HUMAN INABILITY (TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN)


HUMAN INABILITY
(TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN)
SERMON NO. 182
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING,
MARCH 7, 1858,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.
“No man can come to Me, except the Father which
has sent Me draw him.”
John 6:44.
“COMING to Christ” is a very common phrase in Holy Scripture. It is
used to express those acts of the soul wherein leaving at once our selfrighteousness
and our sins, we fly unto the Lord Jesus Christ and receive
His righteousness to be our covering and His blood to be our
atonement. Coming to Christ, then, embraces in it repentance, selfnegation
and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It sums within itself all
those things which are the necessary attendants of these great states of
heart, such as the belief of the truth, earnestness of prayer to God, the
submission of the soul to the precepts of God’s Gospel and all those
things which accompany the dawn of salvation in the soul.
Coming to Christ is just the one essential thing for a sinner’s salvation.
He that comes not to Christ, do what he may, or think what he
may, is yet in “the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.” Coming
to Christ is the very first effect of regeneration. No sooner is the soul
quickened than it at once discovers its lost estate, is horrified thereat,
looks out for a refuge and believing Christ to be a suitable one, flies to
Him and reposes in Him.
Where there is not this coming to Christ, it is certain that there is as
yet no quickening—where there is no quickening, the soul is dead in
trespasses and sins—and being dead it cannot enter into the kingdom of
Heaven. We have before us now an announcement very startling, some
say very obnoxious. Coming to Christ, though described by some people
as being the very easiest thing in all the world, is in our text declared to
be a thing utterly and entirely impossible to any man, unless the Father
shall draw him to Christ.
It shall be our business, then, to enlarge upon this declaration. We
doubt not that it will always be offensive to carnal nature, but nevertheless,
the offending of human nature is sometimes the first step towards
bringing it to bow itself before God. And if this is the effect of a painful
process, we can forget the pain and rejoice in the glorious consequences.
I shall endeavor this morning, first of all, to notice man’s inability,
wherein it consists. Secondly, the Father’s drawings—what these are and

how they are exerted upon the soul. And then I shall conclude by noticing
a sweet consolation which may be derived from this seemingly barren
and terrible text.
I. First, then, MAN’S INABILITY. The text says, “No man can come to
Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him.” Wherein does this
inability lie?
First, it does not lie in any physical defect. If in coming to Christ, moving
the body or walking with the feet should be of any assistance, certainly
man has all physical power to come to Christ in that sense. I remember
to have heard a very foolish Antinomian declare that he did not
believe any man had the power to walk to the house of God unless the
Father drew him. Now the man was plainly foolish, because he must
have seen that as long as a man was alive and had legs, it was as easy
for him to walk to the house of God as to the house of Satan.
If coming to Christ includes the utterance of a prayer, man has no
physical defect in that respect. If he is not dumb, he can say a prayer as
easily as he can utter blasphemy. It is as easy for a man to sing one of
the songs of Zion as to sing a profane and libidinous song. There is no
lack of physical power in coming to Christ that can be wanted with regard
to the bodily strength man most assuredly has. And any part of salvation
which consists in that is totally and entirely in the power of man
without any assistance from the Spirit of God.
Nor, again, does this inability lie in any mental lack. I can believe this
Bible to be true just as easily as I can believe any other book to be true.
So far as believing on Christ is an act of the mind, I am just as able to
believe on Christ as I am able to believe on anybody else. Let his statement
be but true, it is idle to tell me I cannot believe it. I can believe the
statement that Christ makes as well as I can believe the statement of any
other person. There is no deficiency of faculty in the mind—it is as capable
of appreciating as a mere mental act the guilt of sin, as it is of appreciating
the guilt of assassination. It is just as possible for me to exercise
the mental idea of seeking God, as it is to exercise the thought of ambition.
I have all the mental strength and power that can possibly be needed,
so far as mental power is needed in salvation at all. No, there is not any
man so ignorant that he can plead a lack of intellect as an excuse for rejecting
the Gospel. The defect, then, does not lie either in the body, or,
what we are bound to call, speaking theologically, the mind. It is not any
lack or deficiency there, although it is the vitiation of the mind, the corruption
or the ruin of it, which, after all, is the very essence of man’s inability.
Permit me to show you wherein this inability of man really does lie. It
lies deep in his nature. Through the Fall and through our own sin, the
nature of man has become so debased, depraved and corrupt, that it is
impossible for him to come to Christ without the assistance of God the
Holy Spirit. Now, in trying to exhibit how the nature of man thus renders

