William Gadsby, Sermons

“To the praise of the glory of his grace.”—Ephesians 1:6

As the Lord shall be graciously pleased to give me wisdom and strength, I shall endeavor to call your attention to three leading particulars;

I. What is grace, God’s rich and free grace.

II. Point out some branches of the glory of God’s grace.

III. Make a few remarks on some things as connected with our text, which the Lord has done to the praise of the glory of his grace.

I. What then is God’s free grace? The word grace is in almost everybody’s mouth who makes a profession of religion. “Salvation is all of grace; we must be saved my grace,” are words frequently spoken. But if you will allow the bulk of professors to tell their own tale but for a few minutes, you will find that they either do not understand the meaning of grace, or else they do not mean what they say. There is a large body of professors of religion who say that salvation is all of grace, and then roundly assert that if God does not give all men a chance of being saved, he is an unjust God. What a horrible idea! God unjust if he does not give all men a chance of being saved! If that be true, then instead of salvation being all of grace, it is a debt that God owes to rebel man, and if he does not pay the debt, he is an unjust God; and upon that ground there can be no real thanks due to him, for he only does that which to leave undone would impeach his justice; and if so, how can it be of grace? Grace is free, unmerited, undeserved favor; and if God would be unjust if he did not give guilty man a chance of being saved, then it cannot be of grace, but of debt. (Rom. 4:4)

Salvation is either entirely of grace, entirely of works, or of works and grace together. Now let us hear what God the Holy Ghost, by the apostle, says upon this subject: “Even so then at this present time also there is a…

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Preached November, 17th, 1842.

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”—Ephesians 2:12

A very trifling alteration of the words of our text would make it applicable, I greatly fear, to many before me to-night. If we were to read, “At this time ye are without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” What an awful state you are in, if such be your case! And of others we may adopt the language of God’s Word in another place, and say, “And such were some of you.” There was a period when we were without Christ, without hope, and without God in the world.

The apostle is here, in the first place, addressing the church at Ephesus as being Gentiles, and not having even the common mercies that Israel, in a religious sense, possessed; for they, as a nation, had mercies that other nations never had. God was a God to Israel in an especial manner, as the God of nations. He says, “Thee only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore will I punish thee for all thine iniquities.” Now, some people lay it down as a rule that, as God has a special people whom he loves above all the rest, they have no cause to fear sinning; their God loved them from all eternity; therefore they have no cause to fear; sin can do them no hurt. I believe that doctrine which leads men to talk in such a way comes from hell and leads to hell; for God’s people, above all other people, are visited most for their sins in this world. “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are…

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23 To Know Christ

13 Oct 2013, by

Preached in Manchester April 19th, 1840, prior to the preacher going his London journey.

“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection.”—Philippians 3:10

These are the words of the apostle who was caught up into the heavens, and there had revealed to him what was not lawful for him to utter; and yet he desired to know Christ, whom to know is life eternal. To know him here is like a bud of spring; and when we die, it will break forth into a flower, full blown, and beauteous to behold. Now we know him but in part; but then we shall know him perfectly, for we shall see him as he is.

1. Let us consider this Him;
2. What it is to know Him, not merely to talk about him;
3. What is the knowledge of the power of his resurrection?

1. There is a vital religion in this text, which, if you possess in your heart, you will live at last. When the world is in a blaze, all other religions will die, because they are false. Therefore let us consider this HIM. He is Christ, the Eternal Son of God, who is in union with the Father, and the Spirit,—Creator of all things; “immensely great, immensely small.” Yes; the greatest things show his greatness and the smallest things show his greatness. This Him made them all, great and small; all are the work of his hands. He made mountains rise and valleys sink. This is amazing to angels, and confounding to devils. Then what an inestimable blessing it is to know Him who has power over devils. Why, they could not enter a herd of swine without his permission. The apostle Paul has a…

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby At East Street Chapel, Walworth, London, On Tuesday Evening, June 6th, 1848.

“And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”—Colossians 3:17

I. From this portion of God’s word, I shall, with the Lord’s help, endeavour to mark out the characters addressed.
II. Drop a hint or two upon the glorious Person set before us—“the Lord Jesus.”
III. Speak of the injunction enjoined upon them: “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

I. In the characters here addressed are such as are mentioned in the first few verses of the chapter: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” They are characters that are risen with Christ. Now there is a threefold sense in which some of God’s people are risen with Christ.

