Sermon 2250. Words To Rest On
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, APRIL 3, 1892.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 18, 1890.
"And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah." 2 Chronicles 32:8.
IT is very beautiful reading, the story of Hezekiah, to see how the people always went with him. God had prepared the nationfor a change and when the hour came, the man came with it. Under his father Ahaz, the people had been idolaters and had forsakenGod. But, when Hezekiah became king, he had a zeal for the worship of Jehovah, and on the very threshold of his reign he beganwhat proved to be a glorious reformation in the land. He seems to have been a man who was attractive to the people and theytook up his line of things at once with enthusiasm. Whether he proposed to break down the idols, to cleanse the Temple, orto bring tithes into the House of God, they made no objections, but, on the contrary, they followed his word with much vigorand earnestness. It is a grand thing when God sends a man who can guide others aright-especially when, in times of apostasyand spiritual declension, a leader is given who becomes a guide back to the old paths. We should feel exceedingly gratefulwhenever, in any place, God raises up a judge to deliver Israel and when the people serve God all the days of that judge.
When our text comes in, the people of Judah were in great straits. The Assyrians, who were both cruel and barbarous in theirtreatment of others, had invaded the land and had captured all the country, with the exception of Jerusalem. The city of theGreat King was yet untrod by the armies of the alien, but it looked as if it could not hold out very long, and Hezekiah encouragedhis men of war by exciting their faith in their God. "Be strong and courageous," he said to them. "Be not afraid nor dismayedfor the King of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him." With a ring of triumph in his tone, he told them thatwith Sennacherib was only an army of flesh and though it was a powerful one, yet with them was the Omnipotence of God and,therefore, there was more with them than with the Assyrians! The past glory of his reign and the evident depth of his ownfaith added weight to his words-and the people believed his testimony. In such a time of great difficulty, when people areapt to mutiny, to find fault with their leaders and to break up into cliques and parties, they still held to their king andcomforted themselves with the assurance he had given them of help in God. They were not distressed because of invasion, nordid they despair of their cause. They were, of course, conscious of their great danger, but they had found peace, even intheir extremity, by quoting to themselves and to one another, the emboldened language of their king. "The people rested themselvesupon the words of Hezekiah, the king of Judah."
It is not always a good thing to rest upon man's words. It may often be a very evil thing and because some error has beenintroduced by "such a dear, good man," it has had the deadlier hold upon masses of men. There have been thousands who havefound their way to Hell resting upon the words of some priest or pretended teacher who taught other than the Truth of God.And yet, with this grain of caution, we cannot but commend these people who, when they had a God-sent leader, had both thecommonsense and the uncommon confidence to banish their fears at his bidding, seeing that his trust was in the name of theLord. The people were not perfect, nor was their king, but we commend them in that they did wisely when they "rested themselvesupon the words of Hezekiah, the king of Judah."
I. Our first consideration shall be THE KIND OF MAN WHOSE WORDS ARE LIKELY TO BE RESTED ON. There are some in whose wordsyou never have much confidence because they are flippant in their utterance. They do not appear to be sincere and those whohear them make nothing of what they say, for they are evidently making nothing of it, themselves! You cannot rest in the wordsof a man who contradicts himself, nor rely much upon one who is of one opinion today, who will be of another opinion tomorrowand, who, before the third day is over, will be seized with some new
notion! There are men whom we all know in whose word nobody is tempted to put any kind of trust whatever! But, thanks be toGod, there are in the Christian Church still some in whose words men do trust, men who are as transparent as the clearestcrystal and as reliable as the best steel! These are the kind of men I want to describe and this man who won the confidenceof the people of Jerusalem shall serve us as a type, thereof, and enable us to discover the kind of man whose words are likelyto be rested on.
