2758. “Return To Your Rest”

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“Return To Your Rest”

No. 2758-47:601. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, September 7, 1879, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, December 22, 1901.

Return to your rest, oh my soul; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. {Ps 116:7}

1. You, who have not believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, have no rest to which you can return, for you have never found any. May God grant to you the grace to come to Christ so that you may find rest for your souls! But we, who believe in him, enter into rest. We are sometimes described as journeying through the wilderness towards Canaan, and the type is quite allowable; but, still, it must not be pressed too far; for, in another sense, we have already entered into our rest. We have entered the Canaan which our Joshua has given to us; Moses, by the law, could not lead us into this promised land; but Jesus has brought us into it, and we now have our portion and our inheritance in the covenant blessings which God has provided for his people in Christ Jesus his Son. God’s people, when they are as they ought to be, are in a state of rest even now. I do not mean that they will have rest as far as this world is concerned, for this earth is not our rest, it is polluted; but I do mean that, as the apostle Paul writes to the Romans, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” I do mean that, as he also says, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”; and that peace includes “rest, sweet rest,” — especially that “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” which, the apostle declares, “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

2. If I am, at this time, addressing any who have for a while, lost the enjoyment of this blessed rest, my message to them is, “Return to your rest.” I hope that they will be able to apply the psalmist’s words to themselves, and to say with him, “Return to your rest, oh my soul; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”

3. I. The first thing for us to remember is, that THE BELIEVER HAS HIS REST. The psalmist says, “Return to your rest, oh my soul,”

4. There is a position, or an experience, in which the believer’s heart is perfectly at rest. While trying to think how I should describe it, nothing seemed to strike me as a more full and accurate description of the believer’s rest than the apostolic benediction with which we are accustomed to dismiss our assemblies. He has true rest of heart who resides in the spirit of these words: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.”

5. The first rest of the heart comes to us through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We generally speak of him as the second Person of the blessed Trinity; but, in the benediction, he is put first, because, in our experience, he is first. No man comes to God the Father except by God the Son; so, for us, Christ is first, because that is the way his grace works in us. And, beloved, when you know how to come to Christ for grace; — indeed, when you have come to him, and have received from him the grace to cover all your sin; — the grace to justify you in the sight of God; — the grace of adoption, by which you become a son of God in him who is the Father’s only-begotten and well-beloved Son; — when you have received the grace of union with Christ, so that you know yourselves to be members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; — when you know that all his grace is yours, and that he himself is yours, then it is that you get rest for your souls. Sin cannot disturb you any longer, for it is drowned in the Red Sea of his atoning sacrifice. Your needs cannot distress you, for they are all supplied by God “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Nothing need perplex, or afflict, or worry you any more. All the troubles of thought are ended as you believe what your Lord tells you. All the cravings of your heart are satisfied as you take him to be the Beloved of your soul. All the struggles of your conscience are ended as Christ brings to you peace and rest for ever concerning all your sin. In fact, as soon as you come to him, he gives you, through his abundant grace, rest about everything. This, then, is the first rest of the believer, which comes to him through the grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

6. There is a further rest for us who believe, and a very sweet one; it is, in the love of God. It comes to us when we hear such a gentle whisper as this, “I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you”; or this, “Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honourable, and I have loved you: therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life”; or this, “Do not fear: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” Oh, what blessed rest springs out of electing love, and adopting love! What sweet rest we obtain from the assurance that God the Father and God the Son both love us, even as our Lord Jesus said to his disciples, “He who has my commandments, and keeps them, it is he who loves me: and he who loves me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.” So the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us.

7. This glorious fact gives us rest with regard to our position here. We cannot be troubled by affliction, because it is sent to us in love. We cannot be worried about the future, for all its concerns are in the hands of the God of love. We no longer harbour doubts and suspicions, for we know that “God is love.” Oh dear friends, when you once really come to know the love of God, it will give you amazing rest! You will feel that he never struck a child of his except in love, that he never even frowned at one of his children except in love, and that he never was angry with one of his children except in love; and love, perhaps, never rises to a greater climax of affection than when it is forced to show its anger, and so uses the rod more to its own pain than to the suffering of those who feel it. Beloved, I trust that each one of you, who believes in Jesus, knows what that rest of heart is which enables you to say, “My God, my Father, you can do nothing to me but what infinite love dictates, for I know that you love me even as you love your firstborn and only-begotten Son.”

