A Song at the Well-Head
“And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: the princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.” Numbers 21:16-18
WE have remarked in our reading that the children of Israel were continually changing their places, and that there was usually a great difference between one station and the next. So, also, we are constantly varying in our experience, and the variations are sometimes exceedingly remarkable.
You observe, in the neighbourhood of the text, that the people pitched their tents at one time by the brooks of Amon. There appears to have been an exceeding abundance of water where they then were, but anon, they removed into the wilderness where there was not a single drop to quench their thirst. So is it with us. At one time we are abounding in every good thing, rejoicing “with joy unspeakable and full of glory;” and at another time we discover how great our weakness is; faith is at a very, low ebb, and joy seems as though the frost of doubt had nipped its root. But, great as the changes of our experience certainly are, our necessities never change. Whether they found water or not, the people always wanted water. The great camp must always have a supply, or perish for the want of it. So, at all hours, and in all places, believers want the grace which only their Lord can give them. They carry no stores with them: they are daily dependent upon their God. “All my springs are in thee,” said David, and every heir of heaven must experimentally learn this truth.
Now, there is one thing certain, that although our experiences vary and our necessities remain the same, yet there is something that does not change, namely, the supply which God has provided for our needs. Our experience may be high or low, bright or dark, but JEHOVAH-JIREH is still the name of our God. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen, and in the valley too, that the Lord will provide. As our day so shall our strength be. If great our needs, great shall be our supplier Israel found it so, for when they came to this particular place, where there was no natural water, they soon discovered a supernatural supply. They arrived at a spot that was all arid sand, but that was the very place of which God had spoken. “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Believer, your supplies shall never vary, and your greatest necessities shall only illustrate the fulness of the Lord your God. Be not afraid, but go forward. Though it be dark and dreary in the prospect, yet if God bid you advance, tarry not, for he has surely taken care to forestall your necessities when they shall arise.
The particular text before us has four things in it which I think may be instructive to us. These people needed supplies just as we need grace. There was, first, a promise concerning the supply; secondly, there was a song; that song viewed in another light, was, in the third place, a prayer; and when, this promise, song, and prayer, were attended by the effort, then the blessing came.
I. To begin, then, these people required water as we greatly need grace, and there was A PROMISE GIVEN CONCERNING THE SUPPLY. “The Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”
Beloved, we have a promise. A promise? nay, a thousand promises! God’s people were never in any plight whatever, but what there was a promise to meet that condition. There is not a single lock of which God has not the key. You shall never be placed in a difficulty without some provision being made for that difficulty, which God foresaw, and for which his heavenly wisdom had devised a way of escape.
Now, the supply promised here, was a divine supply: “I will give them water.” Who else could satisfy those flocks and herds ? By what mechanism, or by what human toil could all those multitudes of people have received enough to drink? “I will give them water.” God can do it, and he will. Beloved, the supply of grace that you are to receive in your time of need is a divine supply. You are not to look to man for grace. God forbid that we should ever fall into the superstitions of some idiots, in these modern days, who suppose that God has given his grace only to bishops and to priests — the most graceless of all men if they profess to have any grace to give away — for if they had true grace at all they could not act after that fashion. If you want grace,, beloved, you must go to God for it. You shall get it there, but nowhere else. As for even the ablest of God’s sent ministers, they are but broken cisterns if we trust in them. They shall have grace enough to get to heaven themselves, but they will be to themselves great wonders when they arrive there. Wise virgins always say to the foolish ones who apply to them for oil, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” There is a divine supply for you, Christian. Hence, knowing the attributes of God, you will understand that however much you may require, there will be an all-sufficient supply; however long you may require it, there will be an everlasting supply; at whatever hours you may want it, there will be an available supply. It is not possible for your needs to outlast that which will be treasured up for you. “I will give them water;” and, ye thirsty ones, go and drink, for there is no fear of exhausting this well-head.
