23 October 2016

Where to ascribe greatness

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Your weekly Dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The New Park Street Pulpit, volume 7, sermon number 367, "The Great Supreme."
"In this world we seldom judge men as to character; we judge them as to rank."

The poor and honest man shall go through the streets—will ye crowd to see him? A man shall wear a crown who is a perjurer—and will ye not rush out and clap your hands at him? Ye judge according to rank, and not according to character. Would God we all knew how to judge men, not according to the sight of our eyes, or the hearing of our ears, but according to the rightness of their characters.

Oh, honour the Queen; God has said so in his Word. Pay deference unto authorities as ye should do; but if in aught they swerve, remember your knee must bow to God, and to God alone. If in aught there is anything wrong, though it should have a sovereign’s name attached to it, remember one is your Master, one is your King, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Ascribe not greatness unto emperors and monarchs—“Ascribe ye greatness unto our God,” and unto our God alone. In the case of those who are in the employ of masters, it is but just and right that they should render unto their masters that which is their due; but when the master commands that which is wrong, allow me solemnly to caution you against giving to him anything which you are not bound to do.

Your master tells you, you must break the Sabbath. You do it because he is your master; ye have violated this command, for it is said, “Ascribe ye greatness unto God.” You are tempted in your employment to commit a fault; you are commanded to do it; you are irresolute; you waver for a moment; you say, shall I obey God or man? At last, you say, "My master said so, I must obey him, or I shall lose my employment."

Remember you have not ascribed greatness unto God, when you say that. Rather say this:—“In all things that are right, I am the servant of all men; but in things that are wrong, I will not yield. I will stand up stedfast for God’s right and for God’s commands. Men may be my masters when they tell me to do the thing that is honest and the thing that is just, but if in aught they swerve from that, I will not break my heavenly Master’s command. He is more my Master than they—I will stand firm and fast by Him.”

How many young men are tempted from the path they ought to pursue by those who exercise influence upon them! How many a young woman has been turned aside from rectitude by some command which has been given her by a person who had influence over her. Take care that ye allow no man to get dominion over your conscience.

Remember you will have no excuse at the day of judgment; it will be no palliation of your guilt to say that you were commanded by man to do wrong. For God will reply to you—“I told you to ascribe greatness to me, and to me only, and inasmuch as you obeyed man rather than God, you have violated my command.” “Ascribe ye greatness to our God.” Take that caution; believe it; and receive it in your daily life, and in your dealing with great and small.