Sermon 3234. Strangers and Sojourners
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 1911.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 5, 1863.
"For I am a stranger with You, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were." Psalm 39:12.
IF you read the whole verse, you will see that David used these words as an argument in prayer-"Hear my prayer, O Lord, andgive ear unto my cry; hold not Your peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with You, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were."It is a grand thing to be able to argue with God in prayer! Faith grips the Angel of the Covenant, but it is by well-groundedarguments that we will wrestle with Him until we prevail. Expectancy puts in the wedge, but it is solid argument that drivesit home. When we want to obtain any mercy from the Lord, we must support our plea by reasons drawn from His Nature, His promisesand the experiences of His children as recorded in His Word. Martin Luther was a great master of this holy art of arguingwith God in prayer, as was the Apostle Paul and, therefore, their supplications were not presented in vain. Let it be so withyou, also, Beloved-besiege the Throne of Grace with the most powerful arguments you can find in the heavenly armory! Lay holdupon the arm of Omnipotence and say to the Lord, as wrestling Jacob did, "I will not let You go, unless You bless me."
I. It is, however, the argument that David used, rather than the prayer that he presented, upon which I want to talk to youat this time. So first, I ask you to notice that DAVID WAS A STRANGER AND A SOJOURNER, AS ALL HIS FATHERS HAD BEEN BEFOREHIM. A stranger is a person who is away from his home. And a sojourner is one who only stays in a certain place for a shorttime and then must be up and away. Such is a true Christian. In what respects is he a stranger?
First, he is a stranger in his position. He is not in his native land-he is a freeman of the New Jerusalem. He sings-
"Im but a stranger here, Heaven is my home! Earth is a desert dreary, Heaven is my home! Dangers and sorrows stand Round meon every hand- Heaven is my fatherland, Heaven is my home!"
While we are here in the body, we are absent from our nearest and dearest relatives. You know how Jesus taught His disciplesto pray, "Our Father, who are in Heaven." Our Elder Brother has gone Home before us to prepare the many mansions in His Father'shouse for our eternal abiding place. Many of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ have already joined the general assembly andChurch of the First-Born which are written in Heaven. 'Tis true that we have many very dear relatives here, but they, also,are strangers here even as we are-pilgrims to the Celestial City that lies beyond the river! Our true possessions are nothere. We own no property in this world. We have had certain things lent to us for use while we are here, and we have to givean account of how we use them, but we must leave them all behind us when we go Home. We brought nothing into this world andwe can carry nothing out of it. Our inheritance is above-an inheritance which is undefiled, and that fades not away-whichwe are to share with Christ, for we are joint-heirs of it with Him! Our treasure is where our heart is and both are now beforethe Throne of God on high in the keeping of Christ-unto whom we have committed them until that day when we shall be with Himwhere He is and shall behold His Glory! "Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."I know that there are tenderassociations connected with our earthly homes and loved ones, yet how often are the ashes of our family hearth quenched bythe tears of grief while the
black pall of mourning hangs over those who have been taken from us? Ah, no, this is not our home! Our native land, our truecountry is in the heavenly highlands where Jesus dwells! And we long for the time when He shall say to us, "Come up here."Then, but not till then, shall we be at Home with the Lord!
Next, we are strangers, not only in position, but in character. When an Englishman crosses over to France, he is quickly recognizedas a stranger and a foreigner. And a true Christian is not in any place long before it is discovered that he is of a differentnationality from them by whom he is surrounded! His pedigree is not the same as that of worldlings- they are of their father,the devil, and they do his works-but he has been "born-again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word ofGod, which lives and abides forever." God is now his Father, for He has "begotten him again unto a lively hope by the resurrectionof Jesus Christ from the dead." His manners, too, as well as his pedigree, are not like those of worldlings. If an Englishmangoes to the Continent and tries to pass himself off as a German or a Frenchman, he is soon detected. And, in a similar fashion,a true Christian reveals the fact that he is an alien in this world- his ways and manners and customs are not those of themen of the world who have their portion in this life. He has obeyed that great Apostolic command, "Be not conformed to thisworld: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind." There is also something in a Christian's speech which shows thathe is a stranger in this world. He has a peculiar accent which the worldling cannot imitate. Even when a Christian speakswrongly, he is speedily detected. Peter denied with an oath that he even knewJesus of Nazareth, but those that stood by werenot deceived by his swearing, for they said to him, "Surely you, also, are one of them, for your speech betrays you."
