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waves and billows,”—he interweaves other references and experiences with this unequivocal testimony to God his “Rock," as the HEARER OF PRAYER,
-" He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. Who is God save the Lord ? or who is a ROCK save our God? . The Lord liveth ; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted !” *
Reader! let me ask, in conclusion, do you
know in your experience the combined triumphs of faith and prayer—these two heavenly spies that fetch back Eschol-clusters of blessing to the true Israel of God? Do you know what it is, in the hour of adversity, to repair to "the Rock of your strength ?” Do you believe in His willingness to hear, and in His power to save? How sad the case of those who, in their seasons of trial, have no refuge to which they can betake themselves, but some fluctuating, perishing, earthly one ;—who, when they lose the world, lose their all! The miser plundered of his gold, cleaving to the empty coffers ;—the pleasure-hunter seeking to drain the empty chalice, or
* Psalm xviii. 16, 31, 46.
to extract honey out of the empty comb;—the bereaved grasping with broken hearts their withered gourd, and refusing to be comforted! The worldling is like the bird building its nest on the topmost bough of the tree. There it weaves its wicker dwelling, and feels as if nothing can invade its security and peace. By and by the woodman comes,-lays down his axe by the root. The chips fly off apace. The pine rocks and shivers ; in a few moments it lies prone on the forest-sward. The tiny bird hovers over its dismantled home—the scene of desolation and havoc—and then goes screaming through the wood with the tale of her woes! The Christian, again, is like the sea-fowl, building its nest in the niches of the ocean cliff, which bids defiance at once to the axe and the hand of the plunderer. Far below, the waves are lifting their crested tops, and eddying pools are boiling in fury. The tempest may be sighing overhead, and the wild shriek of danger and death rising from some helpless bark that is borne like a weed on the maddened waters.
But the spent spray can only touch these rocky heights -no more; and the curlew, sitting with folded wings on her young, can
look calm and undismayed on the elemental war. “What is the best grounds of a philosopher's constancy,” says Bishop Hall, “but as moving sands, in comparison of the Rock that we may build upon !”
Yes! build in the clefts of that immoveable Rock, and you are safe. Safe in Christ, you can contemplate undismayed all the tossings and heavings of life's fretful sea! So long as the Psalmist looked to God, he was all secure. When he looked to himself, he was all despondency. Peter, when his eye was on his Lord, walked boldly on the limpid waves of Gennesaret; when he diverted it on himself, and thought on the dangers around him, and the unstable element beneath him, “he began to sink !"
Believer! is your heart overwhelmed? Are you undergoing a similar experience with the Psalmist? Your friends (perhaps your nearest and best) misunderstanding your trial, unable to probe the severity of your wound, mocking your tears with unsympathising reflections and cruel jests—"a sword in
your bones !” Turn your season of sorrow into a season of
to the God-nan Mediator, the tender Kinsman within the veil! He knoweth your frame. When He sees your frail
bark struggling in the storm, and hears the
of prayer rising from your lips, He will say, as He said of old, "I KNOW their sorrows, and I will go down to deliver them! O wounded Hart ! panting after the water-brooks, I was once wounded for thee. Osmitten soul! seamed and scarred with the lightning and tempest, see how I myself, the Rock of Ages, was smitten and afflicted !" Ay, and thou canst say. too, “God My Rock !” Thou canst individually repose in that sheltering Refuge, as if it were intended for thee alone. The loving eye of that Saviour is upon thee, as if thou wert alone the object of His gaze, -as if no other struggling castaway breasted the billows but thyself!
Blessed security, who would not prize it! Blessed shelter, who would not repair to it! Oh that the Psalmist's creed and resolution might be ours _“I will say of the Lord, He is My Rock and MY Fortress, and my Deliverer.”_" come let us sing unto the Lord : let us make a joyful noise to the ROCK OF OUR SALVATION !.”
The Quiet Haben.
“Ah, if our souls but poise and swing,
Ever level and ever true,
“ David utters again strains of hope; not that faint and common hope of possibility or probability, that after stormy days it may be better with him, but a certain hope that shall never make ashamed; such a Hope as springs from Faith, yea, in effect, is one with it. . . . Faith rests upon the goodness and truth of Him that hath promised; and Hope, raising itself upon Faith 80 established, stands up, and looks out to the future accomplishment of the promise.”—Leighton.
“In that day, the light shall not be clear nor dark: ... but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light.”— Zech. xiv. 6, 7.
“ Why art thou cast down, my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall pet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”— Verse 11.