King's Business - 1917-10



Christian who can sing God’s sonnets in the darkness. He who can sing songs in the night, too, proves that he has true love to Christ. It is not love to Christ to praise Him while everybody else praises Him; to walk arm in arm with Him when He has the crown on His head is no great deed, I wot; to walk witE Christ in rags is something. To believe in Christ when He is shrouded in darkness, to stick hard and fast by the Saviour when all menj speak ill of Him and forsake Him—that is true faith. He who singeth a song to Christ in the night, singeth the best song in all the world; for He;singeth from the heart. I am afraid of wearying you; therefore I shall not dwell on the excellences of night songs, but just, in the last place, show you their use. It is very useful to sing in the night of our troubles, first, because it will cheer our­ selves. When you were boys living in the country, and had some distance to go alone at night, don’t you remember how you whistled and sang to keep your courage up ? Well, what we do in the natural world we ought to do in the spiritual. There is noth­ ing like singing to keep your spirits alive. When we have been in trouble, we have often thought ourselves to be well-nigh overwhelmed with difficulty; and we have said, “Let us have a song.” We have begun to sing; and Martin Luther says, “The devil cannot bear singing.” That is about the truth; he does not like music. It Was so in Sdul’s days; an evil spirit went away from him. This is usually the case; if we can begin to sing we shall remove our fears. I like to hear servants sometimes humming a tune at their work; I love to hear a plow­ man in the country singing as he goes along with his horses. Why not? You say he has no time to praise God; but he can sing a song—surely he can sing a Psalm; it will take no more time. Singing is the best thing to purge ourselves of evil thoughts. Keep your mouth full of songs, and you will often keep your heart full of praises; keep on singing as long as you can; you

will find it a good method of driving away your fears. CHEER FOR OTHERS Sing, again, for another reason; because it will cheer your companions. If arty of them are in the valley and in the darkness with you, it will be a great help to comfort -them. John Bunyan tells us that as Chris­ tian was going through the valley he found it a dreadful dark place, and terrible de­ mons and gobblins were all about him, and poor Christian thought he must perish for certain; but just when his doubts were the strongest he heard a sweet voice; he list­ ened to it, and he heard a man in front of him saying, “Yea, when I pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Now, that man did not know who was near him,.but he was unwittingly sing­ ing to cheer a man behind. Christian, when you are in trouble, sing; you do not know who is near you. Sing, perhaps you will get a companion by it. Sing! perhaps there will be many a heart cheered' by your song. There is some broken spirit, it may be, that will be bound up by your sonnets. Sing! there is some poor distressed brother, per­ haps, shut up in the Castle of Despair, who, like King Richard, will hear your song inside the walls, and sing to you again, and you may be the means of getting him a ran­ som.» Sing, Christian, wherever you go; try, if ,you can, to wash your face every morning in a bath of praise. When you go down from your chamber, never go to look on man till you have first looked on your God; and when you have looked on Him, seek to come down with a face beaming with joy; carry a smile, for you will cheer up many a poor way-worn pilgrim by it. One more reason; and I know it will be a good one for you. Try and sing in the" night, Christian, for that is one of the best arguments in all the world in favor of your religion. Our divines nowadays spend a great deal of time in trying to prove Chris­ tianity against those who disbelieve it. I should like to have seen Paul trying that! Elymas the sorcerer withstood him: how did our friend Paul treat him? He said,

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