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the earth (Psalm lxv. 5). Hence these dwellings for the saints are dwellings that can be trusted. They will never be thrown down. You know that there are lots of houses built which are called dwellings, but a brisk wind will blow them over. There are those who are making dwelling places for themselves by their doings; but then such dwelling places cannot be trusted. You cannot put any confidence in them, they are not sure. But the dwellings of our God, of the Trinity in unity, are not built of rubbish, but they are Divine and eternal. They are the sure dwellings for the saints. I want to know who or what wind can blow down these dwellings? Well, then, “Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations,” before the world began, and now as much as then, and for ever shall be. These dwelling places are sure dwellings, dwellings which can be trusted, and consequently they are to the child of God, dwellings of safety. Blessed are they who realize these things. The name of the Lord is a strong dwelling place, the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Let us turn to the text again—" And in quiet resting places." Quiet resting places! Well, this is just what I want, a quiet resting place. I suppose that Elijah wanted a quiet resting place when he fled from Jezebel. You can read about him in the 19th chapter of the 1st Book of Kings. And he took a day's journey into the wilderness, and he sat down under a juniper tree, and feeling weary and worn out he wished to die. And as he lay and slept under the juniper tree in the wilderness, the poor man had nothing to eat and nothing to drink. But God never fails to fulfil His promise that his childrens' bread and water shall be sure (Isaiah xxxiii. 16). And so the Lord sends His angel to Elijah, and he touched him and said unto him, “Arise and eat.
And Elijah saw a cake baken on the coals and a cruse of water at His head. Then he ate and drank and laid down again. The angel comes to him a second time and touches him, and says, “ Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for thee.” And he arose, ate and drank, and then went in the strength of that food and that drink forty days and forty nights unto Horeb, the mount of God. You see that Elijah got under the juniper tree. He wanted a rest—a quiet resting place. It turned out to be only a temporary resting place. How this brings before us our wilderness experience, our pilgrimage. We often seek for a juniper tree in the wilderness, but there is no really quiet resting place short of the mount of God. Jonah got a resting place for a short time when he went out of Nineveh and pitched his tent, or booth, as it was called. And then the Lord raised up a gourd for him, " that it might be a shadow over his head to deliver him from his grief,” to protect him from sunstroke. Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. Now he thought he had got a quiet resting place; but, alas ! “God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.” Othat vile worm and the vehement east wind. The sun beat upon his head, he fainted and wished to die. “It is better for me to die than to live." Jonah was angry for the gourd. He soon found out that the gourd was not his resting place. It was very temporary. This wilderness affords
only temporary resting places. The Lord said to His disciples, when they had been working very hard, “let us go into the wilderness and rest awhile.” And they went away privately and rested awhile. All wilderness resting places are temporary; but we have abiding resting places in the Covenant Three. The saints have something better in God than a temporary resting place. I shall now try to shew you a few quiet resting places, or as they appear to me to be quiet resting places.
The first is that spoken of by David, in the 23rd chapter of the 2nd book of Samuel, and the 3rd verse—“He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.” Well this was David's quiet resting place. “For," he says, “this is all my salvation, and all my desire.” Things were not going so very well with him at the time, so far as this world was concerned; but the covenant ordered in all things and sure, was a quiet resting place for him. He knew that this covenant rested upon the immutable pillars of God's promise and oath, and hence he had strong consolation. The everlasting covenant of grace is a quiet resting place for the child of God. How beautifully this resting place is described in the 3rd chapter of the Song of Solomon. King Solomon made himself a chariot (in the margin it is “ a bed.”) And this bed was made of the wood of Lebanon. “He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple." But there was something better than all these. In the midst it was paved, or lined, with love. It was a bed of love. Was not this better than the purple, the silver, and the gold! It was "paved," or lined “with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem," for believers, for the children of God to lie on, and sleep, and rest. This is a quiet resting place. Who can touch this bed ? It is King Solomon's. It is the King of Kings', for the believing daughters of His people. David could say, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me" (Psalm iii. 5). “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety” (Psalm iv. 8). “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm üi. 6). The Lord has given His children a bed of love, and compassion, and kindness to rest on. When they experience this, all is well
. They know that they have a quiet resting place in the everlasting love of God, which neither the waves nor the storms, nor the troubles of this wicked world, can touch or disturb.
