This letter which follows was sent to a good friend and brother in Christ, Pastor Ed Boston (pictured above) of Hope First Wesleyan Church in Hope, IN. He has long been a supporter of our troops and creator of Do The Right Thing.
While I'm eating my Thanksgiving dinner with my family this year, I'm going to have a hard time enjoying it knowing that our President is willingly allowing our men and women in Afghanistan to die while waiting for him to make up his mind whether or not to give them the resources they need for survival.
I was heartsick while reading a chat room that is sometimes visited by soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan, ask us to please pray for their safety because each day things get worse, and they don't know when they are going to get the help they need. Pastor Ed Boston, of Hope First Wesleyan Church in Hope, IN works with deployed soldiers and veterans through an on-line ministry called Do The Right Thing. He has confirmed the stories and the concerns of those currently serving.
These brave men and women went where they were told to go and are doing their very best, so how deranged is it to send them there as sitting ducks while the elite politicians play golf in between paying off their friends for political favors.
There is something so seriously wrong with our government allowing the Secretary of the Treasury to get away with funnelling obscene amounts of money to his friends in the auto unions, not to mention the developing corruption story coming out of the Goldman Sachs relationship. Simultaneously, this administration is obsessed with taking over 1/6 of our economy through socialized healthcare! All the while, as if they are invisible, the President is completely ignoring our brightest and best who are literally dying in Afghanistan.
These same politicians campaigned on how Afghanistan was the war we "should" be in, and most Americans agreed with them, and yet they have absolutely no conscience at allowing these men to be slaughtered when it is within their power to protect them. It is beyond me how they sleep at night.
So we'll eat our Turkey and be grateful that we live in the greatest country on earth, but first I'll call and write to all of my legislators and plead with them not to sit down to their dinner until they have gotten our military the support they need, and stop sending our children to slaughter like the bird they are about to consume.
I am baffled as to how and why the present commander - in - chief can deny support for the troops in a war which he supported. Regardless of political strategy or agenda, our soldiers are not pawns. Many are pleading and looking for legal avenues to force the president to do what is necessary.
Meanwhile, I ask that anyone has the mind to, please go to this sitesponsored by Xerox and send a FREE printed card to the soldiers. It takes only 10 seconds, literally, and you will be glad you did.
A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, April 21st, 1861, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, by Charles Spurgeon
PART II: The Argument
I have endeavored to be brief, but, I find I have been long, and therefore pass at once to the argument with which the text commences. The ARGUMENT is this: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, go ye, therefore, and teach all nations.”
Three things here. Christ had suffered, bled and died; he had now risen from the dead. As the effect of his finished work, he has as mediator received all power in heaven and in earth. There is no allusion here to His inherent power that is not given to Him: that is His native right. He has, as God, all power in heaven and in earth.
The text relates to Him as mediator. As mediator he had not this power once; he was weak, he was despised, he was forsaken even of His God. But now, having finished the work was given Him to do, His Father honors Him. He is about to lift Him to His right hand, and gives Him, as a result of His resurrection, all power in heaven and in earth.
Three things, then. First, this is the picture of the Church’s history, and therefore, she should teach all nations. Secondly, his is the Church’s right. Thirdly, it is the Church’s might; and for all these reasons, she ought to teach all nations.
First is the Church’s picture. Christ suffers, bleeds, dies. Do you give up His cause? Do you look upon it as forlorn and desolate? He is nailed to the tree; the world abhors Him, fools gaze and sinners laugh. Do you lay down your weapons and say it is idle to defend such a man as this? It is all over now, He bows His head upon the cross. “It is finished,” saith He; and do your unbelieving hearts say, “Ay, indeed, it is finished; His career is over, His hopes are blighted, His prospects withered?”
Ah! Little do you know that His shame was the mother of His future glory; that the stooping was the rising, that the crown of thorns was in fact the fruitful root out of which sprang the eternal crown of glory. He is put into the grave: do you say that there is the grave of all your faith could believe, or your hope could suggest? He rises, brethren, and His resurrection takes effect and fruit from the fact that He died and was buried.
Do you not see the picture? We have been sending out heralds of the cross these eighteen hundred years; they have landed on many a shore to die. Fever has taken its hundreds, cruel men have slain their scores, from the first day until now, the record of the mission is written in blood. Somewhere or other there must always be martyrs for Christ.