him unable to come to Christ, you must allow me just to take this figure.
You see a sheep—how willingly it feeds upon the herbage! You never
knew a sheep to seek after carrion, it could not live on lion’s food.
Now bring me a wolf and you ask me whether a wolf cannot eat grass,
whether it cannot be just as docile and as domesticated as the sheep. I
answer, no, because its nature is contrary to it. You say, “Well, it has
ears and legs. Can it not hear the shepherd’s voice and follow him wherever
he leads it?” I answer, certainly. There is no physical cause why it
cannot do so, but its nature forbids it—and therefore I say it cannot do
so. Can it not be tamed? Cannot its ferocity be removed?
Probably it may so far be subdued that it may become apparently
tame, but there will always be a marked distinction between it and the
sheep, because there is a distinction in nature. Now, the reason why
man cannot come to Christ is not because he cannot come, so far as his
body or his mere power of mind is concerned. Man cannot come to Christ
because his nature is so corrupt that he has neither the will nor the
power to come to Christ unless drawn by the Spirit.
But let me give you a better illustration. You see a mother with her
babe in her arms. You put a knife into her hand and tell her to stab that
babe in the heart. She replies and very truthfully, “I cannot.” Now, so far
as her bodily power is concerned, she can, if she pleases. There is the
knife and there is the child. The child cannot resist and she has quite
sufficient strength in her hand immediately to stab it. But she is quite
correct when she says she cannot do it. As a mere act of the mind, it is
quite possible she might think of such a thing as killing the child and yet
she says she cannot think of such a thing. And she does not say falsely,
for her nature as a mother forbids her doing a thing from which her soul
revolts.
Simply because she is that child’s parent she feels she cannot kill it. It
is even so with a sinner. Coming to Christ is so obnoxious to human nature
that although, so far as physical and mental forces are concerned,
(and these have but a very narrow sphere in salvation), men could come
if they would—it is strictly correct to say that they cannot and will not
unless the Father who has sent Christ does draw them. Let us enter a little
more deeply into the subject and try to show you wherein this inability
of man consists, in its more minute particulars.
1. First it lies in the obstinacy of the human will. “Oh,” says the
Arminian, “men may be saved if they will.” We reply, “My dear Sir, we all
believe that. But it is just the if they will that is the difficulty. We assert
that no man will come to Christ unless he is drawn. No, we do not assert
it, but Christ Himself declares it—‘You will not come unto Me that you
might have life.’ And as long as that ‘you will not come’ stands on record
in Holy Scripture, Christ shall not be brought to believe in any doctrine
of the freedom of the human will.”
It is strange how people, when talking about free will, talk of things
which they do not at all understand. “Now” says one, “I believe men can

be saved if they will.” My dear Sir, that is not the question at all. The
question is, are men ever found naturally willing to submit to the humbling
terms of the Gospel of Christ? We declare, upon Scriptural authority,
that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved
and so inclined to everything that is evil—so disinclined to everything
that is good—that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence
of the Holy Spirit, no human will will ever be constrained towards
Christ.
You reply that men sometimes are willing, without the help of the Holy
Spirit. I answer—did you ever meet with any person who was? Scores
and hundreds, no, thousands of Christians have I conversed with, of different
opinions, young and old—but it has never been my lot to meet
with one who could affirm that he came to Christ of himself without being
drawn. The universal confession of all true Believers is this—“I know
that unless Jesus Christ had sought me when a stranger wandering from
the fold of God, I would to this very hour have been wandering far from
Him—at a distance from Him—and loving that distance well.” With common
consent, all Believers affirm the truth that men will not come to
Christ till the Father who has sent Christ does draw them.
2. Again, not only is the will obstinate, but the understanding is darkened.
Of that we have abundant Scriptural proof. I am not now making
mere assertions, but stating doctrines authoritatively taught in the Holy
Scriptures and known in the conscience of every Christian man—that the
understanding of man is so dark that he cannot by any means understand
the things of God until his understanding has been opened. Man is
by nature blind within. The Cross of Christ, so laden with glories and
glittering with attractions, never attracts him, because he is blind and
cannot see its beauties. Talk to him of the wonders of the creation. Show
to him the many-colored arch that spans the sky. Let him behold the glories
of a landscape—he is well able to see all these things.
But talk to him of the wonders of the Covenant of Grace, speak to him
of the security of the Believer in Christ, tell him of the beauties of the
Person of the Redeemer, he is quite deaf to all your description. You are
as one that plays a goodly tune, it is true. But he regards not, he is deaf,
he has no comprehension. Or, to return to the verse which we so specially
marked in our reading, “The natural man receives not the things of
the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know
them because they are spiritually discerned,” and inasmuch as he is a
natural man, it is not in his power to discern the things of God. “Well,”
says one, “I think I have arrived at a very tolerable judgment in matters
of theology. I think I understand almost every point.”
True, that you may do in the letter of it. But in the spirit of it, in the
true reception thereof into the soul and in the actual understanding of it,
it is impossible for you to have attained—unless you have been drawn by
the Spirit. For as long as that Scripture stands true—that carnal men
cannot receive spiritual things—it must be true that you have not re

