The Whole-heartedness of God in Blessing His People
“Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.”— Jeremiah xxxii. 41.
WE cannot help looking for the restoration of the scattered Israelites to the land which God has given to them by a covenant of salt: we also look for the time when they shall believe in the Messiah whom they have rejected, and shall rejoice in Jesus of Nazareth, whom to-day they despise. There is great encouragement in prophecy to those who work among the seed of Israel; and it is greatly needed, for of all mission fields it has been commonly represented to be one of the most barren, and upon the work the utmost ridicule has been poured. God has, therefore, supplied our faith with encouragements larger than we have in almost any other direction of service. Let those who believe work on! Those who believe not may give it up. They shall not have the honour of having helped to gather together the ancient nation to which our Lord himself belonged; for be it never forgotten that Jesus was a Jew. If we, who are branches of the wild olive, have been engrafted into the good olive, how much more easy shall it be, when God wills it, that the natural branches, which for a while were cut off because of unbelief, should be again grafted into their own native stock! God send it speedily! Oh, that it were so even now! May the house of Israel look on him whom they have pierced, and turn unto him with all their hearts. At present we have to say and sing—
“Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
A remnant weak and small;
Hail him who saves you by his grace,
And crown him Lord of all.”
It is a rule, in interpreting the Word of God, that the promises made to the natural Israel, so far as they are spiritual, belong to the spiritual Israel. Believers in Christ are the true seed of Abraham. “Though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Sara acknowledge us not,” after the flesh, yet Abraham is the father of the faithful; and they that are faithful justly claim him to be their father. They that are of faith are of the spiritual seed of Abraham, who believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. The covenant made with Abraham is a covenant made with all who are in Abraham, with all the seed born according to promise, as was Isaac; and we may lay hold, without doubt or hesitancy, upon all the spiritual promises made to the seed of Israel as being made to all who, like Israel, know what it is to wrestle with God, and to prevail. I have, therefore, no doubt whatever in taking such a promise as this, and using it with reference to the whole company of God’s elect— those peculiar people, whom God has created for himself, who shall show forth his praise.
Viewed in that light, we have before us a text of exceeding glory, one of those great Scriptures that make me fear and tremble for all the goodness which the Lord causes to pass before me. I have presumed to handle it; but I do not presume to say that I can take you into its innermost meaning. I shall pick up a nugget here and there, which I find upon the surface; but I am painfully conscious that the great gold-mines underneath are not, as yet, within my reach. Oh, that we had grace to dig deeper! Oh, that we had greater capacity for comprehending the heights, depths, lengths, and breadths of the love of God to his people. I am forced to say to each one of you, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee.” I can only present to my hearers such as I am able to grasp with my own mind. May the Lord bless it!
I shall say to you, first, consider this text for instruction: secondly, consider it with evidence: and thirdly, consider the inferences which naturally flow from it. Oh, that the Holy Spirit may take of these deep things of God and show them unto you!
I. First, CONSIDER OUR TEXT FOR INSTRUCTION. When you do so, the first thought is, God blesses his people heartily. “I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart.” Notice, in passing, that word “assuredly;” for it confirms the word as full of truth and certainty. There must be no doubt here: assuredly banishes it utterly. When the Lord looks upon his chosen, and opens his liberal hand towards them, assuredly his heart goes with his hand. There are some works of God in which his heart does not go. He smites the guilty with his left hand; but he says, “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but that he turn unto me and live.” But when he is dealing with his right hand of lovingkindness, his heart goes out with his hand. O beloved, you that receive his grace may know assuredly that, besides the blessings which you receive, you also have God’s whole heart therewith. He blesses you with his whole soul or life. He concentrates his nature upon you, that he may bless you to the full. He is slow to wrath, but he is swift to mercy, for he delighteth in it. When he deals out his grace to his people, then you see the loving God, for “God is love;” and you see the living God, for he blesses you with his whole soul. His Godhead is displayed in the deeds of his love. There is a way of doing things, and there is another way of doing things: a work can be done, and done according to rule, and no great fault can be found with it; but yet it may be done listlessly, and as a matter of routine. Another worker takes pleasure in his work, and throws his heart and soul into it. The result will show the difference in points which one can hardly mention in words. A painting with a great painter’s heart and soul in it is a rare treasure. When the worker puts himself forth to his utmost, that he may do the work in the noblest fashion, the product is most precious. Even so has God determined that in the wonders of his grace, through Jesus Christ, he will show himself more fully than in any other labour to which he has set his hand. None other work so clearly displays the heart of Jehovah.
