Sermon 586. The Child Samuel'S Prayer
A SERMON DELIVERED BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears." 1 Samuel 3:9.
IN the days of Eli the Word of the Lord was precious and there was no open vision. It was well, when the Word did come, thatone chosen individual had the hearing ear to receive it and the obedient heart to perform it. Eli failed to tutor his sonsto be the willing servants and the attentivehearers of the Lord's Word. In this he was without the excuse of inability since he successfully trained the child Samuelin reverent attention to the Divine will. O that those who are diligent about the souls of others would look well to theirown households!
Alas, poor Eli, like many in our day, you are made the keeper of the vineyards, but your own vineyard you have not kept! Asoften as he looked upon the gracious child, Samuel, he must have felt the heartache. When he remembered his own neglectedand unchastened sons and how they had made themselvesvile before all Israel, Samuel was the living witness of what Grace can work where children are trained up in God's fear.Hophni and Phinehas were sad specimens of what parental indulgence will produce in the children of the best of men. Ah, Eli,if you had been as careful with yourown sons as with the son of Hannah they had not been such men of Belial, nor would Israel have abhorred the offering ofthe Lord because of the fornication which those priestly reprobates committed at the very door of the tabernacle!
O for Grace to so nurse our little ones for the Lord that they may hear the Lord when He shall be pleased to speak to them!Let us proceed at once to consider our short but very suggestive text in four aspects and I pray that the Holy Spirit mayspeak to us through His Word. We shall meditate uponthis Scripture, first, as the prayer of a little child. Secondly, as the cry of an anxious soul. Thirdly, as the prayerof an earnest Believer. And fourthly as the spirit of a dying saint.
I. First of all we shall take our text AS THE PRAYER OF A LITTLE CHILD. Samuel was blessed with a gracious father and whatis of even more importance, he was the child of an eminently holy mother. Hannah was a woman of great poetic talent, as appearsfrom her memorable song-"My heart rejoicesin the Lord, my horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, because I rejoiced in Your salvation."The soul of poetry lives in every line-a brave but chastened spirit breathes in every sentence! Even the Virgin Mary, themost blessed among women, coulddo no other than use expressions of a similar import.
Better still, Hannah was a woman of great prayer. She had been a woman of a sorrowful spirit, but her prayers at last returnedto her in blessing and she had this son given her of the Lord. He was very dear to his mother's heart and she, therefore,to show her gratitude and in fulfillment of thevow which in her anguish she had vowed unto the Lord, would consecrate the best thing she had and presented her son beforethe Lord in Shiloh-a lesson to all godly parents to see to it that they dedicate their children unto God. How highly favoredshall we be if our childrenshall all be like Isaac- children of the promise! What blessed parents should we be if we saw our children all rise up tocall the Redeemer blessed!
It has been the lot of some of you to see all your children numbered with the people of God-all your jewels are now in Jehovah'scasket. In their early childhood you gave them up to God and dedicated them to Him in earnest prayer and now the Lord hasgiven you your petition which you asked ofHim. I like our friends to hold little services in their own houses when their family is increased. It seems good and profitablefor friends to assemble and prayer to be offered that the child may be an inheritor of the promises-that he may be early calledby mighty Grace andreceived into the Divine family.
You will perceive, dear Friends, that as Samuel was put under the care and tuition of Eli, Eli had instructed him in somedegree in the spirit of religion. But he does not appear to have explained to him the peculiar form and nature of those specialand particular manifestations of God which weregiven to His Prophets. Little dreaming, I dare say, that Samuel would ever be, himself, the subject of them. On that memorablenight, when towards morning the lamp of God was about to go out, the Lord cried, "Samuel, Samuel." The young child was notable to discern-for he hadnot been taught-that it was the voice of God and not the voice of man.
That he had learned the spirit of true religion is indicated by his instantaneous obedience and the habit of obedience becamea valuable guide to him in the perplexities of that eventful hour. He runs to Eli and says, "Here am I, for you did call me."And though this is three times repeated, yet heseems not at all loath to leave his warm bed and run to his foster-father to see if he could get him any comfort that hisold age might require during the night, or otherwise do his bidding. This was a sure sign that the child had acquired thehealthy principle of obedience thoughhe did not understand the mystery of the prophetic call.