It seems as if the Church never cold plough a wave without a spray of gore. She is still in Madagascar persecuted, afflicted, tormented, still are her ministers hunted about like partridges upon the mountains, and her blood is dying the shambles of her slayers. Do you give up all hope? Shall we, as we look upon the tombs of our missionaries, say that Christ’s cause is dead? Brethren, as you turn over the long roll, and read the names of one after another who sleep in Jesus, shall you say, “Let us close the doors of the Mission House; let us cease our contributions, it is clear the case is hopeless, and the cause can never have success?” Nay, rather, the Church must suffer that she may reign, she must die that she may live, she must be stained with blood, that she may be robed in purple, she must go down into the earth, and seem to be buried and forgotten, that the earth may help the woman, that she may be delivered of the man child.
Courage! Courage! Courage! The past is hopeful, because to the naked eye it seemeth hopeless. The cause is glorious because it has been put to shame. Now, now let us gather the fruits of the bloody sowing: let us now reap the harvest of the deep ploughing of agony and suffering which our ancestors have endured.
I think that no true-hearted Christian will ever give up any enterprise which God has laid upon him, because he fears its ultimate success. “Difficult,” said Napoleon, “is not a French word.” “Doubtful,” is not a Christian word. We are sure to succeed; the Gospel must conquer. It is possible for heaven and earth to pass away, but, it is not possible for God’s Word to fail, and therefore, it is utterly impossible that any nation, or kindred, or tongue should to the end stand out against the attacks of love, against the invasion of the armies of King Jesus.
Thus, then, you see, a fair argument can be built upon the text. Inasmuch as Christ is to His people a picture of what they are to be, inasmuch as by His suffering all power was given to Him in heaven and in earth, so after the sufferings of the Church, the wounds of her martyrs, and her deaths of her confessors, power shall be given unto her in heaven and in earth, and she shall reign with Christ over the nations gloriously.
We now take a second view of the argument. This is the Church’s right. All power is given to Christ in heaven and in earth. What then? Why this? Kings and princes, potentates and power, are ye aware that your thrones have been given away? Do ye know it, ye crowned heads, that your crowns have been given- given away from you to one who claims to be King of kings and Lord of lords? Do ye pass decrees forbidding the Gospel to be preached? We laugh at you! Ye have no power to prevent it, for all power is given unto Christ in heaven and in earth.
Do ye say the missionary has no right upon your shore? The virgin daughter of Zion shaketh her head at you, and laugheth you to scorn. She has right anywhere and everywhere; she has rights in heaven without limit, and rights in earth without bound, for all power is given to her head in heaven and in earth, and she therefore has a patent, a claim which is not to be disputed, to take to herself all countries and all kingdoms, because the power above is given unto Christ.
What is that man doing on yonder shore? He has landed on an island in the South Seas; he is an intruder, banish him at once! Sirs, mind what you do , for surely ye fight against God. But, the man is sent away, he comes back again or if not he, another. A severer edict is passed this time, “Let us slay him, that the inheritance may still be ours.” But another comes, and another and another. Why do you stand up and take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed? These men are not intruders, they are ambassadors come to make peace, nay, more.
They are delegates from heaven, come to learn the rightful heritage of King Jesus. Ye, by putting them away as intruders, have denied the rights of Christ, but, to deny is one thing and to disprove another. He hath still aright to you, and therefore hath the missionary still a right to whithersoever he will, preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Once or twice in my life I have met with some miserable little ministers, who, when I have gone into a village to preach, have questioned my right to preach in the village, because I ought to have asked them first, or to have consulted them. Can Christian men look upon a district as their own dominion? Or recon God’s servant as a poacher on their estates, or a brigand in their own territories? Is there any place on this earth so that man can shut out God’s ministers? We once for all put our foot on any claim so ridiculous.
Wherever there is found a man there is found a minister free to preach. The whole world is our parish, we know of no fetter upon our feet, and no gag upon our lips. Though kings should pass laws, the servants of Christ can bear the penalty, but they cannot disobey their Master. Though the Emperor should say the Gospel should not be preached by any unauthorized denomination in France, as I have heard he has said of late, we care not for him.
