2250. Words To Rest On

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No. 2250-38:157. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, September 18, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, April 3, 1892.

And the people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. {2Ch 32:8}

1. It is very beautiful, in reading the story of Hezekiah, to see how the people always went with him. God had prepared the nation for a change, and when the hour came the man came with it. Under his father Ahaz, the people had been idolaters, and had forsaken God; but, when Hezekiah became king, he had a zeal for the worship of Jehovah, and on the very threshold of his reign, he began what proved to be a glorious reformation in the land. He seems to have been a man who was attractive to the people, and they took up his way of doing things at once with enthusiasm. Whether he proposed to break down the idols, to cleanse the temple, or to bring tithes into the house of God, they made no objection; but, on the contrary, they followed his word with much vigour and earnestness. It is a grand thing when God sends a man who can guide others properly; especially when, in times of apostasy and spiritual declension, a leader is given who becomes a guide back into the old paths. We should feel extremely grateful whenever, in any place, God raises up a judge to deliver Israel, and when the people serve God all the days of that judge.

2. When our text comes in, the people of Judah were in great straits. The Assyrians, who were both cruel and barbarous in their treatment of others, had invaded the land, and had captured all the country, with the exception of Jerusalem. The city of the Great King was yet untrodden by the armies of the alien; but it looked as if it could not hold out very long, and Hezekiah encouraged his men of war by stirring up their faith in their God. “Be strong and courageous,” he said to them; “do not be afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him.” With a ring of triumph in his tone, he told them that with Sennacherib was only an arm of flesh; and though it was a powerful one, yet with them was the omnipotence of God, and therefore there was more with them than with the Assyrians. The past glory of his reign, and the evident depth of his own faith, added weight to his words, and the people believed his testimony. In such a time of great difficulty, when people are apt to rebel, to find fault with their leaders, and to break up into cliques and parties, they still held to their king, and comforted themselves with the assurance he had given them of help in God. They were not distressed because of invasion, nor did they despair of their cause. They were, of course, conscious of their great danger; but they had found peace, even in their extremity, by quoting to themselves, and to each other, the emboldened language of their king. “The people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah the king of Judah.”

3. It is not always a good thing to rest on man’s words. It may often be a very evil thing; and because some error has been introduced by “such a dear, good man,” it has had all the deadlier hold on masses of men. There have been thousands who have found their way to hell resting on the words of some priest or pretended teacher who taught other than the truth. And yet, with this grain of caution, we can only commend these people, who, when they had a God-sent leader, had both the common sense and the uncommon confidence to banish their fears at his bidding, since his trust was in the name of the Lord. The people were not perfect, nor was their king; but we commend them, in that they did wisely when they “rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah the king of Judah.”

4. I. Our first consideration shall be, THE KIND OF MAN WHOSE WORDS ARE LIKELY TO BE RESTED ON.

5. There are some in whose words you never have much confidence, because they are flippant in their utterance. They do not appear to be sincere, and those who hear them, make nothing of what they say, for they are evidently making nothing of it themselves. You cannot rest in the words of a man who contradicts himself, nor rely much on one who is of one opinion today, who will be of another opinion tomorrow, and who before the third day is over, will be seized with some other new notion. There are men whom we all know in whose word no one is tempted to put any kind of trust whatever. But, thanks be to God, there are in the Christian church still some in whose words men do trust, men who are as transparent as the clearest crystal, and as reliable as the best steel. These are the kind of men I want to describe; and this man who won the confidence of the people of Jerusalem shall serve us as a type of them, and enable us to discover the kind of man whose words are likely to be rested on.

6. To begin with, he must be a great man. So it was in the case of “Hezekiah king of Judah.” If the people cannot trust their king in matters of war, in whom can they trust? But if they see him to be a good sovereign, walking in the fear of God, and doing his utmost for them, how shall they do otherwise than trust their king? Yet in this matter we must take care, for those who trust in the great may find themselves greatly deceived. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the Lord.” That man is not truly great who leads us away from the greatest of all, even the Lord who rules over all. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” There is a kind of greatness that is only a cover for littleness. Sometimes a great title has great selfishness, even great sensuality, lying just underneath it. But Hezekiah was not a little great man; he was truly a king. He was a born monarch; a kingly man. He was a man of royal mind and noble deed; hence the people did not go wrong, when, having respect for his greatness, they “rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah the king of Judah.”

