A Study of Psalm 35:3
Preached at Providence Chapel, London, on Tuesday Evening, July 20, 1847, by J. C. Philpot
“Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.”
If we take the Scriptures as our authority (and upon what authority can we depend, but the inspired word of the living God?) in what a fearful state is mankind at large! When we compare what man now is with what man was when he came forth from the hand of his Creator; when we contrast his degraded condition with that primeval purity, innocency, and uprightness, in which he stood as created in the image of God—O, how awfully fallen, O, how deeply sunk, man is! And yet one feature of man’s ruined state is, his complete ignorance of the depths of the fall. Though the sinful child of a sinful parent—though under the curse of an avenging law—though an enemy to God and godliness—though passing rapidly down the broad road that leads to eternal destruction, he knows it not. The veil of ignorance and blindness is upon his heart, and he is, as the Scripture speaks, “alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in him.” (Eph. 4:18.) God has poured upon him the spirit of slumber; therefore, he cannot see, nor know, nor feel who he is, nor what he is, nor where he is going. Language cannot describe the awful state in which man is. But, through mercy, infinite mercy, there is “a remnant according to the election of grace,” who are made deeply and sensibly to see, to know, and to feel their ruined and lost condition; into whose hearts the blessed Spirit puts a sigh and cry that they may know God’s great salvation; and whom the same blessed Spirit, who first convinced them of their ruined state and implanted that cry in their souls, eventually brings to a happy enjoyment of the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Such, and such alone, can and do feelingly use the words of our text, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.”
It is a mercy for the children of God that the saints in all ages have been similarly taught and led; and thus they find their experience traced out in the word of God, as with a ray of light, by the unerring finger of inspiration. How many of the Lord’s exercised family can breathe forth this very prayer, as though it were written especially for them! And how it seems to concentrate into one focus the language and desires of all the Lord’s deeply tried and exercised children, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.”
Two things, I think, we may observe connected with, and flowing out of our text. First, in what way God is the salvation of his people; and secondly, the cry that is breathed out of the soul, imploring the Lord to show them that he is their salvation.
I. In what way God is the salvation of his people. Salvation implies a lost and ruined condition, out of which salvation brings them. It presupposes, by the very word itself, a lost, ruined, and undone state. None, therefore, can feelingly and experimentally use the words, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation,” except those who, by a divine work upon their conscience, are brought to know and feel their lost, ruined and undone condition. On the lips of any other, it is mockery and hypocrisy.
But in what sense is God, the triune Jehovah of Israel, the salvation of his people? The God of Israel is a Three-One God—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; and each of these three Persons in one glorious and undivided Godhead, is the salvation of the people of God.
1. God the FATHER is the salvation of the elect. The fall did not take God unawares. It was not an accident that broke in upon the divine purpose—some unexpected and unlooked for event that threw heaven into consternation. It was a part of God’s eternal purpose. He designed, in his own eternal mind, that the fall should take place; and though we, with our poor finite intellect, are lost in the contemplation of this amazing fact; though when we look at the ruin of thousands and tens of thousands through the fall, we stand aghast; and when we look down, as it were, into the awful gulf into which thousands and millions have been precipitated by Adam’s transgression, we recoil from the sight, and our palsied minds seem struck with horror.
Yet, on the other hand, when we can view the fall as drawing forth and manifesting the glory of God in making known salvation by the blood of the Lamb, and in bringing to light mercy and grace, those divine attributes which otherwise must have been hidden forever in the bosom of God from created eyes; when too, we can see that the ungodly are justly punished for their sins—that justice must be magnified as well as mercy—and we ourselves (for that is the chief point after all) have some testimony that our names are written in the book of life—when we see the glory of God thus reigning supreme over man’s ruin and misery—then, though our finite intellect cannot sound this great deep, yet we stand upon the brink of it with holy awe and trembling adoration, knowing that whatever God does must be in infinite wisdom and for the manifestation of his own eternal glory.
