Sermon 902. Safe Shelter

A sermon

(No. 902)

Delivered by


At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

"He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings shall you trust."- Psalm 91:4.

WHAT condescending words! I cannot express the sense I feel of the great loving kindness of the Lord to us in using such asimile to set forth His protecting care of His people. Had any poet suggested the metaphor, we might have recoiled from itas unseemly, or rejected it as profane. It really is so familiar and so homely that unless God Himself had spoken it by themouth of His Holy Spirit, we might have accounted it impertinent for any human being to have used the comparison. The Lordhere compares Himself to a hen covering her brood-and He speaks not only of the wings, which give shelter, but He enters intodetail and speaks of the feathers which give warmth and comfort and repose. "He shall cover you with His feathers and underHis wings shall you trust."

Using thus the maternal instinct as an emblem of His own parental tenderness, God compares Himself to the mother bird whichfosters, cherishes and protects her little ones. You have stood, sometimes, in the farmyard and there you have noticed thelittle chicks as they cowered down under the hen. She has given some note of warning that betokened danger-perhaps your verypresence discomposed her and made her betray some little fluttering of fear. She called her little ones by her peculiar cry.They came to her and then, stooping down and spreading out her wings, she covered them and they were safe.

You would have noticed that after they were safely nestled there, the warmth of her feathers made them seem peculiarly happyand at ease. You could hear them clucking to one another and playfully pushing one another sometimes out of their places,but evidently cheerful, contented and peaceful. It was something more than the protection which a soldier would give to acomrade-it was the protection of a mother of her young. There was love in it. There was homeliness, relationship, kindliness,heart-working in it all. It was not merely the relief that might supply a little cold comfort, but the breast feathers camedown upon the little ones and there they rested cozily and comfortably, serene and unmolested.

Well now, that is precisely the idea that the text teaches. So, at least, I understand it. So, evidently, Dr. Watts thought,when he wrote the well-known paraphrase-

"Just as a hen protects her brood, From birds of prey that seek their blood, Under her feathers, so the Lord Makes His ownarm His people's guard." There is even more fullness of meaning than the doctor has compassed. Not only is protection fromdanger vouchsafed, but a sense of comfort and happiness is communicated, making the child of God feel that he is at home underthe shadow of the Almighty. He feels he has all the comforts that he can need when he has once come to cower down under ablessed sense of the Divine Presence and to feel the warm flowing out of the very heart of God, as He reveals Himself in themost tender relationship towards His weak and needy servants.

Carrying this picture in your mind's eye, may it often cheer and encourage you. Though I have nothing new, no bewitching noveltyto introduce to you, I want to bring this old, old Truth of God vividly before your minds, to examine it in detail and pressit home to your souls.

I. Let our starting-point be a question-a question of paramount interest-WHEN MAY THIS TEXT BE RELIED UPON BY A BELIEVER?"He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust." Well, it may be relied upon in cases of extremeperil. I do not doubt that servants of God, in times of danger at sea, when the huge billows have roared and the tempest hasraged and the vessel seemed likely to go to pieces, have often cheered their hearts

with such a thought as this. "Now, He that holds the waters in the hollow of His hand will take care of us, and cover us withHis feathers and under His wings may we trust."

Perhaps at this very moment, down in some cabin, or amidst the noise and tumult and the raging of the ocean, when many arealarmed, there are Christians with calm faces, patiently waiting their Father's will, whether it shall be to reach the portof Heaven, or to be spared to come again to land into the midst of life's trials and struggles once more. They feel that theyare well-cared for. They know that the storm has a bit in its mouth and that God holds it in and nothing can hurt them-nothingcan happen to them but what God permits. On the dry land, too, the same blessed text has often comforted the Lord's people.Some are particularly timid in times of storm when the thunder comes, peal after peal and the lightning flashes follow eachother-when it seems as if the very earth did tremble and the skies fled away from the glance of an angry God.