As it was a divine supply, so, also, it was a suitable one. The people were thirsty, and the promise was. “I will give them water.” At another time he had given them bread; he had also given them flesh to eat. But water was what they just now required, and water was what they received. We do not always get that form of grace which we think we want. We sometimes fancy that we require comfort, when rebuke would be much more healthful for us, and it is the rebuke which we obtain, and not the comfort. God is not to be dictated to by our whims and wishes. Like a father, he understands his children better than his children understand themselves, and he gives, not according to their foolish guesses of what they need, but according to his wise apprehension of what they require. “I will give them water.” . What dost thou want, to-night? Go and lay open thy needs before the Lord. Tell him what it is thou requirest, if thou knowest, and then add to thy prayer, “And what I know not that I need, yet give me, for thou art able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I can ask or even think: not according to my apprehension of my necessities, but according to thy perception of my needs, deal with thy servant, O Lord, and grant me that which is most suitable to my case.” “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”
Observe, too, that the supply promised was an abundant supply. The Lord did not mock the people by sending them just enough to moisten their tongues, but not to quench their thirst. We cannot be sure how many people there were, but it is probable, and almost certain, that there were nearly three millions of them; and yet, when God said, “I will give them water,” he did not say, “I will give some of them water: the princes shall have a supply, and the poorer ones must go without.” Oh, not so! “I will give them water,” it included every child of Israel, every babe that needed it, as well as every strong man that thirsted after it. Hearest thou this, child of God? “I will give them water.” Whatever thou needest, thou who art the most obscure in the world, thou who hast least of faith, thou who standest in the back of the crowd, not able to push to the place where thou hearest that the water flows, here is a provision for thee. It shall be with grace as it was of old with the manna: there shall be enough for all that go out to gather it; he that gathers much shall have nothing over, and he that gathers little shall have no lack. There shall be
“Enough for all, enough for each,
Enough for evermore.”
No child of God shall be left to perish for want of the necessary supplies. “I will give them water.”
I may observe, once more, that as it was a divine supply, a suitable supply, and an abundant supply, so also it was a sure supply. “I will give them water.” It is not, “I may, perhaps, do it; possibly there shall be refreshment for them;” but, “I will give them water.” Oh! the splendour of the Lord’s “shalls” and “wills”! They never fail. “Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ?” Search ye out of the Book of the Lord, and read and see if any of his words have fallen to the ground, if one of his promises has lacked its mate! You will have to say, believer, as the hoary-headed Joshua did, “There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” We do not go forward upon the strength of “ifs,” and “buts,” and “ peradventures;” but we advance confidently, invigorated and inflamed, as to our courage, by “wills” and “shalls.” God must un-deify himself before he can break his promises. He would lose his character, and that can never be. His honour is the bright jewel of his crown, and he will keep his promise to all his people. “I will give them water.”
Now, I thought, as I was coming up to this house, once again to have the unspeakable pleasure of addressing you. What am I that there should be any supply for the people when they are gathered together? And this text seemed to come to me, you “gather the people together, and I will give them water;” it is your business to be there, occupying your place, and it is their business to be gathered there at the time set apart for prayer, “and I will give them water.” The lad may have only his barley-loaves and a few small fishes, but the Master will multiply them. There may seem to be little enough in our hand, only perhaps a cruse of water, not enough for one; but he who formed the sea, and holds it in the hollow of his hand, can give enough to all the thirsty ones. You are now gathered together, beloved, and I pray the Master to be as good as his promise, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Here is the promise. A blessed thing to work upon, this. We shall build well enough upon so good a foundation.
II. And now, secondly, observe THE SONG. These people had not been singing for years; ever since the day when they had sung at the Red Sea, “Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” the minstrelsy of Israel had been hushed, save and except when they danced before the calf of gold; but for their God they had had little or no music. But now they come together to the digging of the well, and the children of Israel sing this song, “Spring up, O well; Sing ye unto it.”
Observe, then, that this song may be looked upon, in the first place, as the voice of cheerfulness. There was no water, but they were still in good spirits. Supplies were short, but their courage was still great. It is very easy to be happy and cheerful in heart when you have all that heart can wish. It is not very difficult for us to maintain our spirits when all things go just as we would have them go. But it is rather difficult to begin to sing when the mouth is dry, and the lips are parched, and the tongue almost refuses to do its duty. Cheerfulness in want, cheerfulness upon the bed of pain, cheerfulness under slander, singing, like the nightingale, in the night, praising God when the thorn is at the breast, this is a high Christian attainment, which we should seek after, and not be content without.