What cares the Church for a thousand Emperors? Their resolutions are mockery, their laws waste paper. The Church never was yet vassal to the state, or servile slave to municipalities and powers, and she neither can nor will be. At all the laws of states she laughs and utterly defies them, if they come in the ways of the laws of Christ which says, “Teach the Gospel to every creature.” Brethren, I say, the Church has a right anywhere and everywhere- a right not because she is tolerated; the word is insult, not because the law permits, the law permitting or not permitting, tolerated or not, everywhere beneath the arch of God’s heaven, God’s servants have a right to preach.
Oh, that they would claim the right and teach and preach Jesus Christ continually!
But, now, lastly, it seems the argument of the text contains the Church’s might. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth; go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Ye have power to teach, fear not. Let this be your encouragement; you must succeed, you shall prevail. There lived another man saved Christ, who could say, ”All power is given me on earth.” Canute put his thrown by the side of the sea, but the waves wet his person, and proved to his flattering courtiers that he is but a man.
What power have kings over the lightning, or of the rushing winds? Can they control he tides, or bid the moon stand still? Power is not given unto man, even here on earth. Much less can any man say that all power in heaven belonged to him? This is a singular expression. One which only could be used by Christ, and if any other should attempt to use it, were an imposition, or a blasphemy, but the Lord Jesus Christ can say today, as He said then, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth.”
Let us think then all power is given to Christ in providence. Over common daily events He has supreme authority. You have launched upon the sea, upon a mission voyage; He rules the waves, and wings the winds. Fear not, for tempest is His trembling slave. You have come near the shore, but, there are hidden reefs and sunken rocks. Fear not, for all the power in the lowest deep has been given unto Him to guide you safely, and to bring you to your desired haven.
A band of men meet you upon the shore, brandishing their weapons. You are unarmed, you have nothing but the Word. You shall now prove that “more is He that is with you, than all they that be with them.” Go, in this your might.
All power is given to Christ-- powers over the wills of men as well as over the waves of the sea. But, political occurrences prevent your landing on a certain country, through treaties, or a want of treaties. There is no room for the missionary in such-and-such an empire. Pray! And the gates shall be opened; plead, and the bars of brass shall be cut in twain.
Christ has power over politics. He can make wars, and create peace, with a view to the propagation of His Word. He can change the hearts of princes, and preside in the counsels of senates. He can cause nations which have long been shut up to be opened to the truth. And, indeed, what a wonderful proof we have had of late, that all power belongs unto Christ, for human skill has been yoked to the chariot of the Gospel.
How wondrously, my brethren, have the inventions of man of late years progressed! How could we have preached the Gospel to all nations - how could we have even known that America existed, if it had not been that the Lord put it in the mind of Columbus to discover the New World? And how wearisome our life, if with the ordinary slow navigation of the ancient times we had to journey among all nations! But now we are carried across the waves so rapidly that distance is annihilated, and time forgotten.
Truly God has opened up the world, and brought it to our threshold. If He has not made a smaller world, at least He has made it more convenient and nearer to our hand. And then see how countries, which once could not be reached, have been opened to us.
The “Celestial King of China”, the rebel prince, invites us to come and preach. He does not merely permit - he invites. He builds places of worship. He is prepared, he says, that his brethren should come and teach him, and teach all his subjects, for they are imperfectly taught in the things of God. And the Imperial Sovereign of China, too, though he does not invite, permit’s the missionaries to go among his millions.
There is perfect liberty for us to preach to four hundred million persons who before had never seen the light of Calvary. And there is India, too, given up to our dominion, and the old Company, which always impeded us, rolled up in its shroud and laid in its grave. And there are other lands and other places which once seemed to be environed by impassable mountains, into which we have now a road.
Oh, for the will to dash through that road riding upon he white horses of salvation! Oh, for the heart, the soul, and the spirit to avail ourselves of the golden opportunity, and to preach Christ where He has never been preached before. All power, then, we can clearly see, over everything in this world has been given to Christ, and has been used for the propagation of truth.
Brethren, let us recollect that power is given to Christ in Heaven as well as on earth. All angels bow before Him, and the cherubim and seraphim are ready to obey His high behests (i.e. commands). Power is given to Him over the plenitude of the Holy Spirit; he can pour out the mysterious energy in such abundance that nations can be born in a day. He can clothe His ministers with salvation, and make His priests shout aloud for joy. He has power to intercede with God, and He shall presently send out men to preach, give the people the mind to hear, and give the hearers the will to obey.