But then, next, he does this work of blessing his people thoughtfully, for it is added, “and with my whole soul.” Not only the affections of God, speaking after the manner of man, but the great mind and life of God, is thrown into the work of saving and blessing his people. His essence, his soul, is here at home. The design argument, when brought to bear upon nature, proves the existence of God. We see in nature clear marks of design, and a design argues a designer. Much more when that argument is brought to bear upon the works of grace do we see the Lord; for in the transactions of grace there is design in everything. There is no one act of grace but hath its design of perfecting the chosen, no one blessing of the covenant but hath its aim for their eternal blessedness. Salvation is full of those thoughts of God, which are as much higher than our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth. What a wonderful thought of God was the purpose to save his people at all! When he brought his foreknowledge to bear upon the future condition of the chosen, he knew what they would be, and provided for it. He determined to meet all the difficulties that he knew would arise, especially when he saw them ruined in the fall. He determined to undo by the second Adam the mischief wrought by the first. He saw his chosen dead, and determined to give them eternal life in his Son; he saw them guilty and condemned to punishment, and he resolved to remove that condemnation by a sacrifice. Perhaps the grandest thought of all was that God should meet law by law, and death by death; and bring his people, guilty as they were, to bear the punishment in the person of their glorious Substitute, and yet cause them never to bear the punishment at all in their own proper persons: for they were set free through the one perfect sacrifice. If you would learn God’s wisdom to the full, as far as a human mind can grasp it, you should study the marvellous system of redemption, that whole scheme which begins in election, and which will never cease
“Till all the chosen race
Shall meet around the throne;
Shall bless the conduct of his grace,
And make his glory known.”
Can you catch the thought that all the affections of God go out to his chosen, and that all the thoughts of God concentrate themselves upon them? What though he upholds high heaven, and rules the universe; what though illimitable space is filled with the marvels of his power and skill; yet is his whole heart and soul with his beloved ones. As a man, however wide his business, thinks still continually of his home, so doth God, however many are his thoughts, consider first and last those of whom he says that he has graven them upon the palms of his hands. With his whole heart and his whole soul he gives them undivided attention. Did not I tell you I could not dive into the depths of this sea? I have thought of God’s heart as I dared; I have thought of God’s soul as best I could; but how can I know what is meant by the whole heart and the whole soul of the Infinite? Yet all this goeth forth when the Lord blesseth his people, whom he hath redeemed unto himself. He saith it himself, and so we may dare repeat it: “With my whole heart and with my whole soul.”
We notice, next, that if that be so, then he employs all his resources to bless his elect. When a man is doing a thing with his whole heart and with his whole soul, you know that there is nothing in that man but what will come out if necessary: there is nothing the man has but what he will use it to accomplish his purpose. He counts all things cheap so that he may achieve the design which has absorbed him. The Lord our God— I speak as a man, and with deep reverence— is absorbed in doing good to his people: there, is nothing that he is, there is nothing that he has, but what he will bring it to bear upon the design upon which he has set his whole heart and his whole soul.