I like, too, the look of these children of Israel, singing to the Lord before the water came, praising him while they were yet thirsty, living for a little while upon the recollections of the past, believing that he who smote the rock, and the waters gushed out, and who gave them bread from heaven, would surely supply their needs. Let us pitch a tune and join with them, however low our estate may be.
“Begone, unbelief, my Saviour is near,
And for my relief will surely appear;
By prayer let me wrestle, and lie will perform,
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.
Note, again, that this song was the voice not so much of natural cheerfulness as of cheerfulness sustained by faith. They believed the promise, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” They sang the song of expectation. I think this is one of the peculiar enjoyments of faith, to be the substance of things hoped for. The joy of hope, who shall measure it? Those who are strangers to it are certainly strangers to the sweetest matter in spiritual life. With the exception of present communion with Christ, the joy of a believer in this present state must be mainly the joy of hope. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” We thank God that we shall be satisfied when we wake up in the likeness of Jesus. The anticipation of heaven makes earth become endurable, and the sorrow of time lose their weight when we think of the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Sing before the well begins to spring. Sing confidently, “Spring up, O well.” You cannot make it spring, but sing as if you could, for God is with you. Say, “Down with my sin.” You cannot cast it down, but God can, and therefore speak as one who speaks in God’s name: say, “Begone, unbelief!” You cannot make it go, but God’s Spirit can, and therefore sing as knowing God is with you. “Spring up, O well,” Make that your song. Sing of the mercy yet to come, which your faith can see, although as yet you have not received it.
This song, also, was no doubt greatly increased in its volume, and more elevated in its tone, when the water did begin to spring. After the elders of the people had digged for awhile, the flowing crystal began to leap into the air; they saw it run over the margin of the well, the multitude pressed around to quench their thirst, and then they sang, “Spring up, O well! Flow on, flow on, perennail fount! Flow on, thou wondrous stream divinely given! Flow on, and let the praises of those who drink, flow also! Sing ye unto it, and ye that drink lift up your songs, and ye that mark your neighbours as their eyes flash with delight as they receive the needed refreshment, let your song increase as you see-the joy of others.” All ye who have received anything of divine grace, sing ye unto it! Bless God by singing and praising his name while you are receiving his favours. I think we should be more conscious of God’s blessing coming to us if we were more ready to praise him. Brethren, we receive so many of God's mercies at the back-door: we ought to stand at the door, and take them in ourselves. Presents from a great king ought not to be unacknowledged, stowed away in the dark, forgotten in unthankfulness. Let; us magnify the name of the Lord!
But I must not detain you longer upon this point. There was a promise, and then the children of Israel made a song out of the promise before it was accomplished; and then, as it was fulfilled to their delight and joy, they made the song yet more sweet and more loud. So let our hearts sing of the promises of God. You are very poor, yet still sing, “Thy place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shall be sure.” And when the mercies do come, then lift the song yet higher. “Bless the Lord who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” “Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it I”
III. But we remark, in the third place, that the song was A PRAYER. “Spring up, O well,” was virtually a prayer to God that he would make the well spring up, only it was faith’s way of singing her prayer.
