Words of Consolation, Pardon, and Hope, for the Tried and Sorrowful
Are You Sick?
The trial of sickness is hard to bear — perhaps, dear reader, you are languishing on a bed of pain, and feel your helplessness and loneliness, your need of loving sympathy and tender help. You highly prize the aid afforded by friends, for true friendship is a great blessing; but the friendship of Jesus is still more sacred and precious, and it is the privilege of every child of God to rely on His sympathy and tenderness. Oh, seek to realize the preciousness of Jesus, and pray that every trial may be sanctified to your soul.
There was a little boy who was so crippled that he could not open his Bible, which he had always before him. A gentleman asked him why he was so fond of reading it.
"I like to read the Bible," said he, "because it tells me of Jesus Christ."
"Do you think you have believed on Jesus Christ?"
"Yes, I do."
"What makes you think so?"
"Because He enables me to suffer my affliction patiently."
"Tis sweet to lie passive in Your hands,
And know no will but Yours!"
If you can this — then you will murmur no more, but be thankful for this or any other trial that makes Jesus more precious to you, or draws you nearer to Him.
Endeavor to possess your soul in patience, and gather support and consolation from the thought, that the Lord has a gracious and merciful object in all His dealings with you; and then call to mind that encouraging declaration, "No chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto those who are exercised thereby."
A young man who had long been confined to his home with a diseased limb and was near death — was attended by a friend who requested that the wound might be uncovered. This being done, the young man said, "There it is, and a precious treasure it has been to me! It has saved me from the folly and vanity of youth. It has made me cleave to God as my only portion, and to eternal glory as my only hope — and I think it has now brought me very near my Father's home."
Thus death loses its terror, to the soul that trusts in Jesus.
Such a trust brings a fullness of grace in the soul, showing itself in holy constancy, and in a calm, restful spirit, which says, "We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands!" 2 Corinthians 5:1
As the late Professor Hope was lying on his dying bed, and just before he breathed his last, after saying, 'My work is done — the pins of the tabernacle are taken out,' he began to repeat the lines —
'A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Your kind arms I fall,'
when his power of utterance seemed to fail. His sorrow-stricken wife finished the stanza thus —
'O be my strength and righteousness, My Jesus, and my all.'
Thus the believer rests on his Savior, and finds comfort in His presence while passing through the dark valley of the shadow of death.
It may be that your Heavenly Father sees sin in your heart, and is seeking to purify you by chastisement — but "He does not afflict willingly." His purpose is to draw you away from earth's fading joys, towards the unfading joys of Heaven. Let your prayer then ever be "Search me, O God, and try my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and see whether there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."
Perhaps, my reader, you are unconverted — if so, has this trial of Sickness softened your heart? Has it led you to reflect on your past life, and to prepare for eternity? Remember "there is no repentance in the grave, nor pardon offered to the dead." Oh! then, accept the mercy that is offered you through faith in Jesus. Without a changed heart, all your sick-bed vows will be forgotten, and your best resolutions fail you. A change of heart can alone fit you for the purity and bliss of Heaven.
"Wearisome nights are appointed to me; when I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day." Job 7:3, 4
"O Lord, my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction." Jeremiah 16:19
"Remember the word unto Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction — for Your word has quickened me." Psalm 119:49, 50
"Thus says the Lord, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears — behold I will heal you." 2 Kings 20:5
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." Revelation 3:19
O My Heavenly Father, since You have visited me with sickness, graciously grant that it may be sanctified to my soul. Grant me a calm and trustful spirit to repose in Your divine sympathy. Be my comfort in the day of affliction; and remember Your word unto Your servant, on which You have caused me to hope.
If there is sin in my heart, O God, purify me by whatever means You see fit. Cleanse my sinful heart, and fit it for the purity and bliss of Heaven.
If it be Your will, graciously raise me up again, and give me health of body — but anyhow, Lord, glorify Yourself in me. Draw me away from earthliness of spirit, and make me Christlike in all things, that Jesus may be formed in me the hope of glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raises me,
Still all my song shall be —
'Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.'
"Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me —
My rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I'd be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
"There let the Way appear,
Steps unto Heaven,
All that You send me
In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
"Then, with my waking thoughts
Bright with my praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
"Or, if on joyful wing,
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upwards I fly,
Still, all my song shall be —
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee."
Are You Poor?
Are you tried with poverty, dear reader? You know that the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof — the silver and gold, the beasts of the forest, the cattle upon a thousand hills!
Your desires are not so large as His possessions. There is nothing that is good for you, that He cannot bestow. He can change your gloom into gladness, and fill your mouth and your heart with thanksgiving.
Faint not beneath the heat and burden of the day, for the wise man says, "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." Rise, look up! the clouds are dark, but behind them shines the morning star — the clouds will soon disappear, "The darkest day will pass away." Cheer up, desponding heart — take courage. Repine not, for a murmuring spirit is sin, and will only add to your sorrow.
There is a Special Providence over you, God is ever present with you, He knows your needs, and has promised in His Word, "Trust in the Lord — and truly you shall be fed." Many have realized the blessedness of this promise, and in the last extremity have been helped. Such can say,
"How can I err in trusting Thee,
O You in whom I move and live,
Since You have given Your life for me,
What lack I which You will not give?"
How often in our experience do we find that man's extremity is God's opportunity.
A lady who had just sat down to breakfast, had a strong impression on her mind, that she must instantly carry a loaf of bread to a poor man who lived about half-a-mile from her house, by the side of a common; her husband wished her either to postpone taking it until after breakfast, or to send it by a servant — but she chose to take it immediately herself. As she approached the hut, she heard the sound of a human voice, and wishing to discover what was said, she stepped unperceived to the door; she heard the poor man praying, and among other things he said, "O Lord, help me — Lord, You will help me. Your promise cannot fail; although my wife, myself and children have no bread to eat, and it is now a whole day since we had any, I know You will supply me, though You should again rain down manna from Heaven!" The lady could wait no longer, but opening the door, "Yes," she replied, "God has sent you relief. Take this loaf, and be encouraged to cast your care upon Him who cares for you; and whenever you want a loaf of bread, come to my house."
We should always remember that it is better to have wealth in the heart than in the hand — for while the soul is intent on getting earthly riches, it may lose the true riches.
Mr. Cecil once visited a young man who was rich. "I understand you are very dangerously situated," said he. Here he paused; and his friend replied, "I am not aware of it, sir." Mr. Cecil replied, "I thought it was probable you were not, and therefore I have called, upon you. I hear you are getting rich — take care, for riches are the road by which the devil leads thousands to destruction." This was spoken with such solemnity and earnestness that it produced a deep and lasting impression.
The most valuable things are those that earthly wealth cannot purchase, such as respect, affection, and the graces of the Spirit.
Are you poor in spirit? If so, God's promises are yours to live upon. Jesus blessed the poor in spirit — those who with thankfulness and humility receive His gifts, and trust His care. Such, however poor in circumstances, are never turned away by Jesus.
"You must come some other day, I cannot attend to you now." Such were the words sharply spoken to a poor woman who had applied for payment of a few shillings for some work which she had taken home several days before. She went away speechless and sad, for she was far advanced in decline. The tears trickled down her pale cheeks, and the sound of the strong man's harsh words, "You must come some other day," rang in her ears.
Jesus never says "I can't attend to you now." He never wounds the poor in spirit by harsh words. Jesus can be approached every day, He is always ready, always kind. The poor woman knew this, and as she sank exhausted in a chair, and closed her eyes, with the eye of faith she saw her Savior, and had visions of her heavenly inheritance. She was poor in spirit — but rich in grace; lonely — yet not alone; cast down — but not destroyed, for her riches were not of this world.
