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The Secret of Comfort.

The Secret of Comfort.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 18, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SECRET OF COMFORT. BY Rev. WILLIAM ANDERSON, LL.D, '*I Had fainted, unless I had believed to See the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living," — Psalm xxvii. 13. You will observe in your Bibles that the words, " I had fainted," are printed in Italics, indicating that there is nothing corresponding to them in the Hebrew original Read the verse, therefore, without the supplement, and you will see what emotion there is in the expression as it proceeded at first from the heart of the Fsahnist: "Unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living !" We are left to supply the statement of the affliction which would have been the consequence of his unbelief in whatever way we choose. Our translators have supplied, perhaps, rather weakly. In another Psalm David says: "Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction." In both cases, however, David was evidently in a state of extraordinary distress ; and the strength of expression suitable to his case, though suitable to the cases, perhaps, of a few deeply distressed persons present, might be regarded extravagant if represented as being a fit expression for us all, so that the supplement of our translators, if under-stood in this sense, " My heart would have failed within
* A Diflcoime on the ocoanon of the death of Dr. Chalmers, preached in John Street Church, Glasgow, May, 1847. Digitized by Google THE SECRET OF COMFORT. 261 me for weariness and hopelessness/' may be regarded as striking a proper medium for the expression of unusual Christian experience. " My heart would fail within me for weariness and hopelessness, unless I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Is this, I ask, a suitable expression of the state of feeling of each of us ? Observe, I ask not if it was the expression of the feelings of some of us, months or years ago, when they were suffering
under the infliction of some peculiarly distressing calamity. If I referred to such a time, I would make the expression much stronger ; and it is of each of us as we are here at this present moment, that I ask if even now his heart would sink within him but for his belief that he will yet see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living — understanding by the land of the living the heavenly kingdom. There are possibly some present who are depressed in spirit, whose case I shall afterwards consider ; but in the first instance, I ask of those who feel comfort-ably, what is the secret of their comfort ? Unless it be the hope of that land of life which preserves you from being a melancholy man — if you are comfortable and cheerful without that hope, I denounce you as being a person of very ignominious mini Let not my soul be like yours, if anything in this world can satisfy it, or keep it from complaining that its lot is a most miserable one. It is the land of the dead ; and who shall presume to attempt to satisfy his soul with such an inheritance ? There are many more evils in it than death : there is hunger, and nakedness, and toil, and disease, and slander, and shame, and disobedient children, and treacherous friends, and an accusing conscience, and the fear of eternity. But my argument is so strong that it can afford to

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