Sermon 3476. Holy Song From Happy Saints
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1915.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, MARCH 5, 1871.
"Now will I sing to my Well-Beloved a song of my Beloved." Isaiah 5:1.
IT was a Prophet who wrote this, a Prophet inspired of God. An ordinary Believer might suffice to sing, but he counts it nostoop for a Prophet, and no waste of his important time, to occupy himself with song. There is no engagement under Heaventhat is more exalting than praising God-and however great may be the work which is committed to the charge of any of us, weshall always do well if we pause awhile to spend a time in sacred praise. I would not wish to prefer one spiritual exercisebefore another, else I think I would endorse the saying of an old Divine who said that a line of praise was better than evena leaf of prayer-that praise was the highest, noblest, best, most satisfying and most healthful occupation in which a Christiancould be found! If these may be regarded as the words of the Church, the Church of old did well to turn all her thoughts inthe direction of praising her God. Though the winning of souls is a great thing, though the edifying of Believers is an importantmatter, though the reclamation of backsliders calls for earnest attention, yet never, never, never may we cease from praisingand magnifying the name of the Well-Beloved! This is to be our occupation in Heaven-let us begin the music here and make aHeaven of the Church! The words of the text are, "Now will I sing," and that seems to give us a starting word.
I. THE STRAINS OF THE SOUL'S SONG.
"Now will I sing." Does not that imply that there were times when he who spoke these words could not sing? "Now," he said,"will I sing to my Well-Beloved." There were times, then, when his voice, his heart and his circumstances were not in suchorder that he could praise God. My Brothers and Sisters, a little while ago we could not sing to our Well-Beloved, for wedid not love Him-we did not know Him-we were dead in trespasses and sins! Perhaps we joined in sacred song, but we mockedthe Lord. We stood up with His people and we uttered the same sounds as they did, but our hearts were far from Him. Let usblush for those mock Psalms! Let us shed many a tear of repentance that we could so insincerely have come before the LordMost High! After that, we were led to feel our state by nature and our guilt lay heavy upon us. We could not sing to our Well-Belovedthen. Our music was set to the deep bass and in the minor key. We could only bring forth sighs and groans. Well do I rememberwhen my nights were spent in grief and my days in bitterness. It was a perpetual prayer, a confession of sin and a bemoaningof myself which occupied all my time. I could not sing, then, and if any of you are in that condition, tonight, I know youcannot sing just now. What a mercy you can pray! Bring forth the fruit which is seasonable and in your case the most seasonablefruit will be a humble acknowledgment of your sin and an earnest seeking for mercy through Christ Jesus. Attend to that, andby-and-by, you, too, shall sing to your Well-Beloved a song!
Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, it is now some years ago since we believed in Christ, but since then there have beentimes when we could not sing. Alas, for us there was a time when we watched not our steps, but went astray-when the flattererled us from the strait road that leads to Heaven and brought us into sin! And then the chastisements of God came upon us-ourheart was broken until we cried out in anguish, as David did in the 51st Psalm. Then if we did sing, we could only bring outpenitential odes, but no songs. We laid aside all parts of the Book of Psalms that had to do with Hallelujah and we couldonly groan forth the notes of repentance. There were no songs for us, then, till at last Emmanuel smiled upon us once moreand we were reconciled again, brought back from our wanderings and restored to a sense of
the Divine favor! Besides that, we have had-occasionally had to sorrow through the loss of the Light of God's Countenance.It is not always summer weather with the best of us. Though for the most part-
"We can read our title clear
To mansions in the skies,"
yet we have our fasting time when the Bridegroom is not with us. Then do we fast. He does not intend that this world shouldbe so much like Heaven that we should be willing to stay in it-He, therefore, sometimes passes a cloud before the sun, thatwe in darkness may cry out, "Oh, that I knew where I might find Him! I would come, even to His seat." Even the means of Graceat such times will bring us no comfort. We may go to the Throne of Mercy in private prayer, but we shall perceive but littleLight even there! If the Lord withdraws Himself, there is no merry-making in the soul, but sadness, darkness and gloom thatcovers all. Then we hang our harps upon the willows and if any require of us a song, we tell them we are in a strange land,and the King has gone-how can we sing? Our heart is heavy and our sorrows are multiplied!