The fall, then, as I have just hinted, did not take God by surprise; but fore-viewing it, and designing in his own eternal mind and will to permit that the fall should take place, he chose a people in Christ, the Son of his love, that they might be saved by him with an everlasting salvation. And this, be it remarked, does not make God the author of sin; God forbid. The fall took place by divine permission, but not by divine agency. God decreed to allow it; but did not decree to execute it. In the same way as he decreed the death of Christ to take place, and decreed it should be by the cross, executing his own holy counsels by allowing men to execute their own wicked purposes; so he decreed the fall to take place, permitting Satan to tempt, and permitting man to be tempted. If any consider I am here going beyond, or speaking contrary to, the word of God, let them consider that Scripture which to my mind conclusively settles the whole question, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” (Acts 2:23.)
Two things are here distinctly stated by the Holy Spirit—God’s “counsel and foreknowledge,” and man’s “wickedness.” Christ was “delivered” by God’s “determinate” decree; and yet “the hands” that executed that decree were “wicked.” Yet God’s “counsel and foreknowledge” did not make their hands “wicked;” nor did their “wicked hands” mar God’s “counsel and foreknowledge.”
2. But Jehovah the SON is also, in a more special way, the salvation of his people. And when, with believing eyes, we can view God the Son as the eternal salvation of all whom the Father gave unto him—when we can see him, by the eye of faith, coming down into this lower world, taking our nature into union with his own divine Person; when, by faith, we can accompany the Man of Sorrows into the gloomy garden of Gethsemane, or behold him groaning, bleeding, and dying on the cross, an object of ignominy and shame, and believe that in this way, and this alone, salvation could be wrought out, O, what a view it gives us of the demerit and awful nature of sin, that nothing short of the incarnation of God’s only begotten Son, nothing short of such a tremendous sacrifice could put away sin, and bring the elect back unto God!
On the one hand, as we take a glance at the suffering and dying Lamb of God, how it shows us the awful and abominable nature of sin; and, on the other hand, when we can see by the eye of faith what that work is, by whom that work was wrought out, and how glorious and efficacious that work must be which the Son of God, equal with the Father in glory and majesty, undertook and went through to the uttermost—how it exalts salvation in our eyes! Thus a believing sight of the Lord Jesus hanging upon Calvary’s tree, not only on the one hand shows us the awful nature of sin, but on the other, how full, how complete, how glorious, and how effectual must that salvation be of which the expiring Son of God could say, “It is finished!”
3. But again, God the SPIRIT, also, has a part, a glorious and blessed part, in this great work of salvation. It is he, and he alone, who makes us feel our guilty, lost, and undone condition. It is he, and he alone, who wounds and pierces our heart with conviction, who opens up the depths of the fall, brings to light the evils of our nature, and makes us sigh and lament beneath the load of guilt upon the conscience; and gives us not only to feel the burden of sin, but puts into our hearts a groan and a cry after God’s salvation to be made manifest to our heart. It is he, and he alone, who unfolds to our eyes who the Lord is, who reveals Christ in the heart, who sprinkles his blood upon the conscience, who manifests his justifying righteousness, who gives us eyes to see his glorious Person, and shed abroad his dying love in the soul.
So that God the Father, in his eternal choice; God the Son, in what he did and suffered according to his covenant engagements here below—and God the Spirit, in his work of grace upon the heart—all these Three Persons of the Three-One Jehovah, are equally engaged in this great, glorious, blessed, and effectual salvation.
II. The cry that is breathed out of the soul, imploring the Lord to show them that he is their salvation. But we pass on to consider the experimental portion of our text. This is the point upon which I love chiefly to dwell. This seems to be the line of things that I am able to handle with most life and feeling in my soul. Not that I do not love the doctrines of grace; not that they are not sweet and precious to my heart; not that they are not the foundation of my hope; not that they are not as important, and should be preached as well as the experience that is based upon them; but the Lord seems to have given me (if he has entrusted me with any line at all) to enter into and describe the various things of experience that are connected with, and spring out of the work of grace upon the soul, rather than set forth and open up doctrinal truth. I come now, therefore, to the part in which I feel myself most at home—the experimental dealings and teachings of the Spirit in the soul, in leading us to sigh and cry after an experimental knowledge of this salvation, and making it known to our hearts.