1. They are all risen with him by virtue of union to him. He was crucified as the public Head of his body, the church, and he rose as their public Head. All God’s elect had the sentence of death passed on them in the death of Christ, and were in this sense crucified with him; and his solemn Majesty never took a step, from the cradle to the cross, nay, to the crown, without every soul of his elect being in him; so that when he…

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby In Zoar Chapel, Great Alie Street, London, On Sunday Morning, June 4, 1848.

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ.”—Colossians 4:2,3

To be employed by the Lord, to be fitted and qualified by him, to speak forth the “mystery of Christ,” is the most solemn work that ever God set a creature to be employed in! Angels have been God’s ministers to execute his judgments upon ungodly men and ungodly nations. They have been commanded to cut down thousands, and send them to black despair as an effect of their sin; and they have been employed to protect and defend the church of God. But it does not appear to me that angels can ever make good ministers of Jesus Christ. “Come,” say you, “you are getting on high ground with a witness, to make it appear that a poor crawling worm like you is employed in that for which an angel is not qualified.” I really believe it, and therefore I speak what I believe. The most an angel could do in preaching the gospel would be to preach it in the letter and to others; and not in the spirit, nor to themselves. Now just see a short illustration made of their employment in this business, and the…

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26 A Holy Calling

13 Oct 2013, by

“Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”—2 Timothy 1:9

Here we find salvation stated before calling by grace; and, indeed, if we take a proper view of the subject, it was so in the mind and purpose of God. God the Father saved, or secured, the elect in Christ before the foundation of the world. Hence Jude says, “Sanctified by God the Father;” that is, set apart by God the Father, as the people of his holy choice, and so made the special care and charge of Christ. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” And though the elect fell, with the rest of mankind, in Adam the first, they never fell as considered in Christ; but, as the Holy Ghost says by Jude, they were “preserved in Christ Jesus;” and in God’s own time they are called.

It is the believer’s blessedness that each glorious Person in the Godhead has a glorious hand in his salvation. God the Father saved, chose, sanctified, or set him apart, in Christ, before the world was; God the Son took humanity into union to his personal Godhead, and thus became incarnate, lived a holy life, suffered, bled, died a solemn death, rose again from the dead, ascended up on high, having led captivity captive, and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father, ever living to make intercession for him. Thus Christ has meritoriously saved the elect by his life, obedience, death, resurrection, exaltation, and intercession. As it is written: “He that spared not his own Son, but…

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“The foundation of God standeth sure; having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.”—2 Timothy 2:19

A foundation is the basis of an edifice. Hence, when you build, you must have a foundation; and if you intend your building to stand, it must be a sure, a safe, and a sound foundation,— immovable. Then will your building be strong. The man’s house built upon a rock stood secure against storm and tempest; but the man who built his house upon the sand, when the floods came, and the winds blew, the house fell; and great was the fall thereof. How many in our day build upon an unsound foundation, that will not stand the blast of poverty, the power of temptation, or the floods of error. But where is the Christian’s foundation? It is in God, and the foundation of God is in Jehovah’s purpose and eternal counsel, made sure in the Lord Jesus Christ before the world was. Why is it in Christ? First, because God the Father laid it there; and secondly, he built his church thereon. He laid it in his covenant of grace: “Behold, I make a covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” It is in Christ: “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth in him shall not be confounded.” Christ is the Stone, the Bock of Ages. His people are built upon him. The apostles and prophets were not the foundation. They preached Christ, and Christ was their only sure foundation. It is laid in the heart of his people; and, in order to lay a foundation, there must be some digging work to remove the rubbish. So the imaginary goodness of man must be dug up and removed; and then a sure foundation will be laid. Thus his people are built on Christ, a habitation of God, through the Spirit, and will remain so when the world is in a blaze and through all eternity, because they are well founded, well built. “He brought me up out of a horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a Bock, and established my goings.”

What do you know of this? Are you upon the Rock? O that you may fall upon God in Christ, and wait for his salvation, that, when death comes, you may say, “Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” It is a sealed foundation, and no man can break this seal, and tell the extent of it, or even the size of the building, but Christ. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed, and he alone can open the seal.” Man may be deceived in the knowledge of God’s people; but Christ cannot be deceived. “The Lord knoweth them that are his.”—Manchester.

