2886. Restless! Peaceless!

by Charles H. Spurgeon on December 6, 2019
Restless! Peaceless!

No. 2886-50:265. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, May 21, 1876, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, June 2, 1904.

“But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” {Isa 57:20,21}

1. Among the greatest privileges of the believer in Christ are those choice blessings, rest and peace. Believing in Christ Jesus to eternal life, he knows that his sin is pardoned, that he is a child of God, that omnipotence will preserve him even to the end, and that he will, eventually, be with Christ where he is, not only to behold, but also to share his glory for ever and ever. As a result, his heart is at rest, for he leaves all that concerns him, whether in the present or the future, in the hands of his Heavenly Father, casting all his care on him who cares for him; and, therefore, he has peace, perfect peace, in his soul. This peace and rest, which the believer enjoys even here and now, will deepen and increase until, in eternity, they will reach their perfection, and the child of God will, for ever and for evermore, in the blessed state above, be without even the slightest disturbance of heart, and will rest in the presence of God with his glorified spirit as full of joy as it can possibly be. The apostle Paul truly writes, “We who have believed enter into rest”; but he also adds, just as truly, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”

2. These choice privileges of rest and peace belong, however, exclusively to believers; “the wicked” have no portion in them. They are, according to the testimony of Holy Writ, like the restless sea, which is never quite quiet, even in its greatest calm; and is never to be trusted for a resting-place; but, for ever and immediately, is lashed into fury, seething like the contents of a huge cauldron, and hurling up from its depths the mire and dirt which have lain there unseen; — such is the condition of the unregenerate heart of unrenewed man.

3. There are two things, in our text, of which I am going to try to speak. The first is, a fact observed:“ the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” The second is, a sentence pronounced; and it is pronounced by God himself: “ ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ ”

4. I. First, then, here is A FACT OBSERVED, — that the wicked are like the troubled sea. Who are these wicked people, who are like the restless waves of the turbulent ocean? I take the term to describe two classes of sinners.

5. First, by the expression, “the wicked,” as used in the Scriptures, we must often understand overt transgressors, — people who are living in the indulgence of open and known sin. Then, secondly, there is another class of sinners, — not open transgressors, like the others I have mentioned; still, they have heard the gospel, and they have rejected it; and, consequently, since we cannot include them in any other category, and since their sin has a special aggravation about it because of the light and privileges which they have enjoyed, and yet despised, or neglected, they also must be included with “the wicked,” for they also “are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest.” Let us begin with those, whose sins, as Paul says, “are open beforehand, going before to judgment.” Why are they without rest and peace?

6. First, because they are themselves swayed by restless passions. There are some sins, which will not let a man be quiet as long as he indulges in them. Take the sin of lust, for example; who can ever satisfy its cravings? Let a man once indulge his evil passions, and can those passions ever be satisfied? No, they keep on getting more and more hungry, as a man would become all the more thirsty through drinking brine. Does lust ever, of its own accord, cease its cravings? No, it is as insatiatable as the grave itself, and it will suck a man’s very life away unless the grace of God shall mercifully and miraculously intervene. If you, young man, give yourself up to what is erroneously called the pursuit of pleasure, it is quite certain that you will not find rest for your soul in that direction! You have taken a dose of poison that will make your blood hot and feverish, and that will cause true rest to flee from your pillow. This is a subject on which I cannot say more, in this public assembly, except to add, with the preacher of old, “Know, oh young man, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment!” Let the solemn admonition of good Dr. Doddridge come home to your heart, and say with him, —

       How will my heart endure
       The terrors of that day;
    When earth and heaven before his face,
       Astonish’d shrink away?

7. Then listen to his earnest exhortation, and not only listen to it, but at once obey it, —

       Ye sinners, seek his grace,
       Whose wrath ye cannot bear;
    Fly to the shelter of his cross,
       And find salvation there.

