u It Is better to trust In the Lord." Psalm 118:8.
I have a short text to-night, but there is a great deal in it. Let every one who has been led by the Spirit to put his trust in God, pray that every soul here that is out of Christ may put his trust in him to-night. This day is one of the most solemn days of my life. The thought comes stealing over me that I am standing before people whom I shall never meet again. I have not come here to-night so much to preach a sermon as to tell you how you may be saved. If I •hould go to yonder prison, and find any one of you there condemned and sentenced to be hanged for the murder of some man, and I should begin to talk about the Governor, and tell you all about his mansion, nis home, and what a kind heart he had, it would not be what you wanted to hear. You would rather have me tell you what yon might do to save your life, and how you could get out of prison. That is what I came to tell you to-night—to tell you how you can be saved. The text is this little word "Trust" I want you to remember the text, if you don't get the sermon. This text will be worth a hundred sermons. I have been preaching to you about believing and receiving Christ, and now I want to talk to you about trusting Christ. The wood "Believe" in the New Testament is the lame as "Trust" in the Old Testament. Where it is " Repent and tarn to God" in the New Testament it is " Turn ye, turn ye" in the Old. Where it is " Believe, believe" in the New, it is " Trust, trust, trust," in the Old. Some people get hold of that word "Trust," when they don't understand what is meant by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ It is a simple word. You would not have come here tonight if you had not trusted there was going to be a meeting. Trust is the foundation of all society. The moment men lose confidence in each other, how their peace is disturbed. When our confidence it disturbed in our homes what darkness and wretchedness follow. If a father loses confidence in his son, how dark that home becomes.
Now, you know the 118th Psalm and 8th verse is just the middle Terse in the whole Bible. A convict in one of our prisons counted the verses in the Bible, and he found that was the middle verse. I thought that was a good place to begin, and run both ways, and we will then hare the whole Bible. At least we will take up such paslages as will help us to get hold of this truth, beginning with that one: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." You will say Amen to that. You that have put confidence in man and been disappointed, can say that is true. There is Dot an infidel here but will admit that. It is better to trust God than yourself. I would rather trust God than my own deceitful heart. It v better to make yourself a liar and make God true. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence even in princes. That ii what the Lord said.
There is a passage which I like very much in the twenty-sixth chapter of Isaiah, at the third verse: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting ifrength." The trouble with inquirers is, they have their minds stayed on themselves. "The way of the wicked he turneth upside down." "There is no peace for the wicked." "Trust ye in the Lord, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Our •trength will fail us. The strength of our friends will fail us. If ire trust in our money it will take wings and fly away. If we frost in the love of our friends, they will leave us. A boy is wed to trust his father and mother, but they are covered in their graves, and if he had not God to trust, what would he have done? A mother may forget her child, but God will never forget us. "In Jehovah is everlasting strength." Turn to that passage in your Bible, and you will find in the margin, "Trust in the Rock of Ages." The Lord wants us to trust in the Rock of Ages. A man shall never fall if he puts his trust in the Lord Jehovah; but if he puts his trust in anything else, he will be disappointed.
When shall we trust? A great many say: "I would like to bocome a Christian; but you don't pretend to* say I can trust to-night, and be saved?" There is not anything to hinder every man here to-night from trusting, if he will. You say: "Have I not to feel a little, and repent more, and weep more, and have a deeper conviction of sin?" A deep conviction of sin is all you want. I don't object to seeing men weep over their sins. Some people think it is not manly. I don't know why it is not manly for a man to weep over his sins. It is more manly than to trifle with salvation, and make light of serious things. A great many men seem to be ashamed to shed tears over their sins.