A. “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.” Who are the people that can feelingly and believingly utter this cry? Not those who are seeking to establish their own righteousness; not those who are contented with a graceless profession; not those whom the doctrines of grace in the letter can satisfy. But God’s own exercised family, whose conscience the blessed Spirit has ploughed up with the keen shear of conviction; and whom he has brought to feel and know that nothing short of God’s manifested salvation will bring one moment’s pace or comfort into their drooping hearts. The very words, then, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation,” imply that the people who use them are inwardly exercised about their lost and ruined state; who feel deeply, daily feel, that they are ruined wretches; who know, painfully know, that in their flesh dwells no good thing.
Being, therefore, convinced of sin, pierced with conviction, and exercised with eternal things laid as a weight upon their conscience, they are brought to this point as a solemn reality fixed and fastened within—as a weighty matter which will work sometimes day and night in their bosom—as an eternal, unalterable truth, by which they must live or die, stand or fall, that nothing can bring peace into their souls except God himself revealing this salvation to them by speaking it unto them by his own lips, and coming into their hearts by his presence, power, light, life, liberty, and love, as their God and Savior.
1. Now, if this be the case, it cuts off effectually all ‘salvation by works’. Salvation by works is, what we all at first ignorantly seek after; and it needs a special work of God upon our souls to crush this self-righteousness of which our hearts are full; this “going about” with the Jews of old, “to establish our own righteousness,” and looking to be saved by the works of the law. To expect, or endeavor to be saved by our own works is in fact, saying, ‘I am my own salvation; I need not Christ; I myself am amply sufficient for myself; my own arm shall save me.’ Before, then, we can cry unto God, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation,” we must be killed to a covenant of works; we must be effectually slaughtered as to deriving any hope from any goodness or worth of our own.
2. Again. We must be convinced that all our righteousness, inward as well as outward, are as filthy rags; not only must our external works be cut off in the matter of salvation, but anything inward whereby we seek to establish a righteousness acceptable in the sight of heaven. All schemes, therefore, of fleshly holiness; of purifying our hearts by legal endeavors and motives; of becoming perfect in the flesh, and rooting out the very being of sin—all this inward leaven in which the religion of thousands consists, must be put away out of our houses. (Exod 12:15.) And not only so, but all hopes grounded upon reformation of life, of doing something to gain God’s favor, and bringing forth something whereby we may please the Almighty; all mere reliance upon doctrines in the head without a feeling power of God’s salvation in the soul; all rest upon the opinion of man, all hoping from the esteem of the creature—in a word, all looking for salvation from any other quarter than the Lord himself, must be entirely and effectually cut off.
Now, who shall fully declare, who shall aptly and adequately describe the various trials and exercises that are carried on in the court of conscience before the soul is effectually cut off from all hope of salvation except in the manifestation of that salvation from the mouth of God himself? How much lurking self-righteousness has to be hunted out of its secret corners! how much fleshly holiness has to be put to the rout! how much self-dependence, self-conceit, self-esteem, in all their various shapes and forms! How all these ash-heap gods need to be dragged from their homes, and slaughtered, as Elijah slew the priests of Baal at the brook Kishon! Yes; all these delusive hopes and deceitful expectations need to be slaughtered, and their very lifeblood let out, before we are brought in real soul feeling to be convinced of this one point—that nothing but the manifestation of God’s salvation from God’s own lips, can bring pardon, peace, comfort, and joy, into our hearts.
3. But besides this, we need to have our eyes illuminated by the Holy Spirit; as the Apostle says, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened.” We need to have the eyes of our understanding enlightened from above, to see where and in whom salvation is. We may long for it, and be groping after it; but, through the lack of a divinely enlightened understanding, we may all the time “grope for the wall like the blind, and grope as if we had no eyes.” We may be long stumbling upon the dark mountains, and wander here and there in desolate places, not knowing where salvation is, nor whence it comes. We need, therefore, that the blessed Spirit should enlighten our eyes by showing us where salvation is, and who is the salvation of God’s people—that salvation is in the Lord Jesus Christ, through his atoning blood and glorious righteousness; that salvation was wrought out by the Son of God in our nature; and that the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit alone, can apply that salvation and make it experimentally known, felt, and enjoyed in our heart.
4. Again. We need that the blessed Spirit, who makes us know and feel our wretched condition, who opens our blind eyes to see where salvation is, in whom it centers, and from whom it comes—we need that the same blessed Spirit would also raise up in our souls an earnest longing after this salvation to be made manifest in our consciences; not only to bring us poor and needy to the footstool of mercy, and lay us in ruins, in our feelings at the foot of the cross, but to raise up in us those earnest desires, those ardent longings, those unceasing cries, those heavenly pantings, which so plainly and undeniably bespeak the work of grace commenced in the soul.
5. Again. We need that the blessed Spirit would not only plant in our breast, in the first instance, these earnest pantings and longings after God’s salvation; but that he would also keep up the cry which he himself had planted there, would carry on his own work in the soul, would fill our mouth with arguments and our heart with desires, and draw forth from time to time the longings and pantings which he himself has planted.
6. Again. We need the same blessed Spirit, who is all in all as the Teacher of the church of God, to bring this salvation near, to apply it to our hearts, reveal it in our conscience, and seal it with a heavenly testimony, and soft, melting, overpowering influence within, so as to give us to enjoy that sweet peace which passes all understanding by shedding abroad the love of God in our souls.
Thus, we need the God of our salvation to be all in all to us, and all in all in us. We cannot dispense with one Person in the sacred Trinity, nor can we dispense with the work of each sacred Person. We need the Father, and to know the Father, as having chosen us in Christ before all worlds. We need the Son, and to know the Son, as having loved us and given himself for us. And we need the Spirit, and to know the work of the blessed Spirit, that only the Divine Teacher, to bring salvation home, and seal it with his own heavenly witness upon our soul.
B. But when the Psalmist breathed forth the cry, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation,” it surely implied there were things from which he desired to be saved. For instance,
1. When a man is exercised as to his eternal state, the grand desire of his soul is to be saved from “the wrath to come.” He feels, he knows, that unless the Lord Jesus died for him, and unless the blessed Spirit is pleased to make the blood of Christ known in his conscience, hell will swallow him up. Being exercised, then, as to his eternal state, and fearing lest hell should be his eternal portion, his longing desire is to have salvation made so manifest in his heart, and brought with such divine power into his soul, that the flames of hell may be extinguished for him, and he may be brought, as it were, from the very gates of hell into the enjoyment of heaven below. In this state, therefore, when deeply exercised, he will cry and sigh and beg of the Lord to say unto him, “I am your salvation.”
2. But again. He may be, as many are, exercised, deeply exercised, with doubts and fears as to his standing before God. He cannot altogether abandon the hope that God has begun the work of grace upon his soul, or that he has done something for him. There have been times and seasons when the things of God were very precious to his heart; but doubts and fears may arise, and do arise, from time to time, in his soul, whether he is altogether right in the sight of God; whether there may not be something altogether wrong at the bottom—something peculiar, whereby he is deceiving himself. And the blessed Spirit having made his heart honest, planted the fear of God there, given him godly sincerity, and shown him the danger, the fearful danger of being deceived—he comes before the Lord in all the simplicity of a little child, and says, ‘”Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.” Nothing, Lord, can save me but a word from your lips. If you will but be pleased to say unto me, “I am your salvation”—I have saved you from the wrath to come—I have set my love upon you—Lord, it will be enough; but nothing short of this will bring into my soul that peace and consolation which I want to experience there.’
3. Again. The Lord’s people are, from time to time deeply exercised with the power of sin. They not only feel the guilt of sin by the blessed Spirit laying sin upon their conscience, but they are also from time to time deeply exercised with its power. They find such ungodly lusts, they feel such horrid evils; the corruptions of their hearts are laid so naked and bare, and they find in themselves such a reckless propensity to all wickedness; they feel sin so strong, and themselves so weak—that nothing short of God’s salvation made manifest in their conscience, they are well assured, can save them from the power of sin. O how many of the Lord’s people are tempted with sin morning, noon, and night! How many evils, horrid evils, are opening, as it were, their jaws, in their carnal mind, to swallow them up outright! Wherever they go, wherever they turn, snares, traps, baits seem lying on every side, strewed thickly in their path. They feel too so helpless, and so inwardly sensible, that nothing but the almighty power of God can hold them as they walk in this dangerous path—a path strewed with snares on every hand, that they are made to cry to the Lord, “Hold me up.” “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation;” for nothing short of God’s salvation, in its freeness, in its fullness, in its divine manifestation, and in its sin-subduing, lust-killing influence, can save them from the power of sin.
