A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Evening, by C. H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
Speak, Lord; for your servant hears. (1 Samuel 3:9)
1. In the days of Eli the word of the Lord was precious, and there was no open vision. It was well when the word did come, that one chosen individual had the hearing ear to receive it, and the obedient heart to perform it. Eli failed to tutor his sons to be the willing servants and the attentive hearers of the Lord’s Word. In this he was without the excuse of inability, since he successfully trained the child Samuel in reverent attention to the divine will. Oh that those who are diligent about the souls of others, would look well to their own households. Alas, poor Eli, like many in our day, they made you keeper of the vineyards, but your own vineyard you have not kept. As often as he looked upon the gracious child, Samuel, he must have felt the heartache. When he remembered his own neglected and unchastened sons, and how they had made themselves vile before all Israel, Samuel was the living witness of what grace can work where children are trained up in God’s fear, and Hophni and Phinehas were sad specimens of what parental indulgence will produce in the children of the best of men. Ah, Eli, if you had been as careful with your own sons as with the son of Hannah, they would not have been such worthless men, nor would Israel have abhorred the offering of the Lord because of the fornication which those priestly reprobates committed at the very door of the tabernacle. Oh for grace to nurse our little ones for the Lord, so that they may hear the Lord when he shall be pleased to speak to them.
2. Let us proceed at once to consider our short but very suggestive text in four aspects, and I pray that the Holy Spirit may speak to us through the word. We shall meditate upon this Scripture, first, as the prayer of a little child; secondly, as the cry of an anxious soul; thirdly, as the prayer of an earnest believer; and fourthly, as the spirit of a dying saint.
The Prayer of a Little Child
3. I. First of all we shall take our text AS THE PRAYER OF A LITTLE CHILD.
4. Samuel was blessed with a gracious father, and what is of even more importance, he was the child of an eminently holy mother. Hannah was a woman of great poetic talent, as appears from her memorable song—“My heart rejoices in the Lord, my horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, because I rejoiced in your salvation.” The soul of poetry lives in every line; a brave but chastened spirit breathes in every sentence; even the Virgin Mary, the most blessed among women, could only use expressions of a similar type. Better still, Hannah was a woman of great prayer. She had been a woman of a sorrowful spirit, but her prayers at last returned to her in blessing, and she had this son given to her from the Lord. He was very dear to his mother’s heart, and she, therefore, to show her gratitude, and in fulfilment of the vow which in her anguish she had vowed to the Lord, would consecrate the best thing she had, and presented her son before the Lord in Shiloh—a lesson to all godly parents to see to it, that they dedicate their children to God. How highly favoured we shall be if our children shall all be like Isaac—children of the promise! What blessed parents we should be if we saw our children all rise up to call the Redeemer blessed. It has been the lot of some of you to see all your children numbered with the people of God: all your jewels are now in Jehovah’s treasure chest. In their early childhood you gave them up to God, and dedicated them to him in earnest prayer, and now the Lord has given you your petition which you asked from him. I like our friends to hold little services in their own houses when their family is increased; it seems good and profitable for friends to assemble, and prayer to be offered so that the child may be an heir of the promises, that he may be called early by mighty grace, and received into the divine family. You will perceive, dear friends, that as Samuel was put under the care and tutelage of Eli, Eli had instructed him in some degree in the spirit of religion, but he does not appear to have explained to him the unusual form and nature of those special and particular revelations of God which were given to his prophets; little dreaming, I dare say, that Samuel would ever be himself the subject of them. On that memorable night, when towards morning the lamp of God was about to go out, the Lord cried, “Samuel, Samuel,” the young child was not able to discern—for he had not been taught—that it was the voice of God, and not the voice of man. That he had learned the spirit of true religion, is indicated by his instantaneous obedience, and the habit of obedience became a valuable guide to him in the perplexities of that eventful hour. He runs to Eli, and says, “Here I am, for you called me”; and although this is repeated three times still he seems eager to leave his warm bed, and run to his foster-father, to see if he could bring him any comfort that his old age might require during the night, or otherwise do his bidding—a sure sign that the child had acquired the healthy principle of obedience although he did not understand the mystery of the prophetic call. Far better to have the young heart trained to bear the yoke than to fill the childish head with knowledge, however valuable. An ounce of obedience is better than a ton of learning.
