Sermon 144. Waiting Only Upon God
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, August 2, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"My soul, wait thou only upon God."-Psalm 62:6.
CALVIN translates this verse, "My soul, be thou silent before God." Rest calm and undisturbed. Thine enemies are round aboutthee, and have sore beset thee thy troubles do surround thee like strong bulls of Bashan; but rest, my soul, in God. Thineenemies are mighty, but HE IS Almighty; thy troubles are grievous, but he is greater than thy troubles, and he shall deliverthee from them. Let not thy soul be agitated. The wicked are like the troubled sea that cannotrest: be not thou like unto them. Be thou calm: let not a wave ruffle thine untroubled spirit. "Cast thy burden on theLord," and then sleep on his bosom. Commit thy way unto Jehovah, and then rest in sure and certain confidence, for
"He everywhere hath sway,
And all things serve his might;
His every act pure blessing is,
His path unsullied light."
Oh! that we had grace to carry out the text in that sense of it! It is a hard matter to be calm in the day of trouble; butit is a high exercise of divine grace when we can stand unmoved in the day of adversity, and feel that
"Should the earth's old pillars shake,
And all the wheels of nature break,
Our stedfast souls should hear no more
Than solid rocks when billows roar."
That is to be a Christian indeed. Nothing is so sweet as to
"Lie passive in God's hand,
And know no will but his."
I shall, however, this morning stand to the authorised version. "My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is fromhim." Here is, first, an exhortation, and secondly, an expectation.
I. We begin with the EXHORTATION. The Psalmist was a preacher, and it was quite right that he should sometimes make himself his congregation. The preacher who neglects to preach to himselfhas forgotten a very important part of his audience. He who never in his silent privacy speaketh a word to his own soul, dothnot know where to begin his preaching. We must first address our own soul. If we can move that by the words we may utter, we may hope to have somepower with the souls of others.
And note where David begins his exhortation: "My soul, wait thou upon God." He addresses the very center of his being. "My soul, I preach to thee; for if thou goest wrong, allis amiss. If thou art amiss, mine eyes follow after vanity, my lips utter leasing, my feet become swift to shed blood, andmine hands meddle with mischief. My soul, I will preach to thee. My face, I will not preach to thee. Some men preach to theirfaces, and try to put on their countenancesemotions which they never feel. No, countenance, I will leave thee alone: thou wilt be right enough if the soul is so.I will preach to thee, O my soul, and address my sermon to thee Thou art mine only auditor: hear what I say." "My soul, wait thou only upon God." Let us, then, explain the exhortation.
1. First, the Psalmist means by this,-My soul make God thine only object in life. "My soul, wait thou only upon God." Make him the summit of thy desires and the object of thine exertions. Oh! how many menhave made a fearful shipwreck of their entire existence, by choosing an object inferior to this high and noble object of existence,the serving of God. I could put my finger upon a thousand biographies of men, who after having lived in this world and donegreatthings, have nevertheless died unhappily, because they did not first seek God and his righteousness. Perhaps there neverwas a mind more gigantic than the mind of Sir Walter Scott: a man whose soul was as fertile as the newly broken soil of theland of gold. That man was a good man I believe, a Christian; but he made a mistake in the object of his life. His objectwas to be a laird, to found a family, to plant the root of an ancestral tree the fruit of which should be heard of in agesto come;magnificent in his hospitality, generous in his nature, laborious in his continual strife to win the object of his life,yet after all he died a disappointed and unsuccessful man. He reared his palace, he accumulated his wealth and one sad daysaw it scattered to the wind, and he had lost that for which he had lived. Had he fixed his eye upon some better object thanthe pleasing of the public, or the accumulation of wealth, or the founding of a family, he might have got the others, andhe wouldnot have lost the first. Oh! had he said "Now I will serve my God; this potent pen of mine, dedicated to the Most High;shall weave into my marvellous stories things that shall enlighten, convince, and lead to Jesus," he might have died penniless,but he would have died having achieved the object of his wishes-not a disappointed man. Oh if we could make God our only objectwe should rest quite secure, and whatever happened it never could be said of us, "He died without having had what he wishedfor." How many of you that are here to day are making the same mistake on a smaller scale? You are living for business.You will be disappointed, then. You are living for fame. As certain as you are alive you will die disappointed, grieved andsad at heart. You are living to maintain respectability; perhaps that is the utmost of your desire. Poor aim that! You shallbe disappointed; or even if you gain it, it shall be a bubble not worth the chase. Make God your one object in life, and allthesethings shall be added to you, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." There is no loss in being a Christian, and makingGod the first object; but make anything else your goal, and with all your running, should you run ever so well, you shallfall short of the mark; or if you gain it, you shall fall uncrowned, unhonored to the earth. "My soul, wait thou only uponGod." Say, "I love to serve him; I love to spread his kingdom, to advance his interests, to tell the story of his gospel,toincrease the number of his converted ones that shall be my only object; and when that is sufficiently attained, 'Lord,lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.'"