ceived them, unless you have been renewed and made a spiritual man in
Christ Jesus. The will, then and the understanding, are two great doors,
both blocked up against our coming to Christ. And until these are
opened by the sweet influences of the Divine Spirit, they must be forever
closed to anything like coming to Christ.
3. Again, the affections, which constitute a very great part of man, are
depraved. Man, as he is, before he receives the grace of God, loves anything
and everything above spiritual things. If you want proof of this,
look around you. There needs no monument to the depravity of the human
affections. Cast your eyes everywhere—there is not a street, nor a
house, no, nor a heart, which does not bear upon it sad evidence of this
dreadful truth. Why is it that men are not found on the Sabbath-Day
universally flocking to the house of God? Why are we not more constantly
found reading our Bibles? How is it that prayer is a duty almost
universally neglected? Why is it that Christ Jesus is so little loved? Why
are even His professed followers so cold in their affections to Him?
From where arise these things? Assuredly, dear Brethren, we can
trace them to no other source than this—the corruption and vitiation of
the affections. We love that which we ought to hate and we hate that
which we ought to love. It is but human nature, fallen human nature—
that man should love this present life better than the life to come. It is
but the effect of the Fall that man should love sin better than righteousness
and the ways of this world better than the ways of God. And again,
we repeat it—until these affections are renewed and turned into a fresh
channel by the gracious drawings of the Father, it is not possible for any
man to love the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Yet once more—conscience, too, has been overpowered by the Fall. I
believe there is no more egregious mistake made by divines than when
they tell people that conscience is the vicegerent of God within the soul
and that it is one of those powers which retains its ancient dignity and
stands erect amidst the fall of its compeers. My Brethren, when man fell
in the garden, manhood fell entirely. There was not one single pillar in
the temple of manhood that stood erect. It is true, conscience was not
destroyed. The pillar was not shattered. It fell, and it fell in one piece,
and here it lies alone—the mightiest remnant of God’s once perfect work
in man.
But that conscience is fallen, I am sure. Look at men. Who among
them is the possessor of a “good conscience toward God,” but the regenerated
man? Do you imagine that if men’s consciences always spoke
loudly and clearly to them, they would live in the daily commission of
acts which are as opposed to the right as darkness to light? No, Beloved—
conscience can tell me that I am a sinner, but conscience cannot
make me feel that I am one. Conscience may tell me that such-and-such
a thing is wrong, but how wrong it is, conscience itself does not know.
Did any man’s conscience, unenlightened by the Spirit, ever tell him
that his sins deserved damnation? Or if conscience did do that, did it

