Sermon 3361. God's Valiant Right Hand
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JULY 3, 1913.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE OPENING OF THE EAST LONDON TABERNACLE, ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1872.
"The right hand of tie Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord does valiantly." Psalm 118:16.
THIS verse might full often have leapt from the lips of Believers in the olden times. This verse might have constituted partof the Song of Moses at the Red Sea, for how wondrously did God there overthrow the host of His enemies, when, after dividingthe sea, Egypt was swallowed up in it, God, Himself causing the last foe of Israel to be swept away by the mighty waters!"Sing unto the Lord," they said, "for He has triumphed gloriously," and by the shores of the Red Sea they knew that "The righthand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly." It was so in the wilderness when Joshua fought withAmalek and Moses held up his hands in prayer. It was so when they smote Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan.Are not these things written in the Books of the wars of the Lord, and is it not said, "The Lord is a man of war; the Lordis His name"? It was conspicuously so in the driving out of the Canaanites. When the people of Israel, untrained for war,marched into the land, they found that their enemies had chariots of iron and they were entrenched in cities that were walledup even unto Heaven-but yet all the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites could not stand against the twelve tribes ofIsrael! They fled before them like chaff before the wind! They were scattered like the clouds before the tempest! "Oh, praiseyou the Lord and magnify Him, for He cast out the heathen and He planted His people in their own land." The right hand ofthe Lord was that day exalted, for His right hand does valiantly!
And was it not so throughout the period of the Judges? Time would fail us to tell you of Samson, of Gideon, of Barak and allthose mighty men who were as weapons in the hands of Jehovah-javelins cast forth by Omnipotence! Truly in those days, also,the right hand of the Lord did valiantly! David, who penned this Psalm, knew this in his own experience, for he smote thePhilistines hip and thigh with great slaughter. And long after David had slept with his fathers, others arose and God waswith them-and the Lord did mighty deeds. Have you forgotten how the hosts of Sennacherib lay like the sere leaves of autumnwhen the breath of the archangel had blasted them? Right onward throughout the whole history of Israel, the foes of God hadmade headway for a while, for He put His hand, even His right hand, into His bosom. But when the Lord has risen and His peoplehave chanted the solemn Psalm, "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered," then they that hated Him have fled beforeHim! Into smoke have they been consumed like the fat of rams! Into smoke have they been consumed away! "The right hand ofthe Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly."
But from those triumphs of physical might over warlike powers we turn our eyes to another field of battle-a spiritual one!And God who was mighty with weapons of war, we find mighty with the sword of the Spirit and with the weapons of the Gospel!And we claim the verse which is now before us as a song of the New Testament as well as a chant of the Old! The right handof the Lord is this day exalted and still it does valiantly!
We shall ask your attention not to a very lengthy sermon, but to these three points-The triumphs of the Lord Jesus; the triumphsof the Gospel in the Church; the triumphs of Grace in individual hearts. To all these, and I know not to which one more thananother, the text is most appropriate.
I. CONCERNING THE TRIUMPHS OF THE LORD JESUS IT MAY BE SAID, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of theLord does valiantly." He did not come as a Man of war, for He is the Prince of Peace. He came not here with sword, shieldand buckler, but He came with a body fitted to suffer and with a heart that was made
strong to endure. The Christ of God came in lowliness and in shame, to be despised and rejected of men, but for all that Hefought great battles in the midst of His weakness and won for Himself wondrous spiritual victories. Observe, dear Friends,with holy adoration, how our Lord Jesus Christ met Satan in conflict, not once nor twice, but many times! In fact, throughoutthe Savior's life, the prince of the powers of the air assailed our Master. That was a glorious duel which was fought in thewilderness and on the lofty mountain, from which those two contending spirits had a view of the whole world! And on the pinnacleof the Temple, too. Sharp was the sword of Diabolus when he sought to smite the Savior under the fifth rib and make a fullend of His innocence. But oh, how glorious the strokes of the Lord, Himself, with the sword of the Spirit, when He said, "Itis written," and yet again, "It is written," and yet again, "It is written," and He chased the fiend away! And then triumphantangels came and ministered to the Conqueror amidst the loneliness of the desert. Oh, you Spirits, you might have sung thatday, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly." All through His life our Savior keptHis vantage ground. The prince of this world assailed Him, but he made no dent upon His armor, much less wound upon His soul!He was tempted in all points-the darts flew so thick that they assailed Him from head to foot-but He was without a wound atthe close of the conflict! He was tempted, but yet without sin. And you know how it came to the last tug of all in the Gardenof Gethsemane. Oh, what a wrestling was that, when, as it were, the arch-fiend grappled close with Christ and gripped Himso that-
"That desperate tug His soul might feel, Through bars of brass and triple steel."
