THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT
“The messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in.”— Malachi 3:1
THE Lord’s people delight in the covenant itself. It is an unfailing source of consolation to them so often as the Holy Spirit leads them to its green pastures, and makes them to lie down beside its still waters. They can sweetly sing of it from youth even to hoar hairs, from childhood even to the tomb, for this theme is inexhaustible:
"Thy covenant the last accent claims
Of this poor faltering tongue;
And that shall the first notes employ
Of my celestial song.”
They delight to contemplate the antiquity of that covenant, remembering that before the day-star knew its place, or planets ran their round, the interests of the saints were made secure in Christ Jesus. It is peculiarly pleasing to them to remember the sureness of the covenant. They love to meditate upon “the sure mercies of David.” They delight to celebrate the covenant in their songs of praise, as “signed and sealed, and ratified, in all things ordered well.” It often makes their hearts dilate with joy to think of its immutability, as a covenant which neither time nor eternity, life nor death, things present, nor things to come, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, shall ever be able to violate; — a covenant as old as eternity and as everlasting as the Rock of ages. They rejoice also to feast upon the fulness of this covenant, for they see in it all things provided for them— God is their portion, Christ their companion, the Spirit their comforter, earth their lodge and heaven their home. They see in it not only some things, but all things; not only a help to obtain some desirable possessions, but an inheritance reserved and entailed to every soul that has an interest in this ancient and eternal deed of gift. Their eyes sparkled when they saw it as a treasure-trove in the Bible; but O how their souls were gladdened when they saw in the last will and testament of their divine kinsman that it was bequeathed to them! More especially it is the pleasure of God’s people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant. They see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone. From the beginning even to the end, it is all of grace. They see that the covenant runneth on this wise, not “I will if you will,” but “I will and you shall;” not “I will reward if you deserve,” but “I will forgive even if you sin;” not “I will cleanse if you are clean,” but “I will cleanse if you are filthy;” not “I will keep if you assist,” but “I will bring you back even if you be lost, I will surely save you and preserve you even to the end.” I know some Christians — bleared-eyed, like Leah— who cannot see afar off, and hence the councils of eternity they cannot behold. I know some believers of weak knees and feeble joints who are afraid of that strong word “Covenant.” But they that are men in Christ Jesus, who by reason of years have had their senses exercised, know that the covenant is a treasury of wealth, a granary of food, a fountain of life, a store-house of salvation, a charter of peace, and a haven of joy. The covenant! let my soul but anchor here, then howl ye winds, and roar ye hurricanes! I will not fear. The covenant! let my soul but cast its anchor here, and come life with all its tribulations, and death with all its pains and terrors, my soul laughs them all to scorn.
“The gospel bears my spirit up;
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope,
In oaths, and promises, and blood."
We advance a step further towards our text, and remark that the “Messenger of the covenant” is a welcome ambassador to those who are interested in those exceeding great and precious promises which pertain to life and godliness. But, waiving further preface, let us notice, first, that we delight in the office of Christ as the messenger of the covenant; next, that we delight in the way in which he fulfils that office; and then, we shall conclude by noticing some ways in which we show our delight.
I. First, then, WE DELIGHT IN CHRIST IN HIS OFFICE OF MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT.
What is that office? I shall need two or three words to explain it. When we read of Christ as messenger of the covenant, I think we may understand him to be a covenanted messenger. Now, God has sent many messengers, whose words, when they have spoken in His name, he has not suffered to fall to the ground. So far they were covenanted messengers; but these persons sometimes spoke of themselves, and then God had not bound himself by promise to keep their words. Sometimes, even like the apostle Paul, they would have to pause and say, “I think I have the Spirit of God,” but they might not be certain. But Christ is a covenanted messenger. God hath sworn to him to do for us whatever he may promise to us, so that if we believe in God we may believe also in him, since he speaks for God, and his every word is settled in heaven—
“Array’d in mortal flesh,
He like an angel stands,
And holds the promises
And pardons in his hands:
Commission’d from his Father’s throne
To make his grace to mortals known.”
