‘The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.’ Genesis 4:10
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 5:15–20
The servants of Satan shame me; they shame me! There comes at night a message to some of you who are the servants of Satan—‘The master is come, and calleth for thee.’ You leave your wife and your children without a tear, you go to your master’s house, and there are foul cups passing round, and you will drink, and drink still on; never denying your master; confessing him with many an oath; saying to your comrades many things which injure your poor souls; and yet you do it so bravely. You hardly know how you get home at night, but when the morning comes, and you wake, there is the redness of the eyes, the headache, and the sickness; but the next night when your master wants you, you go again; and so you will do year after year, even though delirium tears you like a whirlwind. But here am I, a servant of God, and when my Master calls for me and bids me go and confess him, I am tempted to be still, and when he tells me to speak to yonder man I would wickedly avoid the task; and whereas you confess your master and imprecate a curse upon your head, how often do some of us confess our master as timidly as if we feared a curse, when instead thereof it is by confession that the curse is turned away! It is enough to make us Christians ashamed to think how sinners will confess their god! Hear them at night, as they reel home through the streets; they are not ashamed of their lord and master. Hear how they swear, and defy heaven! They are ashamed of nothing for their lord; and yet we, who have heaven for our reward, and such a Christ to serve, and one so good and gracious to us—look at us! What poor lovers of our Saviour are we! What poor lovers of the souls of men!
For meditation: Do you find yourself being ashamed firstly of Christ and then, as a result, of yourself (Mark 14:66–72)? Failure to speak for him is a common temptation and sin of omission, but with God’s help it is possible to get the victory over it (Psalm 119:46; Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:8).
Sermon no. 461
20 July (1862)