Sermon 512. A Precious Drop Of Honey
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, MAY 31, 1863, BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Behold, I ha ve inscribed you upon the palms of My hands." Isaiah 49:16. GOD'S promises are not exhausted by one fulfillment. They are manifold mercies, so that after you have opened one fold andfound out one signification, you may unfurl them still more and find another which shall be equally true, and then another,and another, and another, almost without end. Like the cherubim, God's promises have a face for every quarter of the earth,and like the wheels, they are full of eyes for every trial of the chosen people. The Lord knows how to speak many-handed promises.His words, like the trees of the New Jerusalem, bear twelve manner of fruits, and yield their fruit every month. No doubt the text and the preceding promises all refer to the seed of Abraham. God will not cast them away. He does no moreforget them than does a woman forget her sucking child. They shall return to their own land and accept Messiah, the Princewhom they have so long despised. But the seed of Abraham is the grand type of the Church. And therefore we believe that everyword here, in its widest and most extensive sense, belongs to the elect of God-those who are written in the Lamb's Book ofLife, and for whom Jesus shed His blood. We feel persuaded that the favor which is shelved to the whole body is given to eachmember, and therefore any true Believer who is, through faith, one of the spiritual seed of Abraham, may take the promisesto himself and say, "Thus says the Lord unto my soul. Thus and thus speaks He comfortably concerning me."
I believe, I say, that the text before us belongs primarily to the seed of Israel. Next, to the whole Church as a body. Andthen to every individual member. Understand it so, and may each one of you, even though you are numbered among the littlein Israel, have Divine Grace to draw forth marrow andfatness out of the inexpressibly rich text which today the Spirit of God presents to us.
I intend, first of all, to consider our text verbally, pulling it to pieces word by word. Then next, to consider it as a whole.And then, to incite you by it as a whole, to consider what is the conduct demanded of you by a Truth of God so sweet.
I. First of all, then, my text is one of those remarkable sentences in which EVERY SINGLE WORD DESERVES TO BE EMPHASIZED.We will begin with the first word, "Behold." "Behold, I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands." "Behold," is a wordof wonder. It is intended to excite admiration.Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient signboard, signifying that there are rich wares within,or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritan books, drawing attention to somethingparticularly worthy of observation.
Here, indeed, we have a theme for marveling. Heaven and earth may well be astonished that God should ever inscribe upon Hishands the names of sinners. That rebels should attain so great a nearness to His heart as to be written upon the palms ofHis hands! Well might the angels wonder, and thosebright spirits be lost in amazement, for unto which of the angels said He at any time, "I have inscribed you upon the palmsof My hands"? What cherub ever attained this dignity, or to what seraph was this honor awarded? But to man, who is but a worm.To the son of man who is butdust and ashes. To man who has rebelled, who has lost all claim upon God's favor, and deserves His hottest wrath-to manis this consolation given, "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
Speak of the seven wonders of the world! Why this is a wonder in the seventh heavens! No doubt a part of the wonder whichis concentrated in the word "Behold," is excited by the unbelieving lamentation of the preceding sentence. Zion said, "TheLord has forsaken me, and my God has forgotten me."How amazed the Divine mind seems to be at this wicked unbelief of man! What can be more astounding than the unfounded doubtsand fears of God's favored people? He seems to say, "How can I have forgotten you, when I have inscribed you upon the palmsof My hands? How can it be? Howdare you doubt My constant remembrance, when the memorial is set upon My very flesh?"
Unbelief, how strange a marvel you are! I know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of Hispeople! He keeps His promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him. He never fails. He is never a drywell. He is never as a setting sun, a passingmeteor, or a melting vapor-and yet we are as continually vexed with anxieties, molested with suspicions, and disturbed withfears-as if our God were fickle and untrue. Here follows the great marvel-that God should be faithful to such a faithlesspeople! And thatwhen He is provoked with their doubts, He nevertheless abides true.
Behold! Behold! I say and am ashamed and confounded for all your cruel doubts of your indulgent Lord. I remarked that the"Behold" in our text is intended to attract particular attention. There is something here worthy of being studied. If youshould spend a month over such a text as this, youshould only begin to understand it. It is a gold mine. There are nuggets upon the surface, but there is richer gold forthe man who can dig deep. I can only indicate the veins of gold-it is for you afterwards in your meditations to follow themout.