Again, he is the covenanted messenger; on our behalf Christ swore to God to carry out that part of the covenant which was left for man, and so he stood as a covenanted messenger between God and man. The word “plenipotentiary” just hits my thought. You know sometimes kings send out ambassadors to try and negotiate peace, but they have limited powers. On other occasions ambassadors are sent with unlimited, unrestricted power, to make peace or not, and to make it just as they will. Now Christ comes as the covenanted ambassador of God, as the plenipotentiary of heaven. Let him do what he will, God is with him; let him promise what he may, God ratifies it; let him speak what he will to our souls, his word shall certainly be fulfilled. Now do you not rejoice in Christ in this office. He has said to us, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” “Lest,” saith the eternal Father, as he confirms Jesus’ word. “Go in peace, thy sins which are many are forgiven thee.” “They are forgiven thee,” saith the court of heaven, “go in peace.” “He that believeth on me is not condemned,” saith Christ; and the Father saith himself “He is not condemned.” There is not a word of the gospel which the Father has left unsanctioned. You need not therefore, when you venture upon Christ’s word and Christ’s merit, think you are resting on a something which God will not accept. He is God’s covenanted messenger. He is sworn to accept whom Christ accepts, and since Christ saves all that trust in him, the Father accepts them likewise. He will save certainly all whom Christ hath declared shall be saved.
This, however, does not exhaust the meaning. Christ is the messenger of the covenant, in the next place, as the messenger of the Father to us. Moses was messenger of the covenant of works, and his face shone, for the ministration of death was glorious; but Christ is the messenger of the covenant of grace. O let his face shine in your esteem, ye saints of the Lord, for the ministration of life must be more glorious, far! Christ comes to us to tell us all that God will tell. The revelation of God is Christ. If you would know God, he that hath seen Christ hath seen the Father. God’s word is Jesus, he speaketh fully by him. Would you know the father’s decree? “I will declare the decree,” saith Christ. Would you know his character? See every attribute of God in the man, Christ. Would you know his designs? See the designs of God effected in the works of Jesus. Would you know in fact all that is knowable of God? Understand that you can see it, not in nature, nor in providence, but in Jesus,
“God in the person of his Son,
Hath all his mightiest works outdone.”
And will you not delight in him as such— as God’s messenger to you?— If the very ministers of Christ are deligthful to you, if their feet are beautiful upon the tops of mountains when they bring glad tidings, how much more beautiful is he who comes from God to man, with messages of peace, declaring to us that God is reconciled to us, and accepteth us in the beloved. Sing his praises, O ye that have heard his voice. Glory ye in his holy name, O ye that have received his report, unto whom the arm of the Lord has been revealed, for as God's messenger to you, ye should delight in him.
But then, he is, as the messenger of the covenant, our messenger and mediator with the Father. You want to tell your Father something; Jesus stands to carry the message for you. George Herbert, in one of his poems, pictures Christ as using the hole in his side as a bag to carry our letters to glory—
“If ye have anything to send or -write,
(I have no bag, but here is room)
Unto my father’s hands and sight
(Believe me) it shall safely come.
That I shall mind, what you impart;
Look, you may put it very near my heart.”
In the wounds of Christ we put our messages to God, and they go up to heaven with something more added to them. The blots and blurs of our petition Christ wipeth out, and then he savoureth our prayers, and incenseth them by putting with them the costly mixture of his own precious righteousness. See! In his golden censer yonder smokes the incense of your prayer, accepted for the incense sake, and for the sake of him who swings it to and fro as it smokes before the Most High. “The messenger of the covenant;” this name is peculiar to our Lord. Let not any man arrogate this office to himself, for it is Christ’s alone. God never did hear a message from man that he accepted, except through this messenger. I cannot get to God directly, I must have a mediator. Well said Luther, “I will have nothing to do with an absolute God; for our God is a consuming fire.” No sigh ever reached the Most High, except through Christ— I mean so as to move his heart to pour out his grace. Prayers, groans, tears, all these are like arrows without a bow, till Christ comes and fits them to the string, and shoots them home for you and me. All our prayers are like a victim, with the wood and altar; Christ must bring the fire, and then the sacrifice smokes to heaven. He is the messenger. Oh Christian, do you not rejoice in him then as the messenger of the covenant? He is doing thy errands before the throne to-night, pleading for me, pleading for you. “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” You came to this house to-night, you offered prayer, Christ is offering it now, as an offering most divinely sweet. As you are sitting here, you are breathing a vow, or a desire to heaven; Christ presents it, for he stands at the golden altar, having a censer full of the prayer and vows of saints. Give him an errand now. Try him at this moment, entreat him to plead on your behalf. Thus view him; thus exercise your faith upon him as the plenipotentiary from God to man, as the revealer of God to man, and as spokesman from man to God.
