Sermon 2260. Christ's Hospital
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, JUNE 12, 1892.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, MARCH 9, 1890.
"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3.
OFTEN as we have read this Psalm, we can never fail to be struck with the connection in which this verse stands, especiallyits connection with the verse that follows. Read the two together-"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names." What condescension and grandeur! What pity and Omnipotence!He who leads out yonder ponderous orbs in almost immeasurable orbits, nevertheless, is the Surgeon of men's souls and stoopsover broken hearts! And with His own tender fingers closes up the gaping wound and binds it with the liniment of love. Thinkof it and if I should not speak as well as I could desire upon the wonderful theme of His condescension, yet help me by yourown thoughts to do reverence to the Maker of the stars, who is, at the same time, the Physician for broken hearts and woundedspirits!
I am equally interested in the connection of my text with the verse that goes before it-"The Lord does build up Jerusalem:He gathers together the outcasts of Israel." The Church of God is never so well built up as when it is built up with men ofbroken hearts. I have prayed to God in secret many a time, of late, that He would be pleased to gather out from among us apeople who have a deep experience, who should know the guilt of sin, who should be broken and ground to powder under a senseof their own inability and unworthiness, for I am persuaded that without a deep experience of sin, there is seldom much beliefin the Doctrines of Grace and not much enthusiasm in praising the Savior's name. The Church needs to be built up with menwho have been pulled down! Unless we know in our hearts our need of a Savior, we shall never be worth much in preaching Him.That preacher who has never been converted, what can he say about it? And he who has never been in the dungeon, who has neverbeen in the abyss, who has never felt as if he were cast out from the sight of God, how can he comfort many who are outcastsand who are bound with the fetters of despair? May the Lord break many hearts and then bind them up, that with them He maybuild up the Church and inhabit it!
But now, leaving the connection, I come to the text, itself, and I desire to speak of it so that everyone here who is troubledmay derive comfort from it, God the Holy Spirit speaking through it. Consider, first, the patients and their sickness-"Hehealed the broken in heart." Then, consider, the Physician and His medicine and, for a while, turn your eyes to Him who doesthis healing work. Then, I shall want you to consider the testimonial to the great Physician which we have in this verse-"Heheals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds." Lastly, and most practically, we will consider what we ought to dotowards Him who heals the broken in heart.
I. First, then, consider THE PATIENTS AND THEIR SICKNESS. They are broken in heart. I have heard of many who have died ofa broken heart, but there are some who live with a broken heart-and who live all the better for having had their hearts broken-theylive another and higher life than they lived before that blessed stroke broke their hearts in pieces.
There are many sorts of broken hearts and Christ is good at healing them all. I am not going to lower and narrow the applicationof my text. The patients of the great Physician are those whose hearts are broken through sorrow. Hearts are broken throughdisappointment. Hearts are broken through bereavement. Hearts are broken in 10,000 ways, for this is a heart-breaking world!But Christ is good at healing all manner of heartbreaks. I would encourage every person here, even though his heartbreak maynot be of a spiritual kind, to make an application to Him who heals the broken in heart. The text does not say, "the spirituallybroken in heart," therefore I will not insert an adverb where there is none in the
passage. Come here, you that are burdened, all you that labor and are heavy laden! Come here, all you that sorrow, be yoursorrow what it may! Come here, all you whose hearts are broken, be the heartbreak what it may, for He heals the broken inheart!
Still, there is a special brokenness of heart to which Christ gives the very earliest and most tender attention. He healsthose whose hearts are broken for sin. Christ heals the heart that is broken because of its sin so that it grieves, laments,regrets and bemoans itself, saying, "Woe is me that I have done this exceedingly great evil and brought ruin upon myself!Woe is me that I have dishonored God, that I have cast myself away from His Presence, that I have made myself liable to Hiseverlasting wrath and that even now His wrath abides on me!" If there is a man here whose heart is broken about his past life,he is the man to whom my text refers. Are you heartbroken because you have wasted 40, 50, 60 years? Are you heartbroken atthe remembrance that you have cursed the God who has blessed you, that you have denied the existence of Him without whom younever would have been in existence, that you have lived to train your family without godliness, without any respect to theMost High God at all? Has the Lord brought this home to you? Has He made you feel what a hideous thing it is to be blind toChrist, to refuse His love, to reject His blood, to live an enemy to your best Friend? Have you felt this? O my Friend, Icannot reach across the gallery to give you my hand, but will you think that I am doing it, for I wish to do it? If thereis a heart here broken on account of sin, I thank God for it, and praise the Lord that there is such a text as this-"He healsthe broken in heart."
