A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, October 10, 1867, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
And from there they went to Beer: that is the well of which the Lord spoke to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Then Israel sang this song, “Spring up, oh well; sing to it: the princes dug the well, the nobles of the people dug it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.” (Numbers 21:16-18)
1. We have remarked in our reading that the children of Israel were continually on the move, and that there was usually a great difference between one campsite and the next. So, also, we are constantly varying in our experience, and the variations are sometimes exceedingly remarkable.
2. You observe, that previously the people pitched their tents at one time by the brooks of Arnon. There appears to have been an exceeding abundance of water where they then were, but immediately, they moved into the wilderness where there was not a single drop to quench their thirst. So it is with us. At one time we are abounding in every good thing, rejoicing “with joy unspeakable and full of glory”; and at another time we discover how great our weakness is; faith is at a very low ebb, and joy seems as though the frost of doubt had nipped its root. But, great as the changes of our experience certainly are, our needs never change. Whether they found water or not, the people always needed water. The great camp must always have a supply, or perish for the lack of it. So, at all hours, and in all places, believers need the grace which only their Lord can give them. They carry no supplies with them: they are daily dependent upon their God. “All my springs are in you,” said David, and every heir of heaven must learn this truth from experience.
3. Now, there is one thing certain, that although our experiences vary and our needs remain the same, yet there is something that does not change, namely, the supply which God has provided for our needs. Our experience may be high or low, bright or dark, but JEHOVAH-JIREH is still the name of our God. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen, and in the valley too, that the Lord will provide. As our day so shall our strength be. If our needs are great, so our supplies shall be great. Israel found it to be so, for when they came to this particular place, where there was no natural water supply, they soon discovered a supernatural supply. They arrived at a place that was all arid sand, but that was the very place of which God had spoken. “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Believer, your supplies shall never vary, and your greatest needs shall only illustrate the fulness of the Lord your God. Do not be afraid, but go forward. Although it is dark and dreary in the prospect, yet if God asks you to advance, do not tarry, for he has surely taken care to anticipate your needs when they shall arise.
4. The particular text before us has four things in it which I think may be instructive for us. These people needed supplies just as we need grace. There was, first, a promise concerning the supply; secondly, there was a song; that song viewed in another light, was, in the third place, a prayer; and when, this promise, song, and prayer, were attended by the effort, then the blessing came.
5. I. To begin, then, these people required water as we greatly need grace, and there was A PROMISE GIVEN CONCERNING THE SUPPLY. “The Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Gather the people together, and I will give them water.’”
6. Beloved, we have a promise. A promise? no, a thousand promises! God’s people were never in any plight whatever, where there was not a promise to meet that condition. There is not a single lock for which God does not have the key. You shall never be placed in a difficulty without some provision being made for that difficulty, which God foresaw, and for which his heavenly wisdom had devised a way of escape.
7. Now, the supply promised here, was a divine supply: “I will give them water.” Who else could satisfy those flocks and herds? By what mechanism, or by what human toil could all those multitudes of people have received enough to drink? “I will give them water.” God can do it, and he will. Beloved, the supply of grace that you are to receive in your time of need is a divine supply. You are not to look to man for grace. God forbid that we should ever fall into the superstitions of some idiots, in these modern days, who suppose that God has given his grace only to bishops and to priests—the most graceless of all men if they profess to have any grace to give away—for if they had true grace at all they could not act in that way. If you lack grace, beloved, you must go to God for it. You shall get it there, but nowhere else. As for even the ablest of God’s sent ministers, they are only broken cisterns if we trust in them. They shall have grace enough to get to heaven themselves, but they will be to themselves great wonders when they arrive there. Wise virgins always say to the foolish ones who apply to them for oil, “Not so; lest there is not enough for us and you: but rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” There is a divine supply for you, Christian. Hence, knowing the attributes of God, you will understand that however much you may require, there will be an all sufficient supply; however long you may require it, there will be an everlasting supply; whenever you may need it, there will be an available supply. It is not possible for your needs to outlast what will be treasured up for you. “I will give them water”; and, you thirsty ones, go and drink, for there is no fear of exhausting this wellhead.
