- Healdsburg Tribune, Enterprise and Scimitar, Volume 1, Number 45, 26 January 1889
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- Sermons in Candles by C.H. Spurgeon (Part 1)
- Sermons in Candles
Spurgeon thought it a mistake and that he would not be fit for London. He was "borne down with a sense of weakness. Soon the need of a much larger building was needed and the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built in He became a well-known preacher and is regarded as the "Prince of Preachers. Cart 0. Menu Cart 0. Book Shop. Paperback 6X9, pages, 68 illustrations. More from this collection. The families walk up the aisles with the most becoming dignity, and they walk down the aisles with the most proper decorum. They can do without warmth, brotherly love, sympathy, and co-operation; for their eminent "respectability" suffices for every need.
Of course, they can do nothing more; for it costs them all their time, talent, thought, and spare cash to maintain their superior respectability.
Like the gentleman with his well-brushed hat, no wonder that they look so superior, for they give their whole minds to it. One asked a member of a certain respectable church whether he taught in a Ragged School, and weally he could hardly answer the fellow. The superior person champed the word "Ragged School" as a donkey might a roll of oakum. Another, a portly deacon, was asked whether he would join in holding an open-air service; but he looked the intruder through and through as if he would like to open him.
None of the ladies and gentlemen help the Temperance work, for they are too respectable to go in with vulgar water-drinkers; neither do they visit the lodging-houses, for that would be too disreputable for their royal highnesses. All these make up an eminently respectable community; but why they are respected, this deponent sayeth not. Here, take away this candle-box! I want no more of it or its contents, for it gives no jot of light! That is what will happen to very respectable churches which do no work for God or man: they will be put away, and even their candlestick will be taken out of its place.
If they do not mend their ways, not a few of our dissenting churches will die out, and leave nothing behind them but a name to laugh at. A church which does nothing for those around it, mocks the need of men, leaves the world in darkness, and grieves the Lord who designed his people to be the lights of the world. As in a community, so with a single person; grace is essential to usefulness. All the candles in that box remain useless till the wick is lighted with a touch of fire; and this lone candle is equally so.
See, I bring another candle in contact with it. They are tete-a-tete, or wick-a-wick, but the first has no influence upon the second. A thousand such interviews will produce no result. If there were a living flame here, you could soon set not only this one candle shining, but as many as you chose to bring; but without it nothing can be done.
No man can communicate what he has not got: you cannot hope to save your fellow-man till you know the salvation of God for yourself. To be a preacher or teacher before one has received the divine life is as foolish as for a candle "to set up for a lighter of others before it has been lighted itself. How different the result when the living flame is there! See how the one sets the other on a blaze at once! I see before me quite an array of candles. Variety is charming, and number is cheering. The more the merrier, and especially of such reputable and notable light-givers as these.
We may consider that we are having quite an illumination. With so many luminaries we need hardly regret the set of sun.
But is it so? I, for one, am none the better for these promising lights; are you? I put on my spectacles. But there is no improvement. I can see nothing; and yet there are candles enough and to spare! There is no mystery about it -- the candles are not lighted; and until they are lighted they cannot remove our darkness.
Healdsburg Tribune, Enterprise and Scimitar, Volume 1, Number 45, 26 January 1889
Grace is needed to make gifts available for the service of God. Let us look more closely into our collection of lights. Here is one which I should suppose to be an archbishop at the least.
This specimen is a Doctor of Divinity. These are gentry, and these are merchants, and those are "cultured" individuals; but without the light from on high they are all equally unserviceable. A poor converted lad in a workshop will be of more spiritual use than a parliament of unregenerate men. I introduce to you a lighted rushlight, and there is more to be seen by this ignoble luminary than by all the rest.
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Little ability, set on fire by the life of God, may produce greater results than ten talents without the divine power. Herein is great encouragement, dear friends, that if you once get a light, it will spread from one to another without end. This one lighted candle would suffice to set a hundred candles shining.
