Sermon 3278. The Wordless Book

(No. 3278)




"Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7.

I DARESAY you have, most of you, heard of a little book which an old Divine used constantly to study. And when his friendswondered what there was in the book, he told them that he hoped they would all know and understand it, but that there wasnot a single word in it. When they looked at it, they found that it consisted of only three leaves-the first was black, thesecond was red and the third was pure white. The old minister used to gaze upon the black leaf to remind himself of his sinfulstate by nature, upon the red leaf to call to his remembrance the precious blood of Christ, and upon the white leaf to pictureto him the perfect righteousness which God has given to Believers through the atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Son.

I want you, dear Friends, to read this book this evening, and I desire to read it myself. May God's Holy Spirit graciouslyhelp us to do so to our profit!

I. First, LET US LOOK AT THE BLACK LEAF. There is something about this in the text, for the person who used this prayer said,"Wash me," so he was black and needed to be washed. And the blackness was of such a peculiar kind that a miracle was neededto cleanse it away-so that the one who had been black should become white, and so white that he would be "whiter than snow."

If we consider David's case when he wrote this Psalm, we shall see that he was very black. He had committed the horrible sinof adultery, which is so shameful a sin that we can only allude to it with bated breath. It is a sin which involves much unhappinessto others besides the ones who commit it. And it is a sin which-although the guilty ones may repent-cannot be undone. It isaltogether a most foul and outrageous crime against God and man-and they who have committed it do indeed need to be washed!

But David's sin was all the greater because of the circumstances in which he was placed. He was like the owner of a greatflock, who had no need to take his neighbor's one ewe lamb when he had so many of his own. The sin in his case was whollyinexcusable, for he well knew what a great evil it was. He was a man who had taken delight in God's Law, meditating in itday and night. He was, therefore, familiar with the commandment which expressly forbade that sin, so that when he sinned inthis way, he sinned as one does who takes a draft of poison, not by mistake, but well knowing what will be the consequencesof drinking it! It was willful wickedness on David's part for which there cannot be the slightest palliation.

No, more! Not only did he know the nature of the sin, but he also knew the sweetness of communion with God and must have hada clear sense of what it must have meant for him to lose it. His fellowship with the Most High had been so close that he wascalled "the man after God's own heart." How sweetly has he sung of his delight in the Lord. You know that in your happiestmoments, when you want to praise the Lord with your whole heart, you cannot find any better expression than David has leftyou in his Psalms. How horrible it is that the man who had been in the third Heaven of fellowship with God could have sinnedin this foul fashion!

Besides, David had received many Providential mercies at the Lord's hands. He was but a shepherd lad, but God took him fromfeeding his father's flock and made him king over Israel! The Lord also delivered him out of the paw of the lion and out ofthe paw of the bear, enabled him to overthrow and slay giant Goliath and to escape the malice of Saul

when he hunted him as a partridge upon the mountains. The Lord preserved him from many perils and at last firmly establishedhim upon the throne-yet, after all these deliverances and mercies, this man, so highly favored by God-fell into this grosssin.

Then, also, it was a further aggravation of David's sin that it was committed against Uriah. If you read through the listof David's mighty men, you will find at the end, the name of Uriah the Hittite-he had been with David when he was outlawedby Saul. He had accompanied his leader in his wanderings. He had shared his perils and privations, so it was a shameful returnon the part of the king when he stole the wife of his faithful follower who was at that very time fighting against the king'senemies! Searching through the whole of Scripture, or at least through the Old Testament, I do not know where we have therecord of a worse sin committed by one who yet was a true child of God! So David had good reason to pray to the Lord, "Washme," for he was indeed black with a special and peculiar blackness.

