Sunday, September 26

Sunday's Hymn and Sermon: God's Truth

From William Cowper:
Holy Lord God! I Love Thy Truth
Holy Lord God! I love Thy truth,
Nor dare Thy least commandment slight;
Yet pierced by sin, the serpent's tooth,
I mourn the anguish of the bite.

But though the poison lurks within,
Hope bids me still with patience wait;
Till death shall set me free from sin,
Free from the only thing I hate.

Had I a throne above the rest,
Where angels and archangels dwell;
One sin, unslain, within my breast,
Would make that Heav'n as dark as hell.

The prisoner, sent to breathe fresh air,
And blessed with liberty again,
Would mourn, were he condemned to wear
One link of all his former chain.

But O! no foe invades the bliss,
When glory crowns the Christian's head;
One view of Jesus as He is,
Will strike all sin forever dead.

Today's featured sermon is from Octavious Winslow, and is titled The Preciousness of God's Word. From the sermon:
Now, God's Word is truth. He who is emphatically " the Truth," because He is essential truth, and the substance of revealed truth, has affirmed this in His sublime and memorable prayer--properly the Lord's Prayer--"Your Word is truth." Pursue this thought for a moment. There would seem to exist a necessity that it should be so, since it is the Word of the God of truth, partaking of the nature of that God whose truth it is. All that emanates from God must be a transcript, in some degree, of what He is. It is faintly so in the works of nature; yet more clearly so in the kingdom of providence: perfectly so in the empire of grace. The great truth, then, to which these three witnesses testify is this, "He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He." (Deut. xxxii. 4.) It follows then, as clearly as any conclusion can from premise, that His Word is true--eternally, essentially, immortally true. True in the Savior it reveals--in the salvation it declares--in the doctrines it expounds--in the precepts it enforces--in the promises it speaks--in the hopes it unveilsand in the threatenings it denounces. "YOUR WORD is TRUTH."

As divine truth, then, it is most precious to the believer who has staked his all of future and eternal happiness upon its veracity. Let your faith, beloved reader, have more close dealing with the truth of God's Word. Whatever gloomy and untoward providences may gather their shadows around your path, hold fast your confidence in the truth of God's Word. You shall find mutability in everything but this. God will vary His providences, but cannot alter His Word. "Forever, 0 Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven." Heaven, with its resplendent glory and surpassing wonder--earth, with its countless myriads of beings, its beauty, and its history, shall be a thing of yesterday, not a vestige remaining to tell of its existence, its grandeur, and its greatness; but "the Word of the Lord shall endure forever."
The Bible, as God's revealed truth to us, gives us all that we need most:
As men of this world merely, as creatures of time, more especially as the proprietors of immortality, you have a thousand-fold deeper interest in the Bible than in any other, or all other books. It is just as important that you who have the opportunity should become acquainted with the Scriptures, and believe, and love, and obey them, as it is that you should be saved. This Book offers to you that which most you need, that which is infinitely more to you than all other things, glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life. We cannot but look upon the prevailing indifference with which the Word of God is regarded, as one of the evils over which we are loudly called to mourn.

You send the Bible to the ignorant and destitute, you carry it to every cottage and waft it to every country, and thanks to God that you do so. But to what extent is it studied in your churches, read in your families, taught to your children? There is no surer evidence of living without God in the world than living without intimate communion with the Bible. Who that does not mean to remain in impenetrable obduracy, who that does not form the deliberate resolve to close every avenue to the divine influence, that is not prepared to plunge the dagger of the second death into his own bosom; can live in the neglect of these Scriptures of God? And if you believe them, and understand them, will you refuse them the submission of your heart and your everlasting obedience? Do you accredit the stupendous truths contained in this volume, and shall they awaken no deep interest, and urge you to no solemn preparation for your last account? There is not one among those who will not prove a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. What can we add more to this searching, solemn appeal to you who are living in a wilful neglect of that Book which tells you of life in this world, and out of which you will be judged in the world which is to come? Disbelieve, or neglect the Word of God, and you reject the only chart to eternity.