Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 80, 1886

Sermon/At Grimsby, England

Grimsby, England

September 21, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 353, 354; 9MR 249-251.

“And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” “And ye are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:36, 48. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 1

Here we have before us the precious evidence that Christ was a living Saviour. A little while before, He was enclosed in Joseph’s new tomb, but He had burst the bands of death and walked forth a triumphant conqueror. While His disciples had been mourning, they had gone to the sepulchre, and Jesus was not there; and while they were wondering where He was, the angel of God said, He is risen. [Matthew 28:6.] Wonderful testimony! The hope of the world! Christ had risen, and their Saviour was a risen Saviour! 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 2

Now the disciples could not credit it when the testimony was brought to them that Christ had indeed risen. It seemed too much for them to believe, for when they witnessed His crucifixion their hopes died. Who can imagine the affliction of their minds when they saw their Saviour in the hands of the cruel mob, when they saw that He was crowned with thorns, when they saw Him treated with derision and insult and mockery? And then the climax had come. They saw Him stretched upon Calvary’s cross as a malefactor, and He whom they had believed would deliver Israel was dying as a criminal! 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 3

It is impossible for us to appreciate the agony of the followers of Christ at this critical moment. And after their Saviour was taken from the cross and laid in Joseph’s new tomb, their anguish was terrible; they had lost their Lord; and when they came to the tomb and found it empty, they were amazed. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 4

But these were not the only ones interested in that tomb. Angels had been watching it; and while the Roman guards were carefully watching the place, the angel of God came and rolled back the stone as though it were a pebble. Then the voice from heaven was heard waking the Sleeper, and Christ walked forth a triumphant conquerer. When the Roman guards caught sight of the angel, they dropped as dead men to the ground. They could not endure the glory of even one angel of God. The angel passed back to heaven, and they saw the tomb, open. Then they went into the city and told that Christ had risen; the disciples had not come and stolen Him away, but He had risen. The priests and rulers could not have such a report as that go out. “Why,” said they, “the people would stone us.” They put a bribe into the hands of the Roman guards so that they would testify to a lie. But when Christ arose a multitude arose with Him, and these also went into the city and testified that Christ was risen and they were risen with Him, so that the lying report brought by the Roman guards could have but little effect. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 5

But how sad the disciples were when they came and saw not the body of Jesus in Joseph’s new tomb! When Mary came and found Him not there, she turned away in sadness, and with weeping said, (to one she supposed to be the gardener), “If you have taken Him away, tell us where you have laid Him.” “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus!” But the voice comes, “Mary.” She knows this voice, and turns to worship Him, but He says, “Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father.” [John 20:15-17.] 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 6

Then as two disciples were on their way to Emmaus, traveling up the rugged mountains and rocky steeps, they conversed together as they walked and were sad. But there came one to their side and said, “Why are ye sad?” [Luke 24:17.] But we will turn and read it: 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 7

“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 8

“And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 9

“And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 10

“But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 11

“And He said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” Luke 24:13-17. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 12

Oh, I have thought to myself, if we could only appreciate the work of Jesus Christ, His sympathy, His love, it seems to me that there could not be a heart so stony that it could not be impressed. He is just as ready as He ever was to stand by the side of His apostles and impart to them light and glory, but our hearts are so hard that we do not appreciate the love of a risen Saviour. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 13

“And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, Art Thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? ... Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” Verses 18, 25. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 14

Are any of us condemned in these words? Are there any of us slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken? We want to take every lesson to our hearts and remember to whom it was spoken. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 15

Christ went right back to Moses and the prophets. Here was the evidence that He was the Messiah. He had opened this Scripture to them before, He had told them what would take place, but it seemed to have dropped out of their minds. He had repeated these things to them again and again, and they remembered Him as their heavenly Teacher. And what effect had it upon them? Why, their hopes had been dead, and now they were alive! And they remembered that just such things had been spoken of Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 16