"Look up, me soul, with cheerful eye,
See where the great Redeemer stands,—
The glorious Advocate on high,
With precious incense in his hands!
He sweetens every humble groan,
He recommends each broken prayer;
Recline thy hope on him alone,
Whose power and love forbid despair."
II. But briefly on the second point. WE DELIGHT IN THE WAY IN WHICH CHRIST HAS CARRIED OUT THIS OFFICE AS MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT.
And here let us dwell on that part of the office which relates to the revelation of God to man. Oh, what a full messenger has he been! He has not dropped half the message; he has not told us a part of God, but all that his heavenly Father bade him declare, he has revealed unto us as we could bear it; and he has given us this day the Holy Spirit, who shall lead us into all truth, who shall take of the things of Christ, which the Father gave him, and reveal them unto us. What a full messenger, and how faithful! Surely the Master could say, “I have kept back nothing that is profitable for you.” With greater emphasis than ever Paul could say it, he might have declared, “I am clear from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." We poor messengers mar the Master’s message in the telling of it, but “Never man spake like this man.” So full and faithful is he who speaketh with Jehovah’s bidding to his chosen people, that he can say, “All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Then, how willingly he does it! “I delight to do thy will, O God.” How sweet it seemed to him to show God out to us! Even his tears, though bitterly they flowed, were cheerfully bestowed; and his very death , though it was an awful baptism, yet was one for which he longed. Plow was he straitened until it was accomplished! I hate a man to be a messenger who goes unwillingly, and who mumbles out the message as if he had no interest in it; but oh! our sweet Lord Jesus tells God’s message to us as though he were more interested in it than we are; tells it so lovingly, so affectionately, so tenderly, with all his heart, turning his soul out that we may see it, writing his very nature out in streams of blood, that we might see in crimson lines what otherwise we might not have been able to perceive. Oh, how well— better than ministers, better than prophets, better than apostles, better than angels, Christ hath performed the office of messenger from God. Solomon’s proverb is all outdone in our Redeemer's case. “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”
Beloved, let us delight equally as much in the way in which he has performed our message from ourselves to God. Ah, I have been to my advocate a thousand times, but I never found him a weary messenger. You have a servant, and you give him many things to do; but towards nightfall it may be that you give him one thing too many, and the poor man’s weary feet and languid looks chide you when you give him the errand. But I have been to my Master, and so have you, in the dead of night, and I never found him asleep. I have been to him in the heat of summer, but I never found him point to his bloody sweat, and say he could not go. I have been to him a thousand times, and yet I have never, never heard him say, “I have served thee enough, I will not be thy messenger again.” But cheerfully, willingly hath he taken our request to God, again, and again, and again, and presented it there. And how full of sweet powers of memory and generous recollections he has been! We have often failed to tell him the message aright, and sometimes there was a part of it that we could not tell him— groanings that could not be uttered — but he read the message, and then told it perfectly out in the other place, within the veil, never forgetting one desire nor one faint wish; sometimes erasing one that was evil and putting in another that was right, but he hath never forgotten us. The blessed Master hath a thousand souls to plead for; nay, what if I say millions! but never hath he forgotten one. The meanest lamb in his flock he has tended; the poorest subject in his dominions has been the object of his advocacy. And then, brethren, with what passionate love hath he pleaded for us in heaven! Oh, you cannot conceive him, for he is high above us; but if we could see him to-night, standing before the throne, we should say, “I never thought I had such an advocate as this;” — not with sighs and tears, for they are over now, but with authority he pleads, points to his wounded hands and to his side, and urges the case of his people as though it were his own case, and so indeed, it is, for he may well say—
“I feel at my heart all thy sighs and thy groans,
For thou art most near me— my flesh and my bones.”
Never such an advocate as this. Fathers might plead for sons, and a wife might throw herself on the ground to plead with a judge for her husband, but never such a pleader as this. Thou messenger of the covenant, none can plead as thou dost.
