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Sermon #1252 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1 THE FIRST DAY OF CREATION NO A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD S DAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, 1875, BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
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Sermon #1252 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1 THE FIRST DAY OF CREATION NO A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD S DAY MORNING, AUGUST 29, 1875, BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. And God saw the light that it was good. Genesis 1:4. WE shall, this morning, leave all discussion as to the creation of the world to those learned divines who have paid their special attention to that subject, and to those geologists who know, or at any rate think they know, a very great deal about it. It is a very interesting subject, but this is not the time for its consideration. Our business is moral and spiritual rather than scientific. We justify our present discourse by quoting that remarkable parallel text which the Holy Spirit has given us in the second Epistle to the Corinthians, fourth chapter and the sixth verse, where Paul says, God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The creation was an instructive type of the new creation. God s methods of forming the old creation illustrate His ways in preparing and perfecting His people who are new creatures in Christ Jesus. So we shall gather light from an analogy which is evidently warranted by the New Testament. We trust we shall not be guilty of inventing things fanciful, strained, or merely curious our objective is edification and consolation and not a display of ingenuity. May the eternal light of the Holy Spirit shine upon us now, that by His light we may see light. Man s fallen nature is a very chaos, without form and void, with darkness thick and sevenfold covering all. The Lord begins His work upon man by the visitation of the Spirit, who enters the soul mysteriously and broods over it, even as of old He moved upon the face of the waters. He is the quickener of the dead soul. In connection with the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Lord sends into the soul, as His first blessing, light. The Lord appeals to man s understanding and enlightens it by the Gospel. The heavenly light reveals to man his obligations to God and his forgetfulness of them. It shows him the evil of sin, his own guilt, consequent danger, and the impossibility of his escaping from that danger by any efforts of his own. That same light, also, reveals to man God s way of salvation shows him the person of Christ, His work, its suitability and its freeness and lets him see how he may obtain an interest in redemption by the simple act of believing. It is a blessed thing for any man when the Lord God says concerning him, Let there be light. If you keep your eyes upon the chapter, you will observe that the light came into the world at first by the word God said, let there be light. It is through the Word of God contained in this book, the Bible, that light comes into the soul. Let me correct myself it is by Him who is called the Logos, THE WORD, that light is poured into the heart of man, for In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. This is that true light which lights every man that comes into the world. The Spirit, you see, is engaged in the new creation He broods over the soul. The Son of God is the Creator, also He is that WORD without whom nothing was made, and by whom light came. And the Father unites in the same sacred work, for it is He who speaks and it is done. It needs the Trinity to new-create a soul. Oh, Triune God, our souls which are new-created worship You with the trinity of their nature spirit, soul, and body. The light which broke in upon the primeval darkness was of a very mysterious kind, and came not according to ordinary laws, for as yet neither sun nor moon had been set as lights in the firmament. Can we tell how spiritual light first dawns on nature s night? It darts upon some souls without the aid of apparent ministries, immediately from God. Indeed, though the Lord sends light by this means or by that, yet in every case the light is His own work, and the means are, in themselves, so evidently powerless that the whole glory of the work belongs to the Lord alone. How He removes darkness from the understanding and illuminates the intellect is a secret reserved for Himself alone. Mysteriously, then, the light enters into the soul of man. But one thing is clear concerning it however it comes, if it be true light, it Volume 21 1 2 The First Day of Creation Sermon #1252 is always God-given and comes alone from the great Father of lights. No gracious light ever will or can come to any man except directly from God Himself. There was no latent light in the chaotic mass of world. There was no brilliance to be developed out of the primitive darkness. It was needful that Jehovah should interpose and that His decree should pour in light from above. O heart of man, you are darkness itself, but in the Lord is your light found! The light came instantaneously. Six days were occupied in furnishing the earth, but a moment sufficed for illuminating it. God works rapidly in the operation of regeneration as with a flash, He darts light and life into the soul. The operations of grace are gradual, but its entrance is instantaneous. Although instantaneous, it is not, however, shallow and short-lived. The light did not depart because of its rapid coming it was a permanent blessing which earth received in that glad hour. The light remained, increased, and though in every spot upon the globe there are necessary interludes of night, and though there has been an evening as well as a morning to all succeeding days, yet our globe has never been forsaken of the blessed light since the day when first the eternal Word flashed it forth upon the face of the deep. Even so, when God sends grace into the soul of man it comes in an instant, but it does not so depart. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. The darkness struggles for the mastery, but the light, once given, none shall quench it must and shall shine forth more and more unto the perfect day. All this is worthy of our careful note, but the point which we are about to dwell upon is this our text concerns only the first day of creation and the Lord s consideration of that first day s work and His approval of it. The first day of creation fairly pictures the commencement of our spiritual life, our conviction, conversion, and first faith in Jesus. My objective shall be to speak words of comfort to beginners that I may cheer those upon whom the true light has only lately begun to shine. And I shall also give a few words of advice to older people as to their duty to these newly-enlightened ones. I. Our first observation will be this THE LORD SEES WHATEVER HE CREATES. The Lord saw the light. He was the sole observer of it. Neither eyes of man, nor bird, nor beast was there to behold the golden glory, but God saw the light. Newly enlightened one, it may be you are pained because you have no Christian companion to observe your change of heart. Cease from your sorrow, for God beholds you. Have you seen yourself a sinner and do you, therefore, weep in secret places? Have you begun to see the Savior and do you look to Him in loneliness of spirit and find in Him a joy with which a stranger intermeddled not? It is but a small matter that no human eyes have seen your repentance and your faith, for He beholds them, even He who gave them birth. It may be that neither father nor mother has perceived the change and perhaps, had they perceived it, they may be such that they would not have rejoiced in it. But let this be your comfort your heavenly Father sees you and His heart pities you. When the prodigal was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and even thus, your heavenly Father sees you. And as this was enough for the prodigal, so it is enough for you. Upon your tears of penitence He has fixed His eyes, and upon your glance of faith He has turned His gaze. The Lord saw the light this grand truth should be very sweet to those whose faith is lonely, who meet with many discouragements, and little or no sympathy. Like Hagar in the desert you should rejoicingly say, You, God, see me. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry. David said, I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon me. Oh, young beginner, the Lord sees the work of grace that is in you. Though it is but in its first day, He does not turn His eyes from the light which He has kindled. And as long as this is the case, you need not fear. The orator of old thought Plato, alone, quite enough for an audience. Much more, then, may you consider that the Lord, alone, is all that you need by way of observation and you may joyfully pray with the psalmist, Look You upon me, and be merciful unto me, as You use to do unto those that love Your name. That light had come into the world in a noiseless manner, yet the Lord saw it. The entrance of God s Word which gives light is effected in solemn silence of the mind. If men make an illumination, we can hear the crackling of their fireworks all over the city. But when God illuminates the earth with the sun, the orb of day arises without a sound. The ancients talked of the chariot of the sun, but whoever heard the sound of wheels or the hoof beats of horses in the sky? The health-bearing wings of the morning cause no tumult in the air when they are spread abroad. When morn her rosy steps in the eastern clime advancing, sows the earth with orient pearl, her footsteps are not heard. True, the birds salute her com- 2 Volume 21 Sermon #1252 The First Day of Creation ing with glad songs, but she herself steals onward without voice. Even thus grace enters the soul and not a whisper is breathed, yet the Lord sees the light. Light is its own advertisement, it needs no trumpet to announce it. And it is the same with divine grace. Dear young friend, in you the work of grace has been a very quiet one. Perhaps you remember no remarkable sermon, no horrible dream, no sick-bed experience, no grim terrors of the law, as have happened to others of God s people. You have been treated as Lydia was whose heart the Lord opened, or like Timothy, you have known the Scriptures from your youth. Be not, therefore, led to suspect your sincerity, or to doubt the reality of the work of grace. Although the work in your soul has been so quiet, so hidden from the eyes of men, so unremarkable and commonplace, yet take comfort from our text, The Lord saw the light. No trumpet proclaimed it, but the Lord saw it. No voice went forth concerning it, but the Lord saw it and it was enough. And in your case it is the same. The earth itself could not recognize the light, yet the Lord saw it. Poor dull chaos, what could it know? And as for primeval night, the light shone in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. How often does the young believer stand in doubt as to himself! How frequently does he inquire, Is this light or is it not? Nor is he alone in such great searchings of heart, for there are times with some of the more advanced of us, when we are very glad to think that the Lord sees the light, for we cannot see it. There are times when, through doubt, fear, and a keen sense of sin, we begin to question whether the Lord has ever shone upon us at all! And if this happens to full-grown saints, it is not much wonder if it occurs to babes in grace in the first morning of their life. If it should occasionally prove a very serious question Am I in the light or not? we need not marvel, for often have sincere children of God put up the anxious inquiry, Is this light or only darkness visible? How often do we mourn that we have scarcely more light than suffices to reveal our darkness and make us pine for more. Oh, troubled one, lay this home to your soul the Lord saw the light when earth herself could not perceive it. Let us not forget that besides the light there was no other beauty. The earth, according to the Hebrew, was tohu and bohu, which, in order to come near to both the sense and sound at the same time, I will render, anyhow and nohow. It was confusion, emptiness, waste. Matter was discordant and disorganized. And so God fixed His eyes on the light, not on the chaos. Even so, beloved friend, your experience may seem to be a chaos, nohow and anyhow, exactly what it should not be, a maze of unformed conceptions and half-formed desires, and ill-formed prayers but yet there is grace in you and God sees it even amid the dire confusion and huge uproar of your spirit. What He has Himself created in you He beholds, considers, and delights in. And, as for the sin that dwells in you, He only regards it as covered from His sight by the atoning work of His dear Son. Remember, too, that when the light came it had to contend with darkness, but God saw it, none the less. So also, in your soul, there still remains the darkness of inbred corruption, ignorance, infirmity, and tendency to sin. And these cause a conflict, but the light is not hidden from the eyes of God. What a mercy this is that our God keeps His eyes on the light rather than on the darkness. Oh, how I bless Him for that! If He were to ignore the light that is in us because it is feeble, and look only at our sin because it