The reason of all this is because there is an essential difference between the nature of a Christian and the nature of a worldling-theworldling is of the earth, earthy. But the Christian is no longer a mere natural man, for he has had a higher and spiritualNature imparted to him! Indeed, he has been made a partaker of the Divine Nature! The worldling seeks the things of the world,but the spiritual man seeks the things of the Spirit. That which came down from Heaven returns back to Heaven and, just asfire seeks the sun, the great central source of light and heat, so the new spirit within the Christian seeks God, Christ,the Holy Spirit and things eternal, heavenly, and Divine! I say again that there is an essential difference between the natureof a Christian and the nature of a worldling-you cannot make a true Christian into a worldling and you cannot make a worldlinginto a Christian! A natural man must be born-again before he can become a Christian-and then he will not be the same man thathe was before, but a new creature in Christ Jesus!
Further, being strangers in this world, we must expect to be treated as strangers by the world. Worldlings cannot understandus, just as the people in a foreign country cannot understand an Englishman who can only speak his native language. He isa stranger in a strange land and so is a Christian in this world. When the Lord Jesus Christ was upon this earth, the greatmass of the people could not comprehend Him-He was a stranger in the very world which He had made! And the world knows usnot because it knew Him not-and the more we are like He, the less will the world to able to comprehend us. The carnal mindknows not the things of the Spirit "because they are spiritually discerned." We must not marvel, therefore, Beloved, if ourmotives are misconstrued and our words wrested and twisted-and we are slandered and abused. We are like the pilgrims passingthrough Vanity Fair-and if we did not receive such treatment as they received, we might begin to suspect that we had becomelike the citizens of that country and were no longer pilgrims bound to Zion!
Further, we are in our hearts, strangers to the world. Wherever a true Englishman wanders, his heart always turns towardshis native land and he says-
"England, with all your faults, I love you still"-
and when once again he sees the hoary cliffs of old Albion, his heart leaps within him, for he is glad to be back in the dearhomeland! I have traveled through many lands and I can appreciate their beauties, but, after all, "there's no place like home!"So is it with the Christian. He has various interests and occupations here and he seeks to be a blessing in the land wherehe is for a while, a sojourner, but his heart is with Christ in Heaven-and he can never be fully satisfied until he is there,too! An Englishman abroad is often hard to please. He, thinks, sometimes very foolishly, that there is nothing as good aswhat he has in his fair island home! But a Christian knows that heavenly things are infinitely preferable to the things ofearth! He has long since learned that there is nothing here to satisfy his immortal spirit and his heart is always anticipatingthe time when he shall be at Home with his Lord and find in Him all that his capacious soul can wish.
Certainly, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we ought to be strangers to the world in our conversation. When we are in a foreigncountry, we are very cautious where we go, for we do not feel as safe as when we are in our own land where we can ask ourway and easily understand the directions given to us. When we try to bargain with the foreigners, we are not
certain whether they are cheating us and, certainly, the Christian in this world has many who are attempting to cheat him-notmerely for time, but for eternity, too! That arch-rogue, Satan, is plotting against him every day and all Satan' s legionsare constantly seeking to rob him of his holiness or of his peace of mind-or in some way or other to lead him astray. So beon your guard, Christian, as you journey through this foreign land! You are in an enemy's country, a foe may be lurking behindevery hedge, a fiery dart may be shot at you from every bush! Keep your sword unsheathed, ever have ready for use that two-edged"sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God," and hold as with a death-grip the great "shield of faith wherewith you shallbe able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." The great adversary of your soul will attack you just at the momentwhen you think yourself most secure, so "be sober, be vigilant"-always obey your Master's command-"What I say unto you I sayunto all, Watch." Strangers in a foreign land should have their wits on the alert and Christians in this world should havetheir graces in active exercise! If they do not, they will bitterly regret their folly and sin.