Oh, how it calms the anxious heart, stills the foreboding fears, and makes the heart tranquil to feel that He covers us withHis feathers and that under His wings we may trust! I always feel ashamed to stay indoors when peals of thunder shake thesolid earth and lightning flashes like arrows from the sky. Then God is abroad and I love to walk out in the open space andto look up and mark the opening gates of Heaven as the lightning reveals far beyond and enables you to look into the unseen.I like to hear my heavenly Father's voice, but I do not think we could ever come to a state of peace in such times as thoseif we did not feel that He was near-that He was our Friend-that He would not hurt the children of His own love. It would becontrary to His own Nature and altogether apart from the kindness of His Character, as well as the constancy of His Covenantengagements, that He should suffer anything to touch His people that could do them real ill.

Nor is it only from violent commotions in the physical world that you are liable to suffer shocks. Many of you have knowntimes of disruption in the mercantile world which have been the occasion of frightful horror. The wheels of trade have runoff the tramline through some violent collision of opposing interests. Or on a larger scale the whole system of commerce mayappear to have collapsed as with an earthquake. Great houses, whose very names were the bulwarks of credit, have suddenlytottered and fell. While curious eves have looked on with marvel, many have been the humble people struggling hard for a barelivelihood who were involved in loss and disaster which paralyzed all their efforts. Though panic has prevailed on every side,has it not been sweet, passing sweet, to find succor under the wings of the Almighty and hear His voice saying to you, "Trustin the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the land and verily you shall be fed"?

I know that such calamities are heavy and hard to bear. Were it not so we should never have been furnished with such strongconsolation. When the foundations of enterprise are slackened and gigantic schemes burst like a bubble. When the mill is atrest and looks like the hulk of a disabled vessel. When the workshops are closed and the artisans, skilled to labor, seeka pauper's pittance at the gates of the union-or when the affliction falls upon the fields and the folds, a blight destroyingthe crops and disease cutting down the oxen-these are the sorrows of the world, and chosen men of old have trusted in Godnor found Him to fail in straits like these. So said one, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit bein the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the foldand there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

Yet more, Brothers and Sisters-who among you need be reminded of the fears that seize the breast when pestilence is spreadingthrough the land and rumors that it has approached your own doors have reached your ears? Neighbors or kinsfolk are struckdown without warning. With anxious looks and eager enquiries you listen for tidings that are well near death to hear. Haveyou ever counted the watches of the night, dreading every sound and pondering every sensation as if it were an ominous omen?What about when the cholera has been raging, or the fever has been making havoc-when science has been baffled to find outthe cause or cure of some insidious disease that walks in darkness and wastes at noonday? And when those who were prone tojeer at religion and laugh at prayer have uttered pious ejaculations and said, "This is no doubt a visitation of God"-do Ineed to remind you?

Well, at such times has it not been good for you to seek the cover of His wings and rely on the gracious promise, "Becauseyou have made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, there shall no evil befall you, neither shallany plague come near your dwelling"? In all times of public calamity, in any season of domestic grief and on every occasionof personal danger, I beseech you, do not cast away your confidence which has great recompense and

reward-for if your faith will not bear up under such trials as these, what is it good for? What anchorage is there for yoursoul? If you cannot bear these little alarms, how will you do in the swellings of Jordan, when grim Death appears in view?And amidst the terrors of the world to come, when the very pillars of the universe shall reel and all things shall pass away-howwill you be able to stand calmly and serenely if these things move you?

No, Beloved, let the weakest of you play the man and as you have believed in your God, be ashamed of cowardly fear! Be asEzra was when having once made a resolve, he resolved to abide by it at all hazard. "The hand of our God is upon all themfor good that seek Him and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him." Pluck up courage and say within yourselves, "Nowwill I prove that promise true, 'He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust.' But texts of Scripturelike this are not made to be hung up on a nail and only taken down now and then in stress of weather! Blessed be God, thepromise before us is available for sunny days, too-yes, for every hour of this mortal life. When you leave your house tomorrowmorning, you will little know what peril may befall you during the day. "At least," said an old Divine, who was accustomedto spend the most part of his time in his study-"at least the studious man is safe from the accidents which shorten the livesof others."