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby In A Village Near Ely.

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”—Hebrews 4:9

The whole human race is comprised in two descriptions of people, viz., the people of God’s election, and the people of God’s curse, against whom he hath indignation for ever. A solemn line of demarcation is made between these two classes by God himself, and it is as impossible for a soul to pass this line as it is for God to cease to exist.

The first thing which the child of God is brought to feel is as contrary to “rest” as hell is to heaven. But the hypocrite may and does walk and live in error and sin, until he sinks into a horrible black despair. The poor child of God may be toiling, tugging, and roaring under horrors and terrors, fears and sorrows of mind and of heart, yet God will preserve him through all these toils of affliction, losses, crosses, and sorrows, until he brings him to feel and believe he has not had one affliction too long, one burden too heavy, one conflict too sharp. His God will overrule them to his eternal rest, and he shall be forced to cry out, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Ps. 23:6.) Thus is sin destroyed, the law of God honoured, justice satisfied, and God glorified in their everlasting salvation, and they are brought to see there remaineth a rest for the people of God.

If there is a self-sufficient hypocrite here to-night, may God the Holy Ghost send him home as damned in his feelings as a soul can feel; and if God the Spirit shall heal up the breach of a poor child of God, I shall be gratified.

I. I shall endeavour to show, that God has a special property iii hits people; they are formed for himself, and they shall show forth his praise.

II. What is intended by this rest; and that whatever changes or vicissitudes they pass through, whatever losses they are called to sustain, whatever projects they form and God blasts, whatever prospects are cut up, nevertheless, there remaineth a rest for God’s people.

I. God’s people are not claimed or chosen for any excellence in them. O no I For when God speaks of them, ho compares them to beasts of the field, dragons of the wilderness, and owls of the desert, saying, “The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” (Is. 43:20.) What a wonder it is God did not choose better characters to people heaven with! We all know that a common workman, with good materials, can make a job; but if he has rough materials he cannot get on at all. But our God picks some of the most knotty, crabbed, and rough pieces of timber to make him a house; and yet what a beautiful house it is, as seen by the…

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[On page 241 there is the first of a Sermon on the above subject, from 1 Cor. 1:2. Had the following come under my notice at the time, I would have inserted it next the above. I feel, however, I should do wrong if I omitted it. It is in the “Gospel Standard” for 1835-1836.]

“For by One offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”—Hebrews 10:14

The doctrine of Sanctification is clearly revealed in the Word of God; and when the mind of the saint is led into it by the blessed Spirit, the doctrine of a Triune Jehovah shines forth; for we are sanctified by the Three that bear record in heaven,—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; as will evidently appear if we take into consideration the different acceptations the term bears in the Bible.

1. By the term Sanctification, or sanctify, we are sometimes to understand the setting apart of a thing or person to a certain use or office. As for instance; God sanctified, or set apart, the seventh day as a Sabbath of rest. Before the Lord formed Jeremiah in the womb of his mother, he sanctified, or ordained, him, a prophet unto the nations. (Jer. 1:5.) In this sense, Christ, the Father’s first Elect, was sanctified, or set apart (John 10:36), as the Mediator of the better covenant, before all worlds. In like manner, the election of grace were sanctified, or set apart, by God the Father, as his chosen people, in Christ, from everlasting. Hence Jude, the servant of Christ, dedicates his epistle to them that are “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Christ Jesus, and called” by God’s grace. And Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, uses a similar mode of expression: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints;” and in his solemn address to the elders of the church at Ephesus, we have the same principle maintained: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Also in Heb. 10, where he says, that Christ “hath, by one offering, for ever perfected them that are sanctified.”

From the above passages, how evident it is that God’s predestinated people were eternally sanctified by God the Father, in Christ Jesus, and that election and sanctification are of the same eternal date; and, as it is said in the Articles of the Church of England: “The godly consideration of it is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the…

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby At Attleborough, Warwickshire, On Wednesday, June 15th, 1842.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”—Hebrews 10:36

As the Lord shall direct me, I shall endeavour,

I. To make a remark or two on the promise. There is one great object set before us—”the promise.”
II. Endeavour to enter a little into the solemn business of “doing the will of God.”
III. Notice that we “have need of patience, that, after we have done the will of God, we might receive the promise.”

