‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.’ Lamentations 3:21
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 73:1–28
In a lamentable accident which occurred in the North, in one of the coal pits, when a considerable number of the miners were down below, the top of the pit fell in, and the shaft was completely blocked up. Those who were down below sat together in the dark, and sang and prayed. They gathered to a spot where the last remains of air could be breathed. There they sat and sang after the lights had gone out, because the air would not support the flame. They were in total darkness, but one of them said he had heard that there was a connection between that pit and an old pit that had been worked years ago. He said it was a low passage, through which a man might get by crawling all the way, lying flat upon the ground—he would go and see; the passage was very long, but they crept through it, and at last they came out to light at the bottom of the other pit and their lives were saved. If my present way to Christ as a saint gets blocked up, if I cannot go straight up the shaft and see the light of my Father up yonder, there is an old working, the old fashioned way by which sinners go, by which poor thieves go, by which harlots go—come, I will crawl along lowly and humbly, flat upon the ground—I will crawl along till I see my Father, and cry, ‘Father, I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants, so long as I may but dwell in thy house.’ In your very worst case you can still come as sinners. ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;’ call this to mind and you may have hope.
For meditation: The believer who suffers a fall should remember, repent and return to those first but abandoned works (Revelation 2:4–5). That was Jonah’s route back from the pit to the land of the living (Jonah 2:6–10).
Sermon no. 654
15 October (1865)