7. Moreover, the man who will be trusted will be found to be a good man. If he is not really so, he will, at least, be thought to be so. Men will put great trust in the words of one whose life agrees with his teaching. If they can detect something inconsistent in his character, the man’s power is ended; but if a man is evidently carried away with the one idea of being and doing good, and consumed with the purpose of glorifying God, then his utterances have power. I know a man who is not an orator; he speaks only very plainly; and yet, if I had my choice, I would sooner hear him than almost any man I ever heard, because, when he speaks, I remember the wondrous life of faith in God, which accompanies his words. I will not say who he is, but almost everyone will guess. It is not what he says, but the man who says it, that makes the impression. It is the life behind the words, the holy confidence in God exhibited every day, the calm restful walk with God which everyone can see in his very face, which, to a thoughtful man, makes his feeblest accent more powerful than the most furious declamation of a mere rhetorician. As Dr. Bonar says, —

   Thou must be true thyself,
      If thou the truth wouldest teach.
   Thy soul must overflow, if thou
      Another’s soul wouldest reach:
   It needs the overflow of heart
      To give the lips full speech.

The man in whose words we are likely to find rest must be a good man. Hezekiah, from all we read about him, was evidently such a man. When greatness and goodness are blended, as in his case, there is sure to be a wide influence exerted. When there is eminence of ability as well as eminence of character found in a man, it often follows that what is described in this verse is true, the people rest themselves on his words, even as they did on Hezekiah’s.

8. Again, a man whose words are to be rested on, must be a courageous man. Hezekiah had this qualification. He had waited on God in prayer, and knew God would deliver him, so he had bidden farewell to fear; he was calm, and therefore bold. When he spoke to the captains of the soldiers, there was no trepidation in his voice or in his manner. He spoke like one who was —

   Calm ’mid the bewildering cry,
   Confident of victory

Courage in one man creates courage in another, and one coward has the contagion of cowardice about him; many will turn tail when one runs. But, if a man stands like a rock, unmoved, he will soon have a body of others behind him who will have borrowed courage from his example. Paul in the storm is an example of this. I suppose he was a little insignificant-looking Jew, yet when the sailors and the soldiers were alarmed at the tempest, he calmly and quietly told them not to be afraid, and they borrowed courage from his faith. He told them that no harm would come to them; that though the ship would be lost, their lives have been given to him in answer to his prayer; and since they had fasted long, he told them to eat, and they did eat. All his orders were carried out as fully as if he had been the centurion in command of the soldiers, or the captain in charge of the ship. Because he was bold he made them brave; he commanded them, because he could command himself. Oh, my brothers and sisters, may you have the courage of your convictions! May you be brave enough to do right, and to speak right, and to stand up for the gospel, whoever rails at it! If you do, you have only to bide your time; and you will be master over baser men who cannot be trusted. He who will only “hold the fort” when others are giving up their castles, shall eventually, God helping him, behold a race of valiant men, who, like himself, shall believe in their Master’s coming, and will not leave the field until he appears. May God grant to many here to be bold in the way of holiness, in their own circle, in their own families! They may be assured that there will be found some who will rest on their words, because they see their courage.

9. Further, a man who is to have his words much rested in, must also be a hearty man; indeed, he must be an enthusiast. Of such a spirit was Hezekiah, for we read in the last verse of the previous chapter, “and in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart.” This is the kind of man whom people will follow. Let them only see that the whole man leads them, and not only a bit of him, and they will quickly learn to rely on his word. Put all your heart into what you do, or else put none of it. There are some people who seem as if they have no heart, or at least their heart is only a kind of valve for the expulsion of blood, and not over vigorous in that direction, I fear. You cannot discover any other kind of heart. No one will follow mere head. There must be a heart displayed by the man who would have a hearty following. If you want to lead others properly, lead them by showing that you yourself love the way. Be intense; be emphatic; throw your whole being into it. Be hearty when you are working, when you are praying, when you are singing. In all that you do for God, and for your fellow Christians, let your heart be revealed; and then it is highly probable that it may happen to you, as it did to Hezekiah, that many will rest on your words.