So he vainly thought. The very day after he had used the expression, a chimney stack fell through his study and had he happenedto have been sitting where he customarily did, he must have been crushed to pieces! There are dangers everywhere and the guardiancare of God can never be safely dispensed with. If we walk aright, we shall never venture upon a single day without firstseeking Divine protection. How many who have escaped out of terrible storms have, nevertheless, died in a calm? Where somehave passed through battles without a scar, they have afterwards been killed by an accident so slight that they would utterlyhave despised a precaution to avoid it. You always need Divine protection and, Believer in Christ, you shall always have it,for, "He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust." This is for you tonight when you strip offyour garments and lay your weary frame upon your bed. Then you may say, "Now, Lord, cover me with Your feathers." And it isfor you tomorrow, when you are going out to your daily labor, not knowing what may befall you, you can use the same petition,"This day, O God, grant that under Your wings I may trust."

When-shall I ask again-may this promise be relied upon? Well, Beloved, it may be particularly relied upon in times of temptation.Earnest Christian men are not so much afraid of trials as of temptations. If you could extract the tempting element from ourafflictions you would have rendered the gall devoid of at least half its bitterness. To suffer is little, but to be provokedto sin-this is the great cause of fear. "Give me neither poverty nor riches," said the wise man. But why? It was not becausepoverty would be inconvenient, but lest he should sin through poverty. "Give me not riches," he said-not because riches mightnot be desirable, but lest he should sin through the deceitfulness of wealth. The great horror of a Christian is sin. Findhim a place on earth where he could live without sin and there he would fix his residence, not asking you whether it werea dungeon or a palace!

If there were a place where my temper could never be ruffled. A place where I could never be agitated into pride or be silencedinto cowardice. If I could find a spot where sloth would never molest me, or where earthly passions would never rise up formy casting down, thrice happy would I be to borrow the wings of a dove and fly there at once! As your temptations are justthe things which you dread, it behooves you to pray, "Lead us not into temptation," but remember, if the Providence of Godshould at any other time constrain you to go where you are tempted and must be tempted, you may then fall back upon this graciousWord of God-"He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust."

I have noticed that young people who are often exposed to severe temptations are very generally preserved from falling intosin. But I have noticed that others, both old and young, whose temptations were not remarkably severe, have been generallythose who have been the first to fall. In fact, it is a lamentable thing to have to say, but lamentably true it is, that atthe period of life when you would reckon, from the failure of the passions, the temptation would be less vigorous, that veryperiod is marked more than any other by the most solemn transgressions among God's people. I think I have heard that manyhorses fall at the bottom of a hill because the driver thinks the danger past, and the need to hold the reins with a firmgrip less pressing as they are just about to renew their progress and begin to ascend again.

So it is often with us-when we are not tempted through imminent danger we are the more tempted through slothful ease. I thinkit was Ralph Erskine who said, "There is no devil so bad as no devil." The worst temptation that

ever overtakes us, is, in some respects, preferable to our being left alone altogether without any sense of caution or stimulusto watch and pray. Be always on your watchtower and you shall always be secure.

In anticipating the temptations of next week-you working men who labor side-by-side with skeptics. You young women livingin graceless families. You merchants who have to go among others whose mode of conducting trade is not clean. (You each andall know the temptations common to your own lot in the busy commonwealth). Resolve in the strength of God that you will walkuprightly and that as Christians you will not soil your garments. And then you may come to your heavenly Father for His protectionand say to Him, "My God, I am more afraid of sin than I am of lightning, or of fire, or of the murderer's dagger. Keep meday by day from sin. Defend me from evil. 'Cover me with Your feathers, for under Your wings will I trust.'"

So, again, this text may be very blessedly applied to our souls and I hope it will be, in times of expected trials. I do notknow that it is right for us to anticipate trials at all. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." We ought never tosit down and begin fretting ourselves about what may happen, because the ill we dread may never come to pass. Many a trueservant of God has said to himself-"What shall I do when I get old? I am just able, now, to pick up a living, but what shallI do when these withered limbs can no longer earn my daily bread?" Do? Why, you will have the same Father, then, as you havenow to succor you and you will have the same Providence then as now to supply your needs! You thank God for your daily bread,now, and you shall have your daily bread then, for He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust!

Some of God's servants who have been thus afraid have had no cause of complaint, for their latter days have been blessed.They have been placed in comfortable circumstances and they have had to wonder at the liberal hand which furnished their tableand to chide the unbelief of their own fretful spirits. Others of them have been taken away from the ills they forecast andconveyed to Heaven long before they had reached anything like the period of bodily infirmity or mental imbecility they dreaded.So with you, dear Friends. God will take care of you. Only rest on Him.