Yet further, we are strangers as to our supplies. When we go on the Continent, we do not expect the people living there-thehotel-keepers, shop-keepers, and so on, to pay the cost of our travels, board and lodging, and to buy for us anything thattakes our fancy! No, we take with us as much money as we think we shall need, or drafts that we can cash at a foreign bank.And if we find that we have not sufficient funds, we send to England for more, for we are absolutely dependent upon our homesupplies. Just so is it in spiritual matters with the Christian-he knows that he must not look for a single lump of coal fromearth's mines to keep alight the fire of his piety-he must depend upon God for everything. Like the Israelites, he is in ahowling wilderness that can yield him no supplies of corn-and his bread must drop from Heaven day by day, or he will starve.He is in an desert not watered by any river where he can quench his thirst-all he has to drink must flow from the struck Rock,Christ Jesus. Everything he has must come directly from his God! His eyes must always be lifted up to the hills, from wherecomes his help-his help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!
And, to close this part of the subject, the Christian is a stranger as to the short duration of his sojourn in this world.Thank God we are not to be here long. Though the days of our pilgrimage should be seventy, or eighty, or even 90 years, howswiftly they come to an end! No weaver's shuttle flies so fast as does the life of man-and the Christian who dies the soonestis all the earlier in Heaven! The worker for Christ who gets his service finished first, receives his reward the sooner. [Itis remarkable that this Sermon, taken in the regular order of the unpublished manuscripts, should be first available for readingon the last Sabbath in January, just 19 years after Mr. Spurgeon's Home-going at Mentone, a little before midnight on January31st, 1892, at the age of ffty-seven! The Sermon intended for reading that day, #2241, Volume 38-A STANZA OF DELIVERANCE,was the second of only two which the beloved preacher had been able to revise during his last long illness. The other onewas #2237, Volume
38-GRATITUDE FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THE GRAVE.] Instead of dreading
Death, and bidding him depart from us, we might rather beckon him to come for us! Come quickly, blessed messenger, to summonus to the Presence of the King! Come, chariot of fire and horses of fire, and take the servant of the Lord to be forever withhis gracious Master and Savior! Of course, I am saying all this in complete subservience to the will of God. He knows thebest time and way to end our earthly service and, after all, it matters not when and how we go Home to Heaven! And if we "arealive and remain unto the coming of the Lord," we "shall not prevent (or have any preference over) them which are asleep.For the Lord, Himself, shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God:and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
II. Now, secondly, notice that DAVID WAS A STRANGER WITH GOD-and so is the true Christian. The
worldling is a stranger to God, but the true Believer in Jesus is a stranger with God-and there is an eternal difference betweenthe two!
What is the meaning of the sentence, "I am a stranger with You"? I think it means, first, that although we are strangers inthe world, we are constantly under God's eyes and care. "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears are openunto their cry." Beloved, you are always under Gods discerning eyes. He searches you, tries you and sees if there is any wickedway in you-and leads you in the way everlasting. You are all constantly under Gods protecting eyes. You know what He saidof old concerning His vineyard-"I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it nightand day." Further, you are continually under Gods directing eyes-"I will guide you with My eyes." You are also always underGods pitying eyes. "Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him." You, too, are never absentfrom Gods providing eyes. One of the Lord's most precious names is Jehovah-Jireh, which means, "The Lord will see, or provide."And you are perpetually under God's delighting eyes. He says to you, "You shall no more be termed Forsaken; neither shallyour land any more be termed Desolate: but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land, Beulah, for the Lord delights inyou, and your land shall be married."
Further, that sentence means that although we are strangers in the world, we enjoy peculiar fellowship with God. The ApostleJohn says, "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." We are not strangers to God, for, likeEnoch, we walk with God in hallowed and intimate union and communion. He has told us some of His greatest secrets, for "thesecret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His Covenant." He has given us the high privilege ofdwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty! He has brought us into His banquetinghouse and His banner over us has been love. And we have had such rapturous fellowship with Him that we understand what Paulmeant when he said that he was "caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man toutter."