Once more, we cannot very well sing the praises of our Well-Beloved when the Church of God is under a cloud. I trust we aresuch true patriots, such real citizens of the New Jerusalem, that when Christ's Kingdom does not advance, our hearts are fullof anguish. My Brothers and Sisters, if you happen to be members of a church divided against itself, where the ministry appearsto be without power, where there are no additions, no conversions, no spiritual life-then, indeed, will you feel that whateverthe state of your own heart, you must sigh and cry for the desolations of the Church of God. "If I forget you, O Jerusalem,may my right hand forget her cunning." This is the view of every true citizen of Zion-and however our own hearts may flourish,and our souls be like a well-watered garden-yet if we see the place of worship neglected, the Lord's House dishonored, theChurch diminished and brought low, the Gospel held in contempt, infidelity rampant, superstition stalking through the land,the old doctrines denied and the Cross of Christ made to be of none effect-then, again, we feel we cannot sing-our heartsare not in tune, our fingers forget the accustomed strings, and we cannot, then, sing a song to our Well-Beloved!
With these exceptions, however, I turn to a very different strain, and say that the whole life of the Christian ought to bedescribable by the text, "Now will I sing to my Well-Beloved a song." From the first moment in which sin is pardoned, to thelast moment in which we are here on earth, it should always be our delight to sing to our Well-Beloved a song. "How can wedo that?" you ask. Well, we can do it in three or four ways. There is such a thing as thanks-feeling- feeling thankful-andthis ought to be the general, universal spirit of the Christian. Suppose, my dear Brother, you are not rich-be thankful thatyou have enough to eat and to drink, and wherewithal you may be clothed. Suppose, even, that you had not a hope of Heaven,I might say to a man, "Be thankful that you are not in Hell." But to you, Christian, I would add, "Be thankful that you neverwill be there and that, if just now your present joys do not overflow, yet there remains a rest for the people of God"-letthat console you! Is there ever a day in the year, or ever a moment in the day, in which the Christian ought not to be grateful?Our answer is not slow to give-there is never such a day, there is never such a moment! Always receiving blessings untoldand incalculably precious, let us always be magnifying the hand that gives them. Always, Beloved, as we have been before thefoundations of the world with our names engraved on the Savior's hands, always redeemed by the precious blood, always preservedby the Power of God which dwells in the Mediator, always secure of the heritage which is given to us in Covenant by oath,by the blood of Christ-let us always be grateful and, if not always singing with our lips, let us always be singing with ourhearts!
Then, Brothers and Sisters, we ought to always be thanks-living. I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving- thanks-living.How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by an obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live,by a perpetual, constant, delighting ourselves in the Lord and submission of our desires to His mind. Oh, I wish that ourwhole life might be a Psalm-that every day might be a stanza of a mighty poem! That so from the day of our spiritual birthuntil we enter Heaven we might be pouring forth sacred minstrelsy in every thought, word and action of our lives. Let us giveHim thankfulness and thanks-living.
But then let us add thanks-speakingwith the tongue. We don't sing enough, my Brothers and Sisters! How often do I stir youup about the matter of prayer, but perhaps I might be just as earnest about the matter of praise! Do we sing as much as thebirds do? Yet what have birds to sing about, compared with us? Do you think we sing as much as the angels do? Yet they werenever redeemed by the blood of Christ! Birds of the air, shall you excel me? Angels of Heaven, shall you
exceed me? You have done so, but I intend to emulate you henceforth and, day by day, and night by night, pour forth my soulin sacred song!