What then if the road of poverty and toil is hard to travel? If your trust is in God, and you are His child — then gird up your loins, and have your feet "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" and press onward, still onward, to your journey's end. There a home awaits you — a home where the Lord of glory reigns. Weary pilgrim, do not faint. If the way is dark, and the road is rough — the journey is short, and at the end you will receive your reward — an eternal crown of glory in the Heavens!
"When the poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them." Isaiah 41:17.
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied." Luke 6:20, 21.
"Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalm 146:5.
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor — that you through His poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9.
Bow down Your ear, O God, and hear me, for I am poor and needy. You are the source of my life, and You know my condition, You see all my need, and there is nothing I lack which You cannot supply. If it is Your gracious will, bestow upon me all things necessary for me, give me day by day my daily bread. Preserve me from a murmuring spirit, and fill my heart with thanksgiving. Help me, O God, to think upon Jesus, who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor — that we through His poverty might be rich. Mercifully supply all my needs, and unto You, O God, shall be the glory forever. Amen.
Hope on, hope on, the darkest night
Has ever brightest morrow;
The sun still shines behind the clouds,
Then wherefore yield to sorrow?
If summer days were always bright,
The sunshine were less fair;
If life were but a dream of bliss,
How faint would be our prayer.
Remember 'tis a Father's hand
That measures out your woe,
He hears the sighs that wring your heart,
He counts the tears that flow.
'Tis but to purify the soul
That earth's dark sorrows come,
To draw you from earth's fading joys,
Unto your heavenly home.
Are You Perplexed?
There once lived a solitary woman in an old brown cottage. She was some thirty years of age, tended her little garden, knit and spun for a living. She was known everywhere, from village to village, by the name of 'Happy Nancy.' She had no money, no friends, no relatives. She was half blind, quite lame, and very crooked. There was no loveliness in her, and yet there in that homely, deformed body — the Great God who loves to bring strength out of weakness had set His royal seal.
'Well Nancy, singing again?' said the visitor, as he stopped at her door.
'O, yes, I'm forever at it.'
'I wish you'd tell me your secret, Nancy — you are all alone, you work hard, you have nothing very pleasant surrounding you — what is the reason you're so happy?'
'Perhaps it's because I haven't got anybody but God,' replied the holy creature looking up. 'You see, rich folks like you depend upon their families and their houses; they've got to think of their business, of their wives and children, and then they're always mighty afraid of troubles ahead. I haven't got anything to trouble myself about, because I leave it all to the Lord. I think: Well, if He can keep this great world in such good order, the sun rolling day after day, and the stars a-shining night after night, make my garden things come up just the same, season after season — He can certainly take care of such a poor, simple thing as I am! And, so, you see, I leave all to the Lord — and the Lord takes care of me!'
'Well, but suppose a frost should come after your fruit trees are all in blossom, and your little plants out, suppose — '
'But I don't suppose — I never can suppose. I don't want to suppose — except that the Lord will do everything right. That's what makes you people unhappy — you're all the time supposing. Now, why can't you wait until the suppose comes, as I do — and then make the best of it?'
'Ah! Nancy, it's pretty certain you'll get to Heaven, while many of us with all our worldly wisdom will have to stay out.'
'There you are at it again,' said Nancy, shaking her head, 'always looking out for some black cloud. Why, if I was you, I'd keep the devil at arm's length, instead of taking him right into my heart — he'll do you mighty mischief.'
And so it is with us, my reader, many things occur which perplex and trouble us, and we are often brought into circumstances in which we know not what to do — we need grace to live trustingly — to stay our hearts on our Father in the darkest hour — to believe, that although our way is not the smoothest, or the shortest, or the one most frequented — it is nevertheless the right way and the best. Who then can give us this grace? It must come from God. He says, "I will guide you with my eye!' Our journey is through a wilderness; we know not a foot of the road, and it is our wisdom to follow where He leads. He knows every foe and every obstacle that it is possible for us to meet with. He knows the pathway, and will lead us safely home, where sighs will give place to songs, sadness will be exchanged for gladness, and everlasting joy shall crown us, and
"Who that shall reach that bright blessed shore at last,
Will count the stormy billows he has passed?"
