India’s Ills And England’s Sorrows
“Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!”
SOMETIMES tears are base things. The offspring of a cowardly spirit. Some men weep when they should knit their brows and many a woman weeps when she should resign herself to the will of God. Many of those briny drops are but an expression of child-like weakness. It were well if we could wipe such tears away and face a frowning world with a constant countenance. But oftentimes tears are the index of strength. There are periods when they are the noble things in the world. The tears of penitents are precious–a cup of them worth a king’s ransom. It is no sign of weakness when a man weeps for sin. It shows that he has strength of mind no more–that he has strength imparted by God which enables him to forswear his lusts and overcome his passions and to turn unto God with full purpose of heart.
And there are other tears, too, which are the evidences not of weakness but of might–the tears of tender sympathy are the children of strong affection and they are strong like their parents. He that loves much, must weep much–much love and much sorrow must go together in this vale of tears. The unfeeling heart, the unloving spirit may pass from earth’s portal to its utmost bound almost without a sigh except for itself. But he that loves has dug as many wells of tears as he has chosen objects of affection. For by as many as our friends are multiplied, by so many must our griefs be multiplied, too, if we have love enough to share in their griefs and to bear their burden for them.
The largest hearted man will miss many sorrows that the little man will feel but he will have to endure many sorrows the poor narrow-minded spirit never knows. It needs a mighty Prophet like Jeremiah to weep as mightily as he. Jeremiah was not weak in his weeping. The strength of his mind and the strength of his love were the parents of his sorrow. “Oh that my head were Waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” This is no expression of weak sentimentalism. This is no utterance of mere whining presence. It is the burst of a strong soul, strong in its affection, strong in its devotion, strong in its self-sacrifice. I would to God we knew how to weep like this. And if we might not weep so frequently as Jeremy I wish that when we did weep, we did weep as well.
It would seem as if some men had been sent into this world for the very purpose of being the world’s weepers. God’s great house is thoroughly furnished with everything. Everything that can express the thoughts and the emotions of the inhabitant, God has made. I find in nature plants to be everlasting weepers. There by the lonely brook, where the maiden cast away her life, the willow weeps forever. And there in the graveyard where men lie slumbering till the trumpet of the archangel shall awaken them, stands the dull cypress mourning in its somber garments.
Now as it is with nature, so it is with the race of man. Mankind has bravery and boldness–they must have their heroes to express their courage. Mankind has some love to their fellow creatures. They must have their fine philanthropists to live out mankind’s philanthropy. Men have their sorrows, they must have their weepers. They must have men of sorrows who have it for their avocation and their business, to weep–from the cradle to the grave to be ever weeping, not so much for themselves as for the woes of others. It may be I have some such here. I shall be happy to enlist their sympathies. And truly if I have none of that race, I shall boldly appeal to the whole mass of you and I will bring before you causes of great grief.
And when I bid you by the love you bear to man and to his God to begin to weep, if you have tears, these hard times will compel you to shed them now. Come, let me show you why I have taken this as my text and why I have uttered this mournful language. And if your hearts are not as impassive as stone, surely there should be some tears shed this morning. For if I am not foolish in my utterances and faint in my speech, you will go home to your chambers to weep there. “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.”
I want your griefs this morning, first, for persons actually slain–“the slain of the daughter of our people.” And then I shall need your tears for those morally slain, “the slain of the daughter of our people.”
- To begin–with ACTUAL MURDER AND REAL BLOODSHED. My Brethren, our hearts are sick near unto death with the terrible news brought us post after post, telegraph after telegraph. We have read many letters of the Times, day after day, until we have folded up that paper and professed before God that we could read no more. Our spirits have been harrowed by the most fearful and unexpected cruelty. We, perhaps, may not have been personally interested in the bloodshed, so far as our own husbands, wives, brothers and sisters have been concerned–but we have felt the tie of kindred very strongly when we have found our race so cruelly butchered in the land of the East.