Christ also heals hearts that are broken from sin. When you and sin have quarreled, never let the quarrel be made up! Youand sin were friends at one time, but now you hate sin and you would be wholly rid of it if you could. You wish never to sin.You are anxious to be clear of the most darling sin that you have ever indulged in and you desire to be made pure as God ispure. Your heart is broken away from its of moorings. That which you once loved you now hate. That which you once hated, younow, at least, desire to love! It is well. I am glad that you are here, for to you is sent the text, "He heals the brokenin heart."
If there is a brokenhearted person anywhere about, many people despise him. "Oh," they say, "he is melancholy. He is mad,he is out of his mind through religion!" Yes, men despise the broken in heart, but such, O God, You will not despise! TheLord looks after such and heals them.
Those who do not despise them, at any rate avoid them. I know some few friends who have long been of a broken heart and whenI feel rather dull, I must confess that I do not always go their way, for they are apt to make me feel more depressed. Yetwould I not get out of their way if I felt that I could help them. Still, it is the nature of men to seek the cheerful andthe happy and to avoid the brokenhearted. God does not do so-He heals the broken in heart. He goes where they are and He revealsHimself to them as the Comforter and the Healer.
In a great many cases people despair of the brokenhearted ones. "It is no use," says one, "I have tried to comfort her, butI cannot do it." "I have wasted a great many words," says another, "on such and such a friend, and I cannot help him. I despairof his ever getting out of the dark." It is not so with God! He heals the broken in heart. He despairs of none. He shows thegreatness of His power and the wonders of His wisdom by fetching men and women out of the lowest dungeon wherein despair hasshut them!
As for the brokenhearted ones, themselves, they do not think that they can ever be converted. Some of them are sure that theynever can-they wish that they were dead-though I do not see what they would gain by that. Others of them wish that they hadnever been born, though that is a useless wish now. Some are ready to rush after any new thing to try to find a little comfort,while others, getting worse and worse, are sitting down in sullen despair. I wish that I knew who these were-I would liketo come round and say to them, "Come, Brother. There must be no doubting and no despair tonight, for my text is gloriouslycomplete and is meant for you! 'He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.'" Notice that 5th verse, "Great isour Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite." Consequently, He can heal the broken in heart! God is gloriousat a dead lift! When a soul cannot stir, or help itself, God delights to come in with His Omnipotence and lift the great load-andset the burdened one free!
It takes great wisdom to comfort a broken heart. If any of you have ever tried it, I am sure you have not found it an easytask. I have given much of my life to this work and I always come away from a desponding one with a consciousness of my owninability to comfort the heartbroken and cast-down. Only God can do it. Blessed be His name that He has arranged that onePerson of the Sacred Trinity should undertake this office of Comforter, for no man could ever perform
its duties. We might as well hope to be the Savior as to be the Comforter of the heartbroken! Efficiently and completely tosave or to comfort must be a Divine work. That is why the Divine Holy Spirit heals the broken in heart and binds up theirwounds with infinite power and unfailing skill.
II. Now, secondly, we are going to consider THE PHYSICIAN AND HIS MEDICINE-"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up theirwounds." Who is this that heals the broken in heart?
I answer that Jesus was anointed of God for this work. He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointedMe to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted." Was the Holy Spirit given to Christ in vain?That cannot be! He was given for a purpose which must be answered and that purpose is the healing of the brokenhearted. Bythe very anointing of Christ by the Holy Spirit, you may be sure that our Physician will heal the broken in heart!
Further, Jesus was sent of God on purpose to do His work-"He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted." If Christ does not healthe brokenhearted, He will not fulfill the mission for which He came from Heaven. If the brokenhearted are not cheered byHis glorious life and the blessings that flow out of His death, then He will have come to earth for nothing! This is the veryerrand on which the Lord of Glory left the bosom of the Father to be veiled in Human clay, that He might heal the broken inheart-and He will do it!
