Sermon 1650. God's Fatherly Pity
DELIVERED ON THURSDAY EVENING, MARCH 2, 1882,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him." Psalm 103:13.
IN the former part of this Psalm, the Psalmist sang of God's deeds of love, His gifts, His benefits and His acts of kindness.But here he goes deeper into the Divine motive and, therefore, he finds sweeter incentives to devout gratitude. There is afullness of consolation in the fact that the heart of God is towards His people. He not only dispenses blessings-so does thesun, so do the clouds, so do the fruitful fields-but He takes a warm interest in our welfare and has a feeling towards usof kindly, gentle affection. And that of such intensity that one of the highest forms of earthly love is here used as a figureto set forth the tender mercy of our God towards us. I have always been taught as an axiom in theology that God has no griefs-thatHe is "without parts or passions"-I think was the definition. But I have often inwardly objected to such statements. Theyseemed to me so inconsistent with the tone and tenor of Scripture, for He appears to take pleasure in His people and to be"grieved" with their ill manners.
Surely, metaphors that are Inspired must have a meaning that is instructive! If the Father's "heart yearns." If our Lord andSavior is "moved with compassion." And if the Holy Spirit is "vexed," there must be something analogous to what we call emotion,among ourselves, in the acknowledged attributes of the Most High! At least He appears to sympathize with us, so that "in allour afflictions He is afflicted," and He pities us, "as a father pities his children." "That is speaking after the mannerof men," somebody says. True. And it is exactly the way I do speak. In no other way do I know how to speak! And until I learnto speak after the manner of angels, you must pardon me and accept an apology-not only for my own ignorance of any other tonguethan that in which I was born-but also for the incapacity of my hearers to understand any other than human language.
Neither do I know anything, so limited is my intelligence, except after the manner of men. It seems to me that if there isany other manner or means of communicating thoughts and emotions, it must belong to some other being than man. And if it iscorrect to speak after the manner of men, then be it understood I do speak after that manner, and I am perfectly satisfiedthat I am able so to speak the truth as shall give a faithful and adequate impression to your minds. There is a feeling whichhas a measure of pain in it, familiarly known to us as, "pity." It is a love which so sympathizes with its objects that, ina manner, it makes itself one with them-and if it should involve suffering, pity shares the pang. If there is any kind ofgrief in the one that is pitied, he that pities becomes a partaker of that grief.
I believe in a God who can feel. As to Baal and the gods of the heathen, they may be passionless and without emotion, or withoutanything that is akin to feeling. Not so do I find Jehovah to be described. How did His anger kindle when He gave His peopleover to the sword and was angry with His inheritance! And how transporting is His love to the daughter of Zion when He rejoicesover her with joy! He has a pity, yes, and a sorrow, too, according to this Book. I dismiss, therefore, the theology of theschoolmen-I am quite satisfied with the Divinity that I find in these Scriptures! Believe it then, dear Friends, with allyour hearts, that God has kindly feelings towards them that fear Him, such as a father has towards his children!
This is a Truth of God of which I feel jealous and I do not wish to see it toned down. There is a sentiment abroad that soundsplausible and is accepted by many Christian people, that God puts us to much sorrow, wisely and for our good, while His ownheart is unaffected or callous to our suffering because He foresees, according to His own purpose, the good that will comeout of it. Some kind of analogy might, in that case, be suggested between our gracious God and a skillful surgeon, who cutsand cuts deeply, when he would remove a cancer from the flesh. Or a physician who administers potent drafts of medicine, which,perhaps, cause excruciating pain. The surgeon would be too intent on the success of his opera-
tion, or the physician would watch with too much anxiety, the effect of his prescription on the patient to bestow much thoughtor sympathy on those present sufferings which he confidently anticipates will effect a permanent cure.
So he calmly looks on, intent upon the result in the future, as he ignores, to some extent, the anguish of the passing hour.But I pray you not to think that it is exactly so with God. Of course, in a higher scale, He has all the wisdom of the physicianand He views our afflictions that we now endure in the light of that hereafter when He will heal all our diseases, give untous beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Still, He does notsteel His heart to the immediate and the present trouble of His people, but, "As a father pities his children, so the Lordpities them that fear Him."
