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thing. This is the bandage, this is the roller of fine linen. Christ's righteousness, with which the Good Physician binds up the broken limbs of His people.
Another bandage is this :--The bandage of sympathy and compassion. You have what I mean in the Book of the prophet Hosea, the 11th chapter, and the 4th verse—“I have drawn them with cords of a man, with bands of love." With the sympathy and compassion of a man. Now what man is this that sympathises so much with those who are broken in heart? You can turn and read about this man in the 17th chapter of the Book of Proverbs, and the 17th verse. " A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born from adversity.” A brother born for the day of trouble, for the day of wounds, for the day of broken limbs. The Brother is Christ Jesus. He is the “Friend that loveth at all times, and the Brother that is born for adversity.” He is then our loving elder Brother. He is the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He sticks to His own at all times. They cannot be tempted and tried with any temptation with which He Himself has not been tempted and tried. Hence “ we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin ” (Hebrews iv. 15). He binds up the broken in heart with the bandage of sympathy and compassion, saying, I am your Brother ; you are mine. I know your wounds and your sorrows and your pains, but I will pour into them the oil of gladness, and the wine of refreshment, and I will give you bread to strengthen your heart. Your Elder Brother sympathises with you
and will be kind unto you, and will heal you. You shall always have my bandage of sympathy and compassion.
Another bandage is the bandage of comfort and consolation; comfort and consolation in Christ. Look how this bandage is described in the 40th chapter of Isaiah :—“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished ; tell her that her iniquity is pardoned.” Yes : “Tell her that the Lord has pardoned all her iniquities.” What comfort and consolation is this ! It comes as good news to the broken in heart to hear the Lord saying—"Look here, poor sinner; I have borne thy griefs, I have carried thy sorrows, I was wounded for thy transgressions, I was bruised for thy iniquities, the chastisement of thy peace was upon Me, by My stripes thou art healed” (Isaiah liii). Thus the Lord comforts and consoles His children. His ministers are ministers of comfort and consolation. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Cor. i. 3, 4.) The comforting and consoling promises which run through the whole of God's word are very precious to believers in all their sorrows, their conflicts, and their woes.
There is another bandage. The bandage of hope and encouragement. God has opened in the valley of Achor a door of hope (Hosea ii. 15). This door is Christ, you may rely upon it. He is the only door of hope,
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opened for the broken in heart. He is the foundation of their hope, the object of their hope, the grace of their hope, and their only hope of entrance into heaven. What a glorious hope this is for the child of God. He shall not die, but live for ever. What a bandage this is ! And you cannot slip out of it, and you cannot eak it. With the bandage of hope goes the bandage of encouragement. He encourages His children. Whilst He shows them the door of hope in the days of their trouble, affliction, and sorrow, He encourages them in their journey. The way may appear rough and long, but the Lord has power to keep them, wisdom to guide them, and grace in abundance to strengthen them. therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews iv. 16). God grant that this may be our lot. These bandages of hope and encouragement are accompanied with gracious promises. They shall go from strength to strength until everyone of them appeareth in Sion before God (Psalm lxxxiv. 7). There shall no child of God be left behind ; no broken-hearted sinner shall be left in the wilderness to perish. They shall all pass safely over the river into the heavenly Canaan.
Another bandage which I shall mention, is the bandage of assurance. This bandage of assurance has respect both to the past and to the future. As regards the past, turn to the 10th chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, and read these sweet words which are words of assurance. 6. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord : I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts : and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people : and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord': for all shall know me from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their, unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no
(Hebrews viii. 10–12). What a bandage is this. The Lord says, “I assure thee that I will remember thy sins and thy iniquities no
I will blot them all out. I will cast them into the depths of the
“ As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed thy transgressions from thee" (Psalm ciii. 12). Now this is the bandage of
” ( assurance as regards the past. Let us look at the bandage of assurance as regards the future. Read the 1st chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. Speaking of believers, he says, “In whom also ye trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation ; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” That is, in other words, they were made to feel sure of their salvation. The sealing assurance of the Holy Spirit is “the earnest of the inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Here then you have the bandage of assurance as to the future. O God, Thou dost bind up the wounds of thy people with the bandages of love and the fine linen of thy Christ; with the bandages of sympathy and compassion ; with the bandages of comfort and consolation ; with the bandages of hope and encourgement, and with the bandage of Thy Holy Spirit's assurance ! These bandages are applied by the All Wise Physician, so gently, and so lovingly, that they neither
hurt nor injure the patient. Gracious God, “ Make Thy children to hear joy and gladness ; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.” O fill our hearts with the spirit of praise and thanksgiving, and then there shall be a Hallelujah chorus to Jehovah! Hallelujah to the Father ! Hallelujah to the Son! Hallelujah to the Holy Ghost ! Praise ye the Lord ! !
AT ST. GEORGE THE MARTYR'S, SOUTHWARK, LONDON,
WEDNESDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 1st, 1876.
The 32nd Chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, and the 17th
and 18th verses.
THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE PEACE ; AND EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER. AND MY PEOPLE SHALL DWELL IN A PEACEABLE HABITATION, AND IN SURE DWELLINGS, AND IN QUIET RESTING PLACES.”
The chapter whence my text is taken contains a prophecy concerning the Messiah's Kingdom, —or concerning the precious things of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I think there can scarcely be a doubt upon this point, for if we look at the very commencement of the chapter, we see that the Lord Jesus Christ is prophctically described as the “King that shall reign in righteousness,"
and that He shall have princes who shall rule in judgment. That" man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly." In the next three verses you have a description of the “churl," and of the vile persons. But in the 8th verse there is a very beautiful account of the child of God, thus :“ The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.” The liberal soul I look upon as the gracious soul. He devises and speaks gracious things, and by liberal or gracious things he shall stand. Out of the bounty and fulness of God shall his every need and want be supplied. “By liberal things shall he stand.” Then from the 9th verse to the end of the 15th, you have a prophetic description of the sad desolation that shall attend those who know not the Lord. But in the 15th verse we seem to get a gracious view of spiritual things. “ Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness ramain in the fruitful field.” The Spirit shall be poured out. You will at once see the day of Pentecost in this. The Spirit of God must descend, for nothing can be done in Gospel things without the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is poured out from on high, and the effect is this, that the wilderness becomes a fruitful field. The solitary places of the Gentiles are made to rejoice and blossom as the l'ose when the Spirit of God accompanies in power the preached Gospel. The fruitful field, the Church of God among the Jews, shall be counted for a forest. Trees of righteousness, strong, healthy, and flourishing. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness. Another portion of Isaiah agrees well with this. If you look into the 42nd chapter, you will find that "judgment shall He set in the earth,”
" " and the isles shall wait for His law,"—the Gospel. Judgment and righteousness, as summed up in the person of the Lord Jesus, shall dwell in the midst of the Church of God, whether they be Gentiles or Jews, for these make but one family in Christ. When I speak of the Jewish Church and the Gentile Church, I do not mean that there are two churches, it is simply by way of accommodation. For Christ has but one church, made up of Jews and Gentiles saved. These are spiritually and eternally one in Christ. Now, turning to the text- “ And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places ; when it shall hail,”—this is judgment,
coming down upon the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.” And now I wish to call your attention to the words of the text. And first I shall speak of righteousness ; secondly, of the effect or effects of righteousness, "peace, quietness, and assurance for ever;" and thirdly, ,
, I shall speak of the promise in the 18th verse-" And they, My people,