It is for us today humbly to confess our crime. The government of India has been a cruel government. It has much for which to appear before the bar of God. Its tortures–if the best evidence is to be believed–have been of the most inhuman kind. God forgive the men who have committed such crimes in the British name. But those days are past. May God blot out the sin. We do not forget our own guilt. But an overwhelming sense of the guilt of others who have with such cold-hearted cruelty tormented men and women, may well excuse us if we do not dilate upon the subject.
Alas! alas, for our Brethren there! They have died. Alas for them! They have been slain by the sword of treachery and traitorously murdered by men who swore allegiance. Alas for them! But, O you soldiers, we weep not for you. Even when you were tortured, you had not that high dishonor to bear to which the other sex has been obliged to submit. O England! Weep for your daughters with a bitter lamentation. Let your eyes run down with rivers of blood for them. Had they been crushed within the folds of the hideous boa, or had the fangs of the tiger been red with their blood, happy would their fate have been compared with the indignities they have endured!
O Earth! You have beheld crimes which antiquity could not parallel. You have seen bestial lust gratified upon the purest and the best of mortals. God’s fairest creatures stained–those loved ones who could not brook the name of lust–given up to the embraces of incarnate devils! Weep, Britain, weep, weep for your sons and for your daughters! If you are cold-hearted now, if you read the tale of infamy now without a tear, you are no mother to them! Surely your heart must have failed you and you have become less loving than your own lions and less tender than beasts of prey, if you do not weep for the maiden and the wife.
Brethren, I am not straining history. I am not endeavoring to be pathetic where there is no pathos. No. My subject of itself is all pathos. It is my poor way of speaking that does spoil it. I have not today to act the orator’s part, to garnish up that which was nothing before. I have not to magnify little griefs–rather I feel that all my utterances do but diminish the woe which every thoughtful man must feel. Oh, how have our hearts been harrowed, cut in pieces, melted in the fire! Agony has seized upon us and grief unutterable, when, day after day, our hopes have been disappointed and we have heard that still the rebel rages in his fury and still with despotic might does as he pleases with the sons and daughters, the husbands and the wives of England.
Weep, Christians, weep! And you ask me of what avail shall be your weeping eye bid you weep today, because the spirit of vengeance is gathering? Britain’s wrath is stirred. A black cloud is hanging over the head of the mutinous Sepoys! Their fate shall be most dreadful, their doom most tremendous, when England shall smite the murderers, as justly she must. There must be Judicial punishment enacted upon these men, so terrible that the earth shall tremble and both the ears of him that hears it shall tingle! I am inclined, if I can, to sprinkle some few cooling tears upon the fires of vengeance.
No, no, we will not take vengeance upon ourselves. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Let not Britain’s soldiers push their enemies to destruction through a spirit of vengeance. As men, let them do it as the appointed executioners of the sentence of our laws. According to the civil code of every country under Heaven, these men are condemned to die. Not as soldiers should we war with them but as malefactors we must execute the law upon them. They have committed treason against government and for that crime alone the doom is death! But they are murderers and rightly or wrongly, our law is that the murderer must die the death. God must have this enormous sin punished and though we would feel no vengeance as Britons, yet, for the sake of government, God’s established government on earth, the ruler who bears the sword must not now bear the sword in vain.
Long have I held that war is an enormous crime. Long have I regarded all battles as but murder on a large scale–but this time, I, a peaceful man, a follower of the peaceful Savior, do propound war. No, it is not war that I propose but a just and proper punishment. I will not aid and abet soldiers as warriors but as executioners of a lawful sentence which ought to be executed upon men, who, by the double crime of infamous debauchery and fearful bloodshed, have brought upon themselves the ban and curse of God. They must be punished, or truth and innocence can never walk this earth.
