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SOME truths are of limited application, we must be careful therefore not to strain them beyond their limit, because if we do, we shall not only do violence to them, but harm to ourselves. The truth of promises, promises of scripture too, comes thus before us; we must not take the comfort of any promise to ourselves, unless we are satisfied that the character is ours to mlich that promise is applicable ; never mind names I words, look to character and meaning. This beauWhile chapter of Isaiah, the 40th, what truth it holds; what promises it sets before us; yet we must mind, because there are solemn and awful warnings, as well a cheering and comforting promises ; there is truth in both; and may be, we have the character that suits

THE WEAK STRENGTHENED).

ISAIAH xl. 31.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary ;

and they shall walk, and not faint."

OME truths are of limited application, we must be reful therefore not to strain them beyond their limit, ecause if we do, we shall not only do violence to hem, but harm to ourselves. The truth of promises, romises of scripture too, comes thus before us; we Lust not take the comfort of any promise to ourselves, nless we are satisfied that the character is ours to hich that promise is applicable ; never mind names

words, look to character and meaning. This beauul chapter of Isaiah, the 40th, what truth it holds; nat promises it sets before us; yet we must mind, cause there are solemn and awful warnings, as well cheering and comforting promises ; there is truth both ; and may be, we have the character that suits

THE WEAK STRENGTHENED.

33

number to the consciences and souls of multitudes of
sinners

. Yes! may He apply it to us, to me, to you,
to each, to all

. Amen. Jacob and Israel seem to be in a desponding way; and the God of Jacob and of Israel is pleased to condescend to take their case into His consideration, and to endeavour to comfort them; and He must needs tell others to help Him; for looking on these others He says "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith

Four God."

the warnings most, and not the promises of comfort. Let us ever look to this. It cannot be right for any one to read a chapter, and picking out all the cheering parts, to say, “ these are mine, these are mine, I leave the rest, they are not pleasant to me.” This is being partial with ourselves, whereas, we ought to judge ourselves. Will you read this chapter through to-day at your leisure ? Do I ask too much of you? And will you read it thoughtfully, not too fast either; and will you

mind the sober truths, as well as the promises? And when you have done reading, will you try, and find out those passages which seem to suit you most, and lay them up in your memories, and have them out again soon, and try them afresh, and so see if your character mends ? This is the way to read Scripture to profit. Merely to hear, or read and forget, read and forget, will be of po avail ; we must grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; if we would avoid the condemnation of the slothful and the wicked.

I have now to do with the winding up of the chapter; with the striking and beautiful promise that it sets before us. I wish I could do it well; something after the fashion that such a wonderful word of promise requires; but this is impossible. I should go out of myself if I did this, and you would go out of yourselves to hear it. Let us try our poor best, and may He help our infirmities; He, who taught Isaiah to write, and hath applied that writing times out of

And we also often are in a desponding way. If we
dan satisfy ourselves, on true grounds, that the God
of Israel and of Jacob takes our case into consideration
also

, and condescends to apply Himself in affording
nereties of help; and also biddeth others, angels and
man, be workers together with Him in this noble work
and labour of love; this may well cure us of our
dependency; it would cure us outright surely, dear
brethren, if it were not for the frailty and sinfulness
of our mortal nature, which cannot bear properly the
trafortings of the Almighty; we must wait, we must
wait with patience, until this frail tabernacle of ours
is taken down, and our enfranchised soul be clothed
upon with house from heaven; Oh! there will be

per-
bet cure of despondency ; there will be no more sorrow,
to more crying ; God will wipe away the tears from

off all faces.

That the chapter before us is not to be confined to lamel and Jacob after the flesh, is manifest to the

D

number to the consciences and souls of multitudes of sinners. Yes! may He apply it to us, to me, to you, to each, to all. Amen.

Jacob and Israel seem to be in a desponding way; ind the God of Jacob and of Israel is pleased to conlescend to take their case into His consideration, and o endeavour to comfort them; and He must needs ell others to help Him ; for looking on these others le says "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith our God.

And we also often are in a desponding way. If we an satisfy ourselves, on true grounds, that the God f Israel and of Jacob takes our case into consideration Iso, and condescends to apply Himself in affording emedies of help; and also bíddeth others, angels and nen, be workers together with Him in this noble work ad labour of love; this may well cure us of our espondency; it would cure us outright surely, dear ethren, if it were not for the frailty and sinfulness

our mortal nature, which cannot bear properly the mfortings of the Almighty; we must wait, we must it with patience, until this frail tabernacle of ours taken down, and our enfranchised soul be clothed on with house from heaven; Oh! there will be pert cure of despondency; there will be no more sorrow, more crying ; God will wipe away the tears from all faces. That the chapter before us is not to be confined to el and Jacob after the flesh, is manifest to the

D

THE WEAK STRENGTHENED.

35

from the Lord, and my judgment is passed orer from

my God ?

most cursory observer. Deliverance by Cyrus, and return from captivity of Babylon may be meant, but that is not all that is meant in the third verse; we are told as much in the New Testament, where John the Baptist is said to be he that crieth in the wilderness; and who was it that he heralded ? It was Jesus Christ, who delivereth His people from the captivity of sin and Satan. Isaiah was not called “Evangelical” without good reason; the promises here set forth may have special reference to Christian times. May Zion

her voice with strength and not be afraid ; may she say unto the cities of Judah, “behold your

God.” It is declared directly, of that same God, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd : He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." I pray you, of whom speaketh the prophet this? We know, we know, 'tis Jesus Christ.

Was Idolatry the crowning sin-was it the foul breach of wedlock, committed by Israel, against Him that was married to her ? Will the Lord expostulate with His chosen ? Will He argue the matter with them ? Will He so shew the folly, as well as the heinousness, of their sin, as to set Israel on self-upbraidings, and cause consciousness of misery and confusion of weakness? Well! He turneth anon to the more pleasing work of comforting again; He delighteth in mercy; He doth not willingly afflict or chide ; “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, Israel, my way is hid

The great and precious promise of the text seems to be given to poor sinners, who had been guilty of great folly and rebellion against God, but who turned to Him in self-apbraidings and godly sorrow, and He pardoned, and sought to give comfort. And surely in this light the word of promise hath a wide application. We have not been guilty of gross idolatry certainly; we have never made us a molten image, or bowed down to the stock of a tree ; but we may have been idolaters nevertheless ; we may have made an idol of riches , or pedigree, or wife, or child, or farm, or gir

idol, a true idol (a heart

lift up

dem ; I know not what, yet an inoge!) Our gracious Father may have expostulated with us ; wamed us of our folly and sin, and because ve did not heed, take our idol and break it to pieces before our eyes. Well! He hath not forsaken us! He hath filled us with the fruit of our own ways, and made us taste the bitterness of our folly ; He bih suffered wretchedness, and consciousness of a weak bih mud trembling hopes to squeeze our poor heart tik palm of anguish, but He hath not forsaken us. So! (1 repeat it) He hath not. If we have acted as bral of old acted, though in a different sense ; if we

lave sinned as they ; if we, in experience perhaps of

or God and theirs,

te misery, have used like words confession ; He,

uses like remedies for comfort, aid hath caused it to be set down as a truth of wide

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