8. Just as it was a divine supply, so, also, it was a suitable one. The people were thirsty, and the promise was. “I will give them water.” At another time he had given them bread; he had also given them meat to eat. But water was what they just now required, and water was what they received. We do not always get that form of grace which we think we need. We sometimes imagine that we require comfort, when rebuke would be much more healthful for us, and it is the rebuke which we obtain, and not the comfort. God is not to be dictated to by our whims and wishes. Like a father, he understands his children better than his children understand themselves, and he gives, not according to their foolish guesses of what they need, but according to his wise apprehension of what they require. “I will give them water.” What do you need, tonight? Go and lay out your needs before the Lord. Tell him what it is you require, if you know, and then add to your prayer, “And what I do not know that I need, please give me, for you are able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I can ask or even think: not according to my understanding of my needs, but according to your perception of my needs, deal with your servant, oh Lord, and grant me what is most suitable for my case.” “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”
Observe, too, that the supply promised was an abundant supply.
The Lord did not mock the people by sending them just enough to
moisten their tongues, but not to quench their thirst. We cannot be
sure how many people there were, but it is probable, and almost
certain, that there were nearly three million of them; and yet, when
God said, “I will give them water,” he did not say, “I will give some
of them water: the princes shall have a supply, and the poorer ones
must go without.” Oh, not so! “I will give them water,” it
included every child of Israel, every babe who needed it, as well as
every strong man who thirsted for it. Do you hear this, child of God?
“I will give them water.” Whatever you need, you who are the most
obscure in the world, you who have the least faith, you who stand
in the back of the crowd, not able to push to the place where you
hear that the water flows, here is a provision for you. It shall be
with grace as it was of old with the manna: there shall be enough for
all who go out to gather it; he who gathers much shall have nothing
left over, and he who gathers little shall have no lack. There shall
Enough for all, enough for each,
Enough for evermore.
No child of God shall be left to perish for lack of the necessary supplies. “I will give them water.”
10. I may observe, once more, that just as it was a divine supply, a suitable supply, and an abundant supply, so also it was a sure supply. “I will give them water.” It is not, “I may, perhaps, do it; possibly there shall be refreshment for them”; but, “I will give them water.” Oh! the splendour of the Lord’s “shalls” and “wills!” They never fail. “Has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Search out the Book of the Lord, and read and see if any of his words have fallen to the ground, if one of his promises has lacked its mate! You will have to say, believer, as the hoary headed Joshua did, “There nothing failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel; all came to pass.” We do not go forward upon the strength of “ifs,” and “buts,” and “perhapses”; but we advance confidently, invigorated and inflamed, concerning our courage, by “wills” and “shalls.” God must un-deify himself before he can break his promises. He would lose his character, and that can never be. His honour is the bright jewel of his crown, and he will keep his promise to all his people. “I will give them water.”
11. Now, I thought, as I was coming up to this house, once again to have the unspeakable pleasure of addressing you. Who am I that there should be any supply for the people when they are gathered together? And this text seemed to come to me, you “gather the people together, and I will give them water”; it is your business to be there, occupying your place, and it is their business to be gathered there at the time set apart for prayer, “and I will give them water.” The lad may only have his barley loaves and a few small fishes, but the Master will multiply them. There may seem to be little enough in our hand, only perhaps a cruse of water, not enough for one; but he who formed the sea, and holds it in the hollow of his hand, can give enough for all the thirsty ones. You are now gathered together, beloved, and I pray the Master to be as good as his promise, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Here is the promise. This is a blessed thing to work with. We shall build well enough upon such a good foundation.
12. II. And now, secondly, observe THE SONG.
13. These people had not been singing for years; ever since the day when they had sung at the Red Sea, “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously,” the musicians of Israel had been hushed, except when they danced before the calf of gold; but for their God they had had little or no music. But now they come together to the digging of the well, and the children of Israel sing this song, “Spring up, oh well; sing to it.”
14. Observe, then, that this song may be looked upon, in the first place, as the voice of cheerfulness. There was no water, but they were still in good spirits. Supplies were short, but their courage was still great. It is very easy to be happy and cheerful in heart when you have all that heart can wish for. It is not very difficult for us to maintain our spirits when all things go just as we would like. But it is rather difficult to begin to sing when the mouth is dry, and the lips are parched, and the tongue almost refuses to do its duty. Cheerfulness in poverty, cheerfulness upon the bed of pain, cheerfulness under slander, singing, like the nightingale, in the night, praising God when the thorn is at the breast, this is a high Christian attainment, which we should seek after, and not be content without.