8. The third rest of the believer is in the communion of the Holy Spirit. Oh beloved, this is the best rest for the soul, — as far as your actual experience is concerned, — when the Holy Spirit comes, and takes complete possession of you, so that your will does not struggle against the will of God any longer, but sweetly yields to its control; your desires do not wander, but stay at home in full contentment; and you give yourself up entirely to the divine indwelling, so that Christ dwells in you, and you abide in him, by the power of his gracious Spirit. Then that same blessed Spirit brings to your mind the deep things of God, which are full of rich comfort for the soul, and the precious things of the everlasting hills of the covenant of grace, which abound in all the blessings that you can possibly need between here and heaven; for it is the Holy Spirit’s special office to be the Comforter of Christ’s people, and he makes the soul either to sit still at the feet of Jesus, to listen to his gracious words, or else to run with cheerful yet restful alacrity on his errands, for there is such a thing as rest in running in his holy service.

9. Now, dear friend, if you have these three things, — the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, — I am sure I need not take time to prove to you that, in your experience, you have realized what it is to enjoy rest for your soul. Do you all know what it is to rest in the Lord? I thank God that I do; I feel, especially at certain times, that I could not ask the Lord for anything more than he has given me; I could not wish for anything to be altered, I could not desire to be in any other state; — indeed, I do not even wish to be in heaven at such times as those to which I am referring. When I sit down beneath his shadow with great delight, and his banner over me is love, and his fruit is sweet to my taste, it is a little heaven below, — the vestibule of the palace of the great King. Many of you must know what this rest is, I feel sure that you do.

10. II. This fact makes it rather sad work to turn to the second division of my subject, which is that, SOMETIMES, THE BELIEVER LEAVES THAT REST. He should not do so; it is most grievous that he does; but, alas he does, as many of us are only too well aware of by painful personal experience.

11. Sometimes, he leaves it through affliction, and especially if that affliction comes from man. The psalmist tells us that, in his haste, he said, “All men are liars.” Perhaps he said some other naughty things, for which he was sorry afterwards; it is not always easy to be calm and prudent when you are provoked, and to be quite restful when everyone speaks poorly of you, or tries to lay traps to catch you. But the child of God should try to master himself so that all the dogs that bark can no more disturb him than the baying of a hound would turn the moon out of her nightly course. Happy and blessed is that man whose heart is fixed, so that he can sing and give praise even though his adversary is all the while speaking bitterly against him. Yet the flesh is very frail, and aches and pains of body, as well as cruel slanders against the character, will sometimes turn the Christian aside from his restful state. He is not quiet and calm; he is in a hurry, the leisure of his heart is broken, and he is in great confusion, may God save us from getting into such a sorrowful condition as that! For, if we had more confidence in our God, we should have less confusion in our own experience. We should be much more restful if we only do our God the justice of trusting him at all times, for he can never fail us.

12. I have known some Christians to be driven from their restful state through a lack of submission to the divine will. Oh dear friends, when you have been in sharp trials, when things have gone awry with you, and, especially, if some beloved object of your heart’s affection is taken from you, then you have had a quarrel with your God! It is a very sad thing that we should ever differ from infinite love, or think that we know better than eternal wisdom, or begin to suspect the grace of the Most High. It is sorrowful that this should ever be the case with any of us; and we cannot, without many tears, confess that we have sometimes had a dispute with God about what he has been doing with us. And then, of course, we could not rest; for, in addition to our other sorrows, our wise and loving Father chastised us for our naughtiness. He would not spare us for all our crying, but he went on with his own purposes concerning us even while we were so wilful and rebellious. Perhaps he even chastened us all the more because of that rebellion. We may be sure that we shall never truly rest in the Lord while we have a stubborn will; until every desire learns to lay its head in Christ’s bosom, and is fully satisfied with him, we shall never be at perfect peace. There is, for each one of us, a modified agony and bloody sweat until, like our Lord, we can truthfully say to our Heavenly Father, “Not my will, but yours, be done” That lack of submission to God lies at the root of half our unrest. We must submit to him; it would be good for us if we did so at once.