1 pray you, be very careful with the text-lose not a drop of the wine of consolation contained in its precious crystal-beprayerful and anxious to grind forth from this wheat every atom of its fine flour. Leave no meal to grow stale in this barrel.Drain all the oil from this cruse, forwhere God sets a "Behold," depend upon it, there is a something that is not to be trifled with, nor to be passed over inindifference.
We pass on now to the next word, "Behold, I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands." The Divine Artist, who has beenpleased to engrave His people for a memorial, is none other than God Himself. Here we learn the lesson which Christ afterwardstaught His disciples-"You have not chosenMe, but I have chosen you." No one can write upon the hands of God, but God Himself. Neither our merits, prayers, repentance,nor faith can write our names there, for these in their goodness extend not unto God so as to write upon His hands.
Nor did blind chance or mere necessity of fate inscribe our names. But the living hand of a living Father, unprompted by anythingexcept the spontaneous and Omnipotent love of His own heart, wrote the names of His people upon His own hands. How dependentare we upon God! If my name is in the Lamb'sBook of Life, how ought I to adore the sovereignty of the Divine Grace which placed it there! Had it not been there, I couldnot have inscribed it. Had it not been found in the list, no archangel could, by any possibility, have inserted it-
"What if my name should be left out When You for them shall call?"
It is a black thought to any of us, but when I know that it is not left out, but is written there among the bright spiritschosen of God, and precious, how this should make me leap for joy! "I have inscribed you." Then, again, if the Lord has doneit, there is no mistake about it. If some humanhand had cut the memorial, the hieroglyphs might be at fault. But since perfect Wisdom has combined with perfect Love tomake a memorial of the saints, no error by any possibility can have occurred. There can be no erasures, no crossing out ofwhat God has written, no blotting outof what the Eternal has decreed. Fixed, and fixed forever must be the inscription which is of Divine Authorship.
The powers of darkness cannot erase those everlasting lines. "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands." Soul, thisis enough to overwhelm you with humble adoration that God should so much as take notice of you. When you receive the dailytokens of Divine care, ought you not to exclaim withDavid-"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is manthat You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?" But how is it, Lord, that You can go farther than this,and You Yourself write thenames of these insignificant mortals upon Your own hands?
"I have inscribed you." It is wonderful to see how God comes into immediate contact with His saints, and appears in Personin all His acts of Grace towards them. In other works it is His far-reaching voice, but in the wonders of His Grace it isHis present hand. In the making of worlds, He standsat a distance, and speaks His will. But when He creates saints, and redeems His people, He comes out of His chambers-Herends the heavens and comes down-He reveals Himself as a God near at hand. He stands over His work as the potter over theclay upon the wheel.
It is written that when He made the heavens and the earth, "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shoutedfor joy." But I never hear that God sang. There is nothing in the merely material universe to stir the Infinite heart. Thework is not dear enough to Him, nor so full ofsatisfaction as the grand work of redeeming love. When He saved His people-when He created Israel for Himself, I hear itsaid-"He shall rest in His love. He shall rejoice over you with singing." Oh, matchless verse, in which the Eternal Trinityburst forth into sacredsong! Do you not catch the strain even now. "I have done it. I have come forth Myself out of the secret of My tabernaclewherein I have concealed Myself from the gaze of men, and 'I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands.' "
Take the next word. We have many wells here out of which we may draw water. "Behold, I have inscribed you." Not, "I will,"you see. Nor yet, "I am doing it." It is a thing of the past, and how far back in the past! Oh, the antiquity of this inscription!They take us to the British Museum and showus most reverend writings which are the memorials of those hoary ages-which were the first born of the years beyond theflood. But here is an inscription older than them all. Compared with it, Assyrian antiquities and Egyptian records are thingsof yesterday. Before the youngearth had burst her swaddling bands of mist, yes, before the globe had been begotten, or yonder sun had darted his infantarrows, or yonder stars had opened their eyes, the Eternal had fixed His eyes of love upon His favorites.
Fly back as far as you will, until this present world and all the worlds within the universe sleep in the mind of God, likeunborn forests in an acorn cup, and even then you have not reached the time. Before all time when it was first said- "I haveinscribed you upon the palms of My hands.""From everlasting to everlasting You are God." From everlasting to everlasting You are the same, and Your people's namesare written on Your hands!
Yet, methinks there may be a prophetic reference here to a later writing of the names, when Jesus Christ submitted His outstretchedpalms to those cruel engraving tools, the nails. Then was it surely, when the executioner with the hammer smote the tenderhands of the loving Jesus, that He engravedour names upon the palms of His hands. And today when He points to those wounds, when by faith He permits us to put ourfingers into the prints of the nails, He may still say to us-
"Deep on the palms of both My hands I have engraved Your name."