10. In the case of such a man, God will add his sanction by granting success: he will be a prosperous man. I did not finish the last verse of the previous chapter just now. It reads: “He did it with all his heart, and prospered.” He prospered because he did everything with all his heart. God set his seal to what he did so heartily. A man may be devout and holy, and yet not be outwardly prospered. Such a man may do useful work for the Lord; but the man whom God chooses for a leader, he will also qualify and bless. He will put his mark on him; and when people see that a man is enabled by God to go from strength to strength, that his enterprises do not end in disaster, but that by the grace of God he leads his followers on from victory to victory, they are sure to rest themselves on his word.

11. Let me add, that he who would help others must be a man who has respect for God’s Word. We may safely rest ourselves on a man’s words when, like Hezekiah, his words are full of God, and when, evidently, he has nothing to say but what God has first said to him. Such a man becomes the medium by which God speaks to your soul. “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” Even had this been spoken by another, it was a divine truth, and any man might have rested on it. If any of us needs to be very original, if we must think out our own theology, and go on speculating from day to day, our people will be very foolish if they ever rest themselves on our fickle, insipid words. But if the minister of Christ is as God’s mouth, if he is dependent on the Spirit of God for teaching; then God will speak through him, and the people will hear. If his one aim is, not to be original, but to repeat God’s thoughts as far as he knows them, and to speak the truth revealed as far as he can get a grip of it, such a man will often come to know that the people are resting themselves on his words; for his words will be not so much his, but God’s words through him. May our prayer then be —

   Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
      In living echoes of thy tone;
   As thou hast sought, so let me seek
      Thy erring children, lost and lone.

12. Here a word of caution is necessary. Since men are permitted to say words on which other people rest, let us be careful how we speak. There may be some here, who have attained, by years of holy living and deep experience, to a position of great influence — one of you in a Bible class, another in a village, several of you, perhaps, in your pulpits. Brothers and sisters, what a very responsible position we occupy when young people and others are resting on our words! I will not say whether they are altogether right or wrong in doing so; but I know that this is their habit; therefore, what manner of people ought we to be, how carefully we should use language, how determined we ought to be to let all our teachings be scriptural, and not to mingle the precious with the vile; remembering the promise, “If you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as my mouth!” Do not let us say even in fun what may injure others. I have known children to take in earnest what others have said in jest. It would be often better if some things were not said even in sport; for such flippant utterances have either misled the children, or they have injured the influence of those who have uttered them when they have spoken another time. Since it so happens that many of those around us are of feeble mind, and need a strong mind to guide them, let those who lead be doubly careful of their conversation and conduct. Since those who know their own weakness lean perhaps too much on their teachers, let their teachers cry to God so that they may be helped to teach nothing but what is right. May you and I never lead another even one inch astray! May none of us ever be in communion with what is not true! May we stand right out from all connection with what we feel to be contrary to the mind of God! Let us try to live in such a way that, if another were to take us for an example, he might copy us through and through and do himself no harm. I set before you a very high standard, and one which no man will reach except under divine instruction; but since the necessary teaching is freely given to all who seek it, I would urge you to be keen scholars in the school of grace. I fear very few of us have ever reached this excellent standard, but that is no reason why we should not study our lesson with redoubled energy. Remember that Hezekiah must speak properly when the people of Jerusalem rest themselves on his words. Oh Hezekiah, do not be silent when you ought to speak; do not speak when you ought to be silent; and never speak except when the Lord shall open your lips, so that your mouth may proclaim his praise! Since you have this responsibility that the people rest on your words, be sure to give them words solid enough, and reliable enough to rest on. As you have “done what was good and right and true before the Lord,” speak also true and right and good words to the people: and then it shall be well both with them and with you.

13. II. In the second place, let us turn the other way, and look at THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO REST ON SUCH A MAN’S WORDS. I am not going to praise all these people, nor am I going to blame them. I wish to use discrimination, and judge each case on its merits. Sometimes it is the best possible thing for a man to rest himself on the words of another; but often such a course is a very foolish one.