13. Some Christians lose their rest through lack of contentment. They are very happy in their present condition, for God has greatly blessed them; but their eye catches sight of a Christian who is better off than they are; and, immediately, they want to have as much as he has. They are not quite so well dressed as that brother is, and they wish that they were; their wife and family do not look, as the world says, quite so “respectable” as his; and, sometimes, in their folly, they will throw themselves out of a happy position in life, where they have the privileges of the means of grace, and go into a state of spiritual starvation just for the sake of being a little better off in temporal things, which is both foolish and wrong. Now, until we are perfectly content with what the Lord appoints for us, we shall not have rest for our souls. Until we can honestly say, —

    To thy will I leave the rest,
    Grant me but this one request,
    Both in life and death to prove
    Tokens of thy special love; —

we shall never know what it is to enjoy full rest of heart.

14. I fear that there are many Christians who lose their rest in another way, namely, through the world’s joys. Have you ever been with a party of friends, where there has been a great deal of mirth and very little grace? If so, have you not felt, when you got home, that you could not pray as you were accustomed to do? Sometimes, you have been taking your recreation properly enough, but you have not carried Christ with you as you should have done; and you have found, after a while, that your rest has gone. Laughter and merriment may do you untold harm unless they are sanctified by the Word of God and prayer; if they are so sanctified, they may not cause us to leave our rest.

15. Frequently, too, Christian people lose their rest through allowing some conscious sin; for Christ and you will not keep company with each other for long if you permit anything in your heart, or speech, or shop, or home, that is not according to his mind. His communion is with “the pure in heart for they shall see God.” But if sin is knowingly harboured, communion with Christ will not be enjoyed. The old Puritan was right when he said, “Sinning will make you stop communing, or else communing will make you stop sinning”; for the indulgence of any known sin is not compatible with a close walk with God. If, beloved, you and I get at a distance from God; if we follow Christ afar off, as Peter did; if we grow cold in heart, if we are neglectful of prayer, if the Word of God is not the subject of our constant study, if we get worldly and carnal, like so many of our fellow Christians are, we shall soon find that the rest of our soul is gone.

16. It is a great mercy if you know when it is gone. It is a terrible thing to lose the joy of the Lord, and the rest of your spirit, and yet hardly to be aware that it is so with you. There is a very simple simile of this state of things, but it is a useful one. You know that a hen, if she has some eggs under her, will keep on sitting. You may take half her eggs away, you may take three fourths of them away; but she still keeps on sitting, for I suppose she cannot count. Now, there are some Christians who are very much like that hen; they lose most of their grace, yet they are just as happy as they were before. But, beloved, your spiritual sense ought to be something much higher than the instinct of a poor silly bird; your care of the divine grace entrusted to your charge ought to be something far superior to the care of a sitting hen over her eggs. To lose a little grace is to lose a great deal. To miss even five minutes of communion with Christ, is to lack an incalculable blessing. Therefore, brethren, if you have lost the blessed rest you once enjoyed, do not be satisfied to remain in that condition. Do not sing, with Cowper, —

    What peaceful hours I then enjoy’d,
       How sweet their memory still! —

unless you can also say, with him, —

    But now I find an aching void
       The world can never fill.

Never be happy unless you are truly resting in Jesus.

17. III. That brings us to our third point, which is, that THE BELIEVER, WHEN HE HAS GONE AWAY FROM HIS REST, SHOULD RETURN TO IT, and the sooner he does so, the better. Return at once, dear friends, if you have gone away from your rest. Just as Noah’s dove came back to him, so fly back to Christ, who is your Noah, your rest, for that is the meaning of the name.

