Monday, July 29, 2013


(Because of the wretched state of Red Deer’s pulpit space, it is now, as predicted by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3, the time to ‘pluck up that which is planted…a time to break down…a time to weep…a time to cast away stones’ and even ‘a time to refrain from embracing.’ And it is certainly more ‘a time to speak’ than ‘a time to keep silence.’ Be that as it may, the wrecking ball of negative criticism should be followed by the laying down of truth. To this end, we introduce the sermon sketch as an intermittent blog feature. As the term ‘sketch’ implies, this kind of post, in distinction from the usually lengthy analysis, will be pithy. The source for each sketch will be indicated at the bottom of each post.)

Healing for the Wounded: A Sermon for the Crimean Soldiers

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147.3.)

Introduction. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” The Psalmist here declares that the same mighty hand which rolls the stars along, heals the broken heart. Oh, if we were as aware of spiritual injuries as we are of bodily diseases, we would cry out to “the Beloved Physician.” We are injured by the sin of our first parent, and disabled by our own.

(1) The Great Ill. This great ill, this broken heart, what is it? There are hearts broken by desertion. A husband neglects the wife he used to lavish with love. A friend deserts you. Your fellows betray you. Children are ungrateful. Many have gone to their graves by wounds like these. There are hearts broken by bereavement. Tender wives have laid their husbands in the grave. Parents have lost beloved kids. To such as them the world becomes cheerless and miserable. But divine grace can uphold them. And what about our soldiers in the war? There is more grief sometimes in one of their hurried funerals than in one of ours at home. Oh, you mourners! Open your hearts before God. He will heal them. There are also hearts broken by poverty. Hang on, and hope on! The Feeder of sparrows cares for you! And there are spirits crushed by disappointment and defeat. All these natural breakings Jehovah pays attention to. He can heal all wounds. But it is the heart that is broken on account of its own sin that God specially delights to heal. Bunyan says a heart like this is “considerably tumbled up and down.” This wounded spirit is grieved by things like amusements and dirty songs and drinking, and requires a healing from beyond this world. Even its religious duties bring no comfort. Nothing cheers it. What a blessing to be broken like that! God is changing it! This heart is truly repenting! There is pardon for sinners through Jesus Christ! Are you anxious to be carried to God’s Hospital of Mercy? Just lie down at Jesus’ feet.

(2) The Great Mercy. Man can cheer the afflicted and harassed. But only God can heal the broken heart. The preacher may break it by a fiery sermon. But only God does the healing. Be careful not to just get your wound rubbed over by a bad physician who recommends pleasures or duties for your broken-ness. Your heart needs to be washed in the blood of Jesus. Seek no other physician than God, and he will do it. Plentiful in mercy, God rushes to his repenting child, and bows over his mangled heart. He washes every wound with sacred water from the side of Jesus. The queen may visit and comfort a soldier with royal words. But only God visits to close the open wounds of the spirit. He is gentler than any army surgeon, and he heals forever. He who is forgiven cannot be punished. He who is born again can never perish.

Selection from Conclusion. “Do you know that there is a hell of eternal flame appointed for the wicked?…Canst thou endure the terrors of the Almighty?…It may be my words are now sounding in the ear of one of my weary wounded fellow-countrymen…You are now feeling the guilt of your life, and are lamenting the sins of your conduct. You fear there is no hope of pardon…Hear, then, the word of God. Thy pains for sins are God’s work in thy soul…He would not have showed thee thy sin if he did not intend to pardon …Believe, O troubled one, that he is able to save thee unto the uttermost, and thou shalt not believe in vain…See…yonder crucified Man on Calvary, and mark thee that those drops of blood are falling for thee, those nailed hands are pierced for thee, and that opened side contains a heart within it, full of love to thee.

{This sermon by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) is sketched by M. H. Gaboury.} 

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