We would remark of this prayer, that it went at once to the work, and sought for that which was required. What was needed? Not a well, but water; not mere digging in the sand, but the obtaining and the drinking of the water. Beloved believer, let me remind you that it is very easy for us to forget what it is that we want, and to be satisfied with something short of it. Now, what we need is not the means of grace, but the grace of the means. The means of grade are excellent when they bring us grace, but the means of grace are not the ultimata. It is not these that we seek after, but grace itself. To show you what I mean — “Spring up, O well,” was the prayer; it did not ask for the well, but for the well to spring up. So, to-night, or some other evening, you are retired for your private devotions; you have opened the Bible; you begin to read. Now, do not be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter. Some good people read through two or three chapters — stupid people, as stupid as they are good, for doing such a thing! It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word. For profit you might as well read the A B C backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning. Words are nothing: the letter killeth. The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Here is the well: spring up O well; Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of thy word, while it lies open before me; apply thy word with power to my soul, threatening or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be; lead me into the soul and marrow of thy word.” The Rabbis say that whole worlds of meaning hang upon every word of Scripture, but only he will find out the meaning who waits upon God with the prayer, “Spring up, O well.” Or, perhaps you are about to kneel down to pray. I beseech you, do not be satisfied with getting through fifty or a hundred choice sentences which look as if they were devout. That prayer has not benefited you which is not the prayer of the soul. You have need to say, “Spring up, O well; Lord, give me the spirit of prayer; now help me to feel my need deeply, to perceive thy promise clearly, to exercise faith upon that promise, and then, by wrestling importunity to hold thee fast, and say, ‘I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” It is not the form of prayer, it is the spirit of prayer that shall truly benefit your souls. In vain might you open the book and read through ten thousand prayers, the best that were ever composed; it would be no benefit to you. “Spring up, O well!” Come, Holy Spirit, come, and help my infirmities, for I know not what to pray for as I ought, but do thou make intercession for me with groupings that cannot be uttered. You want in prayer, not the well so much as the springing up of the well And it is just the same when you go to the ordinances. For instance, baptism can be of no service to the believer unless he devoutly perceives the meaning of it. He must know what it is to be dead with Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ, and ere he comes to the ordinance, this should be his prayer, “Spring up, O well; Lord, give me to enjoy that which the outward emblem teaches me; give me true fellowship with Christ!” And so at the Lord’s table, of what avail is it to eat bread and drink wine? Oh, but when Jesus comes, and your soul feeds upon him, and he makes you before you are aware of it, like the chariots of Amminadib, when the well springs up. Oh, then the table is better than the banquets of kings. And is it not the same when you come to the public assembly? The prayer-meeting may be dull enough, excepting the Spirit, the Comforter, be poured out upon us. We have been singing just now: how many were singing? Some were making melody with their lips, but not with their hearts. But, oh, When the hymn breaks out in richest blessings, like living waters, when you get through the shell of the hymn, and get at the soul and life of it, then, blessed be God, what a well-spring we often get in sacred songs! And, further, with regard to the ministration of the truth; often and often does my soul groan out to God that he would give me liberty in the ministry, that he would lead me into the essence of his truth. O brethren and sisters, I sometimes feel, in preaching, like the butcher, who cuts off meat for others, and does not get a mouthful for himself, and it is hard work indeed. I dare say you very often sit and hear God's word, but it has lost its savour. You cannot enjoy it; you do not seem to get into it. The babe at home in the cradle, or that ledger, or that bad debt, or something that has occurred in the family before you came here, distracts you. You cannot get into the spirit of worship. “Spring up, O well!” This is what we want. So let our prayer be like the song of the text, direct and to the point. Lord, do not put me off with the husks of ordinances and means of grace; give me thyself! I had rather be a door-keeper, and be really in thy house, than sit in the seats of the Pharisees in the synagogue, and yet my Master be not seen by me. Strive after vital godliness, real soul-work, the life-giving operation of the Spirit of God in your hearts, or else, beloved, you may have the well, but you will not have any springings therefrom. Remember, then, it went direct to the point.
And notice, also, that this prayer was the prayer of faith, like the song. Now, “without faith it is impossible to please God:” this is emphatically true with regard to prayer. He who pleads with God in unbelief really insults him, and will get no blessing. Faith gives wings to our prayers, so that they fly heaven-high, but unbelief clogs and chains our prayers to earth. Many prayers never go beyond the ceiling of the room in which they were uttered, because there was no faith mingled with them. Oh, how wanting our prayers are in this one essential element I If we had more faith, what large blessings would come down to the church! When I listen to some prayers, I cannot help thinking, “Well, what is there left to pray for after that? everything has been included in the petition that one could well conceive of. Now, if we could but get the answer.” We ought to do so; and if we did, what a different state of affairs we should have. We need, indeed, more faith to make our poor words real genuine wrestlings with God, so as to prevail with him, and come off more than conquerors. God is not slack concerning his promises. We never yet put him. to the test and found him wanting. The history of the church speaks through all ages with but one voice on this point, all things conspire to urge us to faith in God in connection with prayer to him in time of need. If you want, then, some well to spring up to supply the wants of yourself or your family, pray in faith; the rock, if needs be, shall flow with rivers of water. The driest wilderness shall send forth floods of refreshment. Have faith in God and call upon his name. “Pray without ceasing.” “Spring up, O well!”