We may sometimes thank God not only by feeling thankfulness and living thankfulness, and speaking our thanks, but by thatsilent blessing of Him which consists in patient suffering and accepting the evil as well as the good from Jehovah's hand.That is often better thanksgiving than the noblest Psalm that the tongue could utter. To bow down before Him and say, "Notmy will, but Yours be done" is to render Him a homage equal to the hallelujahs of cherubim and seraphim. To feel not onlyresigned, but acquiescent-willing to be anything or nothing according as the Lord would have it-this is in truth to sing toour Well-Beloved a song!
Now having put this before you, that there are some times when we cannot sing, but that, as a rule, our life should be praise,let me come again to the text by saying that sometimes, on choice occasions appointed by Providence and Grace, our soul willbe compelled to say, "Now, nowif never before, nowbeyond all other occasions, I will sing to my Well-Beloved a song." I onlyhope that some-that all Christians here-will feel that tonight is one of those occasions! And as you sit here in the presenceof this table, upon which will soon appear the emblems of your Savior's passion, I trust you will be saying, "Now tonightIfeel I must sing to my Well-Beloved a song, for if ever I loved Him, I love Him tonight." Let us ponder now-
II. SOME OF THE OCCASIONS IN WHICH WE MUST SING TO HIS NAME.
The first is when our soul first perceives the Infinite Love of Jesus to us, when we receive the pardon of sin, when we enterinto the marriage relationship with Christ as our Bridegroom and our Lord. The song becomes the wedding feast. How could itbe a marriage without joyfulness? Oh, do you remember, even years ago, do you not remember now that day when you first lookedto Him and were lightened, and when your soul clasped His hands, and you and He were one? Other days I have forgotten, butthat day I can never forget! Other days have mingled with their fellows, and, like coins which have been in circulation, theimage and superscription have departed from them. That day when first I saw the Savior is as fresh and distinct in all itsoutlines as though it were but yesterday coined in the mint of time! How can I forget it-that first moment when Jesus toldme I was His and my Beloved was mine? Were any of you saved last week? Did any of you find Jesus Christ at any of the meetingslast week? Have you found Him this morning? Did a blessing come to you this afternoon? Then hallow the occasion, pour outyour soul before the Most High! Now, if never before, let your Well-Beloved have your choicest music! "Awake, my glory! Awake,psaltery and harp! I myself will awake right early. I will praise You, for though You were angry with me, Your anger is takenaway and You comfort me." Other occasions, however, come after our first day, for with Christ it is not all joy the firstfew weeks. No, blessed be His name! Sometimes, however, we have our high days and holidays, when the King entertains us ata feast. It is often so with my soul at this Table. Coming to the Communion Supper every Lord's-Day, I don't find it growsstale and flat with me. On the contrary, I think every time I come, I love better than I did before, to commemorate my Lord'ssufferings in the breaking of bread! And usually when we do come round the Table, we, who know what it means, feel, "Now willI sing to my Well-Beloved a song." 'Twas well that after supper they sang a hymn. We want some such expression for the sacredjoy that rises in our soul at this feast. But not only when the emblems are before us, but when you hear a sermon that feedsyour soul-when you read a Chapter and the promises are very precious-when you are in private prayer, and are able to get verynear to Jesus, I know your hearts then say, "Now will I sing to my Well-Beloved a song. He has visited me and I will praiseHim. He has made my soul like the chariots of Ammi-nadib, and where shall my strength and rapture be spent but at His dearfeet, adoring and magnifying His ever blessed name?" Oh, I wish we often had broken through order and decorum, even, to giveto our Lord a song! He well deserves it. Let not cold ingratitude freeze our praises on our lips.