And then, dear friends, I think we ought to delight in him, when we think how unflaggingly he perseveres in his intercession, though we are continually forgetful and ungrateful for his kindness. I am sure if we had a friend’s cause to plead, and he were as unworthy and forgetful as we are, we should tell him to suit himself, and find some other advocate. But he, for Zion’s sake, doth not hold his peace, for Jerusalem’s sake he doth not rest. Going to and fro from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, he speaketh messages of love from God to our souls, bearing messages of pleading and of intercession from our souls to God. Take thou, beloved, a sweet delight in Jesus, for lie doth his errand well. He is a choice messenger, one among a thousand, yea the chief among ten thousand.
III. But time flies, and therefore we hasten onward to carry out our third proposal. How ARE WE TO SHOW THAT WE DO REALLY DELIGHT IN CHRIST? Well, there is one way of doing it, and that is by again employing him to-night. Thou hast been upon my errands so many times, my sweet Lord, that thou shalt even go again. I ask thee, brother Christian, to let me speak to thee a moment. I know thou hast some very heavy matter on thy mind to-night, some very heavy trial awaiteth thee to-morrow, and thou hast been troubled about it all the week. Dost thou delight in the messenger of the covenant? Ah, then send thy Jesus with it as a message to the throne to-night. Say thou unto Jesus, “I pray thee tell the Father that one of his adopted who can say, ‘Abba,’ is in trouble deep and sore. Send thou from heaven and deliver me, and pluck me out of the deep waters.” Thou wilt show thy delight in him by trusting him in thy great matters. Oh, but you mean to do it yourself; you have all your wits about you and mean to get through it yourself do you? You shall flounder in the mire. But give the matter up to Him and let him take it to thy God and see whether prayer does not more often prevail in trial than all the energies and wits of man. And sister over yonder, thou hast a secret, one thou wouldst not tell to me, no, nor to thy dearest friend, but it rankles and it makes thy heart bleed in secret till sometimes thou art weary of thy life. Dost thou love the messenger of the covenant?
Whisper into his ear what thou canst tell to none beside, and ask him to speak for thee to the king, to the captain of the host. Say unto him, « Jesus, lover of my soul, I’ll trust thee with this most secret grief. That which no creature can intermeddle with, thou shalt know; behold I bare the wound before thy tender eye; go tell the Father that a child of his is weeping in secret, walking in darkness and seeing no light.” Thou wilt show thy delight in him by trusting him now. Minister, send a messenger by him to-night for thy flock! Sunday school teacher, give him a missive from thy heart for thy class! Mother, the messenger waits for thee, ask him to plead for thy sons and daughters! Father, the messenger is ready to bear thy wish to heaven! Tell him thou wouldst have no greater joy than this, to see thy children walk in the truth! Jesus, say thou to thy Father that my prayer to-night is that I would have this congregation saved. Oh speak thou; bear the ponderous message; ask that not one within these walls may perish. Lift up thy hands, and plead for every man, and woman, and child, beneath this tabernacle’s dome to-night, and ask that every one may be a partaker of the grace that saves. I know that thou wilt prevail if thou wilt ask, for if thou shouldest ask anything of thy Father he will do it for thee. Thou hast but to will it and ’tis done. Behold, by faith I would lay hold upon the skirt of thy garment thou great High Priest, the sweetly sounding bells of thy ephod I hear to-night; upon thy glittering breast-plate the eyes of my faith are fixed. Take that request, and plead it solemnly before the awful throne of heaven, and let the answer come to all this multitude — an answer of grace and peace! Thus, my beloved, we must show our delight in him— by bidding him plead for us.
Leaving for a moment the thought of messenger, I want to add some other things, not quite, perhaps, in keeping with our text, but quite in harmony with our delight in Jesus. You are coming round the table, brothers and sisters, and you delight in Christ. Shall I tell you how it is that we show that we delight in him?
