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The Novelties of Divine Mercy
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1909.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
THE Book of the Lamentations of Jeremiah is very dolorous. When you look upon the dragons, owls, pelicans and bitterns of the wilderness, you have a fit picture of his mournful state. He was full of grief, like a bottle needing vent. His heart was ready to burst with wormwood and with gall.
But the whole current changes when the Prophet brings to his remembrance the mercy of God! No sooner does he think of the compassions of the Most High than at once he takes his harp from the willows and begins to sing as joyously as ever that sweet singer of Israel, David, sang before him. And, truly, if we, too, instead of harping upon our miseries, would but reflect upon our mercies, we would exchange our mournful dirges for songs ofjoy!
It is true that God's people are a tried people, but it is equally true that God's Grace is equal to their trials! It is quite true that through much tribulation they enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but then they do enter—and the thought of the Kingdom that is coming sustains them in their present tribulation! They wade through the waters of woe, often breast-deep, but the billows do not, and shall not, go over them! They shall still be able to sing even in the midst of the tempest. I would suggest to any here who are in the habit of complaining—and I would remind you that it is a very bad habit—and to any of you who have become chronic murmurers, that this temper of mind is exceedingly sinful. While, on the other hand, the remembrance of God's mercy and grateful talk about it is a virtuous habit—one which is honoring to God as well as strengthening and profitable to our own souls. Imitate Jeremiah, then, and if you can find no comfort in your present outward circumstances, meditate upon the unfailing mercies of God!
What a blessed word that is which the Prophet here uses, "compassions"! David uses the word, "pity," more frequently, but he means the same thing. It is a humbling word, though exceedingly consolatory. I have often felt very deeply chastened in my own soul at the remembrance of the text, "Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him." What? Is this the Lord's attitude towards even the strongest and the best of saints? Does God only pity them? Yes, it is even so—those that do exploits, those that lead the van in the day of battle, those to whom we look up with respect and admiration, God looks upon with Infinite Love—but that love still takes the form of pity. He can see their weakness where we only see their strength. He can discover their defects where we merely admire the work of the Holy Spirit in them. And, therefore, He regards them with pity. Yet it is a Father's pity, the pity of a Father who smiles at the weakness of the child, knowing that the attempt which it is making, though a feeble one, will educate it for something better! And foreseeing that it will, by-and-by, outgrow its weakness and be able to do greater things.
God has compassion for the best of His people, but it is compassion prompted by love. It is not the pity that is akin to scorn, but the pity which melts from love, as the honey drops from the honeycomb. I would again ask our dear friends who are tried and troubled to think of the Infinite Pity of God towards them. He has smitten you, but still, not as hard as He might have done! Out of pity He has stayed His hand. He has spoken sharply to you through your own conscience, but if He had spoken as loudly as your sins deserved, there would have been loud thunder-claps instead of gentle admonitions! He has withered your gourds, but if He had done to you what stern justice might have demanded, it would not have been the gourd that would have withered, but you, yourself, would have wasted away!
Admire the compassion of God toward you! Even if one child in your family is sick, they are not all sick. If the Lord has taken away one of your friends by death, there are many other friends still left to cheer and comfort you. You have had heavy losses in business, but you are not bankrupt. You are not in good health, but still, you have not been stricken
with the diseases which have attacked some others—your pain is bearable. It is true that the weather is dull and heavy to your spirit, but it is not the blackness of "the valley of the shadow of death." Take heart even in the midst of affliction and chastisement, for the compassion of God is still to be seen!
Moved by such thoughts as these, the Prophet penned the remarkable words before us, "His compassions are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness." I have been admiring the first sentence of the text which suggests to me the novelties of Divine Mercy. And as I speak upon it, I mean to get you to preach to yourselves, to wake up your recollections, to ask you to turn over a few pages in your old notebooks, to make you look at your diaries and remember what God has done for you since you first savingly knew His name.
