Brothers and Sisters, it is an ill sign if a child’s head enlarges but not the rest of his body, or if its arm or foot should be swollen to an ill proportion. Beauty consists in the proportion of every part. A vigorous judgment should not be yoked with a cold heart, nor a clear eye with a withered hand. A giant’s head rides ill on a dwarf’s shoulders. A virtue nourished at the expense of others is a fattened cannibal fed upon the flesh and blood of its murdered kinsmen. And it ill becomes a Christian to harbor such a monster. Let us pray that faith and love and every Divine Grace may be developed—that not one power of the man may be left unnurtured or ungrown—for only thus can we truly grow in Divine Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But do you inquire why we should thus grow in Divine Grace? Let us say, Brethren, that if we do not advance in Divine Grace it is a sorrowful sign. It is a mark of sickness. It is an unhealthy child that grows not, a cankered tree that sends forth no fresh shoots. More—it may not only be a sign of unhealthiness but of deformity. If a man’s shoulders have come to a certain breadth and his lower limbs refuse to lift him aloft, we call him a dwarf, and we look upon him with some degree of pity. He is ill-formed. O Lord, let us grow, for we would not be abortions, we would not be deformities. We would be children like unto God our Father—we would be comely ones, everyone of us like the sons of a king.
Not to grow may be, moreover, the sign of death. It may say to us, Inasmuch as you grow not, you live not. Inasmuch as you do not increase in faith and love and Divine Grace—and inasmuch as you do not ripen towards the harvest—fear and tremble lest you should only have a name to live and be destitute of life. Fear, lest you should be the painted counter-feit—a lovely picture drawn by the painter’s skillful hand, but without reality, without the life-power which should make it bud and germinate and blossom and bring forth fruit.
Advance in Divine Grace, because not to progress foretells many evil things and may result in that worst of all things—the want of spiritual life. Grow in Grace, because, Beloved, to increase in Grace is the only pathway to enduring nobility. Oh, do you not wish to stand with that noble host who have served their Master well and have entered into their eternal rest? Who among you does not wish to have his name written with the missionaries of modern times—with Judson and with Carey, with Williams and with Moffat? Who among us is there who has no ambition to find his name written among those servants of God—Whitfield, Grimshaw, Newton, Romaine, Toplady and others who preached the Word with power?
Are there any of us who wish to go back to the vile dust from where we sprung, “unwept, unhonored, and unsung?” Then let us be as we are. Let us cease our march. Meanness lies at your door—be stunted and be ignoble. But if we would be princes in God’s Israel, if we would be mighty warriors for the Cross of Christ, let us pray this prayer, “Lord, bid us grow in Your Grace, that we may be faithful servants and receive Your commendation at the last.”
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 5, 1862, BY REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. – Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 08: 1863