A RECORD OF COMBAT WITH SIN & LABOR FOR THELORD. EDITED BY C. H. SPURGEON. 1869. “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one With one of his hands wrought in the work,’ and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.” — Nehemiah 4:17,18.
COURTEOUS READER, For the fifth time we offer you a complete volume of our magazine, which we trust may retain sufficient interest to be worthy of perusal in future years. Accept it with our most hearty good wishes, and we may add with our cordial congratulations that you find yourself a member of this present generation, for no age was ever more propitious. Amid much of evil, this present era is certainly the nursing mother of much that is good. Although it seems but yesterday since the first number of our serial was issued, we are less impressed with the rapid flight of time than with the mighty rush of events which have crowded these last five years with gratifying incident.
We are most of all amazed with the world’s progress. What changws have been wrought within this year 1869! Struggling principles have leaped to victory, truths despised have been enshrined, and landmarks supposed to have been far ahead have been left behind. Our fathers and their sires through a long succession battled for the eternal principles of right, but there seemed to be an impenetrable barrier in their way; to us also the inherited conflict was hopeless to every eye but that of our faith. We were content to fight on, for it had grown to be our normal condition, to fight in a minority, and wait. But to our surprise all was changed; new succours arose from unexpected quarters, circumstances combined to enlighten those whom truth had not aforetime reached, folly in the camp of our foes befriended us by stultifying; all their opposition, and victories were achieved for us as splendid as they were sudden. Nor is this all, the impetus which has already shaken the ramparts of time-honored errors, is at work with undiminished energy, testing all things, and dooming to destruction all that is not founded on the rock of truth and righteousness. No circumstances could be more encouraging to the champion of truth, than those which now surround us. The stars in their coarses are contending for the cause of God. The great current of events sets towards the end desired.
How soon the most gigantic falsehood may fall, or the most ancient abuse may be abrogated, we can hardly guess, but the overturning of things which may be shaken is clearly inevitable. The Judge of all the earth is now bestirring himself. He bids time, the great Iconoclast, beat in pieces the images of the world’s idolatry, and he slowly and surely establishes the throne of Jesus above the hills.
While time thus appears to have accelerated his pace, there is a loud demand upon each of us to redouble our exertions to make the pulse of our being keep pace with the pulse of time. When providence makes forced marches, we must not be laggards. To crawl, in an age of lightning, cannot be excused. God’s servants must keep time in their praise with the music of events. /tear ye not the mighty songster of providence? let, not your notes drag behind, while his voice leaps on from bar to bar. If ever a man might wish to be ten met], and each of those. men a legion, it is now, when men’s minds are awake, and things are on their trial. To idle now, is treason to God and man. The church of God expects every man to do his duty, and woe unto him by whom that duty shall be neglected.
Our magazine has maintained and even improved its circulation during this year, for which we thank God, and are grateful to our’ readers. We have not borne the sword in vain, for with all our might we have waged war with spiritual wickedness, and have not spared the-errors of the times. Yet we hope we have no; neglected the trowel but have laid ourselves out to promote every enterprise by which the church of God may be built up. By means of these pages, the Pastors’ College and the Stockwell Orphanage have derived a measure of hell,. so that our work has produced tangible practical result. Other good works we are happy to say have derived pecuniary assistance from our articles, and in this we greatly rejoice.
During the next year we hope to continue the Exposition of the Psalms; we hate also reason to believe that a relative of John Ploughman will send us contributions of the proverbial character, and we hare other good things in store. Upon our work during another year our Lord condescend to smile.
Meanwhile, one word with the courteous reader, and we have done. We often commune together on other matters, reader, permit the question, Is your heart right with God? Have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you a regenerate to soul: If not, dear reader, be not at rest till in secret earnest prayer, you have sought and found a Savior. Consciences compels the asking of this question by us, may your conscience constrain you to answer it.
Yours, in this matter, anxiously, C. H. SPURGEON