Sermon 776. A Song at the Wellhead
Delivered on Thursday Evening, OCTOBER 10, 1867, by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
"And from there they went to Beer, which is the well where the Lord said to Moses, 'Gather the people together, and I willgive them water.' Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it-The princes dug the well, the noblesof the people dug it, by the direction of the la wgiver, with their sta ves."- Numbers 21:16-18.
WE have remarked in our reading that the children of Israel were continually changing their places and that there was usuallya great difference between one station and the next. So, also, we are constantly varying in our experience, and the variationsare sometimes exceedingly remarkable. You observe, in the neighborhood of the text, that the people pitched their tents atone time by the brooks of Arnon. There appears to have been an exceedingly abundance of water where they then were, but neverthelessthey removed into the wilderness where there was not a single drop to quench their thirst.
So is it with us. At one time we are abounding in every good thing, rejoicing "with joy unspeakable and full of glory." Andat another time we discover how great our weakness is-faith is at a very low ebb-and joy seems as though the frost of doubthad nipped its root. But, great as the changes of our experience certainly are, our necessities never change. Whether theyfound water or not, the people always needed water. The great camp must always have a supply, or perish for the lack of it.So, at all hours, and in all places, Believers need the Divine Grace which only their Lord can give them. They carry no storeswith them-they are daily dependent upon their God. "All my springs are in You," said David, and every heir of Heaven mustexperimentally learn this Truth of God.
Now there is one thing certain, that although our experiences vary and our necessities remain the same, yet there is somethingthat does not change, namely, the supply which God has provided for our needs. Our experience may be high or low, bright ordark, but JEHOVAH-JIREH is still the name of our God. In the mountain of the Lord it shall be seen, and in the valley, too,that the Lord will provide. As our day, so shall our strength be. If great our needs, great shall be our supplies!
Israel found it so, for when they came to this particular place where there was no natural water, they soon discovered a supernaturalsupply. They arrived at a spot that was all arid sand, but that was the very place of which God had spoken, "Gather the peopletogether, and I will give them water." Believer, your supplies shall never vary, and your greatest necessities shall onlyillustrate the fullness of the Lord your God! Be not afraid, but go forward. Though it is dark and dreary in the prospect,yet if God bids you advance, tarry not, for He has surely taken care to provide your necessities when they arise.
The particular text before us has four things in it which I think may be instructive to us. These people needed supplies justas we need Grace. There was, first, a promise concerning the supply. Secondly, there was a song. That song viewed in anotherlight, was, in the third place, a prayer. And when this promise, song, and prayer were attended by the effort, then the blessingcame.
I. To begin, then, these people required water as we greatly need Divine Grace and there was A PROMISE GIVEN CONCERNING THESUPPLY. "The Lord said to Moses, 'Gather the people together, and I will give them water.' " Beloved, we have a promise. Apromise? No, a thousand promises! God's people were never in any plight whatever but what there was a promise to meet thatcondition. There is not a single lock of which God has not the key. You shall never be placed in a difficulty without someprovision being made for that difficulty which God foresaw, and for which His heavenly wisdom had devised a way of escape.
Now, the supply promised here was a Divine supply: "I will give them water." Who else could satisfy those flocks and herds?By what mechanism or by what human toil could all those multitudes of people have received enough to drink? "I will give themwater." God can do it and He will. Beloved, the supply of Grace that you are to receive in your time of need is a Divine supply!You are not to look to man for Grace. God forbid that we should ever fall into the superstitions of some idiots in these moderndays who suppose that God has given His Grace only to bishops and to priests- the most graceless of all men if they professto have any grace to give away-for if they had true Grace at all they would not act after that fashion.
If you want Divine Grace, Beloved, you must go to God for it. You shall get it there, and nowhere else. As for even the ablestof God's sent ministers-they are but broken cisterns if we trust in them. They shall have Grace enough to get to Heaven themselves,but they will be to themselves great wonders when they arrive there. Wise virgins always say to the foolish ones who applyto them for oil, "Not so, lest there is not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves."
There is a Divine supply for you, Christian! Therefore, knowing the attributes of God, you will understand that however muchyou may require there will be an all-sufficient supply! However long you may require it, there will be an everlasting supply!At whatever hours you may want it, there will be an available supply. It is not possible for your needs to outlast that whichwill be treasured up for you. "I will give them water." And, you thirsty ones, go and drink, for there is no fear of exhaustingthis wellhead!