2. But the Psalmist meant other things beside this, when he said, "My soul wait thou only upon God." He meant, My soul, have no care but to please God. Perhaps the most miserable people in the world are the very careful ones. You that are so anxious about what shall happenon the morrow that you cannot enjoy the pleasures of to-day, you who have such a peculiar cast of mind that you suspect everystar to be a comet, and imagine that there must be a volcano in everygrassy mead, you that are more attracted by the spots in the sun than by the sun himself, and more amazed by one searleaf upon the tree than by all the verdure of the woods-you that make more of your troubles than you could do of your joys,-Isay, I think you belong to the most miserable of men. David says to his soul, "My soul, be thou careful for nothing exceptGod; cast all thy care on him; he careth for thee, and make this thy great concern, to love and serve him; and then thou needestcare for nothing else at all." Oh! there are many of you people that go picking your way all through this world you areafraid to put one foot down before another, because you fear you will be in danger. If you had grace just to turn your eyeto God, you might walk straight on in confidence, and say, "Though I should tread on hell itself at the next step, yet ifGod bade me tread there it would be heaven to me." There is nothing like the faith that can leave care with God and have nothoughtbut how to please him. "Behold the fowls of the air, they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet yourheavenly Father feedeth them." "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: andyet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Say not, "What shall we eat? or,What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenlyFatherknoweth that ye have need of all these things." Oh, happy is the man who says, "I am a gentleman commoner upon the bountiesof providence. Let God send me little, it will be enough; let him send me much, it will not be too much, for I will dividemy wealth with those who have less. I will trust to him. He has said, 'Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shallbe sure.' Then let famine come, I shall not starve; let the brook dry up, he will open the bottles of heaven and give me drink.Whatever shall happen to this world, yet shall I be secure against all ills." Some people talk about being independentgentlemen. I know an independent gentleman that lives on three shillings and sixpence a week. He has nothing but parish allowanceand the charity of friends; but he says in sickness and in weariness, Jehovah will provide; if my Father knows I want morehe will send me more. And if you hint to him that his parish allowance will be taken away, he will just smile, and say, "Ifitdoes not come one way it will come another; for God is the chancellor of my exchequer and he will never let my funds runtoo low. I shall have it for God has said it. 'They that wait on the Lord shall not want any good thing.'" That is the rightkind of independency-the independency of the man who knows no dependence except upon God. My soul, let this be thy care, toserve God, and wait only upon Him.
3. Again, David meant this,-My soul, make God thine only dependence, and never trust in anything else. It is marvellous how God's creation illustrates my text,-David bids his soul take God for its only pillar. Have you nevernoticed how the world displays the power of God, in its want of any apparent support? Behold the unpillared arch of heaven;see how it stretches its gigantic span; and yet it falleth not, though it is unpropped and unbuttressed. "He hangeth theworld upon nothing." What chain is it that bindeth up the stars, and keepeth them from falling? Lo, they float in ether,upheld by his omnipotent arm, who hath laid the foundations of the universe. A Christian should be a second exhibition ofGod's universe, his faith should be an unpillared confidence, resting on the past, and on the eternity to come, as the suregroundwork of its arch. His faith should be like the world; it should hang on nothing but the promise of God, and have noothersupport but that; and he himself, like the stars, should float in the ether of confidence, needing nothing to uphold himbut the right hand of the Majesty on high. But, fools that we are, we will be always getting other confidences. The merchanthas a man who so understands his business, that he thinks the whole establishment depends upon that one man, and if he shoulddie or give up his situation, what would become of the business? Ah! merchant, if thou art a godly man, thou hast forgottenwhere thy confidence ought to be, not in thy man, but in thy God. The wife often saith, "I love the Lord, but if my husbanddied, where would be my dependence?" What! hast thou buttressed the almighty even with a husband's love? Trust thou in him,and make him thine only consolation. He will supply thy needs out of the riches of his fullness. Oh we should not have halfthe trouble we have, if we learned to live wholly upon God. But we are so dependent upon creatures; we get leaning one onanother; and our dear friend, into whose ear we have told our tale of misery, seems to be quite necessary to our existence.Take heed, then; take heed! ye are trying to prop that which requires no prop, when you lean upon your friend; you are justdishonoring Christ, when you make him your joy and confidence; and when in some grievous day, your friend shall be smittenfrom the earth, then you will begin to feel it would have been better for you if you had leaned upon your heavenly Friend,andmade no one your strength and your support but God.