We have in the midst of us today our Leader. He is not gone from us. If His flesh and blood be absent yet in body as well as spirit he still lives, adorned with the dew and beauty of His youth. As for the Muslim, his leader has long ago rotted in his coffin; but ours lives, and because He lives His truth and His cause live also.
We have with us today a Leader whose power has not diminished, whose influence in the highest heavens has suffered no impairing. He is universal Lord. Oh, let our efforts be worthy of the power which He has promised. Let our zeal be in some respect akin to His zeal, and let our energy prove that the energy Divine has not been withdrawn.
I wish that I could preach this morning, but, the more earnestly I feel, the more scant are my words with which to express my emotions. I have prayed to God a prayer I shall repeat until the day I die. I have prayed that out of this Church there may go many missionaries. I will never be content with a congregation, or with a Church, or even with ministers, many of whom have gone out of our midst.
God’s people everywhere will I trust aid me in training young soldiers for my Master’s army. God will send the men, and faith will find the means, and we will ourselves send out our own men to proclaim the name of Jesus.
Brethren, it is a singular thing, some young men get the idea in their minds they would like to go to foreign lands, but these are frequently the most unfit men, and have not the power and ability. Now, I would that the Divine call would come to some gifted men.
You who have, perhaps, some wealth of your own, what could be a better object in life than to devote yourself and your substance to the Redeemer’s cause? You young men who have brilliant prospects before you, but who as yet have not the anxieties of a family to maintain, why would it not be a noble thing to surrender your brilliant prospects, that you may become a humble preacher of Christ? The greater the sacrifice, the greater the honor to yourself and the more acceptable to Him.
I have questioned my own conscience, and do not think I could be in the path of duty if I should go abroad and preach the Word, leaving this field of labor. But I think many of my brethren now laboring at home might with the greatest advantage surrender their charges, and leave a land where they would scarce be missed, to go where their presence would be as valuable as the presence of a thousand such as they are here.
Oh, that I long that we may see young men out of the universities, and students in our grammar schools - that we may see our physicians, tradesmen, and educated mechanics, when God has touched their hearts, giving up all they have, that they may teach and preach Christ. We want Vanderkists; we want Judsons and Brainerds over again. It will never do to send out the heathen men who are of no use at home. We cannot send men of third and tenth class abilities; we must send the highest and best. The bravest men must lead the van.
O God, anoint thy servants, we beseech thee; put the fire in their hearts that never can be quenched; make it so hot within their bones that they must die or preach, that they must be down with broken hearts, or be free to preach where Christ was never heard.
Brethren, envy anyone among you - I say again with truth, I envy you - if it shall be your lot to go to China, the country so lately opened to us. I would gladly change places with you. I would renounce the partial case of a settlement in this country, and renounce the responsibilities of so large a congregation as this with pleasure, if I might have your honors. I think sometimes that missionaries in the field - if it be right to compare such great things with such small ones - might say to you, as our English king did to his soldiers at the battle of Agincourt, changing the word for a moment - Have we none out of our sixteen hundred members - have we none out of this congregation of six thousand - who can say, “Here am I, send me?” Jesus! Is there not one? Must heathens perish? Must the gods of the heathens hold their thrones? Must thy kingdom fail? Are there none to own thee, none to maintain thy righteous cause?
If there be none, let us weep, each one of us, because such a calamity has fallen on us. But, if there be any willing to give all for Christ, let us who are compelled to stay at home do our best to help them. Let us see to it that they lack nothing, for we cannot send them out without purse or scrip. Let us fill the purse of the men whose hearts God has filled, and take care of them temporarily, leaving it for God to preserve them spiritually.
May the Lord, the Divine Master add His Blessing to the feeble words that I have uttered, and let me not conclude until I have said, I must teach you too, and this is the teaching of God - “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Trust Him with your soul and He will save you. For “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not, shall be damned.”
Awake, thou Spirit, who of old Didst fire the watchman of the Church’s youth, Who faced the foe, unshrinking, bold Who witnessed day and night the eternal truth Whose voices through the world are ringing still, And bringing hosts to know and do thy will! Oh that thy fire were kindled soon, That swift from land to land its flame might leap! Lord, give us but this priceless boon Of faithful servants, fit for thee to reap The harvest of the soul; look down and view How great the harvest, yet the laborers few. Oh haste to help ere we are lost! Send forth evangelists, in spirit strong, Armed with thy Word, a dauntless host, Bold to attack the rule of ancient wrong And let them all the earth for thee reclaim, To be thy kingdom, and to know thy name.
