15 FEBRUARY (PREACHED 13 FEBRUARY 1774)
What a portion!
‘The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.’ Lamentations 3:24
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Lamentations 3:19–24
What a portion! The word implies two things:
(i) excellence. None account anything a portion but what is (in their esteem at least) valuable.
(ii) propriety. However excellent a thing may be, if it is not ours, or if we have no hope of attaining it, we cannot look on it as our portion.
Now the Lord is deservedly a portion to believing souls, for he is most excellent in himself, and he gives them a right to call him their own. Compare this with the portions and desirable things of this life. They are:
(i) hard to get.
(ii) unsatisfactory when obtained. The want of one thing will spoil the sweetness of many, as Haman [in Esther].
(iii) hard, nay impossible, to keep.
But the Lord is:
(i) a free portion. None that sincerely desire him shall be rejected. Grace reigns, and sinners, though vilest and most unworthy, are welcome.
(ii) an all-sufficient portion, exceeding all their capacities, wants and desires.
(iii) an everlasting portion: in life, in death and for ever.
FOR MEDITATION: We had a full house and I hope a good time in the evening. The subject, death—it being the first time of our meeting there since Betty Abraham was removed; I had made a hymn upon the occasion.
Diary, Sunday evening 20 February 1774
From pole to pole let others roam,
JESUS, who on his glorious throne
And search in vain for bliss;
Rules heaven and earth and sea;
My soul is satisfied at home,
Is pleased to claim me for his own,
The LORD my portion is.
And give himself to me.
[hymn prompted by Betty Abraham’s death; first used 20 February 1774]
SERMON: LAMENTATIONS 3:24 [3/4] [FOR BETTY ABRAHAM’S FUNERAL]