Do All To The Lord Jesus

From “Do All to the Lord Jesus,” a sermon by Edward Bouverie Pusey, 1800-1882 (language modernised and simplified by Jonathan Hagger)

We have to learn divine things by doing them and, as you know if you have ever learned anything, it is amid many mistakes and failures and often forgetfulness and not achieving that we learn; and when we have learned what we have to do, we still tend, again and again, to forget it when it is to be done. So it is in divine things. There is no easy toilless path to heaven. We have, indeed, a divine teacher, who will teach us all things needful for us, if we will hearken. But we are full of weakness: and we must not be impatient with ourselves if we find ourselves “slow of heart” in learning to do what we would. Pray for perseverance, seek to learn daily, examine how far you have learned it, wherein you have forgotten, and God will day by day teach you more and more. To “do all things in the name of Jesus” is the lesson of a life; be not angry with yourselves nor despair of ever learning it because you are slow to learn the first few syllables. In divine things, the first steps are the most difficult. God proves us by this difficulty, whether our hearts are in earnest with him or not. These ended, what seemed difficult becomes smooth, for he himself smooths it, when he has proved us faithful.

It must be possible, to “do all things to the glory of God,” since holy scripture expressly so bids us. Be in earnest, think it possible for you through the grace of God and consider earnestly how you may do it. This is the Christian’s life, that all things should be filled with thoughts of God, all done as he wills, all done to him. He who fills heaven and earth, agrees to accept as done to his glory whatever is done according to his will. The meanest work on earth, done fully according to the will of God, is done to his glory, gives joy to the holy angels and is accepted by your redeemer and your God, who gives you strength to do it. No, you who are poorer have, more than others, a likeness to our Lord’s lot on earth. If you labour with your hands, so did he who was a carpenter; if you have little food, so had he; if you have poor dwellings, he had nowhere to lay his sacred head; if you are often wearied, so was he; if you are believed to be of little account, so was he. Your outward lot is like his: seek, amid that lot, to conform your mind to his; to bear all things, by his divine help, with his patience; to do things one by one, as he wills; to have them sanctified by being united with his actions; and commonplace, everyday earthly toils will win you heavenly rewards through his merits who purchased for us both grace and glory as well as both the power to do his will and the will to want to do it, and the strength to persevere to the end. Toil here not for your families only, not for your daily bread, (although this, too, is right), but because it is the will of God and to please him, and while in “the sweat of your brows you eat bread,” your daily toils shall be pearls in your heavenly crown, which he, your merciful judge, will give you on the day of his return and to all them who love his appearing; and the pearls of that crown are no created beauty, but the beauty of the grace of God, and his own glory gleaming in his saints, and his divine love filling them and transporting them with love and joy beyond description.

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