I. First, then, I want to remind you that GOD'S MERCIES ARE ALWAYS NOVELTIES—"They are new every morning."
The water that is in the cistern may be sufficient for a long time, but if it is stored, it will not remain fresh. It may have been fresh the first morning it flowed into the cistern, but it will not be fresh tomorrow. And the longer it lasts, the more stagnant it will become. But the water that gushes from the springhead is always fresh! I drank of it when I was a boy. I went to it in the prime of manhood. I stoop to drink of it now that my hair is turning gray and it is still as fresh and sparkling as ever. God is not the cistern, but the Fountain! Our treasures which we lay up on earth are the stagnant pools, but the treasure which God gives us from Heaven, in Providence and in Grace, is the crystal Fountain which wells up from the eternal deeps and is always fresh and always new! There are no gray hairs upon the Angel of the Covenant, no wrinkles upon His brow. I may say of Him what the spouse in Solomon's Song says of her Beloved, "His locks are bushy, and black as a raven." Mercy is as old as eternity and is always God's darling attribute, yet it is always young, active and bright and fair! Mercy is not a tree that yields its fruit but once in the year—our trees bear such fruit as that which may be stored through the winter and kept till, perhaps, it becomes rotten. But the mercy of God is like the Tree of Life which bears its fruit every month—at all times and at all seasons we may have a share of the compassions of God—and we shall find that "they are new every morning."
The thought that God's mercy is always new is a pleasing one, but that it is new every morning is very amazing. If you had to preach year after year, as some of us do, you would find it no small difficulty to have something new to say every Sunday. But God has something new for us every morning! I suppose the writers in our newspapers often have to exercise their brains to give us something new every day, but God, with the greatest ease, sends to the many millions of His people something new every morning! He does not need to repeat Himself. If He sends the same mercy, there is something about it which shows it to be fresh and new. God never gives us old money that has been worn and defaced—His mercy always comes to us fresh from the mint with all the brightness and clearness of new coinage! "His compassions are new every morning." Not only somemornings, but EVERY morning from the first of January to the last of December! God never has to stay His hand, He never has to pause to think of something fresh. His mercies come to us freely, spontaneously, "new every morning." Let us think for a little while what this means.
In the first place, every morning brings a new mercy because every morning ends the night The night is the time of danger and dismay. Why do we ask, concerning the sick one, "How did he pass the night?" We seldom enquire, "How did he pass the day?" Is it not because somehow or other we connect the night with the idea of insecurity and danger? We wear the image of death upon our faces while we sleep—and how slight the difference is between a sleeping man and a dead man is plain to all beholders. Every morning we may say, "What a mercy that our bed did not become our tomb! What a mercy that in the night we were not alarmed with fire, that our couch was not consumed and ourselves in it— that the house was not broken into by wicked men, that no convulsions of Nature terrified us, that no cry of anguish, like the shrieks that woke up every parent in Egypt, was heard in our house because our child was dying!" Such cries have been heard by some of us and we have had dreadful nights which we shall never forget! Let us live as long as we may, but every morning in which we wake without such alarms and tears, or after a quiet, restful night in which God has given to His beloved, sleep, we have had a new mercy and we may at once look up to the Lord, and say, "We praise You that another night is gone! Your mercies are new every morning."
But every morning also brings a new mercy because every morning ushers in another day. That is a new reason for praise, for we have no right to an hour, or even a minute, much less to a day. To the sinner, especially, it is a great mercy to have another day of Grace, another opportunity for repentance, a new reprieve from death, a little more space in
which to escape from Hell and fly to Heaven. Ah, Soul, suppose you had never seen the light of another rising sun but had heard, instead thereof, the dreadful sentence, "Depart, accursed one, into the darkness which shall never be pierced by a ray of light"? How terrible would have been your portion! So what a mercy it is that you are still spared!
The Christian may thank God that he has another day in which he may walk with God as Enoch did, another day in which he may trust God as Abraham did, another day in which he may work for Christ as Paul did, another day in which he may reap the Gospel harvest, another day in which he may gather pearls for Immanuel's crown, another day in which he may be ripening for Glory, another day in which he may hold communion with his Lord, another day in which he may be making advances in the blessed pilgrimage towards the Celestial City! God gives us our days—may He teach us their value, for they are pearls of great price. And then as each new morning breaks, we may truly say to Him, "Your mercies are new every morning, for the morning has brought us another day."