This particular scripture found me three times this week. Then, I was led to this sermon by Spurgeon, and ultimately it kept haunting me to the point I finally realized the Lord wanted me to share this. It is one of the best explanations of what it actually intails to be a Christian. It is a portion of what I harp on to believers. Due to the length, I have dived it into two parts, but, please be patient and read it all, as it is one of the most vital messages for the Christian.
A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, April 21st, 1861, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Part I : The Command
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth, go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’.” (Matthew 28:18-19)
While I was meditating in private upon this text I felt myself carried away by its power. I was quite unable calmly to consider its terms, or to investigate its argument. The command with which the text concludes repeated itself again, and again, and again in my ears, till I found it impossible to study, for my thoughts were running hither and thither, asking a thousand questions, all of them intended to help me in answering for myself the solemn inquiry, How am I to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?”
The practical lesson seemed to me to overwhelm in my mind the argument of which that lesson is but a conclusion, “Go ye and teach all nations.” My ears seemed to hear it as if Christ were then speaking to me. I could realize His presence by my side. I thought I could see Him lift His pierced hand, and hear Him speak, with authority, blended with meekness, “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the All-glorious God.”
Oh! I would that the Church could hear the Savior addressing these words to her now, for the words of Christ are living words, not having power in them yesterday alone, but, today also. The injunctions of the Savior are perpetual in their obligation, not binding upon apostles merely, but upon us also, and upon every Christian does this yoke fall, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
We are not exempt today from the service of the first followers of the Lamb. Our marching orders are the same as theirs, and our Captain requires from us obedience as prompt and perfect as from them. Oh, that His message may not fall upon deaf ears, or be heard by stolid souls!
Brethren, the heathen are perishing; shall we let them perish? His name is blasphemed, shall we be quiet and still? The honor of Christ is cast into the dust, and His foes His person and resist His throne. Shall we, His soldiers, suffer this, and not find our hands feeling for the hilt of our sword, the Word of the Spirit, which is the Word of God? Our Lord delayeth His coming; shall we begin to sleep, or to eat, or to be drunken? Shall we not rather gird up the loins of our mind, and cry unto Him, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly?”
The scoffing skeptics of these last days have said that the anticipated conquest of the world for Christ is but a dream, or an ambitious thought, which crossed our leader’s mind, but which is never to be accomplished. It is asserted by some that the superstitions of the heathen are too strong to be battered down by our teachings, and that the strongholds of Satan are utterly impregnable against our attack. Shall it be so? Shall we be content foolishly to sit still? Nay, let us rather work out the problem, let us prove the promise of God to be true; let us prove the words of Jesus to be words of soberness; let us show the efficacy of His blood and the invincibility of His Spirit, by going in the spirit of faith, teaching all nations, and winning them to the obedience of Christ, our Lord.
I do not know how to begin to preach this morning, but still it seems to me, standing here, as if I heard that voice saying, “Go thou, therefore, and teach all nations;” and my soul sometimes pants and longs for the liberty to preach Christ where He was never preached before; not to build upon another man’s foundation, but to go to some untrodden land, some waste where the foot of Christ’s minister was never seen, that there “the solitary place might be glad for us, and the wilderness rejoice and blossom as the rose.”
I have made it a solemn question whether I might not testify in China or India the Grace of Jesus, and in the sight of God I have answered it. I solemnly feel that my position in England will not permit my leaving the sphere in which I now am, or else tomorrow I would offer myself as a missionary. Oh, do none of you hear the call this morning? You that are free from so great a work as that which is cast upon me - you that have talents as yet undevoted to any special end, and powers of being as yet unconsecrated to any given purpose, and unconfirmed to any one sphere; do you not hear my Master saying in tones of plaintive sorrow, blended with an authority which is not to be denied, “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?”
Oh that there were might in some human lip to move the thousands of our Israel to advance at once, unanimously and irresistibly to the world’s conquest, like one tremendous tide rising from the depths of the ocean, to sweep over the sands, the barren sands which are now given up to desolation and death?
Oh that once again the voice of thunder could be heard, and the lightning spirit could penetrate each heart, that as one man the entire Church might take the marching orders of her Lord, and go to all nations, baptizing them in the name of Israel’s God. O Lord, if we fail to speak, fail not thou to speak; and if we know not how to bear thy burden, or to express thine awful thoughts, yet speak thou with that all-constraining silent voice which well-trained ears can hear, and make thy servants obedient to thee now, for Christ’s sake!