To begin with, he must be a great man. So it was in the case of "Hezekiah, king of Judah." If the people cannot trust theirking in matters of war, in whom can they trust? But if they see him to be a good Sovereign, walking in the fear of God anddoing his utmost for them, how shall they do otherwise than trust their king? Yet in this matter we must take care, for theywho trust in the great may find themselves greatly deceived. "Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm,and whose heart departs from the Lord." That man is not truly great who leads us away from the greatest of all, even the Lordwho rules over all. "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." There is a kind of greatness thatis only a cover for littleness. Sometimes a great title has great selfishness, even great sensuality lying just underneathit. But Hezekiah was not a little great man-he was truly a king. He was born a monarch, a kingly man. He was a man of royalmind and noble deed-therefore the people did not ill, when, having respect to his greatness, they "rested themselves uponthe words of Hezekiah, the king of Judah."
Moreover, the man who will be trusted will be found to be a good man. If he is not really so, he will, at least, be thoughtto be so. Men will put great trust in the words of one whose life agrees with his teaching. If they can detect something inconsistentin his character, the man's power is ended. But if a man is evidently carried away with the one idea of being and doing good-andconsumed with the purpose of glorifying God-then his utterances have power. I know a man who is not an orator. He speaks butvery plainly and yet, if I had my choice, I would sooner hear him than almost any man I ever heard, because, when he speaks,I remember the wondrous life of faith in God which accompanies his words. I will not say who he is, but almost everybody willguess. It is not what he says, but the man who says it, that makes the impression! It is the life behind the words, the holyconfidence exhibited in God every day, the calm restful walk with God which everybody can see in his very face, which, toa thoughtful man, makes his feeblest accent more powerful than the most furious declamation of a mere rhetorician. As Dr.Bonar says-
"You must be true, yourself, If you the Truth would teach. Your soul must overflow, if you Another's soul would reach- Itneeds the overflow of heart To give the lips full speech."
The man in whose words we are likely to find rest must be a good man. Hezekiah, from all we read of him, was evidently sucha man. When greatness and goodness are blended, as in his case, there is sure to be a wide influence exerted. When there iseminence of ability as well as eminence of character found in a man, it often follows that what is described in this verseis true-the people rest themselves upon his words, even as they did upon Hezekiah's.
Again, a man whose words are to be rested upon must be a courageous man. Hezekiah had this qualification. He had waited uponGod in prayer and knew God would deliver him, so he had bid farewell to fear. He was calm and, therefore, bold. When he spoketo the captains of the soldiers, there was no trepidation in his voice or in his manner. He spoke like one who was-
"Calm amid the bewildering cry, Confident of victory."
Courage in one man breeds courage in another-but one coward has the contagion of cowardice about him-many will turn tail whenone runs. But, if a man stands like a rock, unmoved, he will soon have a body of others behind him who will have borrowedcourage from his example! Paul, in the storm, is an example of this. I suppose he was a little insignificant-looking Jew,yet when the sailors and the soldiers were alarmed at the tempest, he calmly and quietly told them not to be afraid, and theyborrowed courage from his faith. He told them that no harm would come to them-that though the ship would be lost, their liveshad been given to him in answer to his prayer-and since they had fasted long, he bade them to eat, and they did eat. All hisorders were carried out as fully as if he had been the centurion in command of the soldiers, or the captain in charge of theship!
Because he was bold, he made them brave! He commanded them because he could command himself. Oh, my Brothers and Sisters,may you have the courage of your convictions! May you be brave enough to do right and to speak right, and to stand up forthe Gospel, whoever rails at it! If you do, you have only to bide your time and you will be master over meaner men who cannotbe trusted. He that will but "hold the fort" when others are giving up their castles, shall, by-and-by, God helping him, beholda race of valiant men, who, like himself, shall believe in their Master's coming and will not quit the field until He appears.God grant to many here to be bold in the way of holiness, in their own circle, in their own families! They must be assuredthat there will be found some who will rest upon their words because they see their courage.