Better far to have the young heart trained to bear the yoke than to fill the childish head with knowledge, however valuable.An ounce of obedience is better than a ton of learning. When Eli perceived that God had called the child, he taught him hisfirst little prayer. It is a very short one, butit is a very full one-"Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears." Many questions have been raised as to whether children oughtto be taught a form of prayer. As far as I can judge I think not, for I do not think that forms of prayer, although they maybe allowed and God may acceptthem, are ever of very great advantage to those who use them.
Forms of prayer are something like the stilts of a cripple. If a man begins with them, it is very probable that he will neverbe able to do without them. They resemble the copious notes and manuscripts of certain ministers who began with them and arequite unable, now, to preach without them.Children who are taught a form of prayer may, perhaps, by Divine Grace be enabled to use the form in all sincerity of heart-Ihope they may. But I think they are more likely to understand the things of God if, instead of teaching them the form, youexplain to them the meaningand the value of prayer.
I take this to be the best plan. Let the Christian parent explain to the child what prayer is-tell him that God answers prayer.Direct him to the Savior and then urge him to express his desires in his own language, both when he rises and when he goesto rest. Gather the little ones aroundyour knee and listen to their words, suggesting to them their needs and reminding them of God's gracious promises. You willbe amazed and, I may add, sometimes amused, too. But you will be frequently surprised at the expressions they will use, theconfessions they will make, thedesires they will utter. And I am certain that any Christian person standing within earshot and listening to the simpleprayer of a little child earnestly asking God for what it thinks it wants, would never afterwards wish to teach a child aform, but would say that as a matter ofeducation to the heart the extemporaneous utterance was infinitely superior to the best form and that the form should begiven up forever.
However, do not let me speak too sweepingly. If you must teach your child to say a form of prayer, at least take care thatyou do not teach him to say anything which is not true. If you teach your children a catechism, mind that it is thoroughlyscriptural, or you may train them up to tellfalsehoods. Do not call the child up and command him to say, "in my Baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a childof God and an inheritor of Heaven." If you want to educate him for the gallows, teach him to utter untruths about sacred things!If you would make him anhabitual deceiver, teach him the Church Catechism and make him say, "God the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies me and all theelect people of God"- when he is altogether unsanctified and has no evidence of being elected.
I pray you, if you would have honest children, do not teach them to say that he thanks his heavenly Father, "who has broughthim into this state of salvation," when he knows-and you know-that he is not saved at all. Teach him nothing but the Truthas it is in Jesus so far as he canlearn it, and pray the Holy Spirit to write that Truth of God upon his heart. Better to supply no signposts to the youngtraveler than to mislead him with false ones. The light of a wrecker's beacon is worse than darkness. Teach our youth to makeuntruthful statements in religionsmatters and Atheism can scarcely do more to corrupt their minds!
Formal religion is a deadly foe to vital godliness. If you teach a catechism, or if you teach a form of prayer to your littleones, let it all be true. And, as far as possible never put into a child's mouth a word which the child cannot truly say fromhis heart. Dear Friends, we must be morecareful about truthfulness and correctness in speech. If a child looked out of a window at anything going on in the streetand then told you that he saw it from the door, you ought to make him tell the tale over again so as to impress upon him thenecessity of being truthful inevery respect. Especially in things connected with religion keep your child back from any form until he has a right to bea partaker of it. Never encourage him to come to the Lord's Table unless you really believe that there is a work of Gracein his heart-for why should youlead him to eat and drink his own damnation?
Insist with all your heart that religion is a solemn reality not to be mimicked or pretended to and seek to bring the childto understand that there is no vice more abhorrent before God than hypocrisy. Do not make your young Samuel a young hypocrite,but train up your darling to speak before theLord with a deep solemnity and a conscientious truthfulness! And let him never dare to say, either in answer to a catechismquestion, or as a form of prayer, anything which is not positively true. If you must have a form of prayer, let it not expresssuch desires as a child neverhad, but let it be adapted to his young capacity.
At the same time, I would again say that it would be infinitely better to leave the child alone as to the words, having earnestlyinculcated upon him the spirit of prayer. Beloved, when we see any trace of good in our youth, then, like Eli, we should bethe more earnest to have them trained up inthe faith. Let the child learn the Assembly's Catechism, even though he does not understand all that is in it-and as soonas the young heart can comprehend the things of Jesus, labor in power of the Holy Spirit to bring it to a simple dependenceupon the great Sacrifice.
It is said of the Rev. John Angell James, "Like most men who have been eminent and honored in the Church of Christ, he hada godly mother who would take her children to her chamber and with each, separately, pray for the salvation of their souls.This exercise, which fulfilled her ownresponsibility, was molding the character of her children, and most, if not all of them, rose up to call her blessed. Whendid such means ever fail?"