It may light a much finer candle than itself. Fire is one of those things for which there is no accounting as to what may come of it. Its spread is not to be measured even by leagues when it once gets firm hold, and the wind drives it on. Piety in a cottage may enlighten a nation. If the church of God were reduced to one person, it might, within an incredibly short time, become a great multitude. There is a true apostolical succession in the kingdom of grace.click
Sermons in Candles by C.H. Spurgeon (Part 1)
Office has the pretence of it, but grace gives the reality. At Mr. Jay's Jubilee, Timothy East, of Birmingham, told how, by the youthful ministry of William Jay, a thoughtless youth was converted and became a minister. Under the preaching of that man, Timothy East himself was led to repentance, mid then by a sermon from Timothy East, John Williams, who became the martyr of Erromanga and the apostle of the South Sea Islands, was savingly impressed. See how the light goes from Jay to another, from that other to East, from East to Williams, and from Williams to the savages of the Southern Seas!
A family treo of an equally interesting character has been traced with regard to books as surely as with living witnesses for God. A Puritan tract, old and torn, was lent by a poor man to Baxter's father. It was called Bunny's Resolutions. Through reading this little book, Richard Baxter, afterwards the great preacher of Kidderminster, received a real change of heart.
He wrote The Rise and Progress, which was the means of the conversion of Legh Richmond: and he wrote his Dairyman's Daughter, which has been translated into more than fifty languages, and has led to the conversion of thousands of souls. How many of these converted ones have in their turn written books and tracts which have charmed others to Jesus, eternity alone will reveal. We can never see the issues of our acts. We may strike a match, and from that little flame a street may be lighted.
Give a light to your next door neighbour, and you may be faking the nearest way to instruct the twentieth century, or to send the gospel to Chinese Tartary, or to overthrow the popular science fetish of the hour. A spark from your kitchen candle may, in its natural progression from one to another, light the last generation of men; so the word of the hour may be the light of the age, by which men may come in multitudes to see their Saviour and Lord.
Let thy light shine, and what will come of it thou shalt see hereafter. Coming one Thursday in the late autumn from an engagement beyond Dulwich, my way lay up to the top of the Herne Hill ridge. I came along the level out of which rises the steep hill I had to ascend. While I was on the lower ground, riding in a hansom cab, I saw a light before me, and when I came near the hill, I marked that light gradually go up the hill, leaving a train of stars behind it. This line of new-born stars remained in the form of one lamp, and then another, and anotller.
It reached from the foot of the hill to its summit. I did not see the lamplighter. I do not know his name, nor his age, nor his residence; but I saw the lights which he had kindled, and these remained when he himself had gone his way.
Sermons in Candles
As I rode along I thought to myself, "How earnestly do I wish that my life may be spent in lighting one soul after another with the sacred flame of eternal life! I would myself be as much as possible unseen while at my work, and would vanish into the eternal brilliance above when my work is done. Speak of Jesus to some person who knows him not.
Who can tell, but you may save a soul from death? Then carry the flame to another, and to another. Mark the years of your life by your continual diligence in spreading "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? Andrew was not a very great personage, but he called his brother Peter, and led him to Jesus, and Peter was a host in himself. Never mind how small a taper you may be; burn on, shine at your best, and God bless you. You may lead on to grand results despite your feebleness.
He that called Dr. John Owen is forgotten: I might almost say was never known: he was a small taper -- but what a candle he lighted! Those holy women who talked together as they sat in the sun at Bedford were a blessing to John Bunyan; but we know not the name of even one of them. Everywhere the hiddcn ones are used of the Lord as the means of lighting up those who shine as stars in the churches. In the service of God we find the greatest expansion of our being. It makes the dead man speak, and it also makes a single living man spread himself over a province. Our forefathers were fond of riddles.
I cannot say that they were very witty ones, but there was solidity in them.