It brought the bloody sweat down the Master's face, but He did not relinquish His hold upon the foe and gave him such a fallthat he never shall recover the defeat which he sustained amidst the olive trees of Gethsemane! And on the Cross, too, whenhe rallied his forces for the last time and assailed the Spirit of our Lord with all the malice of his infernal nature, therethe great Michael, the true Archangel, set His foot upon the dragon's head-and though His heel was wounded-yet He broke thathead! And the strength of the power of evil is gone forever! Its monarchy is finally destroyed. "The right hand of the Lord,"though it was a pierced hand, "the right hand of the Lord," though it had grasped a scepter of reed, "does valiantly"! "Theright hand of the Lord is exalted."
The same might be said, but we should go over the same ground, again, if we spoke of the conquests which our Lord achievedover sin in every shape and form. It mattered not how it approached Him-He repelled it! He overthrew it as far as He was personallyconcerned. And when the sins of His people were laid upon Him, oh, Brothers and Sisters, how dreadful was that hour, but howought we to look back upon it with devout thankfulness! When the sins of His people came like an avalanche to crush Him, howgloriously did He sustain the load! With what wondrous power of angels did He suffer the wrath of God which was due for thesins of His people-
"Bore all Incarnate God could bear, With strength enough, but none to spare."
And when He had made Atonement forever for all His people's sins and brought in everlasting righteousness for all His chosen,and could say, "It is finished"- when He gave up the ghost-then truly the right hand of the Lord was exalted and the righthand of the Lord had done valiantly! Brothers and Sisters, the Lord Jesus has this day conquered all our sins! There is nota transgression left to accuse His people! There is no record against them in God's book! He has perfected forever them thatare set apart. The work is finished! Salvation is complete! The right hand of the Lord has done for us what we could not havedone for ourselves! What the angels of Heaven would not have been so foolish as to have attempted, the Lord Jesus Christ hasmost surely completed for all Believers! Heaven rings this day with the joyful songs of His triumphant saints who tell how"the right hand of the Lord is exalted."
Our precious Lord is to be praised in language like our text for having vanquished death as well as sin. Satan and sin Heoverthrew and virtually therein He conquered death. It did not seem as if He would vanquish death, my Brothers and Sisters,when He lay in the grave. The image of death was set as with a seal upon His brow! The Lord of Life and Immortality seemed,and was as really dead as any of the sons of Adam! The three days passed-the appointed time in which He should be, like Jonah,in the bowels of the earth. But on the third day He could not be held by the bonds of death. I think
1 see Him, like another Samson who had been bound with cords, awakening from His slumber like a strong man refreshed, andHe snaps the bonds of death, for it was not possible that He could be held by them! Then the stone was rolled away from thedoor of the sepulcher and out He came, resplendent in the glory of His Resurrection body! From that moment death has beendestroyed! Children of God shall pass through the grave, but they cannot be confined in it. "Oh,
death, where is your sting? Oh, grave, where is your victory?" Christ has forever taken away the gates of the Gaza of thegrave, carried them far away where Satan can never bring them back, and death cannot restore his stronghold. Glorify the ever-livingChrist, for His right hand is exalted!