Further, a man who is to have his words much rested in, must also be a hearty man. Indeed, he must be an enthusiast. Of sucha spirit was Hezekiah, for we read in the last verse of the previous chapter, "and in every work that he began in the serviceof the House of God, and in the Law, and in the Commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart." This is thekind of man whom people will follow! Let them but see that the whole of the man leads them, and not only a bit of him, andthey will quickly learn to rely on his word. Put all your heart into what you do, or else put none of it! There are some peoplewho seem as if they have no heart, or at least their heart is only a kind of valve for the expulsion of blood and not overvigorous in that direction, I fear. Any other kind of heart you cannot discover. Nobody will follow mere head. There mustbe a heart displayed by the man who would have a hearty following. If you want to lead others aright, lead them by showingthat you, yourself, love the way. Be intense! Be emphatic! Throw your whole being into it! Be hearty when you are working,when you are praying, when you are singing! In all that you do for God and for your fellow Christians, let your heart be manifest-andthen it is highly probable that it may happen to you, as it did to Heze-kiah-that many will rest upon your words.
In the case of such a man, God will add His sanction by granting success-he will be a prosperous man. I did not finish thelast verse of the previous chapter just now. It reads-"He did it with all his heart, and prospered." He prospered becausehe did everything with all his heart! God set His seal to that which he did so heartily. A man may be devout and holy, butnot be outwardly prospered. Such a man may do useful work for the Lord. But the man whom God chooses for a leader, He willalso qualify and bless. He will put His mark upon him-and when people see that a man is enabled by God to go from strengthto strength, that his enterprises do not end in disaster-but that, by the Grace of God he leads his followers from victoryto victory, they are sure to rest themselves upon his word.
Let me add, that he who could help others must be a man who has respect for God's Word. We may safely rest ourselves upona man's words when, like Hezekiah, his words are full of God, and when, evidently, he has nothing to say but what God hasfirst said to him. Such a man becomes the medium by which God speaks to your soul. "With him is an arm of flesh; but withus is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." Even had this been spoken by another, it was a Divine Truth andany man might have rested upon it. If any of us must be very original-if we must think out our own theology and go on speculatingfrom day to day-our people will be very foolish if they ever rest themselves upon our fickle, vapid words!
But if the minister of Christ is as God's mouth. If he is dependent upon the Spirit of God for teaching, then God will speakthrough him and the people will hear. If his one aim is not to be original, but to repeat God's thought as far as he knowsthem-and to speak the Truth of God revealed as far as he can get a grip of it-such a man will often come to know that thepeople are resting themselves upon his words, for his words will be not so much his, but God's Words through him. May ourprayer then be-
"Lord, speak to me, that I may speak In living echoes of Your tone; As You ha ve sought, so let me seek Your erring children,lost and lone." Here a word of caution is necessary. Since men are permitted to say words upon which other people rest, letus be careful how we speak. There may be some here who have attained, by years of holy living and deep experience, to a positionof great influence-one of you in a Bible class, another in a village station, several of you, perhaps, in your pulpits. Brothersand Sisters, what a very responsible position we occupy when young people and others are resting upon our words! I will notsay whether they are altogether right or wrong in doing so, but I know this is their habit. Therefore, what manner of peopleought we to be! How choice should be our language! How determined we ought to be to let all
our teachings be Scriptural and not to mingle the precious with the vile-remembering the promise-"If you take forth the preciousfrom the vile, you shall be as My mouth."
Do not let us, even in sport, say what may injure others. I have known children take in earnest what others have said in jest.It were often better that some things were not said even in sport, for such flippant utterances have either misled the children,or they have injured the influence of those who have uttered them when they have spoken another time. Since it so happensthat many of those around us are of feeble minds and need a strong mind to guide them, let those who lead be doubly carefulof their conversation and conduct! Since those who know their own weakness lean, perhaps, too much upon their teachers, lettheir teachers cry to God that they may be helped to teach nothing but what is right! May you and I never lead another astrayeven one inch! May none of us ever be in communion with that which is not true! May we stand right out from all connectionwith that which we feel to be contrary to the mind of God! Let us try to live in such a way that if another were to take usfor an example, he might copy us through and through and do himself no harm.
