Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Prince of Preachers
Pastor, Metropolitan Tabernacle, London
A people near unto him.
The dispensation of the old covenant was that of distance. When God appeared
even to His servant Moses, He said, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from
off thy feet”; and when He manifested Himself upon Mount Sinai, to His own
chosen and separated people, one of the first commands was, “Thou shalt set
bounds about the mount.”
Both in the sacred worship of the tabernacle and the temple, the thought of
distance was always prominent. The mass of the people did not even enter the
outer court. Into the inner court none but the priests might dare to intrude; while
into the innermost place, or the holy of holies, the high priest entered but once in
It was as if the Lord in those early ages would teach man that sin was so utterly
loathsome to Him, that He must treat men as lepers put without the camp; and
when He came nearest to them, He yet made them feel the width of the separation
between a holy God and an impure sinner.
When the gospel came, we were placed on quite another footing. The word
“Go” was exchanged for “Come”; distance was made to give place to nearness, and
we who aforetime were afar off, were made nigh by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Incarnate Deity has no wall of fire about it. “Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” is the joyful proclamation of God
as He appears in human flesh. Not now does He teach the leper his leprosy by
setting him at a distance, but by Himself suffering the penalty of His defilement.
What a state of safety and privilege is this nearness to God through Jesus! Do
you know it by experience? If you know it, are you living in the power of it?
Marvelous is this nearness, yet it is to be followed by a dispensation of greater
nearness still, when it shall be said, “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He
doth dwell among them.” Hasten it, O Lord.
If you would like to experience a personal relationship with God, then please read the Four Spiritual Laws,