I can understand the surgeon looking at the patient, while causing him acute pain under the operation, with the bravery ofa man whose nerves cannot easily be shaken. But the father must leave the room! He cannot bear it. The mother cannot lookon-they are carried away with the immediate grief. And so it is with God, albeit that the splendor of His wisdom and His foreknowledgeenable Him to see the end as well as the beginning, yet, believe me, like as a father is pitying his children, so the Lordis pitying them that fear Him! For it is in the present tense and carries the idea of con-tinuity-at this very moment He ispitying them that fear Him! Though He knows your trials will work for your good, yet He pities you! Though He knows that thereis sin in you, which, perhaps, may require this rough discipline before you are sanctified, yet He pities you!
Though He can hear the music of Heaven-the songs and glees that will ultimately come of your present sighs and grief-yet Hestill pities those groans and wails of yours, for, "He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men." In allour distresses and present grief, He takes His share. He pities us as a father pities his children. Let us look at the text,then, believing in its meaning and not frittering it away by saying, "That is after the manner of men." For again, I say,there is no other manner in which we can speak and no other manner in which God, Himself, can speak if He means us to understandHim.
There is, doubtless, some high and vast meaning which, like the covering cherub, stands high over all, but, for all that,I am but a child and cannot reach it. I am content with what I can reach; satisfied with what is obviously the meaning ofthis text, "As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him." Hear it, dear Friends, first, for yourencouragement, and hear it, next, for your imitation. Hear it that you may be encouraged! God is not unfeelingly afflictingyou, but He is pitying you! Hear it that you may be impelled to go into the world with a like pitying eye. If you ever haveto say a rough word in fidelity, or are required to utter a stern rebuke, do it after the manner of your heavenly Father,pitying even if you have to blame, and gently delivering the expostulation which it grieves you to have to deliver at all!
I am not, tonight, able to preach to you much by way of set discourse, for I am one of those children, just now, who needshis Father's pity! I half think He would have bade me go home and not speak to you at all, had it not been that the sightof this assembly stirs my spirit and makes it imperative that when you come together to hear, I should have something to sayto you-therefore, as best I can, I shall simply call attention to some things in our condition and our circumstances whichmake us resemble children towards whom God has pity. Will you please observe, on the outset, that the pity of the Lord extendsto all those that fear Him. There are none of them that are not fit objects of His compassion- the very best and brightestof His saints, the brave heroes, the well-instructed fathers, the diligent workers-God pities you, my dear Brothers and Sisters!Will you take that home to yourselves because there is a beautiful lesson of humility in so accounting ourselves as pitiablecreatures in the eyes of the Lord-even when we are at our best estate.
I have seen some Brothers and Sisters that really did not seem at all good subjects for pity because they imagined that thevery roots of sin had been eradicated out of their hearts. Their character and their conduct were akin to perfection in theirown esteem. I forget how many weeks they had lived without a sin except they had some wandering thoughts, once or twice-butthey could hardly remember or refer to that as a fault! Yes, but I venture to say I pity people that talk so! If they areGod's children, all that God does with them is pity them and well He may, for He says to Himself, "Poor dear creatures! Howlittle they know of themselves and how different their estimate of perfection is from Mine!" He still pities them, but thatis as far that He goes. I do not find Him admiring them or exalting and extolling them. The biggest child He has, the childthat is most like His Father and has learned most of Jesus, may come to this text and see himself depicted in it, "As a fatherpities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him."
As for us who are not so big and are still among His little children, I am sure the Lord, first, pities our childish ignorance.He is not angry with us because we do not know everything. He is not angry with us because the little we do know we mostlyturn topsy-turvy, upside down. He is not angry with us because what He has taught us we are very apt to forget by reason ofour fickle memory. No-He pities us! Schoolmasters of the olden type used to think that the boys must do all the lessons thatwere given them and learn everything that was contained in their school books. Then they asked them questions which, if thepupils could answer, there would be no need for any teachers. But if the boys did not know the answers, there was nothingfor them but a fierce word and a hard blow!
That is not how fathers teach-true fathers-but when their children do not know, they tell them. If they cannot quite understandthem, they watch their faces and they put the thing into another shape. And if the child has not got it then, they try againand, at last, they find the keyhole of the child's understanding and put the key in! And straightway the mind is opened andthe truth, like a precious treasure, is stowed therein! A father does not act like a schoolmaster, but he pities his childrenand he is willing, patiently, to teach them. Does the father expect his child to know as much as himself? Does the politicianexpect the little boy to understand the secrets of the Cabinet? Does the tradesman expect his child to come into his shopand perceive the intricacies of his business? Certainly not!
