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accident, and you from any loss thereby. Now, my friend, listen : Is it possible that there is anybody here who has shown no corresponding anxiety for the safety of his soul ? Did it never occur to you what blatant folly it is? You have actually insured your life and insured your furniture, and you shut up and lock the house at night; but your
; soul-the marauders may come in and pillage the very heart of you. Are you paying no attention to the safety and preservation of your immortal soul ?
But can my soul be kept ? “ The Lord shall preserve " The Lord shall preserve thy soul.” Yes, it can be kept. “Hallelujah! what a Saviour!" The longer I live, the greater is my fear. People say that we go shivering, and talking selfishly about “our souls," and that what we ought to be doing is not to be paying so much selfish attention to our “ wretched soul,” but go and do some good to some other body. That is true, but it is only half of the truth. I am getting more concerned, on certain grounds, the longer I live, and I am as good as you outwardly. But the longer I live in London, the longer I live in the world, the more I see many reasons why I should be very apprehensive just about my soul. What if I slip, and go down, and come to eternal desolation ? I am discovering every day the great chasms, and deeps, and pits of corruption that are in me, and the great pits, and chasms, and deeps, and floods of temptation that are outside of me.
And, my brother, in those awful hours, when deep calleth unto deep, when the deep of sin out there calls to the deep of sin within you, then that one clause of our Psalm is worth worlds to you, “The Lord shall keep thy soul."
And He will need to do it. Here stands a man who will go to the devil if God is not the Keeper of the soul; and yet, I say, outwardly, I am as good as you. But I am your preacher, and I am here to declare the things of God in God's name; and to turn myself sometimes inside out, that I may preach to you. It is our hope that we shall not
go to the devil, neither minister nor man.
We will all go home to God, and be with Him for ever and ever.
“The Lord shall preserve thy soul.” Hear it, O world! Hear it, О devil! Hear it, О hell! Thou hast lost us for ever! “ The Lord shall keep thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth ” -(thirty-one minutes past eight o'clock), even for evermore." Enter into covenant with Him. Make Him as good as His Word. Put Him to the proof. Can He? Will He? “The proof of the pudding is the eating of it.” Try it. Test it. Trust Him hard. Trust Him absolutely.
Then, if all the souls here believe in such a God as that, I might as well just lean down and shake hands with you, and say, “Good-night, my brother, we are bound to meet at heaven's gate." It is a plain inference from that, if God's words mean what a man's words would mean, “I will keep; I will be the source of your perseverance to the end. Therefore, you cannot, and shall not, fail, from this time forth, even for evermore.” I am not forgetting that we have to play our part; but I am trying to bring in God great, and big, and broad, and visible, for we need to see Him. Let us be done, then, to-night with all shaking and all uncertainty. Let us be like that poor" darkey" who met his minister one day, and said, “ Minister, it is all right now." “ What is all right, Sambo?” said the minister. “ Well, minister," he said, in his broken English, “I have got past the go-back corner." He had always come, as it were, for a certain length, and then, just like some of you,
, he had stuck there. He had halted there and hesitated there, at a kind of half-way house, never being able to lay right hold on God by simple faith. “Now, minister," he said, “I have got past the go-back corner, and I am going all the journey home.” You have come right up to that corner to-day. Now, get round it, get past "the go-back corner," and we will all go in God's company all the journey home. And the negro went on to say, in his
broken way, “ Minister, if you do not find me up at one of those twelve gates, go round to the others, and I will be bound to be there at one gate or the other.” We are bound to turn up and answer to our name. If we give ourselves to Him, the contract is, “ From henceforth, en for evermore." "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." Amen, and amen. Good night. We shall meet up yonder.
Published on Thursday, 5th March, 1891, by James Nispet & Co., 21 Berners Street, London, W.
Henderson & Spalding, Printers, 3 & 5, Marylebone Lane, London, W.
“ PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.”
PREACHED IN REGENT SQUARE CHURCH,
REV. JOHN MCNEILL.
TEXT-Luke xviii. 1-7.
You will be indulgent with me this morning. After over ten days of preaching in Birmingham and district twice a day, I feel rather spent. I might, perhaps, have rested to-day; but I knew you would be indulgent, so I thought I should enjoy myself better in my own pulpit than anywhere else.
We might begin at the very outside of this theme; pausing for a moment to look at what we might call the riskinessat any rate, the grotesqueness—of this illustration. I am sure there is no preacher or teacher in larger or more humbler ways who has not been thankful for that indication of the workings of His own mind, which the Great Teacher gave us when He said, “Whereunto shall I liken it?" He, lifting the curtain, and letting us see that His mind ran out in that direction—" What is it like? I am filled with the idea, the warmth, the luminousness. Now, where can I get a window by which it can stream out from Me, and into the minds of My hearers ?"
Vol. III.-No. 18.
And our Lord, in this matter of illustrating, seems to have taken anything that lay to hand. He was never afraid of falling from the sublime to the ridiculous. He was never afraid of being grotesque; He was so much all aglow with earnestness to impart what He felt and knew, that that trouble which often seizes us did not come to Him. Of course, I am not forgetting His divinity; but I am speaking of Him as being what Nicodemus said, “A Teacher sent from God.” Now, I rather think if I had given this illustration; if I had come this morning, as I do come, burdened, to unburden myself on the great theme of “ Prevailing prayer before God"; and if I had illustrated it by showing how an utterly godless rascal of a judge can be worried, and wearied, and badgered into yielding the petition of a widow simply by means of her importunity, her audacity, her shamelessness, you might have said, .“ Well, but isn't the illustration beneath the dignity of the subject ?" But, then, it is the Master's own illustration. If I had been wanting to unburden myself about God's Providence, and had said, “ Last week I was passing a barn-door, and heard a hen calling to her brood, for a dog was near, and they ran and nestled under her wings; and that is like Providence: “Even as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, 80 God wants to gather us, and defend us." You might have said again, “ Are not these farmyard illustrations a little beneath the dignity of the subject ?" But the Master thinks not.
“ In common things that round Him lay,
Some random truths He did impart.” The “harvest of a quiet eye" was always His; and all round about He found things that prompted with remembrance of a present God," which leads me at the outset to