Further, a new mercy comes to us each morning, at least to the most of us, because each morning brings supplies for the day. I have often thought to myself, "What a mercy it is to know that when I wake there is a breakfast provided for me!" There are many, alas, who do not know from where their first meal in the day is to come. That is a sorrowful thing, and a very trying discipline—but it is certainly not the case with the most of us, for we always have enough for the next day in our cupboard. When we rise in the morning, we are not quite like the sparrows who have to seek their food. They begin to chirp as soon as they wake—there is nothing in their barn, yet they sing, as Luther understood then—
"Mortal, cease from care and sorrow, God provides for the morrow." Then they set to work to find their daily bread and find it they do, for God feeds the fowls of Heaven—and your day's provision is waiting for you! There is the manna for you outside the camp and you know where to gather it. As you do so, remember the mercy of the Lord and bless His holy name!
But you say that you have not all you could wish to have and, therefore, you are not happy. Ah, dear Friends, let us all obey the Apostle's injunction, "Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content." And let us all learn the lesson of which the Apostle wrote, "I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
Let me again remind you—because I am afraid some of you, especially those of you who have abundance, do not always remember it—that you are daily dependent upon God's Providence, that you as much receive your daily bread from God as if the ravens brought it, that you as certainly obtain all that you receive from the hand of God as if it dropped from the clouds, or as if the wind brought you quails! Be thankful, then, that as each day brings to your household fresh needs for daily bread, clothing and shelter, God is also pleased to give such mercies as you need every morning.
In spiritual things, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, how richly may the text be illustrated! "His compassions are new every morning," because every morning I commit fresh sins. Strange creature that I am, I can scarcely open my eyes to the light before my complex nature begins to display the darkness that still lingers within me! Miserable mass of humanity that I am by nature, I can hardly breathe without offending in the thoughts and imaginations of my heart. And even though I may watch my eyes, guard my tongue and keep the members of my body pure, yet still my heart goes a-wandering and my tongue, before long, speaks idle words! Yet the mercy is that with the new sin, there always comes the new pardon, for "His compassions are new every morning." So, before we leave our bedchamber, we go afresh to the—
"Fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel's veins"— and once again we wash and are clean! When we go forth to our business and tug and toil to earn an honest living, we are all too prone to wander from our God—yet even then we may still think of our blessed Master who girded Himself with a towel, poured water into a basin and washed His disciples' feet—and then said that they were clean every whit. We are like those disciples, for our daily pollutions need a daily cleansing. We have been once washed in the precious blood of Jesus and we are clean in the sight of God, but we need to be daily cleansed from our daily defilements—and every morning brings us this Divine Grace.
Then, we scarcely leave our bedchamber, no, we do not leave it, before the new morning brings new temptations. Some mornings especially bring us temptations that we have never experienced before, insinuations gain an entrance into
our mind which never perplexed us till that moment. We scarcely know how to deal with them—and young Christians, especially, are often staggered when these diabolical shafts are winging their way towards them! Then, when we go downstairs to begin the duties of the day, we do not know how long we shall be before we shall be sorely tempted to sin. If we did but know at what hour the tempter would come, we might be on the watch for him, but lo, Satan and sin come like a thief in the night! The time when a child of God is most likely to be tempted to sin is when he is in the holiest frame of mind. You may think that is an odd remark, but I make it as the result of my own experience. I have often found that when I have been nearest to God in prayer, or when I have most enjoyed a service, I have just then been met by somebody who said something gross, or wicked, or unkind. And I have been tempted to answer and perhaps have answered in a way for which I have afterwards been sorry. If you are like I, Beloved, you know that after having been lifted up by some ecstatic experience, you are not well prepared to meet these contrary individuals—so that in your moments of highest joy, something may occur to cause your feet to trip!
Well, now, it is such a mercy for me to remember that when I begin each new morning, though I cannot tell what temptations may come to me, I do know that God's mercies are new every morning and, therefore, that there will be fresh Grace to enable me to resist the fresh temptations! We may rest assured that we shall be taken with no temptation but such as is common to man—and that God will, with the temptation, also make a way of escape for us. Put on the whole Gospel armor and then let the shafts of the tempter fall where they may—they shall not wound you. Or if a wound is received by you between the joints of your harnesses, there is a tree whose leaves are for the healing of the nations—and a heavenly hand shall reach down with those healing leaves that your wounds may be healed. Let us be glad, then, that there is daily Grace to enable us to overcome daily temptations!