I beseech you, the teachers of the Sunday school-though I scarcely need to do so, for I know how zealous you are in this matter-assoon as ever you see the first peep of day in your children, encourage their young desires. Believe in the conversion of children,as children! Believe thatthe Lord can call them by His Grace, can renew their hearts, can give them a part and a lot among His people long beforethey reach the prime of life. Oh, that the Lord may give us to see many Samuels added to this Church, as we have seen themin days gone by!
You that are little ones, when the Lord speaks to you, cry to Him, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears." And when in theclass, or here in the Tabernacle, the Word of God is preached to sinners, remember it is preached to you quite as much asto the men who are six feet high. And do lift up yourlittle hearts to God with the desire that while we are preaching, God would speak to you. Do, dear children, expect theLord to meet with you. Boys and girls have been saved-
"Many dear children are gathering there, For of such is the kingdom of Hea ven." We have baptized many like you, at twelve,thirteen and fourteen years of age who have made a very clear profession of their faith. And rejoiced, indeed, shall we beif we see you boys and girls coming forward andsaying, "God has called us, has brought us to put our trust in Jesus. And here we are."
Young Samuel, the Lord calls you! And you are a privileged one to be called so soon, for early Grace frequently becomes eminentGrace! And those who begin early with God are often preserved in this world to be of distinguished service in the courts ofthe Lord's House. May that be your lot andmine!
II. We have perhaps spoken enough upon this point. Let us now consider the words as THE CRY OF AN ANXIOUS SOUL. What an overwhelmingsight is this vast crowd of immortal souls! What a joy would it be to me if I could hope that you were all anxious to findthe Savior! Many of you who assembleconstantly within these walls, though you have had serious impressions, are not yet saved. As you came in tonight this thoughtmay have been uppermost-"Oh, that God would meet with my soul tonight."
Some of you young woman have been in my Sister's, Mrs. Bartlett's class, this afternoon and it is very hard to be in thatclass long without receiving solemn impressions. God has been visiting your class just lately. He has removed a heavenly-mindedand well-beloved Sister. He has carried her aloftto the upper and better world. She could die singing and rejoicing in her Savior, for her usual frame of mind was set forthin these words, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears."
Well, dear Friends, this bereaving Providence has had a loud voice to your class! God has worked a solemn impression uponyour minds by it and you prayed as you entered the Tabernacle, "O God, save my soul this night!" Let me recommend to you theuse of this simple prayer now while you are sittingin the pew, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears." "Speak, Lord!" Pray that first. "Speak, Lord! While the minister is speaking,Lord, speak! I have heard the min- ister's voice and sometimes it awakens me, but I am not saved and I never shall be, Lord,if the minister speaks alone.Speak, Lord! My mother has talked with me. My earnest teacher has sought to lead me to the Savior. But I know that the wordsof blessed men and women will fall to the ground if they come alone. Speak, Lord!
"Your voice said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. Speak, Lord! And make light in my darkened mind! Your voice calledLazarus from the grave though he had been dead four days. Speak, Lord! And make me live! Oh, let it be tonight a real workof Grace in my soul! Let Divine power come andoperate upon me." My dear Friend, cannot you follow me in such petitions as these? You know my soul is going up for youand I am crying to God, "Speak, Lord!" And there are others here that you know of and who are dear to you who are even nowwrestling in earnest with the angel ofmercy and they are saying, "Speak, Lord!" Oh, what would your father give if he should hear that God had spoken to yoursoul? How would your mother leap for joy if she did but know that God had come to deal with you in a way of saving Grace!"Speak, Lord!" Let that be your prayer!
Then put it next, "Speak, Lord, to me! For if the Lord speaks in a sermon, it may be to another and then woe is me that Ishould be denied the priceless gift. I may be lying by Bethesda's pool, but another man may step in before me and I may missthe mercy. Speak, Lord, to me, even to me. Say untomy soul, 'I am your salvation.' May there be an unmistakable message to my heart. You have taken away one that I knew. Itis a marvel, then, that You have not taken me away. It is a wonder that I am spared-such a rebel as I have been!
"O how great is Your patience that You have not dashed me in pieces and cast me into Hell! Lord, You have dealt graciouslywith me in sparing my life. Speak to me, Lord. If there are other souls in a like case with me, deal graciously with them,but oh, do chiefly so with me, for if there is oneheart that wants You more than another I am that one! If there is one less likely than another to be saved-one who wouldgive You more praise than another if saved-I am that one! Lord, speak to me!"