is abundant, He would certainly utterly destroy us. But instead of that He casts our sins behind His back, while upon the new-born grace He fixes His steady gaze and says, I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. For many reasons the Lord sees the light, but chiefly He sees it because He made it, and He forsakes not the work of His own hands. God can see grace in men where you and I cannot, because He knows where it is, seeing He Himself hid it in the soul. There is never a grain of grace in the world but what God has a register of it. All the grace in men s hearts calls God, Father, and God hears its voice and turns His eye that way. He knows His own children and His eyes and His heart are towards them continually for good. He knows the light which is of His own creating there is not one stray sunbeam in the universe, nor one forgotten ray of light. Neither is there a spark of forgotten grace, or a grain of salvation which has got out of its course. God cannot but remember His own grace, seeing that the giving of it is a work so dear to His heart, and the effect of that work is so precious in His esteem. To sum up what we have said, you who have been converted to God may lament that in your soul there is no order and that everything is tossed about. You may perceive no growth, no fruit, no virtue in your life because you have not known the Lord long enough to produce much. But if there is light 3 Volume 21 3 4 The First Day of Creation Sermon #1252 enough to reveal Christ in you as your only hope, be you of good cheer, for the Lord does not look for the fourth day s work on the first day. He sees that in you which is of His own giving and creating; and He calls it good. Seeing the light in you, He will perpetuate it so that you shall never walk in darkness. And He will increase it till the glory breaks upon you. Do you repent of sin? God sees the light. Have you bemoaned your shortcomings? God saw the light. Have you begun to pray? Behold, he prays, says God, for He sees the light. Have you believed in Jesus Christ with even a trembling faith? God sees the light. Have you begun to hope in His mercy? He sees that hope, for the God that gave you its light still looks upon it. II. It is time for us to pass on to a second head, which is this THE LORD APPROVES OF WHAT HE CREATES. God saw the light that it was good. He took pleasure in it. Now, as far as this world was concerned, light was but young and new and so in some of you, grace is quite a novelty. You were only converted a very little while ago and you have had no time to try yourselves or to develop your divine graces, yet the Lord delights in your new-born life. There are some older folk who are suspicious of the dawn of grace and look very dubiously upon new converts, but in this they have not the mind of God. The old members of our churches in the country, 20 years ago, used to say, We must not take in young converts too soon. We must summer and winter them before they are baptized. This they called prudence. I wonder what they would think of prudent farmers who summered and wintered the lambs before they took them into the fold? Or prudent parents who summered and wintered their babes before they pressed them to their bosom? We ought to right gladly to take the little babes in grace and nurse them for the Lord and by no means despise their youth. The Lord did not leave the light to itself till it had been tried for years, but on the first day He smiled upon it and pronounced it good. He took delight in it because it was as much His creation and as truly good as if He had made it ages before. Light is good at dawn as well as at noon. The grace of God is good though but newly received. It will work out for you greater things, by-and-by, and make you happier and more holy, but even now all the elements of excellence are in it and its first day has the divine blessing upon it. Grace in the bud is pleasant unto the Lord let this truth fill the newly converted with intense delight. Here we must mention again that it was struggling light, yet none the less for that approved of by Lord. We do not understand how it was that the light and the darkness were together until God divided them, as this verse intimates, but as John Bunyan says, No doubt darkness and light here began their quarrel, for what communion has light with darkness? The black darkness was in possession, but the arrows of light pierced it through and through. It strove to hold its own, but before long it could be said, The darkness is past and the true light now shines. Do you remember how it was with you when the light invaded the little world within you? I remember well the inward battle and sore conflict in my own case. What struggles! What contentions! What conflicts my soul endured when the light first broke in upon nature s night! My darkened heart rebelled against the light, hating to have its deeds reproved. But the light would not be extinguished or turned aside. Backed by the divine command, it pierced its way until I joined the company to whom it is said, You were sometime darkness, but now are you light in the Lord. My brethren, I am sure you are no strangers to this conflict, nor is it to you altogether a thing of the past. You are still in the conflict. Still grace and sin are warring in you, and will do so till you are taken home. Let this help you, O you who are perplexed. Remember that struggling as the light is, God approves of it and calls it good. Even the repentance which cannot repent as it would is good. The faith which cannot believe as it would is good. Life which smolders like fire in damp wood is good, and the Lord so esteems it. A bruised reed He will not break, and the smoking flax He will not quench. As yet the light had not been divided from the darkness and the boundaries of day and night were not fixed. And it is so in young beginners they hardly know which is grace and which is nature, what is of themselves and what is of Christ and they make a great many mistakes. Yet the Lord makes no mistake of that which His grace has placed in them. They have so little discernment that they see and do not see, for they see men as trees walking, but God sees them clearly enough. It is neither day nor night with them they are in a fog and lack power of discernment but the Lord discerns them, for He knows them that are His. Let this be their joy that the Lord can analyze their condition and He knows what is light in them and approves it. 4 Volume 21 Sermon #1252 The First Day of Creation As yet the light and darkness had not been named it was afterwards that the Lord called the light, day and the darkness night. Yet He saw the light that it was good. A
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