And the same was conspicuously true in the day when our Lord left this world and rose to the Father Our imagination can hardlydepict that scene, when they who received Him after the Apostles had lost sight of Him, brought His chariot from on high tobear Him to His Throne. Oh, what an ascent was that, when flashed the eternal coursers up the celestial hills. For He comes,mighty to save! He went forth to battle, but He comes back from conquest to wear His well-earned renown. Do you not see atHis chariot wheels the bound monsters? They must be dragged to the very gates of Heaven and then hurled down again! He hasled captivity captive and received gifts for men. Oh, in that day of our Lord's ascending up on high, they who gazed uponthe matchless spectacle of the returning King of kings must have said, if not in words, yet certainly in sense, "The righthand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly."
In those victories, Beloved, you and I have a share. Satan was conquered for us! Sin was overcome for us! Death was boundfor us-
"Hell and our sins obstruct our course, But Hell and sin are vanquished foes! Our Savior nailed them to His Cross, And sangthe triumph when He rose."
Believe it and be glad of it! All your enemies are overcome! You still have to battle, but you fight with conquered foes.The dragon who is most dreadful to you carries a deadly wound about him. Your sins with which you have to contend from dayto day are virtually slain. They have their death wound-they shall not be able to follow you into Heaven. Oh, rejoice in yourLord, conquer in His conquests, be victorious in His victory, overcome through the blood of the Lamb, and give Him all theglory of your triumph! Now, I pass on to note, in the second place, that our text is very applicable to-
II. THE PERPETUAL TRIUMPHS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST.
The Church began with feeble numbers, with small wealth. I might add, with comparatively little talent, but she was clothedwith the Holy Spirit-she was, therefore, mighty! Let us just look at the history of the Church a minute or two, that our soulsmay be comforted with the prospect of the like victories in days to come. When first the Church was in the world like a new-bornchild, the dragon vomited forth torrents with the hope of drowning it. You know the rough weapons with which the world assailedthe Church at first. The sword was unsheathed, prisons were put into use, the rack, unutterable torments, shame, reproach,every infernal art of persecution was pressed into the diabolical service to put down, if possible, the cause and Kingdomof Christ in the world. Now, only think for a minute what became of the continued attempts, the cruel attempts of the worldagainst the Church, for the result conspicuously shows how the right hand of the Lord was exalted! The more they persecutedIsrael in Egypt, the more they multiplied-and it was the same with the Church of God. They that were persecuted went everywherepreaching the Word. They might have tarried at home, perhaps, and been corn in the garner, but persecution broke down thedoor and they were thrown, like handfuls of wheat, broadcast over the nations-and everywhere the precious Seed sprang up!It was of no use killing the Christians-it was like the killing of the Hydra-the cutting off of one head made a hundred freshones spring up!
Young men went to see the martyrdom of saints and as they saw their holy patience, they came to be Believers themselves, tilldying Christians became the most powerful preachers of the Gospel and even the saints that believed were comforted by thesight of the death of the martyrs-they went to see how to die, they went to learn the way to give themselves up for Christ!The anvil never smites the hammer in return, but it breaks many hammers. It wears out the hammer. Here is the patience ofthe saints. God being in His Church, she has borne year after year, and God has forborne to avenge her, but she has triumphed!Her weak, feeble maidens and her illiterate men, her sons and her daughters who lifted not a hand in self-defense, have vanquishedthose that were armed to the teeth and had the power of Imperial Rome and of all empires at their back! "The right hand ofthe Lord," amidst the hosts of martyrs who wear the ruby crown in Heaven today, "is exalted," for "the right hand of the Lorddoes valiantly."