Dear young friend, you need not go home to pray that prayer. While you are sitting there, I pray God the Holy Spirit to leadyou to offer it in silence-"Lord, speak to me." Personal possession of an interest in Christ Jesus is a blessing to be soughtfor with strong crying and tears-benot silent till the God of Heaven shall grant it to you. I will add another word to the prayer which I commend to you-itshall be the word of time. "Lord, speak to me now." How old are you? Perhaps you are young. Oh, but how well it is to letthe Savior have the bud of ourbeing-to consecrate to Him the early morning of life!
Blessed is the day of life when it begins with clear shining and opens with a morning without clouds. "Lord, I am young, butnot too young to die. Speak to me now!" But are there not some of you who are past your one-and-twenty and are beginning torun into the ways of sin? It may be your feet haveslipped. Have you wandered into evil? Are you living in the daily practice of outward vice? You know you have left the rightpath, some of you, and the pangs of conscience are upon you just now. Pray-"Lord, let me have had the last of my sins! Letme have done with them now.Sever, once and for all, the bonds between me and Satan and bind me fast to Your altar tonight!"
Perhaps you have passed even the prime of life. It may be that your hairs are turning gray. An old sinner is an old fool.He who is out of Christ at sixty or seventy is devoid of understanding. The young may die, but the old must. To be carelessin youth is to sleep in a siege. But to be worldly inold age is to sleep in an attack, when already the scaling ladders are at the walls! Take heed, you who wear gray hairs,for if they are not crowns of Glory to you, they will prove to be fools' caps! Woe unto you who have spent your threescoreyears and ten and are yet the enemiesof God! What will you do when He comes to require of you that which is past?
O, what will you do in the day when He shall deal out to you who have followed the flesh, the corruption thereof? O, whatwill you do when the heavens are in a blaze and the trumpet rings and the dead awaken and you are judged? I put this questionto you in deep solemnity this night. And do, I prayyou, before you leave these walls, send up the cry, "Speak, Lord to me and speak to me NOW!"
But can you say, like Samuel, "Your servant hears"? Truly, I am afraid many of you cannot for you do not hear God's word withyour hearts. My eye runs down with grief when I think of some of you who listen to my voice year after year and yet do nothear. You hear me, but you do not hear my Master!Alas, how many have been the arrows out of God's bow which I have shot at you? Have they not been wasted? They have rattledupon your armor, but they have not pierced your hearts! I have run in vain! I have labored in vain for you! I have beatenthe air so far as you are concerned.
You would not hear. I can say solemnly I have sometimes stood in this pulpit and have labored with your souls to the bestof my power and I have felt that I would have cheerfully resigned all I had on earth if I might but have brought you to Christ!
If you, my Hearers who sit here constantly, might but be partakers of eternal life, I will leave my Master to do what He willswith me. Shame, contempt, disgrace-these shall be our joy and our crown for our faithfulness to God and your souls. But, oh,I must have you saved! I must have youlay hold on eternal life! I must see you look to Jesus! And my prayer is that you may this night look to a Savior Crucified!Can you say, "Your servant hears"? "Yes," says one, "I can. If now the Lord would say a word in mercy to me I would gladlyhear it." Then He will speak toyou, poor Soul, before long. If you will hear it, He will say it, for He never did give a hearing ear to any heart withoutintending to speak to it.
I know how you want Him to speak-you want Him to speak with conviction. You want the broken and the contrite heart such asHe will not despise. Well, ask for it-say, "Speak, Lord, with Your convicting voice, for I am ready to hear." And you wantHim to speak with a convertingvoice-you desire to be turned from your evil ways and to follow the Lord. Cry to Him, then, "Speak, Lord, with the voicethat turns men and turn me now from darkness to Light."
Or it may be that you want a comforting word. Well, then, pray for it-"Speak, Lord, with Your voice of comfort! Bind up mybleeding wounds and let my soul rejoice in You." Yet, truly, I do not know that He will speak anything more to you than this-"Lookto Christ and live." He willspeak with power, but that is the substance of it. Jesus is the sum of Mercy's message. He is the Word of God. Do not expectto have any other Gospel from God's lips than that which is revealed in God's Word. The Gospel of God's Word is, "Believe,and live." There is life in a lookat the Crucified One! There is life at this moment for YOU! If you will not hear the voice of God when He says to you, "TrustChrist," remember He has no other glad tidings.
