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passeth. all understanding. Peace originating with the Father, meritoriously made by the Son, and revealed as an effect in the soul by the Divine Spirit. May grace and peace be multiplied unto us through Jesus Christ, and may the results be seen in our endeavouring to follow after the things which make for peace. The Apostle speaks thus of felt and experimental peace : “Now the God of peace fill you with all joy and
peace in believing.” Joy and peace are felt when faith is in exercise. The Spirit works faith in us, and then He works it up, and keeps it up. We have joy and peace in believing, but the efficient cause is the Holy Ghost working mightily within, and hope is the outcome: “That ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Our
“ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.” Is this peace to last for ever? Is it? I know that some of
we frequently feel trouble and war, and that it is not all peace with us." I told you on a former occasion that the Christian man is the most wonderful person in the world. He has peace, and yet he is always at war. I told you that if there were no battle, there would be no peace; and if there were peace there would be terrible conflict. But there is no battle with the Lord, bear in mind, but with Satan, and sin, and the flesh, and an ungodly world. The believer is at peace with God, but he is at war with the enemies of God.
Again, “ Thou wilt keep him.” “Thou.”—Jehovah,_" Thou wilt." There is no doubt about it. “Keep him.” Yes, He has the power to do it. Does He love Him sufficiently to keep him? He does. I shall make short work of this part : read the 121st Psalm. The child of God cannot keep himself, and no one knows this better than himself. He cries : “Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe,” and he looks up to the everlasting hills, and says : “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy Keeper : the Lord is thy Shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even from evermore. The Lord is the keeper of His people, and He will keep them for ever in the perfect peace of His Christ. How comforting to know that we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Do you believe it? Do you say that it is too good news to be true ? It is true nevertheless.
In the world, poverty, persecution, perplexity, tribulation, trial, and suffering, but in Jehovah Jesus—“perfect peace”!
“ Because he trusteth in thee.” The person trusted is Jehovah. “In Thee he trusted.” Well, what about this trust ? It is the Old Testament word for faith, or that spiritual act in a believer which brings him out of self to rest entirely upon Jehovah Jesus. St. Paul speaks thus: “We are the ” true “circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh ” (Philippians iii. 3). Can a man get further away from himself than this, think you! “No confidence in the flesh." This is the person to magnify the work of the Spirit in the heart. Do you pray? It is the work of the Spirit in you. Do you believe in Him? It is the work of the Spirit in you. Do you rejoice in the Lord ? “Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us ; for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us (Isaiah xxvi. 12). Who makes us to differ from others? And what have we that we have not received ? Now, if we have received it, why should we glory as if we had not received it (I Corinthians iv. 7).
Now there is this word, because,' what are we to make of it? Does it not say: "because he trusteth in Thee.' Does it not show a man's faith is the cause? Let me briefly give you two or three ideas, and then you can form your own opinion. There is an originating “because”; and there is a meritorious“ because," and there is an efficient “because," and there is an evidential “because." You may not understand what I mean as I have put it. The originating“ because" is God's love to us: “We love Him, because He first loved us (I John iv. 19). The meritorious" because" is the death of Christ? “ He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans v. 25). The efficient “ because” is the Holy Ghost's work in us. “He effectually worketh in all believers' (I Thessalonians ii. 13). The evidential " because ” is faith in exercise, looking unto and resting upon Him Who has all power in heaven and in earth. Our prayers, our faith, and our holy walk have no merit in them ; but they are evidences of what God has wrought in us, and of what he is working by us. May God help us to understanding these truths aright, and to discriminate carefully between things that differ. Think of this word—“Because." Whenever you meet with it in reading the Scriptures, see and examine, whether it be the originating
because," the meritorious “because," the efficient “ because," or the evidential “because.” The Word of God is perfectly consistent with itself whether we understand it or not.