4. Again. The Lord’s people are a tempted people. Satan is ever waiting at their gate, constantly suggesting every hateful and improper thought, perpetually inflaming the rebellion and enmity of their carnal mind, and continually plaguing, harassing, and besieging them in a thousand ways. Can they repel him? Can they beat back this monster to his filthy den? Can they say to him, ‘Thus far shall you come, but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed?’ Can they beat back this leviathan, who “esteems iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood?” They cannot, they feel they cannot. They know that nothing but the voice of Jesus, who “through death destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil,” inwardly speaking with power to their souls, can beat back the lion of the bottomless pit. When, then, they are thus severely tempted by Satan, how they long to hear the Lord say, “I am your salvation!” One whisper, one soft word from the lips of his gracious Majesty, can and will put every temptation to flight.
5. But again. Many of the Lord’s people are deeply exercised with the fear of death. When their evidences are beclouded; when darkness broods over their mind; when the Tempter is present, and the Comforter absent, they sink down sometimes almost into feelings of despair. These know and feel that none can disarm the monster of his sting, none speak peace to their souls in the gloomy hour, take them through the dark valley, and land them safe on the happy shore, but the Lord who has passed through it before them. They need him, therefore, to whisper in their souls, “I am your salvation;” and then, like aged Simeon, they will be able to say, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word, for my eyes has seen your salvation.”
C. Continual salvation. But the salvation that God’s people need is a daily salvation, and sometimes an hourly salvation. And herein the Lord’s exercised family are distinguished from all others. They cannot be satisfied with looking back through a long vista of years upon something which, in times past, they hoped was a visit from the Lord, and rest secure upon that; as though having their title-deeds safe in a chest at home, no present manifestations of the Lord’s mercy and love to their souls were now needed. How many do we see in this wretched state! They can speak of something they experienced some ten or twenty years ago; but what has been their intervening experience? What exercises, trials, temptations, inward tribulations have been since felt? What battles have they been engaged in? what victories gained? what conquests achieved? What sweet deliverances? What powerful application of God’s word to their soul? What bright testimonies from the Lord of life and glory? Their religion is like a stagnant pool—and the green weeds of carnality and sin have, for the most part, overspread that stagnant pool of a lifeless profession.
But the Lord will not leave his dear people here. To keep water sweet, it must be perpetually running; and to keep the life of God up in the soul, there must be continual exercises. This is the reason why the Lord’s people have so many conflicts, trials, painful exercises, sharp sorrows, and deep temptations—to keep them alive unto God; to bring them out of, and to keep them out of that slothful, sluggish, wretched state of carnal security and dead assurance in which so many seem to have fallen asleep—fallen asleep like the sailor upon the top of the mast, not knowing what a fearful sea is boiling up below.
The Lord, therefore, “tries the righteous.” He will not allow his people to be at ease in Zion; to be settled on their lees, and get into a wretched Moabitish state. He, therefore, sends afflictions upon them, tribulations, and trials, and allows Satan to tempt and harass them. And under these feelings the blessed Spirit, from time to time, raises up in them this sigh and cry, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation. None but yourself, Lord, can save me; nothing short of your voice can whisper peace to my conscience; nothing short of your blood can speak away guilt from lying as a heavy burden upon my heart; nothing short of your love shed abroad by the Holy Spirit can make my soul happy in yourself.”
Thus the Lord’s people are kept alive in their souls by their various exercises, trials, and afflictions. They are thus kept from falling into that carnal ease, that wretched security, in which the church seems for the most part to have fallen asleep, the Lord taking care still to leave in the midst of professing Zion “a poor and afflicted people,” who shall call upon his name. Thus day after day, as it brings its trials, will also bring, as the blessed Spirit raises it up, this sigh and cry, and desire of the heart—”Say unto my soul, I am your salvation. Speak it not to my judgment, speak it not to my memory, speak it not to my understanding, but speak it into my soul—my poor, tried, tempted soul; my exercised and cast-down soul; my hungering, panting, longing, crying, and groaning soul; my dejected, depressed, and burdened soul.” There the malady lies, there the trials are felt, there distress is experienced, there the battlefield of conflict is; and therefore nothing short of the voice of God himself speaking there, can communicate that peace which our hearts, from time to time, are in quest of.