5. When Eli perceived that God had called the child, he taught him his first little prayer. It is a very short one, but it is a very meaningful one—“Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” Many questions have been raised, concerning whether children ought to be taught a form of prayer. As far as I can judge I do not think so, for I do not think that forms of prayer, although they may be allowed, and God may accept them, are ever of very great advantage to those who use them. Forms of prayer are something like the crutches of a cripple; if a man begins with them, it is very probable that he will never be able to do without them. They resemble the copious notes and manuscripts of certain ministers, who began with them, and are quite unable now to preach without them. Children who are taught a form of prayer, may perhaps by divine grace be enabled to use the form in all sincerity of heart: I hope they may; but I think they are more likely to understand the things of God, if instead of teaching them the form, you explain to them the meaning and the value of prayer. I take this to be the best plan. Let the Christian parent explain to the child what prayer is; tell him that God answers prayer; direct him to the Saviour, and then urge him to express his desires in his own words, both when he rises, and when he goes to bed. Gather the little ones around your knee and listen to their words, suggesting to them their needs, and reminding them of God’s gracious promise. You will be amazed, and, I may add, sometimes amused too; but you will be frequently surprised by the expressions they will use, the confessions they will make, the desires they will utter; and I am certain that any Christian person standing within earshot, and listening to the simple prayer of a little child earnestly asking God for what he thinks he needs, would never afterwards wish to teach a child a form, but would say, that as a matter of education to the heart the extemporaneous utterance was infinitely superior to the best form, and that the form should be given up for ever. However, do not let me speak too sweepingly. If you must teach your child to say a form of prayer, at least take care that you do not teach him to say anything which is not true. If you teach your children a catechism, be careful that it is thoroughly scriptural, or you may train them up to tell falsehoods. Do not call the child up, and command him to say, “In my baptism, by which I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an heir of heaven.” If you want to educate him for the gallows, teach him to utter untruths about sacred things; if you wish to make him a habitual deceiver, teach him the Church Catechism, and make him to say, “God the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies me, and all the elect people of God,” when he is altogether unsanctified, and has no evidence of being elected. I urge you, if you wish to have an honest son, do not teach him to say that he thanks his heavenly Father, “who has brought him into this state of salvation,” when he knows, and you know, that he is not saved at all. Teach him nothing except the truth as it is in Jesus so far as he can learn it, and pray the Holy Spirit to write that truth upon his heart. Better to supply no sign posts to the young traveller than to mislead him with false ones. The light of a wrecker’s beacon is worse than darkness. Teach our youth to make untruthful statements in religious matters, and Atheism can scarcely do more to corrupt their minds. Formal religion is a deadly foe to vital godliness. If you teach a catechism, or if you teach a form of prayer to your little ones, let it be all true; and, as far as possible never put into a child’s mouth a word which the child cannot truly say from his heart. Dear friends, we must be more careful about truthfulness and correctness in speech. If a child looked out of a window at anything going on in the street, and then told you that he saw it from the door, you ought to make him tell it over again, in order to impress upon him the necessity of being truthful in every respect. Especially in things connected with religion, keep your child back from any form until he has a right to be a partaker of it. Never encourage him to come to the Lord’s Table unless you really believe that there is a work of grace in his heart; for why should you lead him to eat and drink to his own damnation? Insist with all your heart that religion is a solemn reality not to be mimicked or pretended to, and seek to bring the child to understand that there is no vice more abhorrent before God than hypocrisy. Do not make your young Samuel a young hypocrite, but train up your darling to speak before the Lord with a deep solemnity and a conscientious truthfulness, and never let him dare to say, either in answer to a catechismal question, or as a form of prayer, anything which is not positively true. If you must have a form of prayer, do not let it express such desires as a child never had, but let it be adapted to his young capacity. At the same time, I would again say, that it would be infinitely better to leave the child alone concerning the words, having earnestly inculcated upon him the spirit of prayer. Beloved, when we see any trace of good in our youth, then, like Eli, we should be the more earnest to have them trained up in the faith. Let the child learn the Assembly’s Catechism, even though he does not understand all that is in it; and as soon as the young heart can comprehend the things of Jesus, labour in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring him to a simple dependence upon the great sacrifice. It is said of the Rev. John Angell James, “Like most men who have been eminent and honoured in the Church of Christ, he had a godly mother, who was accustomed to take her children to her bedroom, and with each child to pray for the salvation of their souls. This exercise, which fulfilled her own responsibility, was moulding the character of her children, and most, if not all of them, rose up to call her blessed. When did such means ever fail?” I beseech you, the teachers of the Sunday School—though I scarcely need to do so, for I know how zealous you are in this matter—as soon as ever you see the first peep of day in your children, encourage their young desires. Believe in the conversion of children, as children; believe that the Lord can call them by his grace, can renew their hearts, can give them a part and a lot among his people long before they reach the prime of life. Oh! that the Lord may give us to see many Samuels added to this Church, as we have seen them in days gone by. You who are little ones, when the Lord speaks to you, cry to him, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears”; and when in the class, or here in the Tabernacle, the Word of God is preached to sinners, remember it is preached to you quite as much as to the men who are six feet tall; and do lift up your little hearts to God with the desire that while we are preaching God would speak to you. Do, dear children, expect the Lord to meet with you. Boys and girls have been saved.