14. Children do so with their parents, and if they have gracious and godly parents. They do well to rest themselves on their father’s or on their mother’s word. When I was a boy, I never doubted what my father believed. And when I was under the influence of my grandfather who taught the Word of God, I was such a little simpleton, that I never set up my judgment against his. I find that very small boys are not now so foolish; I wish they were wise enough to be as foolish as I was! When I grew up, I never suspected a doctrine because my father believed it. No, my leaning went the other way; and if my godly father found peace and comfort in a word, I thought that what was good for him was good for his son. I was foolish enough to lean on the words of my elders in this way, and somehow, though others often think that such a course is folly, I am glad that it was so. I thank God, too, that my sons were as foolish as their father; and that what their father believed had an attraction for them. I hope that they judged for themselves, as I also tried to do, when I came to more mature years; but, at first, it was the words of my parents that led me to Christ. What I knew of the elements of the gospel I received largely, without a question, from them, and I do not think it was a poor bequest. Now, dear parents, take care that your children are able to believe in you. I like children to have fathers and mothers whom they can trust. A young friend has written a letter to me, asking me to preach a sermon on, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger.” Well, will you kindly consider that I have preached it? I fear I could not make a long sermon of it; but it is necessary to tell some of you parents that I suspect you are not quite so considerate as you ought to be. I do not know the man for whom the word is intended, but I wish he would take the sermon as if I had preached it to him. Now, fathers and mothers, your children do rest themselves on your words, if you are fathers and mothers worth having. Be careful, then, of what you say. I like that boy who said, “I know that it is true, for mother said it. Whatever mother says is true, and it is true if it is not true, if mother said it.” It is a blessed thing when boys and girls can feel such confidence in their parents that they are sure that their word is beyond all question. It is so much easier for them to have faith in God in the days to come, if first they have been able to have faith in their father and mother. Faith of any kind is so tender a plant, that it should be carefully nourished wherever it is found; and as children often, and rightly too, rest themselves on the words of their parents, it behoves the parents to give them words on which they may rest safely.

15. Illiterate people, who cannot read, belong to another class, who need to rest themselves on the words of others. They are only grown-up children, if they are people of no education, though I am glad to think the number of those who cannot even read their Bible for themselves is constantly decreasing. Still, there are many people who are so taken up with daily toil that they have no opportunity for searching for themselves. Although God has given many of them gracious judgments, so that they seem to know truth from error by a kind of inward instinct, yet, for the most part, much of the teaching that they receive must come to them as the utterance of some man in whose life they believe, and whom they believe to be under a divine influence which makes him speak continually with an endeavour for their good. Whether this is right or not, it is so; and every man who is placed in a position where many such hang on his words, must therefore learn to speak only as God speaks by him, lest he himself should sin, and lest the hundreds who accept what he says as being true, should also be led astray.

16. This is also the case with regard to unconverted people who have no spiritual discernment, and who can have none, in their first hearing of the gospel. Very largely, men believe in Christ not only through the Scriptures, but through the testimony of those who already know the Lord. This was implied by our Saviour’s words, in that wondrous intercession with his Father. Christ said concerning his disciples, “Neither do I pray for these alone; but for those also who shall believe in me through their word.” It is part of the economy of grace that the testimony of the saints shall be used by the Spirit to lead people to Christ. We bear witness to forgiveness which we have received; we bear witness to a change of heart which we have experienced; we bear witness to the condescending gentleness of Christ in welcoming the unworthy; we bear witness to the power of prayer; and like the men of Sychar, the people who hear us, first believe our word, and that leads them to Christ. After they have met him, they may say, with much truth, “Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” Still, it will always be true that, at the beginning, it was because of our saying that they believed. It is a large part of our ministry to bear witness to the truth recorded in the Book of God; and often the witness himself is believed, and then what he says is believed because of the faith the hearer has in him. Although some are unworthy of such credence, yet so it does happen. Christian men, you are the Bibles of the people. They do not read the Book, but they read you; and, if they see Christ in you truly represented, they will, perhaps, come to the knowledge of him. But, if you caricature him, dreadful evil will come of it. I beseech you, be very careful. If the preacher, when he is addressing a mass of people who never read the Word of God, contorts and distorts the truth, what wonder is it if the people miss the salvation of Christ altogether, since they rest on his word? If he only gives half of the truth, or only one side of it; if he paints one doctrine out of proportion to another; if he misses the love and tenderness of Christ; and even if he omits the justice and stern truthfulness of God, he may so misrepresent God and Christ, and so misinterpret the whole system of grace to the people, that when they rest on his words they will be resting on a broken reed, and fall to their eternal destruction.

