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your own sinful nature, and look upon him rather as an object of sympathy, and compassion, and pity. He is naturally no worse than yourselves.
What are we to understand by “ The broken in heart.” It is of a broken heart that the text speaks. It is a grand thing to have a broken heart after all. Persons die of a broken heart, and especially of such a broken heart as this. They die unto sin, they die unto the law, and unto themselves. You may rely upon it that this broken heart brings death with it. Now what is the meaning of this word broken? What does it mean in the Scriptures ? It means disabled. You will find this to be so if you turn to the 30th chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, and the 21st verse :
“Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong.” So again—“I will break his arms.” And in the 24th verse—“I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand : but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man. But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down ; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” Thus it was that the Lord disabled Pharaoh, He broke his arms. It is the same idea in our text: “ broken in heart.” Disabled ! what can a man do when he has got a broken heart? Can he mend it ?
A man with broken legs cannot walk; a man with broken arms is disabled. Now, this is just what I understand by a broken heart. God has disabled the man from going on in his own wicked ways. Now this broken heart is in the sight of God of great price. You may rely upon this. What does David say in the 51st Psalm, and the 17th verse ? “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." Why should God despise a broken and contrite heart ? It is the work of His own Hands. You cannot break your own hearts. But you will perceive here that the broken heart and the contrite spirit are excellent sacrifices in the sight of God. Brethren, have you been thus disabled ? Have your legs been broken so that you cannot walk in your old paths of sin and wickedness ? Have your arms been disabled, so that you cannot now lend your hand to work that which is evil ? After all, this is the practical and experimental part of religion,—breaking a man's heart, bringing it down, and laying it low. Such a heart as this is an excellent heart. soft and tender heart. It is a very precious heart. Why! the Spirit of God dwells in it. He dwells in the high and lofty place, inhabiting eternity ; but he also dwells with the humble, lowly, and contrite spirit. This is the dwelling place of the Lord God Almighty. The Lord dwells in broken hearts that He may revive the spirit of the humble, and revive the heart of the contrite ones. The broken heart is the dwelling place of Jehovah, and wherever He abides, He blesses and sanctifies. The broken heart is peculiar, and is the property only of those who are born of God.
Again, who is the breaker ? Well, the Breaker has gone up, and broken into the heart. Jehovah has broken into the heart. He has
It is a
dashed it to pieces like a potter's vessel. God alone breaks the heart. “I will make them a sore heart : this is what I will do, I will break the rock in pieces, I will wound, I will kill, --saith the Lord of Hosts." This He does when He breaks into our hearts.
I shall now point out to you the means which the Lord employs in breaking the heart. I think that they are twofold, the Word, and the Spirit. When I speak of the Word I mean the Gospel. And when I speak of the Gospel, you must bear in mind that it may be proclaimed in the letter of it from year's end to year's end, and if no power accompany it but the minister's voice, there will be no abiding effect produced. But when the word preached is accompanied by the Spirit of God, it then becomes a hammer which breaks in pieces the rock. O Lord, rend the heavens and come down, and break the rocks in pieces. On the day of Pentecost, when Peter preached, the Spirit of God accompanied the word spoken, and men were pricked in their heart. God broke into their hearts and pierced them, and then they wanted to know what they were to do to be saved. Yes, it is the broken in heart who want to know how they are to be saved, for they have learned that they cannot save themselves. When Paul went and preached Christ and Him crucified to the Corinthians, his word came in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. In other words, the Holy Ghost accompanied the word preached, and hearts were pricked, and souls were saved. Paul himself experienced this when he was on his way to Damascus, and heard the voice, saying—"Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” This word broke Paul's legs as well as his heart, for he could not go then to Damascus to persecute the Church of God. He must do as the Lord pleased. The Lord also blinded his eyes for him. The Lord handled poor Paul rather roughly. He does so with some of His children, for He well knows that they need it. The word preached in prison to the Philippian jailer broke his heart for him, so that he
66 What must I do to be saved ?" How was this? Because the word had come in the power of the Spirit, so that he felt his need of a Saviour. This is just the case now when the word is preached and comes in demonstration of the Spirit and in power. Men's hearts, legs, and arms are broken, and they are led to cry out for a Saviour. They feel their blindness, and their need of that spiritual eye salve which alone can give sight to the blind and healing to the sick.
Again these broken-hearted persons have their “wounds” and “griefs.” What are these wounds and griefs ? We can easily imagine that when persons have broken hearts that they have many wounds, and many griefs, troubles, and afflictions. But these wounds are received in the house of our friends. They are received in the Church of God, and they are inflicted by Him who is the friend of sinners. The word for wounds means sorrow of heart”—and " by sorrow of the heart the Spirit is broken ” (Prov. xv. 13). “ This is godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation not to be repented of” (II Cor. vii. 10). Why these wounds and these griefs ? Is it not because sin is exposed as a loathsome thing ? Read the 55th Psalm, and the 4th and 5th verses :
My heart is sore pained within me : and the terrors of death are fallen
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.” The Psalmist felt that he had wounds. He felt himself to be like Israel as described in Isaiah i. 5, 6. 6. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores : they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” God had sent His arrows into their souls. He had broken them in pieces. And now they felt that they wanted some one to bind up their wounds, and to pour some healing medicine into them. David dwells at considerable length upon this subject in the 38th Psalm,—“O Lord, rebuke me not in Thy wrath : neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure. For Thine arrows stick fast in me.' God can send an arrow into the heart when He pleases—the arrow of the law,—the arrow of conviction,—the arrow of condemnation. When no human agency can enter the Lord can. He can send one of His swift arrows into the soul. “ Thy hand presseth me sore.” These are wounds. “ There is no soundness in his flesh, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores. When God shews the sinner his sins and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, then the sinner begins to understand David when he said—“There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head : as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me;" and a good thing too. He felt that he could not carry the burden of his sins. This was a good sign. Some one else must carry them. Well, Jesus is the burden-bearer. Now, if you have felt that your sins are too heavy a burden for you to carry, this is a good sign that God has a message of mercy, and will speak peace to your souls. David said, “My wounds stink.” The word for wounds here is the same as the one used in the 53rd of Isaiah for “stripes”. “And with His stripes we are healed.” Our wounds are healed with the wounds of Christ. Well, “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of
foolishness. I am troubled ; I am bowed down greatly ; I go mourning all the day long. For
loins are filled with a loathsome disease : and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken : I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my
heart. Lord all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from Thee.” This is the wounded sinner crying out because he is full of wounds. He wants healing ! Is there no balm in Gilead ? Is there no physician ? Lord heal my wounds.