I like, too, the look of these children of Israel, singing to the
Lord before the water came, praising him while they were still
thirsty, living for a little while upon the memories of the past,
believing that he who struck the rock, and the waters gushed out, and
who gave them bread from heaven, would surely supply their needs. Let
us pitch a tune and join with them, however low our estate may be.
Begone, unbelief, my Saviour is near,
And for my relief will surely appear;
By prayer let me wrestle, and he will perform,
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.
16. Notice again, that this song was the voice not so much of natural cheerfulness as of cheerfulness sustained by faith. They believed the promise, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” They sang the song of expectation. I think this is one of the particular enjoyments of faith, to be the substance of things hoped for. The joy of hope, who shall measure it? Those who are strangers to it are certainly strangers to the sweetest matter in spiritual life. With the exception of present communion with Christ, the joy of a believer in this present state must be mainly the joy of hope. “It does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” We thank God that we shall be satisfied when we wake up in the likeness of Jesus. The anticipation of heaven makes earth become endurable, and the sorrows of time lose their weight when we think of the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Sing before the well begins to spring. Sing confidently, “Spring up, oh well.” You cannot make it spring, but sing as if you could, for God is with you. Say, “Down with my sin” you cannot cast it down, but God can, and therefore speak as one who speaks in God’s name: say, “Begone, unbelief!” You cannot make it go, but God’s Spirit can, and therefore sing as knowing God is with you. “Spring up, oh well!” Make that your song. Sing of the mercy yet to come, which your faith can see, although as yet you have not received it.
17. This song, also, was no doubt greatly increased in its volume, and more elevated in its tone, when the water did begin to spring. After the elders of the people had dug for awhile, the flowing crystal began to leap into the air; they saw it run over the edge of the well, the multitude pressed around to quench their thirst, and then they sang, “Spring up, oh well! Flow on, flow on, perennial fount! Flow on, you wondrous stream divinely given! Flow on, and let the praises of those who drink, flow also! Sing to it, and you who drink lift up your songs, and you who see your neighbours as their eyes flash with delight as they receive the needed refreshment, let your song increase as you see the joy of others.” All you who have received anything of divine grace, sing about it! Bless God by singing and praising his name while you are receiving his favours. I think we should be more conscious of God’s blessing coming to us if we were more ready to praise him. Brethren, we receive so many of God’s mercies at the backdoor: we ought to stand at the door, and take them in ourselves. Presents from a great king ought not to be unacknowledged, stowed away in the dark, forgotten in unthankfulness. Let us magnify the name of the Lord!
18. But I must not detain you longer upon this point. There was a promise, and then the children of Israel made a song out of the promise before it was accomplished; and then, just as it was fulfilled to their delight and joy, so they made the song yet more sweet and more loud. So let our hearts sing about the promises of God. You are very poor, yet still sing, “Your place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: your food shall be given to you, and your water shall be sure.” And when the mercies do come, then lift the song still higher. “Bless the Lord who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” “Spring up, oh well; sing about it!”
19. III. But we remark, in the third place, that the song was A PRAYER. “Spring up, oh well,” was virtually a prayer to God that he would make the well spring up, only it was faith’s way of singing her prayer.