Many dear children are gathering there,
For of such is the kingdom of heaven.
We have baptized many like you, at twelve, thirteen, and fourteen years of age, who have made a very clear profession of their faith; and indeed we shall rejoice if we see you, boys and girls coming forward and saying, “God has called us, has brought us to put our trust in Jesus; and here we are.” Young Samuel, the Lord calls you; and you are a privileged one to be called so soon, for early grace frequently becomes eminent grace; and those who begin early with God, are often preserved in this world to be of distinguished service in the courts of the Lord’s house. May that be your lot and mine!
The Cry of an Anxious Soul
6. II. We have perhaps spoken enough upon this point, let us now consider the words as THE CRY OF AN ANXIOUS SOUL.
7. What an overwhelming sight is this vast crowd of immortal souls! What a joy it would be to me if I could hope that you were all anxious to find the Saviour. Many of you who assemble constantly within these walls, although you have had serious impressions, are not yet saved. As you came in tonight this thought may have been uppermost—“Oh, that God would meet with my soul tonight.” Some of you young women have been in my sister’s, Mrs. Bartlett’s class, this afternoon, and it is very hard to be in that class long without receiving solemn impressions. God has been visiting your class just recently; he has removed a heavenly minded and well beloved sister; he has carried her aloft to the upper and better world. She could die singing and rejoicing in her Saviour, for her usual frame of mind was expressed in these words, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” Well, dear friends, this bereaving providence has had a loud voice in your class, God has made a solemn impression upon your mind by it, and you prayed as you entered the Tabernacle, “Oh God, save my soul tonight!” Let me recommend to you the use of this simple prayer now while you are sitting in the pew, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” “Speak, Lord!” pray that first. “Speak, Lord!” While the minister is speaking, “Lord please speak. I have heard the minister’s voice, and sometimes it awakens me, but I am not saved, and I never shall be, Lord, if the minister speaks alone. Speak, Lord! My mother has talked with me; my earnest teacher has sought to lead me to the Saviour; but I know that the words of blessed men and women will fall to the ground if they come alone. Speak, Lord! Your voice said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. Speak, Lord! and make light in my darkened mind! Your voice called Lazarus from the grave, although he had been dead four days. ‘Speak, Lord!’ and make me live. Oh, let it be tonight a real work of grace in my soul! Let divine power come and operate upon me.” My dear friend, can you not follow me in such petitions as these? You know my soul is going up for you, and I am crying to God, “Speak, Lord!” and there are others here whom you know of, and who are dear to you, who are even now in earnest wrestling with the angel of mercy, and they are saying, “Speak, Lord!” Oh! what would your father give if he should hear that God had spoken to your soul? How would your mother leap for joy if she only knew that God had come to deal with you in away of saving grace! “Speak, Lord!” let that be your prayer. Then say next, “Speak, Lord, to me!” For if the Lord speaks in a sermon, it may be to another, and then woe is me that I should be denied the priceless blessing. I may be lying by Bethesda’s pool, but another man may step in before me, and I may miss the mercy. Speak, Lord, to me, even to me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” May there be an unmistakable message to my heart. You have taken away one whom I knew. It is a marvel that then you have not taken me away. It is a wonder that I am spared—such a rebel as I have been. Oh how great is your patience, that you have not dashed me to pieces, and cast me into hell! Lord, you have dealt graciously with me in sparing my life. Speak to me, Lord. If there are other souls like me, deal graciously with them, but oh! deal chiefly with me, for if there is one heart that wants you more than another I am that one. If there is one less likely than another to be saved—one who would give you more praise than another if saved, I am that one. “Lord speak to me!” Dear young friend, you do not need to go home to pray that prayer. While you are sitting there, I pray God the Holy Spirit to lead you to offer it in silence—“Lord, speak to me.” Personal possession of an interest in Christ Jesus is a blessing to be sought for with strong crying and tears: do not be silent until the God of heaven shall grant it to you.