But now, turning from David, let us consider our own blackness in the sight of God. Is there not, my dear Friend, some peculiarblackness about your case as a sinner before God? I cannot picture it, but I ask you to call it to your remembrance, thatyour soul may be humbled on account of it. Perhaps you are the child of Christian parents, or you were the subject of earlyreligious impressions, or it may be that you have been in other ways specially favored by God-yet you have sinned againstHim, sinned against light and knowledge, sinned against a mother's tears, a father's prayers, and a pastor's admonitions andwarnings! You were very ill once and thought you were going be die, but the Lord spared your life and restored you to healthand strength-yet you went back to your sin as the dog returns to his vomit, or the sow that was washed, to her wallowing inthe mire. Possibly a sudden sense of guilt alarmed you, so that you could not enjoy your sins, yet you could not break awayfrom them. You spent your money for that which was not bread, and your labor for that which did not satisfy you, yet you wenton wasting your substance with riotous living until you came to beggary-but even that did not wean you from your sin. In theHouse of God you had many solemn warnings and you went home again and again resolving to repent, yet your resolves soon meltedaway like the morning cloud and the early dew-leaving you more hardened than ever! I remember John B. Gough, at Exeter Hall,describing himself in his drinking days as seated upon a wild horse which was hurrying him to his destruction until a strongerhand than his own seized the reins, pulled the horse down upon its haunches and rescued the reckless rider. It was a terriblepicture, yet it was a faithful representation of the conversion of some of us. How we drove the spurs into that wild horseand urged it to yet greater speed in its mad career until it seemed as if we would even ride over the gracious Being who wasdetermined to save us! That was sin, indeed, not merely against the dictates of an enlightened conscience and against thewarnings which were being continually given to us, but it was what the Apostle calls treading underfoot the Son of God, countingthe blood of the Covenant an unholy thing and doing despite unto the Spirit of Grace!

Let me, Beloved, before I turn away from this black leaf, urge you to study it diligently and to try to comprehend the blacknessof your hearts and the depravity of your lives. That false peace which results from light thoughts of sin is the work of Satan-getrid of it at once if he has worked it in you! Do not be afraid to look at your sins! Do not shut your eyes to them for youto hide your face from them may be your ruin-but for God to hide His face from them will be your salvation! Look at your sinsand meditate upon them until they even drive you to despair. "What?"says one, "until they drive me to despair?" Yes. I donot mean that despair which arises from unbelief, but that self-despair which is so near akin to confidence in Christ. Themore God enables you to see your emptiness, the more eager will you be to avail yourself of Christ's fullness. I have alwaysfound that as my trust in self went up, my trust in Christ went down-and as my trust in self went down-my trust in Christwent up. So I urge you to take an honest view of your own blackness of heart and life, for that will cause you to pray withDavid, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Weigh yourselves in the scales of the sanctuary, for they never err inthe slightest degree. You need not exaggerate a single item of your guilt, for just as you are you will find far too muchsin within you if the Holy Spirit will enable you to see yourselves as you really are.

II. But now we must turn to the second leaf, THE BLOOD-RED LEAF OF THE WORDLESS BOOK which brings to our remembrance the preciousblood of Christ.

When the sinner cries, "Wash me," there must me some doubt of cleansing where he can be washed "whiter than snow." So thereis, for there is nothing but the crimson blood of Jesus that can wash out the crimson stain of sin! What is there about JesusChrist that makes Him able to save all whom come unto God by Him? This is a matter upon which

Christians ought to meditate much and often. Try to understand, dear Friends, the greatness of the Atonement. Live much underthe shadow of the Cross. Learn to-

"View the flowing

Of the Savior's precious blood,

By Divine Assurance knowing

He has made your peace with God." Feel that Christ's blood was shed for you, even for you! Never be satisfied till you haveleaned the mystery of the five wounds. Never be content till you are "able to comprehend with all saints what is the breath,and length, and depth, and height and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge."

The power of Jesus Christ to cleanse from sin must lie, first, in the greatness of His Person. It is not conceivable thatthe sufferings of a mere man, however holy or great he might have been, could have made atonement for the sins of the wholemultitude of the Lord's chosen people! It was because Jesus Christ was one of the Persons in the Divine Trinity. It was becausethe Son of Mary was none other than the Son of God. It was because He who lived, and labored, and suffered, and died was theGreat Creator, without whom was not anything made that was made, that His blood has such efficacy that it can wash the blackestsinners so clean that they are "whiter than snow!" The death of the best man who ever lived could not make an atonement evenfor his ownsins, much less could it atone for the guilt of others. But when God, Himself, "took upon Him the form of a Servant,and was made in the likeness of men" and, "humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross," nolimit can be set to the value of the Atonement that He made! We hold most firmly the Doctrine of Particular Redemption, thatChrist loved His Church and gave Himself for it. But we do not hold the doctrine of the limited value of His precious blood!There can be no limit to Deity-there must be infinite value in the Atonement which was offered by Him who is Divine. The onlylimit of the Atonement is in its design, and that design was that Christ should give eternal life to as many as the Fatherhas given Him-but in itself the Atonement is sufficient for the salvation of the whole world-and if the entire race of mankindcould be brought to believe in Jesus, there is enough efficacy in His precious blood to cleanse everyone born of woman fromevery sin that all of them have ever committed!