Our Lord was also educated for this work. He was not only anointed and sent, but He was trained for it. "How?" you ask. Why,He had a broken heart, Himself, and there is no education for the office of Comforter like being placed where you, yourself,have need of comfort, so that you may be able to comfort others with the comfort wherewith you have been comforted of God!Is your heart broken? Christ's heart was broken. He said, "Reproach has broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness." He wentas low as you have ever been and deeper than you can ever go. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" was His bitter cry.If that is your agonized utterance, He can interpret it by His own suffering. He can measure your grief by His grief. Brokenhearts, there is no healing for you except through Him who had a broken heart Himself! You disconsolate ones, come to Him!He can make your heart happy and joyous by the very fact of His own sorrow and the brokenness of His own heart. "In all ourafflictions He was afflicted." He was tempted in all points like as we are." "A Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief."For a broken heart, there is no physician like He!
Once more, I can strongly recommend my Lord Jesus Christ as the Healer of broken hearts because He is so experienced in thework. Some people are afraid that the doctor will try experiments upon them, but our Physician will only do for us what Hehas done many times before. It is no matter of experiment with Him-it is a matter of experience. If you knock, tonight, atmy great Doctor's door, you will, perhaps, say to Him, "I am the strangest patient, my Lord, that ever came to You." He willsmile as He looks at you and He will think, "I have saved hundreds like you." Here comes one who says, "That first man's casewas nothing compared with mine! I am about the worst sinner who ever lived." And the Lord Jesus Christ will say, "Yes, I savedthe worst man that ever lived long ago-and I keep on saving such as he. I delight to do it." But here comes one who has acurious odd way of brokenheartedness. He is an out-of-the-way fretter. Yes, but my Lord is able to "have compassion on theignorant and on them that are out of the way." He can lay hold of this out-of-the-way one, for He has always been saving out-of-the-waysinners! My Lord has been healing broken hearts well near 1,900 years! Can you find a brass plate anywhere in London tellingof a physician of that age? He has been at the work longer than that, for it is not far off 6,000 years since He went intothis business! And He has been healing the broken in heart ever since that time.
I will tell you one thing about Him that I have on good authority, that is, He never lost a case yet! There never was onewho came to Him with a broken heart but He healed him. He never said to one, "You are too bad for me to heal." But He didsay, "Him that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out." My dear Hearer, He will not cast you out! You say, "You do not knowme, Mr. Spurgeon." No, I do not, and you have come here, tonight, and you hardly know why you are here-only you are very lowand very sad. The Lord Jesus Christ loves such as you are, you poor, desponding, doubting, desolate, disconsolate one! Daughtersof sorrow, sons of grief, look here! Jesus Christ has gone on healing broken hearts for thousands of years and He is wellup in the business! He understands it by experience, as well as by education. He is "mighty to save." Consider Him! ConsiderHim and the Lord grant you Grace to come and trust Him even now!
Thus I have talked to you about the Physician for broken hearts. Shall I tell you what His chief medicine is? It is His ownflesh and blood! There is no cure like it. When a sinner is bleeding with sin, Jesus pours His own blood into the
wound-and when that wound is slow in healing, He binds His own Sacrifice about it. Healing for broken hearts comes by theAtonement-Atonement by Substitution-Christ suffering in our place. He suffered for everyone who believes in Him and he thatbelieves in Him is not condemned and never can be condemned, for the condemnation due to him was laid upon Christ! He is clearbefore the bar of justice as well as before the Throne of Mercy! I remember when the Lord put that precious ointment uponmy wounded spirit. Nothing ever healed me until I understood that He died in my place-died that I might not die! And now,today, my heart would bleed itself to death were it not that I believe that He, "His own Self, bore our sins in His own bodyon the tree." "With His stripes we are healed," and with no medicine but this atoning Sacrifice! A wonderful heal-all is this,when the Holy Spirit applies it with His own Divine power and lets life and love come streaming into the heart that was readyto bleed to death!