As a rule I do not believe in the utility of capital punishment but the crime has been attended with all the horrid guilt of the cities of the plain and is too bestial to be endured. But still, I say, I would cool down the vengeance of Britons and therefore I would bid you weep. You talk of vengeance but you know not the men with whom you have to deal. Many a post may come and many a month run round and many a year may pass before you hear of victory over those fierce men. Be not too proud. England talked once of her great deeds and she has since been humbled. She may yet again learn that she is not omnipotent. But you people of God, weep, weep for this sin that has broken loose, weep for this Hell that has found its way to earth.
Go to your chambers and cry out to God to stop this bloodshed. You are to be the saviors of your nation. Not on the bayonets of British soldiery but on the prayers of British Christians, do we rest. Run to your houses, fall upon your knees, lament most bitterly, for this desperate sin. And then cry to God to save! Remember, He hears prayer–prayer moves the arm of the Omnipotent. Let us proclaim a fast. Let us gather a solemn assembly. Let us cry mightily unto Him. Let us ask the God of armies to avenge Himself. Let us pray Him so to send the light of the Gospel into the land, that such a crime may be impossible a second time. And this time, so to put it down that it may never have an opportunity of breaking loose again.
I know not whether our government will proclaim a national fast. But certain I am it is time that every Christian should celebrate one in his own heart. I bid all of you with whom my word has one atom of respect. If my exhortation has one word of force, I do exhort you to spend special time in prayer just now. Oh, my Friends, you cannot hear the shrieks, you have not seen the terror-stricken faces, you have not beheld the flying fugitives. But you may picture them in your imagination–and he must be accursed who does not pray to God and lift up his soul in earnest prayer–that He would be pleased now to put His shield between our fellow-subjects and their enemies.
And you, especially, the representatives of many congregations in various parts of this land, give unto God no rest until He is pleased to bestir Himself. Make this your cry–“O Lord our God arise and let Your enemies be scattered and let all them that hate You become as the fat of rams.” So shall God, through your prayers, perhaps establish peace and vindicate justice and, “God, even our own God, shall bless us and that right early.”
II. But I have now a greater reason for your sorrow–a more disregarded and yet more dreadful source of woe. If the first time we said it with plaintive voice, we must a second time say it yet more plaintively–“Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night,” FOR THE MORALLY SLAIN of the daughter of my people.
The old adage is still true, “One-half of the world knows nothing about how the other half lives.” A large proportion of you professing Christians have been respectably brought up. You have never in your lives been the visitants of the dens of infamy. You have never frequented the haunts of wickedness and you know but very little of the sins of your fellow creatures. Perhaps it is well that you should remain as ignorant as you are–for to be ignorant is to be free from temptation, It would be folly to be wise. But there are others who have been obliged to see the wickedness of their fellows. And a public teacher, especially, is bound not to speak from mere hearsay but to know from authentic sources what is the spirit of the times.
It is our business to look with eagle eyes through every part of this land and see what crime is rampant–what kind of crime and what sort of infamy. Ah, my Friends, with all the advancement of piety in this land, with all the hopeful signs of better times, with all the sunlight of glory heralding the coming morn, with all the promises and with all our hopes we are still obliged to bid you weep because sin abounds and iniquity is still mighty. Oh, how many of our sons and daughters, of our friends and relatives are slain by sin! You weep over battlefields, you shed tears on the plains of Balaklava. There are worse battlefields than there and worse deaths than those inflicted by the sword.
Ah, weep for the drunkenness of this land! How many thousands of our race reel from our sin-palaces into perdition! Oh, if the souls of departed drunkards could be seen at this hour by the Christians of Britain, they would tremble. Lift up your hands in sorrow and begin to weep! My soul might be an everlasting Niobe, perpetually dropping showers of tears, if it might know the doom and the destruction brought on them by that one demon and by that one demon only! I am no enthusiast, I am no total abstainer–I do not think the cure of England’s drunkenness will come from that quarter. I respect those who thus deny themselves, with a view to the good of others and should be glad to believe that they accomplish their object.
