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  • CHARLES SPURGEON -
    THE SWORD AND THE TROWEL


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    A RECORD OF COMBAT WITH SIN AND OF LABOR FOR THE LORD.

    EDITED BY C. H. SPURGEON. 1883.

    “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 builder, 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.

    PREFACE.

    OUR aim in these pages has always been a practical one. the name of the magazine brings before the reader two of the most practical of tools, essential to war and peace, needful to fighting with evil, and upbuilding for good. Both have been used when needed; not always wisely, perhaps; but ever with a hearty intent to do service unto the Lord and his church.

    Nineteen years have run their course since our Sword and trowel were plied in this particular manner, and all along we have received a loving appreciation at the hands of friends, for which may God be praised, and by which may the generous helpers themselves be blessed. We do not like repeating the story of those nineteen years; but we dare not pass it over without saying that enough has been done to make our heart ring merry peals; enough to keep both the Sword and the trowel bright as steel; and enough to nerve the arm that has wielded them for attempting still more. It may seem paradoxical, but, truth to tell, that arm sometimes grows weary, and yet never wearies of its work. Refreshed by ten thousand mercies, the heart is happy under its burdens, and though the brain grows a little tired, yet as the inner man is renewed day by day, the hands which hang down are lifted up, the Sword clashes against the armor of the foe without; losing its edge, and the trowel rings on the wall with a cheery sound.

    There is sad need to keep the Sword out of its scabbard, for the enemy is gathering strength, and mustering his bold forces for fiercer attacks. What doctrine is now left unassailed? What holy thing is regarded as sacred? truths once regarded as fundamental, are either denied, or else turned inside out till nothing of their essence remains. Holy Scripture is no longer admitted to be the infallible record of revelation; but is made to be a doormat for “thoughtt o wipe its shoes upon. Every sign of the times warns us of a desperate conflict for all that is precious and vital in our religion. It behoves all lovers ,of the old faith to be valiant for the truth, decided in their convictions, and instant in prayer. there is not the slightest reason for fear, for the Lord of Hosts will cover the head of truth in the day of battle, and she is clad in armor of proof; but there is no excuse for lukewarmness or hesitation; for while we hesitate, the adversary is carrying all before him.

    God’s own elect will not be deceived; but unless a clear testimony is borne, tens of thousands for whom we hoped better things will be deluded. With much pretense of learning, and loud boast of culture, infidels professing to be Christians are mocking at the old doctrine, and pushing forward their novel inventions. We know what the end will be; bull; meanwhile the Captain of our salvation cries to all the warriors of the cross,” Quit you like men, Be strong.” Huge as the Present Goliath is, let no man’s heart fail because of him: the Lord that delivered his church from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear, will again manifest his power, “and so all Israel shall be saved.”

    The trowel is associated with far more pleasant labor, and for it also there is as much work as ever. It is by building up the walls of truth that error is to be shut out. We must one and all work with a will, drawing all our strength from him who has made us workers together with himself.

    Wonderful position to occupy! If the Holy Spirit had not himself used the phrase we should not have dared to coin it. May all Christian men be up and doing; charmed by the sweet music of those in heaven, saved by grace; moved by the bitter cry of outcasts here on earth; and stirred to agony by the terrible remembrance of those who have passed beyond all evangelic agencies. We have each one a niche to fill, and a service to perform. At the roll-call let none of us be away. the drum beats in our ears — Now or

    NEVER!NOW OR Never! the work of the hour can only be done in the hour. the waste of a single day is an irremediable calamity. Redeemed by the blood of our Lord Jesus, and quickened into his life, it is not for us to loiter. Infinite obligations and immense responsibilities call upon us to spend and to be spent.

    The readers’ loving servant, the Editor, is now in the middle of his fiftieth year, and he has deep down in his heart the desire that ere it is closed all the various works of which he is the director may be put into the best possible condition. the College ought to share in this Jubilee, and assuredly the Orphanage will do so. the Colportage, t he Evangelist Societies, t he Book Fund, and all the smaller agencies deserve a rich replenishment. thousands to whom the printed sermon of the tabernacle Pulpit is as weekly food, together with the many who listen to our voice will, we trust, be moved to cheer with extra aid a heart that is sometimes heavy laden.

    Whether our works for God are kept going in this way or not, the Lord will be true to his word, and we shall not lack any good thing. All will go well as all has gone well. Our trust is in the All-sufficient God. We shall not plead in forma pauperis for works carried oft for our Lord Jesus; but yet we are sufficiently immodest to say — if our friends have derived comfort and strength from our labors, we trust they will permit the works of the Lord in our hands to reap of their continuous kindness. those who owe all to the Master must excuse the servant if he presses the claims of that portion of the service which is intrusted to him. If our fiftieth year can be a Jubilee to our companies of orphans, students, colporteurs, evangelists, and other workers, we shall be more happy than if we had been personally enriched. We suggest the idea, and leave it with the generous in heart;.

    Far more earnestly do we entreat the prayers of all our friends in Christ Jesus. Old friends depart, many have done so this year: pray that new helpers may come forward. On all our enterprises we need the blessing of the Lord in growing plenitude. When it is well with the reader it will be esteemed a great favor if he will breathe a prayer for his much needing friend and fellow-servant, C. H.SPURGEON.

    Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood.

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