When the prodigal returned to his father’s house, his father, in joy over him, did not keep back anything. Had he love in his heart? He kissed him. Had he language on his lips? He spake his love: “Bring forth the best robe,” saith he— it was always kept locked up by itself; but the best robe is for him— “put it on him. Put a ring on his hand.” Go to the jewel-chest and fetch out the rarest treasure. Put shoes on his feet: the most costly sandals you can find, bring them hither, and let him be shod right royally. The whole resources of the mansion-house were lavished on him. “Bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry.” They had not music every day, but the father will not let a single harp or timbrel be silent on that day. The tinkling feet of the maidens shall keep time to the music: nothing shall be wanting to show forth the father’s love and joy, and make his son rejoice. Behold ye, what God hath done for his people! He has given them his all: all the wisdom of his providence shall be theirs while here, and all the glory of his heaven hereafter. God has his abode in heaven; behold, he makes it the abode of his chosen for ever. Angels are his courtiers— they shall be ministering spirits to his elect. The throne of his Son they shall sit upon with him. The victories of God shall furnish them with palms, and the delight of God shall find them harps. But stop, there is something more than all! It was little for God to give earth and heaven, but he must needs give his Son, the express image of his glory, his other self. Out of the bosom of his love must Jesus Christ be taken; for he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. Great God, thou hast all things, and thou hast given all things to thy people! Thou hast not held back of thy power, or of thy majesty; for we see thy strength, thy sovereignty, thy whole self, in their salvation! Thou hast not kept back thy wisdom or immutability; for we see both of these in their attaining to eternal glory! Thou hast laid out thine own boundless all-sufficiency, that thou mightest bring thy many sons to glory. Oh for a well-tuned harp! My soul doth magnify the Lord; but how can I fitly praise him?
The Lord subordinates all other works to that of his love. When a man is absorbed by a mighty purpose, he may be doing other things— it may be needful that he should; but you will see him bend all other matters towards his chief end. He will bring home the sheaves from all the fields he tills, and lay them up in the garner of his main purpose. Now see what God hath done. When he made the heavens and the earth, his infinite wisdom thought of his people; and when he came to order the nations in providence, “he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.” At this hour no king ascends the throne, and no dynasty vacates it, without reference in God’s mind to his ultimate object. Pestilence, famine, earthquake, wars, all have some relation to the Church of God. All that happens, all that is yet to happen, whether it be the falling of the star Wormwood, or the pouring out of the vials, or whatever else we dimly see in the mystery of prophecy, all shall move toward the grand purpose of almighty love. These events are the bow, but his love purposes are the arrows. Everything, from the first opening of the seals to the complete unfolding of the book, shall have to do with the calling, cleansing, training, preserving, and perfecting of those chosen ones whom he hath given unto his Son. In the end, the heavens and the earth that now are shall be rolled up, like a worn-out vesture, and pass away; but in that day the Lord will have respect unto his chosen, and for them shall be prepared a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness; for the bride of Christ, who shall have made herself ready for the marriage supper, there shall be a fit dwelling. Everything, whether of creation or destruction, mercy or judgment, shall work, like the wheels of some vast machinery, to produce good to those who are the people of the living God.
I would add to these thoughts, feeble and superficial as they are, by noticing, next, that the Lord gives to his people and for his people without stint. He blesses them with his whole heart and with his whole soul. Some persons of a half-hearted nature, even if they entertain you kindly, yet betray their want of warmth. Others in every little act prove their intense heartiness. I recollect when I was able to journey through the country preaching, I for several years stayed occasionally with a fine old English farmer. He used to have a piece of beef upon the table, I do not know how many pounds it weighed, but it was enormous, and I said to him one day, “Why is it that whenever I come here you have such immense joints? Do you think that I can eat like a giant? If so, it is a great mistake. Look at that joint, there,” I said, “if I were to take it home, it might last me a month.” “Well,” he said, “if I could get a bigger bit I would, for I am so glad to see you; and if you could eat it all, you should be heartily welcome. I want everybody that comes here to-day to feel that I will do my very best for you.” He did not measure my necessities to the half-ounce, but he provided on a lavish scale. I quote this homely instance of giving heartily to show you how, on a divine scale, the Lord makes ready for his guests. When lie entertains his people, ah sirs! he does not give them a measured portion of hard, dry bread, but he sets forth “fat things full of marrow, and wines on the lees well refined.” The festivals of God are on a scale of splendour commensurate with his measureless dominion. When he feeds his children, though once they would have been thankful to eat the crumbs from his table, he sets them among princes, and gives them to eat of the king’s meat. He lays eternity under contribution to provide for the needs, nay, for the desires, for the joys of his people. We are not straitened in our God. He has not arrayed us in coarse garments, but he has covered us with the robe of righteousness; he has not merely washed us, but he hath bejewelled us as a bride adorneth herself with ornaments; he has not provided workmen’s tenements for us to dwell in, but “in my Father’s house are many mansions.” The Lord has not merely put at our disposal the beasts of the earth, but his angels are our bodyguard. In the temple of God’s love no stone is commonplace; they are all great jewels. Head in the Revelation how every course is jasper, or sapphire, or chalcedony, or emerald. The walls of his temple of grace are of all manner of precious stones, from the foundation to the topstone. But even jewels are mere toys compared with the infinite wealth of the divine liberality towards his own chosen. There is no stint supposable when the infinite Jehovah gives with his whole heart. How narrow are my expressions when I would set forth his illimitable goodness!
