The Most Magnanimous of Captains

Every man must serve somebody: we have no choice as to that fact. Those who have no master are slaves to themselves. Depend upon it, you will either serve Satan or Christ, either self or the Savior. You will find sin, self, Satan, and the world to be hard masters; but if you wear the livery of Christ, you will find him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls.

He is the most magnanimous of captains. There never was his like among the choicest of princes. He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold he always takes the bleak side of the hill. The heaviest end of the cross lies ever on his shoulders. If he bids us carry a burden, he carries it also. If there is anything that is gracious, generous, kind, and tender, yea lavish and superabundant in love, you always find it in him. … His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on it at once! God help you to enlist under the banner of Jesus even this day! Amen.

—Charles H. Spurgeon
“The Statute of David for the Sharing of the Spoil,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (1891; repr., Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1970), 37:323-24.


The Giant and the Straw

“A giant striking with a straw cannot put forth his strength with it. So in blessing, no creature nor ordinance can convey all the goodness of God to us.” —Thomas Manton

The best preacher is no better than a straw, in and of himself. God shows his omnipotence by accomplishing anything with such poor tools as we are. Were he not Almighty the infirmities of his servants would cause him to fail in every design in which he employs them. As it is, the fact of our unfitness should greatly enhance our sense of his glory. This feebleness on the part of the fittest instrument makes it imperative that the Lord’s own Spirit should work in men’s hearts over and above his working through the means. New hearts cannot be created by mere human voices: these are more qualified to call beasts to their fodder than dead souls out of their spiritual graves. The Holy Ghost must himself breathe life and infuse strength into men; for his ministers are little better than the staff of Elijah, which was laid upon the dead child, but neither hearing nor answering resulted from it.

The figure of a giant using a straw as a cudgel is not, however, perfect unless we picture him as able to strengthen the straw, till he strikes with it as with a hammer and dashes rocks in pieces; for even thus the Lord doth by his feeble servants. Hath he not said,

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel?” (Isaiah 41:14-16)

O thou Almighty One, continue to display thine omnipotence by using me, even me, the least and feeblest of all thine instruments.

—Charles H. Spurgeon
Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden (Passmore & Alabaster, 1883).


Love Serves One Another

Love is the cement of human society

For where love reigneth, there will be mutual service and submission: Gal. 5:13, ‘But by love serve one another;’ Rom. 12:10, ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love.’

Christians should be made up of perfect kindness

Where there is love in superiors and inferiors, they will respect each other’s good and profit; and so all christians, none excepted, will be servants one to another; as being members of the same body, they ought not to live to themselves only, but promote the good of the body, and every member thereof: 1 Cor. 12:27, ‘Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.’

In their place and calling every one will do his part, and therefore love sweeteneth all things, and will make us stoop, though to serve the meanest person in the world.

—Thomas Manton
The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 19, 432.

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