We ought to praise our Lord Jesus Christ and sing to our Well-Beloved a song, particularly when we have had a remarkable deliverance."You shall compass me about," says David, "with songs of deliverance." Were you raised from a bed of sickness? Have you passedthrough a great pecuniary difficulty? Through God's help, has your character been cleared from slander? Have you been helpedin some enterprise and prospered in the world? Have you seen a child restored from sickness, or a beloved wife once more givenback to you from the gates of the grave? Have you just experienced the Light of Christ's Countenance in your own soul? Hasa snare been broken? Has a temptation been removed? Are you in a joyous frame of mind? "Is any merry? Let him sing Psalms."Oh, give your Well-Beloved a song, now that the sun shines and the flowers bloom! When the year begins to turn and fair weathercomes, the birds seem to feel it and they renew their music. Do so, oh, Believer! When the winter is past, and the rain isover and gone, fill the earth with your songs of gratitude. But remember, O Believer, that you should sing your Well-Beloveda song chiefly when it is not so with you, when sorrows befall. He gives songs in the night. Perhaps there is no music sosweet as that which comes from the lips and heart of a tried Believer. Then it is real. When Job blessed God on the dunghill,even the devil, himself, could not insinuate that Job was a hypocrite! When Job prospered, then the devil said, "Does Jobserve God for naught?" But when he lost his all and yet said, "Blessed is the name of the Lord," then the good man shone likea star when the clouds are gone! Oh, let us be sure to praise God when things go ill with us! Make certain that you sing then!A holy man, walking one night with a companion, listened to the nightingale and he said, "Brother, that bird in the darknessis praising her Maker. Sing, I pray you, and let your Lord have a song in the night." But the other replied, "My voice ishoarse and little used to sing." "Then," said the other, "I will sing." And he sang, and the bird seemed to hear him and tosing louder, still, and he sang on, and other birds joined, and the night seemed sweet with song. But by-and-by the good mansaid, "My voice fails me, but this bird's throat holds out longer than mine. Would God," said he, "I could even fly away whereI could sing on forever and forever."
Oh, it is blessed when we can praise God when the sun is gone down, when darkness lowers and trials multiply. Then let ussay, "I will sing to my Well-Beloved a song." I will tell you exactly what I mean by that. One of you has just passed througha very terrible trouble and you are almost brokenhearted-you are inclined to say, "I will ask the prayers of the Church thatI may be sustained." It is quite right, my dear Brother, to do that, but suppose you could be a little stronger and say, "Nowwill I sing to my Well-Beloved a song"? Oh, it would be grand work! It would glorify God! It would strengthen you! "Yes, thedear child is dead-I cannot bring him back, again, but the Lord has done it and He must do right. I will give Him a song,even now." "Yes, the property has gone and I shall be brought from wealth to poverty, but now, instead of fretfulness, I willgive to my Well-Beloved extra music from my heart. He shall be praised by me now. Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him."This is the part of a Christian-God help us to always act it!
Beloved Friends, we may well sing to our Beloved a song when it shall be near the time of our departure. It draws near, andas it draws near we must not dread it, but rather thank God for it. The swan is said to sing her dying song-a myth, I doubtnot, but the Christian is God's swan, and he sings sweetest at the last. Like old Simeon, he becomes a poet at the last andpours out his soul before God! And I would we each desired, if we are spared to old age, to let our last days be perfumedwith thanksgiving, and to bless and magnify the Lord, while yet we linger where mortal ears may hear the strain! Break, Ofetters, and divide, you clouds! Be rolled up, O veil that hides the place of mystery from the world. Let our spirits passinto eternity singing! What a song to our Well-Beloved will we pour out from amidst ten thousand times ten thousand choristers!We will take our part-every note for Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood! Each note undefiled withsin. Each note undistracted and undivided by worldly thoughts. Each note full of perfection and acceptable to Him to whomit shall be presented! O long-expected day, begin! Our hearts are ready to cry out, "Open, you two-leaved gates, and let myspirit pass through, that I may give to my Well-Beloved a song."
