365 days with Newton


Refreshing ointment

‘Thy name is as ointment poured forth.’ Song of Solomon 1:3

This ointment was poured forth in the preached gospel. It was appointed for this end. And everything that bears the name of preaching, if it does not diffuse the knowledge of this good ointment, is dry and tedious, unsavoury and unprofitable. But by this foolishness of preaching it is spread abroad. The scene of our Lord’s life was confined to a few places and it was a long while ago—but the ointment thus poured out has reached to distant lands and ages. Countless thousands have experienced its efficacy, and blessed be God, it is still fresh and still flowing. It is poured out amongst us at this day.
Farther, the expression poured forth may signify abundance (there is enough to spare) and freeness (it is not enclosed but open and common to all who know its value, as the light or water).
The Lord has likewise special seasons of pouring it into the hearts of his people. These are called times of refreshment (Acts 3:19): usually at the time of their first conversion; often in an hour of distress and trouble. They may expect it likewise at the hour of death. He often meets them with it in the ordinances—particularly when they approach his table. At this feast he revives them with the savour of his ointment and pours it upon their heads. He anoints them with this oil of joy and gladness above their fellows.

Weak is the effort of my heart
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.

Till then I would thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath;
And may the music of thy name
Refresh my soul in death.


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