God commands all men to repent, and to put their trust in him If you go out of this hall to-night without trusting God for salvation, you are doing what God tells you not to do. In the eighth verse of the sixty-second Psalm, it is said, "Trust him at all times." That means to-night. "Ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us." Now if we make him a refuge, and put our trust in him, we will not be disappointed. Trust in him at all times, in the dark as well as in the light. We very often hear men say, "I would not trust that man farther than I could see him." They treat God in the same way. If they see how a thing is coming out, they will trust God. That is walking by sight and not by faith. Let us trust him when we cannot see him. Let us put our confidence in him, and he will surely not fail us. There is a verse in Proverbs teaching us how to trust him: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I never knew a man that was willing to trust the Lord with all his heart, but the Lord saved him, and delivered him from all his doubts. The great trouble is, we do not trust him with all our heart. God says, "Ye shall find me when you search for me with all your heart." God says, "Trust me witn all your heart." Is there anything to hinder you from putting your trust in him?
There is a story told that Alexander the Great received a letter telling him his physician was going to put poison in a certain glass for him to drink. The Emperor held up the letter for the doctor to read, and drank the mixture without examination. He trusted his doctor. God says, "Trust in me, and you shall be saved." The devil will insinuate that God is not true. Don't let the devil bring up any insinuations about God not being true. He is true; he has tlways kept his promises. We find witnesses in all ages bear testimony to this.
There is a story told that Dr. Chalmers was going to see a woman who was troubled about faith. A great many think this faith is some miraculous gift from Heaven. Of course it comes from God; but it i>the same Kind of faith you have in one another. The old Doctor was going to see this woman, and he had to cross a brook, over which there was a plank. He looked at it, and thought it might be rotten and would break, and so let him down. He put his foot on it and did not dare to venture. He was afraid. The old Scotch woman saw him and said, "Lip ontilt it;" that was, "Trust it, and it will hold you." The doctor believed her, and crossed the stream. My friends, just "Lip ontilt it." Trust him; his promise will hold every one. It is lure footing for eternitv. The dark hours of death, persecution and slander have come dashing against it; but thanks be to God, I have stood on the rock for twenty years. I tremble sometimes, but the rock never. It is sure footing. Here it is: "Verily, verily I say unto you"—put your name in there—" He that heareth my word"— have you not heard it? have you not read it? have you not handled it?—"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but hath passed from death unto life." That is a plank that can carry you over the stream. Walk out on it.
I was talking with a man in the inquiry-room last week about taking God at ms word. I asked him if he believed the Bible. He said he believed every word of it. I read this 24th verse of the 5th chapter of John to him. When I got to uhath everlasting life," I «sked him: "Have you got it?" "No sir," he said, "I have not got it" "Then," I said, "you don't believe it, you come to the point where there is life, and you halt. There is life there, in the middle of that verse. There are two lines below it and two lines above it. Take it and believe on tho> Lord Jesus Christ, and you have it." I told him about a man in Dr. Hatfield's church.. There were a few inquirers there, and I was talking about that verse, taking it by sentences, "Verily, verily," truly, truly, "I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me." I brought the inquirers so far, and when I said, "hath everlasting life," the man leaped to his feet, and said: "I have it now." He nad got it. You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ if you ever would win the kingdom of Heaven. You must have a poor opinion of God if you don't believe his word. Many a man has been knocked down for •aying another man is a liar. This is calling God a liar.
Don't go out of this building with the delusion that you cannot frost God. When a man tells me he cannot trust me, I ask him to g?Te a reason. Suppose a man comes to me and says: "Moody, I do not believe wbat you are preaching. You are a liar." I ask him the reason. I ask, where has God ever broken his promise to man. I would like to have any skeptical man put his hand upon any promise that God has not kept. "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor the son of man, that he should repent." Has he not said it, and will he repent? It is unreasonable for a man to say he cannot believe God. Why cannot you? Has he ever disappointed you? You will find him true when everyone else is untrue. You will find him a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Let us look at the ninth Psalm and tenth verse: "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, has not forsaken them that seek thee." A man that knows God cannot help but trust him. That is a good proof we have that these things are true. Men that know most about God, trust him the most. It is these men who don't know God, that don't trust him. Did you ever see a man that was well acquainted with the Bible, and well acquainted with the teachings of the Spirit, that didn't have full confidence in God? I never did.
Suppose a man made me a hundred promises, and he had ten years to fulfill them, and the next month the ten years will expire. He has fulfilled ninety-nine of the promises, and is able to fulfill the other. Would not I have good reason to trust him that he would fulfill it? Has not God fulfilled all his promises, and shall we doubt him, and say we cannot trust him? They that know him, trust him.