20. We would notice about of this prayer that it went at once to the work, and asked for what was required. What was needed? Not a well, but water; not mere digging in the sand, but the obtaining and the drinking of the water. Beloved believer, let me remind you that it is very easy for us to forget what it is that we need, and to be satisfied with something short of it. Now, what we need is not the means of grace, but the grace of the means. The means of grace are excellent when they bring us grace, but the means of grace are not the ultimate. It is not these that we seek after, but grace itself. To show you what I mean—“Spring up, oh well,” was the prayer; it did not ask for the well, but for the well to spring up. So, tonight, or some other evening, you are retired for your private devotions; you have opened the Bible; you begin to read. Now, do not be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter. Some good people read through two or three chapters—stupid people, as stupid as they are good, for doing such a thing! It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word. For profit you might as well read the A B C backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning. Words are nothing: the letter kills. The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Here is the well: spring up, oh well; Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of your word, while it lies open before me; apply your word with power to my soul, threatening or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be; lead me into the soul and marrow of your word.” The Rabbis say that whole worlds of meaning hang upon every word of Scripture, but only he will find out the meaning who waits upon God with the prayer, “Spring up, oh well.” Or, perhaps you are about to kneel down to pray. I beseech you, do not be satisfied with getting through fifty or a hundred choice sentences which look as if they were devout. That prayer has not benefited you which is not the prayer of the soul. You have need to say, “Spring up, oh well; Lord, give me the spirit of prayer; now help me to feel my need deeply, to perceive your promise clearly, to exercise faith upon that promise, and then, by wrestling importunity to hold you firmly, and say, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’” It is not the form of prayer, it is the spirit of prayer that shall truly benefit your souls. In vain you might open the book and read through ten thousand prayers, the best that were ever composed; it would be no benefit to you. “Spring up, oh well!” Come, Holy Spirit, come, and help my infirmities, for I do not know what to pray for as I ought, but do make intercession for me with groanings that cannot be uttered. You need in prayer, not the well so much as the springing up of the well. And it is just the same when you go to the ordinances. For instance, baptism can be of no use to the believer unless he devoutly perceives the meaning of it. He must know what it is to be dead with Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ, and before he comes to the ordinance, this should be his prayer, “Spring up, oh well; Lord, allow me to enjoy what the outward emblem teaches me; give me true fellowship with Christ!” And so at the Lord’s table, of what avail is it to eat bread and drink wine? Oh, but when Jesus comes, and your soul feeds upon him, and he makes you before you are aware of it, like the chariots of Amminadib, when the well springs up. Oh, then the table is better than the banquets of kings. And is it not the same when you come to the public assembly? The prayer meeting may be dull enough unless the Spirit, the Comforter, is poured out upon us. We have been singing just now: how many were singing? Some were making melody with their lips, but not with their hearts. But, oh, when the hymn breaks out in richest blessings, like living waters, when you get through the shell of the hymn, and get at the soul and life of it, then, blessed be God, what a well spring we often get in sacred songs! And, further, with regard to the ministry of the truth; many times my soul groans out to God that he would give me liberty in the ministry, so that he would lead me into the essence of his truth. Oh brothers and sisters, I sometimes feel, in preaching, like the butcher, who cuts off meat for others, and does not get a mouthful for himself, and it is hard work indeed. I dare say you very often sit and hear God’s word, but it has lost its savour. You cannot enjoy it; you do not seem to get into it. The babe at home in the cradle, or that ledger, or that bad debt, or something that has occurred in the family before you came here, distracts you. You cannot get into the spirit of worship. “Spring up, oh well!” This is what we need. So let our prayer be like the song of the text, direct and to the point. Lord, do not put me off with the husks of ordinances and means of grace; give me yourself! I would rather be a doorkeeper, and be truly in your house, than sit in the seats of the Pharisees in the synagogue, and yet my Master is not seen by me. Strive after vital godliness, real soul work, the life giving operation of the Spirit of God in your hearts, or else, beloved, you may have the well, but you will not have any benefits from it. Remember, then, it went directly to the point.
21. And notice, also, that this prayer was the prayer of faith, like the song. Now, “without faith it is impossible to please God”: this is emphatically true with regard to prayer. He who pleads with God in unbelief really insults him, and will receive no blessing. Faith gives wings to our prayers, so that they fly high to heaven, but unbelief clogs and chains our prayers to earth. Many prayers never go beyond the ceiling of the room in which they were uttered, because there was no faith mingled with them. Oh, how lacking our prayers are in this one essential element! If we had more faith, what large blessings would come down to the church! When I listen to some prayers, I cannot help thinking, “Well, what is there left to pray for after that? everything has been included in the petition that one could ever conceive of. Now, if we could only get the answer.” We ought to do so; and if we did, what a different state of affairs we should have. We need, indeed, more faith to make our poor words real genuine wrestlings with God, in order to prevail with him, and come off more than conquerors. God is not slack concerning his promises. We never yet put him to the test and found him lacking. The history of the church speaks through all ages with only one voice on this point, all things conspire to urge us to faith in God in connection with prayer to him in time of need. If you want, then, some well to spring up to supply the needs of yourself or your family, pray in faith; the rock, if needs be, shall flow with rivers of water. The driest wilderness shall send forth floods of refreshment. Have faith in God and call upon his name. “Pray without ceasing.” “Spring up, oh well!”
