To Backsliders


(Original version by Charles Spurgeon. Adapted and modernized from his 10/7/1855 sermon preached at New Park Street Chapel titled “Conversion”)


Poor backslider, you were once a Christian. Do you hope that you were? “No,” you say, “I believe I deceived myself and others. I was no child of God.” Well, if you did, let me tell you, that if you will acknowledge that, God will forgive you. Suppose you did deceive the church—you are not the first that did it. There are some members in even the strongest churches, I fear, who have done so, and they have not been found out. I tell you your case is not hopeless. That is not the unpardonable sin. Some who have even tried to deceive those elected by God have been delivered, and my Master says he is able to save to the uttermost (and you have not gone beyond the…

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I See the Crowd in Pilate’s Hall

I see the crowd in Pilate’s hall,
their furious cries I hear;
their shouts of “Crucify!” appall,
their curses fill mine ear.
And of that shouting multitude
I feel that I am one,
and in that din of voices rude
I recognize my own.

I see the scourgers rend the flesh
of God’s belovèd Son;
and as they smite I feel afresh
that I of them am one.
Around the Cross the throng I see
that mock the Sufferer’s groan,
yet still my voice it seems to be,
as if I mocked alone.

‘Twas I that shed that sacred Blood,
I nailed him to the Tree,
I crucified the Christ of God,
I joined the mockery.
Yet not the less that Blood avails
to cleanse me from sin,
and not the less that Cross prevails
to give me peace within.

-Horatius Bonar, 1856

O Thou Who Dwell’st on High

O Thou Who dwell’st on high,
’Mid burning seraphs bright,
Pavilioned in the azure sky,
Robed with celestial light:
Permit us to draw near,
And worship and adore;
Redeemed from sin and guilt and fear,
Thy blessing we implore.

Thou high and holy Lord,
Before Whom seraphs fall
With faces veiled and spirits awed,
And Thee thrice holy call:
We fall before Thy feet,
Unworthy to draw near,
E’en though before Thy mercy seat
Thou call’st us to appear.

Hear Thou the prayer we bring;
Regard Thy children’s need;
Accept the hymns of praise we sing,
And to our vows give heed.
We seek Thee in Thy Son,
Who died our souls to save—
The crucified but risen One,
Triumphant o’er the grave.

Through Him, our great High Priest
Before the heav’nly throne,
We seek redemption’s power and peace—
Peace to the world unknown;
Seeking, we find Thee near
To bless with every grace
And make us meet, when Thou appear,
To see Thee face to face.

-Wilson T. Hogue, 1910

Show us Christ

Prepare our hearts, O God
Help us to receive
Break the hard and stony ground
Help our unbelief
Plant Your Word down deep in us
Cause it to bear fruit
Open up our ears to hear
Lead us in Your truth

Show us Christ, show us Christ 
O God, reveal Your glory 
Through the preaching of Your Word 
Until every heart confesses Christ is Lord 

Your Word is living light
Upon our darkened eyes
Guards us through temptations
Makes the simple wise
Your Word is food for famished ones
Freedom for the slave
Riches for the needy soul
Come speak to us today

Where else can we go, Lord
Where else can we go
You have the words of eternal life

-Doug Plank and Bob Kauflin, © 2011 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI),, from The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11, released 15 November 2011


My soul is anchored to heaven’s holy veil
For Christ, the Great High Priest
Died in my stead
Hold fast!
God’s promise will never fail
We are His for Christ’s risen from the dead

No man or angel can keep me from Him
My hope in Heaven is steadfast and firm
Though trials and suffering come
Death cannot win
So we live in light of our great king’s return

Your steadfast love
Will lead us through the tempest
Grace and strength are ours
Your faithfulness
Will see us through the storm
And give us hope to carry on

In faith my ransom soul will ne’er depart
From Christ my Savior who freed me from sin
Rejoice this confidence is sealed in our hearts
By the spirit who empowers us from within

O wait with patience now all those who long
To join their Savior in heaven’s endless days
A glorious time and all join their song
In one loud voice may Jesus Christ be praised

-Enfield. From the Album: Back to Calvalry.

Beyond My Highest Thought

Beyond my highest thought
Are you, alone, O God
I am a vapor in the wind
You make the earth and sky
Divided day from night
And still to me, You condescend

Beyond my highest thought
Are you, alone, O God
I cannot comprehend Your ways
Transcending space and time
You’re man and God divine
Here in Your midst, I stand amazed

Lord on high, my eternal King
Oh sovereign Son, humble me to see
That You are God, and I am not
You are beyond my highest thought

Beyond my highest thought
Are You, alone, O God
I am a sinner, saved by grace
You are the spotless Lamb
You are the great I AM
I long to look upon Your face

Beyond my highest thought
Are You, alone O God
I cannot comprehend Your ways
Transcending space and time
You’re man and God divine
Here in Your midst, I stand amazed

-Enfield. From the Album: Back to Calvalry.


Sanctification through Torture

“An honest examination of conscience reveals much vanity, arrogance and self-esteem; and in the past also a certain amount of dishonesty. That was brought home to me when they called me a liar while I was being beaten up. They accused me of lying when they found I mentioned no name except those I knew they knew already. I prayed hard, asking God why he permitted me to be so brutally handled and then I saw that there was in my nature a tendency to pretend and deceive.

On this altar much has been consumed by fire and much has been melted and become pliable. It has been one of God’s blessings, and one of the signs of his indwelling grace, that I have been so wonderfully helped in keeping my vows. He will, I am confident, extend his blessing to my outward existence as soon as I am ready for the next task with which he wishes to entrust me. From this outward activity and intensified inner light new passion will be born to give witness for the living God, for I have truly learned to know him in these days of trial and to feel his healing presence. God alone suffices is literally and absolutely true…”

-Alfred Delp. December 31, 1944

Alfred Delp (1907-45) was hanged for treason by Nazi Germany for his involvement in the Kreisau circle. After Count von Stauffenberg’s failed attempt on Hitler’s life the Kreisau circle’s involvement came to light and its members and associates were tortured and executed.

-from Kidder, Annemarie. Ed., Ultimate Price: Testimonies of Christians Who Resisted the Third Reich, p. 76

Guillotined for His Faith

“People want to observe Christians who have taken a stand in the contemporary world, Christians who live amid all of the darkness with clarity, insight, and conviction, Christians who live with the purest peace of mind, courage, and dedication amid the absence of peace and joy, amidst the self-seeking and the hatred. People are looking for Christians who are not like a wavering reed that is pushed back and forth by every light breeze, for Christians who ask primarily about the teaching of Christ and our faith, Christians who do not watch to see how their associates will respond to this or that point. If signposts are set in the ground so loosely that they can be turned by every wind and as a result, point in this direction and then in that direction, is someone for whom the way is unfamiliar able to find the right path?

-Franz Jägerstätter, Notebook 3, p. 211

Franz Jägerstätter (1907-43) was executed by the Nazi Regime on August 9, 1943 for refusing to take the oath of combat and fight for the Third Reich. He refused to “compromise his Christian faith by serving what he considered [to be] an evil leader, Hitler, and a warring state that was pillaging, ravaging, and destroying human lives.”

-Kidder, Annemarie. Ed., Ultimate Price: Testimonies of Christians Who Resisted the Third Reich, pp. 34; 46

Election Day

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”

-1 Timothy 2:1-5

The Lord’s My Shepherd I’ll Not Want

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.

-Scottish Psaltar, 1650 (Psalm 23)