But the power of the cleansing blood of Jesus must also lie in the intense sufferings which He endured in making Atonementfor His people. Never was there another case like that of our precious Savior. In His merely physical sufferings there mayhave been some who have endured as much as He did, for the human body is only capable of a certain amount of pain and agony-andothers beside our Lord have reached that limit. But there was an element in His sufferings that was never present in any othercase. The fact of His dying in the place of His people-the one great Sacrifice for the whole of His redeemed-makes His deathaltogether unique, so that not even the noblest of the noble army of martyrs share the Glory with Him. His mental sufferingalso constituted a very vital part of the Atonement-the sufferings of His soul were the very soul of His sufferings. If youcan comprehend the bitterness of His betrayal by one who had been His follower and friend, His desertion by all His disciples,His arraignment for sedition and blasphemy before creatures whom He had Himself made-if you can realize what it was for Him,who did no sin, to be made sin for us, and to have laid upon Him the iniquity of us all-if you can picture to yourself howHe loathed sin and shrank from it, you can form some slight idea of what His pure Nature must have suffered for our sakes!We do not shrink from sin as Christ did because we are accustomed to it-it was once the element in which we lived, moved andhad our being! But His holy Nature shrank from evil as a sensitive plant recoils from the touch. But the worst of His sufferingsmust have been when His Father's wrath was poured out upon Him as He bore what His people deserved to bear-but which now theywill never have to bear-

"The waves of swelling grief Did over His bosom roll And mountains of almighty wrath Lay heavy on His soul."

For His Father to have to hide His face from Him so that He cried in His agony, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"musthave been a veritable Hell to Him! This was the tremendous draft of wrath which our Savior drank for

us to its last dregs so that our cup might not have one drop of wrath in it forever! It must have been a great Atonement thatwas purchased at so great a price!

We may think of the greatness of Christ's Atonement in another way. It must have been a great Atonement which has safely landedsuch multitudes of sinners in Heaven, which has saved so many great sinners and translated them into such bright souls. Itmust be a great Atonement which is yet to bring innumerable myriads into the unity of the faith and into the Glory of theChurch of the first-born which are written in Heaven. It is so great an Atonement, Sinner, that if you will trust to it, youshall be saved by it however many and great your sins may have been. Are you afraid that the blood of Christ is not powerfulenough to cleanse you? Do you fear that His Atonement cannot bear the weight of such a sinner as you are? I heard, the otherday, of a foolish woman at Plymouth who, for a long while, would not go over the Saltash Bridge because she did not thinkit was safe. When, at length, after seeing the enormous traffic that passed safely over the bridge, she was induced to trustherself to it, she trembled greatly all the time and was not easy in her mind until she was off it. Of course, everybody laughedat her for thinking that such a ponderous structure could not bear her little weight. There may be some sinner in this buildingwho is afraid that the great bridge which Eternal Mercy has constructed, at infinite cost, across the gulf which separatesus from God, is not strong enough to bear his weight. If so, let me assure him that across that bridge of Christ's atoningSacrifice, millions of sinners as vile and foul as he is, have safely passed, and the bridge has not even trembled beneaththeir weight nor has any single part of it ever been strained or displaced. My poor fearful Friend, your anxiety lest thegreat bridge of Mercy should not be able to bear your weight reminds me of the fable of the gnat than settled on the bull'sear and then was concerned lest the powerful beast should be troubled by his enormous weight! It is well that you should havea vivid realization of the weight of your sins, but at the same time you should also realize that Jesus Christ, by virtueof His great Atonement, is not only able to bear the weight of your sins, but He can also carry-indeed, He has already carriedupon His shoulders the sins of all who shall believe in Him right to the end of time-and He has borne them away into the landof forgetfulness where they shall not be remembered or recovered forever! So efficacious is the blood of the Everlasting Covenantthat even you, black as you are, may pray with David, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

III. This brings me to THE WHITE LEAF OF THE WORDLESS BOOK, which is just as full of instruction as either the black leafor the red one-"Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