III. My time flies too quickly, so, thirdly, I want you to consider THE TESTIMONIAL TO THE GREAT PHYSICIAN which is emblazonedin my text. It is God the Holy Spirit who, by the mouth of His servant, David, bears testimony to this congregation, tonight,that the Lord Jesus heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds! If I said it, you need no more believe it than Ineed believe it if you said it! One man's word is as good as another's if we are truthful, but this statement is found inan Inspired Psalm. I believe it-I dare not doubt it, for I have proven its truth.
I understand my text to mean this-He does it effectually. As I said last Thursday night, if there is a person cast down ordesponding within 20 miles, he is pretty sure to find me out. I laugh, sometimes, and say, "Birds of a feather flock together,"but they come to talk to me about their despondency and, sometimes, they leave me half desponding in the attempt to get themout of their sadness! I have had some very sad cases, lately, and I am afraid that when they went out of my room, they couldnot say of me, "He heals the broken in heart." I am sure that they could say, "He tried his best. He brought out all the choicearguments he could think of to comfort me." And they have felt very grateful. They have come back, sometimes, to thank Godthat they have been a little bit encouraged, but some of them are frequent visitors-and I have been trying to cheer them upby the month together!
But, when my Master undertakes the work, "He heals the broken in heart," He not only tries to do it, He does it! He touchesthe secret sources of the sorrow and takes the spring of the grief away. We try our best, but we cannot do it. You know itis very hard to deal with the heart. The human heart needs more than human skill to cure it. When a person dies and the doctorsdo not know the reason why he died, they say, "It was heart disease." They did not understand his mal-ady-that is what thatmeans. There is only one Physician who can heal the heart, but, glory be to His blessed name, "He heals the broken in heart."He does it effectually.
As I read my text, I understand it to mean He does it constantly. "He heals the broken in heart." Not merely, "He healed themyears ago," but He is doing it now. "He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds." What? At this minute? Ten minutesto eight? Yes, He is doing this work now! "He heals the broken in heart." And when the service is over and the congregationis gone, what will Jesus be doing then? Oh, He will still be healing the broken in heart! Suppose this year, 1890, shouldrun out and the Lord does not come to Judgment-what will He be doing then? He will still be healing the broken in heart! Hehas not used up His ointments. He has not exhausted His patience. He has not, in the least degree, diminished His power! Hestill heals.
"Oh dear!" one says, "If I had come to Christ a year ago, it would have been well with me." If you come to Christ tonight,it will be well with you, for, "He heals the broken in heart." I do not know who was the inventor of that idea of "sinningaway the Day of Grace." If you are willing to have Christ, you may have Him! If you are as old as Methuselah- and I do notsuppose that you are older than he was-if you want Christ, you may have Him! As long as you are out of Hell, Christ is ableto save you! He is going on with His old work. Because you are just past 50, you say the die is cast. Because you are past80, you say, "I am now too old to be saved." Nonsense! He heals, He heals, He is still doing it! "He heals the broken in heart."
I go further than that and say that He does it invariably. I have shown you that He does it effectually and con-stantly-andHe does it invariably. There never was a broken heart brought to Him that He did not heal! Do not some brokenhearted patientsgo out at the back door, as my Master's failures? No, not one! There never was one yet that He could not heal! Doctors aresometimes obliged, in our hospitals, to give up some persons and say that they will never recover. Certain symptoms have provedthat they are incurable. But, despairing one, in the Divine Hospital, of which Christ is the Physician, there never was apatient of His who was turned out as incurable! He is able to save to the utter-
most. Do you know how far that is-"to the uttermost?" There is no going beyond "the uttermost," because the uttermost goesbeyond everything else, to make it the uttermost! "He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him." Whereare you, Friend "Uttermost"? Are you here tonight? "Ah," you say, "I wonder that I am not in Hell." Well, so do I, but youare not, and you never will be if you cast yourself on Christ! Rest in the full Atonement that He has made, for He alwaysheals without any failure! "He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds."