Beloved, another point sets forth most plainly that the Lord blesses his people with his whole heart and with his whole soul, for he perseveres in it. When did he begin with us?
“Before his hands had made
The sun to rule the day,
Or earth’s foundations laid,
Or fashion’d Adam’s clay.”
When will he end with us? Never; for our souls are bound up in the bundle of life with the soul of the Lord our God. Truly, if he had been mindful of our shortcomings he might have found abundant cause for casting us off; but he has not dealt with us after our sins. I appeal to your own consciences, you that are the people of God: might he not many a time have said, “I am weary of thee”? But the weariness has been on the other side: his love complains of you, “Thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.” The Lord has rejoiced to do us good, and has multiplied his mercies. Are you not surprised with the variety of his favours towards you? An old writer says that “God’s flowers bloom double,” for he sends two blessings where there seems but one; but I would say they are like the light: they are sevenfold, even as in every ray from the sun we have seven colours blended in harmony. What sevens and sevens of infinite love are contained in every beam of mercy that comes to the redeemed! As every sin is many sins, so every pardon is many pardons; as every need containeth many needs within it, so every supply is many supplies. God blesses us many times every time he blesses us; and the wonder of it is that he continues these heaped-up mercies. He has not forgotten his covenant of day and night; and certainly his mercies have been new every morning, and fresh every evening. Great is his faithfulness. Sometimes we think that the Ruler of the Universe has surely set aside his covenant as to seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, cold and heat; for this year it is cold in summer-time; but yet our mind is sure that his word will not be violated in this respect; and even so, our gracious Lord may for a while answer us roughly, and smite us sharply, till the blueness of the wound alarms us; but all this is no evidence of want of love. Did he not say, “As many as I tenderly love I rebuke and chasten”? His covenant stands secure: there is with God no variableness, nor shadow of a turning. He continues still to hold fast to the purpose of his grace towards his chosen, and he will do so even to the end. All glory be unto his name!
As the Lord perseveres in his work, so he succeeds in it. God is determined to make something of his people, and he will- He has made a great deal more of us now than we ever dreamed that he could have done. He has made saints out of sinners, servants out of rebels, children out of aliens. Some of you are now being used in his service who were once the tools of Satan. Remember what you were once. Do not forget the dunghills whereon you grew. Bethink you of the mire out of which the Lord of love uplifted you. What a change he has wrought! When you are very depressed you ought to recollect that change. The Lord has done for you already that which should make you thunder out his praise for ever. But the Lord is going on to do far more for you. He has taken off some of the coarsest surface, but he will polish you yet to an exceeding beauty. I verily believe, if we could see ourselves as we shall be, it would make us laugh for very joy. If we could look in some magic glass, in which a man could see himself in the glorified state, we should sit down and look at it with amazement, till we should cry, “Can that be me? Is it possible that I shall ever come to such glory and beauty?” O my brother, you are only in the egg as yet; you have chipped a little bit of it, and you have looked out; but the most that you have seen is your own shell. Know you not that you have wings? Yes, wings which you cannot stretch as yet, for they are bound down by the shell; but you shall spread them soon, and mount aloft into that clear blue where eagles are at home. You shall rise above all visible things, and reach the serene abodes of the blessed. There shall you,
“From all this earthly grossness quit,
With glory crowned for ever sit;
And triumph over death and thee, O Time!”