22. You will please notice, further, that it was united prayer. All the people prayed, “Spring up, oh well!” I dare say that was a prayer meeting in which everyone prayed, for they were all thirsty, and therefore they all said, “Spring up, oh well!” What blessed meetings those are when the souls of all present are in it! I hope we shall have some noble enquirers’ meetings in this Tabernacle during the next month, and for many more afterwards. Mr. Nivens was asked by someone whether he had had any enquirers’ meetings. “No,” he said “we have not had any recently, for I do not think we have many enquiring saints among us!” “What!” said the other, “I never heard of that.” “Oh, but,” he said, “we must always have enquiring saints before we shall have enquiring sinners. ‘For this I will be enquired of by the house of Israel.’ You see, saints must enquire, and then God will do it for them; and as soon as the saints begin to enquire, ‘Will you not revive us again?’ then sinners begin to enquire, ‘What must we do to be saved?’ Oh! if we could have a meeting where all should be enquirers: the saints enquiring—‘When will you save my wife? When will you bless my husband? When will you look in grace on my children? When will you convert my neighbour?’ and the sinners enquiring—‘Lord, when will you meet with us, and permit us to taste of your salvation?’” I say, the prayer was a unanimous one—“Spring up, oh well!” Brothers and sisters, may God touch you all with the heavenly fire, so that you may all be unanimous in the one great desire that God would visit us, make our wells to spring up, and cause the whole church to be revived, and sinners to be saved.
23. IV. I cannot, however, tarry there, but must now conclude with the fourth point, which is this: they began with a promise; they turned the promise into a song and into a prayer, and they did not stop there, but THEN THEY WENT TO WORK.
24. “God helps those who help themselves,” is an old proverb, and it is true with God’s people as well as true of providence. If we want to have God’s blessing, we must not expect to receive it by lying passively. The first blessings of grace come to passive sinners, but when the Lord quickens his people he makes them active, so here in this place. “I will give them water,” but “the princes dug the well, the nobles of the people dug it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.” Here was effort used, reminding us of a parallel passage in that famous song, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools.” They must dig the wells; the water does not come below, it comes from above; the rain fills the pools. God fills the pools, but we must dig them.
And, observe, that when God intends to bless a people, effort is
always esteemed to be honourable. “The princes dug the well, the
nobles of the people dug it.” They were not ashamed of the work. And
when God shall bless a church and people, they must all feel that it
is a very great honour to do anything in the service of God. No
matter if they may be very learned, they must feel it to be an honour
to teach a class in a Sunday School for Christ. They may be rich, but
they must feel it to be an honour to open the pew doors, or the place
doors, or do anything for the Master. They may be very famous, and
very much esteemed, but they must feel it to be an honour to wait
upon the humblest enquiring soul. And what an honour it really is!
Why, princes are not so honoured as those are who are allowed by God
to be “workers together” with him in the economy of grace! Brothers
and sisters, earnestly covet the best gifts in this matter. Seek
after usefulness as hunters seek after their game, and as miners hunt
after their treasures. Seek to serve God. You will be princes in this
way. They are the princes who dig the wells; they are the true nobles
who use their staves in the Master’s service. Before man sinned, he
worked for God. Adam was put into the garden to till it and to dress
it. He was not made to lead an idle, useless life. His state of
innocence was one of service for his Maker. When men shall be once
more in a state of purity, their highest honour will be—“his servants
shall serve him.” Heaven is a place where they serve him day and
night in his temple. Idleness is sin and shame to us. It is our duty
to labour, and our highest dignity is to be servants of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Remember, the princes of old, and the nobles, helped to
dig the well. It was effort, which they all felt to be honourable.
Well has our poet put it.—
All may of thee partake;
Nothing so small can be,
But draws when acted for thy sake,
Greatness and worth from thee.
If done beneath thy laws,
E’en servile labours shine;
Hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
The meanest work, divine.