A traveler in Switzerland was summoned to return to England. He at once secured the services of two guides, who led him on until they reached a precipice — the bridge, which had been the only means of reaching the other side, was washed away — the guides consulted together and decided on trying a path, called the dangerous path, and our traveler was taken on to a place that seemed quite impassable — a piece of ice-bound rock filled up the chasm. One of the guides, who was acquainted with the spot, went around the rock: on reaching a ledge he stooped down, held out his hand and told the traveler to place his foot on his hand and then on the rock. At first the traveler hesitated, but at length he trusted his guide, and was thus safely placed on the rock and reached his journey's end in safety. Now, as the traveler followed and trusted his guide, so let us have faith in our Heavenly Father, and trust His unerring wisdom and constant care.
Sometimes we try to manage our own affairs, and think we can get along very nicely, but we no sooner try than we find the difficulties too great for us. There is no need for us to be anxious or fearful — God has taken the management out of our hands. He, seeing the end from the beginning, can alone guide and guard us aright. It is not a stranger, not a friend merely who loves and cares for us — but our Heavenly Father, who has always watched over us, and has always been doing us good.
Leaving all things to Him, we are safe for time and for eternity — let us then be loving, confiding, trusting and believing.
"Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me,
The changes that will surely come
I do not fear to see.
"There is a cross in every lot,
An earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee,
Is happy everywhere."
"Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5.
"All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." Psalm 25:10.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths!" Proverbs 3:5-6
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging!" Psalm 46:1-3
O Lord, my God, You are the source of all true wisdom, and You have promised to bestow it on those who seek it. Grant me, I beseech You, wisdom as I walk along the perplexing path of life. I do not know a step of the way — but O God, You know it all. You can overcome every difficulty, and every foe. Be my guide, and enlighten my judgment that I may act wisely, walk safely, and see all things in Your light. Help me to stay my heart on Your faithfulness and love, lead me safely home, and to Your name shall be the glory forever. Amen.
'Is this the way, my Father?' Tis my child;
You must pass through' this tangled weary world
If you would reach the city undefiled,
Your peaceful home above.
'But enemies are round.' Yes, child, I know
That where you least expect you shall find a foe;
But conqueror you shall prove over all below;
Only seek strength above.
'My Father, it is dark!' Child, take my hand;
Cling close to me, I'll lead you through the land;
Trust my all-seeing eye, for you shall stand
'Midst glory bright above.
'My footsteps seem to slide.' Child, only raise
Your eyes to me; then in these slippery ways
I will hold up your goings — you shall praise
Me for each step above.
'O Father, I am weary!' Child, lean your head
Upon my breast; it was my love that spread
Your rugged path; hope on until I have said,
'Rest, rest for you above!'
Are You Bereaved?
Stricken by the hand of God! Is your heart's best earthly treasure torn away? It is but the touch of the loving, tender hand of your heavenly Father! Some are disposed to question God's goodness and love in bereavement, and they petulantly say, "Why has God done this?"
There was a good Shepherd who had prepared costly food in his fold for his sheep, but the sheep would not enter. He gave himself much concern to induce them to enter, but they always retreated further backward from the open door; then he took a lamb from the fold, and dragged it in; and behold the flock ran in after it. So Jesus, the good Shepherd, has taken your loved one from you, to allure you heavenward.
Sorrowful reader, learn to recognize a Father's love in this trial. Take heed, and be quiet, and seek grace to be calm as an infant in its parent's arms — for our God does all things well. His hand is in every event, though we see it not.
"I have none but God left," said a poor widow, who had been freely pouring out her troubles to an aged friend. She was dressed in black, while her face had in it a mournful and anxious expression — but the relating of her sorrows seemed to give relief to her heart. By the poor widow's account, she had passed through deep waters of affliction, and endured, as she said, "more than her share of trouble."