This would be a good lesson for some who occupy the pulpit. There is so much time-serving everywhere. The Dissenting ministermust make his prop out of his deacons and the clergyman will too much make his prop out of some high officials in church orstate, who are likely to promote him. We shall never get an outspoken gospel until we get a set of men, who say "I don't carefor the whole earth; if there is no one else right, and I conceive myself to be so, I will battle thewhole earth; and I ask no man's wish, or will, or assent. 'Let God be true, and every man a liar.'" Oh, we want a fewof those gigantic spirits who need no approvers-who can of themselves sweep their acre of men and slay them with their strongbroad sword of confidence; and when we get these care-for-nothings, who care only for God, then shall the earth shake againbeneath the tramp of angels, and God shall visit our land, even as he did of old.
4. Again, beloved, "My soul wait thou only upon God," that is to say, make God thine only guide and confidence. When we get into trouble the first thing we do is to knock at our neighbour's door. "Have you heard about my trouble? Comeand give me your advice." If your neighbor were prudent he would say, "My brother, have you gone to God first? I will giveyou no advice till God has given you his counsel?" It is laughed at as an enthusiastic idea that men should evertake counsel of God. "Oh," say some, "it is superstitious to imagine that God will ever give to his people guidance intheir temporal affairs." It would be superstitious to you perhaps; but it is not to a David, and it is not to any other childof God. He saith, "My soul wait thou only upon God." Christian, if thou wouldest know the path of duty take God for thy compass;if thou wouldest know the way to steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Manya rock might be escaped, if we would let God take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we wouldleave to his sovereign will to choose and to command. The old puritans said, "As sure as ever a Christian carves for himselfhe'll cut his own fingers;" and that is a great truth. Said another old divine, "He that goes before the cloud of God's providencegoes on a fool's errand;" and so he does. We must mark God's providence leading us; and then let us go. But he that goesbefore providence will be very glad to run back again. Take your trouble, whatever it is, to the throne of the Most Highand on your knees put up the prayer, "Lord, direct me." You will not go wrong. But do not do as some do. Many a person comesto me and says, "I want your advice, sir; as my minister, perhaps you could tell me what I ought to do." Sometimes it is abouttheir getting married. Why, they have made up their minds before they ask me, they know that; and then they come to ask myadvice. "Do you think that such and such a thing would be prudent, sir? Do you think I should change my position in life?"and so on. Now, first of all, I like to know, "Have you made your mind up?" In most cases they have-and I fear you serve Godthe same. We make up our mind what we are going to do, and often we go down on our knees, and say, "Lord, show me what I oughtto do," and then we follow out our intention and say, "I asked God's direction." My dear friend, you did ask it, but you didnot follow it, you followed your own. You like God's direction so long as it points you the way you wish to go, but ifGod's direction lead the contrary to what you considered your own interest, it might have been a very long while before youhad carried it out. But if we in truth and verity do confide in God to guide us, we shall not go far wrong, I know.