26. But it was also effort which was accomplished by very feeble means. They dug the well, and they dug it with their staves—not very first class tools. Would not the mattock and the spade have been better? Indeed, but they did as they were told. They dug with their staves. These, I suppose, were simply their rods, which, like the sheiks in the East, they carried in their hands as an emblem of government, somewhat similar to the crook of the shepherd. These they used, according as they were commanded. Well, dear friends, we must dig with our staves. We must dig as we can. We must use what abilities we have. It is every Christian’s duty to try to know as much and get as much talent as he can, but if you have only one talent, use that one talent. Go to work for Christ with it. If you cannot do what you wish, do what you can, remembering that the Lord does not save by the mighty, and does not work his greatest things by the mighty ones; but he has chosen the “base things of the world, and things which are despised, God has chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are.” I should look very much like a fool if I went to dig a well with a stick; and yet if God told me to do so, then I should be wise in doing it. Go, Christian, with such talent as God has given you, and God will bless you, and make your lamps and trumpets to be as mighty for the overthrow of Midian, as they were in the hands of Gideon of old. Here was honourable effort with feeble means.
27. And, observe, it was effort in God’s order. They dug the well “by the direction of the lawgiver.” We must not serve God according to our fancies. The Westminster Assembly’s Catechism well lays down idolatry to be “not only the worship of a false god, but the worship of God, the true God, in a way which he has not prescribed.” Consequently, all ceremonies that are not commanded in Scripture are flat out idolatry—it does not matter what they are. Every mode of worshipping God, which is not commanded by God, is neither more nor less than flat out idolatry. The children of Israel, in their apostasy, did not set up another god. It is clear to every reader of the story of the golden calf; that they did not worship another god when they fell down before it. They worshipped Jehovah under the form of that golden calf, but it was a way of worship which God had never ordained, for he said he allowed no similitude nor likeness of himself to be attempted to be made, and therefore it was idolatry. And, notice that when men adore pieces of bread, as they are fools enough to do nowadays, they will tell you that they worship Christ under the form of that bread, but it is idolatry. It is a glaring breaking of the second command, and we do not doubt will bring destruction upon those who fall into it. We must not forget in everything we do for God, to go to work in God’s way. I hold that in revivalism, I have no right to adopt anything which I cannot go before God with, and justify at the throne of God. I must not adopt a mode of procedure which I may think suits the place or is adapted to the times. Is it right? Let it be done. Is it wrong? Let it not be so much as thought of among the saints. We are never to “do evil so that good may come,” nor to run over and above, or counter to, the current of Scripture, in order to work some doubtful good. We must dig the well according to the direction of the lawgiver. “To the law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Let us keep close to the good old paths which are laid down in Holy Writ, and, digging the well, we shall get the water.
28. And then, in the last place, it was effort made in faith. They dug the well, but as they dug it they felt so certain that the water would come that they sang at the work, “Spring up, oh well!” Brethren, this is the true way to work if we wish to get a blessing. We must preach in faith, believing that the word cannot return to our Master void. We must teach in the Sunday School in faith, believing that the children will be led to seek Christ early, and to find him. We must distribute the tract in faith, believing that if we cast our bread upon the waters, we shall find it after many days. You must take care that you have this faith. You must not ask from God a blessing upon your work in a spirit of doubt, for he who wavers is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; do not let that man expect to receive anything from the Lord; but believe the promise, believe that God will bless you if you seek his glory, and go about his work in his way, and you shall see the blessing, so great a blessing that when you have proved your God, you shall not have room enough to receive it.
29. I want all the dear members of this church especially to join with me in breathing the prayer, day by day, and hour by hour, that the well would spring up in our midst. Conversion work is not pausing, I hope. I have been so long removed from you now, that I am longing to see some great work done by the Master. Oh that he would now make bare his arm! We have seen what the gospel can do in the salvation of souls, and in making God’s people cleave close to him. Let us ask for a renewal of those blessed seasons, and the continuance of our long prosperity. Let us pray for ourselves that our religion, our piety, may spring up like a well, “a well of living water springing up into everlasting life.” And let us pray that the ministry may be greatly blessed among us, and for all our works—in the classes of the Sunday School, and everywhere else. “Spring up, oh well,” and may God allow us all to drink from the living waters, until he leads us to the mount of God where we shall feed on the green pastures, and lie down by the river of life for ever and ever.
There have been some things said, I trust, which may be blessed to
you who do not know the Lord. I pray they may. Remember, trust in
Christ is what saves you. Rest alone in Jesus. It is the mount
of Calvary that is the mount of your hope. Flee to the Saviour, and
you are saved. May God bless you, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
[Portion of Scripture Read Before Sermon—Numbers 21]