ever lead any man to feel an abhorrence of sin as sin? In fact, did conscience
ever bring a man to such a self-renunciation that he did totally
abhor himself and all his works and come to Christ? No, conscience, although
it is not dead, is ruined. Its power is impaired, it has not that
clearness of eye and that strength of hand and that thunder of voice
which it had before the Fall. It has ceased, to a great degree, to exert its
supremacy in the town of Mansoul. Then, Beloved, it becomes necessary
for this very reason, because conscience is depraved, that the Holy Spirit
should step in to show us our need of a Savior and draw us to the Lord
Jesus Christ.
“Still,” says one, “as far as you have so far gone, it appears to me that
you consider that the reason why men do not come to Christ is that they
will not, rather than they cannot.” True, most true. I believe the greatest
reason of man’s inability is the obstinacy of his will. That once overcome,
I think the great stone is rolled away from the sepulcher and the hardest
part of the battle is already won. But allow me to go a little further. My
text does not say, “No man will come,” but it says, “No man can come.”
Now, many interpreters believe that the can here is but a strong expression
conveying no more meaning than the word will. I feel assured that
this is not correct.
There is in man not only unwillingness to be saved, but there is a
spiritual powerlessness to come to Christ. And this I will prove to every
Christian at any rate. Beloved, I speak to you who have already been
quickened by Divine Grace. Does not your experience teach you that
there are times when you have a will to serve God and yet have not the
power? Have you not sometimes been obliged to say that you have
wished to believe but you have had to pray, “Lord, help my unbelief”? Because,
although willing enough to receive God’s Testimony, your own
carnal nature was too strong for you and you felt you needed supernatural
help.
Are you able to go into your room at any hour you choose and to fall
upon your knees and say, “Now, it is my will that I should be very earnest
in prayer and that I should draw near unto God”? I ask, do you find
your power equal to your will? You could say, even at the bar of God
Himself, that you are sure you are not mistaken in your willingness. You
are willing to be wrapped up in devotion. It is your will that your soul
should not wander from a pure contemplation of the Lord Jesus Christ,
but you find that you cannot do that, even when you are willing, without
the help of the Spirit.
Now, if the quickened child of God finds a spiritual inability, how
much more the sinner who is dead in trespasses and sin? If even the advanced
Christian, after thirty or forty years, finds himself sometimes willing
and yet powerless—if such is his experience—does it not seem more
than likely that the poor sinner who has not yet believed should find a
need of strength as well as a want of will?

But, again, there is another argument. If the sinner has strength to
come to Christ, I should like to know how we are to understand those
continual descriptions of the sinner’s state which we meet with in God’s
Holy Word? Now, a sinner is said to be dead in trespasses and sins. Will
you affirm that death implies nothing more than the absence of a will?
Surely a corpse is quite as unable as unwilling. Or again, do not all men
see that there is a distinction between will and power? Might not that
corpse be sufficiently quickened to get a will and yet be so powerless that
it could not lift as much as its hand or foot? Have we ever seen cases in
which persons have been just sufficiently re-animated to give evidence of
life—and have yet been so near death that they could not have performed
the slightest action?
Is there not a clear difference between the giving of the will and the
giving of power? It is quite certain, however, that where the will is given,
the power will follow. Make a man willing and he shall be made powerful,
for when God gives the will, He does not tantalize man by giving him to
wish for that which he is unable to do. Nevertheless He makes such a division
between the will and the power, that it shall be seen that both
things are quite distinct gifts of the Lord God.
Then I must ask one more question. If that were all that were needed
to make a man willing, do you not at once degrade the Holy Spirit? Are
we not in the habit of giving all the glory of salvation wrought in us to
God the Spirit? But now, if all that God the Spirit does for me is to make
me willing to do these things for myself, am I not in a great measure a
sharer with the Holy Spirit in the glory? And may I not boldly stand up
and say, “It is true the Spirit gave me the will to do it, but still I did it
myself and therein will I glory. For if I did these things myself without assistance
from on high, I will not cast my crown at His feet. It is my own
crown, I earned it and I will keep it.”
Inasmuch as the Holy Spirit is evermore in Scripture set forth as the
Person who works in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure, we
hold it to be a legitimate inference that He must do something more for
us than the mere making of us willing. Therefore there must be another
thing besides want of will in a sinner—there must be absolute and actual
want of power.
Now, before I leave this statement, let me address myself to you for a
moment. I am often charged with preaching doctrines that may do a
great deal of hurt. Well, I shall not deny the charge, for I am not careful
to answer in this matter. I have my witnesses here present to prove that
the things which I have preached have done a great deal of hurt, but they
have not done hurt either to morality or to God’s Church. The hurt has
been on the side of Satan. There are not ones or twos but many hundreds
who this morning rejoice that they have been brought near to God.
From having been profane Sabbath-breakers, drunkards, or worldly persons,
they have been brought to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.