It is bad to make troubles. I always say of home-made troubles, that they are very like home-made clothes-they never fit welland they are generally a long while before they are worn out. You had better take the troubles God sends you-they are moresuitable for you! You will be able to carry them, and you will be able to get over them by His Grace. Do not begin to thinkof what you will do in the year, 1899. Why, Jesus Christ may come before then, or you may be absent from the body and presentwith Him before then! But, if you are of such a nervous temper that you cannot help sometimes anticipating, or if you areso speculatively disposed that you will carry your almanacs with you and chronicle black days in the coming years, then justmake a note of this in the margin-"He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust."

Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may, it cannot bring us anything but what God shall bear us through. So letit come and let it go. The Lord's name be praised! We shall bless His name in it and after it and why not before it? Thereis another hour in which this text will be particularly consoling to us, and that is the hour of death. Ah, we may sing whatwe will and say what we will, but dying is no child's play. Thank God it is going Home! We know that it is not death in somerespects. It is but a change in our mode of life. Absent from the body we are present with the Lord! But still, we cannotthink of that death dew which will lie cold on our brow, the failing voice and the glazing eye, without some natural shrugs.When we would gladly go forth to meet it, we shrink back again to life-"Fond of our prison and our clay." But what shall wedo when we come to die, when the physician can no longer help us and the beating of the pulse waxes faint and few? Why, then,"He shall cover us with His feathers and under His wings shall we


Oh, it will be so blessed to go cowering down right under the shadow of the Almighty, hiding ourselves as the little chickensdo in the hen's feathers-losing our own individuality in the realization of our union to Christ-finding that it is not deathto die, but coming nearer to God in very deed, in blissful experience, nearer than ever we were before! Looking forward intothat unknown future, across the shoreless sea and listening to the billows as we hear them sounding in the dark, we thankGod that they are not billows of fire to us-that they are not waves of everlasting wrath, but that they are waves of eternalbliss!

But, be they what they may, whatever there may be in the future, whatever may be meant by the millennium and the burning ofthe earth, and the wreck of nature-whatever may be meant by vials and trumpets and by all besides in the

arena of prophecy, "He shall cover us with His feathers and under His wings shall we trust." And amidst the wreck of matterand the crash of worlds, safe, safe, safe and near our God and blessed eternally shall we be! Beloved, in such an hour maysuch an oracle as this come rolling sweetly into your souls to cheer and comfort you!

II. Having thus answered a first question and told you when this promise may be relied upon, let us proceed to

answer another question-HOW MAY WE EXPECT THE TEXT TO BE FULFILLED? It may possibly be verified to

us by our being preserved altogether from the danger which we dread. God has often, as predicted in the present Psalm, intimes of pestilence and famine and war, preserved His people by remarkable Providences. Especially has this been the casein the experience of those of His people who have been lively in their faith and careful to follow His instructions. Now,if there is one instruction that Jesus Christ has plainly given to a Christian, it is this-"I say unto you, resist not evil."

Our Brethren of the Society of Friends have been admirably firm and consistent in their declaration that they have no rightto bear arms. In the times of the massacre in Ireland, when Protestants took a town, they generally cut the throats of theCatholics. And when Roman Catholics took a town, they always returned the compliment by killing the Protestants, but the cryalways was-"Spare the Quakers! Spare the Quakers!" They had hurt no one-they had taken up no arms. Strange to tell, throughthat long and bitter warfare only three Quakers died and those three had fled from their homes to find a refuge in a neighboringcastle with the troops. Of course they rested on an arm of flesh and it failed them.

When the British bolts were flying through Copenhagen, fast and furious, and the Danish town seemed given over to destructionby Nelson's terrific bombardment, there was one house upon which not a shot or shell ever fell. Nelson and the British knewnothing of that house, of course, but there it stood, as safely as old Rahab's house when the walls of Jericho fell down.It was the house of a Quaker, who, when an order was given for all to defend their houses in a particular way, said he hadnothing to do with fighting. The man rested in God and God's protection was wonderfully spread over him. In the literatureof the Society of Friends, there is a large number of anecdotes showing how God has especially marked out times of peril forpreserving those men who scrupulously refused to defend themselves and rested on the promise of their faithful God.