As I read these words, it seems to me that He glories in doing it. He said to the Psalmist, by the Holy Spirit, "Write a Psalmin which you shall begin with Hallelujah, and finish with Hallelujah. And set in the middle of the Psalm, as one of the thingsfor which I delight to be praised, that I heal the broken in heart." None of the gods of the heathen were ever praised forthis! Did you ever read a song to Jupiter, or to Mercury, or to Venus, or to any of them, in which they were praised for bindingup the broken in heart? Jehovah, the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-the God and Father of our Lord andSavior Jesus Christ-is the only God who makes it His boast that He binds up the broken in heart! Come, you big, black sinner!Come, you desperado! Come, you that have gone beyond all measurement in sin! You can all glorify God more than anybody elseby believing that He can save even you! He can save you and put you among the children! He delights to save those that seemedfarthest from Him. IV. This is my last point-consider WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO.
If there is such a Physician as this and we have broken hearts, it goes without saying that, first of all, we ought to resortto Him. When people are told that they have an incurable disease, a malady that will soon bring them to their grave, theyare much distressed. But if, somewhere or other, they hear that the disease may be cured, after all, they say, "Where? Where?"Well, perhaps it is thousands of miles away-but they are willing to go if they can. Or the medicine may be very unpleasantor very expensive-but if they find that they can be cured, they say, "I will have it." And if anyone came to their door andsaid, "Here it is! It will heal you and you can have it for nothing and as much as you want of it," there would be no difficultyin getting rid of any quantity of the medicine so long as we found people sick!
Now, if you have a broken heart tonight, you will be glad to have Christ. I had a broken heart once and I went to Him andHe healed it in a moment and made me sing for joy! Young men and women, I was about 15 or 16 when He healed me. I wish thatyou would go to Him, now, while you are yet young. The age of His patients does not matter. Are you younger than fifteen?Boys and girls may have broken hearts-and old men and old women may have broken hearts- but they may come to Jesus and behealed! Let them come to Him, tonight, and seek to be healed.
When you are about to go to Christ, possibly you ask, "How shall I go to Him?" Go by prayer. One said to me, the other day,"I wish that you would write me a prayer, Sir." I said, "No, I cannot do that, go and tell the Lord what you need." He replied,"Sometimes I feel such a great need that I do not know what it is I need! And I try to pray, but I cannot. I wish that somebodywould tell me what to say." "Why," I said, "the Lord has told you what to say! This is what He has said-'Take with you words,and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.'" Go to Christ in prayer with suchwords as those, or any others that you can get. If you cannot get any words, tears are just as good, and rather better! Andgroans and sighs and secret desires will be acceptable with God.
But add faith to them. Trust the Physician. You know that no ointment will heal you if you do not put it on the wound. Oftentimeswhen there is a wound, you want something with which to strap the ointment on. Faith straps on the heavenly heal-all! Go tothe Lord with your broken heart and believe that He can heal you! Believe that He alone can heal you and trust Him to do it!Fall at His feet and say, "If I perish, I will perish here. I believe that the Son of God can save me and I will be savedby Him! But I will never look anywhere else for salvation. 'Lord, I believe; help You my unbelief!'" If you have come as faras that, you are very near the Light of God! The great Physician will heal your broken heart before very long. Trust Him todo it now!
When you have trusted in Him and your heart is healed, and you are happy, tell others about Him. I do not like my Lord tohave any tongue-tied children. I do not mean that I would want you all to preach. When a whole Church takes to preaching,it is as if the whole body were a mouth and that would be a vacuum! I want you to tell others, in some way or other, whatthe Lord has done for you, and be earnest in endeavoring to bring others to the great Physician. You all remember, thereforeI need not tell you again, the story that we had about the doctor at one of our hospitals, a year or two ago. He healed adog's broken leg and the grateful animal brought other dogs to have their broken legs healed. That was a good dog-some ofyou are not half as good as that dog! You believe that Christ is blessing you, yet you never try to
bring others to Him to be saved! That must not be the case any longer. We must excel that dog in our love for our speciesand it must be our intense desire that if Christ has healed us, He should heal our wife, our children, our friends, our neighbors-andwe should never rest till others are brought to Him!
Then, when others are brought to Christ, or even if they will not be brought to Him, be sure to praise Him. If your brokenheart has been healed and you are saved, and your sins forgiven, praise Him! We do not sing half enough. I do not mean inour congregations, but when we are at home. We pray every day. Do we sing every day? I think that we should. Matthew Henryused to say about family prayer, "They that pray do well; they that read and pray do better; they that read and pray and singdo best of all." I think that Matthew Henry was right. "Well, I have no voice," says one. Have you not? Then you never grumbleat your wife. Your never find fault with your food. You are not one of those who make the household unhappy by your evil speeches."Oh, I do not mean that!" No, I thought you did not mean that. Well, praise the Lord with the same voice that you have usedfor complaining!