5. Once again: My soul, wait thou only upon God, for protection in times of danger. A naval Officer tells the following singular story concerning the siege of Copenhagen, under Lord Nelson. An officer in thefleet says, "I was particularly impressed with an object which I saw three or four days after the terrific bombardment ofthat place. For several nights before the surrender, the darkness was ushered in with a tremendous roar of guns and mortars,accompanied bythe whizzing of those destructive and burning engines of warfare, Congreve's rockets. The dreadful effects were soon visiblein the brilliant lights through the city. The blazing houses of the rich, and the burning cottages of the poor, illuminatedthe heavens; and the wide-spreading flames, reflecting on the water, showed a forest of ships assembled round the city forits destruction. This work of conflagration went on for several nights but the Danes at length surrendered; and on walkingsomedays after among the ruins, consisting of the cottages of the poor, houses of the rich, manufactories, lofty steeples,and humble meeting-houses, I descried, amid this barren field of desolation, a solitary house, unharmed; all around it a burntmass, this alone untouched by the fire, a monument of mercy. 'Whose house is that?' I asked. 'That,' said the interpreter,'belongs to a Quaker. He would neither fight nor leave his house, but remained in prayer with his family during the wholebombardment.' Surely, thought I, it is well with the righteous, God has been a shield to thee in battle, a wall of fire round about thee, a very present help in time of need." It might seem tobe an invention of mine, only that it happens to be as authentic a piece of history as any that can be found. There is anotherstory told, somewhat similar of that Danish war. "Soon after the surrender of Copenhagen to the English, in the year 1807,detachments of soldiers were, for a time,stationed in the surrounding villages. It happened one day that three soldiers, belonging to a Highland regiment, wereset to forage among the neighboring farm-houses. They went to several but found them stripped and deserted. At length theycame to a large garden, or orchard, full of apple trees, bending under the weight of fruit. They entered by a gate, and followeda path which brought them to a neat farm-house. Everything without bespoke quietness and security; but as they entered bythefront door, the mistress of the house and her children ran screaming out by the back. The interior of the house presentedan appearance of order and comfort superior to what might be expected from people in that station, and from the habits ofthe country. A watch hung by the side of the fireplace, and a neat book-ease, well filled, attracted the attention of theelder soldier. He took down a book: it was written in a language unknown to him, but the name of Jesus Christ was legibleon everypage. At this moment, the master of the house entered by the door through which his wife and children had just fled. Oneof the soldiers, by threatening signs demanded provisions the man stood firm, and undaunted, but shook his head. The soldierwho held the book approached him, and pointing to the name of Jesus Christ, laid his hand upon his heart, and looked up toheaven. Instantly the farmer grasped his hand, shook it vehemently, and then ran out of the room. He soon returned with hiswifeand children laden with milk, eggs, bacon, etc., which were freely tendered; and when money was offered in return, itwas at first refused, but as two of the soldiers were pious men, they, much to the chagrin of their companion, insisted uponpaying for all they received. When taking leave, the pious soldiers intimated to the farmer that it would be well for himto secrete his watch; by the most significant signs, he gave them to understand that he feared no evil, for his trust wasin God; andthat though his neighbors, on the right hand and on the left, had fled from their habitations, and by foraging partieshad lost what they could not remove, nor a hair of his head had been injured, nor had he even lost an apple from his trees."The man knew that. "He that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword;" so he just tried the non-resistant principle; andGod, in whom he put implicit confidence, would not let him be injured. It was a remarkable thing that in the massacre of theProtestants in Ireland, a long time ago, there were thousands of quakers in the country, and only two of them were killed;and those two had not faith in their own principles; one of them ran away and hid himself in a fastness, and the other keptarms in his house; but the others, unarmed, walked amidst infuriated soldiers, both Roman Catholics and Protestants' and werenever touched, because they were strong in the strength of Israel's God, and put up their sword into its scabbard, knowingthat to war against another cannot be right, since Christ has said, "Resist not evil; if any man smite thee on one cheek,turn to him the other also." "Be kind, not only to the thankful, but to the unthankful and to the evil;" "forgive your enemies;""bless them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you." But we are ashamed to do that; we do not like it;we are afraid to trust God; and until we do it we shall not know the majesty of faith, nor prove the power of God for ourprotection. "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him."
And now, my dear brethren and sisters, I cannot single out all your cases, but doubtless I have many cases here to which thetext will apply. There is a poor Christian there; he does not know much more than where his next meal will come from. My brother,he that feeds the ravens will not let you starve. Instead of looking to find friends to console you, tell your story intothe ears of God. As sure as the Bible is true he will not leave you. Shall a father leave hischildren to die? No, the granaries of earth have no key but the Almighty's will, "The cattle on a thousand hills are his."If he were hungry he would not tell us. Shall he not supply your needs out of the riches of his goodness?