18. And I would argue with you to come back, first, because it is quite certain that you can never rest anywhere else. A man, who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ, can find rest in many places, — such rest as it is. Give him a large estate, abundance of money, and plenty of worldly friends, and you will find him quite content with those things. Like the mole, which has its home in the earth, he will go and burrow, and make his home there. An eagle cannot do that; and you are one of God’s eagles if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Neither in wealth, nor in honour, nor in pleasure, nor in conjugal domestic comfort, can you ever find perfect rest. You have eaten the white bread of heaven, so your mouth is out of taste for the brown bread of earth. You might have been satisfied with the world if you had never known Christ, but you are spoiled for that now. A countryman, who has lived all his life in a lonely village, where he never heard any music, might be charmed when he first listened to one of our street organs; but let him hear some of the sweet strains of true music, then the noise of the street organ jars on his ear, he cannot endure it. So, beloved, your ears have been attuned to something better than the world’s merriment, that can never satisfy you. For you, there is only one rest; and you must come back to it. Some of you backsliders have come in here tonight; you have not been here recently, and you have been trying to be happy and comfortable apart from God; but, as surely as the Lord loves you, you will have to come back to him; and the longer you stay away, the more bitter will be your weeping and Lamentation when you do come back. Oh, that you would be wise, and return at once, and never wander away again! You know too much, and you have felt too much, ever to rest except in Christ, so do not attempt it.

19. Further, this unrest puts you out of order for everything. I should like to ask you the question, who love the Lord, but are not perfectly at rest in him, — Does not your present state very much spoil your devotions? You cannot pray as you used to do when you had such a sweet sense of the love of God; you know that you do not have the power in prayer that you once had, God does not hear you now as he once did. You used to run to him with your request, and come back with the favour you had asked from him; but, now, you ask many times, yet you receive no reply. The reason is, that you are walking contrary to him, and therefore he walks contrary to you.

20. Does not this lack of restfulness also decrease your power of working for Christ? You cannot plead with a sinner as you used to do, you cannot speak to the anxious as you once did; for, while your own soul is in the dark, although you may be wishful to give light to others, you feel that you cannot do it. If you really wish to serve the Lord effectively, you must have the joy of the Lord to be your strength.

21. Then, besides, do you not think that your lack of rest is putting you into a state in which you are very liable to be tempted, and to be overcome? “The conies are only a feeble folk, yet they make their houses in the rocks”; and they are very sensible conies to do so, for there are many beasts of prey to seek their lives; but they run into the rock, and so they are safe. If you are out of your Rock, you are, like the coney, exposed to danger, so run back again as quickly as you can. You are never so safe as when you dwell in the wounded side of Jesus, peacefully resting in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

22. There is one more thing that I must say to those of you who are not resting like this; that is, this unrest can do no possible good. I say this to myself as well as to you, for I, too, have sometimes erred in that way. I am ashamed to confess that it is so, for it ought not to have been the case, and I feel that I am more guilty than some of you in having done so; but I never yet have found any good come from a state of unrest. When I have not rested in God about everything, I have never found things to improve any the more for all my worrying. Suppose a farmer grumbles against God because the wheat is spoiling; does his grumbling save it? Suppose a tradesman begins quarrelling with God because business is slow; he will not bring one more customer to his shop by all his complaining. No; there is no good in grumbling, and no use in complaining; the very best thing that you can do for yourself is just to come back, and rest in God, and say, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him. I have done all I can that was right for me to do; but I know that it is vain for me to rise up early, and sit up late, and eat the bread of care, unless he is pleased to send the increase. So I leave it all with him. I will not fret and worry any longer; I cannot improve matters if I do, so I will just leave everything in the Lord’s hands.” That is a right decision, my brother; for the end of your heart’s controversy will be the beginning of your heart’s rest. So, “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you: he shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” “Delight yourself also in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” But if you will be unbelieving, if you will rebel and revolt against your God, you shall be struck more and more, and no rest will come to you at all. So cry with the psalmist, “Return to your rest, oh my soul”; and not only say it, but actually do return at once to your rest.

23. IV. The last thing about which I am going to speak to you is this. THE BELIEVER HAS ONE EXCELLENT ENCOURAGEMENT TO RETURN: “Return to your rest, oh my soul; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”

24. The psalmist tells us in detail what the Lord had done for him; or, rather, he tells the Lord: “For you have delivered my soul from death.” In the fourth verse, he prayed, “Oh Lord, I beseech you, deliver my soul.” That was a single prayer, but he received a triple answer to it, for God is always “able to do very abundantly above all that we ask or think.” So the psalmist proved it, and he was able to say to the Lord, “You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” Now, believer, you ought to come back, and rest in God, because you have received from him these three signs of his divine favour.

