Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle: 365 Sermons - Saturday, May 12, 2012

A lesson from the great panic

‘The removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.’ Hebrews 12:27

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Peter 3:1–13

It is a most popular error that the world stands still, and is fixed and immovable. This has been scouted as an astronomical theory, but as a matter of practical principle it still reigns in men’s minds. Galileo said, ‘No, the world is not a fixed body, it moves;’ Peter had long before declared that all these things should be dissolved; at last men believed the astronomer, but they still doubt the apostle, or at least forget his doctrine. Though it is clear as noonday in Scripture and in experience that stability is not to be found beneath the moon, yet men are for ever building upon earth’s quicksand as if it were substantial rock, and heaping up its dust, as though it would not all be blown away. ‘This is the substance,’ cries the miser, as he clutches his bags of gold; ‘heaven and hell are myths to me.’ ‘This is the main chance,’ whispers the merchant, as he pushes vigorously his commercial speculations; ‘as for spiritual things they are for mere dreamers and sentimentalists. Cash is the true treasure.’ Ah, sirs, you base your statements upon a foundation of falsehood. This world is as certainly a mere revolving ball as to human life as it is astronomically; and hopes founded thereon will as surely come to nought as will card houses in a storm. Here we have no abiding city, and it is in vain to attempt to build one. This world is not the rock beneath our feet which it seems to be; it is no better than those green, but treacherous, soft, and bottomless bogs, which swallow up unwary travellers. We talk of terra firma as if there could be such a thing as solid earth; never was adjective more thoroughly misused, for ‘the world passeth away’ and the fashion thereof.

For meditation: Spurgeon’s sermons on 13 May 1866 (see also tomorrow’s reading) were occasioned by an unexpected commercial panic over the previous two days. We should not rest our hopes on earthly possessions for this life (Haggai 1:5–6; Matthew 6:19; 1 Timothy 6:17), let alone for the life to come (Luke 12:15–21; 16:19–23; James 5:1–3).

Sermon no. 690
13 May (1866)

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