Now I just linger here a minute to put it all round to every Christian here. Brother, haven't you a song for the Well-Beloved?Sister, haven't you a song for the Well-Beloved? Aged Friend, will you not give Him a note? Young Brother full of vigor, haven'tyou a verse full of praise for Him? Oh, if we might all come to the Communion Table in the spirit of praise! Perhaps somecan dance before the ark like David. Others, perhaps, are like Ready-to-Halt, on their crutches, but even he laid them down,according to John Bunyan, once upon a time when he heard the sweet music of praise! Let us bless the name of the Lord! Theday has passed and been full of mercy, and eventide has come, and as the sun goes down let us magnify Him whose mercy laststo us through the night and will come again upon us in the morning, and will be with us till nights and days shall no morechange the scene. Lift up your hearts, my Brothers and Sisters! Let every one of you lift up your hands unto the name of theMost High and magnify Him that lives forever! "Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness-for His wonderful worksto the children of men!" Now I have just a few observations to make about-
III. THE QUALITY OF THE SONG.
I will suppose that every Christian here singing has found that he has got one of the Lord's songs to sing. "Now will I singto my Well-Beloved a song." Dear Brothers and Sisters, the Lord's music has one thing about it-that it is always new. Howvery frequently we find in the New Testament that saints and angels sing "a newsong." Very different from
the songs we used to sing-very different from the songs the world still delights in-ours is heart-music, soul-music. Oursis real joy-no fiction-no mere crackling of thorns under a pot. Solid joys and lasting pleasures make up the new song of theChristian! New mercies make the song always new. There is a freshness in it of which we never weary. Some of you have heardthe Gospel now for 50 years-has it gotten flat to you? The name of Jesus Christ was known to you as the most precious of allsounds 50 or 60 years ago-has it become stale now? Those of us who have known and loved Him 20 years can only say, "The morewe know Him, the more sweet He is. And the more we enjoy His Gospel, the more resolved we are to keep to the old-fashionedGospel as long as we live." We could, indeed, sing a new song, though we have sung the same praises these 20 years. All thesaints' praises have this about them-that they are all harmonious. I do not say that their voicesare. Here and there, thereis a Brother who sings very earnestly through his nose and very often puts out the rest that are round about him! But it doesnot matter about the sound of the voice to the ear of man-it is the sound of the heartto the ear of God! If you were in aforest and there were 50 sorts of birds, and they were all singing at once, you would not notice any discord. The little songstersseem to pitch their songs in keys very different from each other, but yet, somehow or other, all are in harmony. Now the saints,when they pray-it is very strange-they all pray in harmony. So when they praise God. I have frequently attended Prayer Meetingswhere there were Brothers and Sisters of all sorts of Christian denominations-and I would have defied the angel Gabriel tohave told what they were when they were on their knees! So is it with praise. I may say, "The saints in praise appear as one"-
"In word, and deed, and mind,
While with the Father and the Son,
Sweet fellowship they find."
Though our words are broken and our notes fall short of melody, yet if our hearts are right, our words are acceptable andour music is harmony in the ears of the Most High. Beloved, be it noticed about the saints'music that it always seems verypoor to them. They feel that they must break out. There are some of David's Psalms in which in the Hebrew the words are verymuch disconnected and broken, as though the poet had strained himself beyond the power of language. And how constantly doyou find him calling upon others to help him praise God-not only to other saints, but as if he felt there were not enoughsaints-he calls on all creatures that have breath to praise God! How frequently do you find holy men invoking the dwellersabove the skies, and earth, and air, and sea to help them lift high the praise of God and, as if they were not content withall animated beings, you will hear them bidding the trees of the forests break out and clap their hands, while they invitethe sea to roar and the fullness thereof to magnify the Most High! Devout minds feel as though the whole Creation were likea great organ with ten thousand times ten thousand pipes, and we little men, who have God within us, come and put our littlehands to the keys and make the whole universe echo with thunders of praise to the Most High, for man is the world's priest-andthe man that is blood-washed makes the whole earth his tabernacle and his temple-and in that temple does everyone speak ofGod's Glory! He lights up the stars like lamps to burn before the Throne of the Most High and bids all creatures here belowbecome servants in the temple of the Infinite Majesty. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, may God give us to feel this state of mind,tonight! And though we should think our praises are like to break down, and feel how mean they are compared with the majestyof Jehovah and His boundless love, yet shall we have praised Him acceptably!