17. People who naturally run in a groove form another class who rest on the words of men. There are some people of considerable capacity who, nevertheless, partly from a lack of elasticity of mind, and partly from excess of common sense, are very apt to keep to beaten tracks. They are not altogether to be censured, for some of them are the salt of the earth; but they are a trifle monotonous in their method of life. Still, with some this is very natural. They are like the tramcars that only get off the rails by accident. Well, I think that, if I were a tramcar, I should like to run on the trams after I got used to it. If they lead in the right direction, we might do much worse than travel by tram. There are, however, a number of people who always will live like that. Having attended at such a place of worship, and having been brought up in the midst of a certain set of godly people, they scarcely deviate one jot from the teaching that they have received. Almost by necessity of their nature they rest on what they hear.

18. There is another class more I should like to mention, not because I am fond of them, but for the opposite reason; I mean those who profess always to do their own thinking, who will not have any creed, and who say that they will not follow anyone. If you will follow them home, they are, in nine cases out of ten, the truest slaves that ever lived. They are the bondslaves of some heretic or other, who has put it into their heads that, in following him, they become free men. Why, there are thousands of people who laugh at us for believing in the old doctrine of the fall of men, who, nevertheless, rest themselves implicitly on the words of some infidel philosopher, or else they follow some favourite heretic in broadcloth on whom they rest their confidence through thick and thin. They speak much of their deep thought, but they never think; they make up for lack of brains by talking the jargon supposed to be spoken by highly intellectual people, though, in most cases, it requires a very vivid imagination to make the supposition. Those, who so take for granted the heterodox words of their favourite leaders, though they do not acknowledge them, incur great guilt, and their leaders are doing grievous mischief in uttering the words on which their followers rest themselves.

19. Before I leave this point, I would urge you earnestly to be careful both concerning the man you hear, and the words of his on which you rest. I beseech any of you who are attendants here, who are resting yourselves on my words, to cease that habit. If I tell you anything that is not consistent with God’s Word, away with my word, and away with me, too. If you hear from me anything which Christ would not have taught, I shall grieve to the nth degree if you believe it. But if you fling it away, and ascribe it to the infirmity and fallibility of the preacher, it will be all the better for you. Or if there are some of you here who are resting yourselves on any other man’s words, I exhort you to know thoroughly the man and his communications, and do not, even when you know him, take his words without an appeal “to the law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Bring all men’s words to the test of God’s words. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit; but test the spirits, whether they are from God.” Blindly follow no man. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you” from this blessed Book, “let him be accursed.” When a man has a message from God, listen to him earnestly, with an open mind ready to be taught; but never think of making him the master of your spirit. “The people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah the king”; and they did well in doing so; for he was a man worthy of their trust. But had he been another kind of king, or a man of a different character and temperament, they might have ruined themselves by relying on the words which he spoke to them. Again, therefore, I utter the caution, be careful both concerning the man you hear, and the words of his on which your rest.

20. III. And now I close with my third point, by asking you to consider THE KIND OF WORDS THAT YOU MAY REST ON. We come to speak now, not of the kind of men who speak restful words, nor of the kind of men who find rest in such words when they are spoken; but of the kind of words in which you and I may rest.

21. You may safely rest in words which urge you to faith in God. Are you exhorted tonight to lay your burden of sin down at Jesus’ feet? Obey such a word as that without questioning. You may well rest on words which tell you to believe in Christ, and you may, without fear, believe in him who has all grace and wisdom and power to save and to bless you. Through the hearing of such words, may you soon be able to say —

   I rest my soul on Jesus,
      This weary soul of mine;
   His right hand me embraces,
      I on his breast recline.
   I love the name of Jesus,
      Emmanuel, Christ, the Lord;
   Like fragrance on the breezes,
      His name abroad is poured.