"All things living he doth feed
His full hand supplies their need."
Shall he forget you, when he clothes the grass of the field, and when he makes the valleys rejoice with food? But is youranxiety about your character? Has some one been slandering you? And are you troubled and grieved, lest you should lose yourgood name? If a man has called you every name in the world, do not go to law with him. "Wait only upon God." If you have beenreviled in every newspaper and falsely charged in every sheet, never answer-leave it alone. "Vengeance ismine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Practise non-resistance in words, as well as in deeds. Just bow yourself, and letthe missiles fly over your head. Stand not up to resist. To resist slander is to make it worse. The only way to blunt theedge of calumny is to be silent: it can do no hurt when we are still. Where no wood is the fire goeth out; and if you willnot refute nor answer, the fire will die out of itself. Let it alone. "Wait thou only upon God."
And now, what else is thy danger? What else is thy trouble? Art thou afraid of losing thy dearest child? Is thy husband sick?Doth thy wife lie upon the bed of languishing? These are hard troubles; they cut us to the very quick: to see our dear onessick, and we incapable of helping them, is a trouble indeed. Then the strong man's eye doth weep, and his heart beats heavily,because those he loves are sick. But "wait thou only upon God." Go to thy chamber; tell the Lord thydear one is ill; pour out thy heart before him, and say to him, "My Lord, spare me this trouble, if it be thy will; takenot my friends away; but this know, O God, though thou slay me yet will I trust in thee. Yea,
'Shouldst thou take them all away,
Yet would I not repine;
Before they were possessed by me
They were entirely thine.
There! let it go: one look from thee
Shall more than make amends.'"
Oh! it is a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can say, "We will wait only upon God." Oh, ye agitated Christians, do notdishonor your religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon the Lord. I see ye staggering beneatha weight which He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance.See! the Almighty bends his shoulders, and he says, "Here, put thy troubles here. What! wilt thou bearthyself what the everlasting shoulders are ready to carry?" No;
"Give to the winds thy fears
Hope, and be undismayed
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears,
He shall lift up thy head."
No finer exhibition of the power of religion than the confidence of a Christian in the time of distress. May God vouchsafesuch a carriage and bearing unto us through Jesus Christ!
II. And now I close with the EXPECTATION; and upon that I shall be very brief. The Psalmist charges his soul to wait onlyupon God, because he had DO expectation anywhere else but there.
I know very well what some of you are after; you have got an old grandfather, or an old grandmother, or an old great aunt,and you are most fiercely kind to them, you are most provokingly loving! You almost run to the extreme of teasing them bythe frequency of your affectionate embraces. If your aunt does not know what you do it for, if she wants to know, let herwrite to me, I can tell her. She has a few thousand pounds; I do not say that you have any affection for them,but I should not wonder if you have some expectation of them, and that is just the reason why you are always waiting uponher. You will take care of her, because you well know which way the wind blows; and you trust that one day, if you put yoursails in the right position there may be a valuable cargo brought to your haven-of course not at all through your design;you will go into deep mourning, and lament the old lady's decease, but at the same time you will feel it to be a magnificentconsolation to you, almost greater than the suffering and affliction incurred, that you have become the possessor of herwealth. Now, worldly wise people always wait where their expectations are. David says, "My soul, imitate the worldly in this;wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from him." That is where I expect to get all I shall have, and therefore Iwill wait at that door which I expect will be opened with the hand of munificent grace. What is there in the world that youareexpecting, except from God? You will not get it, or if you get it, it will be a curse to you. That is only a proper expectationwhich looks to God, and to God only. "My expectation is from him." Well, you expect to have bread to eat, and raiment to puton, till ye die, don't you? Where do you expect to get it from? The interest of that Â£600, or Â£1200 of yours in the funds.Well, if that is your expectation, and not God, he will put some bitters in that little income of yours, and you shall findit if sufficient for your sustenance, not sufficient for your comfort. But you will be provided for, because you havea large business! Well, the mill may be burned down; the trade may break the stream of prosperity may run into another's lap,and you may find yourself yet a beggar in the street, notwithstanding all you have, if that is your trust. No; if you areexpecting to get aught from the world it is a poor expectation. I expect to be provided for till I die; but I expect thatI shallhave to draw from the bank of faith till I die, and