Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word


from Charles Bridges (1794-1869) on 119th Psalm

“Let Thy mercies come also unto me.
O Lord: even Thy salvation. according to thy Word” (Psa. 41).

Can we conceive the moment when this prayer is not suited to us? How can we be at any moment safe or happy without the spirit of it? To walk as a saved sinner, “accepted in the Beloved.” conformed to His image, devoted to His service, sealed for His kingdom — this is, or should be, the desire of every day. Let this prayer live in the heart. Carry continually to the Lord the cry for all His mercies — specially for that which is the seal and crown of them all — His salvation.

This prayer, however, is peculiarly suitable to the believer, longing to realise that which sometimes is clouded to his view — his personal interest in the Lord’s salvation! It must come to me; or I shall never come to it. I want not a general apprehension — I am not satisfied with the description of it. Let it come to me — Let Thy mercies be applied, so that I can claim them, and rejoice in them! I see Thu salvation come to others. Who needs it more than I? Let it come also unto me. “Look Thou upon me,  and be merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do to those that love Thy name. Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that Thou bearest unto Thy people; O visit me with Thy salvation; that I may see the good of Thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory with Thine inheritance” (Psa. 119. 132; Psa. 106. 4, 5).

Now, are we seeking the assurance of this salvation? Are we waiting to realise its present power, saving us from sin — Satan — the world — ourselves — and “blessing us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus”? Should a trial of faith and patience be ordained for us, yet in the end we shall find an enriching store of experience from His wise dispensations. That He has kept us from turning our backs upon His ways, when we had no comfort in them; that He has upheld us with His secret supplies of strength — is not this the work of His own Spirit within, and the pledge of the completion of the work? That He has enabled us, against all discouragements, to “continue instant in prayer,” is surely an answer to that prayer, which in our apprehensions of it, had been cast out. That in waiting upon Him we have found no rest in worldly consolation is an assurance, that the Lord Himself will be our soul-satisfying and eternal portion. And who is there now in the sensible enjoyment of His love who does not bless that divine wisdom, which took the same course with them that has been taken with us, to bring them to these joys? When did a weeping seed-time fail to bring a joyful harvest?
(Psa. 126. 5, 6).


Solemn words by J. C. Philpot in 1853 – based upon Joel 1

Where in our day, with all this material prosperity, is real religion and vital godliness, which are the evidence of grace? Does it flourish? Is the church, the Lamb’s wife, growing in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do ministers preach with power and savour? Is God deeply feared, are His promises firmly believed, are His precepts carefully obeyed and His ordinances highly prized. Is His Word dearly loved, His honour and glory earnestly sought? Are those who profess the truth humble, prayerful, watchful and spiritually minded? Are they walking as living witnesses for God and testifying to an ungodly world that they are children and servants of the Most High? Is the line of separation between the church and the world clear and distinct? And does she shine forth, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners”(S of S 6:10)?

Who can say it is so? Who can say of the church that she is flourishing and that her prosperity runs parallel with that of the world? We may rather take up Joel’s lament in verses 10 – 12 of the chapter we read, “The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted; the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl O ye vine dressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree even all the trees of the field are withered”.

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