I set before you a very high standard and one which no man will reach except under Divine instruction. But since the necessaryteaching is freely given to all who seek it, I would urge you to be quick scholars in the School of Grace. I fear very fewof us have ever reached this excellent standard, but that is no reason why we should not study our lesson with redoubled energy.Remember that Hezekiah must speak aright when the people of Jerusalem rest themselves upon his words. O Hezekiah, be not silentwhen you ought to speak! Speak not when you ought to be silent! And never speak except when the Lord shall open your lips,that your mouth may show forth His praise! Since you have this responsibility that the people rest upon your words, be sureto give them words solid enough and reliable enough to rest upon! As you have "worked that which was good and right and truthbefore the Lord," speak also true and right and good words to the people-and then it shall be well both with them and withyou.
II. In the second place, let us turn the other way and look at THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO REST ON SUCH A MAN'S WORDS. I am notgoing to praise all these people, nor am I going to blame them. I wish to use discrimination and judge each case upon itsmerits. Sometimes it is the best possible thing for a man to rest himself on the words of an-other-but often such a courseis a very foolish one.
Children do so with their parents and if they have gracious and godly parents, they do well to rest themselves on their father'sor on their mother's word. When I was a boy, I never doubted what my father believed. And when I was under the influence ofmy grandfather, who taught the Word of God, I was such a little simpleton that I never set up my judgment against his. I findthat very small boys are not now so foolish! I wish they were wise enough to be as foolish as I was! When I grew up, I neversuspected a doctrine because my father believed it. No, my leaning went the other way-and if my godly father found peace andcomfort in a Word of God, I thought that what was good for him was good for his son. I was foolish enough to lean upon thewords of my elders in this way and, somehow, though others often think that such a course is folly, I am glad that it wasso.
I thank God, too, that my sons were as foolish as their father and that what their father believed had an attraction for them.I hope that they judged for themselves, as I, also, tried to do, when I came to riper years, but, at the first, it was thewords of my parents that led me to Christ. What I knew of the elements of the Gospel, I received largely, without a question,from them, and I do not think it was an ill bequest. Now, dear parents, mind that your children are able to believe in you.I like children to have fathers and mothers whom they can trust. A young Friend has written me a letter, asking me to preacha sermon on, "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger." Well, will you kindly consider that I have preached it? I fearI could not make a long sermon of it, but it is necessary to tell some of you parents that I suspect you are not quite soconsiderate as you ought to be. I do not know the man for whom the word is intended, but I wish he would take the sermon asif I had preached it to him.
Now, fathers and mothers, your children do rest themselves upon your words if you are fathers and mothers worth having. Becareful, then, of what you say. I like that boy who said, "I know that it is true, for mother said it. Whatever mother saysis true, and it is true if it is not true, if mother said it." It is a blessed thing when boys and girls can feel such confidencein their parents that they are sure that their word is beyond all question. It is so much easier for them to have faith inGod in the days to come if, first, they have been able to have faith in their father and mother. Faith of any kind is
so tender a plant that is should be carefully nourished wherever it is found. And as children often and, rightly, too, restthemselves upon the words of their parents, it behooves the parents to give them words whereon they may safely rest.
Illiterate people, who cannot read, belong to another class who must rest themselves upon the words of others. They are butgrown-up children, if they are persons of no education, though I am glad to think the number of those who cannot even readtheir Bible for themselves is constantly decreasing. Still, there are many persons who are so taken up with daily toil thatthey have no opportunity of searching for themselves. Although God has given many of them gracious judgments, so that theyseem to know truth from error by a kind of inward instinct, yet, for the most part, much of the teaching that they receivemust come to them as the utterance of some man in whose life they believe-and whom they believe to be under a Divine influencewhich makes him speak continually with an endeavor for their good. Whether this is right or not, it is so. And every man whois placed in a position where many such hang upon his words, must, therefore, learn to speak only as God speaks to him, lesthe should sin-and lest the hundreds who accept what he says as being true-would be led astray.