Well, Christian, do not these deep things comfort you? Have you no consolation in the ancient things of the everlasting mountains?Does not eternal love delight you? God is no stranger to you. He has known you long before you knew yourself-yes, long beforeyou were curiously worked in thelowest parts of the earth-in His book all your members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet therewas none of them. Known unto God from the foundation of the earth were you. He was always thinking of you. There was nevera period when you were not inHis mind and on His heart. "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
But the next word is "inscribed." My dear friend, The Rev. John Anderson, of Helensburgh, whom I am glad to welcome here today,told me this morning that while traveling in the east he has frequently seen persons with portraits of their friends upontheir hands, so that wherever they went, as onein this country would carry the portrait of a friend in a brooch or a watch, they carry these likenesses printed on theirpalms.
I said to him, "Surely they would wash out." They might by degrees, he said, but they frequently had them pricked in withstrong indelible ink, so that there, while the palm lasts, there lasts the memorial of the friend. Surely this is what thetext refers to. I have inscribed you in. I have notmerely printed you, stamped you on the surface, but I have permanently cut you into my hand with marks which never can beremoved. That word "inscribed" sets forth the perpetuity of the inscription. Not on the hand of man but on the hand of Godis it engraved.
Oh, mysterious thought! On that hand immortal and eternal is it dug, engraved in. Our engravers press upon their tools. Theytell us how stern the labor when they cut the hard metal to mark each line, and God has thus engraved-with the whole strengthof Omnipotence He has leaned upon the toolto cut our names into His flesh! Was there not such an engraving at Calvary? Is it not written, "It pleased the Father tobruise Him. He has put Him to grief"? It is as if eternal strength, I say, leaned upon that engraving tool to write the memorialof His chosen people in thehands of Jesus. "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
We need not indulge the dark foreboding that we shall be lost, but we may sing with Hammond-
"If Jesus is ours we have a true Friend, Whose goodness endures the same to the end. Our comforts may vary, our frames maydecline,
We cannot miscarry. Our aid is Divine. The hills may depart and mountains remove, But faithful You are O fountain of love!The Father has inscribed our names on Your hands, Our record, in Heaven, eternally stands."
Shall we stop to take that next word? Scarcely may I preach from it, but you should meditate upon it constantly. "I have inscribedyou upon the palms of My hands." My Lord, do You mean me? Yes, even me, if I, by faith, cling to Your Cross. I am not shutout from Your heart of love, if by faith Ihave entered into Your happy family. I know that You remember me or You would never have helped me to remember You. Glorybe to You, O my gracious Lord."
But I want you, my beloved Brothers and Sisters, to notice that the word runs, "I have inscribed you." It does not say, "Yourname." The name is there, but that is not all-"I have inscribed you." See the fullness of this! I have inscribed your person,your image, your case, yourcircumstances, your sins, your temptations, your weaknesses, your wants, your works. I have inscribed you-everything aboutyou-all that concerns you. I have put you altogether there. It is not an outline sketch, you see. It is a full picture, asthough the man himselfwere there. What? Do you dare dream that God forgets you? Will you ever say again that your God has forsaken you when Hehas engraved you-not your name, I say, but everything that concerns you-upon His own palms?
"Oh," says one, "but I am in such a plight this morning." Well, He has inscribed that there. "Ah," says another, "I am soweak and so feeble!" That, too, is engraved there. "I have inscribed you." The Omniscient God knows you better than you knowyourself-and whereas you are conscious of somesin and some imperfection-He knows that you have an infinitude of sin and a vastness of infirmity. He has put it all there-"Ihave engraved you." I say, again, this is a thing too great to be talked of, but more fit to be read, marked, learned, anddigested in thesilence of your closet.
You have never inscribed yourselves so well upon the tablets of your own knowledge as God has inscribed you upon those blessedtablets-the palms of His hands. Yes, I dare to say it-our indulgent God as much thinks of one saint as if there were no othersaint-and no other createdthing in all the world. Our Covenant God so recollects and cares for His child, that if the whole universe were dissolvedand had departed like a shadow, and our Lord had but one man to fix all His Divine Grace upon, He would not watch him more,nor more carefully and lovingly seeafter his best interests, than He now cares for each one of His people. "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
We have up to now taken every word, but we must now take the next two or three. Remember we are inscribed, where? Upon Hishands, not upon the works of His hands. They shall perish-yes, they shall all wax old as does a garment. But His hands shallendure forever and ever. We are not inscribedupon a seal, for a seal might be slipped from the finger and laid aside. The hand itself can never be separated from theliving God. It is not inscribed or engraved on a huge rock, for a convulsion of nature might rend the rock by an earthquake,or the fretting tooth of time mighteat the inscription out. Our record is on His hands, where it must last, world without end. Not upon the back of His handswhere it might be supposed that in days of strife and warfare the inscription might suffer damage, but there upon the palmsof His hands where it shall be wellprotected, so that even-
"When God's right arm is bared for war, And thunder clouds His stormy cry," even then, when He smites with His fist, His peopleshall be well protected within the palms of His hands.