. Lord, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness : according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions." "Wash me throughly
“ from mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”
“ Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed." “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved ; for Thou art my praise.”
I shall now proceed in the seoond place to consider, the Lord's kindness in dealing with these persons. The Lord healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Job felt his wounds and wanted a physician that understood his case. He speaks thus of his three friends
who made some pretentions to a knowledge of what was good for him : “ Ye are all forgers of lies ; ye are all physicians of no value” (Job
He was wounded and wanted the true physician, he wanted some one who understood the nature of his case. He wanted the right kind of medicine. Hence he says to his friends :-"Ye have advised me many times, but ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value." “ You are quacks. You give quack prescriptions, and deal in quack medicines, and indeed your whole system is a system of quackery which will not do for me.” There are many religious quack doctors at the present day. Job wanted a physician of real value. Now turn to the 15th chapter of the Book of Exodus, and you will read of one in the 26th verse :-“I am the Lord that healeth thee." The Lord is the best healer. He is the only physician of souls which have been wounded unto death. He alone can administer medicine to heal their sickness. They who are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Those who are full of wounds and bruises and putrifying sores, do not wish to be trifled with. If there be a good physician, he must be consulted, and if He can give medicine to heal their sickness, then most gladly will they take it.
Let us now look into this subject, and see if we have a Physician properly called and qualified. I think you will find that the Lord Jesus Christ is properly called and qualified. In the 5th chapter of Hebrews it is said of Aaron, with respect to the office of the high priest—“That no man taketh this honour unto himself but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made high priest, but He that said unto Him—Thou art My Son, to-day have begotten Thee."
Well then, you see that Christ is properly called to the office of Priest, so also is He to that of Physician. He is properly
, qualified also, so that He can prescribe proper medicines for the proper
I turn to the 4th chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, and the 18th verse, and I read :—“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor : He hath sent ME to heal the broken-hearted.” He comes forth from His Father with authority, and is no quack. His qualifications are of the highest order. “He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Jesus Christ has received His diploma. Our Physician is Jesus, the great Physician of souls. He knows the wounds of those who are sick of sin. He has all knowledge and all wisdom. His prescriptions and His medicines cannot fail. But what are the medicines which He prescribes for the sick and wounded ? His wounds, His stripes, and his sufferings are the healing balm. There is a fountain opened in Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. He has torn, and He heals ; He has smitten, and He binds
up. When this has taken place, then it is that the inhabitant says “I am not sick.” God sometimes wounds His children with the wound of an enemy, because of their sins and their iniquities. But then, He says, “I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds.” (Jer. xxx.) “I will bring health unto thee, and I will
cure thee, and thou shalt have an abundance of peace and truth.” He then explains how He will accomplish this :—“I will cleanse them from all their iniquity whereby they have sinned against Me; and I will pardon all their iniquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against Me” (Jer. xxxiii). Now, we shall understand the words of the prophet Isaiah (xxx. 26) :-“Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Jesus did meritoriously on Calvary bind up the breach, and heal the stroke of His people. Experimentally, He does it, when the blood is applied to the conscience by the power of the Holy Ghost. we have thus tasted that the Lord is gracious, our hearts will fill and overflow with gratitude and thankfulness. We shall understand the feelings of the Psalmist in the 103rd Psalm :
.“ Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” And what are these benefits ? “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; Who healeth all thy diseases,” or sicknesses. “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction ; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things ; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." This is a sinner, healed and saved, ascribing unto his God blessing, and thanksgiving, and praise.
Here, my brethren, I might enlarge, but I forbear for I wish to place this subject before you in another aspect. It is said in my text that “He binds up their wounds.".
He binds them up.
Well now, how do you take this expression ? Think for a moment. There is a word in the 30th chapter of Ezekiel, and the 21st verse, and I think the word is only used once in the Bible, it is roller :- “ There was no roller to bind up
the wounded, the broken arms of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.” This is a surgical term. I mean that this word roller is taken from the practice of surgeons in binding up the wounds and broken limbs of their patients
. It means a bandage. The word roller has the same meaning as bandage, and is for the same use. Well then, what are the rollers, or the bandages, with which the Great Physician binds up the wounds and broken bones of His children ? I will mention a few of them.
The first is this. The bandage of God's love. “ I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (Jer. xxxi. 3). Now, this bandage neither injures nor hurts the patient. “I have loved thee.” This bandage is most healing. “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely ” (Hosea xiv. 4). This bandage never needs changing, and it will never wear out. It is the Lord's bandage, with which He binds up the wounds of His people.
A second bandage is this :-A bandage of very fine linen, a roller of linen. Now, what is this bandage of very fine linen? I can tell you that you only know of one bandage of very fine linen which will do for broken bones, and that is Christ's righteousness, which is also the righteousness of the saints, in which they are bound up and are righteous, and in which God sees neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such