But though I am no total abstainer, I hate drunkenness as much as any man breathing and have been the means of bringing many poor creatures to relinquish this bestial indulgence. We believe drunkenness to be an awful crime and a horrid sin. We look on all its dreadful effects and we stand prepared to go to war with it and to fight side by side with abstainers, even though we may differ from them as to the mode of warfare. Oh, England! How many thousands of your sons are murdered every year by that accursed devil of drunkenness, that has such sway over this land!
But there are other crimes, too. Alas, for that crime of debauchery! What scenes has the moon seen every night! Sweetly did she shine last evening. The meadows seemed as if they were silvered with beauty when she shone upon them. But ah, what sins were transacted beneath her pale sway! Oh, God, only You know–our hearts might be sickened and we might indeed cry for, “A lodge in some vast wilderness,” had we seen what God beheld when He looked down from the moon-lit sky! You tell me that sins of that kind are common in the lower class of society. Alas, I know it. Alas, how many a girl has dashed herself into the river to take away her life because she could not bear the infamy that was brought upon her!
But lay not this to the poor. The infamy and sin of our streets begin not with them. It begins with the highest ranks–with what we call the noble classes of society. Men who have defiled themselves and others will stand in our senates and walk among our peers. Men whose characters are not reputable–it is a shame to speak even of the things that are done by them in secret–are received into the drawing rooms and into the parlors of the highest society–while the poor creature who has been the victim of their passions is hooted and cast away! O Lord God, You alone know the awful ravages that this sin has made.
My God, Your servant’s lips can utter no more than this–he has gone to the verge of his utterance, he feels that he has no further license in his speech, still he may well cry–“Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” If you have walked the hospital, if you have seen the refuges, if you have talked with the inmates–and if you know the gigantic spread of that enormous evil, you may well sympathize with me when I say that at the thought of it my spirit is utterly cast down. I feel that I would rather die than live while sin thus reigns and iniquity thus spreads.
But are these the only evils? Are these the only demons that are devouring our people? Ah, would to God it were so. Behold, throughout this land how are men falling by every sin, disguised as it is under the shape of pleasure. Have you ever, as from some distant journey returned to your houses at midnight, seen the multitudes of people who are turning out of casinos, low theatres and other houses of sin? I do not frequent those places, nor from earliest childhood have I ever trod those floors but, from the company that I have seen issuing from these dens, I could only lift up my hands and pray God to close such places.
They seem to be the gates of Hell and their doors, as they very properly themselves say, “Lead to the pit.” Ah, may God be pleased to raise up many who shall warn this city and bid Christian people by day and night, “for the slain of the daughter of our people”! Christians, never leave off weeping for men’s sins and infamies. There are sins by day. God’s own day–this day–is defiled, is broken in pieces and trod under foot. There are sins committed every morning and sins each night. If you could see them you might never be happy. If you could walk in the midst of them and behold them with your eyes, if God would give you grace, you might perpetually weep–for you would always have cause for sorrow. “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.”
But now I must just throw in something which will more particularly apply to you. Perhaps I have very few here who would indulge in open and known sin. Perhaps most of you belong to the good and amiable class who have every kind of virtue and of whom it must be said, “One thing you lack.” My heart never feels so grieved as at the sight of you. How often have I been entertained most courteously and hospitably, as the Lord’s servant, in the houses of men and of women whose characters are supremely excellent. They have every virtue that could adorn a Christian–except faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They might be held up as the very mirrors and patterns to be imitated by others. How has my heart grieved when I have thought of these, still undecided, still godless, prayerless and Christless.
I have many of you in this congregation today–I could not put my finger upon one solitary fault in your character–you are scrupulously correct in your morals. But alas, alas, alas for you, that you should still be dead in trespasses and sins because you have not been renewed by Divine Grace! So lovely and yet without faith. So beautiful, so admirable and yet not converted. O God, when drunkards die, when swearers perish, when harlots and seducers sink to the fate they have earned, we may well weep for such sinners. But when these who have walked in our midst and have almost been acknowledged as Believers–are cast away because they lack the one thing needful–it seems enough to make angels weep!
