From Dr. Parker’s sermon on Ruth 1:1-18
“Almighty God, the heavens and the earth are thine: they are the work of thine hand; they are the witnesses of thy power; they are unto us as a great wonder by day and by night. Behold, who can measure thy strength, or understand thy wisdom? Thou settest creation fast upon the pillars of thy strength, and none can overturn them. We rest in the security of almightiness. Our hope is in the living God. We have no fear: perfect love casteth out fear; and in so far as thou hast wrought that love in our hearts we are delivered from the slavery of fear. We rejoice in all the work of thy hand. All thy work is ever new: every morning is a creation, every night a benediction, and all the time thou art doing us good because of thy tender mercy and thy lovingkindness. We would love thee in Christ Jesus more and more. In him thou hast outdone all thy greatest works: he is the brightness of thy glory; he is the express image of thy person; he is the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely; he is the bright and morning star; he is our sun and shield; he is our all in all. We bless thee, therefore, most of all for the revelation of thyself in thy Son Christ Jesus. How gracious his word! how gentle his speech! how tender his Spirit! how full of love altogether! He died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our iniquities. This is our last and greatest joy: than this there is surely no greater gladness in heaven. Is not a Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, seated upon heaven’s own throne? and is not the anthem of heaven devoted to the praises of the Lamb? Bring us all nearer to Christ. May we feel more and more our need of him. May we answer his love by our faith; and, being sprinkled by his blood—yea, cleansed by it from every stain of sin—may we walk as those who are clothed in white, and keep our garments unspotted from the world. Thou hast set us in a strange place; thou hast caused us to pass under varied discipline: but thy rod is a rod of love, and it is in the hand of mercy. Help us to receive our daily task thankfully, resignedly, and to do it well in thy strength and love, knowing that God will judge us all, therefore may we not judge one another. We bless thee for all our hope, for all our secret gladness, for all the glory we have by faith seen beyond death and beyond the grave, so much so that we have mocked the monster and taunted him to his face, saying,—O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Behold, we have triumphed in Christ, and because of his omnipotence we are delivered and are set in a great security. Help us to be wise men, truly knowing the times in which we live, fearlessly doing our duty, patiently awaiting God’s verdict and the whole issue of providence. May there be in us no sign of terror, no sign of evil apprehension, but with stout hearts, and constant faith, and diligent industry may we do thy will on earth. Comfort those who are distressed; dry the tears of anxious sorrow, intense and intolerable pain, and, above all, that secret and wordless misery which eats itself and which cannot draw upon the sympathy of those who observe it. The Lord direct us, protect us, be round about us—be our shield and safety, be our buckler and our defence; then the battle shall be gladness, hard work shall be rest, and the eventide shall be a hint of that Sabbath all morning—the glad, glad day of heaven. Amen.”
People’s Bible, The – The People’s Bible – Judges 6 – 1 Samuel 18: Volume 6.