Effectual calling may speak this same thing more effectually, but the Holy Spirit never reveals any other Gospel. There isno other way to Heaven but just this-"Trust your soul to Christ-your sins are forgiven you and you are saved!" I am loathto leave this point because my heart ispanting to know and to feel some inward emotion which might make me feel confident that some of you had breathed this prayer.O may the good Master who alone can drive these nails home use the Gospel hammer now! I do entreat you, by the shortness oflife, by the certainty of death,by the glories of Heaven, by the terrors of Hell-seek the Lord and let this be, now, the voice of your seeking, "Speak,Lord! Speak to ME! Speak NOW! For Your servant hears."
III. We will turn to the third view of the text as the PRAYER OF AN EARNEST BELIEVER. I was led to select this text by findingit in the letter of one who has just been taken away from our classes and from our Church. She was about to change her positionin life in some degree and the one prayerthat seemed to be ever upon her mind was a prayer for guidance. She often prayed, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears."She said she felt that God was about to do something for her, but she did not know what it was. She little dreamed that shewas so near the kingdom and the Glory,but yet that was the prayer, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears."
This is a very appropriate prayer for the Christian when he is in providential difficulty. You may not know what you oughtto do tomorrow. Of two courses open to you, there may appear certain advantages connected with each and some friends haveurged you to one plan and other friends have urged youto the other. Now if you have used your best judgment and have endeavored to direct your steps according to the Word ofGod, you may expect, in answer to prayer, to have a distinct directive from God. Not, perhaps, from the month of man, thoughthat sometimes happens, for even fromthis pulpit cases which we never heard of have been unraveled and dilemmas with which the preacher was never acquaintedhave notwithstanding been solved by what seemed but a stray word, meant by God to be a finger, pointing out to His children-"Thisis the way, walk you init."
Take your difficulty to the God of Wisdom. Spread it out before Him, and having divested yourself of your own will in thematter-having solemnly desired to know the will of God and not your own wish-you may then expect by some means or other-andGod has different ways of doingit-to have an answer from the Most High. Take this as your prayer, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears." We want in ourdaily life more fully to acknowledge God in all our ways. We are, I am afraid, in this age, in great danger of forgettingGod. We ought to acknowledge Himin the common transactions of the day, or else like the Israelites with the Gibeonites, we may be betrayed in the simplesttransaction and deceived to our lasting injury.
Take your matters before the God of Abraham and the Urim and Thummim shall yet speak to you. Domino dirige nos, "Lord directus," is a good motto, not only for the City of London, but for the citizens of Heaven! In points of doctrine this desire humblyuttered may bring us much light. God's Word isnot all of it alike plain! Sometimes when you have heard conflicting views-this preacher earnestly declaring a doctrineand another denouncing it-you may be somewhat nonplussed. My advice to you is take your difficulty before God in prayer andsay, "Speak, Lord; for Yourservant hears."
Do not ask God to confirm your opinion, but ask Him to make your opinion conformable with His Truth. Do not go to God's Wordto find texts to support your tenets, but go to Scripture for texts and tenets, too. Remember that to a true Christian nodoctrine has any force upon the conscience, exceptas it comes with, "thus says the Lord." Follow the simple Word of God as you find it and rest assured you shall have theLight of the Holy Spirit streaming upon the sacred page. And as you read it you shall hear the Master say, "This is My Word."He shall make it come to your soulwith such power that you shall have no doubt about it if your heart cries, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears."
The same course should be adopted by every Christian in matters of practice. I am afraid there are many Christians who havestopped their ears up. They may not hear the teaching of portions of the Word. There are certain Scriptures which they cannever abide. I have heard of one who never wouldread the eighth or ninth chapter of Romans at family prayer. I have heard of another who invariably omitted that chapterin Acts about the Ethiopian eunuch-a very awkward chapter, I confess, for anyone to read who has not accepted Believer's Baptism.
You will find many professed Christians in these day's who do not like to meddle with certain questions because they are morethan half afraid that a little examination would prove them to be in the wrong. They cannot bear us to put a finger upon theirPrayer Book, their creed, or their Church forthey know that they will not bear a close inspection. They will say, "Well, there are faults everywhere, let well enoughalone." But the fact is that they do not care what the Truth of God is so long as they can be comfortable and go with thefashion of the day.
