Section of Sermon by Henry, August 6, 1882


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Section of Sermon by Henry, August 6, 1882


God; Bible; Holy Spirit; Apocryphal books (Old Testament); Apocryphal books (New Testament); Sermons; Christianity


This is a section of a sermon by Henry that he copied for his mother. The paper begins on page three of the sermon, but Henry appears to be discussing the crucifixion of Christ and his resurrection. He then goes on to talk about the old and new, claiming that the Jewish and Christian churches are the same church "under different forms." Like his other sermons, Henry preaches about being saved and "tarrying" for the Lord. He concludes by discussing the Holy Ghost, the emergence of Christianity in Jerusalem, "prophesying," and the Old and New Testament (focusing more on the former).


Noyes, Henry Varnum


Loose, The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)






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Never through all the coming ages should it be said that Christs disciples, began their
preaching at a [u]place[/u] or [u]time[/u] so distant from the occurrencce of the events upon which their
proclamation was founded, that the people whom they were addressing had no means of de-
termining whether these events happened or not. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, built his
argument on two foundation facts- First the fact that they were receiving at
that time the Holy Ghost [u]according to the promise[/u], and second the fact of [u]Christ
resurrection[/u] after his crucifixion. The first of these facts was the very one before
which all the people were even there standing amazed and saying one to another
What meaneth this? - The second had occurred, only fifty days upon, within our
city. No one denied the facts and multitudes accepted the salvation which
Peter proclaimed--- Another reason, [--why--] that may be suggested, why the
gospel should first be proclaimed in Jerusalem is that Christs [u]forgiving love[/u] might be [u][?most?]
strikingly manifested[/u]. The offer of salvation was first [?read?] and accepted by the very man
who had crucified him. It was fitting indeed that, at the very beginning of a dispensation of
grace, should be answered that wonderful prayer that went up to heaven from the cross "Father
forgive them for they know not what they do." Well might, even the unbelieving [illegible] say
"Socrates died like a [u]philosopher[/u] but Jesus Christ like a [u]God[/u]". ---- Still [u]another[/u]
and what may have been the main reason why the preaching of the gospel should begin at Jerusalem
in that the New Dispensation might not in any way [u]even seem[/u] to be disjointed from the [u]Old[/u]
The [?outward?] from the church and its worship was to [illegible] a change but its internal spir-
itual life was still to be the same, only more fully developed, blessed with greater knowledge and
higher privileges. Those Jews, who are themselves in such hostility to Christianity,[?was?] [?in?] [illegible]
hostility to [--their--] the teachings of their own Scriptures which they [illegible] if not [illegible]
misinterpreted. They were utterly recreant to the ancient faith. Rightly understood the New
and the Old under different forms was essentially one. The New was in fact sorted into and grew
out of the Old. Just as some old forEst ^[forest] tree on which the centuries at last have laid the
hand of decay: waxeth old and is ready to vanish away." One after another its branches fall
and at last the great trunk itself comes down. But a new sprout has started up from the old
roots, and in the midst of, and out of the old decay it grows with a vigorous life. It feeds upon the
old, draws its very life from it, and this the Old lives on in the New, and the New would never have [?lived?]
without the preceiding life of the Old. So its was with the Jewish and the Christian church - the same
church under different forms. It was therefore peculiarly fitting that Christianity should begin to work at
[u]Jerusalem[/u], at the capital of the Jewish nation, the centre of the Old [?theocratic?] power, the place to which the
tribes of Israel made yearly pilgrimages to worship, pilgrimages which continue even to this day, the place
which God had chosen to place his name there, and when his chosen temple stood. And thus it came to
pass that the beginning of gospel ^[blessings] occurred in closest connection with the Old Temple worship, for it is re-
corded of the disciples that after Christs ascension "they returned to Jerusalem and non continually
[u]in the temple[/u] praising and blessing God. And of these three thousand who were baptiszed on the day
of Pentecost it is written that "they continuing daily with one accord [u]in the temple[/u] and [?breaking?]
