‘For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Romans 10:10
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 4:9–18
What, my dear brethren, is your testimony today to the truth as it is in Jesus? Does your heart believe it? I think I see some grey-headed man rise up, and leaning upon his staff, he says, ‘In my young days I gave my heart to Christ, and I had a peace and joy such as I had never known before, though I had tried the pleasures and allurements of sin. My heart can bear its witness to the peace which I found in religion’s ways. Since that time, this brow has been furrowed with many cares, and as you see, this head has become bleached with many winter’s snows, but the Lord has been my heart’s stay and confidence. I have rested on Christ, and he has never failed me. When trouble has come in upon me, I have never been bowed down under it; I have been able to sustain it. I have had bereavements;’ and he points to the many graves he has left behind him in the wilderness; ‘but I have been helped to bury wife and children, and faith has enabled me to say with bursting heart, ‘the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord’. I have had many conflicts, but I have always overcome through the blood of the Lamb. I have been slandered, as all men must be, but I have taken that with all my other crosses upon my shoulder, and I have found it light when I have carried it by faith. I can say that such is the hallowed serenity and calm which the religion of Jesus gives to my heart at all times and all seasons, that I do believe it, not as a matter of head, but as a matter of heart. My heart is itself experimentally convinced that this cannot but be the religion of God, seeing that it works such wonders for me.’
For meditation: Is your testimony warmly personal or coldly clinical? Does it concentrate on you to the virtual exclusion of Christ or does it give him the glory and credit for the story you can tell about your conversion and Christian life? Would it help others towards faith in your Saviour? See how the apostle Paul summarised his testimony (1 Timothy 1:15–16; 2 Timothy 4:7–8,16–18).
Sermon no. 519
12 July (1863)