Then, at the same time, the Church was sent into the world to combat with the superstitions which existed in that age and,Brothers and Sisters, the superstitions of ancient Rome were very attractive, very venerable. They had existed
through long ages. They were interwoven with the daily life of the people. Poetry, art, philosophy, all lent their power tomaintain the old heathenism with which the Christian Church came in contact. I have no doubt whatever that the Pontifex Maximusof the day, if he had been told that in Paul he saw a rival, teaching a religion which would break down all the old altarsand the temples of Rome, would have ridiculed the statement. And yet it was so, for where are the gods of old Rome today?Who worships Jupiter today? Who bows before Saturn, father of the gods? Or who pays reverence to Venus or Diana? These havegone-and what has smitten them and broken them in pieces? The stone cut out of the mountain without hands has dashed themall in pieces and broken their power like potters' vessels! And none shall set up these false gods again. Nor was it so inRome, alone. In all countries, the Church of God has had a complete triumph. Weird superstitions woven with stories of magicwhich alarmed the multitudes have fled like the birds of night before the rising sun! No form of superstition which the enemyhas been able to devise has had power to retain its hold where the Gospel has been fully preached. The superstition mightseem to stand like the eternal hills, but Faith has said, "Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall becomea plain," and the mountain of superstition has melted away! "The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of theLord does valiantly."
But, my Brothers and Sisters, the Church has been assailed by heresies within herselfand if anything might have destroyedher, surely it would have been these! I will single out but one-the Arian heresy. You that are well read in Church Historywill know how very potent at one time the Arian heresy was in the ancient Church. The Divinity of our Lord became almost universallydenied! He was a great man, a good man, perhaps the best of men, but they said that He was nothing more. It was a grand daywhen Athanasius declared that Christ was "very God of very God," and, finding himself alone, yet said, "I, Athanasius, againstthe world." It did seem an unequal combat, for there were monarchs on the side of the Arians-bishops and the power of thethen Church, as well as the power of the world! But Arianism- where is it now? The pure faith of God has flung it off likedrops of rain that are cast off from the housetops and remain not! There may be some sleeping in the dens and corners of theearth, to hide their ignoble heads, but the heresy is dead for any power that it has in the Christian Church. And so shallevery heresy die. As the eternal God lives, nothing is immortal but the Truth of God-nothing is eternal but the Gospel! Theright hand of the Lord fights not for a lie, but it is lifted up and His arm is made bare for the truth of His Son Jesus Christ!And all along through the pages of Church History this is true-that the right hand of the Lord is exalted, and does valiantlyin overthrowing error!
But the Church had to suffer from something which excelled heresy because it was the aggregation of heresy, superstition andapostasy. I mean the spread of Popery. In the Middle Ages the night was sevenfold. There was scarcely light enough for theanxious seeker to see his Lord! And men were crushed by the Inquisition, by the practice of priestly confession, by the dominationof priests, bishops and popes. And if any man had then bewailed the absence of the light, as some few did, and an angel hadsaid to him, "Courage, my son. The day shall come in which all this system shall lose its power and the old Gospel shall comeback"-I can imagine I hear the weeper say, "If the Lord should open windows in Heaven, could such a thing be?" But such athing was! God found the man and gave him a heart of iron and a brow of brass-and Martin Luther's voice was heard ringingacross these waters, saying, "Therefore is a man justified by faith, and not by the works of the Law." And other voices tookup that strain till in regions where that Truth of God was an utterly unknown thing, it became familiar to the peasant atthe plow and humble men and women, hiding away from the powers that would have destroyed them, cheered one another with thegladness of that Gospel sound! Oh, you know, Beloved, how God smote the church of Rome in those days gone by, and as you readthe story of the Reformation, you can say, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted."
Now, I shall not detain you with history. I shall bring you to today, for the truth of the olden times is fulfilled in yourears again this day. Wherever the Gospel is preached, the right hand of the Lord is exalted! We have seen it and, therefore,we speak what we know. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ is faithfully preached, no matter by whom-if it is the whole Gospel affectionatelydeclared, prayed over, believingly delivered-it will always glorify God's name! I want you to notice in these days how theLord's hand is exalted in some respects.