One way is by waiting for him. There is the wife at evening. It is past the proper hour for her husband to return. She goes to the window and looks out into the cold dark night, and then she goes back to the chair, and to the little one, and takes her needle and whiles away the time, but soon she is up again looking out of the window once more, and listening to every foot-fall in the street, or looking out from the open door. Why is not her spouse at home? How is it that he is away? She sits down again, she tries to ease her mind with household business, but every ticking of the clock, and every striking of the hour suggests to her, “Why is he so long in coming?” See she is again drawing back the curtains and looking out into the black night for the hundredth time, longing for her husband, and why? because she takes delight in him, and wants to see his face. So when Christians look out into the dark world and say, “When will he come?” and when they go to their labour, and say, “Why are his chariot-wheels so long in coming?” and when they can cry with John, “Come quickly, even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus,” and are waiting for and hasting unto the coming of the Son of man, then they prove that they have intense delight in him. Do you show this, Christian? Are you waiting for him? Are you getting ready for the time when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God?
"Come, my beloved, haste away,
Cut short the hours of thy delay:
Fly like a youthful hart or roe,
Over the hills where spices grow."
We prove our delight in him in another way, by working for him. There is a woman there; she is working hard at her embroidery needle; she is making a little coat; it is a linen ephod. I wonder why that woman smiles so, while she works with her needle? There, she must put it away, for there is other work to do. I wonder why next day she goes to the drawer, so pleased to get that work out and continue it? I will tell you her name; her name is Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, and she is making a little coat for her son Samuel, whom she has left with Eli at the Tabernacle; now you perceive wherefore is she so pleased in making this ephod? Because she delighteth in Samuel. So I see the Sunday school teacher pleased to meet his children; I see the minister go to the pulpit with beaming eye, and I see the missionary leaving house and home, kindred and cherished associations, joyfully giving up everything for Christ, and I ask why? Because he delights in Christ, and therefore he can work for him. Is it so with you, friends, are you working for Christ? Yes, methinks you are, or else I fear me you are not delighting in him.
And then another thing. I have seen the boy at school— I knew such a boy myself— and one day that child was at play, and merry was he at his games, and well intent thereat, but some lad ran across the ground, and said, “Your father’s come to see you,” and he laid aside his playthings and his games, and ran at once into his father’s arms because he delighted in his parent. And I have seen the Christian when he is delighting in his God, when lecture or prayer-meeting night came, say, “Well, I will gladly lose a little of my business, that I may run into my Father’s arms in the hour of worship.” There has been a saint to be visited, or a sinner to be warned, and I have seen the lovers of Jesus leave their nets that they may follow Christ, and forsake the world, that they might serve him. Beloved, if he were to come to-night and bid us choose whether we would be in heaven or here, I think we would not long delay, but say to him, “Thou leavest me no choice.” To be with thee is so much better than aught beside, that I embrace thee now. Oh take me up to thee!
Further, we may show our delight in Christ by searching after him when we lose his presence. There is the spouse in the Canticles; she is going about in the city in the dark night— “Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?” The watchmen meet her and pluck away her veil rudely, and they smite her. Why is not that delicate woman at home at rest? See, she wanders on, cold and weary, with tears rolling down her cheeks, and hanging like pearls from her eyes. Wherefore is this woman weeping and searching thus? The answer is— “Tell me O thou whom my soul lovest, where thou feedest?” She hath such a delight in him, that she will search a thousand nights; yea, a believing soul would search hell through to find Christ, if he were to be found nowhere else; and I know what Rutherford said was no great exaggeration, when he said, “If there were fifty hells between my soul and Christ, and he bade me wade through them and he would come and meet me, I fain would dash through them all to reach his fond embrace.” Jesu, our thirst for thee is insatiable; we must have thee, and thus we prove our delight in thee.
Lastly, we may prove our delight in Christ by being very happy ourselves and trying to make others partakers of our joy. Do not go to the Lord’s table to-night if you can help it burdened with your groans and moans. If you cannot come without bringing them, then come; come anyhow. But I would have you to-night, if you could, delight yourselves in the Lord. You are very poor — Ah! but you are very rich in him. You are sick, you say— Ay! but remember what he suffered for you. Oh! but you are a sinner. Ay! but remember his precious blood! Fix your eye on him to-night and on nothing else, and oh be glad! Come to his table with delight. I often say I know the people that come here — our regular people that come here— because they have a way of walking, and a look on the Sabbath that is different from most people that go to other places of worship. Other folks are so solemn, as if they were going to an execution. They look so grave, as if it were an awful work to serve God, as bad as going to prison, to attend a service, and as disagreeable as the pillory to stand up and praise the Lord. But I notice that you come here with joy, looking upon the Sabbath as a joyous day, not a time to pull the blinds down and shut out the light, but a day to feast yourselves in God. Now I think ordinance days are especially times of rejoicing. You and I have been all the week up to our elbows in work. By-and-bye we shall have to go back to that dingy workroom among those persecuting worldlings. Never mind; Lord make this as a sanctuary to us to-night. Shut us in and shut the world out, and let us rejoice ourselves in our God.