The most tender part shall be made the place of the inscription, that to which He is most likely to look. That which His fingersof wisdom enclose, that by which He works His mighty wonders shall be the unceasing remembrance, pledging Him never to forgetHis chosen. Do notice, it does not say, "Ihave inscribed you upon the palm of one hand," but "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands." There are two memorials.His saints shall never be forgotten, for the inscription is put there upon the palm of this hand, the right hand of blessing,and upon the palm of thathand, the left hand ofjustice. I see Him with His right hand beckon me-"Come you blessed," and He sees me in His hand.
And on that side He says, "Depart you cursed," but not to me, for He sees me in His hand, and cannot curse me. Oh, my Soul,how charming this is, to know that His left hand is under your head, while His right hand does embrace you. Both hands aremarked with the memorial-this left hand, whichis the hand of cursing, cannot curse me, for it is under my head. It cannot smite, for it has become my strength and mystay, my pillow and my rest. While His right hand does embrace me, to keep me safe from death, and Hell-and to preserve meand bring me to His eternalkingdom in Glory.
Now I am conscious that I cannot work out the beauty of this passage. I am equally conscious that you cannot either, unlessyou have much longer time for meditation than such a short service as this can afford you. Take it home and look at it againand again, especially laying an emphasis on theword "you." And oh, if you can render it-"He has inscribed me, me, me, upon the palms of His hands." If your soul can knowthat God has you daily in remembrance, and neither can, nor will, forget you, then you will dance before the Ark of the Lord.And if Michal mocks, you mayanswer her as David did-"The God that chose me, made me to dance." Eternal Election and Indissoluble Union are truths whichmake Believers rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous, and shoutfor joy all you that areupright in heart."
II. Now let us proceed to the second part of the subject, which is to CONSIDER THE TEXT AS A WHOLE. "I have inscribed youupon the palms of My hands." This seems to show us, first of all, that God's remembrance of His people is constant. The hands,of course, are constantly in union with the body.In Solomon's Song we read, "Set me as a seal upon Your hands." Now this is a very close form of remembrance, for the sealis very seldom laid aside by the Eastern, who not being possessed with skill in the art of writing his name, requires hisseal in order to affix his signature toa document. Therefore the seal is almost always worn, and in some cases is never laid aside.
A seal, however, might be laid aside, but the hands never could be. It has been a custom, in the olden days especially, whenmen wished to remember a thing, to tie a cord about the hand, or a thread around the finger by which memory would be assisted.But then the cord might be snapped or takenaway, and so the matter forgotten. But the hand and that which is printed into it must be constant and perpetual. O Christian,remember that by night and by day God is always thinking of you. From the beginning of the year even to the end of the year,the Lord's eyes are upon you,according to His precious Word-"I, the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it. I will keep it nightand day."
Your remembrance of God is intermittent. You thought of Him this morning when you rose from your beds. You are trying to thinkof Him now, and this evening, again, your thoughts will go up to Him. These are only times and seasons of remembrance, butGod never ceases to recollect you. The finitemind of man cannot constantly be occupied, if it is to engage in other pursuits, with any one thought. But the giganticmind of God can think of a million trains of thought at once. He is not confined to thinking of one thing, or working outone problem at a time. He is the greatmany-handed, many-eyed God. He does all things, and meditates upon all things, and works all things at the same time-thereforeHe never is called away by any urgent business so that He can forget you.
No second person ever comes in to become a rival in His affection towards you. You are fast united to your great Husband,Christ, and no other lover can steal His heart. But Jesus, having chosen you, does never allow a rival to come. You are Hisbeloved, His spouse, the darling of His heart, and Hehas Himself said, "My eyes and my heart are toward you continually." Every moment of every day, every day of every month,and every month of every year, is the Lord continually thinking upon you, if you are one of His.