I. The promise. What is this promise? It appears to my view to be couched in this text: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Titus 1:2.) This, then, is the promise, “eternal life;” and every promise in Christ Jesus is Yea and Amen, and tends to the accomplishment of this one; yea, the whole are subservient to this one, to bring about, in God’s time and way, this great special promise, “eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” And herein the Lord secures, and will fully maintain and make manifest his own declarative glory.

When we speak of eternal life, we do not mean eternal existence only, because devils and damned spirits who are confined in the prison of hell have eternal existence. There must be something more couched in eternal life, agreeably to what the blessed Redeemer said, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hands.” (John 10:28.) “None shall pluck them out!” say you? “But they may pluck themselves out.” My friends, if it were possible that Lucifer could feel shame, he would be ashamed of such a lie; because the Lord of life and glory says, “I give to them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” Those men who assert the contrary, though they do not say in plain terms that the…

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“Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset ns, and let us run with patience the race set before us.”—Hebrews 12:1

First, Who are these witnesses? They are those who have witnessed to God’s truth, as Abraham, Isaac, and others, as mentioned in the preceding chapter; also apostles, ministers, and people who have borne testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus.

Secondly, What did they witness to? Salvation being all of grace, through faith; not of works, lest proud men should boast.

Thirdly, Why called a cloud? Because, when gathered together, they are a number which no man can number, any more than he can tell how many drops of water there are in a cloud, or grains of sand on a sea shore. What a crowd, or cloud, will appear in glory, when all those who are gone, those who are going, and those yet to go, will all appear in one glorious body before the throne of God, praising redeeming grace!

Because as a cloud is a recipient of water, and drops down rain, «o are the witnesses of God recipients of the Water of Life, Christ Jesus; and at times they drop down showers of blessings upon the earthen vessels around them, filling them instrumentally with heavenly treasure.

What is this race? In order to run in this race, you must have no legs of your own to stand upon. That is, you must be stripped of all dependence upon yourself, and stand alone upon the finished work of Christ; and then, when you are enabled to do this, you will run well.

What is it to lay aside every weight? For your mind to be divested of worldly care, sinful company, sinful propensities, which are heavy weights to the mind. The blood of the Lamb, when applied to your conscience by the Holy Ghost, will affect this; nothing else can.

What is the besetting sin? Not only any evil propensity of the heart, such as to drunkenness, lewdness, and other works of the flesh, with temptations to which some are beset and tortured; but legality and unbelief combined. This, more or less, besets us all.

What is it to run with patience? Those who go smoothly on have no work for patience to do; but those who run in this race have need of patience that, after they have done the will of God, they may inherit the promise. Tribulation worketh patience; therefore in patience may you possess your souls; the Lord help you so to do.—Jan. 9th, 1842.

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby On Thursday Evening, May 18th, 1841, At Edward Street Chapel, Dorset Square, London.

“A peculiar people.”—1 Peter 2:9

The whole verse reads thus: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

There is one little word contained in this verse which includes in it everything that is worthy of our desire. And with this little word, together with its connection, sealed in our consciences, all the devils in hell will never be able to destroy our interest in heavenly things. “Why,” you will say then, “what can this word be?” It is “ye.” “But ye are a chosen generation.” O this little dear ye! If God, in his infinite mercy, applies it to your consciences, with the rich blessings connected with it, it is one of the most valuable gifts that God can possibly bestow on sinners.

“Ye are a chosen generation, ye are a royal priesthood, ye are a holy nation, ye are a peculiar people.” Now turn for a moment and examine individually whether such a sentence belongs to you or not; or are you satisfied with a mere knowledge in your judgment of this truth, namely, that there is a chosen generation, that there is a royal priesthood, a holy nation, that there is a peculiar people? Devil’s know this as well as you do; but it does them no good, for they rather take advantage of this knowledge to work more of their devilism and show more enmity to God. But when the poor sinner, under the Divine teachings of God the Spirit, is brought feelingly and experimentally to enter into this “ye,”—this direct “ye,” O what indescribable blessings then follow! May the Lord the Spirit, by the wonders of his grace, make bare his arm and bring some poor dejected rooted-up sinner this night to experience the truth of it in his own bosom, and then he will enter a little sweetly into the mystery of the sentence we have just read as a text: “A peculiar people.”

