“The bridge is broken, the bridge is broken!”

Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:9

Have not you sometimes found, that when you thought you were standing on a rock, there was a quivering beneath your feet? You heard the Christian sing boldly:

“Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
While, thro’ Thy blood, absolv’d I am
From sin’s tremendous curse and shame.”

And you have said, “Well, I cannot sing that, I have been as good a Churchman as ever lived, I never missed going to my church all these years, but I cannot say I have a solid confidence.” “Well,” says another, “I have been to my chapel, and I have been baptized, and made a profession of religion, though I was never brought to know the Lord in sincerity and in truth, and I once thought it was all well with me, but I want a something which I cannot find.” Now comes a shaking in the heart. It is not quite so delightful as one supposed, to build on one’s own righteousness. How many a man who has been self-righteous all his life, has, at the last discovered that the thing whereon he placed his hope had failed him…You thought there was a bridge of ceremonies; that baptism, confirmation, and the Lord’s Supper, made up the solid arches of a bridge of good works and duties. But when you come to die, there shall be heard the cry-“The bridge is broken, the bridge is broken!” It will be in vain for you to turn round then. Death is close behind you; he forces you onward, and you discover what it is to perish through having neglected the great salvation and attempting to save yourself through your own good works. Good as you thought yourself to be, inasmuch as you proudly rejected Christ, you must drink the winecup of the wrath of God; that cup which is full of trembling. The wicked of the earth shall wring out the dregs of that cup, and drink them; and you also must drink of it as deep as they. Oh, beware in time! Put away your high looks, and humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and ye shall be saved. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0225.cfm

It Is of God’s Work

Then Samuel took a stone, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

“Hitherto the LORD hath helped us.” Note, beloved, that they did not stand still and refuse to use their weapons, but while God was thundering they were fighting, and while the lightnings were dashing in the foeman’s eyes they were making them feel the potency of their steel. So that while we glorify God we are not to deny or to discard human agency. We must fight because God fighteth for us. We must strike, but the power to strike and the result of striking must all come from Him. You see they did not say, “Hitherto our sword hath helped us, hitherto Samuel has encouraged us.” No, no-“hitherto the Lord has helped us.” Now you must admit that everything truly great must be of the Lord. You cannot suppose a thing so great as the conversion of sinners, the revival of a Church can ever be man’s work…Where there is little work done men often take the credit themselves, but where there is great work done, they dare not…Many wonders I have seen, but I never saw yet a man who arrogated the honor of his work to himself, whom God did not leave sooner or later…Did God make men strong that they may exalt themselves into His throne? What, doth the King of kings crown you with mercies that you may pretend to lord it over Him? What, doth He dignify you that you may usurp the prerogatives of His throne? No; you must come with all the favors and honors that God has put upon you, and creep to the foot of His throne and say, What am I, and what is my father’s house that Thou hast remembered me. “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

Looking Forward

Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

The text may be read this way: looking forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes “hitherto,” he looks back upon much that is past, but “hitherto” is not the end, there is yet a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; more slanders, more comforts; more lions and bears to be fought, more tearings of the lion for God’s Davids, more deep waters, more high mountains; more troops of devils, more hosts of angels yet. And then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No, no, no! We will raise one stone more when we get into the river, we will shout Ebenezer there: “hitherto the Lord hath helped us,” for there is more to come. An awakening in His likeness, climbing of starry spheres, harps, songs, palms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. Yes, as sure as God has helped so far as to-day, He will help us to the close. “I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee; I have been with thee, and I will be with thee to the end.” Courage, brethren, then; and as we pile the stones, saying, “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us,” let us just gird up the loins of our mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be revealed in us, for as it has been, so it shall be world without end. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

Hitherto

Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

The word “hitherto” seems like a hand pointing in that direction. Look back, look back. Twenty years-thirty-forty-fifty-sixty-seventy-eighty-“hitherto!” say that each of you. Through poverty-through wealth-through sickness-through health-at home-abroad-on the land-on the sea-in honor-in dishonor-in perplexity-in joy-in trial-in triumph-in prayer-in temptation-hitherto. Put the whole together. I like sometimes to look down a long avenue of trees. It is very delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of leafy temple with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. Cannot you look down the long aisles of your years, look at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear your joys? Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely, there must be many. And the bright sunshine and the blue sky are yonder; and if you turn round in the far distance, you may see heaven’s brightness and a throne of gold.

Great God, we sing that mighty hand,
By which supported still we stand:
The opening year thy mercy shows;
Let mercy crown it till it close.

By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still we are guarded by our God:
By his incessant bounty fed,
By his unerring counsel led.

With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to thy guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before thy fe
et.