I suppose that, God’s great purpose was to multiply the glory of his only begotten Son. For the second Adam there was not found a helpmeet, and the Lord resolved to fashion for him a bride, a dear companion. The glorious Son rejoiced in the thought, and henceforth his delights were with the sons of men. To this end the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, and for the same purpose we are to be made like him. He is the image of the invisible God; but he is also the firstborn among many brethren who are all to bear the same likeness. “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.” I think Milton was not far from the truth when he supposed that Satan made a great gap among the courtiers of heaven when he led astray the third part of the stars of heaven, and that God resolved to repair that wall of service with living stones more costly and more beautiful than those which were removed from their place. Certainly he is doing so. In heaven there sits a man nearest to the eternal God, and we are there with him, and made like unto him: sons and yet servants, servants and yet sons. Does not Jehovah bless us with his whole heart and with his whole soul? I am getting a little deeper now. Here are waters to swim in. What I say is true, but it is not the tenth part of the truth. Blessed is that promise, “What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter.”
Closing up this first division, we note that God delights in all that he does for his own. We are happy when God blesses us, but not so happy as God is. We are glad when we are pardoned, but he that pardons us is gladder still. The prodigal, going back to his home, was very, very happy; but not so delighted as his father, who could say, “This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” The father’s heart was the fullest of delight, and it was by far the larger heart, so that it could hold more joy. The Lord rejoices over his people, resting in his love, and joying over them with singing. Beloved, you think it impossible that God should delight in you, for you do not delight in yourselves. Yet it is true that he “taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in them that hope in his mercy.” A little babe, if it had wit, and could look at itself, would say, “How inferior I am to my father! What feeble hands! What tottering feet! I am a poor, puny, dependent creature.” Yes, but that is not the way in which the mother thinks of it. She spies out a loveliness in the weakness, and a beauty in the littleness of her babe. She looks at it until her eyes swim with tears lest anything should harm it. She thinks it the most beautiful thing that ever was, and doubtless it is so to her. Our God has all the instincts of motherhood and fatherhood blended in one; and when he looks upon his church he calls her “Hephzibah”— “My delight is in her.” I read not that he delights in the works of nature alone, but he rejoices in the habitable parts of the earth. He does not rejoice in the works of his hands so much as in the works of his heart. The whole Godhead is at home in blessing those whom everlasting love has ordained to everlasting life.
Brethren, I will say no more; I leave this choice subject with you. Unlock this casket, and examine the pearls, although you will not be able to estimate their full value: “I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.”
II. Secondly, and, I am sorry to say, briefly, CONSIDER THE TEXT WITH THE EVIDENCE. I have already given you large evidence, and therefore I may have to go over the same ground again. In order to prove that God doth thus bless us with his whole heart and with his whole soul, I would remind you that the whole Trinity is engaged in the blessing of the chosen. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in essence, and one in this loving object.
First comes the Father. It was he that chose us — chose us, not because he must choose us or none, but freely with “his whole heart.” He chose us when kings and great ones were passed by. With a deliberate, unchangeable, eternal choice, he made us his own. Having chosen us he planned for us. Oh, the plans of infinite grace in the council chamber of eternity— far-reaching, all-comprehending plans of unfailing love! Wisdom from her throne determined the way in which God would lead his people, and bless his people, and sanctify his people, and perfect his people. The great Father then entered into a divine covenant with his whole heart and his whole soul, pledging his royal word, and then adding his oath, that by two immutable things, wherein it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation. That covenant, ordered in all things and sure, is proof of the whole-heartedness of God. Remember, also, the gift of his dear Son. Here are two wonders: the gift of Christ for the chosen, and the gift of the chosen to Christ. The more you think of these two mysteries, the more will your mind be overflowed with gratitude. “O world of wonders! I can say no less.”