We all know how singularly the Lord has shielded those who trusted in Him in the times of pestilence. That old house, stillstanding in the High Street at Chester, is a lasting proof of the power of faith, with its old letters cut in the black wood,"God's Providence is my inheritance." When everybody else was flying out of Chester into the country, the man who lived inthat house just wrote that inscription up over the door and stayed in the town, depending on God that he should be preserved.And none in his house fell a victim to that black death which was slaying its thousands on all sides. Strong faith has alwaysa particular immunity in times of trouble. When a man has really, under a sense of duty- under a conscientious conviction-restedalone in God, he has been enabled to walk where the thickest dangers were flying, all unharmed. He has put his foot upon theadder and the young lion and the dragon has he trampled under his feet. Having confidence in God, God has verified and vindicatedHis promise and the child of God that could so trust has never been put to confusion.

There are some dangers from which the Providence of God does not preserve the Lord's people, but still He covers them withHis feathers in another sense, by giving them Divine Grace to bear up under their trouble. It little matters, you know, whethera man has no burden and no strength, or a heavy burden and great strength. Probably of the two, if it were put to the mostof us, we should prefer to have the burden and the strength. I know I should. Now there is generally this for you-that ifyou have little trouble, you will have little faith-but if you have great faith, you must expect to have great trouble. Amanly spirit would choose to take the trouble and take the faith, too. Well, then, God will give you this cover with His feathers-thoughyou have to carry the load you shall have strength enough to carry it. You shall find, as a dear saint once said, the sweetestthing next to Christ in all the world was Christ's Cross. And that to carry Christ's Cross was the next best thing to beholdingHis Glory. You shall find your afflictions become your mercies and your trials become your comforts. You shall glory in tribulationand find light in the midst of gloom and have joy unspeakable in the season of your sorrow. Thus God covers us as with Hisfeathers.

In yet another way does God set seal to this record when by His Grace, having sustained His servants in their trouble He bringsthem out of it greatly enriched. Oh, it is a great blessing to be put through the fire if you come out purified! It is a sweetmercy to have to go through the floods if some filthiness may be removed! The children of Israel went down to

Egypt to sojourn there, but after hard servitude and cruel oppression they came up out of it with silver and gold, much enrichedby their bondage. Did you ever notice that memorable passage in which the Lord has borne witness to His gracious heed forthem before He brought about their deliverance? "God heard their groaning and God remembered His Covenant with Abraham, withIsaac and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel and God had respect unto them."

Comment is needless. In the season of their direst grief God was All in All to them. And you, child of God, shall lose nothingby your losses-you shall be a gainer by them, a greater gainer than others by their gains-for all your losses and troublesshall not touch your immortal part! As bars of iron make not a prison or a cage to a free soul, so afflictions that are merelytemporal and bodily shall not hamper or lessen the joy of an immortal spirit. No, we shall mount above the billows of ourgriefs and sing as we lift our heads above the spray! We shall rise above the clouds of our present afflictions and look downupon them as they float beneath our feet, rejoicing that the Lord has borne us, as upon wings, above them all, to bring usto Himself!

So you see, either by keeping us out of trouble, by helping us to bear it, or by bringing us through it with great gain toourselves, "He shall cover us with His feathers and under His wings shall we trust."

III. A third enquiry suggests itself to me, in responding to which I shall be very brief-WHY MAY WE BE QUITE SURE THAT ITSHALL BE SO? You may find a strong ground of personal assurance in the fact that faith enlists the sympathy of God. Faithseems to me to enlist everybody's sympathy. There is a blind man going along and he wants to get across the street. He putsperfect confidence in you, though he cannot see you and does not know you. He feels sure that you will lead him across. Now,I know you will.

If there were a little child that had lost its way and it came running up to you, a big, tall man, and said, "O, Sir, I donot know my way home, nor where I came from, but I feel quite sure you will take care of me till I have found my mother."Well, you would not, any one of you, turn round and spurn him away-you would feel as if you were firmly held with chains aroundyou. Now, it is a point with God that He always will be as good as you think Him to be, yes, and a great deal better! Andif you but think that He will be a gracious and merciful God to you and so rely on Him as His child, it is not in the heartof God to turn away from a humble faith that dares to lay hold upon Him. Try it, dear Friends, and you will prove it true.