And if this is any hurt, may God of His infinite mercy send us a thousand
times as much.
But further, what Truth is there in the world which will not hurt a
man who chooses to make hurt of it? You who preach general redemption
are very fond of proclaiming the great truth of God’s mercy to the
last moment. But how dare you preach that? Many people make hurt of
it by putting off the day of grace and thinking that the last hour may do
as well as the first. Why, if we ever preached anything which man could
misuse, and abuse, we must hold our tongues forever. Still says one,
“Well then, if I cannot save myself, and cannot come to Christ, I must sit
still and do nothing.”
If men do say so, on their own heads shall be their doom. We have
very plainly told you that there are many things you can do. To be found
continually in the house of God is in your power. To study the Word of
God with diligence is in your power. To renounce your outward sin, to
forsake the vices in which you indulge, to make your life honest, sober,
and righteous is in your power. For this you need no help from the Holy
Spirit. All this you can do yourself. But to come to Christ truly is not in
your power until you are renewed by the Holy Spirit. But mark you, your
want of power is no excuse, seeing that you have no desire to come and
are living in willful rebellion against God. Your want of power lies mainly
in the obstinacy of your nature.
Suppose a liar says that it is not in his power to speak the truth, that
he has been a liar so long that he cannot leave it off. Is that an excuse for
him? Suppose a man who has long indulged in lust should tell you that
he finds his lusts have so girt about him like a great iron net that he
cannot get rid of them. Would you take that as an excuse? Truly it is
none at all. If a drunkard has become so foully a drunkard that he finds
it impossible to pass a public bar without stepping in, do you therefore
excuse him? No, because his inability to reform lies in his nature—which
he has no desire to restrain or conquer.
The thing that is done and the thing that causes the thing that is
done—being both from the root of sin—are two evils which cannot excuse
each other. It is because you have learned to do evil that you cannot now
learn to do well, and instead, therefore, of letting you sit down to excuse
yourselves—let me put a thunderbolt beneath the seat of your sloth—
that you may be startled by it and aroused.
Remember, that to sit still is to be damned to all eternity. Oh, that
God the Holy Spirit might make use of this truth in a very different manner!
Before I have done I trust I shall be enabled to show you how it is
that this truth, which apparently condemns men and shuts them out, is,
after all, the great truth which has been blessed to the conversion of
men.
II. Our second point is THE FATHER’S DRAWINGS. “No man can
come to Me except the Father which has sent Me draw him.” How, then,
does the Father draw men? Arminian divines generally say that God

draws men by the preaching of the Gospel. Very true. The preaching of
the Gospel is the instrument of drawing men, but there must be something
more than this. Let me ask to whom did Christ address these
words? Why, to the people of Capernaum, where he had often preached,
where he had uttered mournfully and plaintively the woes of the Law and
the invitations of the Gospel. In that city He had done many mighty
works and worked many miracles!
In fact, such teaching and such miraculous attestation had He given
to them, that He declared that Tyre and Sidon would have repented long
ago in sackcloth and ashes if they had been blessed with such privileges.
Now if the preaching of Christ Himself did not avail to the enabling these
men to come to Christ, it cannot be possible that all that was intended
by the drawing of the Father was simply preaching. No, Brethren, you
must note again, He does not say no man can come except the minister
draw him, but except the Father draw him.
Now there is such a thing as being drawn by the Gospel and drawn by
the minister without being drawn by God. Clearly it is a Divine drawing
that is meant, a drawing by the Most High God—the First Person of the
most glorious Trinity sending out the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, to induce
men to come to Christ. Another person turns round and says with a
sneer, “Then do you think that Christ drags men to Himself, seeing that
they are unwilling!” I remember meeting once with a man who said to
me, “Sir, you preach that Christ takes people by the hair of their heads
and drags them to Himself.” I asked him whether he could refer to the
date of the sermon wherein I preached that extraordinary doctrine, for if
he could, I should be very much obliged. However, he could not.
But said I, while Christ does not drag people to Himself by the hair of
their heads, I believe that He draws them by the heart quite as powerfully
as your caricature would suggest. Mark that in the Father’s drawing
there is no compulsion whatever. Christ never compelled any man to
come to Him against his will. If a man is unwilling to be saved, Christ
does not save him against his will. How, then, does the Holy Spirit draw
him? Why, by making him willing. It is true He does not use “moral persuasion.”
He knows a nearer method of reaching the heart. He goes to
the secret fountain of the heart and he knows how, by some mysterious
operation, to turn the will in an opposite direction, so that, as Ralph Erskine
paradoxically puts it, the man is saved “with full consent against
his will,” that is, against his old will he is saved.
But he is saved with full consent for he is made willing in the day of
God’s power. Do not imagine that any man will go to Heaven kicking and
struggling all the way against the hand that draws him. Do not conceive
that any man will be plunged in the bath of a Savior’s blood while he is
striving to run away from the Savior. Oh, no! It is quite true that first of
all man is unwilling to be saved. When the Holy Spirit has put His influence
into the heart, the text is fulfilled—“draw me and I will run after