I. From this sentence we shall endeavour, by Divine assistance, to notice that there IS a peculiar people; that God, in the riches of his grace, has set them in a particular and special way apart for himself.
II. That they are loved with a peculiar love.
III. That they are brought by the Spirit into very peculiar circumstances.
IV. That they have a peculiar standing before God.
V. That they find the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.

I. The Lord has set this peculiar people apart for himself, in a particular and special way. Yea, he has so set them apart for himself as to bid defiance to all the roarings and dreadful powers of hell, and all the bubblings and workings-up of sin and pollution both within and without, to separate this people from God’s bosom and God’s heart. His solemn Majesty has said, when speaking of them, ”This people have I formed for myself.” Now God formed all people, they are all the workmanship of God; but there are a few characters set especially apart as a little lot, whom God has ordained to glorify; and to them he says, “This people have I formed for myself, and they shall show forth my praise.” “O yes,” says free-will; “they shall have a chance to do it, if they will.” But God says they shall; unbelief says you shan’t; carnal reason says you can’t; and inbred corruption says you won’t.” But when God says…

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Preached in Manchester, 9 Februay 1840.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward; not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”—2 Pet 3:9

To add to, or diminish from, the Word of God is a crime, though much employed in the frivolities of the world; and the office of a minister is a very responsible one. He is God’s steward, and he must one day give up his stewardship; and if he seeks to please men, he is not a true servant of God; nay, it is insulting God. Some say God is not willing that any creature should perish, but every one should come to repentance; but in our text we are told…

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby At Ebenezer Chapel, Deptford, September 19th, 1827.[1]

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like ham; for we shall see him as he is.”—1 John 3:2

Most of you are strangers to me, and I suppose I am as great a stranger to you, in the flesh; but, if we can meet in our text, and set to our seal that God is true, we are blessed with the greatest blessings that God can possibly bestow. And can we wonder at meeting so few friends here? While we are in an enemy’s country, can we wonder that we are hated! Depend upon it, God has made up his mind, and you may as well make up yours, that “through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom.” Besides, as Paul says, “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Now, seeing that this is the case, how highly ought we to esteem afflictions! If we had servants who wrought for us exceedingly well, we should esteem them, and take from them many pert replies which we would not take from those who worked with “eye service” only; and so ought we to do with afflictions, which are God’s servants, and are made to work for our good; but how often do we think they are hard taskmasters rather than servants!

I shall, as the Spirit of God shall enable me,

1. Speak of the Persons by whom the sons of God are loved.
2. The objects of that love.
3. Refer to some states in which it may be said, “Now” are we the sons of God.
4. Mention some things in which it maybe said, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be;” and speak of the knowledge we have of it.

1. By whom are these sons of God loved? First, They are beloved of God. Secondly, They are beloved of one another.

First. They are beloved of God,—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I know this is not a very fashionable way of preaching in the present day; but I am one of the old-fashioned sort. People do not like to speak of distinct Personalities in the Godhead; but I must have Father, Son, and Holy Ghost brought home to my heart, or I shall be damned. God the Father’s love is seen in his eternal election of us in Christ before time began, and blessing us with all spiritual blessings in him. He “spared not his own Son, but freely gave him up for us all;” and heaven is a…

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Preached on Sunday Evening, May 31st, 1840, in Gower Street Chapel, London.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”—1 John 4:1-4.

It has always been the case, ever since God sent prophets, that the devil has endeavoured to imitate him and send prophets too; and the Lord told Moses to give the people this advice, that if a prophet rose up, or a dreamer of dreams, and prophesied things that came true, yet they were not to believe him except he brought forth in his prophecy the real truth of God. It seems good in the sight of God that, for wise purposes, there should be false prophets and false teachers, for the trial…

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36 God Is Love

13 Oct 2013, 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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A Sermon Delivered By William Gadsby At The Baptist Chapel, St. George’s Road, Manchester On Lord’s Day, January 1, 1826

“For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and those Three are One.”—1 John 5:7