And you may be quite sure that He will cover you with His feathers, because we have hundreds of promises to that effect. Thereis not time to quote them all, but there is one like this, "He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you." And hereis another, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: whenyou walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you." And then there is this, "Fearyou not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God! I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will upholdyou with the right hand of My righteousness." "Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be you confounded." There arehundreds of promises like these, and will He break them? You keep your promise to your child and will not God keep His promiseto you? O rest in Him, then! He shall cover us with His feathers, for His own Word declares it!

Moreover, you are His child and what will not a father do for His own dear child? Were one a stranger you might take littleheed though he were in trouble, in danger, or in deep distress-but your child, your own child-oh, you cannot rest while hesuffers! How agitated we are when our little ones are sick. How we get the best advice for them. When they are in pain howwillingly would we take their pain if we could relieve them and spare those cries that seem to pierce our heart as well asour ears! If anybody hurts them, why the most placid of us find our temper soon roused. "And shall not God avenge His ownelect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily."

Though He bears long with their adversaries, yet will He come to the help of His own beloved ones, for He is fatherly in allthe sensitiveness of His heart, as well as in all the judiciousness of His chastisements. He will protect His own. Rememberthere is one point of which God is always jealous, that is His own honor. There is no verse of any hymn we ever sing moreScriptural than that one we were singing just now-

"His honor is engaged to save

The meanest of His sheep.

All that His heavenly Father ga ve His hands securely keep."

Christ must convey even the smallest boat safe into the port of Paradise. He must not suffer one of these little ones to perish,for such is not the will of our Father who is in Heaven. Come then, you tremblers, you doubters, you little ones, you thatthink you cannot have a part in the promise! Come now, come nestle down under those great wings which seem so close to you!The wings that are lined with the feathers of the Eternal will be strong wings, as though they were bars of iron through whichno storms of trouble can ever beat-through which the enemy, though he comes from Hell itself- shall not be able to drive hisdarts. Come to the strong wings yet so softly feathered, so tenderly lined with loving kindness and affection that the weakestand most trembling may find comfort there!

And now, dear Friends, although I have not said anything new, yet I know that this is full of comfort to God's people. Itmust be so! At least, if I am one of them, I know it is, for it has often greatly cheered and gladdened me in the times ofdarkness and despondency, (and I have plenty of such times), to feel that I could abide under the wings of my God and allwas well and all was safe. But what must it be to be without God? Blessed be His name, we do not mean to try it, but whatmust it be? "Sam," said a man once to his Negro, "would you give up your religion and be made a king, or would you keep yourJesus Christ and be flogged to death?" "Oh, Massa," said he, "give me Jesus Christ and flog me to death 20 times if you will!I could never give Him up! He is my joy and my comfort."

And truly we can say that! Give us but a sense of Divine love and we will not strike about our condition. Only to know thatGod is our Friend we will not ask who else is on our side, for having God we have all! Let who will be our enemies-all mustbe well when God befriends us! What must you be without God, some of you? You may be trying to satisfy your soul with thelove of kindred-your wife and children are your only inheritance under the sun. That is better than some men strive after.But they are dying comforts-there is a thorn in all these roses, sweet roses as they are. I do not think the dearest wifeand the most beloved children can really fully fill the heart. I know you need something more sometimes. I know you do!

Others of you have been trying to fill your hearts full with those idle associates of yours, those jolly companions, thosejolly fellows, just the sort you delight to spend an evening with. They are poor comforts when you are sick and they willbe poorer comforts, still, when you come to die. You must not suppose that if you loved Jesus Christ and put your trust inHim, you would give up the joy of life. You would just have found it! You would, then, begin to be happy because you wouldhave found what your soul needs to fill it. As quaint old Quarles says-"The heart is a triangle and all the world is a globeand you cannot fill a triangle with a globe. It is nothing but the Trinity that can fill the heart." Let Father, Son and Spiritget into the heart by a living faith and the heart is right full to the brim and the man is content in all his trials!

I would you had Christ to be yours! He is to be had, my Friend. Whoever trusts in Him is saved. He is God-worthy to be trusted!Moreover He died, the Just for the unjust, bearing our sins. Depend upon the merit of that death of His and you shall be saved!God bring you into a state of faith and bless you now for Christ's sake. Amen.