25. First, he has delivered your soul from death. You will never die the second death. You are a saved man. As a believer in Christ, for you death has lost its sting. You may die, after a fashion; yet, living and believing in Jesus, you shall never see death in the full sense of that term. For you, there are no flaming fires of wrath, no pit that is bottomless, no curse of “Depart.” Your soul has been delivered from death. Now, if that does not make you happy, what will? Why, my dear friends, the fact that God has saved our soul from death ought to fill our hearts with perpetual delight. Suppose I should be starved to death; still, it is a little matter now that my soul is delivered from going to hell for ever. Suppose I had to live in poverty and obscurity, and die like the martyrs at the stake; well, what of that? There is an everlasting crown that does not fade away, that will abundantly reward it all. “Strike, Lord,” said Luther, “now that you have heard me. Do what you wish with me now that you have delivered my soul from death.” I know how very poor you are, my dear friend, and what grievous burdens you have to carry; but, still, do not forget that the Lord has delivered your soul from death. You may be very poor, and very sick, and very sad, but you can never be lost. You may be laughed at by the ungodly, but you can never be cast into hell. Blessed be God for this! Surely, that is one thing to make you glad, and to encourage you to return to your rest.

26. Next, the psalmist says, “You have delivered my eyes from tears”; and the Lord has done the same for many of us. We have no reason for grief now. “No reason for grief?” exclaims one. No; none whatever. “But I have lost my dear mother; shall I not weep?” Well, she loved the Lord; so she is gone to heaven; she is now before the throne of the Most High. So, if you do weep because you have lost her, then immediately begin to sing with joy because she is up among the angels. “But I have lost my little child who was so very dear to me.” Oh, well! in that case, you are mother to one who is praising God day and night; so wipe away those tears. I rather like the idea of a young person, at Brighton, who asked that she might have grey horses to draw her to her funeral. Why not? Why always have black ones? Why not have the white horses of delight? Let those who linger here sorrow that their loved ones have gone, but do not let them be so ungenerous as not to sympathize in the eternal joy into which righteous souls have entered. No; wipe your tears away, for “you do not sorrow, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those also who sleep in Jesus, God will bring with him.” “Oh, but!” cries another tried friend, “I have a real reason for sorrow because I suffer so much, and I am so poor.” Well, if it is so, it will all be over soon; and remember what the apostle says, “For our light affliction, which is only for a moment, works for us a far more great and eternal weight of glory.” “Yes,” you say, “but, still, you do not know how much I suffer.” No, I do not; and you do not know how much I suffer; but I know this, — if the two of us put all our sufferings together, they are not worthy to be compared with the eternal love of the blessed God who sent us all these aches and pains that we feel. They are all sent by him in love, so why should we cry over them? He has wiped our tears away, so let us not weep any more; or, if tears must come, let the salt that is in them tend to our sanctification; but do not let us shed one rebellious tear, — no, not even if all we have in the world were taken from us.

    Why should the soul a drop bemoan
       Who has a fountain near; —
    A fountain which will ever run
       With waters sweet and clear?

If I have all things, I have them in my God; and if all things are gone from me, I would find them all again in him.

27. Now, lastly, God has also delivered our feet from falling, as he did in the case of the psalmist. I know that one reason why so many do not fully rest is because they are afraid that they shall fall from grace, — afraid that they shall dishonour their profession, and so on. Now, dear friends, I hope that you will never get rid of the godly fear of falling into sin, and never lose that holy insecurity with regard to yourself; but do not let that feeling extend to your God. You know that our Lord Jesus Christ said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” He has delivered your feet from falling, so he will keep you. Therefore, begin to praise him and bless him this very moment. Cast away that fear of being cast away, and sing Jude’s doxology, “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with very great joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”

28. No, you have nothing at all to fret about; your soul is delivered from death, your eyes from tears, your feet from falling; so rest, rest, rest, rest! You will glorify God by resting. One of the highest acts of devotion is to rest in the Lord. May God grant it to you now, at his table especially, for his name’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 85}

In my brief comments on this Psalm, I shall not feel bound to keep to the immediate occasion for which it was written, but shall seek to find a use for it in the present circumstances of God’s saints.