Beloved of the Lord,

Through an infinite variety of changing scenes, our over-to-be-adored covenant God has brought us thus far. The various troubles that we have had to grapple with in the past year only leave their number less. We shall never have to wade through them again; and if God the Holy Ghost has sanctified them to our souls they have done us no real harm. If we have learned through them, as instruments in the hands of our glorious Teacher, more of the emptiness of this vain polluted world, and been made, by a precious faith in Christ, to sit looser to all creature-joys and cling closer to our blessed Christ, let us not for a moment regret that we have been visited with them, but rather praise and adore our glorious Lord that he has taken the advantage of them to confirm our souls in the immutability of his love, by proving himself to be our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Honours crown his brow for ever! Nothing shall induce him to forsake his dear blood-bought family. He may chastise, and for a small moment appear to forsake us, but with everlasting kindness will he have mercy upon us; so that his chastenings are but momentary, whilst his loving-kindness is everlasting. (Isa 54:8-10)

Another year has rolled round, and here we are, the monuments of God’s mercy, met together to commemorate the wonderful kindness of our covenant God toward us; and with deep humility to confess our vile ingratitude towards him, our best, our faithful Friend. May we begin the year in the blessed Spirit of the Lord, and may it not only be the beginning of a new year but may it prove in deed and in truth the Lord’s day to our souls. O for a sweet enjoyment of our glorious Alpha and Omega. Then we shall have another confirming proof that our glorious Christ is an almighty Friend. The Lord grant that we may this morning approach our blessed Triune Jehovah by a living faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sit under his precious vine with a conscience consecrated with the blood of the Lamb, under the divine anointing and blessed teaching of Cod the Holy Ghost.

Since the last year commenced some of. our friends have taken flight, and gone to their eternal home. Well, beloved, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours.” Soon, very soon, we shall follow them. This may he the last year, yea, the last day, that our adorable God has designed us to live in this polluted world. May the few remaining swift-flying minutes of our natural life be spent in the faith, fear, and love of God. May we be thankful for mercies already received; and, in sweet confidence in the immutable promise and oath of our unchanging God, may we trust him for all that is to come.

Few and evil have the days of the years of our life been, and to us belong confusion of face; but adored be our blessed Jehovah, to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness. Though we have rebelled against him, yet, thanks be unto God, Jehovah himself, Father, Son, and Spirit, in the glorious economy of redemption, is our salvation. “For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation.” Blessed Spirit, thou divine Comforter and Sealer, condescend to lead our souls into this…

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“The faithful God.”—Deuteronomy 7:1

With what inexpressible satisfaction can the people of God sit at the feet of Jehovah, who is all holiness and purity and greatness; for what a ground of contentment it is to them to have this God as their faithful God; not merely believing it in their judgment, but feeling the truth in their hearts, that he is the faithful God. This couches in it many particulars, a few of which we will notice; the promises expected from him—his power, his covenant engagements. God is faithful in the relationship he bears to his church.

In what relation, let us ask ourselves, do we stand to this faithful God? He is our Creator and Preserver. Nothing is left by him in a precarious state. The ravens fed the prophet at the brook. See the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin; yet Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice; even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

“Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
Hang on his firm decree;
He sits on no precarious throne,
Nor borrows leave to be.”

In what does he prove this faithful relationship? He has declared that the wicked shall be cast into hell. He will be found faithful and true. If you live and die without matchless grace, without repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, his infinite wrath will be poured upon you; his threatenings will be executed.

Let me, then, urge upon youth to look at this solemn warning: “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth; but know thou that for all these things God will bring thee to judgment.” How many of you set at defiance the faithfulness of God! Your carnal inclinations, wantonness, and dissipation are all your cares, and you say, “How does God know?” The Spirit of God is everywhere. He sees your every action; you cannot hide yourselves from him; and without repentance “ye shall all likewise perish.” out of Jesus Christ there is no salvation. Young men and young women! Think of this. Ask yourselves, are you in possession of the…

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A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby In The Chapel, Artillery Street, Bishopsgate, London, On Behalf Of The Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society.[1]

“He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”—Deuteronomy 32:10

From this portion of God’s Word, I shall endeavour, as the Lord may enable me this evening, to speak a little, in the first place, of where God finds all his people; namely, in a desert land. Secondly, shall speak a little of his leading his people about, and of the seemingly strange methods the Lord sometimes takes to instruct his people. And lastly, of the care with which his people are kept; he keeps them as the apple of his eye.

