the whole of humanity. He was “God with us” in his weakness; “God with us” in his conflicts; “God with us” in his victories; “God with us” in his exaltation; “God with us” to strengthen us, to watch over us, to direct us, and to deliver us; completely to save us; to rule over us and in us; to defeat all…

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“Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.”—Matthew 5:4

Not all kinds of mourners are here intended; for there is the sorrow of the world, which worketh death and produces nothing but sin, misery, and rebellion against God. Some mourn because they cannot increase in riches, honours, and pleasures; but there is no Messing promised to them. The mourners which God has pronounced blessed are such as mourn over themselves and after God. ‘The Lord’s spiritual mourners mourn over their sinfulness and wretchedness, as sinners against a holy, righteous, good, and kind God. The filth and corruption of their fallen nature give them real grief and pain of heart. Its daily bubblings and risings up are a real plague to them. They are no strangers to what Solomon means by the…

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“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”—Matthew 5:6

The righteousness intended here is not creature-righteousness, worth, or worthiness; for that is as the morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away; nay, at best it is only filthy, and its fountain unclean. Eternal truth declares that all flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field, which withereth and fadeth away when the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it.! But the righteousness the dear Lord has in view in this text is that blessed righteousness which is unto all and upon all them that believe, even the glorious Person and obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ; for “Christ is the end of the law for…

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“Blessed are the pure in heart.”—Matthew 5:8

There may be some poor soul here to-night who is exclaiming, “Ah! That text cuts me up, root and branch; for, so far from my heart being pure, it seems to be the abode of every evil, rising up continually, causing me to groan and sigh, and cry to be delivered from it; but the more I groan and cry, the more those evils seem to rise up, until I am almost smothered.” Why, now, poor soul, you are just the character whose heart is pure. Every man’s heart is vile by nature, and it is…

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“But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery.”—Matthew 5:32

Beloved,—The subject we are this evening about to enter upon is a subject of the greatest importance in human life, the eternal concerns of the soul, excepted. I am not aware of any thing that enters more into the very vitals of human happiness or misery. It is immediately connected with all our domestic and social concerns; in fact, it is designed, by the God of all comfort, as a kind of spring-head blessing to the human race, and if acted upon according to the revelation of God’s will, it is sure to prove a source of real happiness to the parties immediately connected, and, in a great variety of instances, will hand down to posterity clusters of blessings not to be equalled by any other created good. The blessings arising from, and connected with, the marriage-union, in heart and affection, according to the word of God, bid defiance to the most capacious soul to find one gem, in all the mines of created good and earthly enjoyment, equal in real dignity of nature and social happiness. Sordid minds may grasp at riches, honours, and voluptuousness, and glut themselves with the objects of their pursuits, and when they have obtained their ends, they will find themselves immersed in vanity and vexation of spirit; but the pleasures and sweets connected with and arising from a…

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“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves.”—Luke 10:30-35

The circumstance which led to this parable was, a certain lawyer going to Christ, and asking him what he must do to inherit eternal fife. A principle of having something to merit life is in our very nature. Thousands ask what they are to do, and promise but never fairly start. The Jews were constantly found to promise what they would do. When God was delivering them from the hands of their enemies and supplying them with food from heaven, “O,” said they, “all that the Lord hath commanded will we do;” but they never fulfilled their promise. Perhaps some of you in this congregation, when there has been some affliction in your own person or in the family, have been so alarmed that you…

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“God be merciful to me a sinner.”—Luke 18:12

[At the time that the following sermon was preached, Mr. Gadsby had no idea of its ever being printed, nor did he know that a short-hand writer was present to take it down. The sermon was preached at the particular request of a lady on her death-bed, to whom a sermon by Mr. G. from the same text had been blessed some time previously, and who had had to encounter considerable opposition from her friends. The members of her family, however, attended to hear this “funeral sermon,” and it was made a blessing to one of their number.]