As it was a Divine supply, so, also, it was a suitable one. The people were thirsty and the promise was. "I will give themwater." At another time He had given them bread. He had also given them flesh to eat. But water was what they just now requiredand water was what they received. We do not always get that form of Grace which we think we need. We sometimes fancy thatwe require comfort, when rebuke would be much more healthful for us. And it is the rebuke which we obtain, and not the comfort.God is not to be dictated to by our whims and wishes. Like a father, He understands His children better than His childrenunderstand themselves. And He gives, not according to their foolish guesses of what they need, but according to His wise apprehensionof what they require. "I will give them water."
What do you want tonight? Go and lay open your needs before the Lord. Tell Him what it is you require, if you know, and thenadd to your prayer, "And what I know not that I need, yet give me, for You are able to do exceeding abundantly above all thatI can ask or even think-not according to my apprehension of my necessities, but according to Your perception of my needs,deal with Your servant, O Lord, and grant me that which is most suitable to my case." "Gather the people together, and I willgive them water."
Observe, too, that the supply promised was an abundant supply. The Lord did not mock the people by sending them just enoughto moisten their tongues but not to quench their thirst. We cannot be sure how many people there were, but it is probableand almost certain, that there were nearly three million of them, and yet, when God said, "I will give them water," He didnot say, "I will give some of them water. The princes shall have a supply but the poorer ones must go without." Oh, not so!"I will give them water."
It included every child of Israel, every babe that needed it as well as every strong man that thirsted after it. Hear this,child of God? "I will give them water." Whatever you need, you who are the most obscure in the world, you who have the leastfaith, you who stand in the back of the crowd not able to push to the place where you hear that the water flows-here is provisionfor you! It shall be with Divine Grace as it was of old with the manna-there shall be enough for all that go out to gatherit-he that gathers much shall have nothing over and he that gathers little shall have no lack. There shall be-
"Enough for all, enough for each, Enough forevermore."
No child of God shall be left to perish for lack of the necessary supplies-
"I will give them water."
I may observe, once more, that it was a Divine supply, a suitable supply and an abundant supply. And also it was a sure supply."I will give them water." It is not, "I may, perhaps, do it. Possibly there shall be refreshment for them." No, "I will givethem water." Oh, the splendor of the Lord's "shalls" and "wills!" They never fail. "Has He said, and shall He not do it? Orhas He spoken and shall He not make it good?" Search the Book of the Lord and read and see if any of His
words have fallen to the ground-if one of His promises has lacked its mate! You will have to say, Believer, as Joshua did,"There failed not anything of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel-all came to pass."
We do not go forward upon the strength of "ifs," and "buts," and "perhapses." We advance confidently, invigorated and inflamedas to our courage, by "wills" and "shalls." God must un-deify Himself before He can break His promises. He would lose HisCharacter, and that can never be! His honor is the bright jewel of His crown and He will keep His promise to all His people."I will give them water."
I thought, as I was coming up to this house once again to have the unspeakable pleasure of addressing you, "What am I thatthere should be any supply for the people when they are gathered together?" And this text seemed to come to me-you "gatherthe people together, and I will give them water." It is my business to be here, occupying my place, and it is your businessto be gathered here at the time set apart for prayer, "and I will give them water." The lad may have only his barley loavesand a few small fishes, but the Master will multiply them! There may seem to be little enough in our hand, only perhaps acruse of water, not enough for one-but He who formed the sea and holds it in the hollow of His hands can give enough to allthe thirsty ones!
You are now gathered together, Beloved, and I pray the Master to be as good as His promise, "Gather the people together, andI will give them water." Here is the promise! A blessed thing to work upon, this. We shall build well enough upon so gooda foundation!
II. And now, secondly, observe THE SONG. These people had not been singing for years. Ever since the day when they had sungat the Red Sea, "Sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously," the minstrelsy of Israel had been hushed-save and exceptwhen they danced before the calf of gold. But for their God they had had little or no music. But now they come together tothe digging of the well, and the children of Israel sang this song, "Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it."
Observe, then, that this song may be looked upon, in the first place, as the voice of cheerfulness. There was no water butthey were still in good spirits. Supplies were short but their courage was still great. It is very easy to be happy and cheerfulin heart when you have all that heart can wish. It is not very difficult for us to maintain our spirits when all things gojust as we would have them go. But it is rather difficult to begin to sing when the mouth is dry and the lips are parched,and the tongue almost refuses to do its duty! Cheerfulness in need, cheerfulness upon the bed of pain, cheerfulness underslander-singing like the nightingale, in the night, praising God when the thorn is at the breast-this is a high Christianattainment which we should seek after and not be content without.