Oh, how often we forget the Scriptures! But here their hopes were revived and responded to the evidence that Christ had given them of His Messiahship. As they came to their abode, He made as though He would go farther, but it was toward evening and the invitation was given for Him come in the tarry with them through the night. Here they showed their courtesy; they wanted still to hear Him converse with them on the Scriptures. And Jesus consented and went into their humble abode and dwelt with them, breaking bread, and all the time words of encouragement were flowing from His precious lips. While He was breaking the bread, they saw the marks of the nails; and when He opened His mouth to bless the bread, they recognized the very voice of their Lord! They were about to fall down and worship Him, but He vanished out of their sight. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 17

They did not sit down and enjoy this good news alone. They went back to Jerusalem and told their companions that Christ had risen. They did not even stop to partake of their refreshments. They were too overjoyed to stop for this, but they ran back and told the good news. It was a new world to them, now that Christ had risen. He in whom all their hopes were centered was risen from the dead; He had walked by their side, and now they hastened back to Jerusalem, stumbling over the stones in their anxiety to reach that upper chamber where their brethren were assembled. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 18

They find the door locked for fear of the Jews. But they knock until they gain an entrance, and then they tell their story, how that Christ had risen and had walked with them as they were on their way to Emmaus. The disciples cannot believe the gracious words spoken, but as soon as they were through with their testimony, lo, there was Another standing in their midst. They had not heard the door open, they had heard no knocking; but who was this stranger? It was Jesus Himself. They thought it was a spirit, and they were afraid. But Christ said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” “And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet.” Verses 36-40. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 19

Christ had risen from the dead! What happiness and joy filled their hearts! He had passed through the tomb and brightened it. Death to them had seemed to be a horrible thing. It looked as though they could not pass through to the other side. But here Christ had obtained the victory, and although man had fallen and was condemned to death, yet He could live again. Those who sleep in Jesus will be called from their prison house to a glorious victory and will come forth to a glorious immortality. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 20

But now we want to present to you the words of Christ, how He taught His disciples to preach repentance and remission of sin. And we read that Paul went from house to house teaching the people. He says, I have not failed to preach to them repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. [Acts 20:20, 21.] Now this is the work we are to do, and we want to have this testimony borne everywhere. You need not talk about getting along without any law, and yet know what sin is. The only definition of sin given in the Bible is, Sin is the transgression of the law. But you must repent toward God. And why? Because you have broken His law. And then you must have faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. We see there is nothing in law to save us, but Christ has become man’s substitute and surety. He has worked out man’s redemption. Then what must man do? He must repent, because he has broken God’s holy law. It is just as necessary that we should keep that law now as it was for Adam and Eve to keep that law in Eden. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 21

We want to arouse the conscience. We want the sinner to feel the need of repentance, that Christ may impute unto him His righteousness. But if you fasten upon sin and love sin, the grace of Christ is not with you. It is sin that is so appalling to Christ. He was the embodiment of the holy law. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 22

Suppose that parents had taught their children that God had a law and they must keep it; suppose that they had interwoven it into their lives. Do you think that we would have such a wicked world as we have today? The floodgates of woe and misery have been opened upon our race, and sin is debasing men and women today, and we want to know what we can do to lift up the people. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 23

The fact is that Satan has been playing the game of life for the soul, but pride has come in and the grace of Christ is not abiding there. We want now to listen to the knocking and let Him in. He will come into congregations like this, but He wants to be invited into the soul. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20. Remove the rubbish, take away your love of self, and Jesus will surely come in if you open the door. Will you let Him in? There are some who never will; they keep piling up the rubbish. But who will open the door and let Jesus in? 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 24

We want the love and peace that Christ can bring us, but there are so many hewing out for themselves broken cisterns that will hold no water. Christ says, “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. Oh, how much we want to drink of the cup of salvation! Jesus is the only One who can give us peace. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 25

You may enter the splendid palaces where everything is so fine and you think there must be happiness there, and perfect peace. But if Jesus is not there you will find that iniquity and sin are there. What we want is to be in harmony with Jesus Christ. He has risen, dear friends, and in your despondency you may know He is just as much by your side as He was by the side of the two disciples as they walked to Emmaus. Could your eyes be opened you would see that Jesus is by your side to give you peace and life if you will accept it. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 26