When all this was done for us before we were born, was it not a striking thing that the Father should resolve to give us of his own life. Seeing we were spiritually dead, “he hath begotten us again unto a lively hope.” This is marvellous! We that are his chosen are also his children, partakers of the divine nature. Nay, I cannot speak of that. That is to be thought of in your inmost souls: and, I had almost said, dreamed of in your sleep. Next, the Lord adopted us, for he does nothing by halves. Regeneration gives us the nature of children, but adoption gives us the status and rights of children. “If children, then heirs, heirs of”— what? Heirs of the world? No. Heirs of the world to come? Yes, if you please; but the Scripture speaketh more largely— “Heirs of God.” God himself has become the heritage of his own people, and they are “joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.” Surely I have proved that the Father has blessed us with his whole heart and with his whole soul.
In reference to the ever-blessed Son of God, whom we worship as most truly God, we have the same truth to state. He loved us ages before he came to earth as man. Long before he came to earth to bleed and die, he visited his people in different forms, and was seen by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and others. In all this he proved how his whole heart and his whole soul went out to men. But, lo! the fulness of time is come. What see I yonder? A babe in a manger! An infant at a woman’s breast! Thus the Son of the Highest condescends for our sakes. I see him, further on, a humble man, despised as a Nazarene. With weary feet he traverses Galilee and Judaea and Samaria, bearing our sicknesses, a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief. It is he; it is the Son of God! Start not as I lead you unto the garden of agony, where his groans amaze the angels, and the bloody sweat dyes all his garments as if he had trodden the winepress. It is he whom all the heavens adore. Is he not serving us with his whole heart and with his whole soul? Lo! I see him bowing his head down to kiss our fallen humanity, and stretching out his hands on the cross to embrace the guilty, his feet meanwhile fast nailed as though he meant to await the latest comer. Yes, it is he: it is he who loved us with an everlasting love. Alas! his side was pierced, and blood and water flowed. Say, did he not bless us with his whole heart and with his whole soul? Was there ever one who lived so intensely as Christ did, or died with such whole-hearted self-sacrifice? Truly, the zeal of God’s house had eaten him up; his whole heart and his whole soul went out in our redemption. After he was dead he rose again, and he was as intent to bless after his resurrection as when he fell asleep. He visited his disciples, and comforted them. Then he went up to heaven, and rejoiced the Father’s majesty, but he changed not his mind. Still with his whole heart and with his whole soul he lives for us. He is preparing heaven for us; he has taken possession of our celestial estates, and he is pleading for us before the throne. Do you not hear his intercession at this hour? Every day he continueth to promote the interests of his redeemed with his whole heart. Moreover, he is hurrying post-haste to come to us. “Behold,” saith he, “I come quickly.” Always, ever, with his whole heart and with his whole soul, this glorious Son of God is blessing his people. All honour be to his divine majesty!
I must not omit the Holy Spirit, “to whom be all honour and glory.” The sacred Spirit of all grace blesses us with his whole heart and with his whole soul. He came after us when we went not after him. When we were mad with sin, and ravenous after the pleasures of it, he followed us, to check us in our headlong career, to beckon us to better things, to draw us thither, and to help us when we began to incline to the’ right. He gave us life, and light, and liberty. The most wonderful thing about the Holy Ghost is that he should ever deign to dwell in us. Is the Holy Ghost within this body? Does he dwell within the child of God? It is even so. For a prince to reside in a hovel is little condescension compared with the Spirit of God dwelling in these vile bodies of ours. Yet he is within us; and, being here, he works with all his heart. He quickens, but he leaves not that life untaught, for he instructs us. He teaches us to profit, “line upon line, precept upon precept”; but he is not content with teaching, he comforts us. When we are sad, he comes with divine consolations: this is very, very tender of him. He would not do this if he were not befriending us with his whole heart and with his whole soul. But he stops not at comforting; he goes on to render aid: “He helpeth our infirmities.” Nor is this all: he strengthens us, and works in us to will and do of his own good pleasure.