8. I will add another word to the prayer which I commend to you: it shall be the word of time. “Lord, speak to me now.” How old are you? Perhaps you are young. Oh! but how good it is to let the Saviour have the bud of our being—to consecrate to him the early morning of life! Blessed is the day of life when it begins with clear shining, and opens with a morning without clouds. “Lord, I am young, but not too young to die. Speak to me now!” But are there not some of you who are over twenty-one, and are beginning to run into the ways of sin? It may be your feet have slipped. Have you wandered into evil? Are you living in the daily practice of outward vice? You know some of you have left the right path, and the pangs of conscience are upon you just now. Pray: “Lord, may this be the last of my sins; let me be finished with them now. Sever, once and for all, the bonds between me and Satan, and bind me to your altar firmly tonight!” Perhaps you have passed even the prime of life. It may be that your hairs are turning grey. An old sinner is an old fool. He who is without Christ at sixty or seventy is devoid of understanding. The young may die, but the old must . To be careless in youth is to sleep in a siege; but to be worldly in old age is to sleep in an attack, when already the scaling ladders are on the walls. Take heed, you who have grey hairs, for if they are not crowns of glory to you, they will prove to be fools’ caps. Woe to you who have spent your threescore years and ten, and are still the enemies of God! What will you do when he comes to require of you what is past? Oh, what will you do in the day when he shall deal out to you who have followed the flesh and its corruption? Oh, what will you do when the heavens are ablaze, and the trumpet rings, and the dead awaken, and you are judged? I ask this question of you in deep solemnity tonight; and do, I implore you, before you leave these walls, send up the cry, “Speak, Lord to me, and speak to me now!”
9. But can you say, like Samuel, “Your servant hears?” Truly, I am afraid many of you cannot, for you do not hear God’s word with your hearts. My eyes run down with tears when I think of some of you who listen to my voice year after year, and yet do not hear. You hear me, but you do not hear my Master. Alas! how many have been the arrows out of God’s bow which I have shot at you? Have they not been wasted? They have rattled upon your armour, but they have not pierced your hearts. I have run in vain, I have laboured in vain for you. I have beaten the air so far as you are concerned. You would not hear. I can say solemnly I have sometimes stood in this pulpit, and have laboured with your souls to the best of my ability, and I have felt that I would have cheerfully resigned all I had on earth if I might only have brought you to Christ. If you, my hearers, who sit here constantly, might only be partakers of eternal life, I will leave my Master to do what he wishes with me. Shame, contempt, disgrace—these shall be our joy and our crown for our faithfulness to God and your souls; but, oh! I must have you saved; I must have you lay hold on eternal life; I must see you look to Jesus; and my prayer is that you may tonight look to a crucified Saviour! Can you say, “Your servant hears?” “Yes,” one says, “I can; if the Lord would say a word in mercy to me now, I would gladly hear it.” Then he will speak to you, poor soul, before long. If you will hear it he will say it, for he never gave a hearing ear to any heart without intending to speak to it. I know how you want him to speak: you want him to speak with conviction. You want the broken and the contrite heart such as he will not despise. Well, ask for it—say, “Speak, Lord, with your convicting voice, for I am ready to hear.” But you want him to speak with a converting voice; you desire to be turned from your evil ways, and to follow the Lord. Cry to him then, “Speak, Lord, with the voice that turns men, and turn me now from darkness to light.” Or it may be that you want a comforting word. Well, then, pray for it—“Speak, Lord, with your voice of comfort: bind up my bleeding wounds, and let my soul rejoice in you.” Yet, truly, I do not know that he will speak anything more to you than this—“Look to Christ, and live.” He will speak with power, but that is the substance of it. Jesus is the sum of mercy’s message. He is the word of God. Do not expect to have any other gospel from God’s lips than what is revealed in God’s word. The gospel of God’s word is, “Believe, and live.” There is life in a look at the crucified One; there is life at this moment for you. If you will not hear the voice of God when he says to you, “Trust Christ,” remember he has no other good news. Effectual calling may speak this same thing more effectually, but the Holy Spirit never reveals any other gospel. There is no other way to heaven except just this—“Trust your soul to Christ; your sins are forgiven you, and you are saved.”