You.” We follow on while He draws us, glad to obey the voice which once
we had despised. But the gist of the matter lies in the turning of the will.
How that is done no flesh knows. It is one of those mysteries that is
clearly perceived as a fact, but the cause of which no tongue can tell and
no heart can guess. The apparent way, however, in which the Holy Spirit
operates, we can tell you. The first thing the Holy Spirit does when He
comes into a man’s heart is this—He finds him with a very good opinion
of himself. And there is nothing which prevents a man coming to Christ
like a good opinion of himself. “Why,” says man, “I don’t want to come to
Christ. I have as good a righteousness as anybody can desire. I feel I can
walk into Heaven on my own rights.”
The Holy Spirit lays bare his heart—lets him see the loathsome cancer
that is there eating away his life—uncovers to him all the blackness and
defilement of that sink of Hell, the human heart. Then the man stands
aghast, “I never thought I was like this. Oh, those sins I thought were little,
have swelled out to an immense stature. What I thought was a molehill
has grown into a mountain. It was but the hyssop on the wall before,
but now it has become a cedar of Lebanon.” “Oh,” says the man within
himself, “I will try and reform. I will do good deeds enough to wash these
black deeds out.”
Then comes the Holy Spirit and shows him that he cannot do this,
takes away all his fancied power and strength, so that the man falls
down on his knees in agony and cries, “Oh, once I thought I could save
myself by my good works, but now I find that—
“Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no respite know,
All for sin could not atone,
You must save and You alone.”
Then the heart thinks and the man is ready to despair. And says he, “I
never can be saved. Nothing can save me.” Then, comes the Holy Spirit
and shows the sinner the Cross of Christ, gives him eyes anointed with
heavenly eye-salve and says, “Look to yonder Cross. That Man died to
save sinners. You feel that you are a sinner. He died to save you.” And He
enables the heart to believe and to come to Christ. And when it comes to
Christ, by this sweet drawing of the Spirit, it finds “a peace with God
which passes all understanding, which keeps his heart and mind
through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Now, you will plainly perceive that all
this may be done without any compulsion. Man is as much drawn willingly,
as if he were not drawn at all. And he comes to Christ with full
consent, with as full a consent as if no secret influence had ever been exercised
in his heart. But that influence must be exercised, or else there
never has been and there never will be any man who either can or will
come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
III. And, now, we gather up our ends and conclude by trying to make
a practical application of the doctrine. And we trust a comfortable one.
“Well,” says one “if what this man preaches is true, what is to become of
my religion? For do you know I have been a long while trying and I do not