You will please notice, further, that it was united prayer. All the people prayed, “Spring up, O well!” I dare say that was a prayer meeting at which everybody prayed, for they were all thirsty, and therefore they all said, “ Spring up, O well!” What blessed meetings those are when the souls of all present are in it! I hope we shall have some noble enquirers’ meetings in this Tabernacle during the next month, and for many more afterwards. Mr. Nivens was asked by some one whether he had had any enquirers’ meetings. “No,” he said, “we have not had any lately, for I do not think we have many enquiring saints amongst us!” “ What!” said the other, “I never heard of that.” “Oh, but,” said he, “we must always have enquiring saints before we shall have enquiring sinners. ‘For this will I be enquired of by the house of Israel.’ You see, saints must enquire, and then God will do it for them; and as soon as ever the saints begin to enquire, ‘Wilt thou not revive us again?’ then sinners begin to enquire, ‘What must we do to be saved?’ Oh! if we could have a meeting where all should be enquirers: the saints enquiring — When wilt thou save my wife? When wilt thou bless my husband? When wilt thou look in grace on my children? When will thou convert my neighbour? and the sinners enquiring — ‘Lord, when wilt thou meet with us, and give us to taste of thy salvation?” I say, the prayer was a unanimous one — “Spring up, O well!” Brethren and sisters, may God touch you all with the heavenly fire, so that you may all be unanimous in the one great desire that God would visit us, make our wells to spring up, and cause the whole church to be revived, and sinners to be saved.
IV. I cannot, however, tarry there, but must now conclude with the fourth head, which is this : they began with a promise; they turned the promise into a song and into a prayer, and they did not stop there, but THEN THEY WENT TO WORK.
“God helps them that help themselves,” is an old proverb, and it is true with God’s people as well as true of providence. If we want to have God’s blessing, we must not expect to receive it by lying passive. The first blessings of grace come to passive sinners, but when the Lord quickens his people he makes them active. So here in this place. “I will give them water,” but “the princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.” Here was effort used, reminding us of a parallel passage in that famous song, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” They must dig the wells; the water does not come below, it comes from above; the rain fills the pools. God fills the pools, but we must dig them.
And, observe, that when God intends to bless a people, effort is always esteemed to be honourable. “The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it.” They were not ashamed of the work. And when God shall bless a church and people, they must all feel that it is a very great honour to do anything in the service of God. No matter though they may be very learned, they must feel it an honour to teach a class in a Sabbath-school for Christ. They may be rich, but they must feel it an honour to open the pew-doors, or the place-doors, or do anything for the Master. They may be very famous, and very much esteemed, but they must feel it to be an honour to wait upon the humblest enquiring soul. And what an honour it really is I Why, princes are not so honoured as those are who are allowed by God to be “workers together” with him in the economy of grace! Brethren and sisters, covet earnestly the best gifts in this matter. Seek after usefulness as hunters seek after their game, and as miners hunt after their treasures. Seek to serve God. You will be princes in this way. They are the princes who dig the wells; they are the true nobles who use their staves in the Master’s service. Before man sinned, he worked for God. Adam was put into the garden to till it and to dress it. He was not made to lead an idle, useless life. His state of innocence was one of service to his Maker. When men shall be once more in a state of purity, their highest honour will be — “his servants shall serve him.” Heaven is a place where they serve him day and night in his temple. Idleness is sin and shame to us. It is our duty to labour, and our highest dignity is to be servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, the princes of old, and the nobles, helped to dig the well. It was effort which they all felt to be honourable. Well has our poet put it —
“All may of thee partake;
Nothing so small can be,
But draws when acted for thy sake,
Greatness and worth from thee.