First, in this respect-in awakening the attention of a negligent people to the Gospel. There is nothing in the world thatmakes so much stir as preaching Christ! You shall preach anything else you like and the people will sleep. But if you willpreach Christ out and out simply, in plain Saxon, as Paul would have Him preached, not with wisdom of words, you shall findthe people will come together! I know not why it is, but so it is, that even those who dislike the Gospel will
come to hear it! And though sometimes they set their teeth together and curse the men that preach it, yet they come again-theycannot help it. A Gospel preacher has charms coming from his lips that bind themselves around men's hearts. And he holds themcaptives, unwilling at first, and afterwards joyful captives, to the power of the Word He preaches! There should be littleneed of advertisements with a simple, plain, bold Gospel preacher. You shall put him down a back street, you shall give hima passage down a court, you shall then do nothing more for him but let him speak to a handful of people-and the first newsyou will hear of him is that he is eccentric, that he is extraordinary, that he is a fool, that he is a madman! This is alwaysgood news! There is a man of God somewhere about when we hear that noise! Straightway people want to hear this enthusiast,this Methodist, this Presbyterian-and they rush to listen-and then it is that there is power felt by the people! They do notknow what it is, but there is a something in it which seems to grip their hearts and hold them! It is nothing other than this-thatthe Lord has said of Christ that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him! And where Christ is lifted up, people willbe drawn to hear. They must hear! We need not ask them to come-they must come!. Where His body is, there will the eagles begathered together! Where the Savior Christ is proclaimed, there shall they come who need to feed upon a Savior! Does philosophyachieve such a triumph as this? You call it a poor triumph. So it may be in itself, but in its ulterior results it is a verygreat one. There are wise men on the earth that would give their eyes and ears if they could but get the people to listento them-but where Christ is not preached, there are generally more spiders than there are human souls. Put Unitarianism inthe pulpit and you shall soon find how the pews begin to multiply in emptiness! Little else comes of it. A gospel with noGospel has great power of dispersion, but it has little power of attraction-but the Gospel of Jesus Christ soon draws a multitudetogether and, "the right hand of the Lord is exalted."
But you will still say this is little, and I shall confess it is comparatively little, but mark you, if the Gospel is preached,it does not end in coming and going to hear it, for soon that Gospel comes like an eagle from afar and pounces down on men'shearts and makes them a prey to its power! They that came to scoff, remain to pray! They that looked in from curiosity, remainto receive the Savior into their hearts! And those who came from enmity become converted into friends! Oh, how the right handof the Lord was exalted in the days of Whitfield and Wesley! The stories of these two eminent men have been written latelyby many loving pens-and I must confess I am always to read the narratives, however they may be written. Though I have readthem many times, I can always read them again. Oh, it was wonderful when the whole land was asleep! The Church of Englandwas asleep in the dark and the Dissenters were asleep in the light- but there suddenly arose up a man who dared to stand uponhis father's grave in the churchyard and to preach the Gospel! And then there came another, a twin seraph, with equal wings,who went into fields and began to proclaim the strange Doctrine of Faith as a saving Grace, the necessity of regenerationand the work of the Holy Spirit! Oh, those were brave days-the days of the early Methodists-when the time of the singing ofbirds was come and the land was full of the power of the Holy Spirit! And it is just so now. Anywhere where the Gospel ispreached, and preached with the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven, there are conversions, there are broken hearts, there arespirits held by Jesus' love, there are glad ones consecrating themselves to the Redeemer's service! "The right hand of theLord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly."
And we have seen the truth of this in some of the very darkest parts of London. What a wonderful instance of what God's Gracecan do can be seen by anyone who chooses to see it in such spots as Seven Dials, where God's love has blessed the earnestEvangelist. Or in Golden Lane, where a dear Brother of our own, labors amidst the poverty and sin of the masses. Why, whenI have gone there to see my Brothers and Sisters meet together, the poorest of the poor-fruit sellers, men that were drunksand blasphemers, women that were thieves and harlots-and have heard them sing the praises of Jesus and rejoice in His dearname, I have felt "the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly." And so here and allaround! I need not quote instances, for you know them better than I do, of how lions are turned into lambs and ravens intodoves, and the most unlikely spots in East London-that were deserts, salt lands and not inhabited, that looked as if theywere cursed of God-have been made to rejoice and blossom, as the rose, when the preacher of the Gospel has come into the placeand His master with him! Oh, yes, "the right hand of the Lord is exalted."
