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-and she lands beneath the horses' feet. In trying to escape from harm, you walk right into it. Then, stand ! Having done all, stand ! Hold hard ! Stand fast in a time like this. Wait for God. Wait; hope in His Word ; but yield an inch-never! And you will not wait in vain.

It was the worst thing you could have done, and it seemed at the moment so wise. “ Must I lie rotting in this cave? Must I be for ever badgered in this way?” Go to, call in Mr. Worldly Wiseman. A very clever fellow he is when God has gone to sleep. Go to, call in Mr. Carnal Policy, another sharper. And the two of them sit down together—three heads are better than one. And they said, “ David, here is a bright idea. Go over to the Philistines, Saul will trouble you no more.” And they would wax eloquent upon the political aspect of this move, and how the land lay across the border; and great broad-browed, clearheaded David, in a moment of weakness, became as wax in these ill hands—he yielded to these suggestions, and bitterly he rued it.

My young brother, are you tempted to-day in the awful conflict with sin to say, “ Preacher, the struggle is harder, and longer, and more taxing and severe than I bargained for. Preacher, I am going to slip my cable a bit, and I am going to take it easier. This being for ever on your guard is too severe. Is there no easier way of getting there, preacher ? You see, I meet with fellows who tell me, * Don't be so holy as all that comes to. Don't needlessly put your bows into the front of all these big, tumbling seas. Don't for ever be rowing against the current. Do as I am doing: slack off, take it easy, go with the wind. Be not righteous overmuch. Why shouldst thou destroy thyself ? What has religion given you?' they say.” Religion! It speaks the word of promise to our ear, but breaks it to our hope. As the devil would whisper to David, “What has God given you since you believed His promise, and left keeping sheep, and came out to be His king? Has He brought you to the crown? Saul is more firmly on the throne than ever. You have simply brought yourself into a peck of troubles, and the sooner you quit the scene the better.” “What has religion done for you?” the devil whispers in a man's ear in London. “Has Faith furthered

you

in

your business? You know it has not. By keeping true to Christ, and a clean conscience, you have had to let profits go past you. Other men'took it easier ; they sailed with more wind in the sheet. Now, see the speed they have made, while you are for ever close-hauled, and lying-to through stress of weather. Trim your sails the other way; be getting on—be getting on!”

So with other suggestions about other things. We are all kind of soft when the struggle is too prolonged. We all feel it is hard to crucify the flesh, with its affections and its lusts, and to mortify our members that are upon the earth; to die unto sin, and to live unto righteousness. The life of the believer is like the life of David-progress by antagonism, living to God by dying to self. For ever subject to two kinds of pains—the pains of dissolution, and the “growing pains,” caused by the soul shooting up into more holiness and manliness.

Now, don't yield. Don't escape to the Philistines. The Philistines will use you. Oh, yes, the Philistines will use you. The Philistines will say, “Come along, David. We are glad to see you. We always wondered, David, why you took the dangerous course you did. There is another way—a more excellent way than that way—hiding like a rat in a hole. What an undignified life you have been living. Come to us, and we will show you how to trump the

game and win every time!” Abide with God. Keep faith, keep heart, keep hope; be in subjection—no, not for an hour—to the thoughts that make you depart from your integrity.

“ When we in darkness walk,

Nor feel the heavenly flame,
Then is the time to trust in God,

And lean upon His name.”

Light will come; day will dawn. Beware of desperate steps. “ The darkest day, live till to-morrow, will have passed away.” Stand still and see the salvation of God.

Blest is the man, O God,

Who stays himself on Thee.
Who wait for thy salvation, Lord,

Shall Thy salvation see.”

Oh let us hold fast through stress of weather. Cast not away your confidence, like poor David, who pulled up his anchor and ran for a false harbour.

Of course the waiting time is a testing time. David was required to wait. It's a grand hardening, toughening process, having to wait. While you are waiting, Providence has you on the anvil, and is hammering, pounding, and

seeming to destroy you. It is not so; God is working you, and the end will show how splendidly, to His own sweet will, and to His own magnificent design.

The last word is this—David, as we know, survived Saul. His fears were all wrong. They were bound to be wrong. Saul went down to death “unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.” David came to the throne, and sat for long years upon it; and this time of trouble was left far behind him ; a vanishing speck on the dim horizon. But when his days of honour, and affluence, and power came, then David well-nigh perished, not by the hand of Saul, but by his own.

His own unbridled lusts warred against his soul. Look nearer home for your enemy, my friend. Your last enemy never is an external Saul. Your real enemy is never outside. Your last, worst enemy is the unsubdued sin of your own heart. Watch for this Saul. Never take your eyes off this traitor; for in such an hour as ye think not, he will lull you to sleep, make you think he is not there; and then, as stealthily as a panther, he will spring upon you. I say, look nearer home. Watch in the right direction, not in the wrong. Let us be wise.

My last word is, trust in God. Our fears are liars; our hopes are stars that stud the sky, till the day dawn, and heaven's morning break. They that wait for Me shall never be ashamed.” “He that believeth shall not make haste." You may have waited long, you may have come through many trials, and still they seem to thicken upon you. Don't lose hope; don't lose heart; nil desperandum -never despair.

My God who causedst me to hope,

When life began to beat,
And, when a stranger in the earth,

Didst guide my wandering feet,
6 Thou wilt not cast me off when age

And evil days descend;
Thou wilt not leave me in despair,

To mourn my latter end.
“ I know the power in whom I trust,

The arm on which I lean ;
He will my Saviour ever be,
Who hath my Saviour been.”

Yes, the thing that hath been is the thing that shall be : “ Saved in the Lord, with an everlasting salvation.” Amen.

Henderson & Spalding, Printers, 3 & 5, Marylebone Lane, London, 1.

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