I shall now say a few words upon our third point : the call and encouragement to trust in Jehovah, as contained in the 4th verse : Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” “ Trust ye in Jehovah :" in Jehovah Father, and in Jehovah Jesus, and in Jehovah the Spirit. “Trust ye in the Lord.” Now this trusting in Jehovah stands in contrast with trusting in anything else. To trust in horses is a vain thing. To trust in man is a vain thing. To trust in an arm of flesh is a vain thing. To trust in riches is a vain thing, for these things may
“take to themselves wings and fly away.” Hear ye the word of the Lord. “Some trust in chariots, some in horses ; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” “ Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." “But blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” The call in our text is : “Trust ye in the Lord for ever.” And again, “Trust in Him at all times” (Psalm lxii. 8). In times of temptation, difficulty, and darkness. In times of temptation. Yes. See how Abraham acted when he was tempted. Whom did he trust? He knew that the Lord could do everything. There is nothing too hard for the Lord. He knew God could deliver him out of temptation. The trial must come first, in order that faith and trust in Jehovah may be made manifest, and then deliverance shall follow. And in times of darkness, and when there is no light, let him trust in the Lord and stay upon his God (Isaiah 1. 10). Job says : “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job xiii. 15). “Trust in Him at all times :" and "for ever.” This is a long time. But, after all, He is your best friend and your Elder Brother. He is a Friend Who loveth at all times, and the Brother who is born for adversity (Proverbs xvii. 17). Indeed, Jesus is our sympathetic Friend, Who always, and under all circumstances, sticketh closer than a Brother (Proverbs xviii. 24). “Trust ye in the Lord for ever.” There is no harm in one child of God speaking to another after this sort. It is a means of joy and comfort—and makes manifest that peace and joy which the Spirit of the Lord produces.
“For in the Lord Jehovah," or "in Jah-Jehovah." This verse is one out of four which retains the original word untranslated. I need not name all the verses, but take one, which is the 2nd verse of the 12th chapter of Isaiah : “Behold, God is my salvation ; I will trust and not be afraid.” He then gives a reason for his not being afraid : “For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.” Jah-Jehovah is a title of majesty, greatness, and glory (Psalm lxxxiii. 18). In Jah-Jehovah-Jesus is everlasting strength," or as it is in the margin : “The Rock of Ages.” The Church draws all her strength from Jehovah-Jesus. The Father has laid help upon this Mighty One for His people. St. Paul could say: “when I am weak, then am I strong."
The Lord had assured him, saying, “My grace is sufficient for thee ; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” The Apostle most gladly gloried in his infirmities that the power of Christ might rest upon him. In Jehovah-Jesus all fulness dwells. In Him is our help. St. Paul knew that God would supply all his needs; and hence, he exclaims that he can do all things. Monstrous !
But he can do all things. By what means ? Through Christ, through Jehovah Jesus Who had lifted him up, and held him up, and strengthened him to hold on his way to the kingdom. The Apostle encouraged others also : “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians iv. 13–19). “Trust ye in the Lord for ever : for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” In the margin it is : “The Rock of Ages.” If my friend should print a hymn at the end of this sermon, I hope it will be that of Toplady's: “Rock of Ages.” Jehovah is my everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, who fainteth not, neither is He weary. He gives power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Jehovah, “The Rock of Ages” is my everlasting strength. “He is my Rock, my everlasting Rock," on which I build my eternity. everlasting King, to reign and rule over me, and to put down all mine enemies. Jehovah Jesus is my everlasting righteousness in which I appear beautiful before God. Jehovah's everlasting arms are underneath to bear me up. Jehovah's everlasting kindness is ever towards me in
He is my
my weakness. Jehovah is my everlasting light to guide me through the mazes of this world, and He is my everlasting salvation to bring me into that everlasting kingdom in which I shall for ever adore and magnify the everlasting glory of Jehovah Father, Jehovah Son, and Jehovah Spirit. “In Jah-Jehovah-Jesus is everlasting strength."
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Not the labours of my hands
and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring ;
While I draw this fleeting breath,
PREACHED BY THE
REV. J. BATTERSBY
(Vicar of St. James', Sheffield),
AT VERULAM DISTRICT CHURCH, LAMBETH, LONDON,
THURSDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 6Th, 1879.
The 71st Psalm, and the 16th verse. "I WILL GO IN THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD GOD: I WILL MAKE
MENTION OF THY RIGHTEOUSNESS, EVEN OF THINE ONLY.” This Psalm does not bear the name of its author. It is, however, generally ascribed to David. The subject matter and the style of the Psalm tend to confirm this view. It is also thought that this Psalm was written by David when he was far advanced in years—an old man.
It is said in the 9th verse : 6 Cast me not off in the time of old age ; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” And in the 17th