We do not completely know, when we wake in the morning, what will be the particular tasks of the day, for each new day brings new duties. Even though we should know completely, as we do know in part, the service appointed for the day, yet it would be a sad thing to wake up to new duties and new responsibilities if we had not also, new strength with which to discharge them. Every day brings a new duty, or it may be an old duty in a new shape, cast in another mold. All that I did yesterday cannot exonerate me if I am idle today—and all the service that I did for my Master a year ago will not excuse me if I waste this year. I must take each hour of time on the wing and I must seek to get wealth from it as it passes by me. This is your consolation, Beloved, that there shall be daily strength given to you for the daily duty to which God calls you! Depend upon it, if God will allow us to work or fight for Him, He will not let us go in our own strength or at our own charges, but He will provide His soldiers with suitable weapons—and He will provide the workers in His vineyard with the best tools for their service. There is daily Grace, then, for daily duties.
I might go on to mention that each day will bring its trials, anxieties and necessities, but I should also have to remind you that each morning brings the promise, "As your days"—note that the word is in the plural, not, as so many misquote it, "As your day," but, "As your days, so shall your strength be." As long as days shall last and till time shall be swallowed up in eternity, God's compassions shall be new every morning—to meet our new needs, our new relations, our new responsibilities, our new temptations and our new sins!
II. Now, I will try to illustrate this subject in another light, for this text is like a kaleidoscope—you may turn it as many times as you will and there will constantly be a fresh form of beauty to be seen. Remember, therefore, that SOMETIMES THE MERCIES WE RECEIVE ARE ACTUALLY NEW IN THEMSELVES.
You must all have had certain periods in your lives when new mercies were bestowed upon you. I cannot mention them all, but just think of the Ebenezers, the stones of help, all along your pathway—and the stones of Bethel that you have set up after some distinguishing favors which have made such days and nights memorable to you. Such mercies as these have been new in a peculiarly special sense.
Sometimes the mercy is new in substance—you have received what you never received before. At other times the mercy is not so much new in substance as it is new in the way of its coming. I am sure that yesterday, when after praying for the last two or three months that God would remember the various works we have in hand—and we received a thousand pounds for the Stockwell Orphanage from some unknown donor—I felt that it was a new mercy of a very special character! Money has been sent to me, many times, for the Lord's work under my charge, but it has each time been sent in a different way, or in a different form—and each time it has well-near overwhelmed me! When I heard of the generous gift yesterday, I was sitting with a dear Brother who had just been saying to me, "My dear Friend, there are some people who
say, 'Our Brother Spurgeon does not know where to stop—he is always going on from one good thing to another—if he should make a failure, it would be a very dreadful thing!' Now," said my Friend, "don't you think it would be a great catastrophe? What a large amount is required for the College!" And then he mentioned other things and closed by saying, "Suppose there should be a failure in the income?" I said, "I never suppose any such thing! I have no purpose to see and no end to gain, and no motive in carrying on all these institutions, but God's Glory. I was forced into these works against my will and God cannot leave me—He must carry on the work and I am persuaded that He will do so—my motive is Jehovah Jireh." Just at that moment, the post came and the letter was opened which told me about the thousand pounds. My Friend said, "My dear Brother, let us kneel down and praise the Lord for His mercy." And so we did. And with many tears he thanked God, oh, in such a warm-hearted manner—and he evidently felt how foolish it was to talk about things failing that are undertaken for God, because God is sure to help us! My Friend said it was a blessed means of Divine Grace to him and that he would remember that day as one of the choice days in his life in which God had showed that He would help those who, in His name, undertake work for the poor and needy and try to aid His cause. Well now, was not that a new mercy? It was not a new thing for us to receive help, but the mercy came in a new way—and it is in such a fashion as this that God's mercies "are new every morning."
