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power, and the Spirit of God reluctantly dragged him up to the altar of sacrifice, the altar of self-immolation, as I am trying to do with you, and the Spirit of God helped him to bring forward his darling lust, and he took the knife and plunged it to the heart of his own sin. He became a new man after that; he became a power after that; he became a whole man, a true man, after that; no longer two men pulled now this way and pulled now that way, but one man, an integer, no longer a fraction or a decimal, but an integer, a whole number, a man sublimed and multiplied by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Can we really say that we are His children? This is the characteristic - a holy people, a people who have yielded themselves body and soul and spirit unto God, with a sweet reasonableness that brings the beginning of heaven into the soul. Now, do it, my brother; do it, my sister. God knows that it is hard. God is not so ruthless as He seems. The word seems to be bald, and bare, and pitiless. It is not that. Behind all that seeming hardness and inconsiderateness, there is the great yearning heart of the Lord our God, and the moment that we do it, His arms are round about us, and His kiss is upon our cheek, and His own hand is soothing us, and saying, “Now, My son, I have got you. You were away from Me, Abraham; Isaac was taking you away from Me, Abraham; I never gave you Isaac that he might take you away from Me. Abraham, I love you, and you are taking the gift and forgetting the Giver, so I asked him back, for I knew that if I took him you would follow him and come back to Me, Abraham, it was you that I wanted.” God will say that to us. He will make it up to us.

We have lost nothing except what would have ruined us, for it would have spoiled our communion with God; and we have gained everything

May the Lord make this to be an hour of searching and of full surrender. Amen.

Heuutisou a paluing, Friulers, 3 & 5, Marylebone Lulie, London, W.


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TEXT-103rd Psalm : “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”

THERE are six things here, you will notice, for which we are called upon to bless our God. We might make this, without being over-fanciful, into a directory, not exactly for public worship, nor altogether for private worship either, but for that element in private worship which belongs to praise and thanksgiving. The worship of God, either in public or private, is, as you know, complex. We have to adore Him; we have to confess our sins; we have to ask for guidance and help; we have also continually to give thanks. And here in these detailed items, as given from the Psalmist's heart and experience, and from the teaching of the Holy Spirit behind that experience, we have something to inform and direct our thoughts-something to help us to rise to the height of this great argument, blessing the Lord our God for personal grace and mercy in the midst. of abounding sin and suffering.

Vol. III.-No. 16.

Our Lord was never asked by His disciples to teach them how to praise. He was once asked, Lord, teach us how to pray;" and in choice and particular language He led out their hearts and ours in plain, express, worthy petitions. But if He had been asked to teach them how to praise, I do not know that even He-remembering the fountain from which this psalm comes : He would only have been using His own—I do not know that even He would have answered otherwise than in the language before us. "After this manner praise ye : Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits : who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." Verily, here is surely, on every ground, a safe and worthy and most excellent rule for ordering our thoughts, and our words too, in this great matter.

I fain would go into the whole psalm, but it is too vast, too broad and deep. It seems to me to be somewhat like a great arch spanning a ravine or chasm, that otherwise there would be no getting across; a great gulf, fixed, filled with all manner of things awful, and gruesome, and destructive. Here is one of the sidesthis side of the arch-personal grace and personal mercy. And the spring and span of the arch—the real bridge of it—is found in the middle part of the psalm—the covenant Lord our God, the covenant God of Israel : “the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, to children's children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them.” And this, again, is the far side—the heavenly side—where the spring of the arch gracefully falls to the eternal shore; when we are called upon, as though we stood in the midst of the heavenly glory, had left the earth, and forgotten the howling ravine : “Bless the Lord, ye His angels,” the redeemed sinner of the earth leading the heavenly choir ; “Bless the Lord, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His Word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His, that do His pleasure"-as if, standing on heaven's heights, we saw back through all time and space, through the finite and the infinite, “Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion : bless the Lord, O my soul.” I, who came on the bridge at the earthly end of it, am still “I” at the heavenly end; saying at the end what I said at the beginning, and never forgot all the way across, " My God and me; my need and His fulness. Bless the Lord, O my soul.”

Now, let us come back to notice a few particulars. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me”within me.

That is the prelude, the overture. Here, like some mighty musician, the Psalmist sketches in the two first verses the theme that afterwards is to be worked out in detail, in symphony, and melody, and harmony. He reminds us here, then, that the praise of God is essentially an inward thing. That is the secret of itits inwardness. I do not think he is discounting, I do not think he is opposing, and renouncing, and denouncing these outward forms it takes. It would have been inconsistent for David certainly to have done so.

He calls for the outward in many a psalm. He asks that God may be praised with a loud voice; he asks that the timbrel, and harp, and psaltery, and organ, and I don't know what all, that the full orchestral band may help the soul in swelling out its hymn of praise to God. But here he just forgets these, and by forgetting them puts them in their true, accidental, or merely secondary place, that he may fasten attention on the personalness and inwardness of praise—"all that is within me.”

Then each one of us might sing this psalm. It depends not on voice or instrument. We are all invited, and the materials lie at hand. It only depends on this--I will put it almost to the verge of grotesqueness to emphasize ithave you got a “within," or are you all “outside”? Are you truly a living soul? That is the touchstone, that is the have you got an

inner man ” ? Have you an inner life that no eye can see but your own and God's; that no person can touch, after all, nor understand, save yourself ?— a secret chamber, unknown, unobserved; the vulture's eye hath not seen it; the keenest critics know nothing about it. The Holy Spirit, behind the Psalmist, goes to that door. He gives a knock, a ring, to rouse, to call, to evoke the real you inside these muddy vestures of decay, behind this stout framework of walls and windows-He speaks to the inhabitant within. “ All that is within me, bless His holy name.' I might call in the aid of mental philosophy, but


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