I like, too, the look of these children of Israel, singing to the Lord before the water came, praising Him while they wereyet thirsty! They were living, for a little while, upon the recollections of the past. They were believing that He who smotethe rock and the waters gushed out, and who gave them bread from Heaven would surely supply their needs. Let us pitch a tuneand join with them, however low our estate may be!-
"Begone, unbelief, my Savior is near, And for my relief will surely appear! By prayer let me wrestle, and He will perform.With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm."
Note again that this song was the voice not so much of natural cheerfulness as of cheerfulness sustained by faith. They believedthe promise, "Gather the people together, and I will give them water." They sang the song of expectation. I think this isone of the peculiar enjoyments of faith, to be the substance of things hoped for. The joy of hope-who shall measure it? Thosewho are strangers to it are certainly strangers to the sweetest matter in spiritual life. With the exception of present communionwith Christ, the joy of a Believer in this present state must be mainly the joy of hope. "It does not yet appear what we shallbe: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like He, for we shall see Him as He is."
We thank God that we shall be satisfied when we wake up in the likeness of Jesus! The anticipation of Heaven makes earth becomeendurable! And the sorrows of time lose their weight when we think of the "far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory."Sing before the well begins to spring! Sing confidently, "Spring up, O well!" You cannot make it spring, but sing as if youcould, for God is with you! Say, "Down with my sin." You cannot cast it down, but God can, and therefore speak as one whospeaks in God's name! Say, "Begone, unbelief!" You cannot make it go, but God's Spirit
can, and therefore sing as knowing God is with you! "Spring up, O well!" Make that your song! Sing of the mercy yet to comewhich your faith can see, although as yet you have not received it!
This song, also, was no doubt greatly increased in its volume and more elevated in its tone when the water did begin to spring.After the elders of the people had dug for awhile, the flowing crystal began to leap into the air. They saw it run over themargin of the well-the multitude pressed around to quench their thirst, and then they sang, "Spring up, O well! Flow on, flowon, perennial fount! Flow on, you wondrous stream Divinely given! Flow on and let the praises of those who drink flow also!Sing unto it, and you that drink lift up your songs, and you that mark your neighbors as their eyes flash with delight asthey receive the needed refreshment, let your song increase as you see the joy of others."
All you who have received anything of Divine Grace, sing unto it! Bless God by singing and praising His name while you arereceiving His favors. I think we would be more conscious of God's blessing coming to us if we were more ready to praise Him.Brethren, we receive so many of God's mercies at the backdoor-we ought to stand at the door and take them in ourselves. Presentsfrom a great king ought not to be unacknowledged, stowed away in the dark, forgotten in unthankfulness. Let us magnify thename of the Lord! But I must not detain you longer upon this point.
There was a promise and then the children of Israel made a song out of the promise before it was accomplished. Then, as itwas fulfilled to their delight and joy, they made the song yet more sweet and more loud. So let our hearts sing of the promisesof God! You are very poor, yet still sing, "Your place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: your bread shall be givenyou, and your water shall be sure." And when the mercies come, then lift the song yet higher. "Bless the Lord who satisfiesyour mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." "Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it!"
III. But we remark in the third place, that the song was A PRAYER. "Spring up, O well," was virtually a prayer to God thatHe would make the well spring up-only it was faith's way of singing her prayer. We would remark of this prayer that it wentat once to work and sought for that which was required. What was needed? Not a well, but water! Not merely digging in thesand, but the obtaining and the drinking of the water. Beloved Believer, let me remind you that it is very easy for us toforget what it is that we need and to be satisfied with something short of it.
Now what we need is not the means of Divine Grace, but the Grace of the means! The means of Grace are excellent when theybring us Grace, but the means of Grace are not the ultimata. It is not these that we seek, but Divine Grace itself. To showyou what I mean-"Spring up, O well," was the prayer-it did not ask for the well, but for the well to spring up. So tonight,or some other evening, when you are retired for your private devotions and you have opened the Bible and begun to read, donot be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter.