This morning we shall first dwell a little while on the command, and secondly, we shall enlarge upon the argument. There is an argument, as you will perceive, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations.”
First, my brethren, and very briefly indeed, a few things about the COMMAND. And we must remark, first what a singularly loving one it is. Imagine Mahomet (ie: Mohammed) on his dying bed saying to his desciples, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and earth;” what would be his command? “Go ye, therefore, with sharp scimitars, and propound faith in the prophet, or death as the dread alternative; avenge me of the men who threw stones at the prophet, make their houses a dunghill, and cut them in pieces for vengeance is mine, and God’s prophet must be avenged of His enemies.” But Christ, though far more despised and persecuted of men, and having real power which that pretend prophet never had, says to His disciples, as He is about to ascend to Heaven, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth; go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
It is the voice of love, not of wrath. “Go and teach them the power of my blood to cleanse, the willingness of my arms to embrace, the yearning of my heart to save! Go and teach them. Teach them no more to despise me, no more to think my Father an angry and implacable Deity. Teach them to bow the knee, and kiss the Son, and find peace for all their troubles, and a balm for all their woes in me. Go ye, speak as I have spoken; weep as I have wept; invite as I have invited; exhort, entreat, beseech and pray, as I have done before you. Tell them to come unto me, if they be weary and heavy laden, and I will give them rest; and say unto them, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but rather that he should turn unto me and live.’” What a generous and gracious command is that of the text, “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Note, too, how exceedingly plain is the command, “Go ye, teach all nations.” The Romish Church has misunderstood this. She says, “Go ye, mystify all nations; sound in their ears a language once living, but now dead; take to them the Latin tongue, and let that be sounded with all the harmony of sweet music, and they will be converted. Erect the sumptuous altar; clothe the priest in mystic garments; celebrate mysterious rites; and make the heathen wonder; dazzle them with splendor; amaze them with mystery.” But, “Nay,” says Christ, “nay, go ye and teach.”
Why, it is the mother’s work with her child; it is the tutor’s work with the boy and with the girl - “go ye, and teach.” How simple! Illustrate; explain, expound; tell; inform; narrate. Take from them the darkness of ignorance, reveal to them the light of revelation. Teach! Be content to sit down, and tell them the most plainest and most common things. It is not your eloquence that shall convert them; it is not your gaudy language or your polished periods that shall sway their intellects. Go and teach them. Teach them! Why, my hearer, I say again, this is a word which has to do with the rudiments of knowledge.
We do not preach to children, we teach them, and we are not so much to preach to nations. That word seems to big and great for the uncivilized and childish people; go ye, and teach them first the very simplicities of the cross of Christ.
And note how he puts it next. Who are to be taught? “Go ye, and teach all nations.” The Greek has his philosophers, teach him, he is but a child; he is a fool though he thinketh himself to be wise. There be polite nations which have a literature of their own, far larger and more extensive than the literature of the Christian: teach them nevertheless. They are to be taught and unless they are willing to take the learner’s place, and to become as little children, they can in no wise enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Do not debate and argue with them. Put not your self with them upon their level as a combatant concerning certain dogmas; insist upon it that I have sent you - sent you to teach the most erudite and profoundly learned; and when you shall claim it, I am with you always to back your claim, and men shall be willing to sit at your feet to be taught the name of Jesus.
I do not know whether all your missionaries have caught the idea of Christ - “Go ye and teach all nations” but most of them have, and these have been honored with many conversions. The more fully they have been simple teachers, not Philosophers of the Western Philosophy, not eager disputants concerning some English dogma, I say the more plainly they have gone forth as teachers sent from God to teach the world, the more successful they have been.
“Go ye, therefore, and teach.” Some may think, perhaps, there is less difficulty in teaching the learned than teaching the uncivilized and barbarous. There is the same duty to one as to the other: “Go and teach.” “But they brandish the tomahawk.” Teach them, and lie down and sleep in their hut, and they shall marvel at your fearlessness and shall spare your life. “But they feed on the blood of their fellows, they make a bloody feast about the cauldron in which a man’s body is the horrible viand.” Tech them and they shall empty their war kettle, and they shall bury their swords, and bow before you, and acknowledge King Jesus.