8. Take, next, the sin of anger. There are some people, who very soon get angry, but they do not cool down as quickly; or, if they do, they nurse their hatred, and watch for any opportunity for paying back their adversary in the base coin of revenge. Let me say to such a man, — You cannot enjoy real rest and peace unless you fully and freely forgive all who have wronged you. You may try to lay a salve on your conscience, and to preach peace to your heart; but if resentment still lingers in your heart, and especially the resentment which seeks an opportunity to display itself in an act of ill-will, you cannot rest. There are some animals that seem born to fight; and if they cannot tear others in pieces, they seem as if they must tear themselves; or, like a serpent, which, in its rage, will poison itself. Such is anger; such is malice; and you oh man, must get rid of these evil things if you desire to know what real rest means!

    Sin, like a venomous disease,
       Infects our vital blood;
    The only balm is sovereign grace,
       And the physician God.
    Madness by nature reigns within,
       The passions burn and rage;
    Till God’s own Son, with skill divine,
       The inward fire assuage.

9. Such, too, is envy, — a very common sin which is not spoken of as often as it should be. This is the sin of the poor man, who cannot bear to see another man better off than he himself is. This is the sin of the sick man, who is envious of the healthy. Indeed, but envy may be found, not only among the poor, but also among princes; not only among the sick, but also among the strong. And when a man once becomes so envious that another man’s joy is his sorrow, and another man’s gain is his loss, and he cannot be content with his own lot because another man has more honour, or more money, or more friends than he has, he has a poisoned arrow rankling within him, which will engender a thousand woes, and make rest of heart impossible for him. Envy even grows by feeding on itself; therefore, I charge you, whatever you do, get rid of it, if you desire to find real rest.

10. Pride is another enemy of peace and rest. If you see a proud man, you may feel sure that he is not a restful man. It is in the Valley of Humiliation that the flowers of peace will be found. As for the pompous people, who are so high in their own esteem that they look down on all others, — pity them, my brethren; do not get angry with them. It is a sad disease from which they are suffering; their brain is turned, so deal gently with them, think as kindly of them as you can, and pray to God to heal them. Take care, also, that you do not catch their complaint, for it is very contagious, and there are many who are proud of their humility, and who condemn the pride of others when, all the while, they are really still prouder themselves.

11. Then there is avarice; and when a man is once possessed by the desire to amass gain, there is no peace or rest for him. Suppose he acquires what he thinks to be wealth; it ceases to be wealth as soon as he has gained it. He thought that, if ever he should secure a certain sum which he had set his heart on, he would retire from business; but, having saved that amount, he now regards it as quite insufficient; and ten times as much is the mark at which he now aims. If he should ever succeed in hoarding that amount, he will find that he is further off the goal of his desire than he was when he started. There are some, I truly believe, who, if they could claim the whole world as their own, would want the sun and moon and stars as well, for nothing could ever satisfy them. Once get into the grip of avarice, and rest is impossible.

12. And it is much the same also with ambition, — not the desire to use one’s capacities to the full, especially for God’s glory, and the good of our fellow creatures; but that craving for so-called “glory” which makes a man court the homage of his fellow men, and which will not let him be content unless he is set up on a high pedestal for fools to stare at. Ah, sir, if you are ambitious, in that sense, you and peace have parted company, and are not likely to meet again. But, if you will do the right, and leave your reputation in the hands of God, and especially if you will leave those lofty pathways, which, after all, lead only to the grave, then you may find peace; but you cannot find it as long as any of these evils, that I have mentioned, are reigning within your heart.

13. The first reason, then, why the wicked man’s heart is like the troubled sea is because there are evil passions within it which will not let it rest.

14. The next reason is because the wicked man is agitated by the memory of his old sins. Suppose him to have been for some years, engaged in an evil course, — in dishonesty or unchastity; he cannot, even if he tries, forget his sins. They have burned themselves into his very soul; and, what is even worse than the memory of sin, I suppose that you know how every sin creates other sins, so that, every time you sin, you have an even greater tendency to commit more sin. This is a fact that is strangely true both concerning the body and concerning the soul; we make ruts for ourselves where there were none before. If we have, at first, to force our way through the brushwood of conscience, and to cut down, as it were, the old timber of our early instruction and the gracious examples set before us in our childhood; eventually we make a trail for ourselves, and then a beaten track, so that it becomes even easier and even easier to sin; indeed, more than that, there seems to be a pressure put by habit on a wicked man so that, what he once did from choice, he comes at last to do because he must. Sin in the soul is like leaven in the dough; it heaves, and ferments; and though it was, perhaps, put into you twenty years ago or more, it will go on fermenting and working until all of your manhood shall be soured by it.

