30 OCTOBER (PREACHED 4 OCTOBER 1767)
Help and hope for the helpless and hopeless
‘Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.’ Psalm 63:7
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 9:1–20
In the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. Experience should determine us to David’s determination. The wings refer either to the holy place or to the image of a hen over her young. And there to rejoice, considering his ability (Psalm 27:1 my light … my salvation … the strength of my life), and his constancy. He will not change. From hence consider the life of faith as safe (Psalm 9), pleasant, honourable—near the Lord. This is the gospel declaration: a tender of help and hope for the helpless and hopeless. How blind are sinners to put this from them. Who else can help you at death or judgement? This is a suitable meditation to take to the Lord’s table. Think of the help you have found—of the mercy seat between the cherubim. Offer your praise and make your vows.
Diary, 28 January 1776:
Ah! I feel my weakness; how much have I said and written concerning dependence and resignation, but alas! how hard, how impossible, to practise what I know and teach, any farther than thou art pleased to strengthen me. Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief.
When first before his mercy-seat,
Like David, thou may’st comfort draw,
Thou didst to him thy all commit;
Saved from the bear’s and lion’s paw
He gave thee warrant, from that hour,
Goliath’s rage I may defy,
To trust his wisdom, love and power.
For GOD, my Saviour, still is nigh.
Did ever trouble yet befall,
He who has helped me hitherto,
And he refuse to hear thy call?
Will help me all my journey through;
And has he not his promise past,
And give me daily cause to raise
That thou shalt overcome at last?
New Ebenezers to his praise.
Though rough and thorny be the road, It leads thee home, apace, to GOD;
Then count thy present trials small, For heaven will make amends for all., 291
SERMON: PSALM 63:7 [2/2] [ALSO PREACHED 28 JAN. 1776 & 3 OCT. 1779]