The sentence "I am a stranger with You," also means that, although we are strangers in the world, God, too, is a stranger.It is passing strange, yet is it strangely true that God is a stranger in His own world! Here is His handiwork all aroundus, most fair and beautiful, yet the fool says in his heart, "There is no God," and proves himself to be a fool by sayingit! Here are signs on every hand of the working of God's gracious Providence-mysterious but wondrously wise-yet worldlingscannot see any traces of the finger or mind or heart of God, for He is a stranger to them! And as God is a stranger here,we need not marvel that we, who are His children, are also strangers on the earth-
"Behold what wondrous Grace
The Father has bestowed
On sinners of a mortal race,
To call them sons of God!
' Tis no surprising thing
That we should be unknown-
The Jewish world knew not their King,
Gods everlasting Son."
I think I see my gracious Lord and Master wandering through this world as a Stranger, "despised and rejected of men; a Manof Sorrows, and acquainted with grief-spit upon, scourged, hounded out from among men and, at last crucified "outside thegate." Then, when we "go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach," we are strangers with Him and what higherhonor than that can any of us ever desire? "The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord. It is enoughfor the disciple that he is as his Master, and the servant as his Lord."
There is another thought that I must not leave out. It is this. Though we are strangers in the world, we are with Christ allthe while. Where is the true Christian' s life? Paul answers the question in writing to the Colossians-"If you then are risenwith Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above,not on things on the earth. For you are dead and your life is His with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shallappear, then shall you also appear with Him in Glory." Christ is the Christian's All-in-All, so what can there be belongingto the Christian that is left here on earth? Why, nothing at all that need trouble us for a moment for, "God, who is richin mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ,(by Grace you are saved) and has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Representatively,we are in Heaven even now-and where our Head is, there will all the members of His mystical body be gathered in due time.
III. Now, lastly, IF WE ARE STRANGERS AND SOJOURNERS HERE, WHAT THEN?
First, it is clear that we must have a home somewhere. "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests," and shall theimmortal spirit of man have no home? God forbid! We could not be called strangers and sojourners unless we had a native landsomewhere! A man who is an alien in one country, is a citizen of another, so we who are strangers and so-journers here, arecitizens of a better country, even a heavenly!-
" There is a happy land, Far, far away"-
which is my true Home and there, in God' s good time, I know that I shall be-
"No more a stranger or a guest, But like a child at home"
Do you think God would make us so dissatisfied with this world if He did not mean to satisfy us with another and a betterone? Surely not! The very fact that we are strangers and sojourners upon the earth proves that we have a country of our ownthat is very different from this wilderness-world through which we are passing!
This being the case, it is not surprising that we sometimes long to get Home. We ought not to long for Heaven from any lazymotives. A good workman may be so tired with heavy toil that he eagerly looks forward to Saturday night so that he may enjoyhis Sabbath rest and renew his strength for fresh service on the morrow. And you and I, Beloved, though we are not tired ofourMaster's work, are often tired in it, and we shall be glad when our rest day comes. Thank God, it is not to be six days' work,and then one day's rest, but it is to be a rest that shall know no end-a rest in untiring service! "There remains thereforea rest (a Sabbatismos, an eternal keeping of Sabbath) to the people of God." I said that it is not surprising that we sometimeslong to get Home. You would not think that a boy loved his home if he never longed for the holidays to come. I recollect thatwhen I was at boarding-school, I made an Almanac with a square for every day and I blotted out each one as it went by-andsometimes I blotted it out the night before so that I might seem to have fewer days at school! And, Christian, you, also,may rejoice as the days of your school training here pass, for, as each one flits by, you are "a day's march nearer Home."-
"Though in a foreign land,
We are not far from home.
And nearer to our Home above
We every moment come."