Some good people read through two or three chapters-stupid people, as stupid as they are good for doing such a thing! It isalways better to read a little and digest it than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely readingthe letter of the Word. For profit you might as well read the A B C backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scriptureunless you meditate upon it and seek to comprehend its meaning. Words are nothing: the letter kills. The business of the Believerwith his Bible open is to pray, "Here is the well: spring up, O well! Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of Your Word whileit lies open before me. Apply Your Word with power to my soul-threat or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be-leadme into the soul and marrow of Your Word." The Rabbis say that whole worlds of meaning hang upon every word of Scripture,but only he will find out the meaning who waits upon God with the prayer, "Spring up, O well!"
Or, perhaps you are about to kneel down to pray. I beseech you, do not be satisfied with getting through 50 or 100 choicesentences which look as if they were devout. That prayer has not benefited you which is not the prayer of the soul. You haveneed to say, "Spring up, O well! Lord, give me the spirit of prayer. Help me to feel my need deeply, to perceive Your Promiseclearly, to exercise faith upon that promise, and then, by wrestling importunity to hold You fast, and say, 'I will not letYou go except You bless me.' " It is not the form of prayer, it is the spirit of prayer that shall truly benefit your souls.In vain might you open a book and read through 10,000 prayers-the best that were ever composed-it would be no benefit to you.
"Spring up, O well!" Come, Holy Spirit, come and help my infirmities, for I know not what to pray for as I ought! You makeintercession for me with groans that cannot be uttered. You need in prayer not the well so much as the springing up of thewell. And it is just the same when you go to the ordinances. For instance, Baptism can be of no service to
the Believer unless he devoutly perceives the meaning of it. He must know what it is to be dead with Christ, buried with Christ,risen with Christ, and before he comes to the ordinance this should be his prayer, "Spring up, O well! Lord, give me to enjoythat which the outward emblem teaches me. Give me true fellowship with Christ!"
And so at the Lord's table-of what good is it to eat bread and drink wine? Oh, but when Jesus comes, and your soul feeds uponHim, and He makes you aware of it, like the chariots of Amminadib when the well springs up-oh then the table is better thanthe banquets of kings! And is it not the same when you come to the public assembly? The Prayer Meeting may be dull enough,unless the Spirit, the Comforter, is poured out upon us. We have been singing just now- how many were singing? Some were makingmelody with their lips, but not with their hearts. But, oh, when the hymn breaks out in richest blessings, like living waters-whenyou get through the shell of the hymn and get at the soul and life of it-then, blessed be God, what a wellspring we oftenget in sacred songs!
And further, with regard to the preaching of the Truth of God-often and often does my soul groan out to God that He wouldgive me liberty in the ministry-that He would lead me into the essence of His Truth. O Brothers and Sisters, I sometimes feel,in preaching, like the butcher who cuts off meat for others but does not get a mouthful for himself-it is hard work, indeed!I dare say you very often sit and hear God's Word but it has lost its savor. You cannot enjoy it-you do not seem to get intoit. The babe at home in the cradle, or that ledger, or that bad debt, or something that has occurred in the family beforeyou came here distracts you. You cannot get into the spirit of worship.
"Spring up, O well!" This is what we want. So let our prayer be like the song of the text-direct and to the point. Lord, donot put me off with the husks of ordinances and means of Grace. Give me Yourself! I had rather be a doorkeeper and reallybe in Your House, than sit in the seats of the Pharisees in the synagogue and yet not see my Master. Strive after vital godliness,real soul-work, the life-giving operation of the Spirit of God in your hearts, or else, Beloved, you may have the well, butyou will not have any springing from it. Remember, then, it went direct to the point.
And notice, also, that this prayer was the prayer of faith, like the song. Now "without faith it is impossible to please God."This is emphatically true with regard to prayer. He who pleads with God in unbelief really insults Him, and will get no blessing.Faith gives wings to our prayers so that they fly Heaven-high! But unbelief clogs and chains our prayers to earth. Many prayersnever go beyond the ceiling of the room in which they were uttered because there was no faith mingled with them. Oh, how lackingour prayers are in this one essential element! If we had more faith what large blessings would come down to the Church!
When I listen to some prayers, I cannot help thinking, "Well, what is there left to pray for after that? Everything has beenincluded in the petition that one could well conceive of. Now if we could but get the answer." We ought to do so! And if wedid, what a different state of affairs we should have! We need, indeed, more faith to make our poor words real genuine wrestlingwith God so as to prevail with Him, and come off more than conquerors. God is not slack concerning His promises. We neveryet put Him to the test and found Him lacking. The history of the Church speaks through all ages with but one voice on thispoint-all things conspire to urge us to faith in God in connection with prayer to Him in time of need. If you want, then,some wells to spring up to supply the needs of yourself or your family, pray in faith! The rock, if needs be, shall flow withrivers of water. The driest wilderness shall send forth floods of refreshment. Have faith in God and call upon His name. "Praywithout ceasing." "Spring up, O well!"
