Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents
TO HEAVENLY MERCHANTMEN
Sep 4, 1947
"BUY THE TRUTH, AND SELL IT NOT" PROV. 23:23
When describing the pilgrims passing through Vanity Fair, London, Mr. Bunyan says:
"That which did not a little amuse the men was, that these pilgrims set very light by all their wares; they cared not so much as to look upon them; and if they called upon them to buy, they would put their fingers in their ears and cry, 'Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity'; and look upward, signifying that their traffic was in heaven.
"One chanced, mockingly, beholding the carriage of the men, to say unto them, 'What will ye buy?' But they, looking gravely upon him, said, 'We buy the truth.'"
I. THE COMMODITY: "THE TRUTH"
1. Doctrinal truth -- The Gospel.
A. The three R's - ruin, redemption, and regeneration. Doctrines of Grace.
B. A gospel buyer must learn to discriminate, so as to reject:
1. Salvation without Christ as God
2. Pardon without an atoning sacrifice,
3. Life without the new birth,
4. Regeneration without faith,
5. Faith without works,
6. Safety without perseverance in Holiness.
2. Experimental truth.
A. The new birth and the heavenly life are real gems.
B. But a discrimination must be made between these and true religion.
1. Faith without repentance.
2. Talk without feeling.
3. Life without struggles
4. Confidence without examination,
5. Perfection without humility.
II. THE PURCHASE: "BUY THE TRUTH."
1. Correct an error. -- Strictly speaking, truth and grace cannot be either bought or sold. Yet Scripture says -- "Buy wine and milk without money and without price."
2. Expound the word; it is fitly chosen; for in order to be saved we should be ready to buy truth if it were to be bought.
3. Paraphrase the sentence.
A. Buy what is truly the truth.
B. Buy all the truth.
C. Buy only the truth.
D. Buy the truth at any price.
E. Buy now the truth.
4. Give reasons for the purchase.
A. It is in itself most precious.
B. You need it at this moment for a thousand purposes.
C. You will need it in time and in eternity.
5. Direct you to the market.
A. "Buy of Me" saith Christ.
B. The market day is now open, "Come, buy."
III. THE PROHIBITION: "SELL IT NOT."
1. Some sell it for a livelihood; for respectability, for repute of being scientific and thoughtful, to gratify a friend, for the pleasure of sin, for nothing at all except mere wantonness; but you must hold to it as for life itself.
2. Buy it at any price and sell it at no price.
3. You are lost without it. Sell it not!
"It is a legacy which our forefathers have bought with their blood, which should make us willing to lay down anything, and lay out anything, that we may, with the wise merchant in the gospel (Matt 13:45), purchase the precious pearl, which is of more worth than heaven and earth, and which will make a man live happy, die comfortably, and reign eternally" -- Thomas Brooks.
"Now, as I said, the way to the Celestial City lies just through this town where this lusty fair is kept; and he that would go to the city and yet not go through this town, must needs go out of the world. The Prince of Princes Himself, when here, wen through this town to His own country, and that upon a fair-day, too.
"Yea, and as I think, it was Beelzebub, the chief lord of this fair, that invited Him to buy of its vanities; yea, would have made Him lord of the fair, would He but have done him reverence as He went through the town; Yea, because He was such a person of honor, Beelzebub had Him from street to street, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a little time, that he might, if possible, allure that blessed One to cheapen and to buy some of his vanities; but He had no mind to the merchants or the merchandise, and there fore left the town without laying out so much as a cent upon these vanities. This fair, therefore, is an ancient thing, of long standing, and a very great fair." -- Bunyan