If done beneath thy laws,
E’en servile labours shine;
Hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
The meanest work, divine,
But it was also effort which was accomplished by very feeble means. They digged the well, and they digged it with their staves — not very first-class tools. Would not the mattock and the spade have been better? Ay, but they did as they were told. They digged with their staves. These, I suppose, were simply their rods, which, like the sheiks in the East, they carried in their hands as an emblem of government, somewhat similar to the crook of the shepherd. These they used, according as they were commanded. Well, dear friends, we must dig with our staves. We must dig as we can. We must use what abilities we have. It is every Christian’s duty to try to know as much and get as much talent as he can, but if you have but one talent, use that one talent. Go to trade for Christ with it. If you cannot do what you would, do what you can, remembering that the Lord saveth not by the mighty, and works not his greatest things by the mighty ones; but he hath chosen the “base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring co nought things that are.” I should look very like a fool if I went a well-digging with a stick; and yet if God told me to do so, then should I be wise in doing it. Go thou, Christian, with such talent as God has given thee, and God will bless thee, and make thy lamps and trumpets to be as mighty for the overthrow of Midian, as they were in the hands of Gideon of old. Here was honourable effort with feeble means.
And, observe, it was effort in God’s order. They digged the well “by the direction of the lawgiver.” We must not serve God according to our fancies. The Westminster Assembly’s Catechism well lays down idolatry to be “not only the worship of a false god, but the worship of God, the true God, in a way which he has not prescribed.” Consequently, all ceremonies that are not commanded in Scripture are flat God idolatry — it matters not what they are. Every mode of worshipping which is not commanded by God, is neither more nor less than flat idolatry. The children of Israel, in their apostacy, did not set up another god. It is clear to every reader of the story of the golden calf, that they did not worship another god when they fell down before it. They worshipped Jehovah under the form of that golden calf, but it was a way of worship which God had never ordained, for he said he allowed no similitude nor likeness of himself to be attempted to be made, and therefore it was idolatry. And, mark you, when men adore pieces of bread, as they are fools enough to do nowadays, they will tell you that they worship Christ under the form of that bread, but it is idolatry. It is a glaring breaking of the second command, and we doubt not will bring destruction upon those who fall into it. We must not forget in everything we do for God, to go to work in God’s Way. I hold that in revivalism, I have no right to adopt anything which I cannot go before God with, and justify at the throne of God I must not adopt a mode of procedure which I may think suits the place or is adapted to the times. Is it right? Let it be done. Is it wrong? Let it not be so much as thought of amongst the saints. We are never to “do evil that good may come,” nor to run over and above, or counter to, the current of Scripture, in order to work some doubtful good. We must dig the well according to the direction of the lawgiver. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Let us keep close to the good old paths which are laid down in Holy Writ, and, digging the well, we shall get the water.
And then, in the last place, it was effort made in faith. They digged the well, but as they digged it they felt so certain that the water would come that they sang at the work, “Spring up, O well!” Brethren, this is the true way to work if we would get a blessing. We must preach in faith, believing that the word cannot return unto our Master void. We must teach in the Sabbath-school in faith, believing that the children will be led to seek Christ early, and to find him. We must distribute the tract in faith, believing that if we cast our bread upon the waters, we shall find it after many days. You must take care that you have this faith. You must not ask from God a blessing upon your work in a spirit of doubt, for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven of the wind and tossed; let not that man expect to receive anything of the Lord; but believe the promise, believe that God will bless you if you seek his glory, and go about his work in his way, and you shall see the blessing, so great a blessing that when you have proved your God, you shall not have room enough to receive it. I want all the dear members of this church especially to join with me in breathing the prayer, day by day, and hour by hour, that the well would spring up in our midst. Conversion work is not pausing, I hope. I have been so long removed from you now, that I am longing to see some great work done by the Master. O that he would now make bare his arm I We have seen what the gospel can do in the salvation of souls, and in making God’s people cleave close to him. Let ns ask for a renewal of those blessed seasons, and the continuance of our long prosperity. Let us pray for ourselves that our religion, our piety, may spring up like a well, “a well of living water springing up into everlasting life.” And let us pray that the ministry may be greatly blessed amongst us, and for all our works — in the classes oi the Sabbath-school, and everywhere else.” “Spring up, O well,” and God give us all to drink of the living waters, till he leads us to the mount of God where we shall feed on the green pastures, and lie down by the river of life for ever and ever. There have been some things said, I trust, which may be blessed to you who do not know the Lord. I pray they may. Remember, trust in Christ is that which saves you. Rest alone in Jesus. It is the mount of Calvary that is the mount of your hope. Fly to the Saviour, and you are saved. God bless you, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.