You will please notice, further, that it was united prayer. All the people prayed, "Spring up, O well!" I dare say that wasa Prayer Meeting at which everybody prayed for they were all thirsty! And therefore they all said, "Spring up, O well!" Whatblessed meetings those are when the souls of all present are in it! I hope we shall have some noble enquirers' meetings inthe Tabernacle during the next month and for many more afterwards. Mr. Nivens was asked by someone whether he had had anyenquirers' meetings. "No," he said "we have not had any lately, for I do not think we have many enquiring saints among us!""What?" said the other, "I never heard of that."
"Oh, but," Mr. Nivens said, "we must always have enquiring saints before we shall have enquiring sinners. 'For this will Ibe enquired of by the house of Israel.' You see, saints must enquire, and then God will do it for them. And as soon as everthe saints begin to enquire, 'Will you not revive us again?' then sinners begin to enquire, 'What must we do to be saved?'Oh, if we could have a meeting where all should be enquirers-the saints enquiring-'When will You save my wife? When will Youbless my husband? When will You look in Grace on my children? When will You convert my neighbor?' And the sinners enquiring-'Lord,when will You meet with us and give us to taste of Your salvation?' "
I say the prayer was a unanimous one-"Spring up, O well!" Brothers and Sisters, may God touch you all with the heavenly fireso that you may all be unanimous in the one great desire that God would visit us, make our wells to spring up, and cause thewhole Church to be revived and sinners to be saved!
IV. I cannot, however, tarry here but must now conclude with the fourth head, which is this-they began with a promise-theyturned the promise into a song and into a prayer, and they did not stop there but THEN THEY WENT TO WORK. "God helps themthat help themselves," is an old proverb and it is true with God's people as well as true of Providence. If we want to haveGod's blessing we must not expect to receive it by lying passive. The first blessings of Divine Grace come to passive sinners,but when the Lord quickens His people He makes them active.
So here in this place. "I will give them water." But "the princes dug the well, the nobles of the people dug it, by the directionof the lawgiver, with their staves." Here was effort used, reminding us of a parallel passage in that famous song, "Who passingthrough the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools." They must dig the wells! The water does not comefrom below-it comes from above-the rain fills the pools. God fills the pools, but we must dig them. And, observe that whenGod intends to bless a people, effort is always esteemed to be honorable. "The princes dug the well, the nobles of the peopledug it."
They were not ashamed of the work. And when God shall bless a Church and people, they must all feel that it is a very greathonor to do anything in the service of God. No matter though they may be very learned, they must feel it an honor to teacha class in a Sunday school for Christ. They may be rich, but they must feel it an honor to open the pew-doors, or the place-doors,or do anything for the Master. They may be very famous and very much esteemed, but they must feel it to be an honor to waitupon the most humble enquiring soul. And what an honor it really is! Why, princes are not so honored as those are who areallowed by God to be "workers together" with Him in the economy of Divine Grace!
Brothers and Sisters, covet earnestly the best gifts in this matter. Seek after usefulness as hunters seek after their gameand as miners hunt after their treasure. Seek to serve God! You will be princes in this way. They are the princes who digthe wells! They are the true nobles who use their staves in the Master's service! Before man sinned he worked for God. Adamwas put into the garden to till it and to dress it. He was not made to lead an idle, useless life. His state of innocencewas one of service to his Maker. When men shall be once more in a state of purity, their highest honor will be-"His servantsshall serve Him." Heaven is a place where they serve Him day and night in His temple.
Idleness is sin and shame to us. It is our duty to labor and our highest dignity is to be servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.Remember, the princes of old and the nobles helped to dig the well. It was effort which they all felt to be honorable. Wellhas our poet put it-
"All may of You partake. Nothing so small can be, But draws when acted for Your sake,
Greatness and worth from You. If done beneath Your laws, Even servile labors shine. Hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
The meanest work, Divine."
But it was also effort which was accomplished by very feeble means. They dug the well and they dug it with their staves- notvery first-class tools. Would not the mattock and the spade have been better? Yes, but they did as they were told. They dugwith their staves. These, I suppose, were simply their rods, which, like the sheiks in the East, they carried in their handsas an emblem of government-somewhat similar to the crook of the shepherd. These they used as they were commanded.