Still further, the text as a whole seems to show us that this recollection on God's part is practical. We are engraved uponHis heart-this is to show His love. We are put upon His shoulders-this is to show that His strength is engaged for us. Andalso upon His hands, to show that theactivity of our Lord will not be separated from us. He will work and show Himself strong for His people. He brings His Omnipotenthands to effect our redemption. What would be the use of having a friend who would think of us, and then let his love endin thought? The faithfulness wewant is that of one who will act in our defense. We need one who so cares for us that against every arrow of the adversaryHe will lift up the shield. And for every want will find a supply. We want an active sympathy from God. Surely this is theintention of the text. "I haveinscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
He has done all He has done as if everything that He touched left a memorial of His people on it-as if every work He did,He did it with the same hands that carved the remembrance of His people. Do you see the drift of it? If He molds a world betweenHis palms and then sends it wheeling inits orbit-it is between those palms which are stamped with the likeness of His sons and daughters-and so that new work shallminister to their good. If He divides a nation, it is always with the hand that bears the remembrance of Zion. Scripture itselftells us this,"When He divided the nations, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel."
The great wheel of Providence, when God makes it revolve, works for the good of the people whom He has called according toHis purpose. There are many strings, but they are all in one hand, and they all pull one way-to draw a weight of glory tothe chosen. There are many wheels andinnumerable cogs, and as you and I look about us, we cannot understand the machinery. We cry, "O wheels, what do you work?"But the end, the end, if you stood there and saw the end of everything, you would see that God has stamped all the wheelswith the memory of His children, sothat the result is always good and only good to those whom He has inscribed on the palms of His hands. It is, then, a practicalas well as a constant sympathy.
Next, dear Friends, and to the children of God this will be a delightful thought, this is an eternal remembrance. You cannotsuppose it possible that any person can erase what is written on God's hands. The Scriptures tell us that we are in the handsof Christ, and that none shall pluck us out.Some Arminians say we can slip out. But how can we slip out if we are engraved there? We may well defy all the devils inHell, with all their craft, even to forge a plan by which they can get at the palms of God's hands. I cannot think of a thingthat should seem more impossible,more tremendously impossible, than that any creature-whether it be life or death, things present or things to come-shouldever be able to reach the palms of God's hands, so as to erase our names. Our hymn is not wrong when it says-
"Once in Christ, in Christ forever, Nothing from His love can sever." And Toplady made no mistake when he said- "My name from the palms of His hands Eternity will not erase. Impressed on His heart it remains In marks of indelible Grace- Yes, I to the end shall endure, As sure as the earnest is given. More happy, but not more secure, The glorified spirits in Heaven." "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
Still I have not drained my text dry. Let the treader of the winepress tread the grapes once more, and more holy wine shallflow there from this memorial-how tender! How tender, I say, because it is inscribed on the hands. We have heard of one, aneastern queen, who so loved her husband thatshe thought even to build a mausoleum to his memory was not enough. She had a strange way of proving her affection, forwhen her husband's bones were burned she took the ashes and drank them day by day, that, as she said, her body might be herhusband's living sepulcher.
It was a strange way of showing love and there was a marvelous degree of strange, fanatical fondness in it. But what shallI say of this Divine, celestial, unobjectionable, sympathetic mode of showing remembrance by cutting it into the palms? Wordsfail to express our intense content with this mostadmirable sign of tenderness and fond affection. It appears to me as though the King had said, "Shall I carve my peopleupon precious stones? Shall I choose the ruby, the emerald, the topaz? No. For these all must melt in the last general conflagration.What then? Shall I write ontablets of gold or silver? No, for all these may canker and corrupt, and thieves may break through and steal.
"Shall I cut the memorial deep on brass? No, for time would fret it, and the letters would not long be legible. I will writeon Myself, on My own hands, and then My people will know how tender I am, that I would sooner cut into My own flesh than forgetthem. I will have my Son branded in the handswith the names of His people, that they may be sure He cannot forsake them. Hard by the memorial of His wounds shall bethe memorial of His love to them, for, indeed, His wounds are an everlasting remembrance." How loving, then, how full of superlative,super-excellent affection isGod toward you, and toward me in so recording our names.
Weary not when I yet further remark, that this memorial is most surprising. Scripture, which is full of wonders, yet allowsa "Behold" to be put before this verse-"Behold!" If the things I have been saying are enough to make you won-der-the deepsea of the text, without bottom andwithout shore-would much more cause you to hold up your hands in astonishment. Child of God, let your cheerful eyes, andyour joyful heart testify how great a wonder it is that you, once so vile, so hard of heart, so far estranged from God, arethis day written on the palms ofHis hands. And then I close this point by saying it is also most consolatory. When God would meet Zion's great doubt-"Godhas forgotten me," He cheers her with this-"I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."