15. Besides all this, the ungodly man is like the sea for restlessness, because, like the sea, he is governed by a greater power than his own. The sea feels the force of the moon, and is agitated and stirred by the mysterious agency of the winds; and the wicked man is under the dominion of the prince of the power of the air. If, for a while, he would be at rest; Satan will not permit him to be in peace. He puts opportunities of sinning before him, and then arouses the desire to indulge in the evil thing. Satan is no myth; those, who think that he is, cannot, surely, have opened their eyes, or else they would have discovered, in their very unbelief in his existence, that he had given them that unbelief. Those, who have stood foot to foot with Apollyon, and fought with him, and overcome him in the hour of temptation, will never doubt that there is a great fallen spirit who strives to lead men into sin. Satan and his myriads of myrmidons {a} still lie in wait for the ungodly, or openly drive them into fierce lusts and evil passions so that they sin again and again.

16. Nor is this all, for wicked men — those who go into open sin, — are kept, by the action of others, from becoming quiet. If it were not for the restraints of society, what horrible places would those be where the utterly dissolute and abandoned assemble! Even as it is, every now and then, we read, in the newspapers, records of the doings of so-called “gentlemen” that reveal to us something of what goes on when Bacchus rules or riots. Then there are the brutalized beings at the other end of the social ladder, the “fiends” who use their boots so heavily on their wives. Put a few dozen of them together and let them have their own sweet will. Do not restrain them at all, and see what they will do. God only knows what amazing patience he has with such men when they get together, and egg each other on in sin. I have often marvelled that he does not speedily put an end to their blasphemy and indecency and cruelty. Yet they are spared, notwithstanding their sin; but they cannot rest, for one will not let the others be quiet; and if, at any time, a good resolution should be formed by one of the company, another laughs that resolution down, and keeps the whole company “like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

17. I do not wonder that a wicked man cannot rest, because such a man is out of sync with the entire universe of God. Lift up your eyes to those starry orbs, and remember there is not one of them disobedient to the law of its Maker. The comet, which was thought to be eccentric, obeys in all respects its great Creator’s will. Everything that you can see, from the tiny atom of dust that is borne along by the wind, up to the huge Atlantic billow in which the leviathan feels at home, is under the power of the divine law. From the archangel before the throne of God, down to the gnat that dances in the summer sunbeam, everything is obedient to the Lord of all, except the wicked man, and he says, “I will not obey him.” Well, since he is out of sync with all the rest of the universe, is it any wonder that he is restless as the waves of the sea, and that there is no peace for him? If you were to set yourselves to disobey the physical laws of the universe, for example, paying no regard to the law of gravity, but leaping from a church spire, or falling down a precipice, you know what would come of such madness. If you ever set yourself up in opposition to law, you may depend on it that law will get the mastery over you; and the man, who lives in disobedience to God’s moral law, will find that it will be the same with him, and he will have no rest for ever and ever. As God’s servant, I must say to you, very plainly, and very earnestly, — You cannot possibly find rest and peace in the course you are now pursuing. May God enable you to escape from your sins, and to trust in Jesus Christ, his Son, so that you may have both joy and peace in believing!

18. Now I have to speak, very briefly, to those who could not be included among the outwardly and notoriously wicked. I thank God that you could not; but, still, you have heard the gospel, perhaps for many years, and you understand it, yet you have never received it. There is reconciliation with God to be had, yet you remain his enemy. Now, I will not say, for a moment, that the moral man, who is not a Christian, is to be included in the same category as the immoral. In many respects, he does not do so much harm in the world as the other man does; but let me tell you this, my friend, if you sin against light and knowledge, there may be an intensity of guilt in your sin which may not be found in the man who is, apparently, worse than you are. He may never have had such teaching and advantages, nor such a tender conscience as you have had; and hence his sin, bad as it is, like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, may be such that it shall be more tolerable for him in the day of judgment than for you, who have not sinned one tithe as much, according to the judgment of others, but who have sinned against the gospel, — sinned against the dying Saviour’s blood, — sinned against the Holy Spirit. May God grant that you may never run this terrible risk!

19. Let me say to you, who are living without Christ, that, however excellent and amiable you may be, I know that you are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest. I know some special times when you cannot rest, — when you hear of others being converted, — your brothers or sisters coming forward to confess Christ, — your friends or relatives rejoicing in Jesus as their Saviour. “Ah,” you say to yourself, “they are restful and peaceful, but I am not.” I know how you feel, on communion nights, sometimes, when you have to go away, or to look on at others gathered around the table of the Lord. You do not feel easy, then, do you? And you feel very uneasy, too, when any of your companions die, — those who are very much of your own kind. You attend their funeral, and the thought strikes you, “Shall I die as they have done, without Christ, and without hope? Shall I pass away from under the sound of the gospel without having given any evidence of conversion?” You do not feel easy then, I know; and, sometimes, you feel very much like the troubled sea when conscience begins to call you to account. John Bunyan, in his “Holy War,” gives a graphic description of what happened to Mr. Conscience when Mansoul was being besieged by Emmanuel, and that is very much what has happened to some of you. They said that he was out of his wits, but he was never more truly in his wits than when he was crying out for Mansoul to yield to the great King Shaddai; and I feel sure that some of you have felt, on the door of your conscience, the blows of the great battering ram that Bunyan describes, and you have been ready to open it; yet still, you are not at rest, for you have not come to Christ, who is the only one can give you rest. It is still true, as Dr. Watts wrote, long ago, —

    In vain the trembling conscience seeks
    Some solid ground to rest upon;
    With long despair the spirit breaks,
    Till we apply to Christ alone.

20. If you hear the gospel faithfully preached, you cannot be at rest. Some of you try to be satisfied with a false peace; but, by God’s grace, we will plague you to Christ yet; we will love you to Christ; we will incessantly worry you until, at last, you yield yourself up to Jesus. Some of you are prospering in business; God has been very gracious in preserving you in life, restoring you from sickness, or keeping you in health; you have a better job now than you ever had before, yet you are not restful. You feel grateful to God for all his goodness to you, yet you say, “There is something more needed.” Yes, and that something is the one necessary thing. I am thankful that God is prospering you, but I hope you will never be able to rest until you have that one necessary thing, — the grace of God. Some of you are very thoughtful, and when you get alone for half-an-hour, it is very awkward for you, for there, are certain problems that you cannot solve, and they severely perplex you. Worst of all are your forecasts of the future. Sometimes, you look ahead, and you picture yourself on a sick-bed, and you say, “Can I die triumphantly as I am?” You know you cannot. And then, sometimes, you picture yourself rising from the dead, when the angel’s trumpet blast is sounding, and the quick and the dead are standing before the judgment seat of Christ. You cannot bear to think of that great white throne, and the separation of the righteous from the wicked, for you know where you must go, unless a great change is worked in you. Though not outwardly wicked, you do not belong to the sheep; then you must go with the goats; and when you think of this, and the future stands, for the moment, present before your mind’s eye, your spirit is “like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” I wish that you had rest. May God grant it to you this very hour! But let Augustus Toplady’s prayer be your prayer also, —

       Oh, may I never rest
       Till I find rest in thee,
    Till of my pardon here possessed,
       I feel thy love to me!
       Turn not thy face away,
       Thy look can make me clean;
    Me in thy wedding robes array,
       And cover all my sin.
       Tell me, my God, for whom
       Thy precious blood was shed;
    For sinners? Lord, as such I come,
       For such the Saviour bled.

21. II. Now, secondly, and only for a minute or two, in our text there is A SENTENCE PRONOUNCED: “No peace” — you notice that the words, “there is, ” are in italics, because they are not in the original; so the text runs, “ ‘No peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ ”

22. It is God himself who says it. There may be a truce, for God is slow to anger, but there is “no peace.” God is at war with you if you are among “the wicked.” You may be under the delusion that there is peace, but God’s voice of truth shatters that delusion to pieces. There can be no peace where there is unpardoned sin. Until you have humbled yourself before God, and sought and found mercy, God is at war with you, and you are at war with him. There can be no peace where there is no purity. God has no peace with sin, and never can have. Like a devouring fire, his holiness burns against sin; and you must be made pure, your nature must be changed, the love of sin must be killed in you, and you must as vehemently love what is good and right; or else God’s voice still thunders from heaven’s burning throne, “No peace! No peace! No peace!”

23. “But I will go to church, and receive the sacrament,” one says. You will get no peace that way, except a false peace that is worse than none. “But I will attend the means of grace with the Dissenters,” another says. You will get no peace that way, if that is all that you do. If your sin is unforgiven by God, and if your nature is unchanged by the Holy Spirit, all the religiousness in the world will bring you no peace. “But I will weep an ocean of tears, and I will offer prayers continually.” No peace will come to you that way, as long as you remain wicked, for God says, “No peace! No peace!” And “wicked” you must remain until Jesus washes you white in the fountain filled with his precious blood, and until the Spirit of God renews your nature.

    Not all the outward forms on earth,
       Nor rites that God has given,
    Nor will of man, nor blood, nor birth,
       Can raise a soul to heaven.
    The sovereign will of God alone
       Creates us heirs of grace;
    Born in the image of his Son,
       A new peculiar race.
    The Spirit, like some heavenly wind,
       Blows on the sons of flesh;
    Creates a new, — a heavenly mind, —
       And forms the man afresh.

24. “Oh!” another says, “but I will promise to be better, and to do better; I will amend my ways.” So you may, and so you should; but still my God says to the wicked, “No peace!” What do you say to all this? Behold your God up in arms against you! Omnipotence comes out to war against you, the creature of an hour! Will you submit? Be wise, please; throw down your weapons, cry for mercy; accept the reconciliation which Christ has accomplished. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has suffered, “the Just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God.” If you will only trust him, what he did shall be counted as yours; that is to say, the punishment that he suffered shall be counted as if you had suffered it; and the righteousness he accomplished shall be counted as if you had accomplished it, and God shall accept you in his Son’s place, and for his Son’s sake. More than that, the Spirit of God will overshadow you, and give you a new heart and a right spirit, and take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. Are you willing now to yield, and end this unequal war, and be at peace with God? Then the Lord, who gave his Son once, gives you his Son over again into your heart, and he says, “Peace! Peace! Go in peace, your sins, which are many, are forgiven you.” He who with his heart forsakes his sin, and sincerely believes in Jesus, shall have the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding; but he who will keep his sin, and so remain among the wicked, or who will keep his self-righteousness, and so refuse the salvation of Christ, has nothing to go home with but this, “No peace! No peace!” And, oh, to die with that terrible knell ringing in one’s ears! To look up to God, and to hear him say, “No peace!” To have the prayers of your friends for you, but to feel no peace! To lift your own eye to heaven, but to find prayer freeze on your soul as you hear again this sentence from God the Judge, “No peace!” And then follows the eternity, in which there is no peace! May God grant this may not be the sad portion of any one of us, but may the Lord give to each of us peace, perfect peace, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 23 Isa 55}

We will first read that best of all the Psalms, — the twenty-third. It is like a precious pearl shining with a mild lustre. This Psalm is, among the other Psalms, what the lark is among the other birds; it soars and sings until it is lost in the heights to which it ascends.

1. The LORD is my Shepherd; —

What a precious title the psalmist used in speaking of his God! It is right to call the Lord a Shepherd. “The Shepherd of Israel” is a very blessed and true title for him; but “my Shepherd” is best of all. I wish beloved, that each of you would truthfully say, with David, “ ‘The Lord is my Shepherd.’ He owns me; and since I am his property, he will preserve me, protect me, provide for me, guide me, and be everything to my weakness, and folly, and needs, that a shepherd is to a sheep.” “The Lord is my Shepherd”; —

1. I shall not lack.

“Not only do I not lack at the present moment, but I never shall lack. I may sometimes foolishly imagine that I shall come to penury; but I never shall as long as God provides for me. How could such a Shepherd as he is, almighty and all-sufficient, ever allow one of his sheep to lack any good thing? No, ‘I shall not lack.’ All the world besides may lack, but I shall not while Jehovah is my Provider. Famine may be severe in the land; there may be neither dew nor rain, and even the brook Cherith may at last be dried up; but since Jehovah is my Shepherd, ‘I shall not lack.’ ”

As a guarantee of his care for us in the future, we turn to our experience in the past and the present. What is our experience of our great Shepherd even now?

2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures:

Here is blessed rest, and here is also gracious provision for the needs of the sheep. The pasture is sweet and tender; and there is so much of the green grass that it cannot all be eaten, and the superabundance makes a soft bed for the tired sheep: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” Repose, oh believer, in the abundant provision of God’s grace! A sheep needs to lie down sometimes. It is as necessary for its health that it should have time to digest its food as that it should have proper and sufficient food to eat. May the Lord graciously give to each of you the sweet rest of meditation and contemplation, — that blessed rest, to which faith attains when it grows into firm confidence and full assurance, so that you may be able to say with David, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.”

But our spiritual life is not to be all spent in lying down; there must come a time for going forward, so David adds: —

2. He leads me —

What a peerless Guide he is, since infallible wisdom is his! And how gracious and condescending it is, on his part, to lead the way which he intends for us to take! David does not say, “He drives me”; but “He leads me” —

2, 3. Beside the still waters. He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness —

“In each one of them; he is my Exemplar in every virtue, for he himself has endured all temptations that happen on my life’s pathway; and, all the way, ‘he leads me in the paths of righteousness’ ” —

3. For his name’s sake.

“Not because of any goodness in me, but because of the goodness that is in him, and for the glory of his holy name, ‘he leads me in the paths of righteousness.’ ”

“Also, ‘He restores my soul.’ When I wander, he restores my soul to the right road. When I become empty, he stores my soul again with good things; he re-stores my soul.”

4. Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:

“Not only shall there be none, but I will fear none.” A sense of the Lord’s presence lifts a Christian above even fear. You know how often it is true that we “feel a thousand deaths in fearing one.” But if we have a sense of our Saviour’s presence, when we do really walk through the valley of the shadow of death, not a trace of fear shall come across our peaceful souls.

4. For you are with me;

The presence of Christ is all that his people can ever want. The all-powerful, ever-faithful, infinitely-compassionate One being with us, what reason for fear can possibly remain?

4. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.

“To see your sceptre, and even to feel your chastising rod; — to know that you are a King, and that you rule over Israel; — to know that, as a Shepherd, you carry a crook to guide your flock; shall be enough to comfort my heart, and to sustain my spirit.”

How sweet is the next verse!

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies:

How calmly the psalmist writes! He realizes that he has enemies, yet he intends to sit down to a feast; he is not going to snatch a hurried mouthful or two, but “a table” is “prepared” for him as though for a banquet. His enemies may look on while he is feasting, but they cannot take away his enjoyment of the feast.

5. You anoint my head with oil;

He receives a fresh anointing for new service, even the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

5. My cup runs over.

“I have all I want, and even more than I need, so that others, not so favoured as I am, may come and catch some of the droppings from my overflowing cup. It is so full, oh Lord, that it cannot hold all that you give me! Until you do enlarge my capacity, I shall still have to say, ‘My cup runs over.’ ”

The psalmist’s next word also has much meaning and force in it: —

6. Surely —

There are no ifs, no doubts, no fears about the matter: “Surely” —

6. Goodness and mercy shall follow me —

“These two holy angels shall watch over my footsteps, and track me wherever I go; — ‘goodness’ to preserve me, and ‘mercy’ to pardon me! — ‘goodness’ to supply my needs, and ‘mercy’ to blot out my sins.” And these angels shall follow me —

6. All the days of my life:

“Not merely now and then, but all my days; — my dark days as well as my bright ones; — these heavenly messengers will never forsake me.”

6. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This life begins here, for this earth is only the lower part of God’s house; and when the time shall come for us to leave this earth, we, who are the Lord’s own children, shall only go upstairs to the higher rooms, to “dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

This, then, is the portion of the children of God; but there are some to whom David’s language will seem strange. They cannot sing this sweet Psalm, for their life is as restless as the waves of the sea. No quiet pastoral poem could express their joy, for the sound of war is heard in the streets of their city of Mansoul. If any such souls are seeking rest and peace, let them listen to the voice of God, as it speaks to them from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter fifty-five.

1, 2. Ho, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; yes, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not food? And your labour for what does not satisfy?

Why have you sought rest where it can never be found? Why have you craved delights which can never satisfy you? Cease from such folly.

2. Listen diligently to me, —

Thus speaks the Lord Jehovah: “Listen diligently to me,” —

2, 3. And eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in richness. Incline your ear, and come to me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, —

“With you” who have any desire for it, — “with you” who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and who have no other recommendation than that, poor as it is, — “I will make an everlasting covenant with you” —

3, 4. Even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him —

The Son of David, — “great David’s greater Son,” — and God’s own well-beloved and only-begotten Son, even Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. God says “I have given him” —

4-7. For a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call on him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Blessed be his holy name!

8-13. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says the LORD. “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it produce and bud, so that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break out before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — ‘The Lord Is My Portion’ ” 661}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Rest In Jesus” 614}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — The Heart Given To God” 658}

{a} Myrmidon: An unscrupulously faithful follower or hireling; a hired ruffian; a base attendant. OED.

 The Sword and the Trowel June, 1904. Price, Threepence.
 Table of Contents
 “His Heart’s Desire.” A Prayer Meeting Address, by C. H. Spurgeon.
 Chats with the Children. By Thomas Spurgeon. Questions and Answers (Illustrated).
 “Our Own Men” and their Work. Pastor J. J. Bristow, by Pastor W. Joynes. (With two illustrations).
 The President, Vice-President, and Tutors of the Pastors’ College (with Portraits).
 A Pilgrimage to Fletcher’s Madeley. By “Lawley.” (Illustrated.)
 “Lovest thou Me?” Conference Sermon, by Pastor D. J. Hiley.
 The Courage of Defeat. By Pastor F. A. Jackson.
 Chinese Proverbs, with Every day Lessons. By John A. Stooke. (Illustrated.)
 Green Pastures. By H. T. Spufford, F. L. S. (Illustrated.)
 Is the Armour of God Wearing out? By Dr. T. L. Cuyler.
 Facts and Figures for Temperance Workers.
 “Gratefully Received.”
 The Annual Gathering of the Colporteurs. (With three illustrations.)
 Notices of Books.
 Notes, Accounts, etc.
 Annual Report of the Pastors’ College.

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

The Christian, Dedication To God
661 — “The Lord Is My Portion”
1 From pole to pole let others roam,
      And search in vain for bliss;
   My soul is satisfied at home,
      The Lord my portion is.
2 Jesus, who on his glorious throne
      Rules heaven, and earth, and sea,
   Is pleased to claim me for his own,
      And give himself to me.
3 His person fixes all my love,
      His blood removes my fear:
   And while he pleads for me above,
      His arm preserves me here.
4 His word of promise is my food,
      His Spirit is my guide:
   Thus daily is my strength renew’d,
      And all my wants supplied.
5 For him I count as gain each loss,
      Disgrace for him renown;
   Well may I glory in his cross,
      While he prepares my crown!
                        John Newton, 1779.

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.

The Christian, Dedication To God
658 — The Heart Given To God
1 Oh happy day, that fix’d my choice
   On thee, my Saviour, and my God;
   Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
   And tell its raptures all abroad.
2 ‘Tis done! the great transaction’s done:
   I am my Lord’s, and he is mine:
   He drew me, and I follow’d on,
   Charm’d to confess the voice divine.
3 Now rest, my long divided heart;
   Fix’d on this blissful centre, rest:
   With ashes who would grudge to part,
   When call’d on angels’ bread to feast?
4 High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
   That vow renew’d shall daily hear:
   Till in life’s latest hour I bow,
   And bless in death a bond so dear.
                     Philip Doddridge, 1755.

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).

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