I know what I am talking about. I have seen the time when I thought the waves were going over my head; in that time I felt my Saviour precious to me. When my eldest son was taken from me, I felt my grief was very great; but Jesus came to my side, and I felt His peace in my soul. The cup of consolation was placed to my lips. And then he who had stood by my side for thirty-six years in the desk was taken. We had labored together side by side in the ministry, but we had to fold the hands of the warrior and lay him down to rest in the silent grave. Again my grief seemed very great, but after all came the cup of consolation. Jesus is precious to me. He walked by my side as He did by the side of the sorrowing disciples on the way to Emmaus, and He will walk by your side. When our friends go into the grave they are beautiful to us. It may be our father or mother that we lay away; when they come forth those wrinkles are all gone, but the figure is there, and we know them and they know Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 27

We want to be prepared to meet these dear friends as they come forth in the resurrection morning. Can any of us bear the thought that we should refuse the mercy of Him who has paid such an infinite price for us? Shall we turn from Jesus to the beggary elements of this world? or shall we lay hold upon the hope set before us in the Gospel that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is? And we shall listen to His voice, sweeter than any music, saying, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” [Matthew 25:34.] We want these words spoken to us. We want a part with the blessed. We want to be with that company around the throne of God, Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 28

We want to improve every opportunity given us day by day to overcome the temptations of the enemy. This life is a conflict, and we have a foe who never sleeps, who is watching constantly to destroy our minds and lure us away from our precious Saviour who has given His life for us. Shall we lift the cross given us, or shall we go on in selfish gratification and lose the eternity of bliss? We cannot afford to sin, we cannot afford to disgrace the law of God. Adam and Eve could not afford it. Did not they lose by their transgression? And by obedience we shall regain that which was lost. The question with us should not be, “How shall I make the most money in this world?” The question should be, “Shall I serve God or Baal?” [1 Kings 18:21.] “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve,” but I can say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:15.] 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 29

I do not look to the end for all the happiness, but I get it as I go along. Notwithstanding I have trials and afflictions, I look away to Jesus. It is in the strait, hard places where He is right by our side and we can commune with Him, lay all our burdens upon the Burden-bearer, and say, “Here, Lord, I cannot carry these burdens longer.” He tells us His yoke is easy and His burdens light. [Matthew 11:30.] Do you believe it? I have tested it. I love Him, I love Him. I see in Him matchless charms. And I want to praise Him in the kingdom of God and sing, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and is raised again. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 30

Shall we break the stony heart? Shall we travel the thorny path that Jesus trod? All the way from the manger to the cross we see the tracks of blood. Shall the pride of the world come in? Shall we seek to make the world our standard? Or shall we come out from among them? The invitation is, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughter, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 31

Oh, what an exaltation is this—to be members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King! To have the Saviour of the universe, the King over all kings, know us by name and to be heirs of God to the immortal inheritance, the eternal substance! This is our privilege; will we have the prize? Will we fight the battles of the Lord? Will we press the battle to the gate? Will we be victorious? I have decided that I must have heaven and I want you to have it or I would not be here. I never would have come, at my age, from California to Europe had I not wanted to tell you how precious the Saviour is and what a precious truth we have. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 32

You should search the Bible, for it tells you of Jesus. I want you to read the Bible and see the matchless charms of Jesus. I want you to fall in love with the Man of Calvary so that at every step you can say to the world, “His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:17. You want to represent Christ to the world. You want to show to the world you have a hope big with immortality. You want to drink of the waters of salvation. You want the heavenly angels to be in your dwelling. You want Christ to abide there. You want to teach your children to love and fear God. You want the Sun of righteousness shining in the darkened chambers of your mind, and you want thanksgiving to God on your lips. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 33

Praise the Lord, oh, my soul! He says He has gone to prepare mansions for me: 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 34

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 35

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 36

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 37

Thank God! It is these mansions that I am looking to. It is not the earthly mansions here, for they are to be shaken down by the mighty earthquake ere long; but it is those heavenly mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for the faithful. We have no home here. We are only pilgrims and strangers here, passing to a better country, even an heavenly. Place your mind upon these things, and while you are doing this, Christ will be right by your side. May God help us to win the precious boon of eternal life. 4LtMs, Ms 80, 1886, par. 38