like to hear you say a man cannot save himself. I believe he can and I
mean to persevere. But if I am to believe what you say, I must give it all
up and begin again.” My dear Friends, it will be a very happy thing if you
do. Do not think that I shall be at all alarmed if you do so.
Remember, what you are doing is building your house upon the sand
and it is but an act of charity if I can shake it a little for you. Let me assure
you, in God’s name, if your religion has no better foundation than
your own strength, it will not stand at the bar of God. Nothing will last to
eternity but that which came from eternity. Unless the everlasting God
has done a good work in your heart, all you may have done must be unraveled
at the last day of account. It is all in vain for you to be a Churchgoer
or Chapel-goer, a good keeper of the Sabbath, an observer of your
prayers. It is all in vain for you to be honest to your neighbors and reputable
in your conversation. If you hope to be saved by these things, it is
all in vain for you to trust in them.
Go on—be as honest as you like. Keep the Sabbath perpetually, be as
holy as you can. I would not dissuade you from these things. God forbid.
Grow in them, but oh, do not trust in them. For if you rely upon these
things you will find they will fail you when most you need them. And if
there is anything else that you have found yourself able to do unassisted
by Divine Grace, the sooner you can get rid of the hope that has been engendered
by it, the better for you—for it is a foul delusion to rely upon
anything that flesh can do.
A spiritual Heaven must be inhabited by spiritual men and preparation
for it must be worked by the Spirit of God. “Well,” cries another, “I
have been sitting under a ministry where I have been told that I could, at
my own option, repent and believe and the consequence is that I have
been putting it off from day to day. I thought I could come one day as
well as another. That I had only to say, ‘Lord, have mercy upon me,’ and
believe, and then I should be saved. Now you have taken all this hope
away for me, Sir. I feel amazement and horror taking hold upon me.”
Again, I say, “My dear Friend, I am very glad of it. This was the effect
which I hoped to produce, by God’s grace. I pray that you may feel this a
great deal more. When you have no hope of saving yourself, I shall have
hope that God has begun to save you.
As soon as you say, “Oh, I cannot come to Christ. Lord, draw me, help
me,” I shall rejoice over you. He who has got a will, though he has not
power, has grace begun in his heart and God will not leave him until the
work is finished. But, careless Sinner, learn that your salvation now
hangs in God’s hand. Oh, remember you are entirely in the hand of God.
You have sinned against Him and if He wills to damn you, damned you
are. You can not resist His will nor thwart His purpose. You have deserved
His wrath and if He chooses to pour the full shower of that wrath
upon your head, you can do nothing to reverse it.
If, on the other hand, He chooses to save you, He is able to save you to
the very uttermost. But you lie as much in His hand as the summer’s

moth beneath your own finger. He is the God whom you are grieving
every day. Does it not make you tremble to think that your eternal destiny
now hangs upon the will of Him whom you have angered and incensed?
Does not this make your knees knock together and your blood
curdle? If it does so I rejoice, inasmuch as this may be the first effect of
the Spirit’s drawing in your soul. Oh, tremble to think that the God
whom you have angered is the God upon whom your salvation or your
condemnation entirely depends. Tremble and “kiss the Son lest He be
angry and you perish from the way while His wrath is kindled but a little.”
Now, the comfortable reflection is this—some of you this morning are
conscious that you are coming to Christ. Have you not begun to weep the
penitential tear? Did not your closet witness your prayerful preparation
for the hearing of the Word of God? And during the service this morning,
has not your heart said within you, “Lord, save me, or I perish, for save
myself I cannot”? And could you not now stand up in your seat and
sing—
“Oh, Sovereign Grace my heart subdue;
I would be led in triumph, too,
A willing captive of my Lord,
To sing the triumph of His Word”?
And have I not myself heard you say in your heart—“Jesus, Jesus, my
whole trust is in You. I know that no righteousness of my own can save
me, but only You. O Christ—sink or swim, I cast myself on You”? Oh, my
Brothers and Sisters, you are drawn by the Father, for you could not
have come unless He had drawn you. Sweet thought! And if He has
drawn you, do you know what is the delightful inference? Let me repeat
just one text, and may that comfort you—“The Lord has appeared of old
unto me, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love—therefore with
loving kindness have I drawn you.”
Yes, my poor weeping Brothers and Sisters, inasmuch as you are now
coming to Christ, God has drawn you. And inasmuch as He has drawn
you, it is a proof that He has loved you from before the foundation of the
world. Let your heart leap within you, you are one of His! Your name was
written on the Savior’s hands when they were nailed to the accursed tree.
Your name glitters on the breastplate of the great High Priest today. And
it was there before the daystar knew its place, or planets ran their round.
Rejoice in the Lord, you that have come to Christ, and shout for joy all
you that have been drawn of the Father. For this is your proof—your solemn
testimony—that you from among men have been chosen in eternal
election and that you shall be kept by the power of God, through faith,
unto the salvation which is ready to be revealed!
Adapted from The C. H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software, 1.800.297.4307

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