10. I am loath to leave this point, because my heart is panting to know and to feel some inward emotion, which might make me feel confident that some of you had breathed this prayer. Oh may the good Master who alone can drive these nails home, use the gospel hammer now! I do implore you, by the brevity of life, by the certainty of death, by the glories of heaven, by the terrors of hell, seek the Lord, and let this be now the voice of your seeking, “Speak, Lord; speak to me; speak now; for your servant hears.”
The Prayer of an Earnest Believer
11. III. We will turn to the third view of the text as the PRAYER OF AN EARNEST BELIEVER. I was led to select this text, by finding it in the letter of one who has just been taken away from our classes, and from our Church. She was about to change her position in life in some degree, and the one prayer that seemed to be always on her mind, was a prayer for guidance, and she prayed, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” She said she felt that God was about to do something for her, but she did not know what it was; she little dreamed that she was so near the kingdom and the glory, but yet that was the prayer, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.”
12. This is a very appropriate prayer for the Christian when he is in providential difficulty. You may not know what you ought to do tomorrow; of two courses open to you, there may appear certain advantages connected with each, and some friends have urged you to one plan, and other friends have urged you to the other. Now if you have used your best judgment, and have endeavoured to direct your steps according to the Word of God, you may expect in answer to prayer, to have a distinct guidance from God—not perhaps from the mouth of man, although that sometimes happens, for even from this pulpit cases which we never heard of have been unravelled, and dilemmas with which the preacher was never acquainted have notwithstanding been solved by what seemed only a stray word, but what was meant by God to be a finger, pointing out to his children—“This is the way, walk in it.” Take your difficulty to the God of wisdom; spread it out before him, and having divested yourself of your own will in the matter, having solemnly desired to know the will of God, and not your own wish, then you may expect by some means or other—and God has different ways of doing it—to have an answer from the Most High. Take this as your prayer, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” We need in our daily life more fully to acknowledge God in all our ways. We are, I am afraid, in this age, in great danger of forgetting God. We ought to acknowledge him in the common transactions of the day, or else like the Israelites with the Gibeonites, we may be betrayed in the simplest transaction, and deceived to our lasting injury. Take your matters before the God of Abraham, and the Urim and Thummim shall yet speak to you. Domine Dirige nos, “Lord direct us,” is a good motto, not only for the City of London, but for the citizens of heaven.
13. In points of doctrine this desire humbly uttered may bring us much light. God’s Word is not all equally plain; sometimes when you have heard conflicting views—this preacher earnestly declaring a doctrine, and another denouncing it—you may be somewhat perplexed. My advice to you is, take your difficulty before God in prayer, and say, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” Do not ask God to confirm your opinion, but ask him to make your opinion conformable with his truth. Do not go to God’s Word to find texts to support your tenets, but go to Scripture for texts and tenets too. Remember that to a true Christian no doctrine has any force upon the conscience, unless it comes with “thus says the Lord.” Follow the simple Word of God as you find it, and rest assured you shall have the light of the Holy Spirit streaming upon the sacred page, and as you read it you shall hear the Master say, “This is my Word.” He shall make it come to your soul with such power, that you shall have no doubt about it if your heart cries, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.”
14. The same course should be adopted by every Christian in matters of practice. I am afraid there are many Christians who have plugged their ears, so that they may not hear the teaching of portions of the Word. There are certain Scriptures which they can never tolerate. I have heard of one who never would read the eighth or ninth chapter of Romans at family prayer. I have heard of another who invariably omitted that chapter in the Acts, about the Ethiopian eunuch—a very awkward chapter, I confess, for any one to read who has not accepted believer’s baptism. You will find many professed Christians in these days who do not like to meddle with certain questions, because they are more than half afraid that a little examination would prove them to be in the wrong. They cannot bear us to put a finger upon their Prayer Book, their creed, or their Church, for they know that they will not bear a close inspection. They will say, “Well, there are faults everywhere, let well enough alone”; the fact being that they do not care what truth is, as long as they can be comfortable and go with the fashion of the day. Some whom we would hope to be true Christians think truth is unimportant, and are not prepared to “search the Scriptures whether these things are so or not.” Brethren, I should be afraid of my own doctrine, if I dare not test it both by Scripture and sound argument. If my foundation would not stand a good shaking, I should be afraid that it was not made of very solid material. Some people cry out if we say a word about their Church; it is a sign that their Church is hardly strong enough to endure an honest encounter. Pasteboard and tinsel always pray for peace and charity, but solid metal does not fear the day of battle. May it be ours to court the sunlight, and above all let us beseech the Lord our God to be our light, for in his light we shall see light. Sitting at the feet of Jesus is our position! To receive his words is our sweet pastime! Just as melted wax is fitted to receive the impression of the seal, so let us be ready to accept the Master’s teaching. Let his faintest word bind us as with bonds of steel; and let his minutest precept be precious as the gold of Ophir. “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams”; let it be our chosen privilege to be taught by the Lord, and to maintain his truth. Here, in this house of prayer let us offer the petition, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.”