This is also the case with regard to unconverted persons who have no spiritual discernment and who can have none, in theirfirst hearing of the Gospel. Very largely, men believe in Christ not only through the Scriptures, but through the testimonyof those who already know the Lord. This was implied by our Savior's words in that wondrous intercession with His Father.Christ said, concerning His disciples, "Neither pray I for these alone; but for them, also, which shall believe on Me throughtheir word." It is part of the economy of Grace that the testimony of the saints shall be used of the Spirit to lead peopleto Christ. We bear witness to forgiveness which we have received. We bear witness to a change of heart which we have experienced.We bear witness to the power of prayer and, like the men of Sychar, the people who hear us first, believe our word, and thatleads them to Christ. After they have met with Him, they may say, with much truth, "Now we believe, not because of your saying:for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is, indeed, the Christ, the Savior of the world." Still, it will alwaysbe true that, at the beginning, it was because of our words that they believed.
It is a large part of our ministry to bear witness to the Truth of God recorded in the Book of God and, oftentimes, the witness,himself, is believed and then what he says is believed because of the faith the hearer has in him. Although some are unworthyof such credence, yet so it does happen. Christian men, you are like the Bibles of the people. They do not read the Book,but they read you! And if they see Christ in you truly represented, they will, perhaps, come to the knowledge of Him. But,if you caricature Him, dreadful evil will come of it. I beseech you, be very careful! If the preacher, when he is addressinga mass of people who never read the Word of God, contorts and distorts the Truth of God, what wonder is it if the people missthe salvation of Christ altogether, seeing that they rest upon his word? If he only gives half of the Truth, or only one sideof it-if he paints one doctrine out of proportion to another. If he misses the love and tenderness of Christ and even if heomits the justice and stern truthfulness of God-he may so misrepresent God and Christ, and so misinterpret the whole systemof Grace to the people-that when they rest upon his words they will be resting upon a broken reed and fall to their eternaldestruction!
Persons who naturally run in a groove form another class who rest upon the words of men. There are some people of considerablecapacity who, nevertheless, partly from a want of elasticity of mind and partly from excess of commonsense, are very apt tokeep to beaten tracks. They are not altogether to be censured, for some of them are the salt of the earth. But they are atrifle monotonous in their method of life. Still, with some, this is very natural. They are like the tramcars that only getoff line by accident. Well, I think that if I were a tramcar, I should like to run on the trams after I got used to it. Ifthey lead in the right direction, we might do much worse than travel by tram. There are, however, a number of people who alwayswill live like that. Having attended at such a place of worship and having been brought up in the midst of a certain set ofgodly people, they scarcely deviate one jot from the teaching that they have received. Almost by necessity of their naturethey rest on what they hear.
There is one more class I should like to mention, not because I am fond of them, but for the opposite reason-I mean thosewho profess always to do their own thinking-who will not have any creed and who say that they will not follow anybody. Ifyou will trace them home, they are, in nine cases out of ten, the worse slaves that ever lived. They are the bond-servantsof some heretic or other who has put it into their heads that, in following him, they become free men! Why, there are thousandsof people that laugh at us for believing in the old doctrine of the Fall of Man, who, neverthe-
less, rest themselves implicitly upon the words of some infidel philosopher, or else they follow some favorite heretic inbroadcloth upon whom they rest their confidence through thick and thin! They speak much of their deep thought, but they neverthink-they make up for lack of brains by talking the jargon supposed to be spoken by highly intellectual people, though, inmost cases, it requires a very vivid imagination to make the supposition. These, who thus take for granted the heterodox wordsof their favorite leaders, though they do not acknowledge them, incur great guilt-and their leaders are doing grievous mischiefin uttering the words upon which their followers stay themselves.
Before I leave this point, I would urge you earnestly to be careful both as to the man you hear, and the words of his on whichyou rest. I beseech any of you who are attendants here, who are resting yourselves upon my words, to cease that habit! IfI tell you anything that is not consistent with God's Word, away with my word, and away with me, too! If you hear from meanything which Christ would not have taught, I shall grieve to the last degree if you believe it. But if you fling it awayand ascribe it to the infirmity and fallibility of the preacher, it will be better for you. Or if there are some of you herewho are resting yourselves upon any other man's words, I exhort you to know thoroughly the man and his communications-anddo not, even when you know him-take his words without an appeal, "to the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not accordingto this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Bring all men's words to the test of God's Words! "Beloved, believenot every spirit; but try the spirits, whether they are of God." Blindly follow no man, "But though we, or an angel from Heaven,preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you" from this blessed Book, "let them be accursed."
When a man has a message from God, listen to him earnestly, with an open mind ready to be taught-but never think of makinghim the master of your spirit. "The people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah the king" and they did well in doingso, for he was a man worthy of their trust. But had they been under another kind of king, or a man of a different characterand temperament, they might have ruined themselves by relying upon the words which he spoke to them. Again, therefore, I utterthe caution-be careful both as to the man you hear and the words of his on which you rest.
III. And now I close with my third head by asking you to consider THE KIND OF WORDS THAT YOU MAY
REST ON. We come to speak, now, not of the kind of men who speak restful words, nor of the kind of men who find rest in suchwords when they are spoken, but of the kind of words in which you and I may rest.
You may safely rest in words which urge you to faith in God. Are you exhorted, tonight, to lay your burden of sin down atJesus' feet? Obey such a word as that without questioning! You may well rest on words which bid you to believe in Christ andyou may, without fear, believe in Him who has all Grace and wisdom and power to save and to bless you! Through the hearingof such words, may you soon be able to say-
"I rest my soul on Jesus,
This weary soul of mine.
His right hand me embraces,
I on His breast recline.
I love the name of Jesus,
Immanuel, Christ, the Lord-
Like fragrance on the breezes,
His name abroad is poured."
Are you who are Believers encouraged to roll your care on your great Father, according to that Word of God, "Casting all yourcare upon Him; for He cares for you"? You will do no wrong in obeying to the fullest every admonition to believe your Godand to believe His Christ! If our preaching tends to create faith and foster it, it goes the right way, but, whatever cleverthings may be said, if the tendency is to undermine faith-and if the words you hear increase that tendency-they are mischievous,eternally mischievous, to the souls of men!
You may always rest, in the next place, on words which are the Words of God, Himself. If God has said it, it is sure. If thosemen could rest themselves upon the words of Hezekiah, the king, how is it that some of you, who are God's people, cannot restyourselves upon the Words of God, our King? You believe His promises, you say, but still you are very restless. You have someof that terrible fever of unbelief on you! Beloved, try to practice the art of resting yourself upon the Word of God. Godhas promised me such and such a thing. I believe it, therefore I have it. "No," you say, "the Word is not yet fulfilled."Ah, but I have got it, nevertheless! If a friend gives me a check for five pounds, though I have never seen
his money, I have the five pounds! I do not need to see his money, for I have his five-pound check in my pocket! I have hisguarantee for the amount and though I have not received the coin, I believe that I have the five pounds, and so I have!
And if you believe that you have the blessing for which you have asked, go your way and rejoice that you have it, for it isyours in the promise, and God's promise is as valuable as God's fulfillment! Rest yourselves, then, Beloved, in the Wordsof God. Are you afraid of being too peaceful? Are you afraid of being too happy? Are you afraid of living too blessed a life?Are any of you afraid of having too much Heaven here below? Well, do not give way to such idle fears! The more you can rest,the more will God be pleased with you. "Comfort you, comfort you, My people," says your God! "Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem."And if He bids us comfort you, you may be sure that He wants you to be comforted! Be comforted, therefore. Rest yourselvesin His Word!