O members of Churches, you may well take up the cry of Jeremiah when you remember what multitudes of these you have in your midst–men who have a name to live and are dead. And others, who though they profess not to be Christians, are almost persuaded to obey their Lord and Master but are yet not partakers of the Divine life of God. But now I shall want, if I can, to press this pathetic subject a little further upon your minds. In the day when Jeremiah wept this lamentation with an exceeding loud and bitter cry, Jerusalem was in all her mirth and merriment. Jeremiah was a sad man in the midst of a multitude of merry makers.
He told them that Jerusalem should be destroyed, that their temple should become a heap and Nebuchadnezzar should lay it with the ground. They laughed him to scorn. They mocked him. Still the viol and the dance were only to be seen. Do you not picture that brave old man, for he was bravely plaintive, sitting down in the courts of the Temple? And though as yet the pillars were unfallen and the golden roof was yet unstained, he lifted up his hands and pictured to himself this scene of Jerusalem’s Temple burned with fire, her women and her children carried away captive and her sons given to the sword. And when he pictured this, he did, as it were, in spirit set himself down upon one of the broken pillars of the Temple and there, in the midst of desolation which was not as yet–but which faith, the evidence of things not seen, did picture to him–cry, “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears.” And now, today, here are many of you, fakes and merry makers in this ball of life–you are here merry and glad today and you marvel that I should talk of you as persons for whom we ought to weep. “Weep for me!?” you say, “I am in health, I am in riches, I am enjoying life! Why weep for me? I need none of your sentimental weeping!”
Ah but we weep because we foresee the future. If you could live here always we might not, perhaps, weep for you. But we, by the eye of faith, look forward to the time when the pillars of Heaven must totter. When this earth must shake, when death must give up its prey. When the Great White Throne must be set in the clouds of Heaven and the thunder and lightning of Jehovah shall be launched in armies. And the angels of God shall be marshaled in their ranks to swell the pomp of the grand assize–we look forward to that hour and by faith we see you standing before the Judge. We see His eye sternly fixed on you, we hear Him read the book.
We mark your tottering knees while sentence after sentence of thundering wrath strikes on your appalled ear. We think we see your blanched countenances. We mark your terror beyond all description when He cries, “Depart, you cursed!” We hear your shrieks. We hear you cry, “Rocks hide us. Mountains fall on us!” We see the angel with fiery brand pursuing you–we hear your last unutterable shriek of woe as you descend into the pit of Hell. And we ask you if you could see this as we see it, would you wonder that at the thought of your destruction we are prepared to weep? “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes were a fountain of tears that I might weep” over you who will not stand in the judgment but must be driven away like chaff into the unquenchable fire!
And by the eye of faith we look further than that. We look into the grim and awful future–our faith looks through the gate of iron bound with adamant. We see the place of the condemned. Our ears, opened by faith, hear, “The sullen groans and hollow moans and shrieks of tortured ghosts!” Our eyes anointed with Heavenly eye salve see the worm that never dies. We behold the fire that never can be quenched and see you writhing in the flame! O professors, if you believed not in the wrath to come and in Hell eternal, I should not wonder that you were unmoved by such a thought as this. But if you believe what your Savior said when He declared that He would destroy both body and soul in Hell, I must wonder that you could endure the thought without weeping for your fellow creatures who are going there.
If I saw my enemy marching into the flames, I would rush between him and the fire and seek to preserve him. And will you see men and women marching on in a mad career of vice and sin, well aware that “the wages of sin is death,” and will you not interpose so much as a tear? What? Are you more brutal than the beast, more impassive than the stone! It must be so, if the thought of the unutterable torment of Hell does not draw tears from your eyes and prayer from your hearts. Oh, if today some strong archangel could unbolt the gates of Hell and for a solitary second permit the voices of wailing and weeping to come up to our ears–oh, how should we grieve! Each man would put his hand upon his loins and walk this earth in terror. That shriek might make each hair stand on end upon our heads and then make us roll ourselves in the dust for anguish and woe–
“Oh, doleful state of dark despair,
When God has far removed,
And fixed their dreadful station where
They must not taste His love.”
Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep for some of you that are going there this day. Remember, again, O Christian, that those for whom we ask you to weep this day are persons who have had great privileges and consequently, if lost, must expect greater punishment. I do not today ask your sympathies for men in foreign lands. I shall not bid you weep for Hottentots or Mohammedans though you might weep for them and you have goodly cause to do so–but I ask this day your tears for the slain of the daughter of your own people. Oh, what multitudes of heathens we have in all our places of worship! What multitudes of unconverted persons in all the pews of the places where we usually assemble to worship God.
And I may add, what hundreds we have here who are without God, without Christ, without hope in the world. And these are not like Hottentots who have not heard the Word–they have heard it and they have rejected it. Many of you, when you die, cannot plead as an excuse that you did not know your duty. You heard it plainly preached to you. You heard it in every corner of the streets. You had the Book of God in your houses. You cannot say that you did not know what you must do to be saved. You read the Bible, you understand salvation–many of you are deeply taught in the theory of salvation. When you perish, your blood must be on your own head and the Master may well cry over you today, “Woe unto you, Bethsaida, woe unto you Chorazin! For if the mighty works that were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”
I wonder at myself this day. I hate my eyes. I feel as if I could pluck them from their sockets because they will not weep as I desire, over poor souls who are perishing! How many have I among you whom I love and who love me! We are no strangers to one another. We could not live at a distance from each other, our hearts have been joined together long and firmly. You have stood by me in the hour of tribulation, you have listened to the Word, you have been pleased with it. I bear you witness that if you could pluck out your eyes for me you would do it. And yet I know there are many of you true lovers of God’s Word in appearance and certainly great lovers of God’s servant but alas for you, that you should still be in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity!
Alas, my Sister, I can weep for you! Woe, woe, my Brother, I can weep for you! We have met together in God’s house, we have prayed together and yet we must be separated. Shepherd, some of your flock will perish! O sheep of my pasture, people of my care, must I have that horrid thought upon me, that I must lose you? Must we, at the Day of Judgment, say farewell forever? Must I bear my witness against you? I shall be honest. I have dealt faithfully with your souls. God is my witness, I have often preached in weakness. Often have I had to groan before Him that I have not preached as I could desire. But I have never preached insincerely. Nobody will ever dare to accuse me of dishonesty in this respect.
Not one of your smiles have I ever courted. I have never dreaded your frowns. I have been in weariness oftentimes, when I should have rested, preaching God’s Word. But what of that? That were nothing. Only remember there is some responsibility resting upon you. And remember, that to perish under the sound of the Gospel is to perish more terribly than anywhere else. But, my Hearers, must that be your lot? And must I be witness against you in the Day of Judgment? I pray God it may not be so. I beseech the Master that He may spare us each such a fate as that.
And now, dear Friends I have one word to add before I leave this point. Some of you need not look round in this congregation to find cause for weeping. My pious Brothers and Sisters, you have cause enough to weep in your own families. Ah, mother! I know your griefs. You have had cause to cry to God with weeping eyes for many a mournful hour beFather, you have carefully brought up your daughter. You have nourished her when she was young and taken her fondly in your arms. She was the delight of your life, yet she has sinned against you and against God.