I would be very earnest in the next minute or two to stir up my Brothers and Sisters here to sing to their Well-Beloved asong, because I am quite sure the exercise wiil be most fitting and most beneficial. I will speak only for myself, but I willsay this-if I did not praise and bless Christ, my Lord, I would deserve to have my tongue torn out by its roots from my mouth,and I will add-if I did not bless and magnify His name, I would deserve that every stone I tread on in the streets shouldrise up to curse my ingratitude, for I am a drowned debtor to the mercy of God-over head and ears- to Infinite Love and boundlesscompassion I am a debtor! Are you not the same? Then I charge you by the love of Christ-awake, awake your hearts, now, tomagnify His glorious name! It will do you much good, my Brothers and Sisters. There is, perhaps, no exercise that, on thewhole, strengthens us so much as praising God. Sometimes, even when prayer fails, praise will do it. It seems to gird up theloins. It pours a holy anointing oil upon the head and upon the spirit. It gives us a joy of the Lord which is always ourstrength. Sometimes, if you begin to sing in a dull frame, you can sing yourself up the ladder. Singing will often make theheart rise. The song, though at first it is a drag, will, by-and-by, come to be wings with which to lift the spirit. Oh, singmore, my Brothers and Sisters, and you will sing still more, for
the more you sing, the more you will be able to sing the praises of God! It will glorify God! It will comfort you! It willalso prove an attraction to those who are lingering around the churches. The melancholy of some Christians tends to repelseekers, but the holy joy of others tends to attract them! More flies will always be caught with honey than with vi-negar-andmore souls will be brought to Christ by your cheerfulness than by your moroseness-more by your consecrated joy than by yourselfish dolor! God grant us to sing the praises of God with heart and life until we sing them in Heaven! And I doubt not that,as a Church, we should thus become more useful and more would be led to cast in their lot with us, for they would perceivethat God blessed us. If God should make you feel that you must praise Him tonight, the purpose that I desire to fulfill willhave been accomplished!
Oh, I wish I could bid you all say, "I will sing to my Beloved a song!" But there are some of you who don't love Him, andcannot, therefore, sing to Him. In Exeter Hall, some years ago, at one of our services, I gave out the hymn-
"Jesus, lover of my soul Let me to Your bosom fly."
There was one present who was a total stranger to the Gospel, but that touching expression, "Jesus, lover of my soul," touchedhis heart and he said, "Is Jesus the lover of my soul? Then I will love Him, too," and he gave his heart to Jesus and castin his lot with His people. I would that some here would say the same! Then shall they also sing to their Beloved a song.But now their fittest duty will be prayer and penitent trust. God help them to seek and find the Savior-even Jesus Christthe Lord! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM 116:1-11.
It begins well.
Verse 1. I love the Lord.Can you say that? "Yes, Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You." "I love the Lord."Love is said to be blind, but not love to God! Love to God can see and it can give a reason for its own existence-and a goodsubstantial reason, too. "I love the Lord."
1. Because He has heard my voice and my supplications. A good reason for love will be found in the closet where prayer isanswered. If you have ever been in trouble and that Divine Friend has listened to your feeble cries, you do love Him, andyou cannot help loving Him!. You wonder why others do not love Him too.
2. Because He has inclined His ear unto me, therefore will Icall upon Him as long as Ilive. "Because." He harps on that string.It is so sweet a note that he touches it again, "Because He has inclined His ear unto me." He stooped out of Heaven. He haslaid His ear down to my lips. He has caught my wandering utterances. He has inclined His ear. My sin had pushed His ear away,but He has brought His head back, again, and inclined His ear unto me. "Therefore." You see this was given as a reason, butthe Psalmist is so full that what was a reason for love now becomes a reason for something else! The flowers in the gardenof Believers bloom double! Here is a second flower on this stalk. I love Him because He has inclined His ear unto me. "Thereforewill I call upon Him as long as I live." I speed so well in prayer that I will keep on in that blessed business! God heardme once. He will hear me again-
"Long as we live should Christians pray,
For only while we pray we live." And as long as we live we shall find out the best way of living-to live from hand to mouth-fromGod's hand to our mouth-by continual prayer! Now the Psalmist tells about this wonderful instance in which God heard his cry.