But they say the Gospel has lost its power. I read the other day that some of us were the echoes of a dead Puritanism, thatwe were not abreast of the age and were preaching a faith that was practically dead! Sirs, they lie in their throats thatsay so, and some of them know it, for the Gospel is no more dead than they are, nor half as much! It lives and lives in allits energy! And they speak not the truth that dare to say it has lost its force. But it is unphilosophical! Hair-splittersdo not care about it! Neological divines toss it out as a thing fit for old women! Glory be to God! If it suits old women,it will suit us and all kinds of people! But inasmuch as it is not philosophical according to their declaration, that wordof God is fulfilled in our ears, "The foolishness of God is wiser than man, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
Then they turn round and say, "But look at those who preach it-uneducated men-men that are not of the higher classes of society,unskilled in the refinements, not able to always give the original word of the Scripture upon which they preach." Yes, Sirs,and it would be a difficult task for any man to prove that the early triumphs of the Gospel owed a solitary jot to educationand learning! In looking at the inscriptions in the catacombs a few days ago, when in Rome, I could not help the observationcontinually coming to my lips that the early Christians must all, or almost all of them, have been so illiterate as scarcelyto have been able to write their own names, for the most common words that are upon the slabs of stone that face the gravesof the early Christians are badly spelt-and there are Greek letters and Latin letters intermingled, showing that they hardlyknew how to finish a word in one language, but must piece it out with another, not knowing completely either the one or theother! Yes, but it was because God had put His Truth into the mouth of babes and sucklings, and established strength, thatwhen the Church had conquered by such humble instrumentalities, and the Truths of God had been mighty when preached by suchsimple men, the right hand of the Lord was exalted, for the right hand of the Lord had done it-not the wisdom, nor the craft,nor the energy of man! God's arm was the more conspicuous because of the feebleness of the instrumentality! Much rather, then,will we glory in infirmities, because the power of God does rest upon us, for He it is that does valiantly! But now I must,in the third place, say a few words, and but a few, for time fails us, upon-
III. THE TRIUMPHS OF GRACE IN INDIVIDUALS.
Let us talk together. You remember, some of you who are this day converted, the time when first the Gospel had power overyour soul I remember how I fought against it. A mother's tears would not move me, nor a father's earnest rebukes. I heardthe Gospel, sometimes, and I was a little affected by it, but I threw it off! But I shall never forget when it came with powerto my soul. I had no shield that could keep off its darts-the arrows of God found a ready way into my conscience-and theyseemed to drink my very blood! My wound rankled and was corrupt. My soul refused to be comforted. Then, as I used to go upto my little chamber and bow my knees in prayer and come down more wretched than when I entered it, when I would search theWord of God to find comfort, but could not find it-then it was that he who knew me might have said, "The right hand of theLord is exalted in that young man, for he was proud and lofty, and self-righteous, but now he lies in the very dust, and wondersthat God lets him live, and marvels that there should be a Gospel for him, and can only half believe it true that such a wretchas he should ever be saved." Oh, I wish the Lord would come with power to some self-righteous ones that are here this afternoon!You are as good as your neighbors? Ah, suppose you are condemned with your neighbors, will that help you? To be lost in companyis small benefit. Oh, but you have never done anybody any harm? No, except your God-and you have robbed Him of all the praisethat was due to Him! And you have lived in this world just as you might have lived if there had been no God! Oh, proud Sinner,I cannot bring you down, but God can! Oh, for a blow from the mighty arm to level you and roll you, biting the dust in shameand self-abasement! Some of us know what that means. May you know it, too, and then you will say, though your heart is breakingas you say it, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted! He is good, but I am evil! He is great and I am nothing! He is infinitelyholy, but I am shamefully impure! God be merciful to me a sinner! God save me for His Name's sake." It is in such a thingas this that the right hand of the Lord is exalted.