Do you not also think, dear Friends, that the fact that we are strangers here should make us treat one another well? And surely,if the worldling knew Christians better, he would treat them better. They are strangers to you, Man, but they are God's strangers!They are royal personages incognito, princes of the blood imperial travelling through this world to their wondrous palacesabove! But let us who are fellow pilgrims and strangers help one another all we can. If you are in Switzerland, or up theRhine, and have got into some difficulty or trouble, if you see an Englishman coming, you feel pretty sure that your fellowcountryman will do what he can to help you. It should be so with Christians! We are strangers in this world, so let us aidone another all we can. We are soldiers in an enemy's country, so back to back and shoulder to shoulder let us face the foesthat are all around us! Though we are strangers to the world, we are not strangers to God, so let us not be strangers to oneanother, but let us be of one heart and mind, walking in love, even as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.
Then, next, surely we ought never to envy the lot of sinners. I never grudge horses their corn or the swine their husks andhog-wash. Then why should I envy sinners? I remember David's words, "Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be youenvious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb." Whena friend once gave Martin Luther a large sum of money, he stood at the Church door and gave it all away to the poor because,he said, he had made up his mind to have his portion in the next world-and not in this. There is nothing in the sinner's lot,either here or hereafter, that you and I have any cause to envy! And let us never murmur at our own lot-
" The road may be rough, but it cannot be long!
So lets smooth it with hope, and cheer it with song." There are you, my poor Brother or Sister, fretting about what you willdo in six months' time, worrying about the rent, the fire, food, the clothing and I know not what! Yet it may be that beforeeven this year ends, your head may be wearing the crown and your fingers sweeping the golden harp strings, and you yourself-
"Far from this world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in!'
And if you are still here for a while, the Lord will provide for you-so cast all your care upon Him who cares for you!
So, lastly, what an easy thing it should be for a Christian to die! He is a stranger with God even here, but he will be withGod, and not as a stranger up there! He has been with God in life, and God will be with him in death-
"Strangers into life we come,
And dying is but going Home" And going Home is not hard work. Going Home is not a thing to be dreaded-rather should we singin joyous anticipation of it, as so many of our dear Brothers and Sisters have done when they have actually reached the hourof their Home-going!
Yet, alas, there are some here who may well dread their Home-going, for they are strangers to God, "aliens from the commonwealthof Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." O Soul, if that isyour condition, do not remain a stranger to God a moment longer! Repent of your sin and trust God to forgive it for Jesussake! "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." And then, though you will be a stranger, here, you will notbe stranger up there where He is! God bless you, for Christ's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM39.
This Psalm gives a description of David's experience and conduct when stretched upon a sickbed. He appears to have felt impatienceworking within him, which I am sorry to say is a very common disease with most of us when God's hand is heavy upon us. YetDavid struggled against his impatience. Though he felt it, he would not know it, lest he should thereby open the mouths ofhis enemies and cause them to speak evil of his God. Let us imitate his restraint if we resemble him in the temptation toimpatience.
Verse 1. I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue. This government of the tongue is a most importantpart of our ways. It is a very essential part of holy discipline, yet we have heard of one saint who said that he had livedfor 70 years and had tried to control his tongue, but that he had only begun to understand the art when he died. David said,"I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue."
1. I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked are before me. They have such quick ears and they are so ready tomisinterpret and misrepresent our words-and if they can find one word awry, they will straightway preach a long sermon overit! So let us muzzle our mouths while they are near. The ill words of Christians often make texts for sinners, and thus Godis blasphemed out of the mouths of His own beloved children! Let it not be so with any of you, Beloved.
2. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. We all know that unless our griefcan find expression, it swells and grows till our heart is ready to break. We have heard of a wise physician who bade a manin great trouble weep as much as he could. "Do not restrain your grief," he said, "but let it all out." He felt that onlyin that way would the poor sufferer's heart be kept from breaking. David determined that before the wicked, he would havenothing at all to say, and though his griefs were surging within him, yet for a time he kept them from bursting out.
3. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then spoke I with my tongue. He could not hold his peaceany longer-it would have been well if he had done so, for he uttered an unwise prayer when he spoke with his tongue-
4. LORD, make me to know my end. That is what you and I are apt to say when we get into a little trouble-we want to die andget away from it all! We say that we long to be with Christ, but I am afraid that it is often only a lazy wish to share thespoils of victory without fighting the battle-to receive the saints' wages without doing the saints' work and to enter intoHeaven without the toils and dangers of the pilgrims' way! Perhaps this has been the case with us, sometimes, when we havethought that our aspirations were of the best and holiest kind. When David prayed, "Lord, make me to know my end," his prayerwas not a very wise one, but the next sentences were not quite as foolish-
4. And the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Oh, that we could all know how frail we are! Butwe reckon upon living for years when we have scarcely any more minutes left! We think our life's hour-glass is full when thesands have almost run out. And although the hand of God's great clock may be upon the striking-point, we think our brief hourhas but just begun!
5. Behold, You have made my days as an handbreadth. This is a very common measure, the breadth of the human hand-and Davidsays that this span is the measure of his life. Some here must surely have spent a great part of that handbreadth-let themand all of us be prepared to meet our God when that short span's limit is reached!
5. And my age is as nothing before You. It is an incalculably tiny speck when compared with the immeasurable age of the Eternal!"My age is as nothing before You." When Alcibiades boasted of his great estates, the philosopher brought him a map of theworld and said to him, "Can you find your estates on this map?" Even Athens, itself, was but as a pin's point! Where, then,were the estates of Alcibiades? Nowhere to be seen! So when we see the great map of eternity spread
out before us, where is the whole of this world's history? It is but a speak! And where, then, are your life and mine? Theyare as nothing before God!
5. Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Then what must he be at his worst state?
6. Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquietedin vain. [See Sermon #2346, Volume 40-earth's vanities
AND HEAVEN'S VERITIES.] They fret, and fume, and flurry, and worry-and all about what? About nothing! We sometimes say, "Itwill be all the same a hundred years hence." Ah, but it will be all the same much sooner than that when the six feet of earthshall be all our heritage!
6. He heaps up riches, and knows not who shall gather them. "Do you think," says an old writer, "every time you lock up yourmoney in a box, how soon death shall lock you up in your coffin?" Some men seem to be like our children's money-boxes intowhich money is put, but they must be broken before any can come out! To some men, how sad must be the thought that they havebeen accumulating wealth all their days, and they know not for whom they have been gathering it! A stranger may, perhaps,inherit it-or if their own kith and kin shall get it, they may squander it just as thoroughly as the misers hoarded it!
7. And now, Lord-If all earthly things are nothing but emptiness-
7. What do I wait for? "I wait for nothing here, for there is nothing here to wait for."
7. My hope is in You. Ah, this hope makes life worth living! Now that we hope in God. Now that we know that there remainsanother and a better world than this world of shadows, life is invested with true solemnity!
8, 9. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; becauseYou did it. It is always a blessed reason for resignation when we can say of any bereavement or affliction, "The Lord hasdone it." Shall He not do as He wills with His own? Then let us say with Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;blessed be the name of the Lord."
10-12. Remove Your stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of Your hand. When you with rebukes do correct man for iniquity,you make his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear untomy cry; hold not Your peace at my tears. Tears have always had great prevalence with God. Christ used these sacred weaponswhen, "with strong crying and tears," He prayed to His Father in Gethsemane, "and we heard in that He feared." Sinner, thereis such potency in a penitent's tears that you may prevail with God if you will come to Him weeping over your sin and pleadingthe precious blood of Christ! Your tears cannot merit Heaven or wash away your sins, but if you do penitently grieve overthem, and trust in the great atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, your tearful prayers shall have a gracious answer of peace!Mr. Bunyan describes the City of Mansoul as sending Mr. Wet-Eyes as one of her ambassadors to the Prince Emanuel-and he isstill a most acceptable ambassador to the King of kings! He who knows how to weep his heart out at the foot of the Cross shallnot be long without finding mercy. Tears are diamonds that God loves to behold!
12. For I am a stranger with You, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. "I am not a stranger to You, O my God! Blessedbe Your holy name, I know You well, but 'I am a stranger with You.' You are a stranger in Your own world, and so am I. Theworld knows You not, and the world knows me not. And when I act as You act, the world hates me even as it hates You."
13. O spare me, that I may recover strength before I go hence, and be no more.