Well, dear Friends, we must dig with our staves! We must dig as we can. We must use what abilities we have. It is every Christian'sduty to try to know as much and get as much talent as he can. And if you have but one talent, use that one talent. Go to tradefor Christ with it. If you cannot do what you wish you could, do what you can, remembering that the Lord saves not by themighty, and works not His greatest things by the mighty ones! He has chosen the "base things of the world, and things whichare despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are." I should look very muchlike a fool if I went a well-digging with a stick-and yet if God told me to do so-
then I should be wise in doing it. Go, Christian, with such talent as God has given you, and God will bless you and make yourlamps and trumpets to be as mighty for the overthrow of Midian as they were in the hands of Gideon of old!
Here was honorable effort with feeble means. And, observe, it was effort in God's order. They dug the well "by the directionof the lawgiver." We must not serve God according to our fancies. The Westminster Assembly's Catechism well lays down idolatryto be "not only the worship of a false god, but the worship of God, the true God, in a way which He has not prescribed." Consequently,all ceremonies that are not commanded in Scripture are flat idolatry-it matters not what they are! Every mode of worshippingGod which is not commanded by God is neither more nor less than flat idolatry.
The children of Israel, in their apostasy, did not set up another god. It is clear to every reader of the story of the goldencalf that they did not worship another god when they fell down before it. They worshipped Jehovah under the form of that goldencalf, but it was a way of worship which God had never ordained, for He said He allowed no similitude nor likeness of Himselfto be attempted to be made and therefore it was idolatry. And, mark you, when men adore pieces of bread as they are foolsenough to do nowadays-even though they tell you they worship Christ under the form of that bread-it is idolatry! It is a glaringbreaking of the Second Commandment and we doubt not will bring destruction upon those who fall into it.
We must not forget in everything we do for God to go to work in God's way. I hold that in revivalism I have no right to adoptanything which I cannot go before God with, and justify at the Throne of God. I must not adopt a mode of procedure which Imay think suits the place or is adapted to the times. Is it right? Let it be done. Is it wrong? Let it not be so much as thoughtof among the saints. We are never to "do evil that good may come," nor to run over and above, or counter to the current ofScripture in order to work some doubtful good. We must dig the well according to the direction of the lawgiver. "To the Lawand to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Let us keep closeto the good old paths which are laid down in Holy Writ, and, digging the well we shall get the water.
And then, in the last place, it was effort made in faith. They dug the well, but as they dug it they felt so certain thatthe water would come that they sang at the work, "Spring up, O well!" Brethren, this is the true way to work if we would geta blessing. We must preach in faith believing that the Word cannot return unto our Master void. We must teach in the Sundayschool in faith believing that the children will be led to seek Christ early, and to find Him. We must distribute tracts infaith believing that if we cast our bread upon the waters we shall find it after many days. You must take care that you havethis faith.
You must not ask from God a blessing upon your work in a spirit of doubt, for he that wavers is like a wave of the sea, drivenof the wind and tossed-let not that man expect to receive anything of the Lord-but believe the promise, believe that God willbless you if you seek His glory, and go about His work in His way, and you shall see the blessing- so great a blessing thatwhen you have proved your God, you shall not have room enough to receive it! I want all the dear members of this Church, especially,to join with me in breathing the prayer, day by day, and hour by hour, that the well would spring up in our midst.
Conversion work is not pausing, I hope. I have been so long removed from you, now, that I am longing to see some great workdone by the Master! O that He would now make bare His arms! We have seen what the Gospel can do in the salvation of soulsand in making God's people cleave close to Him. Let us ask for a renewal of those blessed seasons and the continuance of ourlong prosperity. Let us pray for ourselves that our religion and our piety may spring up like a well, "a well of living waterspringing up into everlasting life." And let us pray that the ministry may be greatly blessed among us, and for all our works-inthe classes of the Sunday school, and everywhere else. "Spring up, O well," and God give us all to drink of the living waterstill He leads us to the mount of God where we shall feed on the green pastures and lie down by the river of life forever andever.
There have been some things said, I trust, which may be blessed to you who do not know the Lord. I pray they may. Remember,trust in Christ is that which saves you. Rest alone in Jesus. It is the mount of Calvary that is the mount of your hope. Flyto the Savior, and you are saved. God bless you, for Jesus' sake. Amen.