What a beautiful sight it was, this morning, when we looked out and saw the ground all covered with snow! The trees were allrobed in silver, yet it is almost an insult to the snow to compare it to silver, for silver at its brightest is not worthyto be compared with the marvelous splendor that was to be seen wherever the trees appeared adorned with beautiful festoonsabove the earth which was robed in its pure white mantle. If we had taken a piece of what we call white paper, and laid itdown upon the surface of newly-fallen snow, it would have seemed quite dirty in comparison with the spotless snow. This morning'sscene at once called the text to my mind-"Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." You, O black Sinner, if you believe inJesus, shall not only be washed in His precious blood until you become tolerably clean, but you shall be made white, yes,you shall be "whiter than snow"! When we have gazed upon the pure whiteness of the snow before it has become defiled, it hasseemed as though there could be nothing whiter. I know that when I have been among the Alps and have, for hours looked uponthe dazzling whiteness of the snow, I have been almost blinded by it. If the snow were to lie long upon the ground and ifthe whole earth were to be covered with it, we should soon all be blind. The eyes of man have suffered with his soul throughsin, and just as our soul would be unable to bear a sight of the unveiled purity of God, our eyes cannot endure to look uponthe wondrous purity of the snow. Yet the sinner, black through sin, when brought under the cleansing power of the blood ofJesus, becomes "whiter than snow."

Now, how can a sinner be made "whiter than snow"? Well, first of all, there is a permanence about the whiteness of a blood-washedsinner which there is not about the snow. The snow that fell this morning was, much of it, anything but white this afternoon!Where the thaw had begun to work, it looked yellow even where no foot of man had trod upon it. And as for the snows in thestreets of London, you know how soon its whiteness disappears. But there is no fear that the whiteness which God gives toa sinner will ever depart from him-the robe of Christ's Righteousness which is cast around him is permanently white-

"This spotless robe the same appears When ruined nature sinks in years.

No age can change its glorious hue, The robe of Christ is always new."

It is always "whiter than snow." Some of you have to live in smoky, grimy London, but the smoke and the grime cannot discolorthe spotless robe of Christ's Righteousness! In yourselves, you are stained with sin, but when you stand before God, clothedin the Righteousness of Christ, the stains of sins are all gone. David in himself was black and foul when he prayed the prayerof our text, but clothed in the Righteousness of Christ, he was white and clean. The Believer in Christ is as pure in God'ssight at one time as he is at another. He does not look upon the varying purity of our sanctification as our ground of acceptancewith Him-He looks upon the matchless and Immutable Purity of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and He accepts usin Christ-not because of what we are in ourselves! Hence, when we are once "accepted in the Beloved," we are permanently accepted!And being accepted in Him, we are "whiter than snow."

Further, the whiteness of snow is, after all, only created whiteness. It is something which God has made, yet it has not thepurity which appertains to God, Himself. But the Righteousness which God gives to the Believer is a Divine Righteousness!As Paul says, "He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him."And remember that this is true of the very sinner who before was so black that he had to cry to God, "Wash me, and I shallbe whiter than snow." There may be one who came into this building black as night through sin, but if he is enabled now, byGrace, to trust in Jesus, His precious blood shall at once cleanse him so completely that he shall be "whiter than snow!"Justification is not a work of degrees-it does not progress from one stage to another- but it is the work of a moment andit is instantly complete! God's great gift of Eternal Life is bestowed in a moment and you may not be able to discern theexact moment when it is bestowed. Yet you may know even that, for as soon as you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you areborn of God, you have passed from death unto life, you are saved, and saved to all eternity! The act of faith is a very simplething, but it is the most God-glorifying act that a man can perform. Though there is no merit in faith, yet faith is a mostennobling Grace, and Christ puts a high honor upon it when He says, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Christ puts thecrown of salvation upon the head of Faith, yet Faith will never wear it herself, but lays it at the feet of Jesus and givesHim all the honor and Glory!

There may be one in this place who is afraid to think that Christ will save him. My dear Friend, do my Master the honor tobelieve that there are no depths of sin into which you may have gone which are beyond His reach! Believe that there is nosin that is too black to be washed away by the precious blood of Christ, for He has said, "All manner of sin and blasphemyshall be forgiven unto men." And "all manner of sin" must include yours! It is the very greatness of God's mercy that sometimesstaggers a sinner! Let me use a homely simile to illustrate my meaning. Suppose you are sitting at your table, carving themeat for dinner, and suppose your dog is under the table, hoping to get a bone or a piece of gristle for his portion? Now,if you were to set the dish with the whole roast on it down on the floor, your dog would probably be afraid to touch it lesthe should get a cut of the whip! He would know that a dog does not deserve such a dinner as that-and that is just your difficulty,poor Sinner! You know that you do not deserve such Grace as God delights to give. But the fact that it is of Grace shuts outthe question of merit altogether! "By Grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."God's gifts are like Himself-immeasurably great!