"But I could not carry a tune," says one. Nobody said you were to do so. You can at least sing as I do. My singing is of avery peculiar character. I find that I cannot confine myself to one tune. In the course of a verse I use half-a-dozen tunes-butthe Lord, to whom I sing, never finds any fault with me. He never blames me because I do not keep this tune or that. I cannothelp it. My voice runs away with me and my heart, too! But I keep on humming something or other by way of praising God's name.I would like you to do the same. I used to know an old Methodist and the first thing in the morning, when he got up, he begansinging a bit of a Methodist hymn. And if I met the old man during the day, he was always singing. I have seen him in hislittle workshop, with his lap stone on his knee, and he was always singing and beating with his hammer. When I said to him,once, "Why do you always sing, dear Brother?" He replied, "Because I always have something to sing about."
That is a good reason for singing! If our broken hearts have been healed, we have something to sing about in time and throughouteternity! Let us begin to do so to the praise of the glory of His Grace, who "heals the broken in heart, and binds up theirwounds." God bless all the broken hearts that are in this congregation tonight, for Jesus' sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON Psalm 147.
This is one of the Hallelujah Psalms. It begins and ends with, "Praise you the LORD." May our hearts be in tune, that we maypraise the Lord while we read these words of praise!
Verse 1. Praise you the LORD-It is not enough for the Psalmist to do it, himself. He needs help in it, so he says, "Praiseyou the LORD." Wake up, my Brothers! Bestir yourselves, my Sisters! Come, all of you, and unite in this holy exercise! "Praiseyou the LORD."
1. For it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. When a thing is good, pleasant,and comely, you have certainly three excellent reasons for attending to it. It is not everything that is good-but here youhave a happy combination of goodness, pleasantness, and comeliness. It will do you good to praise God. God counts it goodand you will find it a pleasant exercise. That which is the occupation of Heaven must be happy employment. "It is good tosing praises unto our God." "It is pleasant" and certainly nothing is more "comely" and beautiful, and more in accordancewith the right order of things than for creatures to praise their Creator-and the children of God to praise their Father inHeaven.
2. The LORD does build up Jerusalem. Praise His name for that. You love His Church-be glad that He builds it up. Praise Himwho quarries every stone and puts it upon the one Foundation that is laid, even Jesus.
2. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. Praise Him for that. If you were once an outcast and He has gathered you, giveHim your special personal song of thanksgiving.
3. He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. Praise Him for that, you who have had broken hearts! If He hashealed you, surely you should give Him great praise.
4. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names. He who heals broken hearts counts the stars and callsthem by their names, as men call their servants, and send them on their way. Praise His name! Can you look up at the starrysky at night without praising Him who made the stars and leads out their host?
5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite. Praise Him, then. Praise His greatness, His al-mightiness,His infinite wisdom. Can you do otherwise? Oh, may God reveal Himself so much to your heart that you shall be constrainedto pay Him willing adoration!
6. The LORD lifts up the meek. What a lifting up it is for them, out of the very dust where they have been trod down by theproud and the powerful! The Lord lifts them up. Praise Him for that.
6. He casts the wicked down to the ground. Thus He puts an end to their tyranny and delivers those who were ground beneaththeir cruel power. Praise His name for this, also. Excuse me that I continue to say to you, "Praise you the Lord," for, oftenas I say it, you will not praise Him too much-and we need to have our hearts stirred up to this duty of praising God whichis so much neglected. After all, it is the praise of God that is the ultimatum of our religion. Prayer does but sow-praiseis the harvest! Praying is the end of preaching and praising is the end of praying. May we bring to God much of the very essenceof true religion and that will be the inward praise of the heart!
7. Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our Go. "Unto our God." How that possessive pronounputs a world of endearment into the majestic word, "God!" "This God is our God." Come, my Hearer, can you call God your God?Is He, indeed, yours? If so, "Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God."