In scenes exalted or depress’d,
Be thou our joy, and thou our rest;
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

“Hitherto! hitherto!” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

The Voice of God is Heard!

And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that He will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. – 1 Samuel 7:8

The Philistines were not routed except by prayer. Samuel prayed unto the Lord. They said, “Cease not to cry unto the Lord for us.” Brethren, let us bear our witness that if aught of good has been accomplished it has been the result of prayer… As there was prayer and sacrifice, you must remember that in answer to the sweet savor of the lamb and the sweet perfume of Samuel’s intercession, Jehovah came forth to rout his foes. I read not that Israel shouted a war-cry. No, their shouts would not have been heard amid those great thunders. I find that they dashed to battle; but it was not their bow, their spear, their sword, that gained the victory. Hearken, my brethren, the voice of God is heard! Crash-crash! Where are you now, ye sons of Anak! The heavens shake, the earth rocks, the everlasting hills do bow, the birds of the air fly to the coverts of the forest to hide themselves, the timid goats upon the mountains seek the clefts of the rocks. Peal on peal the thunders roll till mountain answers mountain in loud uproar of affright. From crag to crag leaps the live lightning, and the Philistines are all but blinded by it, and stand aghast, and then take to their heels and fly. Quit yourselves like men, O Philistines, that ye be not servants to the Hebrews. Quit yourselves like men, but unless ye be gods ye must tremble now. Where are your bucklers and the bosses thereof? Where are your spears and the sheen thereof? Now let your swords flash from their scabbards; now send out your giants and their armor-bearers! Now let your Goliaths defy the Lord God of hosts! Aha! Aha! Ye become like women, ye quake! ye faint! See, see! they turn their backs and fly before the men of Israel, whom they counted but as slaves. They flee. The warrior flees and the stout heart quails, and the mighty man flees like a timid dove to his hiding-place. “Glory be unto the Lord God of Israel: His own right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory.” Beloved, if aught of good has been accomplished, or if you and I have routed sin, how hath it been? Not by our strength, not by our power, but by the glorious voice of God. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

Come to Mizpeh

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

Mizpeh was the place of renewed covenant, and its name signifies the watch-tower. These people came together to renew their covenant with God, and wait for Him as upon a watch-tower. Whenever God’s people look back upon the past they should renew their covenant with God. Put your hand into the hand of Christ anew, thou saint of the Most High, and give thyself to Him again. Climb thy watch-tower and watch for the coming of thy Lord. See whether there be sin within thee, temptation without thee,-duty neglected or lethargy creeping over thee. Come to Mizpeh, the watch-tower; come to Mizpeh the place of the renewal of the covenant, and then set up your stone and say, “Hitherto, the Lord hath helped us.”

It seems to me that the spot where Samuel said “Ebenezer,” was exceedingly similar in many respects to the position occupied by us this day. I do not think the children of Israel could with heartier joy say “Ebenezer!” than we can. We have had many sins, a share of sorrows, and some defeats by reason of our own folly. I hope we have humbled ourselves before God, and lamented after Him, and desired to behold Him, and to dwell very near Him, and that our soul doth bless His name while we renew the covenant again this day, and while we come to the watch-tower and wait to hear what God the Lord will speak unto us. Come, then, let us sing together, “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

Penitence and Praise Must Always Sing Together

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer… – 1 Samuel 7:12

Dear friends, as we pile that stone thinking how God has helped us, let us shed tears of sorrow to think how ungrateful we have been. On earth penitence and praise must always sing together. Just as in some of our tunes there are two or three parts, we shall always need repentance to take the bass notes while we are here, while faith in praise can mount up to the very highest notes of the divine gamut of gratitude. Yes, with our joy for pardoned guilt we mourn that we pierced the Lord, and with our joy for strengthened graces and ripening experience, we must mourn over ingratitude and unbelief. Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thou didst once say, “My God has forgotten me.” Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thou didst murmur and complain against Him. Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thou didst once deny Him like Peter. Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thine eye hath gone astray after vanity, and thy hand hath touched sin, and thy heart hath played the wanton. Let us repent, my brethren, for it is through our tears, that we shall best perceive the beauty of these grateful words, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”

You must remember, too, that Ebenezer was the place of lamentation after the Lord. They came together to pray God to return to them. We shall surely see God when we long after Him. If you personally have lost the light of His face, pray-

“Return, O holy Dove! return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
And drove Thee from my breast.”

And if it be the entire Church, and in any measure our love has grown cold, and the converting and sanctifying Spirit has departed, let us pray also the same prayer.

“Savior, visit Thy plantation;
Grant us, Lord, a gracious rain!
All will come to desolation,
Unless Thou return again;
Lord, revive us,
All our help must come from Thee!”

The place of revival should be the place of gracious thankfulness. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm