3070. A Visit To Christ's Hospital

by Charles H. Spurgeon on September 17, 2020

No. 3070-53:601. A Sermon Delivered By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, December 12, 1907.

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhors all kinds of food; and they draw near to the gates of death. Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. {Ps 107:17-22}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1824, “History of Various Fools, The” 1825}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3070, “Visit to Christ’s Hospital, A” 3071}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3274, “Sickness and Prayer, Healing and Praise” 3276}

   Exposition on Ps 107:1-22 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3070, “Visit to Christ’s Hospital, A” 3071 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ps 107:1-32 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3274, “Sickness and Prayer, Healing and Praise” 3276 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ps 107 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2921, “Old-Fashioned Remedy, An” 2922 @@ "Exposition"}

   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Ps 107:18"}

   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Ps 107:19"}

   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Ps 107:20"}

   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Ps 107:21"}

   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Ps 107:22"}

1. It is a very profitable thing to visit a hospital. The sight of others’ sickness tends to make us grateful for our own health, and it is a great thing to be kept in a thankful frame of mind, for ingratitude is a spiritual disease, injurious to every power of the soul. A hospital inspection will also teach us compassion, and that is of great value. Anything that softens the heart is valuable. Above all things, in these days, we should strive against the petrifying influences which surround us. It is not easy for a man, who has constantly enjoyed good health and prosperity, to sympathize with the poor and the suffering. Even our great High Priest, who is full of compassion, learned it by carrying our sorrows in his own body. To see the sufferings of the afflicted, in many cases, would be enough to move a stone; and if we go to the hospital, and come back with a more tender heart, we shall have found it a sanatorium for ourselves.

2. I purpose, at this time, to take you to a hospital. It shall not be one of those noble institutions so pleasingly plentiful around the Tabernacle; but we will take you to Christ’s Hospital, or, as the French would call it, the Hotel Dieu: and we shall conduct you through the wards for a few minutes, trusting that while you view them, if you are yourself healed, you may feel gratitude that you have been delivered from spiritual sicknesses, and an intense compassion for those who still pine and languish. May we become like our Saviour who wept over Jerusalem with eyes which were no strangers to compassion’s floods: may we view the most guilty and impenitent with yearning hearts, and grieve with mingled hope and anxiety over those who are under the sound of the gospel, and so are the more special patients in the Hospital of God.

3. We will go at once with the psalmist to the wards of spiritual sickness.

4. I. And, first, we have set out before us THE NAMES AND CHARACTERS OF THE PATIENTS.

5. You see, in this hospital, written up over the head of every bed, the name of the patient and his disease, and you are amazed to find that all the patients belong to one family, and, oddly enough, are all called by one name, and that name is very far from being a reputable one. It is a title that no one covets, and that many people would be very indignant to have applied to them, — “Fool.” All who are sick in God’s Hospital are fools, without exception, for this reason, that all sinners are fools. Often, in Scripture, when David means the wicked, he says, “the foolish”; and, in saying this, he makes no mistake, for sin is folly.

6. Sin is foolish, clearly, because it is a setting up of our weakness in opposition to Omnipotence. Every wise man, if he must fight, will choose a combatant against whom he may have a chance of success; but he who wars with the Most High commits as gross a folly as when the moth contends with the flame, or the dry grass of the prairie challenges the fire. There is no hope for you, oh sinful man, of becoming a victor in the struggle. How unwise you are to take up the weapons of rebellion! And the folly is aggravated, because the One who is opposed is so infinitely good that opposition to him is violence to everything that is just, beneficial, and commendable. God is love; shall I resist the infinitely loving One? He scatters blessings; why should I be his foe? If his commandments were grievous, if his ways were ways of misery, and his paths were paths of woe, I might have some pretence of an excuse for resisting his will. But oh my God, so good, so kind, so boundless in grace, it is folly, as well as wickedness, to be your enemy!

   To all that’s good, averse and blind,

      But prone to all that’s ill,

   What dreadful darkness veils our mind!

      How obstinate our will!

7. Besides this, the laws of God are so supremely beneficial to ourselves, that we are our own enemies when we rebel. God’s laws are danger-signals. As sometimes, on the ice, those who care for human life put up the warning word “Danger” here and there, and leave the part that is safe for all who choose to traverse it, so God has left us free to enjoy everything that is safe for us, and has only forbidden us what would harm us. If there is a law which forbids me to put my hand into the fire, it is a pity that I should need such a law, but a thousand pities more if I think that law is a hardship. The commands of God only forbid us to injure ourselves. To keep them is to keep ourselves in holy happiness; to break them is to bring evil of all kinds on ourselves in soul and body. Why should I violate a law, which, if I were perfect, I myself would have made, or myself have kept finding it in force? Why need I rebel against what is never exacting, never oppressive, but always conducive to my own highest welfare? The sinner is a fool, because he is told, in God’s Word, that the path of evil will lead to destruction, and yet he pursues it with the secret hope that, in his case, the damage will not be very great. He has been warned that sin is like a cup frothing with a foam of sweetness, but concealing death and hell in its dregs; yet each sinner, as he takes the cup, fascinated by the first drop, believes that, for him, the poisonous draught will not be fatal. How many have fondly hoped that God would lie to men, and would not fulfil his threatenings! Yet, be assured, every sin shall have its punishment; God is just, and will by no means spare the guilty. Even in this life many are feeling in their bones the consequences of their youthful lusts; they will carry to their graves the scars of their transgressions. In hell, alas! there are millions who will for ever prove that sin is an awful and an undying evil, an infinite curse which has destroyed them for ever and ever.

8. The sinner is a fool, because, while he doubts the truthfulness of God concerning the punishment of sin, he has the conceit to imagine that transgression will even yield him pleasure. God says it shall be bitterness; the sinner denies the bitterness, and affirms that it shall be sweetness. Oh fool, to seek pleasure in sin! Go rake the graveyard to find an immortal soul; go walk into the secret springs of the sea to find the source of flame. It is not there, and you can never find bliss in rebellion. Hundreds of thousands before you have gone on this search, and have all been disappointed; he is indeed a fool who needs to rush headlong in this useless chase, and perish as the result. The sinner is a fool — a great fool — to remain as he is in danger of the wrath of God. To remain at ease in imminent peril, and scorn the way of escape; to love the world, and loathe the Saviour; to set the present fleeting life above the eternal future; to choose the sand of the desert, and forego the jewels of heaven; — all this is folly, in the highest, conceivable degree.

9. Though all sinners are fools, yet there are fools of all kinds. Some are learned fools. Unconverted men, whatever they know, are only educated fools. Between the ignorant man who cannot read a letter, and the learned man who is skilled in all knowledge, there is little difference if they are both ignorant of Christ; indeed, the scholar’s folly is in this case the greater of the two. The learned fool generally proves himself the worst of fools, for he invents theories which would be ridiculed if they could be understood, and he brings out speculations which, if they were judged by common sense, and men were not turned into idiotic worshippers of imaginary authority, would be scorned from the universe with a hiss of derision. There are fools in colleges and fools in cottages.

10. There are also reckless fools and reckoning fools. Some sin greedily with both hands. “A short life, and a merry one,” is their motto; while the so-called “prudent” fools live more slowly, but still do not live for God. These last, with hungry greed for wealth, will often hoard up gold as if it were true treasure, and as if anything worth the retaining were to be found beneath the moon. Your “prudent” “respectable” sinner will find himself just as much lost as your reckless prodigal. They must all equally seek and find the Saviour, or be guilty of gross folly. So, alas! there are old fools as well as young ones. There are those who, after an experience of sin, still burn their fingers at it. The burnt child dreads the fire, but the burnt sinner lovingly plays with his sin again. Hoary hairs ought to be a crown of glory, but too often they are fool’s caps. There are young sinners who waste the prime of life when the dew is on their spirit, and neglect to give their strength to God, and so miss the early joy of religion, which is the sweetest, and makes all the rest of life all the sweeter: these are fools. But what is he who has one foot hanging over the mouth of hell, and yet continues without God and without Christ, a trifler with eternity?

11. So I have spoken on the name of those who enter God’s Hospital; permit me to add that all who go there, and are cured, agree that this name is accurate. Saved souls are made to feel that they are naturally fools; and, indeed, it is one stage in the cure when men are able to spell their own name, and when they are willing to write it in capital letters, and say, “That is mine! If there is no other man in this world who is a fool, I am. I have played the fool before the living God.” This confession is true, for what madness it is to play the fool before the Eternal One, with your own soul as the subject of the foolery! When men make sport, they generally do it with trifling things. A man who plays the fool, and puts on a cap and bells, is wise in comparison with him who sports with his God, his soul, heaven, and eternity. This is folly beyond all folly. Yet the sinner, when he is taken into God’s Hospital, will be made to feel that he has been such a fool, and that his folly is folly with an emphasis. He will confess that Christ must be made to him wisdom, for he himself by nature was born a fool, has lived a fool, and will die a fool, unless the infinite mercy of God shall intervene.

12. II. Now, for a minute or two, let us notice THE REASON FOR THEIR PAINS AND AFFLICTIONS. “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.”

13. The physician usually tries to find out the root and cause of the disease he has to deal with. Now, those souls that are brought into grief for sin, those who are smarting through the providential dealings of God, through the strikings of conscience, or the strikings of the Holy Spirit, are taught here that the source of their sorrow is their sin. These sins are mentioned in the text in the plural: “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities.” How many have our sins been? Who shall count them? Let him count the hairs of his head first. Sins are various, and are therefore called “transgressions and iniquities.” We do not all sin equally, nor does any one man sin the same at all times. We commit sins of word, thought, deed, against God, against men, against our bodies, against our souls, against the gospel, against the law, against the weekday duties, against the Sabbath privileges — sins of all kinds, and these all lie at the root of our sorrows. Our sins also are aggravated; not content with transgression, we have added iniquities to it. No one is more greedy than a sinner, but he is greedy after his own destruction. He is never content with revolting; he needs to rebel still more and more. Just as when a stone is rolled downhill, its pace is accelerated the farther it goes, so it is with the sinner, he goes from bad to worse.

14. Perhaps I speak to some who have recently come into God’s Hospital. I will suppose a case. You are poor, very poor, but your poverty is the fruit of your profligate habits. Poverty is often directly traceable to drunkenness, laziness, or dishonesty. All poverty does not come from these sources. Blessed be God, there are thousands of the poor who are the excellent of the earth, and a great many of them are serving God very nobly; but I am now speaking of certain cases, and probably you know of some yourselves, where, because of their transgression and iniquities, men are brought to poverty. There will come to me, sometimes, a person who was in good circumstances a few years ago, who is now without anything but the clothes he tries to stand upright in, and his wretchedness is entirely owing to his playing the prodigal. He is one of those whom I trust God may yet take into his Hospital.

15. At times, the disease breaks out in another kind of misery. Some sins bring into the flesh itself pains which are anticipatory of hell; yet even these people may be taken into the Hospital of God, though they are afflicted, to their shame, through gross transgression. Oh, how many there are, in this great City of London, of men and women who dare not tell their condition, but whose story is a terrible one indeed, as God reads it! Oh, that he may have pity on them, and take them into his leper house, and heal them yet through his abundant grace!

16. In more numerous cases, the misery brought by sin is mental. Many are brought by sin very low, even to despair. Conscience pricks them; fears of death and hell haunt them. I remember well when I was in this way myself; when I, poor fool, because of my transgression and my iniquities, was severely bowed in spirit. By day, I thought of the punishment of my sin; by night, I dreamed of it. I woke in the morning with a burden on my heart, — burden which I could neither carry nor shake off, and sin was the cause of my sorrow. My sin, my sin, my sin, — this was my constant plague. I was in my youth, and in the heyday of my spirit; I had all earthly comforts, and I had friends to cheer me, but they were all as nothing. I would seek solitary places to search the Scriptures, and to read such books as “Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted” and “Alleine’s Alarm,” feeling my soul ploughed more and more as though the law, with its ten great black horses, was dragging the plough up and down my soul, breaking, crushing, furrowing my heart, and all for sin. Let me tell you, though we read of the cruelties of the Inquisition, and the sufferings which the martyrs have borne from cruel men, no racks, nor firepans, nor other instruments of torture can make a man so wretched as his own conscience when he is stretched on its rack.

17. Here, then, we see both the fools and the cause of their disease.

18. III. Now let us notice THE PROGRESS OF THE DISEASE. It is said that “their soul abhors all kinds of food,” like people who have lost their appetite, and can eat nothing; “and they draw near to the gates of death,” they are given over, and nearly dead.

19. These words may reach some whose disease of sin has developed itself in fearful sorrow, so that they are now unable to find comfort in anything. You used to enjoy the theatre; you went recently, but you were wretched there. You used to be a wit in society, and set the table roaring with your jokes; but you cannot joke now. They say you are melancholy, but, you know what they do not know, for a secret arrow rankles in your bosom. You go to a place of worship, but you find no comfort even there. The kinds of food that is served to God’s saints is not suitable for you. You cry, “Alas, I am not worthy of it!” Whenever you hear a sermon thundering against the ungodly, you feel, “Ah, that is for me!” but when it comes to “Comfort, comfort my people,” you conclude, “Ah, that is not for me!” Even if it is an invitation to the sinner, you say, “But I do not feel myself a sinner. I am not such a one as may come to Christ. Surely I am a castaway.” Your soul abhors all kinds of food, even that out of God’s kitchen. Not only are you dissatisfied with the world’s dainties, but you cannot relish the marrow and fatness of Christ himself. Many of us have been in this way before you.

20. The text adds, “They draw near to the gates of death.” The soul is very sorrowful, even to death, and feels that it cannot bear up much longer. I remember once, in the bitterness of my spirit, using those words of Job, “My soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life,” for the wretchedness of a sin-burdened soul is intolerable. All do not suffer similar strong convictions; but, in some, it bows the spirit almost to the grave. Perhaps, my friend, you see no hope whatever; you are ready to say, “There cannot be any hope for me. I have made a covenant with death, and a league with hell; I am past hope. There were, years ago, opportunities for me, and I was near the kingdom; but like the man who put his hand to the plough, and then looked back, I have proved myself unworthy of eternal life.” Troubled heart, I am sent with a message for you: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your league with hell shall not stand. The prey shall be taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive shall be delivered.’” You may abhor the very food that would restore you to strength, but he who understands the human heart knows how to give you better tastes and cure these evil whims: he knows how to bring you up from the gates of death to the gates of heaven. So we see how terribly the mischief progresses.

   Our beauty and our strength are fled,

      And we draw near to death,

   But Christ the Lord recalls the dead

      With his almighty breath.

21. IV. And now the disease takes a turn. Our fourth point is THE INTERVENTION OF THE PHYSICIAN: “Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

22. The good Physician is the true Healer. Observe when the Physician comes in, — when “they cry to the Lord in their trouble.” When they cry, the Physician has come. I will not say that he has come because they cry, though that would be true, but there is an even deeper truth, — they cried because he came. For, whenever a soul truly cries to God, God has already blessed it by enabling it to cry. You would never have begun to pray if the Lord had not taught you. God is visiting a soul, and healing it, when it has enough faith in God to cast itself, with a cry, on his mercy. I cannot hope that there is a work of grace in you until I know that you pray. Ananias would not have believed that Paul was converted had it not been said, “Behold he prays!”

23. Notice the kind of prayer here; it was not taken out of a book, and it was not a fine prayer in language, whether extempore or precomposed; it was a cry. You do not need to teach your children how to cry; it is the first thing a new-born child does. He needs no school teacher to teach him that art. Our School Boards have a great deal to teach the children of London, but they never need to have a department for instruction in crying. A spiritual cry is the call of the new-born nature expressing conscious need. “How shall I pray?” one says. Pour your heart out, brother. Turn the vessel upside down, and let the contents run out to the last dreg, as best they can. “But I cannot pray,” one says. Tell the Lord you cannot pray, and ask him to help you to pray, and you have prayed already. “Oh, but I do not feel as I should!” Then confess to the Lord your sinful insensitivity, and ask him to make your heart tender, and you are already in a measure softened. Those who say, “We do not feel as we should,” are very often those who feel the most. Whether it is so or not, cry. If you are a sin-sick soul, you can do nothing towards your own healing but this, — you can cry. He who hears your cries will know what they mean. When the doctor goes to the battle-field, after a conflict, he is guided to his compassionate work by the groans of the wounded. When he hears a soldier’s cry, he does not enquire, “Was that a Frenchman or a German, and what does he mean?” A cry is good French, and excellent German too; it is part of the universal tongue. The doctor understands it, and looks for the wounded man. And, whatever language you use, oh sinner, uncouth or refined, if it is the language of your heart, God understands you without an interpreter.

24. Notice well that, since we have seen when the Physician intervened, we shall see next what he did. He saved them out of their distresses, healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, the infinite mercy of God! He reveals to the heart pardon for all sin; and, by his Spirit’s power, removes all our weaknesses. I tell you, soul, though you are at death’s door this moment, God can even now gloriously deliver you. It would be a wonder if your poor burdened spirit should, within this hour, leap for joy; and yet, if the Lord shall visit you in mercy, you will do so. I fall back on my own memory; my escape from despondency was instantaneous. I only believed Jesus Christ’s word, and rested on his sacrifice, and the night of my heart was over; the darkness had passed, and the true light had shone. In some parts of the world there are not long twilights before the break of day, but the sun leaps up in a moment; the darkness flees, and the light reigns; so it is with many of the Lord’s redeemed. As in a moment, their ashes are exchanged for beauty, and their spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise. Faith is the great transformer. Will you cast yourself now, whether you shall live or die, on the precious blood and merits of Jesus Christ the Saviour? Will you come and rest your soul on the Son of God? As you do so, you are saved; your sins, which are many, are now forgiven you. Just as of old the Egyptians were drowned in a moment in the Red Sea, and the depths had covered them so that there was not one of them left; so, the moment you believe, you have lifted a mightier rod than that of Moses, and the sea of the atoning blood, in the fulness of its strength, has gone over the heads of all your enemies; your sins are drowned in Jesus’ blood. Oh, what joy is this when, in answer to a cry, God delivers us from our present distresses and our threatened future destructions!

25. But how is this accomplished? The psalmist says, “He sent his word, and healed them.” “His Word.” How God ennobles language when he uses it! That word “word” is lifted up in Scripture into the foremost place, and put on a level with the Godhead. “THE WORD.” It indicates a Godlike personage, for, “in the beginning was the Word”; indeed, it denotes God himself, for “the Word was God.” Our hope is the Word, — the incarnate Logos, the eternal Word. In some respects, our salvation comes to us entirely through the sending of that Word to be made flesh, and to dwell among us. He is our saving health, by his stripes we are healed. But here the expression is best understood of the gospel, which is the Word of God. Often, the reading of the Scriptures proves the means of healing troubled souls; or, else, that same Word is made effective when spoken from a loving heart with a living lip. What might there is in the plain preaching of the gospel! No power in all the world can match it. They tell us, nowadays, that the nation will go over to Rome, and the gospel candle will be blown out. I am not a believer in these alarming prophecies; I neither believe in the Battle of Dorking, {a} nor in the victory of Pius the Ninth. {b} Leave us our Bibles, our pulpits, and our God, and we shall win the victory yet. Oh, if all ministers preached the gospel plainly, without aiming at rhetoric and high flights of oratory, what great triumphs would follow! How sharp would the gospel sword prove itself to be if men would only pull it out of those fine ornamental, but useless scabbards! When the Lord enables his servants to put plain gospel truth into language that will strike and stick, be understood and retained, it heals sick souls, that otherwise might have lain fainting for a long time.

26. Still, the Word of God in the Bible and the Word of God preached cannot heal the soul unless God shall send it in the most emphatic sense; “He sent his Word.” When the eternal Spirit brings home the Word with power, what a Word it is! Then the miracles of grace performed within us are such as to astonish friends and confound foes. May the Lord, even now, send his Word to each sinner, and it will be his salvation. “Hear, and your soul shall live.” “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” and faith brings with it all that the soul requires. When we have faith, we are linked with Christ; and so our salvation is ensured.

27. V. That brings us to the last point, — THE SUBSEQUENT CONDUCT OF THOSE WHO WERE HEALED.

28. First, they praised God for his goodness. What rare praise a soul offers when it is brought out of prison! The sweetest music ever heard on earth is found in those new songs which celebrate our recent deliverance from the horrible pit and the miry day. Did you ever keep a linnet {song-bird} in a cage, and then remember that it was cruel to rob it of its liberty? Did you take it out into the garden, and open the cage door? Oh! but if you could have heard it sing when it had barely escaped from the cage where it had been for so long, you would have heard the best linnet music in all the woods. When a poor soul breaks out from the dungeon of despair, set free by God, what songs it pours out! God loves to hear such music. Remember that ancient word of his, “I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals, when you went after me in the wilderness.” God loves the warm-hearted praises of newly-emancipated souls; and he will get some out of you, dear friend, if you are set free at this hour.

29. Notice that these healed ones praised God especially for his goodness. It was great goodness that such as they were should be saved. So near death’s door, and yet saved! They were amazed at his mercy, and sang of “his wonderful works to the children of men.” It is wonderful that such as we were should be redeemed from our iniquities; but our Redeemer’s name is called Wonderful, and he delights in displaying the riches of his grace.

30. Observe that, in their praises, they ascribe all to God; they praise him for his wonderful work. Salvation is God’s work, from beginning to end. Their song is, moreover, comprehensive, and they adore the Lord for his love for others as well as for themselves; they praise him “for his wonderful works to the children of men.”

31. Do not forget that they added to this praise sacrifice: “Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving.” What shall be the sacrifices of a sinner delivered from going down into the pit? Shall he bring a young bull that has horns and hoofs? No, let him bring his heart; let him offer himself, his time, his talents, his body, his soul, his substance. Let him exclaim, “Let my Lord take it all, since he has saved my soul.” Will you not lay yourselves out for him who laid himself out for you? If he has bought you with such a price, confess that you are altogether his. From your substance give to his cause as he prospers you; prove that you are really his by your generosity towards his Church and his poor.

32. In addition to sacrifice, the healed ones began to offer songs, for it was to be a “sacrifice of thanksgiving.” May those of you who are pardoned sing more than is customary nowadays. May each one of us who have been delivered from going down to the pit, enter into the choir of God’s praising ones, vocally singing as often as we can, and in our hearts always chanting his praise!

33. Once more, the grateful ones were to add to their gifts and psalms a declaration of joy over what God had done for them: “Let them declare his works with rejoicing.” You who are pardoned should tell the Church of the Lord’s mercy to you. Let his people know that God is finding his hidden ones. Come and tell the minister. Nothing gladdens him so much as to know that souls are brought to Jesus by his means. This is our reward. You are our crown of rejoicing, you saved ones. I can truly say that I never have such joy as when I receive letters from people, or hear from them personally the good news, “I heard you on such and such a night, and found peace”; or, “I read your sermon, and God blessed it to my soul.” There is not a true minister of Christ who would not willingly lay himself down to die if by doing so he could see multitudes saved from eternal wrath. We live for this. If we miss this, our life is a failure. What is the use of a minister unless he brings souls to God? For this we would yearn over you, and draw near to God in secret, that he would be pleased in mercy to deliver you.

34. But, surely, if you are converted, you should not conceal the fact. It is an unkind action for any person, who has received life from the dead, through any instrumentality, to deny the worker the consolation of hearing that he has been made useful; for the servant of God has many discouragements, and he himself is readily cast down, and the gratitude of those who are saved is one of the appointed cordials for his heavy heart. There is no refreshment like it. May God grant you grace to declare his love, for our sake, for the Church’s sake, and, indeed, for the world’s sake. Let the sinner know that you have found mercy; perhaps it will induce him also to seek salvation. Many a physician has gained his practice by one patient telling others about his cure. Tell your neighbours that you have been to the Hospital of Jesus, and been restored, though you hated all kinds of food, and drew near to the gates of death; and, maybe, a poor soul, just in the same condition as yourself, will say, “This is a message from God to me.”

35. Above all, proclaim abroad the Lord’s goodness, for Jesus’ sake. He deserves your honour. Will you receive his blessing, and then, like the nine lepers, give him no praise? Will you be like the woman in the crowd, who was healed by touching the hem of his garment, and then would gladly have slipped away? If so, I pray that the Master may say, “Someone has touched me,” and may you be compelled to tell us all the truth, and say, “I was severely sick in soul, but I touched you, oh my blessed Lord, and I am saved, and to the praise of the glory of your grace I will tell it! I will tell it, though demons should hear me; I will tell it, and make the world ring with it, according to my ability, to the praise and glory of your saving grace.”

{a} The Battle of Dorking: Reminiscences of a Volunteer is an 1871 novella by George Tomkyns Chesney, starting the genre of invasion literature and an important precursor of science fiction. Written just after the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War, it describes an invasion of Britain by a German-speaking country referred to in oblique terms as The Other Power or The Enemy. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_of_Dorking"
{b} Pope Pius IX (Italian: Pio IX; May 13, 1792-February 7, 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, reigned as Pope from June 16, 1846 to his death in 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving for over 31 years. During his pontificate Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869-70), which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short owing to the loss of the Papal States. Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and conferred the title Our Mother of Perpetual Help on a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorists. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_IX"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 107:1-22}

1. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.

In the heading of this Psalm we are reminded that the psalmist here exhorts the redeemed, in praising God, to observe his manifold providence over travellers, prisoners, sick men, seamen, “and in many varieties of life”; but, inasmuch as the exhortation is especially addressed to the redeemed of the Lord, I shall endeavour to cast the red ray of redemption over it, and to explain these various circumstances as relating to the spiritual experience of God’s people, and to their deliverance out of many perils to which their souls are exposed.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord.” This seems to imply that we are so slow to praise God that we have to be stirred up to this sacred duty. This exhortation looks as if we needed to be entreated to give thanks to the Lord. Yet this ought not to be an uncongenial or disagreeable task. It ought to be our pleasure to praise the Lord; we should be eager to do it; and yet it is to be feared that we are often silent when we ought to be giving thanks to his holy name.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” Whether you give him your praises, or — 

   Let his mercies lie

   Forgotten in unthankfulness,

   And without praises die, — 

he deserves them, “for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.”

2, 3. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

Whenever God’s people are redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered to him, it is always by his grace and power. They are not only gathered to him, but they are gathered by him; and therefore let them all praise his holy name.

4. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

This is the experience of all God’s redeemed and gathered ones; they were, at one time, all lost, and wandering to and fro in the wilderness, as God’s ancient people did.

5, 6. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

This is the point to which a true spiritual experience sooner or later brings all God’s elect ones; they cry to the Lord in their trouble. The end, the purpose of their trouble is that they may cry to him; and when they do so, it is absolutely certain that they shall be delivered out of their distresses.

7-11. And he led them out by the right way, so that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High.

All God’s people, all his redeemed have been made to feel, in a greater or lesser degree the agony of their spiritual bondage. They have been like captives sitting in darkness, dreading death, realizing that they are utterly unable to deliver themselves. They have been rebellious against the words of God, and have despised his counsel, so that it is absolutely necessary that they should be brought to their proper position, and be made to kneel before the Lord in true humility of heart.

12-16. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bands asunder. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he has broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron asunder.

Is any child of God shut up in the dark like this? Those of you who have ever been lost in a London fog know what a depression of spirit it brings on you while you are in the impenetrable darkness, out of which you cannot see any way of escape. All that you can do is to stand still and cry out for help. Well, try what crying to God will do for you in your spiritual depression. Your spirit is cast down into the very depths; then, out of the depths cry to the Lord, as Jonah did; rest in him, trust in him, and see whether he will not bring you up into the light of his countenance.

17, 18. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhors all kinds of food; and they draw near to the gates of death.

All God’s redeemed people have suffered from soul-sickness, and some of them have suffered from it so acutely that they have lost all appetite for spiritual comfort. “Their soul abhors all kinds of food”; they cannot bear the sight or the thought of it. A man in this condition says, “Do not bring me any food; I loathe it.” The very nourishment that might have restored him he rejects because of the nausea which soul-sickness brings.

19, 20. Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

He healed them with his Word; and there is a cure, in God’s Word, for every form of spiritual malady. What we need to know is the place where the particular remedy for our special form of soul-sickness is to be found; and this the Holy Spirit will teach us if we will only ask him.

21, 22. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. {c}

{c} Exposition for the later verses of this Psalm are with sermon: —  {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3061, “The Rule of Grace” 3062}

The OCR quality of this sermon was poor and contained many spurious comas, italics and corrupted or missing words. Editor.

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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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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