8. Who covers the Heaven with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow upon the mountains. They didnot talk about the "law of Nature" in those days. They ascribed everything to God. Let us do the same! It is a poor sciencethat pushes God farther away from us instead of bringing Him nearer to us. HE covers the Heaven with clouds! HE prepares therain for earth! HE makes the grass to grow upon the mountains!
9. He gives to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. Our God cares for the birds and the beasts. He is asgreat in little things as in great things. Praise you His name! The gods of the heathen could not have these things said ofthem, but our God takes pleasure in providing for the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. The commissariat of theuniverse is in His hand! "You open Your hands and satisfy the desire of every living thing."
10. 11. He delights not in the strength of the horse: He takes not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasurein them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy. Kings of the olden times rejoiced in the muscles and sinews of theirsoldiers and their horses, but God has no delight in mere physical strength. He takes pleasure in spiritual things, even inthe weakness which makes us fear Him-even that weakness which has not grown into the strength of faith and yet hopes in Hismercy. "The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy."
12. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. Let whole cities join together to praise God! Shall we live tosee the day when all London shall praise Him? Shall we, ever, as we go down these streets with their multitudes of inhabitants,see the people standing in the doorways and asking, "What must we do to be saved?" Shall we ever see every house with anxiousenquirers in it, saying, "Tell us, tell us, how can we be reconciled to God?" Pray that it may be so! In Cromwell's day, ifyour went down Cheapside at a certain hour of the morning, you would find every blind drawn, for the people were all at familyprayer. There is no street like that in London today! In those glorious Puritan times there was domestic worship everywhere-andthe people seemed brought to Christ's feet. Alas, it was but an appearance in many cases-and they soon turned back to theirown devices! Imitating the Psalmist, let us say, "Praise the Lord, O London; praise your God, O England!"
13. For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you. As a nation, we have been greatlyprospered, defended and supplied. And the Church of God has been made to stand fast against her enemies and her children havebeen blessed.
14. 15. He makes peace in your borders, and fills you with the finest of the wheat. He sends forth His Commandment upon earth:His Word runs very swiftly. Oriental monarchs were very earnest to have good post arrangements. They sent their decrees uponswift camels. They can never be compared with the swiftness of the purpose of God's decree. "His Word runs very swiftly."Oh, that the day would come when over all the earth, God's Writ should run, and God's written Word should come to be reverenced,believed, and obeyed!
16. He gives snow like wool. Men say, "it" snows. But what "it" is it that snows? The Psalmist rightly says of the Lord, "HEgives snow." They say that according to the condition of the atmosphere, snow is produced. But the Believer says, "He givessnow like wool." It is not only like wool for whiteness, but it is like it for the warmth which it gives.
16. He scatters the hoarfrost like ashes. The simile is not to be easily explained, but it will often have suggested itselfto you who, in the early morning, have seen the hoar frost scattered abroad.
17. He casts forth His ice like morsels: who can stand before His cold? None can stand before His heat, but when He withdrawsthe fire and takes away the heat, the cold is equally destructive! It burns up as fast as fire would. "Who can stand beforeHis cold?" If God is gone, if the Spirit of God is taken away from His Church, or from any of you, who can stand before Hiscold? The deprivation is as terrible as if it were a positive infliction. "Who can stand before His cold?"
18. He sends out His Word, and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow. The frozen waters were hard asiron. The south wind touches them and they flow again. What can God not do? The great God of Nature is our God. Let us praiseHim! Oh, may our hearts be in a right key tonight to make music before Him!
19. He shows His Word unto Jacob, His statutes unto Israel. This is something greater than all His wonders in Nature. TheGod of Nature is the God of Revelation! He has not hidden His Truth away from men. He has come out of the eternal secreciesand He has showed His Word, especially His Incarnate Word, unto His people. Let His name be praised!
20. He has not dealt so with any nation. Or, with any other nation. He revealed His statutes and His judgments to Israel,and since their day, the spiritual Israel has been privileged in like manner-"He has not dealt so with any nation."
20. And as for His judgments, they have not known them. Even today there are large tracts of country where God is not known.If we know Him, let us praise Him.
20. Praise you the LORD. Hallelujah! The Psalm ends upon its keynote-"Praise you the LORD." So may all our lives end! Amen.