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among you; and let me remind others to remember that, when sick and helpless, one of the greatest blessings is that a strong person should turn you, and make your bed for you. Here is God, the Great Physician, Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord that healeth thee. Again I ask you, remember how He has laid you ; see how beautifully He suggests to you that your case is inside the reach of His skill and care. I do believe He will cure me. Stretch yourself this morning like a man coming out of a delirium or wasting sick

Stretch yourself; open your poor eyes ; the brilliant light coming in, and say to yourself, “I am going to live. Bless God, I am going to live. My spring is coming. I was meant for death; I was meant for destruction. An awful venomous poison possessed me, I thought I was gone; I went into madness and delirium; but what is this that has happened ?A friend wrote to me the other day :-“ After I left you,” he said, “the other evening, down in the Strand, the first thing I knew was that I was lying in Charing Cross Hospital.” And the devil came to you and me one day, he leaped upon us, he rent us, he left us for dead—and he made a big mistake. The first thing we knew was, we came to in the heavenly hospital, lying clean and white, and washed and dressed, and all bandaged and splinted, and angels, and ministers of grace, and nurses all round about us; and, I do believe, we are going to get better. I believe we shall yet be as well as ever—we shall be better than

I believe we shall get out of this convalescent ward, get rid of the splints and bandages, lay aside our crutches, and make a pile of them to the honour and glory of Jehovah-Rophi. I believe we shall step out into the streets of the new Jerusalem, and the

ever we were.

and say,

angels shall gather round us, I had almost said with envy,

“Who are ye? Tell us your tale.” And we tell them our tale. As the soldier bares his arms and shows the scars, and is not ashamed. Indeed, his eye lightens, and he fights his battles over again as he shows his wounds, now glorifying scars. So we, when God has healed us, the angels will gather round us, and things about us that would be mars, that would be scars, to the glory and praise of God's grace, there will be a glittering glory about them. We shall point to them and say, “ Angel, that was a lust.” They will say,

“ A what? “ That was a lust, that was a foul cancer, a corrupted affection, and grace has made it glorious.” Which things the angels will desire to look into; and won't we let them ? He heals my diseases; He makes me better than ever I was. Praise be to His holy name. There will be something left; but just as a scar is to a wound, so will be these things in the perfect health of the days that are to come. Oh that, even now, our health might spring forth speedily; meantime, “let us hope continually, and praise Him more and more." "It is the very thing the doctor ordered," as they used to say in our part long ago. But my time is

gone. You will need to do as I told you, and take up these notes to-morrow and all through the week. I will not keep you longer, as I have a somewhat heavy day before me.

The Lord bless His Word, and to HIS NAME be all the praise. Amen.

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

ISRAEL'S KEEPER.

g Sermon

PREACHED IN REGENT SQUARE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,

BY THE

REV. JOHN MCNEILL.

TEXT-Psalm cxxi. What great peace, what great power would come into all our hearts if only we could learn by heart the 121st Psalm. We think we know it. We know the words. We can chant it in the prose version, or we can sing it in the Scotch metre version. We can go through the form of it with the lip; but we all know that the great difficulty is to learn the tune experimentally and spiritually. The great tone and music of the Psalm is just a calm, clear, unshakable confidence in God. The key-note of the Psalm is the word “ keep” or “keeper.” Unhappily, our version in the closing verses changes the one unvarying Hebrew word “ keep" into the word “preserve”; but the Hebrew runs right through on the one note all the time—“Keep, keep, keep, keep." “ The Lord shall keep thee from all evil. He shall keep thy soul. The Lord shall keep thy goings out and thy comings in from this time, even for evermore.” You have heard of the man who, when he was dying, asked that they should inscribe upon his tombstone just one word, and that one word was not his name, his good deeds, or anything about him; but over the anonymous corpse that lay beneath was to be the word “ Kept.” It was a stroke

Vol. III.-No. 17.

of genius, of sacred genius. “ Kept.” That will do. If I live until I am ninety, and do well all that time, when I come to die, put me down in my grave, and only put that over the top of me, and I will be full content Kept.”

See how the Psalm begins: “I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” There is a grand utterance of a believing soul! "I will lift up mine eyes.” Then it needs plan, and purpose, and determination. You will not get this splendid grip of God, and, humanly speaking, God will not get the splendid grip of you that He had of the Psalmist, unless you have got this habit of determination and purpose that the man had who wrote the Psalm.

These Psalms are called “ Songs of Degrees,” or literally, Songs of Goings-up.” The idea on the part of many is that, when the Israelites were going from all parts of the land at their stated seasons up to Mount Zion, they gathered into little bands. Suppose that there was a great temple here in London, and only one temple, and we were not split up into denominations; and suppose that once or twice a year, by the command of God, we had to come up to worship in our great temple here in London; well, you know, the folks from the far country would gather together at some place, and they would go up together. The folks from the Midlands would gather together; and the folks away at Land's End in Cornwall would gather together; and they would all be converging into county groups and bands. And it was said that it was then that they sang these songs of degrees, or songs of the goings-up, and that this Psalm was used when they had come near to Jerusalem, at their last day's journey, and were encamping for the last night. Yonder, away in the fading light were Jerusalem and the ridges of Mount Zion; and while the people stood in the fading light watching the hills that are round about Jerusalem before they turned

up

into their tents, a voice would cry out, “I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help"; and the whole

company would break out at different places into the chanting or singing of this 121st Psalm. It is a beautiful idea, and I do not see why it may not have been true. The next day they used the 122nd Psalm: “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, o Jerusalem.” So you see we are at the 121st Psalm, all of us. We are looking to the hills, but we have not yet reached this city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God." But if we would only rub our eyes, we should see it yonder on the horizon, not dimly, not a phantom, not an imagination; but yonder-yonder in the distance—is our home, our heaven, our true Jerusalem, that needs no candle, nor light of the sun, for the Lord God and the Lamb are the light of it. And to-night, although we are as yet a day's march, so to speak, short of home, not yet entered in, we encourage ourselves with this Pilgrim Psalni. We are as near as this : yonder is heaven, yonder on the hills. I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, and bless God that by to-morrow my soul may be singing, “ Our feet are standing within thy gates, 0 Jerusalem," my tears all past, my joy for ever sure.

Well, then, let us lift up our eyes, "Sursum corda"-lift up your hearts. You are like the man in John Bunyan, who was always going about with a muck-rake, working away with his eyes bent down, and he was for ever raking straws and dirt. You are like Milton's Mammon, some of you. You remember how Milton has described Mammon. “Mammon," he says, “the least-erected spirit that fell from heaven," always, as it were, naturally ready to tumble down, and he tumbled down. A number of us need suffer this word of exhortation, Look up! Look up! Look up ! You are looking far too much down, or far too much on the dead level of your own eyes; and you cannot see the whole heaven that is overspreading and overarching even you.

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