I have had to praise with bated breath those who rested on Hezekiah's word. I have thrown in little bits of necessary cautionand interjection of doubt, but, if you desire to rest on God's Word, I need not caution you against trusting the Lord toomuch! Though you believe God up to the hilt. Though you believe God desperately. Though you believe God to the utmost-thoughyou believe Him infinitely-He will never fail you! Your confidence in Him can never exceed that which He deserves. He willwarrant it all. "Whoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed." And again it is written, "You shall not be ashamed nor confounded,world without end." You can never be wrong in resting upon the Words of God, Himself! Even in your greatest weakness you maylook to Him and say-
"I am trusting You for power, You can never fail!
Words which You, Yourself, shall give me Must prevail."
You may always believe, also, in words which are sealed by the Lord Jesus. If the mark of His blood is upon any Word, youneed never doubt it. If He has died, how can you perish? If He has bid you come, how can He cast you out? If you rest uponHis finished work, how can you be condemned? Believe, I pray you, and rest on the blood-sprinkled Words of this wondrous Book-
"The clouds may go and come,
And storms may sweep the sky.
The blood-sealed friendship changes not,
Your cross is ever nigh.
I change-He changes not,
The Christ can never die;
His word, not mine, the resting place,
His Truth, not mine, the tie."
Believe also, most firmly, and rest yourself most fully on words which have been blessed to other men. If others have beensaved by a Word, that Word will suit you. If God's promise proved true to my father, it will be true to me! There is no privateinterpretation of God's "great and precious promises." They are not hedged about with a fence. They are as much mine as theywere Abraham's or Jacob's-as much mine as they were Peter's or Paul's-and I will have them, too, by faith, and have what thosepromises include! Beloved, rest yourselves upon the Words of God, upon which others have rested, and you shall find them tobe as true in your experiences as in the experience of those who have gone before.
Last of all, you may surely rest upon Words which breathe a sense of rest into the soul. I love all the Words of God, butthere are some that have an aroma of rest around them. Were you ever in such trouble that, when you read the chapter beginningwith those sweet words, "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me," you read it in vain? I thinkI never did! With the tears in my heart as well as in my eyes, I have read that blessed verse again and again-and I have beencomforted. That eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans is a wonderful Light of God when you are in the dark. When I readthose glorious doctrines, I find golden stepping stones through the Slough of Despond. And, as for the Psalms, why the manwho wrote most of them seemed to be, "not one, but all mankind's epitome." He has lived out all our lives-yours, mine andmillions besides-his Psalms breathe peace around us and, as we accept the Truths of God they reveal, we are enabled to restupon them!
To all of us the time will come when we shall need rest. Dear young people, however long you may live, unless the Lord descendsfrom Heaven in Glory, the time will come when you will die. You will need a pillow, then, and, oh, may it
be said of all of us, then, "The people rested themselves upon the Words of Jesus!" These promises are the best pillows fordying heads. There is one that will suit you now, and suit you then-"He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you."Go, Brothers and Sisters, anywhere on earth and even up to Heaven with that in your hands-"I will never leave you, nor forsakeyou." Or will this other Word of God suit you better, "My Grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect inweakness"? But I need not go on giving these Words of God to you-you know them well. If you are not familiar with them, Ishould advise you to get a little book called Clarke's Precious Promises, where you will find them all arranged. General Gordon,who was killed at Khartoum, used to carry a copy in his pocket wherever he went. And he and many others have found it to bea great help to them.
Get hold of the promises of God and when you feel downcast-when the wind is in the east, when the liver does not work, whenyou have a real heart-ache, when the dear child is dead, when the beloved wife is sick, when there is trouble in the housefrom any cause, then get you the words of the Lord-and may it always be said of you, "The people rested themselves on thewords of King Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords!"
Oh, that the Holy Spirit might lead some poor soul to rest on these precious Words of God, even now, for the first time! Andunto the Lord shall be praise forever and ever! Amen.
Port/on of Scripture Read before Sermon-2 Chronicles 32.