Then sometimes, when you do not get the mercy in exactly a new way, yet it seems new to you because you are in a new condition. You have more knowledge and can better comprehend the value of the mercy. You have more experience and can better understand your own need of the mercy. The mercy which comes to a young man of 20 has a special brightness about it—the mercy which comes to the same man at 70 may not have so much sparkle about it, but there will be, I think, if the man is a full-grown Christian—and age is not always identical with growth in Grace—a deeper and more solemn sense of obligation when the mercy comes to him. As we advance in life, the glitter of our thoughts may depart, but the solid gold of them will remain and increase and multiply—that is to say if we really grow mature in spirit as well as old in years. The Lord grant that we may! I am sure that the light in which the aged Christian man regards a mercy is, in some respects, a different light from that in which the young man regards it. The babe in Grace is very grateful for God's mercy and sees that the mercy is very precious. But the full-grown man in Christ Jesus has a gratitude of a far richer and deeper kind. Thus, this mercy of God is new to us because we see it in a new light and it finds us in a new state.
III. Now, thirdly, to come to the practical point of my discourse, I want to ask this question—As GOD'S MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING, WHAT THEN?
Then I call upon you for new praise. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ whose new mercies you and I, my Brothers and Sisters, are always receiving, that our hearts and our lips should praise Him hour by hour, and even moment by moment! Weave new crowns for Christ! Sing new sonnets in honor of His blessed Person and of the mercies which so constantly flow to us from Him—
"Your mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue!
Your free Grace alone, from the first to the last
Has won my affections and bound my soul fast
Great Father of mercies! Your goodness I own,
And the Covenant love of Your crucified Son!
All praise to the Spirit, whose whisper Divine
Seals mercy, pardon and righteousness mine!" I ask you not merely for praise in words, but for praise in newactionswhich shall speak far more loudly than words. Be not content with what you have already done for God, but out of gratitude to Him be constantly doing something new if it is possible. As the soldier seeks to be always pressing forward, so let us be always trying to do more and more for God. Let us be even as the eagle when he soars to the skies, continually circling higher and higher. God grant that we may not rest on our laurels, saying, "We did such-and-such when we were young," or, "We gave so much yesterday to the cause of God," but, as the new mercies continue to come to us, let there constantly be on our part new returns of service for God.
And I ask not only for new actions, but also for new faith. Let every new mercy confirm our confidence in the God of Mercy! All these compassions of our Covenant-keeping God are so many swift witnesses against our unbelief. All these loving kindnesses of the Lord are so many strong evidences for the confirmation of our confidence in Him. God may well say to us, "At what time have I been false to you? Have I received you for a season and then cast you away? Have I been slack in blessing you? Have I stinted you in mercy? Have I withheld My loving kindness from you?" You dare not say that God has been stingy towards you! His mercies have been "new every morning." Shall God, then, have to say to you, "You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, neither have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifice: but you have made Me to serve with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities"? Let not the Lord have to upbraid us thus but let our grateful enquiry be, "What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards us?" And so let us give Him new praise, new gratitude and new service to prove our gratitude!
I ask you, then, for new confidence in God. Or if you cannot mount so high as that, at any rate I ask all here who have proved the faithfulness of God to offer to Him new prayers. If you have already been heard by Him, pray to Him again. The beggar in the street says to you, "Help me this time and I will never ask you to help me again." Talk not like that, O you who beg at God's door of Mercy, but—
"From His mercy draw a plea, And ask Him still for more!"
"Open your mouth wide and I will fill it," is the Lord's gracious exhortation and promise! Spread your wings and soar away to the very Throne of God and then expectthat He will still exceed your faith and do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or even think!
Gathering up much matter into a little space, I ask of all Christians the exercise of a holy ingenuity in inventing new plans for honoring Christ. I ask the exercise of a holy perseverance in carrying those plans into action. I ask for the blazing of a holy zeal every morning to make the carrying out of those plans to be always earnest and fervent so that as the Lord's loving kindnesses are new every morning, so also may be our grateful recollections and our loving service!
IV. I have no time left for speaking at length upon the second sentence of the text, GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS, though I had intended to do so. I shall, therefore, only utter these few remarks upon it.
"Great is Your faithfulness," so great that there has never been an exception to it. You have never, O Lord, at any time acted towards any of Your people otherwise than according to Truth and righteousness! A man may be quite honest and upright, and yet if he conducts an extensive business, it will be very difficult for him to escape a charge of having sometimes overstepped the mark. He may never have done so, but still, it will be very difficult, especially if he has many employees, for him to escape the charge of having done so. But our God has had thousands of millions of people to deal with throughout all ages and yet there stands not beneath the cape of Heaven, nor yet above the stars, nor in Hell itself, a single soul who can say that God, in any transaction, has ever dealt with him otherwise than according to absolute faithfulness!