And when the child makes many mistakes, at which others laugh and mock and make some bitter jest till the tears rise in histender eyes and roll down his little cheeks, the father feels the affront and pities his child. He, too, smiles at the strangethings-the freaks of the child's mind-yet there is not an atom of scorn in that smile! He loves him too much to ever thinkof him in that way and he goes on to teach him more. "Why did you tell your child that piece of information 20 times?" asksone. "Why," said the mother, "I told him 20 times because when I had told him 19 times he did not know it-so I went on to20 times." And that is how God does with us! He has taught, some of us, 19 times and we do not know it-so He will teach us20 times, for He pities us.
Oh, if He were to treat us as some lads have been treated at schools-where they dismiss a boy as incorrigible, too dull, toostupid ever to shine-some of us would have been turned away long ago! But He takes us, dull scholars as we are, and He tiresnot of teaching, as He gently insinuates one Truth after another-not too much at a time-for He says, "You cannot bear themnow, though I have many things to say unto you." And so by degrees He does get a little into us. Blessed be His name for thatlittle! It is worth all the world! One thing 1 know, whereas I was blind, now I see! I have got that drilled into me. To knowHim and to know something of the power of His Resurrection, and something of conformity to His death-these are lessons weare going on to learn with a sweet prospect of being taught yet more and more! And we need never fear of being dismissed becauseof our dullness, for, "As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him."
Let us take a word of admonition from this instance of pity before we go any further. Do not let us think that we have notthe privileges of children because we do not know as much as more experienced saints, or because we cannot engage in the devotionat Prayer Meetings, or conduct a Bible class, or, perhaps, can hardly understand the creed of the Church well enough to givea clear account of it! Do not let us think our heavenly Father does not love us; that He will refrain from keeping His eyesupon us, or cease to watch our growth in Grace and in the knowledge of Christ until He shall have more fully instructed us.Do not let us begin to condemn those of God's children that do not know as much as we do. We have not got far ourselves.
Still, there is a tendency in some to say, "Why, this cannot be genuine Grace, for it is accompanied with such little knowledge."Well, now, if that suspicion shall lead you to give more instruction, it is well! But if it shall lead you to set aside theuninstructed one, it is evil. In the Church of God it behooves us to have the same pity on the ignorant as our heavenly Fatherhas shown towards us in our ignorance-and we ought to have even more, seeing He has no ignorance of His own and we have much!Let us, therefore, be very compassionate and exceedingly pitiful towards those of our Brothers and Sisters who as yet knowbut little.
Another thing in which our heavenly Father shows Himself pitiful to us is in our weakness. Children cannot do much; they havebut little strength, especially little children too young, too helpless to run alone. The mother does not despise-she ratherdotes on the babe whose little body is a burden she has to carry because it cannot walk. Her heart is not hardened againsther infant because the wee baby is unable to help itself! Our heavenly Father knows our weaknesses! Some of you know somethingof your own lack of strength. You are bowed down under a sense of your infirmity tonight.
Now, do not let your weakness lead you into any unbelief or mistrust of God. He knows our frame-He remembers that we are butdust. An infant's incapacity never excites a parent's ire. You, being evil, know how to be tender with your offspring-howmuch more shall the Father of Spirits sympathize with such weakness as He knows we are all prone to experience!
Possibly the weakness that distracts you comes from languor of body. I have been, sometimes, so sorely sick as scarcely ableto pray, that is to say, not to express my desires in a consecutive prayer. And I remember one who said to me, "I appeal toyou, as a father, were your child suffering from a fever, his mind wandering and his speech delirious, would you reproachhim because he did not address you just as he has been accustomed to do when he was in health?" I felt I should have rathercommiserated his sickness than complained of his frenzy. Neither will our heavenly Father deviate from the instincts thatHe has implanted in the nature of His creatures! He has revealed to us as an illustration of His own emotions toward thosethat fear Him!
If you who have been accustomed to guide your class in their studies, cannot find anything instructive to teach them. Or ifyou are a minister and it should seem to you that the tide runs out when you looked for your thoughts to flow freely-and thatthe words fall frozen when you hoped they would fire volleys from your lips-there may be some rational solution for your languor.If there is any wrong in your heart or in your habits, you may well blame yourselves! But if it is pure weakness-whether itcomes from the body or from the mind that you are weary, disorganized, depressed and bowed down-do not think of aggravatingyour distress by self-reproach, but hear the text say, "As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fearHim. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust."