Many of you have sons and daughters that you often mention in your prayers but never with hope. You have often thought that God has said of your son, “Ephraim is given to idols. Let him alone.” The child of your affection has become an adder stinging your heart! Oh, then weep, I beseech you. Parents, do not leave off weeping for your children–do not become hardened towards them, sinners though they are. It may be that God may yet bring them to Himself. It was but last Church Meeting that we received into our communion a young friend who was educated and brought up by a pious minister in Colchester. She had been there many years and when she came away to London the minister said to her, “Now, my girl, I have prayed for you hundreds of times and I have done all I can with you. Your heart is as hard as a stone. I must leave you with God!”
That broke her heart. She is now converted to Jesus. How many sons and daughters have made their parents feel the same! “There,” they have said, “I must leave you, I cannot do more.” But in saying that, they have not meant that they would leave them unwept for but they have thought within themselves that if they were damned, they would follow them weeping to the very gates of Hell if by tears they could decoy them into Heaven. How can a man be a Christian and not love his offspring? How can a man be a Believer in Jesus Christ and yet have a cold and hard heart in the things of the kingdom, towards his children? I have heard of ministers of a certain sect and professors of a certain class who have despised family prayer, who have laughed at family godliness and thought nothing of it.
I cannot understand how the men can know as much as they do about the Gospel and yet have so little of the spirit of it. I pray God deliver you and deliver me from anything like that. No, it is our business to train up our children in the fear of the Lord. And though we cannot give them grace, it is ours to pray to the God who can give it. And in answer to our many supplications, He will not turn us away but He will be pleased to take notice of our prayers and to regard our sighs.
And now, Christian mourners, I have given you work enough–may God the Holy Spirit enable you to do it. Let me exhort you, yet once again, to weep. Do you need a copy? Behold your Master. He has come to the brow of the hill. He sees Jerusalem lying on the hill opposite to Him. He looks down upon it, as He sees it there–beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth–instead of feeling the rapture of some artist who surveys the ramparts of a strong city and marks the position of some magnificent tower in the midst of glorious scenery, He bursts out and he cries, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings but you would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Go now your ways and as you stand on any of the hills around and behold this huge city lying in the valley, say–“O London, London! How great your guilt. Oh, that the Master would gather you under His wing and make you His city, the joy of the whole earth! O London, London! Full of privileges and full of sin, exalted to Heaven by the Gospel! You shall be cast down to Hell by your rejection of it!” And then, when you have wept over London, go and weep over the street in which you live, as you see the Sabbath broken and God’s laws trampled upon and men’s bodies profaned–go and weep! Weep, for the court in which you live in your humble poverty, weep for the square in which you live in your magnificent wealth.
Weep for the humbler street in which you live in competence, weep for your neighbors and your friends, lest any of them, having lived godless, may die godless! Then go to your house, weep for your family, for your servants, for your husband, for your wife, for your children. Weep, weep, cease not weeping, till God has renewed them by His Spirit. And if you have any friends with whom you sinned in your past life be earnest for their salvation. George Whitfield said there were many young men with whom he played at cards in his lifetime and spent hours in wasting his time when he ought to have been about other business. And when he was converted, his first thought was, “I must by God’s grace have these converted, too.”
And he never rested, till he could say that he did not know of one of them, a companion of his guilt, who was not now a companion with him in the tribulation of the Gospel. Oh, let it be so with you! Let not your exertions end in tears–mere weeping will do nothing without action. Get on your feet, you that have voices and might–go forth and preach the Gospel, preach it in every street and lane of this huge city. You that have wealth, go forth and spend it for the poor and sick and needy and dying, the uneducated, the unenlightened. You that have time, go forth and spend it in deeds of goodness. You that have power in prayer, go forth and pray. You that can handle the pen, go forth and write down iniquity–everyone to his post–everyone of you to your gun in this day of battle for God and for His Truth.
For God and for the right let every one of us who knows the Lord seek to fight under His banner! O God, without whom all our exertions are vain, come now and stir up Your Church to greater diligence and more affectionate earnestness that we may not have in future such cause to weep as we have this day! Sinners, believe on the Lord Jesus. He has died, look to Him and live and God the Almighty bless you! To God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be glory forever and ever.