Perhaps some of you think you would be content with crumbs or bones from God's table. Well, if He were to give me a few crumbsor a little broken meat, I would be grateful for even that, but it would not satisfy me! But when He says to me, "You areMy son, I have adopted you into My family, and you shall go no more out forever," I do not agree with you that it is too goodto be true! It may be too good for you, but it is not too good for God-He gives as only He can give! If I were in great needand obtained access to the Queen, and after laying my case before her, she said to me, "I feel a very deep interest in yourcase, here is a penny for you," I would be quite sure that I had not seen the Queen, but that some lady's maid or servanthad been making a fool of me! Oh, no-the Queen gives as Queen, and God gives as God-so that the greatness of His gift, insteadof staggering us, should only assure us that it is genuine and that it comes from God! Richard Baxter wisely said, "O Lord,it must be great mercy or no mercy, for little mercy is of no use to me!"

So, Sinner, go to the great God with your great sin, and ask for great Grace that you may be washed in the great fountainfilled with the blood of the great Sacrifice-and you shall have the great salvation which Christ has procured! And for ityou shall ascribe great praise forever and ever to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God grant that it may be so, for Jesus' sake!Amen.


It is a Psalm and, therefore, it is to be sung. It is dedicated to the Chief Musician and there is music in it, but it needsa trained ear to catch the harmony. The sinner with a broken heart will understand the language and also perceive the sweetnessof it-but as for the proud and the self-righteous, they will say, "It is a melancholy dirge," and turn away from it in disgust.There are times, to one under a sense of sin, when there is no music in the world like that of the 51st Psalm! But it is musicfor the chief Musician, for "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents." And this isthe Psalm of penitence-there is joy in it-and it makes joy even to the Chief Musician, himself!

Verse 1. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness: according unto the multitude of Your tender merciesblot out my transgressions. Here is a man of God, a man of God deeply conscious of his sin, crying for mercy, crying withall his heart and soul, and yet with his tear-dimmed eyes looking up to God and spying out the gracious attributes of Deity-lovingkindness, and tender mercies, multitudes of them! There is no eye that is quicker to see the mercy of God than an eye thatis washed with the tears of repentance! When we dare not look upon Divine Justice- when that burning attribute seems as ifit would smite us with blindness-we can turn to that glorious rainbow of Grace round about the Throne of God and rejoice inthe loving kindness and the tender mercies of our God!

2. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. "If washing will not remove it, burn it out, O Lord, butdo cleanse me from it! Not only from the guilt of it and the consequent punishment, but from the sin itself. Make me cleanthrough and through. 'Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.'"

3. For Iacknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is always before me. "As if the record of it were painted on my eyeballs,I cannot look anywhere without seeing it! I seem to taste it in my meat and drink. And when I fall asleep, I dream of it,for Your wrath has come upon me, and now my transgression haunts me wherever I go."

4. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight: that You might be justified when You speak, andbe clear when You judge. This is the sting of sin to a truly penitent man-that he has sinned against God. The carnal mindsees nothing in that. If ever it does repent, it repents of doing wrong to man. It only takes the manward side of the transgression,but God's child, though grieved at having wronged man, feels that the deluge of his guilt-that which drowns everything else-isthat he has sinned against his God! It is the very token and type and mark of an acceptable repentance that it has an eyeto sin as committed against God. Now observe that the Psalmist, having thus sinned, and being thus conscience of his guilt,is now made to see that if the evil came out of him, it must have been in him at first-he would not have sinned as he haddone had there not been an unclean fountain within him!

5. 6. Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts-Thenit is not sufficient for me to be washed outside-being outwardly moral is not enough. "You desire truth in the inward parts"-

6. And in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom. In that part which is even hidden from myself, where sin mightlurk without my knowing it, therewould You spy it out. I pray You, Lord, eject all sin from me, rid me of the most subtleform of iniquity that may be concealed within me.