Some whom we gladly hope to be true Christians think Truth unimportant and are not prepared to "search the Scriptures whetherthese things are so or not." Brethren, I would be afraid of my own doctrine if I dared not test it both by Scripture and soundargument. If my foundation would not stand agood shaking, I would be afraid that it was not made of very solid material. Some people cry out if we say a word abouttheir Church. It is a sign that their Church is hardly strong enough to endure an honest encounter. Pasteboard and tinselalways pray for peace and charity, butsolid metal fears not the day of battle!
Be it ours to court the sunlight and above all let us beseech the Lord our God to be our light, for in His Light we shallsee light. Sitting at the feet of Jesus is our position! To receive of His Words is our sweet employ! As melted wax is fittedto receive the impression of the seal, so let us beready to accept the Master's teaching. Let His faintest Word bind us as with bonds of steel. And let his minutest Preceptbe precious as the gold of Ophir. "To obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams." Let it be our chosenprivilege to be taught of the Lordand to maintain His Truth. Here, in this House of Prayer, let us offer the petition, "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears."
As for matters of duty-again, be ever ready to follow the Master and Him alone. Not Luther, nor Calvin, neither Wesley, norWhitfield is to be your Rabbi. Jesus alone is Master in the kingdom of Heaven! Whatever he says to you, do it! But where youhave not His warrant, let no traditions orancient customs make you stir so much as a single inch.
IV. We will close by observing that our text seems to us rightly to express THE SPIRIT OF A DEPARTING CHRISTIAN, There helies upon the bed-his pulse grows fainter. The many pains of death afflict him. His eyes are beginning to glaze, but a brighterlight than that of earth has dawned uponhim! And while the outward man decays, the inward man begins to renew his youth. I think I see him when his pains are worst.He desires to go, but he is willing to remain as long as his Master wills. He says sometimes, "I ill can brook delay," butthe next moment he checks himselfand he says, "Not my will, but Yours be done."
He sits patiently upon the river's bank, expecting that his Master shall open the passage for him to pass over dry shod. Heis praying, "Speak, Lord and the sooner You will speak the more shall I rejoice. Say unto me, 'Come up here.' Speak, Lord;for Your servant hears"-hears now better andmore distinctly than he ever did hear before! He is now nearer to You. The ear is almost closed to the din and bustle ofthe world, while in secret silence of the mind it waits the still small voice of Your lips. Speak, Lord and say, "Plunge intothe river," and I will cheerfully doso if You will but come and meet me. "Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears."
I think I hear that Divine and mysterious voice, which, in fact, none can hear but those whose day of Glory is dawning. Themessenger has come and whispered in the ear of the dying saint and I pray you, mark his joy for you may see it! Its lightilluminates the countenance. The eye sparkles withsupernatural Glory. "Now," says the man of God, "my journey is over and I am almost Home." "Now," says the expiring Sister,"it is victory, glory, triumph! The white horse is at the door-my Master bids me mount and ride in triumph, following my LordJesus and all theconquering ones. The Master is come in His garments of salvation and calls for me!"
The physician says he could see the death-change and the nurse bears the same witness, but the well-instructed Believer callsit the life-change and reads the true meaning of the mysterious transformation. He sees a something which is a predictionof the coming Glory! He marks those beaming eyesand that celestial smile. Now strange words drop from the lips-sometimes words that are scarcely lawful for a man to utter,by reason of the high and awful Glory of their meaning. Now come the shouts of victory over death-now the note of defianceof the grave! The soulhas left all care, all doubt, all fear behind! Its foot is not only on the Rock of Ages, but on that part of the rock whichis on the other side of Jordan. And the soul cries with transport, "I am with Him! Another moment I shall be in His arms!I see Him! The angelic chariots waitfor me-I step into them and I ride to the kingdom! Victory, victory, victory, through the blood of the Lamb!"
Something like this was the departing scene of our beloved Sister who has gone Home this week and something like this, I trust,will be your departure and mine. But it will not, it cannot be thus with us unless we are resting upon Christ-
"None but Jesus-none but Jesus Can do helpless sinners good."
Lo! These fifteen years have I been preaching Jesus' name and preaching nothing but His name and it has a savor about it sweeterthan ever! And if I had but one word more to speak, I think this should be it-none but Jesus, none but Jesus!
Oh, fly to Him if you would have a blessed death and a glorious resurrection! Look out of yourselves away from your framesand your feelings! Look away from ceremonies, from priests and from all men! Look only to the bleeding wounds of my Master!Trust Jesus expiring on the Cross and trust in Himalone! You shall find eternal happiness in Him! The Lord bless you with His richest blessing, for Jesus' sake. Amen.