Let us see if we cannot mention another quiet resting place. In the 11th chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and the 10th verse, we read of the Lord Jesus Christ. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jessie, which shall stand for an ensign to the people.” And this standard shall be exalted. And “ to it”-to this standard or banner, the Lord Jesus,—“shall the Gentiles seek : and His rest shall be glorious. That is a glorious rest. Well, then, this is a resting place. When we look back to Calvary and rest on the work finished, we are not resting on ourselves, but on Christ. Trouble will no doubt overtake us, but looking to the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, we see Him putting away sin, and securing for us a quiet resting place. 66 We who have believed do
enter into rest” (Hebrews iv. 3). Jesus is the quiet resting place for all the spiritual seed of God. Well, then, is there any wonder that the Lord Jesus should speak to the weary and heavy laden—" Come unto me all ye that labourand are heavy laden and I will give you rest (Matt. xi. 28). I am your resting place, your resting place from all your works, your resting place from all your sins, your resting place from all your troubles. There are no troubles in Jesus.
“ From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
'Tis Jesas on His Mercy Seat. There remaineth a quiet resting place in Jesus. A keeping of the sabbath in Him for the people of God.
Another quiet resting place is mentioned in the 23rd Psalm. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : He leadeth me beside the still waters." Here are quiet resting places ! But what are these green pastures ? I think they are the great and precious promises of God as contained in His word and on which believers feed and live. These promises are quiet resting places, and God's children feast upon them, and, being satisfied, they lie down in these green pastures showing that they are at rest, and at ease. They are also close to the waters of quietness, close to those waters of comfort that come clear as crystal from under the throne of God, soul-reviving, cooling, cheering, and comforting. And thus we have in the Psalm quiet resting places in the promises and by the river of God's grace and love.
There is one more quiet resting place. Well, what is that? I think heaven will be a quiet resting place. Once in heaven, we shall rest from sins, sorrows, and troubles. We shall then be in a quiet resting place. We shall be within the vale, having passed over the river of death, and in the immediate presence of a gracious God. Then shall be fulfilled : “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth ; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may REST.” What froin ? From all their works, from all their labours, and from an ungodly world, and a tempting devil. And, whilst they rest, yet they will praise and give thanks to the God of their salvation. When shall all this be made manifest ? Read the verse which follows the text/" When it shall hail, coming down on the forest ; and the city shall be low in a low place.” Then shall God's people “ dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Then the church of God shall be manifestly safe. You have sang, "Rock of Ages."
" When I soar to worlds unknown,
And see Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Let me hide myself in Thee.”
There was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, which
destroyed “all that was in the field, both 'man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field. Only in the land of Goshen,” we read, " where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.” All persons in the land of Goshen were safe. Quiet and safe are the people there ! Happy are they in their abode! There are storms and tempests in all the land of Egypt, and the ungodly are everywhere destroyed.
Not so in Goshen. St. Paul says, “ When the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” then Jesus shall be admired in all them that believe." All His saints shall admire Him. Then shall they admire and adore Jesus their righteousness. Then shall they more fully realize the effects of righteousness which shall be peace, quietness, and assurance
Then shall the people of God for ever dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. ”
AT ST. GEORGE THE MARTYR'S, SOUTHWARK, LONDON,
WEDNESDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 6Th, 1876.
The 116th Psalm, and the 12th and 13th verses. “WHAT SHALL I RENDER UNTO THE LORD FOR ALL HIS BENEFITS TOWARD ME? I WILL TAKE THE CUP OF SALVATION, AND CALL UPON
THE NAME OF THE LORD.” This Psalm seems to me to have been penned by the writer after he bad experienced some great deliverance. I gather this from one or two of the preceding verses. In the 8th verse he says—“For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." There is a great similarity between some of the verses in the first part of this Psalm, and the first part of the 18th Psalm. Some of the expressions which occur in both are much alike. The 18th Psalm was written, as you will learn from the heading, by David, after he had been delivered from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. It was about the same time, as it appears to me, that this Psalm was written by him, and probably it refers to the same great deliverance or deliverances. The Psalm opens thus : “I love the Lord.” Many may say this in words, but it is only the Christian man, or the man of God that can say it truly from his heart. There is a great difference between the reality and the formality of religion. He then tells us why he loved the Lord. “The Lord hath heard my voice and my supplications. He has inclined His ear unto me, and now I will call upon him as long as I live." He then gives us the experience which he had, and the deep sorrow and trouble through which he had passed. In the 3rd verse, he says-—"The sorrows of death compassed me, and the