Some of our Brethren seem to think we are made of cast iron. They would have us preach all day and all night long. At timesthey are so thoughtless as to make use of very bitter language when some servant of Christ cannot, through physical or mentalweakness, do all they want of him. "So-and-So does it," they say. A man in perfect health and strength may joyfully accomplishwhat another man cannot even think of undertaking. So are God's servants misjudged by the sterner sort. But they are not misjudgedby God, for He pities the weakness of His people and blames them not! I wish I could speak a word that would be encouragingto any here that would go about Christ's service if they could, but cannot.
I remember John Bunyan's little picture of the man that is sent for the doctor and he has to go on a horse. He has to go asquickly as he can, but the horse is a sorry jade and cannot go very fast. "Oh," he says, "look at the man, how he kicks, howhe tugs at the bridle and his Master knows he would go if the horse would only carry him." Under such circumstances the messengercould not, surely, be to blame! So sometimes God sees the efforts of His servants to work for Him. Why, they would drive theChurch before them and pull the world behind them if they could! And if they do not seem to be able to do it, does He blamethem? No, verily, but He pities the weakness of them that fear Him! We will go a step further now. In children there is somethingmuch worse than ignorance and weakness-and that is their childish follies. There are some persons who have a great affectionfor children and find great pleasure in being with them by the days together.
I confess I find a larger portion of pleasure when they are out of the way. Perhaps it is because I need quiet and stillnessthat I am better able to bear with them a little at a time. But there are persons who seem to take a delight in all theirchildish pranks and game, and all their romps and frolic. Well, that is good, and I hope you will have plenty of it, you thatlike it. But the father is the one who can bear with his children when other people cannot. I have occasionally been in houseswhere I have felt that I was glad the father could bear with them, for I did not feel inclined to be very patient with theirplay, myself, however proper I may think it for young people to be lively! And you know a father and mother will put up witha thousand little things in their children that strangers would frown at.
Those dear, kind mothers, with a little tribe about them-they do not seem wearied and worn out! And if anybody says, "Oh,look what he is doing." "Ah, well," says the mother, "he is only a boy." "Oh, but see that girl." "Oh, well, she is so young,she must have her little frolics." There are all sorts of excuses made on their behalf and it is right enough that it shouldbe so. It is not weakness in the child, it is just childishness. And when we were children, we did the same, and others borewith us-and so parents bear with their children. But oh, how God our Father bears with us! We think we are very wise-it ishighly probable that we are never such fools as when we think we are displaying our wisdom! We think we are pleasing God,sometimes, and in that very act we are displeasing Him, though we know it not! There are
sins in our holy things-oh, how strange must some of the things that we do seem to our great God! We have gotten so accustomedto them! We have seen them in others. We have come to put up with them in others and others put up with them in us!
Now, we who talk, sometimes, about our doubts and fears, why, there must be much in them that must be very depressing to themind of the great Father. Do we doubt Him? Do we distrust His promises? We try to make out that we do not, but if you siftit thoroughly, it does come to that! Oh, the Father knows that we do not mean it; that we shrink in a moment from the ideaof making Him to be a liar! And if anybody else were to put forward the very doubt which we have been entertaining, we shouldbe horrified with it! And I believe it is a great part of our heavenly Father's pity that He should thus look on us and oftenconstrue what we do in such a kind and tender way. You know how Jesus prayed for His murderers-"Father, forgive them, forthey know not what they do." And the Son is very like the Father-our Father does the same with us-He forgives us because we"know not what we do."
It was very beautiful of our Lord, even with Pilate, to say, "He that delivered Me unto you has the greater sin." It was thebest He could say for Pilate, that though his sin was great, yet there was a greater. And our Father has all those kind thoughtsready, we may be sure, for His children's wild and wayward deeds. Jesus had them ready, even, for His most fierce and wickedadversaries. Yes, He pities our follies and still bears with us! But children have something worse than follies-they havefaults to be forgiven. Now, our Father pities the faults of His children and He shows His pity by this fact-that He has providedfor their cleansing and He freely gives them the use of that provision-and readily forgives them their iniquities.