If we could be satisfied with seeing salvation in the word, or with a well-informed judgment in the things of God, there would be no cry in our hearts, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.” If we could rest upon the good opinions of men, or upon ordinances, church membership, coming to chapel, family prayer, and a thousand other things, we would not be crying, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.” But when all these things are felt, painfully felt, to be “a bed too short, a covering too narrow” (Isa. 28:20); and when the wrath of God pierces through these veneers, coverings, veils, and hoods, and comes into the sinner’s conscience; when thus all things are open and naked before the eye of him with whom he has to do, and he lies a guilty, needy, naked sinner before the footstool of mercy—nothing short of God himself coming into the soul with divine power, and manifesting blood, righteousness, and love, can raise up that solid consolation, that true peace, that “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” which the soul longs after.
What reason, then, have we to thank God for sending us trials, exercising our souls, laying affliction upon our bodies, allowing Satan to tempt, distress, and harass our minds, that we may not be at ease in Zion and settled upon our lees! And what a mercy it is for the Lord, from time to time, to be raising up in our hearts dissatisfaction with everything short of himself—dissatisfaction with everything connected with the things of time and sense, with everything that springs from the creature, with sin in all it shapes and forms—dissatisfaction with everything that does not come from the mouth of God himself into our soul! And what a mercy it is to be blessed, from time to time, with some sweet and soft word from the God of salvation; and to hear his “still small voice” speaking to the soul, and saying, “Fear not, I am your salvation. I have saved you with an everlasting salvation. I have laid down my precious life for you. Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!”
What a mercy to have such inward testimonies that the Lord himself is our salvation! that God the Father chose us in Christ before all worlds, that God the Son laid down his precious life for us, and that God the blessed Spirit has begun and is carrying on that saving work of grace upon our souls which will end in our salvation and in God’s own eternal glory!
There may be, and doubtless are, those here who are amply satisfied with something short of this. But if so, O what is your standing? What evidence is there that God is dealing with your souls, that the blessed Spirit is at work upon your consciences? If you can be satisfied with anything short of God himself as your salvation coming into your soul—fatal mark, fatal mark! If you can be satisfied with a name to live—wretched state, wretched state! If you can be satisfied with the doctrine of salvation, without knowing the sweet manifestation of it to your own soul—state equally wretched!
Or are you resting in doubts and fears, in corruption, in the workings of your evil nature, in those temptations which the children of God are daily subject to? Both extremes are alike dangerous. To rest in corruptions and the evils of our nature felt and known, and to rest in dry doctrines and dead assurance, are extremes equally removed from the strait and narrow path. But hereby the strait and narrow path is known, as God has revealed it—to be either, from the bottom of our heart, sighing, crying, and longing that God would manifest his precious salvation; or to be walking, from time to time, in the light of it, enjoying its sweetness, and having the blessed Spirit communicating the power of salvation to our souls, and making it near, dear, and precious to our hearts.
But O, what encouragement the word of God affords to every poor, dejected, cast-down sinner, who is crying, from the bottom of his heart, “Say unto my soul, I am your salvation.” This cry was raised up in the soul of David, by the Holy Spirit; and the same blessed Spirit is raising up that cry in your heart. Will he who has raised up that cry, who is from time to time drawing forth that cry, and who has made you feel how blessed and suitable that salvation is—will he, can he, leave his own work unaccomplished? To have raised up the desire, and not to grant that desire? when the Lord says, “the desire of the righteous shall be granted;” to have drawn forth the cry, and not to hear that cry? when God promises to hear and answer prayer; to give a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, which the Lord has pronounced blessed? and then to say, “Depart, you cursed”—it would be high treason against the Majesty of heaven to believe that the Lord the Spirit, who began the work, would not carry it on. It would be a flat denial of the truth of God from first to last, to believe that God’s poor, needy, trusting family, can be put to shame. “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” “Blessed are all those who wait upon the Lord.” Those who hope in his mercy shall find, to their soul’s joy, that their hope shall not be disappointed, nor themselves put to shame!