get all I need out of the riches of God's lovingkindness. And thisI know, I had rather have God for my banker than any man that hath ever lived. Surely, he never fails to honor his promises;and when we bring them to his throne he never sends them back unanswered. You must hope in God, even for temporal supplies.And after all, what a little thing the temporal supplies are! We have heard of a king, who once went into a stable and heardastable boy singing. Said he to him, "And now, John, what do you get for your work?" "If you please sir," he said, "I getmy clothes and my food." "That is all I get" said the King, "for my work." And that is all everybody gets. All else that youhave Rot besides is not yours, except to look at; and other people can do the same. When a man gets a large park I can ridethrough it as much as he, and I have not the trouble of keeping it in order; he may take care of it, and I am much obligedto himfor doing so. I can do as the poor Chinaman did, when he bowed before the mandarin. The mandarin was covered with jewels,and the Chinaman said, "I thank you for your jewels." The mandarin was surprised: the next day he was again saluted by theman, who said as before, "I thank you for your jewels," "Why," said the mandarin, "What do you thank me for?" Said the Chinaman,"I always look at them every day, and that is as much as you do; only that you are the pack horse that has to carry them,andyou have the trouble at night of taking care of them, whilst I can enjoy them just as much as you." And so, dear friends,if we are not rich, contentment can make us so. Contentment gives the poor man broad acres; contentment gives him great richesupon earth, and adds great enjoyment to the comparatively little that he has. "My expectation is from him."
But we have better expectations than that. We shall die soon; and then "my expectation is from him." Do we not expect thatwhen we lie upon the bed of sickness he will send troops of angels to carry us to his bosom? We are believing that when thepulse is faint and few, and the heart heaves heavily, that then some spirit, brighter than the noon-day sun shall draw thecurtains of our bed, and look with loving eyes upon us, and whisper, "Sister, spirit, come away!" And do wenot expect that then a chariot shall be brought, a triumphal chariot, such as earth's conquerors have not seen; and init we shall be placed, and drawn by coursers of light up the eternal hills, in majesty and triumph, we shall ride to yon brightgates of pearl. Then shall the gates wide open swing, and he shall say, "Come in, ye blessed of the Lord, inherit the kingdomprepared for you from before the foundations of the world." We are expecting wreaths of aramanth, and harps of gold, andcrowns of glory; we are thinking when we have done with this poor clay, the poor terrestrial stuff this body's made of,we shall be made white, like spirits who now shine as stars before the throne of the majesty on high, and that we shall sharethose splendours and enjoy their happiness, for ever blest with them,
"Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in."
Now, "My soul, wait thou only upon God," if these be thine expectations. And if thine expectation is based upon God, my soul,live for God; live with only this care, to bless him: live, looping for a better world, but believing this world to be goodenough, if we had God in it. You know what Luther said the little bird said to him. He sat upon the spray of the tree, andhe sang-
"Mortal, cease from toil and sorrow; God provideth for the morrow."
And it chirped and picked up its little grain, and sang again. And yet it had no granary; it had not a handful of wheat storedup anywhere; but it still kept on with its chirping-
"Mortal, cease from toil and sorrow; God provideth for the morrow."
Oh! ye that are not Christians, it were worth while to be Christians, if it were only for the peace and happiness that religiongives. If we had to die like dogs, yet this religion were worth having to make us live here like angels. Oh if the grave werewhat it seems to be, the goal of all existence, if the black nails in the coffin were not bright with stars, if death werethe end and our lamps were quenched in darkness, when it was said, "Dust to dust and earth toearth." Yet 'twere worth while to be a child of God, only to live here.
"'Tis religion that can give sweetest pleasures whilst we live;
'Tis religion must supply solid comforts when we die."
Remember, he that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ and is baptized shall be saved; and you, as well as any other, if thesetwo things be given you, shall be saved. He that trusts in Christ alone for salvation, and then (to translate the word baptizedthe right way, and it can only be rightly translated one way) "is immersed, shall be saved." So stands the praise: believing first, baptism afterwards; believing, the great thing, baptism the signof it; believing thegreat means of grace, immersion, the outward and visible sign of the washing of the flesh and of the dedication unto God."He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." May God give you grace to obey both commands, and so enter into eternallife! But remember, "He that believeth not shall be damned." He that neglects the great essential shall perish. May God grantthat none of you may know the terrible meaning of that word!