7. Purge me with hyssop, andIshall be clean: wash me, andI shall be whiter than snow. This is a grand declaration of faith!I know not of such faith as this anywhere else. The faith of Abraham is more amazing, but to my mind, this faith of poor broken-heartedDavid, when he saw himself to be black with sin and crimson with grime, and yet could say, "Wash me, and I shall be whiterthan snow," is grand faith! It seems to me that a poor, trembling, broken-down sinner who casts himself upon the InfiniteMercy of God, brings more Glory to God than all the angels that went not astray are ever able to bring to Him!

8. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which You have broken may rejoice. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, wecannot sin with impunity! Worldlings may do so as far as this life is concerned, but a child of God will find that, to him,sin and smart, if they do not go together, will follow very closely upon one another's heels. Yes, and our Father in Heavenchastens His people very sorely, even to the breaking of their bones-and it is only when He applies the promises to our heartsby the gracious operation of His Holy Spirit and makes the chambers of our soul to echo with the

voice of His loving kindness, that we "hear joy and gladness again." It is only then that our broken bones are bound up andwe begin to rejoice once more.

9. Hide Your face from my sins. David could not bear that God should look upon them. [See Sermon #86, Volume 2-


9. And blot out all my iniquities. "Put them right out of sight. Turn Your gaze away from them and then put them out of everybody'ssight."

10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. "Make me over again. Let the image of God in manbe renewed in me. No, not the image, only, but renew the very Spirit of God within me."

11. 12. Cast me not away from Your Presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me, restore unto me the joy of Your salvation."Lift me up, and then keep me up. Let me never sin against You again."

12. 13. And uphold me with Your free spirit Then will I teach transgressors Your way. There are no such teachers of righteousnessas those who have smarted under their own personal sin-they can, indeed, tell others what the ways of God are! What are thoseways? His ways of chastisement-how He will smite the wandering. His ways of mercy-how he will restore and forgive the penitent!

13. And sinners shall be converted unto You. He felt sure that they would be converted and if anything can be the means ofconverting sinners, it is the loving faithful testimony of one who has, himself, tasted that the Lord is gracious. If Godhas been merciful to you, my Brother or my Sister, do not hold your tongue about it, but tell to others what He has done foryou! Let the world know what a gracious God He is!

14. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, You God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.Ilike that confession and that prayer of David. He does not mince matters, for he had guiltily caused the blood of Uriah tobe shed, and here he admits it, with great shame, but with equal honesty and truthfulness. As long as you and I call our sinby pretty names, they will not be forgiven. The Lord knows exactly what your sin is, therefore do not try to use polite termsabout it. Tell Him what it is, that He may know that you know what it is. "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, You Godof my salvation."

"But surely," says someone, "there is nobody here who needs to pray thatprayer!" Well, there is one in the pulpit, at least,who often feels that he has need to pray it, for what will happen if I preach not the Gospel or if I preach it not with allmy heart? It may be that the blood of souls shall be required at my hands! And, my Brothers and Sisters, if anything in yourexample should lead others into sin, or if the neglect of any opportunities that are presented to you should lead others tocontinue in their sin till they perish, will not the sin of bloodguiltiness be possible to you? I think you had better, eachone, pray David's prayer, "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, You God of my salvation." "And then, O Lord, if I onceget clear of that, 'my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.'"

15. O Lord, open You my lips. He is afraid to open them himself lest he should say something amiss. Pardoned sinners are alwaysafraid lest they should err again. [See Sermons #1130, Volume19-THE CHRISTIAN'S GREAT BUSINESS and #713, Volume 12- SOUL-MURDER-WHOIS GUILTY?]

15, 16. And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You desire no sacrifice; else would I give it "Whatever there is inthe whole world that You desire, I would gladly give it to You, my God."

16-18. You delight not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God,You will not despise. Do good in Your good pleasure unto Zion. You see that the Psalmist loves the chosen people of God. Withall his faults, his heart is right towards the kingdom under his charge. He feels that he has helped to break down Zion, andto do mischief to Jerusalem, so he prays, "Do good in Your good pleasure unto Zion."

18, 19. Build You the walls of Jerusalem. Then shall You be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offeringand whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon Your altar. Once get your sin forgiven and then God will acceptyour sacrifices. Then bring what you will with all your heart, for an accepted sinner makes an accepted sacrifice throughJesus Christ!