The verse which I am about to read as my text, I am going to read by the particular request of some present, who have lost a beloved relative. It is a passage particularly pointed out to your attention, as having been made within these walls a blessing to a departed child of God. She is no longer repeating the words here below; but she is in the blessed enjoyment of that grace for which, when here, she prayed, under a feeling sense of her prayer being answered. I shall say no more at present upon that subject, but I shall read the passage, and I hope you will be enabled to mark and feel the words. You will find them recorded in Luke 18:13: “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

The dear Lord, in’ this part of Scripture, has set before us two characters, and these characters are set before the world, the professing world, both in that day and in this. They are the characters of a pharisee and a publican. The pharisee is one that outwardly professed great…

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“And Peter followed afar off.”—Luke 22:51-62

Preached in Manchester, 9 August 1842

1. Let us look at the weakness of man and the power of temptation.
2. The criminality of Peter.
3. The matchless display of God’s grace.
4. The effect produced.
5. The lesson taught us.

1. The weakness of man and the power of temptation.

The weakness of man is very great. Compared with the Almighty God, his Creator and Upholder, he is at his best estate altogether vanity; he is weakness itself. We are not sufficient of ourselves, go as to do anything of ourselves; we know not even what to pray to God for as we ought. May we in humility pray to him to direct us how to pray, and what to pray for; to hold us up in his righteous ways, to keep us weak in ourselves; for when we are thus weak, then are we…

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“If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”—John 8:36

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby, In 1842.

Much we talk of freedom in our day; much is our mind perplexed about it; but how little is said, and how little we think of the freedom in the text. Freedom in this life concerning temporal matters will benefit us little compared with the freedom which the Son of God gives to his children. The former endureth only a little while, but the latter endureth for ever. O may this freedom be made manifest unto us, through God’s dear Son.

We understand, in consideration of this subject,

1. Freedom signifies a prior bondage.
2. What is this freedom?
3. God’s Son makes us free.

1. All men, by nature, are in bondage. Hence, whosoever sinneth is the servant of sin. We groan under this

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“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”—Acts 20:32

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby On Tuesday Evening, May 31st, 1842, in Gower Street Chapel, London, on taking leave at the Close of his Annual Visit.

The characters here addressed, are the brotherhood; and the apostle “commends them to God”—commits them to the care and safe keeping of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Lord has brought me to this point a great number of years ago, that if you take away the Trinity, or one Person in his Personal Godhead out of the Trinity, I really have no hope of salvation. If the doctrine of Three Distinct Persons in One Undivided Jehovah be not a truth, I believe I shall as surely be damned as the devil is damned. I have no hope, separate from that solemn doctrine. If not interested in the Father’s election, and the blessings he has treasured up in his Son, which are called “all spiritual blessings,” there is not what will supply my needs. If not interested in the atonement and righteousness of the God-man Mediator, I have no hope of pardon, nor of standing just before God; the blood of a mere man, however good a man he might be, will never touch the core of my infernal disease; nor can the…

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“Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”—Romans 5:5

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby, July 3rd, 1836.

The love of God! Whenever we venture on a subject of such importance, we venture on a profound deep.

There is a love which God, as the God of nature, bears to creation as the work of his own hands; for he saw that it was very good. But the love of God, as shed abroad in the heart of a believer, as far exceeds it as heaven exceeds earth. God’s love, as a covenant God, the love of each glorious Person in the Trinity, was fixed on his people, without any reason assigned for it, only his own sovereign pleasure. Not because they were lovely more than others in themselves; for, considered as sinners, had Jehovah never loved us till we had turned our hearts to love him, till he had seen some beauty in us, he would never have loved us at all. But God loves us because he would, and this is the only reason he assigns for it. And this love is bounded by God’s sovereignty; we cannot get an iota beyond it, nor can any who were not interested in it in eternity ever creep into a knowledge of its infinite excellence. When Paul is entering into this solemn mystery, he stands amazed, and prays that the church at Ephesus might be…

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Preached on Tuesday Evening, May 25th, 1841, in Gower Street Chapel, London.

“For he that is dead is freed from sin.”—Romans 6:7

In the chapter preceding this, the apostle has been led by the Divine Author of the Word to take a view of the two Adams and their two seeds; that Adam the first, by his awful sin and apostasy, brought death and condemnation upon all his offspring, so that in him, in his very first act of transgression, they “all sinned and came short of the glory of God,” and thus, “by one man’s offence death reigned by one;” but that Adam the Second, “the Lord from Heaven,” represented an elect seed, and had them all in his loins, chosen by the Father and locked up safe in him. Though that seed fell with the rest in Adam the first, in Adam the Second they were preserved from the awful damnation that their sin had merited, and, by his obedience and the invincible power of the Spirit, all are brought to newness of life and to justification of life, and so are made the rich…

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“Sanctified in Christ Jesus.”—1 Corinthians 1:2

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby In Gower Street Chapel, London, On Lord’s Day Morning, May 9th, 1841.