A good child, when it has done wrong, is never satisfied until it gets to the father and says so, and asks the father's forgiveness.Some fathers, perhaps, think it wise to withhold the forgiving word for a little time and so may our great Father. But asa rule is it not wonderful how readily He forgives? He does, for a little time, perhaps, make us smart under the sin, forour good, but it is not often. As a rule, the kiss is on our cheek almost before the confession has left our lips! Oh, havewe not gone to Him and we have thought, "He will chasten me for this. I may expect to be put in the dark and to be withoutcommunion with Him for many days." But we have just ingenuously opened up our heart and told Him that we grieved-and askedHim to make us even more grieved that we might hate the fault-and never fall into it again. And almost at once He has said,"I have blotted out your sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud your iniquities; go and sin no more."
Do you not think that Peter ought to have been thrown out of the Church a good long while after denying his Master with oathsand cursing? Well, perhaps he would have if we had been consulted in the matter, but when Jesus Christ was here on earth,by a kind look or a gentle word He could set very crooked things straight! So we see Peter in company with John and the restof the Brothers within two or three days of his committing that serious trespass. The Lord is very ready to forgive-it isthe Church that is unmerciful, sometimes, but not the Master-He is always willing to receive us when we come to Him and toblot out our transgression. Come along, then, you that have erred and gone astray, you backsliders that are sensible of sin-you,His children that did walk in the light but a few days ago, and have got into the dark by some sad slip-come along!
You are very ready to forgive your children, are you not? Do you not remember, you that are too old to have them about thehouse, how readily, in your younger days, you picked up your little ones in your arms and said-"Dear Child, do not cry anymore, you must not do it again, but father fully forgives you this time"? Just so does your heavenly Father wait to pick youup and to press you to His bosom and say, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." Not, "with a love that can soon beset aside by your fault." "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore, I will blot out, again, your transgression-andset your feet on a rock and strengthen you to sin no more." Oh, it is a sweet, sweet thought- our Father pities us in ourfaults!
Go a step further. A father's pity tenderly lifts up those that fall. When your child falls down, as children are very aptto do, especially when they first begin to walk, do you not pity them? Is there a nasty cut across the knee? It cries andthe mother takes it up in her arms, directly. And look, she has some sponge and water to take the grit out of the wound! Andshe gives a kiss and makes it well. I know mothers have wondrous healing lips! And sometimes, when God's servants do reallyfall, it is very lamentable. It is very sad and it is well that they should cry. It were a pity that they should be willingto lie in the mire! But when they are up again and begin crying, and the wound bleeds-well, let them not keep away
from God, "For as a father pities his fallen children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him." Have you come in here tonightwith that cut knee of yours? I am sorry you should have fallen, but I am glad that our blessed Master is still willing toreceive you! Come and trust in Him who is mighty to save, just as you did at first, and begin, again, tonight! Come along!Some of us have had many times to begin again. Do the same! If you are not a saint, you are a sinner-and Jesus Christ cameinto the world to save sinners. Put your trust in Him and you shall find restoration and, maybe, through that very fall youshall learn to be more careful-and from now on you shall walk more uprightly to His honor and
But how the pity of a father comes out to a child in the matter of pain! With what exquisite tenderness a child's pains aresoothed by a parent! It is very hard to stand by the bedside and see a dear child suffer. Have not some of you felt that youwould gladly take your children's pains if they might be restored? You have one dear one at home now, the tears are in youreyes as I mention it-a life of suffering she has. Well, it may be others of you have children who have mental troubles-thebody is healthy, but the little one has a fret and a worry. I hope you sometimes have seen your children weeping on accountof sin-it is a blessed grief, and the sooner it comes, the better. In such a grief as that, as, indeed, in all others, I amquite sure you pity your children. So does your Father pity you! Broken heart, God's heart is longing to heal you! Weeping,weeping for your transgressions, the Father longs to clasp you to His bosom.
Tried child of God, you that are often despondent and always ailing, God would not send this to you if there were not a necessityfor it! And in sending it, He shares it as far as this text goes-and it goes blessedly far, for He pities you! Sometimes hard-heartedpersons do not pity those that suffer and some forms of suffering do not awaken sympathy. But all the sufferings of God'speople touch the heart of Jesus and sympathy comes to them at once. I know some of you say, "I am quite alone in the worldand I have much sorrow." Please revise that hard saying! You are like your Master, of whom it is written that He said, "Youshall leave Me alone: yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." Your Father is with you!
