Memory the handmaid of hope

Memory the handmaid of hope


This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

Lamentations 3:21

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 73:1-28

In a lamentable accident which occurred in the North, in one of the coal pits, when a considerable number of the miners were down below, the top of the pit fell in, and the shaft was completely blocked up. Those who were down below sat together in the dark, and sang and prayed. They gathered to a spot where the last remains of air could be breathed. There they sat and sang after the lights had gone out, because the air would not support the flame. They were in total darkness, but one of them said he had heard that there was a connection between that pit and an old pit that had been worked years ago. He said it was a low passage, through which a man might get by crawling all the way, lying flat upon the ground he would go and see; the passage was very long, but they crept through it, and at last they came out to light at the bottom of the other pit and their lives were saved. If my present way to Christ as a saint gets blocked up, if I cannot go straight up the shaft and see the light of my Father up yonder, there is an old working, the old fashioned way by which sinners go, by which poor thieves go, by which harlots go come, I will crawl along lowly and humbly, flat upon the ground I will crawl along till I see my Father, and cry, Father, I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants, so long as I may but dwell in thy house. In your very worst case you can still come as sinners. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; call this to mind and you may have hope.

For meditation: The believer who suffers a fall should remember, repent and return to those first but abandoned works (Revelation 2:4-5). That was Jonah;’ route back from the pit to the land of the living (Jonah 2:6-10).

Sermon no. 654    15 October (1865)





Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, awake, utter a song; arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. Judges 5:12

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 108:1-5

Wake up, my love, for thou must strike the key-note and lead the strain. Awake and sing unto thy beloved a song touching thy well-beloved. Give unto him choice canticles, for he is the fairest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely. Come forth then with thy richest music, and praise the name which is as ointment poured forth. Wake up, my hope, and join hands with thy sister  love; and sing of blessings yet to come. Sing of my dying hour, when he shall be with me on my couch. Sing of the rising morning, when my body shall leap from its tomb into its Saviour”s arms! Sing of the expected advent, for which thou lookest with delight! And, O my soul, sing of that heaven which he has gone before to prepare for thee, “that where he is, there may his people be.” Awake my love awake my hope€”and thou my faith, awake also! Love has the sweetest voice, hope can thrill forth the higher notes of the sacred scale; but thou, O faith”with thy deep resounding bass melody thou must complete the song. Sing of the promise sure and certain. Rehearse the glories of the covenant ordered in all things, and sure. Rejoice in the sure mercies of David! Sing of the goodness which shall be known to thee in all thy trials yet to come. Sing of that blood which has sealed and ratified every word of God. Glory in that eternal faithfulness which cannot lie, and of that truth which cannot fail. And thou, my patience, utter thy gentle but most gladsome hymn. Sing today of how he helped thee to endure in sorrows bitterest hour. Sing of the weary way along which he has borne thy feet, and brought thee at last to lie down in green pastures, beside the still waters.

For meditation: The songs of the Christian should arise from a thankful heart (Colossians 3:16) stirred up by the word of Christ.

Sermon no. 340     15 October (Preached 14 October 1860)




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