But let me talk with you further, you that know the Lord. Beloved, do you remember when you sought to escape from the multitudeof your sins? Do you recollect when they compassed you about like bees? You could not count your sins-you had forgotten them-theyseemed dead and buried, but they all came to life, again, and they swarmed about you! They buzzed about you at your table.They stung you in your sleep, in your dreams. They stung you at your work. You had no peace because of your sins! And do youremember the place, the spot of ground, where you met with Jesus? Some of us recollect it to a yard. We looked to Him uponthe Cross and the battle was over at once! One look to Jesus, Crucified, and the sins that compassed us about were destroyedin the name of the Lord-and the fires that threatened to devour us were quenched as a fire of thorns through the preciousblood of Jesus! Do you remember it? Oh, let your soul go back to your spiritual birthday. Ring the bells of your heart, again,and hang out the streamers of your soul for that
happy day when Jesus washed your sins away! Oh, Beloved, that day beyond all others, the right hand of the Lord was exalted,the right hand of the Lord did valiantly for you! It is a grand picture. I should like to see some artist attempt to sketchit, but he certainly must fail. I would like to hear some poet sing it, but I think that he could hardly reach the dignityof the argument. When Miriam and the daughters of Israel took their timbrels and went forth with the song and the dance tosing because Egypt had been destroyed, and Israel was free, do you know the note in that song that pleases me best of allis this, when they said, "The depths have covered them; there is not one of them left." Why, they looked upon the Red Seaand could not see a trace of their foes! And I think I hear them singing it, "The depths have covered them; there is not one,not one," and they answered each other, "Not one, not one, not one of them left." And so when you and I looked to Christ andsaw His atoning Sacrifice like a mighty sea roll over all our sins-in that blessed day our spirits sang, "The depths havecovered them; there is not one, not one, not one of them left." Every sin is gone, every transgression swallowed up in superaboundingGrace. "The right hand of the Lord does valiantly."
The same has been true, beloved Friends, in the many cases in which you and I have had to overcome our troubles. What soreafflictions have we passed through! Some to whom I speak, it may be, have had mountains of tribulation. Yes, Beloved, butwhen God has been with you, you have stepped from mountaintop to mountaintop without going down into the valley at all!
And, beloved Friends, to close all, where there was much room for great enlargement, let me say, when you and I shall cometo die-as soon, thank God, we shall, for it is a subject to be treated of with thankfulness-we shall find in our dying momentsthat "the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly." I might almost say that I came herefrom the grave, for it is in truth but a day or so since I went to bury one of the holiest men I ever knew and, I may add,the happiest man I ever saw in all my life! He fell asleep at a good old age, but as I stood by his bedside often in his lastillness, I envied him. Covered from head to foot, as he said, with the boils of Job and the sores of Lazarus in one-with allhis bones aching as though they were out of joint, yet he said to me-"What a happy thing it is to be here." And I said, "Whata happy thing to be upon a dying bed?" "Yes," he said, "for I am with God, and God is with me, and Christ is mine and I amHis, and it is the happiest day I ever lived." He had often said that in his lifetime, for I never knew him otherwise thanrejoicing in his God. But I was glad to hear him, when his eyes were almost glazed with death, say, "It is the happiest dayI ever lived." And just before he died, instead of expressing any regrets at the pain he was feeling, or at his departure,he turned round and said to his dear ones around the bed, "You seem all changed to me from what you were. I love you, butI have reached a higher stage than things that are seen. I have seen the King in His beauty in the land that is very far off-andI have heard words which it is not lawful for a man to utter." And they said, "Can you not tell us something of what you haveseen?" He said, "You must pardon me. I am forbidden to tell you. But henceforth, I have done with all things here below, andI am taken up with the joy and glory of my Lord." "My bliss is so great," he said, "it kills me! I cannot live much longerthrough the excess of joy I feel!" In a few short minutes he had closed his eyes and was with God.
The Negro said of his minister, "Sir, he is dying full of life!" So have I seen them die, full of life-the best of life! AndI have then thought, "Sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the righthand of the Lord does valiantly." Fear not! The last conflict shall be the chief of your victories this side the river! TheLord bless you and make you a blessing. Amen.