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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 ! cannot slip out of it, and you cannot break 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. 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. - 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 more
(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.
“ AND THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE PEACE ; AND THE
EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER.
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 prophetically described as the “King that shall reign in righteousness,"
and that He shall have princes who shall rule in judgment.
That 66 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 rose 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
yoti 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,
shall dwell in a peaceful habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." This is a full promise.
Allow me to speak to you in the First place of “righteousness. What about this righteousness? Is it the righteousness of a creature ? The Apostle says-quoting the words of the Psalmist—" There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans iii. 10). If then there be “ none righteous, no, not one,” I rather think that out of unrighteousness you cannot get righteousness. Job puts it thus : :-“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one” (Job xiv. 4). Well then, you see if we were to speak of our righteousness, we should have to say with the prophet of old : “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Filthy rags! Filthy Rags !! And this is that which the creature is inclined to boast of at times. I scarcely ever heard of persons boasting of their filthy clothing which they wear to cover their bodies. Now, your own goodness, or what you suppose is your own righteousness, is as filthy rags, or worse, in God's sight_filthy! unclean ! unclean !!
Well now, let us see if we cannot find some other righteousness which is worthy of our attention.
I think we can. I shall speak to you of righteousness as it presents itself to us in three aspects, viz. :—Righteousness objectively for us before God, righteousness in us subjectively, and righteousness evidentially or reflectively. Righteousness! Who or what is this righteousness? We have the answer given in the 3rd chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, that the righteousness is the Lord Jesus Christ in all that He did in His life and in His death, and in all that He is before God. This righteousness is spoken of in the 5th chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans as the one Righteousness, and the one Justification, and the one Obedience. This righteousness is the end of the law. It is the Lord himself. There were some that went about in the Apostles' time to establish their own righteousness, for they were not willing to submit themselves to the righteousness of God; and then the Apostle says, that Christ is the end of the law for righteousn to everyone that believeth. Christ then is the righteousness, and I know of no other righteousness in which a person can appear acceptably before his God. Hence, He is described as the Lord our Righteousness. The Psalmist says that this is an everlasting righteousness. Now, I want just such a righteousness as this. A righteousness that will last for ever. This righteousness is spoken of as being like the great mountains (Psalm xxxvi. 6). “Thy righteousness O God is very high.” Of course it is, it reaches to the very heavens. And this is the Lord Jesus Christ who is our righteousness before God. And we shall never be able to appear in any other righteousness before Him in Heaven. I need not enlarge upon this aspect of righteousness. You see that the Lord is our objective righteousness.
Now there is what we call subjective righteousness. I shall put it thus. There is the righteousness which God puts into a man, and which man could never put into himself. You see this is very plain and very simple. The Holy Ghost implants and unfolds this righteousness within. Who or what is this righteousness which the Holy Ghost