"As myrrh new bleeding from the tree,
Such is a dying Christ to me;
And while he makes my soul his guest,
Thy bosom, Lord, shall be my rest.
Now beams of cedar, or of fir,
Can with thy courts on earth compare;
And here we wait, until thy love
Raise us to nobler seats above."
Beloved brethren, if you have this delight tell it to others. Do not be tongue-tied and dumb any of you. Speak out what God has done for you. Tell! tell! —
“Tell to sinners round,
What a dear Saviour you have found.”
If you should have any enjoyment to-night, let others partake of the honey which you have discovered. God help you thus to live to his praise.
I am about to retire a few moments, while our friends get to their seats for the communion. Before I retire, I have a message to tell from the Messenger of the Covenant. He is willing to take a message from any poor, troubled, sin-burdened, conscience-stricken sinner in this Tabernacle. Has any one of you a message for him? The Lord Jesus Christ is willing to receive and stamp with his own blood-marked hand any earnest, heart-written message you are willing to send to God to-night. Is there any one who has this to send— “God be merciful to me a sinner?” What! Not one of you? Is there not a heart here that would say, “Lord save or I perish?” Surely there are some! Breathe thy desire out now silently; Jesus hears it; trust him to carry it to God. Believe that his blood can cleanse thee. Trust him, trust his merits to clothe thee. Trust especially his intercession to prevail for thee as the messenger of the covenant. Do it soul. “Oh but,” you say, “my hand is black.” Never mind, he will touch it and make it white. “Oh but I cannot pray.” He can pray for you. “Oh but I cannot plead.” He can plead in your stead. Tell him your wants. As Rowland Hill once did, so would I do with you. It is said that Rowland once had to put up in a village where there was no other house to put up at but a tavern; and having a pair of horses to bait, and going into the best room of the inn, he was considered to be a valuable guest for the night. So the host came in, and he said, “Glad to see you Mr. Hill.” “I am going,” was the reply, “to stay with you tonight; will you let me have family prayer to-night in this house?" "I never had such a thing as family prayer here," said the landlord, “and I don’t want to have it now.” “Very well, then just fetch my horses out; I can’t stop in a house where they won’t pray to God. Take the horses out.” Now being too good a guest to lose, the man thinks better of it, and promises to have family prayer. “Ah but,” said Hill, “I’m not in the habit of conducting prayer in other people’s houses. You must conduct it yourself.” The man said he could not pray, "But you must,” said Rowland Hill. “Oh but I never did pray.” “Then my dear man you will begin to-night,” was the answer. So when the time came, and the family were on their knees, “Now,” said Rowland Hill, “every man prays in his own house; you must offer prayer to-night.” “I can’t pray, I can't” said the landlord. “What, man, you have had all these mercies to-day, and are you so ungrateful that you cannot thank God for them? Besides, what a wicked sinner you have been. Can’t you tell God what a sinner you’ve been and ask for pardon?” The man began to cry, “I can’t pray, Mr. Hill, I can’t, indeed I can’t.” “Then tell the Lord, man, you can’t; tell him you can’t pray,” said Mr. Hill, “and ask him to help you.” Down went the poor landlord on his knees. “O Lord I can’t pray; I wish I could.” “Ah! you have begun to pray,” said Rowland Hill, “you have begun to pray, and you will never leave off. As soon as God has once set you to pray, faint though it be, you will never leave off. Now I’ll pray for you.” And so he did, and it was not long before the Lord was pleased, through that strange instrumentality, to break the landlord’s hard heart and to bring him to Christ. Now I say, if any of you can’t pray, tell the Lord you can’t. Ask him to help you to pray; ask him to show you your need to be saved; and if you can’t pray, ask him to give you everything that you need. Christ will make as well as take the message. He will put his own blood upon your prayer; and the Father will send down the Holy Ghost to you to give you more faith and more trust in Christ.
May the Lord send you away with his blessing to-night. Amen.