In the first place, where the Lord finds his people. I am certain it is where none but himself would ever think of looking for them: “In a desert land, and waste howling wilderness.” Now from this portion of God’s Word, you may in some measure be able to judge whether your religion is of the right kind; I mean whether the Lord found you, and where he found you, or whether you found the Lord; whether God began with you, or you began with God—for much depends upon a right beginning.

Now all the account that some people can give of their religion is that they had the privilege, they say, of being born of pious parents, and were brought up under the means of grace; but they cannot tell when the work began, or how. But they were brought up to attend the Sunday School, and in time they became teachers themselves, and as they grew up to years of maturity, they became decidedly pious. And if this is all the account you can give of the matter, there is no account of the Lord’s finding you in a desert land; you seem to me never to have known you were lost.

Now I will tell you where the Lord found me, and then I will endeavour, if the Lord will, to find out some of you. I remember, when quite a boy, I was so convinced of my wickedness that I resolved to reform my life, and go to church. This lasted for a few days, and I was greatly pleased with myself and my good resolutions; and as I went to the church, I thought all around me appeared so holy; the people appeared holy, and the very ground I walked upon seemed holy, and the bells of the church appeared holy also. But I was tempted to rob a turnip field, that I had to pass through; and here I fell, and lost all my holiness and religion together. But when the Lord began the work upon my soul in reality, he made me to feel I was indeed in a desert land, a waste howling wilderness. But the Lord did not find me that agreeable pliant creature that some people represent; for I resisted as long as I could.

I remember hearing a man preach once from the words, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” &c. And he represented the Lord Jesus as standing at the door of the heart, and knocking and beseeching for us to let him in. But it was not the way the Lord came to me; for he knocked door and all down, or he might have knocked long enough before I should have let him in. But this poor thing represented the Lord as quite disappointed, and not able to…

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Preached on Tuesday Evening, May 21st, 1839, in Gower Street Chapel, London.

“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”—Ps. 17:5.

One difference betwixt the presumptuous professor and a child of God, blessed with a tender conscience, is this: the presumptuous professor seems anxious to know how far he may go without being particularly criminal, what steps it is possible for him to take in pleasure or in vice without bringing himself in as false and vile; but the child of God, with a tender conscience, is constantly praying, “Hold up my goings in thy paths.” He is not wanting to know, “Can I do such a thing that is pleasing to flesh and blood, and yet not be criminal?” But he wants to be preserved tenderly walking in the fear of God, and giving proof…

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Preached, on Lord’s Day Morning, Nov. 1st, 1840, in Manchester.

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving.”—Ps. 116:17.

Under the Jewish dispensation, God had appointed a variety of offerings and sacrifices for the Jews, under certain circumstances, to be attended to; and if you turn to Leviticus 7, you will find that the offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving was to be accompanied with unleavened bread, mingled with oil, with wafers anointed with oil, and with cakes fried in oil. Now in reality, beloved, there is no sacrifice of thanksgiving without this oil; and it is…

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Preached on Tuesday Evening, Sept. 13th, 1838, in Jewry Street Chapel, London, on Behalf of the Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society.

“The Lord hath done great things for US, whereof we are glad.”—Ps 126:3.

There are three things in the great mysteries of salvation that many professors of religion seem almost alarmed at. One is that God really saves sinners. If a minister of Jesus Christ is led to describe a sinner half as he really is, for to the bottom of him he never can, he shocks their delicate minds, and they are almost paralyzed, and call it the high road of licentiousness to suppose that God saves such naughty sinners as those; whilst a poor soul under the…

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“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord.”—Isaiah 1:18

Here is a special people addressed, “a small remnant.” They tremble and fear under a feeling sense of their guilt and utter unworthiness; but God mercifully calls unto them, saying, “Come, let us reason together.”

Some people think they are as good as any of their neighbours, and a deal better than most; and they try to thus comfort themselves. But unless God brings them to repentance and teaches them to place entire dependence upon Christ, they will sink into black despair. The Lord does not say, “Come pious, come virtuous;” but “though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they he red like crimson they shall be as wool.”

The Pharisees have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge; they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, go about to establish their own righteousness, not submitting themselves to the righteousness of God; and thus they delude their own souls. But the characters alluded to in our text feel themselves to be double-dyed sinners,—outcasts from society and from…

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