But, further than that, no item in the whole roll of Divine promises to us has been unfulfilled by God. Old Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you." If a man makes many promises, I will defy him to keep them all, because even if he is both able and willing to keep them, yet he will not always be able to remember them. But God remembers every promise that He ever made and He takes care to honor each of those promises in the experience of those who believe in Him! They who trust in the Lord shall find Him to be faithful, not only in great things, but also in little things! While He keeps the oath of His Covenant fast forever, His faintest Word shall abide firm and steadfast, and the least Truth which He has ever declared shall never grow dim.
The glory of God's faithfulness is that no sin of man has ever made Him unfaithful. Unbelief is a most damning thing and yet, even though we believe not, God abides faithful! His children may rebel against His Law and they may wander far from His statutes. And He may chastise them with many stripes, yet He said, "My loving kindness will I not utterly take away from them, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail." God's saints may fall under the cloud of His displeasure and provoke the Most High by their transgressions—yet He will have compassion upon them, will turn unto them and say— "I, even I, am He that blots out their transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember their sins." So no sin of man can make God unfaithful—
"Let us, then, with gladsome mind, Praise the Lord, for He is kind— For His mercies shall endure, Ever faithful, ever sure."
And, once again, no crisis that can by any possibility ever arise can compel God to be unfaithful to His people. Even though the whole world should go to wreck and ruin, yet He would still bear up the pillars of His people's hope. When His saints cannot be safe under Heaven, He will take them up to Heaven. When He shall bid the great fountains of fire leap up to consume this world and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, if we are alive and remain at the coming of the Son of Man, we shall be caught up together with the Lord in the air! God provided an ark for Noah before He sent the deluge. And He had a mountain refuge ready for Lot before He destroyed Sodom. If David must be driven from the court of Saul, he shall be sheltered in Engedi. And if, by-and-by, the Philistines shall come up against the land, God will still take care of His servant! At the worst pinch, God will always be there—you may reckon it as certain that He has never forgotten His people! When the clock strikes and the bell tolls the hour, God will arise for their defense and show Himself to be strong on behalf of all those who put their trust in Him!
Settle it in your minds, Beloved, that God cannot lie! Believe every man to be a liar if you must, but never believe that God can fail you! If you speak in your soul after this fashion, "Sometimes I see the wicked prosper and I am in tribulation and distress. And my spirit says, 'Has God forgotten me? Will He give all the good things to those who curse Him and cause His people to be chastened forever?'" Say that to yourself very softly and then add, "Yet, though all things seem thus contrary to the Lord's people, I know that God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart." Say with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him...The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Say with old Eli, "It is the Lord: let Him do what seems good to Him." "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." "Trust in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and verily you shall be fed." "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which has great recompense of reward." Hold to your faith as the ancient warrior hung to his shield, for therein lies your safety. God help you to cling to him! When you cannot rejoice in the light of His Countenance, trust in the shadow of His wings and even there, like David, you shall find a safe retreat!
Here I leave the subject with you for your private meditations. And I pray God to quicken in every one of His people a life of holy joy and confidence. Oh, that all of you whom I am addressing knew at least somethingof the experiences of God's people! You who only live the life of sense and have no faith in Jesus, little know what I mean, for though I have talked largely of the sorrows of God's people, yet the joys of faith are unspeakable! One drop of God's Love would sweeten a sea of gall. Yes, I was almost about to say that even the pangs of Hell would lose their bitterness if a drop of the Love of Christ could once flow there and be tasted by those who are lost!
Christian, you already know what it is to find roses among the thorns and to prove your pangs and your sufferings to be soul-enriching things—messengers from the King bringing you to His banquet of wine—and leading you to the discovery of the treasures which He has laid up for you. You know this, so tell it to the ungodly and perhaps their mouths will be set to watering after the good things of Christ's table! When they once long for them, they shall have them, for Christ never refuses a hungry one. And if there is such an one here, a poor, empty, destitute soul, remember, dear Friend, that Mercy's door stands always open and that Christ, the Host of the Gospel Inn, stands always ready to receive every soul that comes, having written this gracious promise over the door of the Inn, "Him that came to Me I will in no wise cast out."
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