1. LORD, you have been favourable to the land: you have brought back the captives of Jacob.

Whenever you are in a low state of mind or heart, remember God’s past lovingkindnesses. Recall the record of what he has done for his people in ages long gone by, for he is the same God for ever and ever, and, therefore, what he has done in the past, he will do in the future. As the wise man said, “The thing that has been, it is what shall be; and what is done is what shall be done: and there is no new thing under the Sun.” It is certainly so concerning God’s dealings. “Lord you have been favourable to your land,” even when it was stained with sin; “you have brought back the captives of Jacob.” even when that captivity was brought on the people by their own fault. Lord, bring back my captivity! Be favourable to me! Deliver me from my spiritual declensions, and give me back my joy and peace:

2. You have forgiven the iniquity of your people, you have covered all their sin. Selah.

What a sweet subject for our meditation we found, last Lord’s day morning, {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1492, “{% get_urls 16689 alt="The First Note of my Song." %}” 1492} in those words of the psalmist, “Who forgives all your iniquities!” Now, if God has indeed blotted out the sin of his people, what a plea this is to use with him for all that we still need from him! Will he pardon us, and yet leave us to perish? Will he pay such a ransom price as the blood of his well-beloved Son to set us free from the bondage of sin, and then will he not help us even to the end? Will he not lift up our heavy heart, and revive our drooping spirit? Ah! that he will if we know how to plead his former mercy, and to urge on him that, because he has forgiven our iniquity, and covered all our sin, he should now heal our diseases, redeem our life from destruction, and crown us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

3, 4. You have taken away all your wrath: you have turned yourself from the fierceness of your anger. Turn us, oh God of our salvation, and cause your anger towards us to cease.

“Let us have a special application of the general mercy. Your wrath to your children has passed away; so let us no longer sit down, and cower beneath it, fearful of its terrors. Lord, bring us back to you! Our heart desires conversion, but you alone can give it to us to the full. Turn us, oh God of our salvation, and we shall be turned.”

5. Will you be angry with us for ever? Will you draw out your anger to all generations?

“You might as well do so if you were dealing with us only according to the strict requirements of your righteous law; but we are your children, Lord; and is a father always angry with his children? You have forgiven us our iniquity; and, therefore, the great reason for your wrath against us is gone. Now, oh Lord, reveal your love to us! Let us not be under the sense of our guilt any longer, or feel the absence of the joy and peace which you give to those whom you forgive.”

6. Will you not revive us again: so that your people may rejoice in you?

“We have gone down very low, great God. We have been mixing with the world for these last six days, and perhaps we have forgotten you. Please come to us. Give us new life; ‘revive us again.’ Many a time you have, spiritually, raised us up as from the grave’s mouth; will you not do it again? All that you have done for us in the past will be lost if you do not continue your mercy to us. ‘Will you not revive us again?’ You love to see us happy, and you yourself are the happy God; oh, make us happy, too, by reviving us, ‘so that your people may rejoice in you’!”

7. Show us your mercy, oh LORD, and grant us your salvation.

So far, the Psalm is a prayer. Now the psalmist seems to stop, and wait for the answer to his supplication. Beloved, always do that when you pray. When you have spoken to God, wait for him to speak to you. Do not let it appear that your prayer needs no answer; but really expect a reply to it, and then, in patience and in silence, wait for it.

8. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace to his people, and to his saints: but do not let them turn again to folly.

For, if they do, their darkness will return, and they will again have to mourn their Lord’s absence. Perhaps, the rod will fall more heavily on them, and their souls will sink into a deeper despondency. For a Christian to be a fool once, is a sad thing; but for him to turn again to folly, is a multiplied form of iniquity which God will surely punish.

9. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him; so that glory may dwell in our land.

Oh beloved brothers and sisters, lay hold on that salvation which is near to you, and rejoice in it; and, even now, let your spirits feel the glow of his glory shining in your soul!

10. Mercy and truth are met together;

But only at one place, — the cross of Calvary, where Jesus died; there, “mercy and truth are met together”; —

10. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Through Christ’s death, sin has been punished, sinners are saved, God’s law is vindicated, and the depths of his mercy are displayed: “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

11. Truth shall spring out of the earth; —

Promises, which lay hidden in God’s Word, like seeds buried in the earth, shall spring up before our eyes, like flowers carpeting the earth with beauty: “Truth shall spring out of the earth”; —

11. And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

As if so pleased with the state of things brought about by the atoning sacrifice of Christ that it flung up the windows of heaven to look down and see this great sight: “Righteousness shall look down from heaven.”