My time is gone, and perhaps it is as well, for I have not the grace or wisdom to set out all this great matter. But if Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are found blessing us thus, we see in the sacred Unity in Trinity, not only unity of nature, but unity of purpose; and the One Jehovah is blessing us with his whole heart, and with his whole soul. How I prattle! My text is majesty, my talk is poverty. One cannot preach upon such a text as this. How shall I reach the height of this great argument? Here is manna for your souls! It tasteth as wafers made with honey. Digest it well, and let it saturate the secret parts of your nature, and there let it sweeten spirit, soul and body.
III. So I close by saying to you— CONSIDER THE INFERENCES WHICH FLOW FROM THE TEXT. The first inference is one of consolation. Does God bless us with his whole heart and with his whole soul? Oh, then, how happy we ought to be! Come, my sister, wipe those tears away! Come, my brethren, you must get out of your despondency! You must not be down in the dumps while such a truth as this is before you. This unseasonable weather fills our bones with rheumatism, and our spirits with depression; but the eternal truth must influence more than the transient weather. While meditating on this theme, I said to myself, “Come, come, this will not do: with such a subject as this you ought to sing for joy.” I felt that my preparation for the pulpit ought to be one continuous song. The Lord blesses me with his whole heart and with his whole soul, what better news can I hear? This sweet assurance is a bath of milk. Of the man who believes it we may say, “Butter and honey shall he eat.” You breathe the perfume of heaven when you can get at the meaning of this text. Oh, the joy that lieth asleep in these words, as odours hide away in flowers! Come, heavenly wind, and wake the slumbering joys: constrain the celestial perfumes to flow abroad, that we may exult in them.
Our God does not give us his mercies off-hand, as we see a man fling a penny to a beggar. No, no, he blesses us with his whole heart, and with his whole soul. When the wicked are increased in riches, God’s heart does not go with the gifts which enrich them: they are as bullocks fattened for the slaughter. The Lord does not think much of riches, and, therefore, he usually gives them to the ungodly as men give bones to dogs. But when he deals with his people, ah! then his heart goes with every penny that he gives them, with every crust that he puts on their table, with every drink of water that refreshes them, with every breath Of air which sustains their lives. When your pulse beats, it keeps time to the goodness of God. In heights or in depths, in brightness or in darkness, God’s endless, boundless, measureless love is always shining on you. Come, come, I say again, sorrow is out of place in this house this day. This is a feast day. Let us rejoice with heart and soul, seeing the Lord our God so largely blesses us.
Another inference, and I have done: it is one of exhortation. Let us love our God with our whole heart and with our whole soul. Let us begin with trusting him with our whole heart and with our whole soul. Lay the whole of your burden upon God: tell the whole of your sorrow to your Father. Trust him for the past, the present, and the future; trust him completely, implicitly, unhesitatingly. Then love him with all your heart and soul. We do not half love our God. I think I spy a spark or two of love down there in those ashes, and among those half-charred logs of wood. Come, let us wake up the flames till they blaze again. Blow carefully on the drowsy fires. Let us create a great fire and then heap on fresh logs. Oh, to love the Lord with something like his own love! Let us also serve him with our whole heart and our whole soul. How often the service that is done for God is slovenly, heartless, dull! Let it not be so again. Brothers, if we preach, let us preach with our whole heart and with our whole soul. Sisters, if you teach your classes, teach them with your whole heart and with your whole soul. If all you can do is to give away a tract, give it away with your whole heart and with your whole soul. He that gives his whole heart and soul to you, great as they are, may well claim that you give your whole heart and your whole soul to him, little as they are. May the blessed Spirit lead you to whole-hearted consecration, and this will be a truly practical sermon! They say, “Put the whip into the manger”; and that is what I have tried to do. I have fed you that you may go the faster. Away, then, you high-mettled steeds; be strong as oxen, and swift as eagles. Fed on such food as this, you are bound to do the work of God with energy and perseverance. Glorify God’s name, seeing he has done all this for you.
Oh, that you would all feed on this meat! Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and being born of God he hath God’s heart and soul engaged for him. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you may take to yourself all that I have said; but if you believe not, I fear that you will die in your sins. God save you, for Christ’s sake! Amen.