3. The sorrows of death compassed me. They were all round me. They made a circle. I could not find a break. They compassedme. Sorrows, deadly sorrows, the very sorrows of death!
3. And the pains of Hell had hold upon me. They came inside the circle and they gripped me. I was like one that did lie underthe lion. He seemed to bite and tear me. "The pains of Hell had hold upon me." Did you ever know that? I did. Oh, I can neverforget, for the scars are in my mind to this day when the pains of Hell had hold upon me! They say that there is no Hell.He will never say that who has ever felt the pains of a guilty conscience-the pangs of unforgiven sin to a soul that is madealive by the Spirit of God! "The pains of Hell had hold upon me."
3. I found trouble and sorrow.An unexpected find. They were hidden away-these double enemies-hidden away beneath my pleasures,beneath my sins, beneath my self-righteousness. "I found trouble and sorrow."
4. Then I called upon the name of the LORD. The best hour for prayer is the time of our greatest distress. When you can donothing else but pray, then is the very best time to pray! When you seem shut up to prayer, what a blessed shutting up itis! "Then I called upon the name of the Lord." And what was his prayer? Very short. Very full-a sort of soldier's
4. O Lord, I beseech You, deliver my soul There, dear Hearer, if you need to begin to pray to God, there is a good beginningfor you. "Oh, Lord, I beseech You, deliver my soul."
5. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous. A curious mixture. You will never understand it until you stand at the foot of theCross.
5. Yes, our God is merciful That is the practical outcome of the holy conjunction of Grace and righteousness in the atoningSacrifice of Christ. "Our God is merciful." Sometimes when people cannot read well, they spell the words and one, I remember,spelled God in this way-"Yes, our God is merciful." That will do-full of mercy-merciful.
6. The LORD preserves the simple. You clever men take heed of this. "The Lord preserves the simple"-the plain, hearty, honest,sincere, sometimes ridiculed for their lack of cunning. God takes care of them.
6. I was brought low, and He helped me.What a sweet thing it is when you have studied a general Doctrine to be able to giveyourself as a particular instance of it. "The Lord preserves the simple." That is a grand Truth of God. "But I was broughtlow, and He helped me." That is an emphatic proof! That is the enjoyable illustration of the grand Truth! Can you say that,dear Friends? Can you put that in your diary? "I was brought low, and He helped me."
7. Return unto your rest, O my soul; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Come back. He is a good God. Why wander?Return unto your first Husband, for it was better with you than now. He has been bountiful. My soul again lives on His bounty.
8. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. As I read these words, they seemas if they were written for me. Do they seem, dear Hearer, as if they were written for you? Have you undergone this trinityof salvation-your soul from death, your eyes from tears, your feet from falling? If so, then make this resolve tonight.
9. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living That is to say, as He has dealt so well with me, I will always dealwell with Him. I will not care to look to men-to their hope, to their help, to their judgment, to their censure- but I willset the Lord always before me. He shall be everything to me. Beloved, it is one of the best day's work a man ever does whenhe turns clean away from everything but God! Oh, when you have given up all reliance upon the creature and throw yourselfupon the bare arm of the Creator, now you have got at it! Now you have come to real life. All the rest is mere play-acting,but this is reality, for God alone Is, And all else is but a dream!
10. 11. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. And uncommonlynear the truth he came, even though he was in a hurry in saying it, for if you trust in any men, they must be liars to you.They will fail you either from lack of faithfulness, or else from lack of power. There are pinches where the kindest handcannot succor. There are times of sorrow when she who is the partner of your bosom cannot find you comfort. Then you willhave to go to God, and God alone, and you will never find Him fail you! The brooks of the earth are dry in summer, and frozenin winter. All my fresh springs are in You, my God, and there neither frost nor drought can come. Happy man who has got rightaway from everything to his God!