Where are you this morning, Mourner-where are you? Ah, you may well hide your head for shame. You said yesterday, when trialafter trial came -
"My God has quite forgotten me; My Lord will be gracious no more." Here is God's answer to you this morning-"It cannot be.I cannot forget you, for I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands."-
"Forget you, I will not, I cannot, your name Engraved on My heart does forever remain; The palms of My hands while I lookon, I see The wounds I received when suffering for you." There is no sorrow to which our text is not an antidote. If you area child of God, though your troubles have been asinnumerable as the waves of the sea, this text, like the channels of the ocean, can contain them all. I care not this morningthough you have lost everything, though you came here a penniless bankrupt beggar-so long as you have this text you are richbeyond a miser's dream!
You may have forgotten your own mercy. Your own experience may seem a dream to you. The devil may tell you that you neverknew the Lord. Your own sins may bear evidence in the same way-but if you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Covenantmade with David's Lord must not, and cannot,be broken. "I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands." Come, drooping Saint, lift up your head! You dreary, downcastBrother, be of good cheer! If Christ remembers you, what more can you want? The dying thief's extremity could not suggesta prayer larger than, "Lord, rememberme!"-and your greatest sorrow cannot ask for a more complete assuagement than this-"Lord, show me that You have inscribedme upon the palms of Your hands."
III. And now we come to the last point, upon which only a hint. I said the last point would be to EXCITE YOU TO THE DUTY WHICHSUCH A TEXT SUGGESTS.
Beloved in our Lord Jesus Christ, if you are partakers of this inestimably precious text, let me say, first of all, is itnot your duty to leave your cares behind you today? We do not want any valuables left behind in the Chapel, but these carescan be swept out tomorrow morning when the womenclear away the rubbish-and I am sure the dustbin never contained viler stuff. Leave them here today. What are you frettingabout? Is not a Christian inconsistent when he is full of carking care? Should not the fact that God always graciously andtenderly remembers you, compelyou once and for all to leave your burden with Him who cares for you?-
"The Lord our Leader goes before, Sufficient He and none besides. And were the dangers many more, We need not fear with such a Guide. Through snares, through dangers and through foes He leads, whose arm almighty is- What, then, if earth and Hell oppose? We need not fear if we are His."
Then, if you must not have cares, I think you should not have those deep sorrows and despairs. Lift up your head! Jehovahremembers you, Man! The billows cannot drown him whom the Lord of Hosts ordains to bring to shore. Be glad in your God, andHis perfect love. Do you not think that joy becomes a man to whom such a text as this belongs? Wipe your brow. It is true,the sweat stands on it, but your greatest labor is done-Christ has finished it for you. There need, at least, be no sweatof trepidation and alarm upon your face. He cannot forget you. You have what angels envy. You have what poor mourning soulswould give their eyes to win-what troubled consciences would give their blood to buy.
Be glad! Why should the children of such a King go mourning any one of their days? Now lift up your heads and bathe them inthe sunlight of God. Take the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I am certainthat the man who wears such a gold chain about his neck need not bear the rags of penury. The man who wears such a diamondcoronet as this upon his brow ought not to behave like a poor beggar in the streets. Go not clothed in rags of mourning, butput on the scarlet and fine linen of thanksgiving-since God gives you this consolation-"I have inscribed you upon the palmsof My hands."
One thing more and that is, if this text is not yours, how your mouths ought to water after it. It is wrong to covet, butnot to covet such a thing as this. "Covet earnestly the best gifts." Is there a soul here who says, "O that I had a part andlot in this matter! Would God that I were saved,that I were written in the palms of Jesus' hands"? Poor Soul, if you desire Christ, He desires you. If you have a sparkof love to Him, His soul is like a fiery furnace of love toward you-and you may have His pardoning love shed abroad this morning.
"How?" you ask. "Whoever believes on Him shall never perish." To believe is to trust, and if you trust confidently, simply-justas a child trusts to its mother's arms-you shall find that He will never fail your trust nor prove untrue to your confidence.May God bring you to knowyourself, and to know the sweetness of this blessed, blessed text, which overwhelms and destroys all power of speech inme, and makes me feel the poverty of my thoughts and language.
God bless you, for Jesus' sake. Amen. Amen.