One of her two children had been drowned, and the other was then in a lunatic asylum; she had lost her brother and sister, and only three weeks before had buried her husband, being left alone, and in poverty. "Everything seems to have melted away!" said she, "and I have none but God left now."
"When we can trust our all with God,
In trial's fearful hour,
Bow all resigned beneath the rod,
And bless His sparing power;
A joy springs up amid distress,
A fountain in the wilderness."
We are sorrowing for those who are taken from us by death. We look at the lifeless form — at those limbs so motionless; at those eyes once sparkling with life, now closed in death. We think of the voice so often heard in the home, now hushed and still. The idol of our heart has been taken, and we are bowed down greatly, we "go mourning all the day long."
How consoling should the thought be to the mourner, that the sting of death is taken away from the soul that trusts in Jesus! He is the Resurrection and the Life — He has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. He has lain in the grave before us — should we not then think on the dead, and hope that the loved one is not lost — but only gone before us? Let the poet's words of resignation comfort you:
Dear as you were, and justly dear,
We will not weep for thee;
One thought shall check the starting tear,
It is, that you are free!
And then shall faith's consoling power
The tears of love restrain;
Oh! who that saw your parting hour,
Could wish you here again?
Triumphant in your closing eye,
The hope of glory shone;
Joy breathed in your expiring sigh,
To think the fight was won!
Gently your passing spirit fled,
Sustained by grace divine;
O! may such grace in me be shed,
To make my end like thine!
The days of our mourning will soon be ended; then we shall have joy without sorrow. Yes, we shall soon shed the last tear, and heave the last sigh — and then all beyond will be the eternal sunshine of our Father's love!
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4.
"As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you." Isaiah 56:13.
"I will turn their mourning into joy, and make them rejoice from their sorrow." Jeremiah 31:13.
"The days of your mourning shall be ended." Isaiah 60:20.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor!" Isaiah 61:1-3
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time — casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6, 7
O Almighty God, the source of all consolation — mercifully let me draw near unto You, for I am bowed down greatly, I go mourning all the day long, my heart's earthly treasure is taken away from me. But You have promised, "As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you." O God, help me to check my tears, to cease my repinings, and to kiss the rod of correction — so that I may recognize in it Your love and mercy. Teach me to say, "May Your will be done." And may every trial work in me Your sovereign will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"Friend after friend departs;
Who has not lost a friend?
There is no union here of hearts
That finds not here an end.
Were this vain world our final rest,
Living or dying, none were blessed.
There is a world above
Where parting is unknown,
A whole eternity of love,
Formed for the saints alone,
And faith beholds the dying here
Translated to that happier sphere!"
"Parted friends may meet again,
When the storm of life is past,
And the spirit, freed from pain,
Bask in friendships that will last.
Worldly cares may sever wide,
Distant far their path may be,
But the bond by death untied,
They shall once again be free!
Parting friends again may meet,
From the toils of nature free;
Crowned with mercy, oh! how sweet
Will eternal friendship be."
"Say, why should friendship grieve for those
Who safe arrive on Canaan's shore?
Released from all their hurtful foes,
They are not lost, but gone before.
And many painful days on earth,
Their fainting spirits numbered o'er!
Now they enjoy a heavenly birth;
They are not lost, but gone before.
Dear is the spot where Christians sleep,
And sweet the strains which angels pour;
O, why should we in anguish weep?
They are not lost, but gone before.
Secure from every mortal care,
By sin and sorrow, vexed no more;
Eternal happiness now they share,
Who are not lost, but gone before.
To Zion's peaceful courts above,
In faith triumphant may we soar;
Embracing in the arms of love
The friends not lost, but gone before.
On Jordan's banks whenever we come,
And hear the swelling waters roar;
Father, convey us safely home,
To friends not lost, but gone before."
Are You Tempted?