I wish you had some Christian friend to speak with you as a companion, but in the absence of such a social confidant, thereis a Friend that sticks closer than a brother! And there is One above who is a Father to you. Oh, believe it, there is nopoverty, there is no reproach, there is no sorrow of heart, there is no pain of body in this world among them that fear God,but what the Lord sees it and knows all about it, and has a pity to them that endure it! Still passing on, our children haveour pity when anybody has wronged them. I have heard say that there are some men that you might insult, almost with impunity,and should you even give them a blow they would stop to ask the reason before showing any resentment. But, if you put a handon their children, you shall see the father's blood come up into his face and the most patient man will, all of a sudden,become the most passionate!
There was a livid blue mark where you struck the child and the father looks as though he could forgive you if that were onhis own body-but on his child? No, that he cannot endure! He turns it over and over and he cannot resist his indignation,that his child should be wantonly made to suffer! The wrongs of children call loudly for redress in the ears of every sensitiveman or woman, but they are sure to awake a thrilling echo in a father's heart. "And shall not God revenge His own elect, whichcry day and night unto Him?" I tell you that He will avenge them speedily, though He bears long with the adversary.
That cry of Milton's-when he prayed God to avenge God's elect among the valleys of Piedmont for all the accursed persecutionsof the Church of Rome-was certainly heard and answered! Look at Spain to this day-degraded among the nations because she waschief in the army of inquisitors and crushed out the Word of God from her midst. She cannot rise, the blood of saints is onher! And other nations, too, that have shed the blood of the righteous like water, have had to smart for it. That revolutionin France, when blood flowed at the guillotine, was God's reply to St. Bartholomew, for He remembered it and took vengeancefor His saints! And so He will till the end of the world shall come! There is no wrong done to His people but it is registeredin God's archives. "He that touches you touches the apple of My eye." Christ seemed to sit still in Heaven till He saw theblood of His saints shed. And then He stood up as in indignation when they stoned Stephen. You remember how He cries, "Saul,Saul, why do you persecute Me?" It was Jesus that suffered, though His saints were made to die. Leave, then, your wrongs withGod. "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord," and let your reply be always gentleness and kindness towards thosewho hate you for righteousness' sake.
And now, once more, the father will pity his children so as not only to set right their wrongs, but to remove his children'sdreads. There are some people in the world that seem to take delight in frightening children with old bogey stories so thatthey hardly dare go out at night. But a kind father, if he finds his child frightened so, explains it all to him-he does notlike to see him blanched with fear or haunted with terror. It may be that some here present are suffering, just now, becausethey are sorely afraid. Are any of you under a dread of some boding evil, as though the dark shadow of a calamity you cannotdefine were flitting before your eyes? Be sure of this-your heavenly Father pities you!
There are some of our hymns that always speak of death as associated with pains and groans and agonizing strife. Very muchof that is old bogey-
"Imagination's fool and error's wretch, Man makes a death which Nature never made! Then on the point of his own fancy falls,And feels a thousand deaths in fearing one."
How many of God's people have we seen die without pains or groans or dying strife! I remember one who used to be, all herlife, subject to fear of death. She retired as usual to bed one night and when they went to call her in the morning, thereshe lay with a sweet smile upon her face-she had gone to Heaven in her sleep-it was evident she never knew anything at allabout it. Are God's people, by their observation of other saints, driven to conclude that death is always the terrible thingthe world says it is? I think not!
There may be some whom God puts to bed in the dark, as we sometimes do our children, but usually He takes the candle withHim and sits and talks with His child till he falls asleep. And when he wakes up, there he is among the angels! God kissesthe souls of His saints out of the bodies-
"One gentle sigh, the fetter breaks-
We scarcely can say, 'they're gone!'
Before the ransomed spirit takes
Her mansion near the Throne."
Go to your heavenly Father and tell Him you are frightened and He has ways of taking away these fears, for though they maybe ridiculous to some, a child's dreads are never too frivolous for the sympathy of a loving father! He meets them as if therewere some great reality in them and so sets them aside. Whatever your needs, your woes, your griefs, fly away to your greatFather's Mercy Seat and spread them there and He will give you comfort! Believe, from this night forward, that God pitiesall them that fear Him and whatever He sees of weakness in their nature and of sorrow in their lot He will help them. So mayyou find it now and evermore, for Christ's sake. Amen.