I have no doubt that in this assembly, in some corner or other, there are some poor, hobbling souls who are terrified almost to death about the doctrine of sanctification. They read, in the book of God’s Word, of the Spirit as a Sanctifier; but they are necessarily obliged to exclaim, “Lord, I am vile!” Sometimes we say respecting people’s credit, “Why, it is wrought quite threadbare.” Bless you, in some poor souls there is not a thread left to be made bare. If God the Spirit has brought you there, you will have indeed to exclaim, “Lord, I am vile!” But when God opens to them the mystery of divine sanctification, he will make them know that they are “sanctified in Christ Jesus.” Who? The poor, the vile, the loathsome, and the base.

Perhaps there may be in this assembly a poor, helpless soul, who has come mourning, sighing, groaning, and has not power to trust in the Lord, has not power to believe. “O!” say some; “the Word says, ‘All things are possible to him that believeth.’ It is only the simple act of belief; and if a man has power to believe, ‘All things are…

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John Gadsby—The following meager scraps are all I have been able to meet with as to my father’s observance of the Lord’s Supper. If there were any one part of the services of God’s house in which he was more solemn and impressive than another, it was at this ordinance, and every time, month after month and year after year, he was always favoured with something new to lay before the people.

On leaving the vestry and reaching the table, he first gave out a suitable hymn, which was sung. He then, if any persons were to be received into the church, they having previously taken their seats in the tablepew, he requested them to stand up; and he then frequently addressed them collectively after the following manner:

“My dear Friends (or Brethren), you have to-day professedly put on the Lord Jesus Christ. God help you to be circumspect in your walk and conversation! Angels will watch you; the church of God will watch you; the world will watch you; your friends, who are now in the galleries, some of whom, perhaps, do not approve of the step you have taken, will watch you; enemies to the truth will watch you; and devils will watch you. God help you to watch yourselves, and to look up to him to keep you, to support you, and to succour you. In the name of this church, I give you the…

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“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”—1 Corinthians 12:13

May I entreat you to ask your consciences this important question. As you have read from the Word of God, that Christ is the Head of the church, and that his people are the members of his mystical body, “Am I really one of these members?”

Some deny the baptism of the Spirit, yet admit the baptism of water. Others believe the baptism of the Spirit to be all that is needful, and deny the baptism of water. But I am not, this morning, going to speak of baptism, but of the union existing between Christ and his church. O Lord, baptize me by thy Spirit in speaking thy Word, without which I cannot speak aright; I cannot get into it, I may, indeed, skip around it, but not enter into its fulness, its glory and beauty.

1. Let us consider the blessed and inseparable union between Christ and his church.
2. The glorious Person engaged in behalf of this union.
3. As a confirmation of this union, he baptizes the whole church into this glorious body.
4. How God pours out his Spirit into their souls and causes them to drink into one Spirit.

1. The blessed and inseparable union between Christ and his church.

The church of God is safe. First, because this union was decreed before…

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“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many, are one body; so also is Christ.”—1 Corinthians 12:18

The inseparable union which subsists between Christ and his church is a most glorious part of the dispensation of God’s matchless grace. The blessed Lord Jesus Christ, as the Christ, and his church, are one, and always were one. They never were, never will be, two. In the eternal purpose of the glorious Trinity, Christ and his church sprang up together, as one glorious body, the Lamb and his wife, having all grace and glory secured in the Head, for the eternal blessedness of every member, and the…

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[I have two MSs., one by Mr. Player, of the following. They differ somewhat, one being a little fuller than the other. See also the ”G. S.,” for 1862 and 1872.—J. G.]

“It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”—1 Corinthians 15:43,44

This chapter clearly shows the resurrection of the dead, and arguments are brought forward to prove it which are of the greatest force. Paul brings forward the objections that an unbelieving mind would make against it; such, for instance as, “How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?” His answer is, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die.” All the ear is not sown, but merely a bare grain. That dies, and then it is quickened, and brings forth fruit according to its nature. There are some who assert that in heaven the saints of God will differ from each other in glory as the stars; but there is no passage in Scripture to prove such a statement. our bodies are sown in corruption, they shall be raised in…

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