head from house did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Praising God
and having favor with all the people. And thereon the work spread. Believers were scattered by persecution
and went every where preaching the word, thus fulfilling Christs words "But ye shall receive power after
that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in [u]Jerusalem[/u] and
in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the Earth."
From the foregoing considerations we may see that it was not without good reason that
Christ laid this parting command upon his disciples "[u]Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye
be endured with power from on high[/u]."
Is there not a practical lesson for us to be drawn from the text? Is not all Christian
work to day carried on under the same administration as was that of the Apostles? Do not Christians
now equally need to be endued with power from on high? Are they any better prepared for work without
it than were the Apostles? Have they any better hope of success? [u]Theoretically[/u] these questions are I suppose
easily answered. But [u]practically[/u] do we give as large a place in our thoughts as we ought to; to the
fact that we are laboring under the administration of the Holy Spirit, that as a [u]reality[/u] we ought
to be, [u]must[/u] be under his constant direction and power or our work is worse than useless
we are going [?to?] warfare at our own changes? Do we pray for the power of the Holy Ghost to be given
us, [u]according to the promise[/u], with as earnest and expectant faith as did the disciples after
then went back from Bethany to Jerusalem? Do we sufficiently feel the need of being endued
with this power in order to be ourselves prepared for work? Do we in [u]employing[/u] men to
preach the unsearchable riches of Christ always keep sufficiently in mind the injunction "Lay
hands suddenly on no man?" Is it not just possible that if Christs voice [illegible] heard it
might be saying to some already at work "Tarry ye in the [u]city of Jerusalem[/u] - the place of
preparation and prayer - until ye be endued with power from on high." Christ did not
in human form enter upon his own work until baptized with the Holy Ghost. And, in regard
to thou who hear, do we always [u]practically[/u] feel how absolutely useless is all our work if the
Spirit do not open their hearts to attend to the word that is spoken, and do we pray with sufficient
earnestness for this blessing? ------ Possibly the generation may be asked Have we as much
right to expect the Holy Spirits direction and power now as had the Apostles? I think that
we have. I can hardly believe that the promise of the Holy Ghost was simply for the Apostles and
christians who lived in their day, but is a promise which came to be claimed by christians
in all ages of the Spirits administration. Its fulfillment [u]began[/u] on the day of Pentecost but will
only be [u]completed[/u] when swords shall be beaten to plough shares and spears to [illegible] hooks, when
nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn was any more"
Let us examine the promise of the Father, to which Christ refers, and let us
interpret Scripture by Scripture. The Apostle Peter tells ^[us] where to find the promise and what
it is. It was spoken by the prophet [u]Joel[/u]. "And it shall come to pass in the last days saith God
I will power cut my [u]Spirit[/u] upon [?all?] flesh." "The last days" or "afterward" as it is translated
in Jiel - [u]after[/u] the Old Dispensation should be completed and "in the last days" the days of
the New Dispensation - this would occur - this would be the distinguishing mark of that New
Dispensation. "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" not upon Jews only as in former
times but upon [u]all nations[/u]. The prophet then goes on to give some of the results of the Spirits
work [?viz?] "[u]Your Sons[/u] and your [u]daughters[/u] shall prophesy" there shall be no distinction of [u]sex[/u]
in the bestowment of the blessing - "Four [u]Old[/u] men shall dream dreams, + your [u]young[/u] men
shall see visions" then shall be no distinction [u]of age[/u] - "And upon the [u]servants[/u] and upon
the [u]handmaids[/u] in those days will I pour out my Spirit" there shall [--not--] be ^[no] distinction
made on account of [u]condition[/u]- "And it shall come to pass that [u]whosoever[/u] shall
call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" There is no mention made here of
[u]the power of working miracles[/u], or [u]the gift of tongues[/u]. These were given in the time of
the apostles as [u]incidental[/u] and, so doubt very important aids in the great work of
[u]prophesying[/u] which was to distinguish the [u]New Dispensation[/u] but the point of the
promise was "[u]I will power out my Spirit upon all flesh[/u]" and the great result was to be

