A system of divine and unfailing
(From Octavius Winslow's, "The Voice of the Charmer")
As a system of divine and unfailing consolation,
there is a charm in the gospel of Jesus of
indescribable sweetness. Originating with that
God, not only whose name and whose perfection,
but whose very essence is love, and who Himself
is the "God of all comfort," it must be a gospel of
"strong consolation," commensurate with every
conceivable sorrow of his people.
Let a Christian be placed in circumstances
of the deepest grief and sorest trial...
the bread and the water of affliction his food;
the iron entering his soul;
the heart bereaved;
the mind perplexed;
the spirit dark;
all human hopes blighted,
and 'creature cisterns' failing him like
a spring in the summer's drought; then let the
Spirit of God, the Divine Comforter, open this
gospel box of perfume, breathing into his soul....
the rich consolations,
the precious promises,
the strong assurances,
the divine counsels, and
the glowing hopes which it contains,
and in a moment the light of love appears in his
dark cloud, his fainting spirit revives, and all is peace!
Oh! that must be a charming gospel which can
meet the necessities of man at every point;
whose wisdom no human perplexity can baffle,
and whose resources of sympathy and comfort,
no case of suffering or of sorrow can exhaust.
Tried soul! repair to this unfailing spring of comfort!
God speaks to you in it.
It is the unsealing of the heart of Jesus.
It is the still small voice of the Spirit.
It speaks to you. It bids you.... "cast your burden
on the Lord, and he will sustain you;" "Call upon
him in the day of trouble, and he will answer you."
It assures you that amid all your perplexing cares,
"He cares for you." It promises you that for your
flint paved path, your "shoes shall be iron and brass;"
and that "as your days are, so shall your strength be."
It tells you that a "woman may forget her nursing child,
yet God will not forget you;" that in all your assaults,
you shall dwell on high, your place of defense shall
be the munitions of rocks;" and that though hemmed
in on every side by a besieging foe, and all other
supplies cut off, yet "your bread shall be given you,
and your water shall be sure."
It invites you to lay your griefs and weep out your
sorrows upon the bosom of Jesus, and so "leaning
upon your Beloved, ascend from the wilderness."
O to be led into the heart felt experience of these truths!