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The voice of the cholera epidemic

‘Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? … Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?’ Amos 3:4,6

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 2:17–24

What have you had to do, professing Christians, with the drunkenness of this city? Are you sure that you are quite clear of it? Have you both by your teaching and by your example shown to men that the religion of Jesus is not consistent with drunkenness? Have you tried to put down this vice, or are you in some degree a fellow-criminal, an accomplice before or after the fact? You cannot wipe out all the national iniquity, but if each man reformed himself of this vice, by God’s grace, this great evil would cease. Let each Christian look at home. You professors of religion, how far are you clear in the matter of sins of the flesh? Has there never been any lightness of speech about these sins? And what about your course of conversation? Have you always been free? Have you heard ringing in your ears the precept, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy’? Has the Holy Spirit by his mighty grace kept you from indulging in unclean words and thoughts? Have you in any way fallen into lightness of talk and thought, and so helped to increase the flood of this evil? O my brethren, who among us must not confess to some guilt, when we remember the Saviour’s words, ‘That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.’ Let us bow our heads in penitence, and seek the God of all grace.

For meditation: The doctrine of total depravity teaches us that sin has affected every aspect of our being (Romans 3:9–18). The believer must still guard mouth and heart (Psalm 141:3–4; Ephesians 5:3–4), as well as eyes and thoughts (Job 31:1; Matthew 5:28). Are your actions good or bad examples to others (3 John 11)?

N.B. Spurgeon saw the cholera epidemic in London as a national chastisement, teaching that nations, unlike individuals, exist only in this world and can only be judged here.

Sermon no. 705
12 August (1866)

365 Days with C.H. Spurgeon, Vol. 2: A Unique Collection of 365 Daily Readings from Sermons Preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from His Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (365 Days With Series); edited by Terence Peter Crosby; (c) Day One Publications, 2002.
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