"[u]Ye shall prophesy[/u]" To [u]prophesy[/u] does not by any means [u]necessarily[/u] meant to predict
future events, it means just as legitimately to speak [u]for[/u] another and hence is often
used in the Scripture for thou who speak on God's behalf, that is interpret the Scriptures and
make know the truth- The promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, as Peter declares
but we do not read that there was any [u]predicting of events[/u]; there [u]was[/u] however a most
[u]earnest[/u] and [u]powerful preaching of the gospel[/u], and that preaching founded on the Old
Testament Scriptures. I believe the word "[u]prophesy[/u]" in the promise includes both meanings
There have been [u]predictions[/u] in the times of Christianity, inspired by the Holy Ghost, there have
been dreams from the same source, as Peter saw at Joffa, there have been visions
and revelations as [u]Paul[/u] had, and [u]notably[/u] the Apostle [u]John[/u] on the island of Patmos, but
I think we may well suppose that the promise largely refers as on the day of Pentecost,
to the earnest and wide proclamation of the gospel, and that the distinguishing features
of Christianity were predicted to be (1st) The "pouring out of the Spirit upon all flesh"
without distinction of nation, age, condition or sex. (2d) The earnest proclamation of
the gospel even to the ends of the earth. If this interpretation of the promise is a
reasonable one then may we draw the conclusion that christians of today have just as
legitimate a share in this "promise of the Father," made through the prophet Joel, as had
the apostle Peter or the Apostle John -- I find no difficulty in the fact that
the Apostles worked miracles and we do not, for beyond the Spirit of prophecy "there
is no promise here given as to the [u]form[/u] in which the Spirit will manifest
his power. I turn to the 12th Chapter of 1st Corinthians and find it all explained
"Now there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit and there are diversities
of operations but it is the same God which worketh all in all. For to one
is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom to another the word of knowledge by
same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by
the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of Spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of
tongues; [u]But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit dividing [--severally--]
to every man severally as he will."
It would be interesting, if time permitted, to follow the progress of
Christian work as recorded in "The Acts" and see how unqualifiedly its success
was ascribed to the Holy Ghost, how men who accomplished great things were men
who were "full of the Holy Ghost" - [illegible] men were on [u]special[/u] occasions "filled
with the Holy Ghost" to prepare them for important duties, and in general how
much weight was attached, in the case of all, to "receiving the Holy Ghost," and
that not alone as a means of leading them to Christ, but [u]afterwards[/u] as a living
power in their hearts "Have ye received the Holy Ghost [u]since ye believed[/u]"?
"In whom also [u]after that ye believed[/u] ye were [u]seated[/u] with that Holy Spirit of promise,
which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased
possession, unto the praise of his glory." ----- [u]Is the time passed in
which men may be filled with the Holy Ghost[/u]? When we read of the work
of such men as Whitefield, and Wesley, and Spurgeon, and Moody, and otherslike them
I think we must be constrained to say. Surely there are men "full of the Holy Ghost
and of power." If there were more earnest expectant prayer for the blessing
no doubt the number of such men would be multiplied --
What lesson shall we draw from the fact that Christianity began its work
[u]in Jerusalem[/u]? If we are right in suggesting that this was an indication that the New
Dispensation was not a thing disjointed from the Old but rather a development of
essentially the same thing, under somewhat different conditions, then [u]we[/u] must not
now disjoin the New from the Old. In the body of revealed truth that has come down
to us we shall find that the Old Testament Scriptures are the very foundation of
the New and the New Testament Scriptures are the completion and fulfillment
of the Old. They are so linked together that to tear them apart is to destroy them
both. If the New Testament is true the Old must be and if the Old is true then
the New must be. [--They are so linked together that to tear them apart is to de-
stroy them both--] They stand or fall together. Like the two main pillars in some an-
cient houses, they are so built into and sustain God's church that the destruction
of either would be the destruction of the building. But we may rest assuredthat all
the ages will pass away before any [u]unbelieving[/u] Samson will arise who [u]even thought
bowing with all his strength[/u], will be able to pull down either. The Old Testament is
a very good place, at which to begin to preach the New. Its revelations of God's
work in creation, its wonderful descriptions of his majesty and power, its histories
of his dealings with the children of men, its prophecies and its psalms, its revelations
of law as a schoolmaster to bring men to Christ; all these are tried foundation
stones in which the temple of [u]grace[/u] must stand. For what room is there for
[u]forgiveness[/u] unless there is [u]sin[/u], and how can there be either sin or a knowledge
of it unless there is [u]law[/u], and how can there be [u]law[/u] unless there is a
[u]lawgiver[/u] and a lawgiver to whom men feel responsible? and [?where?] in all the
wide range of books is there a better revelation of [u]law[/u]? and [?where?] [--you--] you find men's
responsibility to God more thoroughly taught then in the Old Testament Scriptures those Scrip-
tures from which Christ and his Apostles so often quoted when they preached! I have no
sympathy with any form of teaching that deliberately the Old Testament on the shelf.
Some ten days ago a Chinaman told me this "So situated that I had no opportunity of
hearing the gospel preached I was brought to Christ through reading the Scriptures. I [?obtained?]
a New Testament first. I read the account of Christ's birth and something of his life
and disbelieved it utterly. Afterwards I got the Old Testament and, as I read, it
seemed to be true. I went on examining it, more and more, and I came to
see that if it was true then Christ was a [u]necessity[/u]. I read the New Testament
again. I saw and felt that it too was true. I believed with my whole heart and
rejoiced.---- Let Christians then in doing God's work do it in the way which
he has appointed viz put themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, constantly
pray for and expect his teaching and his power, and made use of the whole revelation
of truth which God has given. Thus may they hope to build upon "the foundation of the
[u]Apostles[/u] and the [u]prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone[/u]" a holy temple
in the Lord - a temple which the fires of burning worlds will not destroy
Preached at Canton [u]Aug 6th[/u] 1882 - Copied for [u]Mother[/u]

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Noyes, Henry Varnum, “Section of Sermon by Henry, August 6, 1882,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed August 15, 2022,

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