12, 13. Yes, the LORD shall give what is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

May God revive us like this, by his Holy Spirit, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Sweet Communion” 764}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Joy and Peace — God’s Presence Is Light In Darkness” 711}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Sacred Gratitude — ‘Return Unto Thy Rest’ ” 708}

Just Published. Cloth, Gilt. Price 1s. 6d.

[Uniform with “A Carillon of Bells to Ring Out the Old Truths of ‘Free Grace and Dying Love,’ ” and “A Cluster of Camphire”; or, “Words of Cheer and Comfort for sick and Sorrowful Souls.”]

“A Basket of Summer Fruit.” with In Memoriam. — A Song of Sighs. By Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon.

Last month, we gave a preliminary notice of Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon’s new book, “A Basket of Summer Fruit,” which can now be obtained through all booksellers and colporteurs, or directly from Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster. It is published at 1s. 6d., — the same price as A Carillon of Bells and “A Cluster of Camphire,” with which it is uniform. Our readers will rejoice to learn that Mrs. Spurgeon has included the volume the “In Memoriam, — A Song of Sighs,” which she wrote, in 1892, after returning from Mentone. Many mourners were greatly cheered by it when it was first published, and there have been frequent requests for it to be reprinted. Several of the other chapters in the book are of a comforting character, so that it will be a most appropriate present for the bereaved, and the tried and troubled. — From “Notices of Books” in “The Sword and the Trowel” for December.

“From Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster we have received ‘A Basket of Summer Fruit,’ by Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, a number of brief devotional papers touching on various points of interest in spiritual life, written with great beauty of style and fervour of feeling; a little work that will be highly prized by all who can appreciate fine devotional thought, and desire the extension of Christ’s Kingdom.” — The Baptist Times and Freeman.

Passmore and Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings, London; and from all Booksellers.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
764 — Sweet Communion
1 I would commune with thee, my God;
      E’en to thy seat I come;
   I leave my joys, I leave my sins,
      And seek in thee my home.
2 I stand upon the mount of God,
      With sunlight in my soul;
   I hear the storms in vales beneath;
      I hear the thunders roll:
3 But I am calm with thee, my God,
      Beneath these glorious skies;
   And to the heights on which I stand,
      Nor storms nor clouds can rise.
4 Oh, this is life! Oh, this is joy,
      My God, to find thee so;
   Thy face to see, thy voice to hear,
      And all thy love to know.
                  Isaac Watts, 1709.

The Christian, Joy and Peace
711 — God’s Presence Is Light In Darkness
1 My God, the spring of all my joys,
      The life of my delights,
   The glory of my brightest days,
      And comfort of my nights.
2 In darkest shades if he appear,
      My dawning is begun;
   He is my soul’s sweet morning star,
      And he my rising sun.
3 The opening heavens around me shine
      With beams of sacred bliss,
   While Jesus shows his heart is mine,
      And whispers, I am his.
4 My soul would leave this heavy clay
      At that transporting word,
   Run up with joy the shining way
      T’ embrace my dearest Lord.
5 Fearless of hell and ghastly death,
      I’d break through every foe;
   The wings of love, and arms of faith,
      Should bear me conqueror through.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

The Christian, Sacred Gratitude
708 — “Return Unto Thy Rest”
1 My heart is resting, oh my God;
      I will give thanks and sing;
   My heart is at the secret source
      Of every precious thing.
2 Now the frail vessel thou hast made
      No hand but thine shall fill;
   The waters of the earth have fail’d,
      And I am thirsting still.
3 I thirst for springs of heavenly life,
      And here all day they rise;
   I seek the treasure of thy love,
      And close at hand it lies.
4 And a “new song” is in my mouth,
      To long-loved music set;
   Glory to thee for all the grace
      I have not tasted yet.
5 I have a heritage of joy
      That yet I must not see:
   The hand that bled to make it mine;
      Is keeping it for me.
6 My heart is resting on his truth,
      Who hath made all things mine;
   Who draws my captive will to him,
      And makes it one with thine.
            Ann Letitia Waring, 1850, a.

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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