“But they are brutalized, they have scarce a language - a few clicking sounds make up all they can say.” Teach them, and they shall speak the language of Canaan, and sing the songs of Heaven. It has been proven, brethren, that there are no nations incapable of being taught, nay, that there are no nations incapable afterwards of teaching others. The African slave has perished under the lash, rather than dishonor his Master. The Esquimaux has climbed his barren steeps, and borne his toil, while has recollected the burden which Jesus bore. The Hindu has patiently submitted to the loss of all things, because he loved Christ better than all. Feeble Malagasay women have been prepared to suffer and die, and have taken joyfully suffering for Christ’s sake.
There has been heroism in every land for Christ. Men of every color and of every race have died for Him. Upon His altar has been found the blood of all kindred that be upon the face of the earth. Oh! Tell me not, they cannot be taught. Sirs, they can be taught to die for Christ; and this is more than some of you have learned. They can rehearse the very highest lesson of the Christian religion - that self sacrifice which knows not itself but gives up all for Him.
At this day there are Karen Missionaries preaching among the Karens with as fervid an eloquence as was ever known by Whitfield. There are Chinese teaching in Borneo, Sumatra, and Australia, with as much earnestness as Morison or Milne first taught in China. There are Hindu evangelists who are not ashamed to have given up the Brahminical thread, and to eat with the Pariah, and to preach with him the riches of Christ. There have been men found of every class and kind, not only able to be taught, but able to become teachers themselves. And the most mighty teachers, too, of the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well was that command warranted by the future facts, when Christ said, “Go ye, teach all nations.”
But, brethren, he text says, “Baptizing them.” They are to be taught, and afterwards they are to be baptized. I know not why it is that we yield to the superstitions of our Christian brethren, so much as to use the word baptize at all. It is not an English word, but, a Greek word. It has but one meaning, and cannot bear another. Throughout all the classics, without exception, it is not possible to translate it correctly, except with the idea of immersion. Believing this, and knowing this, if the translation is not complete, we will complete it this morning.
“Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Now I think that our Missionary Society, while it may take precedence in matters of time - for it was the first that was ever commenced with the exception of the Moravians - ought also to take precedence in matters of purity, because we can carry out this text in every country, teaching first, and baptizing afterwards. We do not understand the philosophy of first baptizing, and afterwards teaching. We hold that we must teach first, and then, when men are disciples, we are to baptize them. Not the nations; the Greek does not bear that interpretation, but, those who have been made disciples we are to baptize into the Sacred Name.
We think that the brethren do serious damage to the Gospel by baptizing children. We do not think their error a little one. We know it does not touch a vital point, but we d believe infant baptism is the prop and pillar of Popery, and it being removed, Popery and Puseyism become at once impossible. You have taken away all idea of a nation godliness and a nation religion, when you have cut away all liberty to administer Christian ordinances to unconverted persons. We cannot see any evil which would follow, if our brethren would renounce their mistake; but we can see abundant mischief which their mistake has caused, and in all kindness, but with all fidelity, we again enter our solemn protest against their giving baptism to any other than disciples, to any but those who are followers of the Lamb.
Throw down her hedges? Give her supper and her baptism to those that are not Christ’s people? Break down her walls? Remove her barricades? God forbid! Except a man be renewed in heart, we adre not allow him to participate in the ordinances which belong to Christ’s Church. It is a disastrous thing to call unconverted children Christians, or to do anything which may weaken their apprehension of the great fact, that until they are converted they have no part or lot in this matter.
Brethren, if you differ with me on this point, bear with me, for my conscience will not let me conceal this solemn truth. To you who agree with me I say, while our other can do in some things more than we can, and we rejoice in their efforts, and would heartily bless God that they wold show more activity than ourselves, yet we ought to be ashamed of ourselves if we are a whit behind. We are a body of Christians who can fairly and purely teach and baptize. We can obey this command of Christ abroad as well as at home, without running counter to our practice in one place by our practice in the other. We ought to be first and foremost, and if we be not, shame shall cover us for our unfaithfulness. “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
I am a 53 yr old businessman and I came across a subject for which I took up an interest a few years ago. That developed into other things and changed my whole direction in life. My biggest hurdle in accomplishing my book has been incorrect or missing data for which I developed a new passion. Christian is, as Christian does.