22. Are you, who are believers, encouraged to roll your care on your great Father, according to that word, “Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you?” You will do no wrong in obeying to the full every admonition to believe your God, and to believe his Christ. If our preaching tends to create faith, and foster it, it goes the right way; but, whatever clever things may be said, if the tendency is to undermine faith, and if the words you hear increase that tendency, they are mischievous, eternally mischievous, to the souls of men.

23. You may always rest, in the next place, on words which are the words of God himself. If God has said it, it is sure. If those men could rest themselves on the words of Hezekiah the king, how is it that some of you, who are God’s people, cannot rest yourselves on the words of God our King? You believe his promises, you say, but still you are very restless. You have some of that terrible fever of unbelief in you. Beloved, try to practise the art of resting yourself on the Word of God. God has promised me such and such a thing. I believe it, therefore I have it. “No,” you say, “the word is yet not fulfilled.” Ah, but I have got it notwithstanding! If a friend gives me a cheque for five pounds, though I have never seen his money, I have the five pounds. I do not need to see his money, for I have his five-pound cheque in my pocket; I have his guarantee for the amount; and though I have not received the coin, I believe that I have the five pounds, and so I have. And if you believe that you have the blessing for which you have asked, go your way, and rejoice that you have it, for it is yours in the promise, and God’s promise is as valuable as God’s fulfilment. Rest yourselves, then, beloved, in the words of God. Are you afraid of being too peaceful? Are you afraid of being too happy? Are you afraid of living too blessed a life? Are any of you afraid of having too much heaven here below? Well, do not give way to such idle fears. The more you can rest, the more God will be pleased with you. “Comfort, comfort, my people”: says your God; “speak comfortingly to Jerusalem”; and if he tells us to comfort you, you may be sure that he wants you to be comforted. Be comforted, therefore. Rest yourselves in his word. I have had to praise with bated breath those who rested on Hezekiah’s word; I have thrown in little bits of necessary caution and interjections of doubt; but, if you desire to rest on God’s Word, I need not caution you against trusting the Lord too much. Though you believe God up to the hilt, though you believe God desperately, though you believe God to the utmost, though you believe him infinitely, he will never fail you. Your confidence in him can never exceed what he deserves. He will warrant it all. “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed”; and again it is written, “You shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” You can never be wrong in resting on the words of God himself. Even in your greatest weakness you may look to him, and say —

   I am trusting thee for power,
      Thine can never fail,
   Words which thou thyself shalt give me
      Must prevail.

24. You may always believe, also, in words which are sealed by the Lord Jesus. If the mark of his blood is on any word, you need never doubt it. If he has died, how can you perish? If he has invited you to come, how can he cast you out? If you do rest on his finished work, how can you be condemned? Please believe and rest on the blood-sprinkled words of this wondrous Book.

   The clouds may go and come,
      And storms may sweep the sky;
   The blood-sealed friendship changes not,
      Thy cross is ever nigh.
   I change; he changes not,
      The Christ can never die;
   His word, not mine, the resting-place,
      His truth, not mine, the tie.

25. Believe also, most firmly, and rest yourself most fully on words which have been blessed to other men. If others have been saved by a word, that word will suit you. If God’s promise proved true to my father, it will be true to me. There is no private interpretation of God’s “great and precious promises.” They are not hedged around with a ring-fence. They are as much mine as they were Abraham’s or Jacob’s — as much mine as they were Peter’s or Paul’s; and I will have them, too, by faith, and have what those promises include. Beloved, rest yourselves on the words of God, on which others have rested, and you shall find them to be as true in your experiences as in the experience of those who have gone before.

26. Last of all, you may surely rest on words which breathe a sense of rest into the soul. I love all the words of God; but there are some that have an aroma of rest around them. Were you ever in such trouble that, when you read the chapter beginning with those sweet words, “Do not let your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me,” you read it in vain? I think I never did. With the tears in my heart as well as in my eyes, I have read that blessed verse, again and again, and I have been comforted. That eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans is a wonderful light when you are in the dark; when I read those glorious doctrines, I find golden stepping-stones through the Slough of Despond. And, as for the Psalms, why the man who wrote most of them seemed to be “not one, but all mankind’s epitome.” He has lived out all our lives, yours, and mine, and millions besides; his psalms breathe peace around us; and, as we accept the truths they reveal, we are enabled to rest on them.