We are in the field of battle — our enemies are numerous and mighty. The man who trusts to himself or to his circumstances is a stranger to his own heart, and knows not the foes by whom he is surrounded. The wisest Christian walks closest with his Lord, and fears to be left alone for a single moment. He says with David, "The Lord is my strength and shield." His faith lays hold on God's arm — and until that arm fails, he is safe. The Lord is to His people what they require, and all that they require. He comes between them and danger, and thus they escape the fiery darts of the devil. May the Lord preserve us from the wiles of Satan, the snares of the world, and the deceitfulness of our own hearts! Let this be our daily prayer, "Uphold my steps in Your paths — that my footsteps may not slip!" Psalm 17:5. "Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117
"Martin Luther was once strongly tempted by Satan. He heard Satan saying to him, 'You are a great sinner, and you will be lost.'
'Stop, stop,' said he, 'one thing at a time; I am a great sinner, it is true, though you have no right to tell me of it. I confess it; what next?'
'Therefore you will be lost,' he again said.
'That is not good reasoning,' said Martin Luther; 'it is true I am a great sinner, but it is written, Jesus Christ came to save sinners; therefore I shall be saved. Now go your way!'
So Satan was defeated with his own sword, and he went away mourning because he could not cast down a poor soul by calling him a sinner.
"O that our faith could firmly hold
This heavenly shield with ardor bold:
We then could every foe repel,
Inviolable to earth and Hell.
Lord, be our strength as well as shield,
And help our souls to keep the field."
A Christian who lives here among his enemies, should never stir abroad without his guard. No place, no company, no age, no person, is temptation-free. If you follow Satan, you will find the tempter prove a tormentor.
Reader! are you tempted? "We do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Is not this hope-reviving to a poor, tempted soul? How soothing! How cheering! How strengthening! Jesus not merely knows our infirmities, but understands them, having Himself been tempted. Jesus can be a merciful and compassionate sympathizer, and He will aid, help, or run to the assistance of those in temptation.
How often we fail to distinguish between the mere temptation to sin — and the actual commission of sin. Jesus sees the struggle and rebukes the tempter, and makes a way of escape for His tempted disciples.
Be not weary, tempted Christian;
Sin can only lure on earth,
Faith is tried by sore temptation;
'Tis the furnace proves its worth.
Bounds are set unto the tempter,
Which beyond he cannot go;
Battle on, on God relying,
Faith will overcome the foe."
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
"My grace is sufficient for you — for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9.
PRAYER in Temptation.
O God, my Heavenly Father, I beseech You to deliver me from all evil, so that while I am in the world I may not be of the world. When the enemy comes in like a flood, may Your Holy Spirit lift up a standard against him. Shield me, O God, from Satan's attacks, that he may not have an advantage over me. Make me ever watchful against his devices, and strengthen my soul. I am weak and helpless — but my sufficiency is in You. Help me, blessed Jesus, at all times to repose in You as my Divine Helper, remembering that You were in all points tempted like as we are. Hear me, O God, in Heaven, Your dwelling-place, and when You hear, answer and forgive, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
HYMN. THE PILGRIM'S SONG.
My rest is in Heaven, my rest is not here,
Then why should I murmur when trials are near?
Be hushed, my dark spirit, the worst that can come
But shortens my journey, and hastens me home.
It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,
And building my hopes in a region like this
I look for a city which hands have not piled;
I pant for a country by sin undefiled.
The thorn and the thistle around me may grow;
I would not lie down upon roses below;
I ask not my portion, I seek not my rest,
Until I find them forever in Jesus' breast.
Afflictions may damp me, they cannot destroy;
One glimpse of His love, turns them all into joy;
And the bitterest tears, if He smiles but on them,
Like dew in the sunshine, turn diamond or gem.
Let doubt, then, and danger my progress oppose,
They only make Heaven more sweet at the close;
Come joy, or come sorrow, whatever may befall,
An hour with my God will make up for it all.
A bag on my back, and a staff in my hand,
I march on in haste through an enemy's land!
The road may be rough, but it cannot be long,
I'll smooth it with hope, and I'll cheer it with song.