15. As for matters of duty again, be always ready to follow the Master, and him alone. Not Luther, nor Calvin, neither Wesley, nor Whitfield, is to be your Rabbi; Jesus alone is Master in the kingdom of heaven. Whatever he says to you, do it, but where you do not have his warrant, let no traditions or ancient customs make you stir so much as a single inch.
The Spirit of a Departing Christian
16. IV. We will close by observing that our text seems to us rightly to express THE SPIRIT OF A DEPARTING CHRISTIAN, There he lies upon the bed; his pulse grows fainter; the many pains of death afflict him. His eye is beginning to glaze, but a brighter light than that of earth has dawned upon him; and while the outward man decays, the inward man begins to renew his youth. I think I see him when his pains are at their worst. He desires to go, but he is willing to remain as long as his Master wishes. He says sometimes, “I can ill brook delay,” but the next moment he checks himself, and he says, “Not my will, but yours be done.” He sits patiently upon the river’s brink, expecting that his Master shall open the passage for him to pass over dryshod. He is praying, “Speak, Lord, and the sooner you will speak the more I shall rejoice.” Say to me, “Come up here.” “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears”—hears now better and more distinctly than he ever did before; he is now nearer to you; the ear is almost closed to the din and bustle of the world, while in secret silence of the mind it awaits the still small voice of your lips. Speak, Lord, and say, “Plunge into the river,” and I will cheerfully do so, if you will only come and meet me. “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” I think I hear that divine and mysterious voice, which, in fact, no one can hear except those whose day of glory is dawning. The messenger has come and whispered in the ear of the dying saint, and I urge you to notice his joy for you may see it; its light illuminates the countenance; the eye sparkles with supernatural glory. “Now,” says the man of God, “my journey is over, and I am almost home.” “Now,” says the expiring sister, “it is victory, glory, triumph! The white horse is at the door: my Master invites me to mount and ride in triumph, following my Lord Jesus, and all the conquering ones. The Master is come in his garments of salvation and calls for me.” The physician he says could see the death change, and the nurse bears the same witness, but the well-instructed believer calls it the life change, and reads the true meaning of the mysterious transformation. He sees something, which is a prognostication of the coming glory; he sees those beaming eyes, and that celestial smile. Now strange words drop from the lips—sometimes words that are scarcely lawful for a man to utter, by reason of the high and awful glory of their meaning. Now come the shouts of victory over death—now the note of defiance of the grave. The soul has left all care, all doubt, all fear behind. Its foot is not only on the Rock of Ages, but on that part of the rock which is on the other side of Jordan; and the soul cries with transport, “I am with him: another moment I shall be in his arms! I see him. The angelic chariots await me; I step into them, and I ride to the kingdom. ‘Victory, victory, victory, through the blood of the Lamb!’” Something like this was the departing scene of our beloved friend who has gone home this week, and something like this, I trust, will be your departure and mine; but it will not, it cannot be like this for us, unless we are resting upon Christ.
None but Jesus—none but Jesus—
Can do helpless sinners good.
Lo! these fifteen years I have been preaching Jesus’ name, and preaching nothing except his name, and it has a savour about it sweeter than ever; and if I had only one word more to speak, I think this should be it: none but Jesus, none but Jesus! Oh! flee to him, if you wish to have a blessed death and a glorious resurrection. Look out of yourselves away from your moods and your feelings; look away from ceremonies, from priests, and from all men; look only to the bleeding wounds of my Master. Trust Jesus, expiring on the cross, and trust in him alone. You shall find eternal happiness in him. May the Lord bless you with his richest blessing, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.