27. To all of us the time will come when we shall need rest. Dear young people, however long you may live, unless the Lord descends from heaven in glory, the time will come when you will die. You will need a pillow then; and, oh, may it be said of all of us then, “The people rested themselves on the words of Jesus!” These promises are the best pillows for dying heads. There is one that will suit you now, and suit you then. “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’ ” Go, brother, anywhere on earth, and even up to heaven with that in your hand: “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Or will this other word suit you better, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness?” But I need not go on giving these words to you; you know them well. If you are not familiar with them, I should advise you to get a little book called Clarke’s Precious Promises, {a} where you will find them all arranged. General Gordon, {b} who was killed at Khartoum, used to carry a copy in his pocket wherever he went, and he and many others have found it to be a great help to them. Get hold of the promises of God, and when you feel downcast, when the wind is in the east, when the constitution does not work, or when you have a real heart-ache, when the dear child is dead, when the beloved wife is sick, or when there is trouble in the house from any cause, then get the words of the Lord; and may it always be said of you: “The people rested themselves on the words of King Jesus, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords!”

28. Oh, that the Holy Spirit might lead some poor soul to rest on these precious words of God even now for the first time; and to the Lord shall be praise for ever and ever! Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — 2Ch 32]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 23” 23 @@ "(Version 2)"}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, A Happy Portion — The Favoured Saint” 759}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Rest In Jesus” 614}


{a} Precious Bible Promises; compiled by Samuel Clarke, D.D. (1684-1759) See Explorer "http://whatsaiththeScripture.com/Promises/Clarkes_Bible_Promises.html"
{b} Charles George Gordon (1833-1885) See Explorer "http://www.victorianweb.org/history/empire/gordon/bio1.html"

The Sword and the Trowel
Established and for 27 years Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Table of Contents for April, 1892 — Second Memorial Number
Frontispiece — Last Portrait of Mr. Spurgeon.
Mr. Spurgeon’s Last Drives at Menton. By J. W. Harrald. (Illustrated).
“Under the Rod.” By Pastor James A. Spurgeon.
“Certainly I will be with Thee.” By E. B. Bayly.
The Book Fund. By Mrs. Spurgeon.
Dr. Pierson on “Prayer Promises.”
Exemption from Trial a Probable Loss.
Travelling in Morocco. By T. Gillard Churcher, M.B., M.R.C.S.
“The Son of His Love.” (Poetry.) By Thomas Spurgeon.
The First Lord’s-day. (Poetry.) By E. A. Tydeman.
Iron Shoes for Rough Roads.
The Orphanage and the Electric Railway.
What is “Heresy Hunting”?
Mr. Spurgeon’s Bedroom at Menton.
The “Armour-bearer’s” Memorial Jottings. By J. W. Harrald.
The Funeral Cortège at Menton Railway-station.
Fac-simile of page in Mr. Spurgeon’s R. T. S. Pocket-book.
The Olive-casket under the Palm-branches at the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle Church’s “In Memoriam” Resolution.
The Funeral Cortège entering Norwood Cemetery.
Pastor A. G. Brown delivering his Address at the Grave.
Mrs. Spurgeon’s Letter to the Students of the Pastors’ College.
“Son Tom’s” Loving Tribute to his Dear Father’s Memory.
The First Student’s “Wreath.” By T. W. Medhurst. (With Portrait.)
Notices of Books.
Notes. (Portrait and Sketch of Mr. Spurgeon’s “Armour-bearer.” Mr. C. H. Spurgeon’s Fund. Mr. C. H. Spurgeon’s Photographs. Sunday-school Missionary Society. Tabernacle Annual Church Meeting. College. Evangelists. Orphanage. Colportage, &c.)
Contributions for Pastors’ College, Pastors’ College Missionary Association. Stockwell Orphanage. Colportage Association, Society of Evangelists, and “For the General Work of the Lord as most Required.”

Price 3d. Post free, 4 stamps.
Passmore and Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings, London; and all Booksellers.


Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 23 (Version 1)
1 My Shepherd will supply my need,
   Jehovah is his name;
   In pastures fresh he mikes me feed,
   Beside the living stream.
2 He brings my wandering spirit back
   When I forsake his ways:
   And leads me, for his mercy’s sake,
   In paths of truth and grace.
3 When I walk through the shades of death,
   Thy presence is my stay;
   A word of thy supporting breath
   Drives all my fears away.
4 Thy hand, in spite of all my foes,
   Doth still my table spread;
   My cup with blessings overflows;
   Thine oil anoints my head.
5 The sure provisions of my God
   Attend me all my days;
   Oh may thy house be mine abode,
   And all my work be praise!
6 There would I find a settled rest,
   While others go and come;
   No more a stranger, or a guest,
   But like a child at home.
                           Isaac Watts, 1719


Psalm 23 (Version 2)
1 The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want
   He makes me down to lie
   In pastures green: he leadeth me
   The quiet waters by.
2 My soul he doth restore again,
   And me to walk doth make
   Within the paths of righteousness,
   E’en for his own name’s sake.
3 Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
   Yet will I fear no ill;
   For thou art with me, and thy rod
   And staff me comfort still.
4 My table thou hast furnished
   In presence of my foes;
   My head thou dost with oil anoint,
   And my cup overflows.
5 Goodness and mercy all my life
   Shall surely follow me;
   And in God’s house for ever more
   My dwelling place shall be.
                        Scotch Version, 1641.


Psalm 23. (Version 3)
1 The Lord my Shepherd is,
   I shall be well supplied;
   Since he is mine, and I am his,
   What can I want beside?
2 He leads me to the place
   Where heavenly pasture grows,
   Where living waters gently pass,
   And full salvation flows.
3 If e’er I go astray,
   He doth my soul reclaim;
   And guides me in his own right way,
   For his most holy name.
4 While he affords his aid,
   I cannot yield to fear;
   Though I should walk through death’s dark shade,
   My Shepherd’s with me there.
5 In spite of all my foes,
   Thou dost my table spread;
   My cup with blessings overflows,
   And joy exalts my head.
6 The bounties of thy love
   Shall crown my following days;
   Nor from thy house will I remove,
   Nor cease to speak thy praise.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.


Psalm 23 (Version 4)
1 The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
   And feed me with a Shepherd’s care;
   His presence shall my wants supply,
   And guard me with a watchful eye;
   My noonday walks he will attend,
   And all my midnight hours defend.
2 Though in the paths of death I tread,
   With gloomy horrors overspread,
   My stedfast heart shall fear no ill,
   For thou, Oh Lord! are with me still:
   Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
   And guide me through the dreadful shade.
                     Joseph Addison, 1712.


The Christian, Privileges, A Happy Portion
759 — The Favoured Saint <8.7.4.>
1 Gracious Lord, my heart is fixed,
      Sing I will, and sing of thee,
   Since the cup that justice mixed,
      Thou hast drank, and drank for me:
         Great Deliverer!
      Thou hast set the prisoner free.
2 Many were the chains that bound me,
      But the Lord has loosed them all;
   Arms of mercy now surround me.
      Favours these, nor few nor small:
         Saviour, keep me!
      Keep thy servant lest he fall.
3 Fair the scene that lies before me,
      Life eternal Jesus gives;
   While he waves his banner o’er me,
      Peace and joy my soul receives;
         Sure his promise!
      I shall live because he lives.
4 When the world would bid me leave thee,
      Telling me of shame and loss,
   Saviour, guard me, lest I grieve thee,
      Lest I cease to love thy cross:
         This is treasure!
      All the rest I count but dross.
                           Thomas Kelly, 1806.


The Christian, Contrite Cries
614 — Rest In Jesus
1 Oh may I never rest
      Till I find rest in thee,
   Till of my pardon here possess’d
      I feel thy love to me!
2 Turn not thy face away,
      Thy look can made me clean;
   Me in thy wedding robes array,
      And cover all my sin.
3 Tell me, my God, for whom
      Thy precious blood was shed;
   For sinners? Lord, as such I come,
      For such the Saviour bled.
4 Then raise a fallen wretch,
      Display thy grace in me;
   I am not our of mercy’s reach,
      Nor too far gone for thee.
                  Augustus M. Toplady, 1759.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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