I can imagine some one saying: "How am I going to know him or get acquainted with him?" I will read from the thirteenth verse of the tenth chapter of Romans: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved; how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed." A man will not call upon a man in whom he has no confidence. If you believe Jesus Christ is an impostor, you will not call upon him. "And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them which bring the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. But they have not aU obeyed the Gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Now, if men will not read the Bible or hear it proclaimed, how can it be expected they are going to believe? If a man will only acquaint himself with God, he will be at peace. Job says, a Acquaint thyself with him, and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee." If a man knows God, he will trust him.
A party of gentlemen in Scotland wanted to get some eggs from a nest on the side of a precipice, and they tried to persuade a poor boy that lived near to go over and get them, saying they would hold him by a rope. They offered him a good deal of money to go; but
they were strangers to him, and he would not go. They told him they would see there was no accident happened to him;—they would fasten him securely. At last he said, "I will go if my father will hold the rope." He trusted his father. A man will not trust strangers. I want to get acquainted with a man before I put my confidence in him. I have known God for twenty years, and I have more confidence in God than I ever had before; it increases every year. In this Bible, some things that were dark ten years ago are plain to-night; and some things that are dark now will be plain ten years hence. We must take things by faith. You take the existence of cities on the testimony of men that have been in those cities; and we ask you to take our testimony, who have found joy in believing. "We ask you to trust in God.
I will call your attention to the fruits of those who trust in God. The world is in pursuit of peace. If it could be sold at auction how many would bid very high for perfect peace. Many a man would go around the world and spend thousands of dollars if he oould only get peace. That rich man spoken of in Scripture says: "I will tear down my barns and build larger, and then I will say to my soul, 'Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.'" That man was after peace. People think if they get money they will get peace. That is not my experience. If I want to get the testimony of those who know most about the peace of God, I would not go to the rich men of Philadelphia; I would rather be in the poor-house trusting in my God, than in the grandest palace in Philadelphia, if I did not know him.
Turn to the 16th chapter of Proverbs at the 20th verse: "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good; and whoso trustcth in the Lord, happy is he." Now you know men are after happiness. Some men, seeking an hour of happiness, try to find it at the theatre, oircus, or some vile place. Here it is said the man who puts his trust in God is happy. Cannot you who are the children of God, from the depth of your heart say, "It is true; I am a thousand times happier than I was before I put my trust in God." Put your trust in God; that is the true source of happiness. Come up to the tree and pluck this fruit of happiness. "Happy is he "—that is what the Word of God says.
Then you get something else. In the 32nd Psalm at the 10th verse, it is said: "He that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about." The Lord deals in mercy with him. Mercy shall compass the man's path who puts his trust in God. I can imagine some people say: "I have tried to trust him over and over again; I do not believe what Mr. Moody says." The very word "try" implies you don't do it. If a man said, "I will try and believe you," it would imply I had deceived him sometime, and he had hard work to be
lieve what I told him. Drop the word "try," my friends, and put in the word "trust," and then you will have peace and joy. A great many put peace and joy and all those feelings before trust. Suppose I found men on the street laughing at the top of their voices; I come up to them and say: "I find you very happy; why are you so happy?" They say, "We don't know." I say, "What is the reason?" They say, "We are so happy we cannot tell." I would say they had gone clean mad. If you have peace and joy, you need to have some reason for it. It is because you put your trust in God. You must put your trust in God first. You do not have this peace and joy until you do put your trust in God. You are trusting yourself to keep your soul ; you have tried and failed; stop trying and begin to trust in him, and say as Job: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Let the consequences be what they will, I will trust him. Are you not willing to say that? Are you not willing to come to that decision to-night? Is there anything to hinder you?
About two weeks ago, I used this illustration in the inquiry-room. Suppose this book was one hundred thousand dollars; my soul is worth more than that; no one would sell his soul for one hundred thousand dollars. If the money lay here no man would say: "I will give up all my hope of eternal life for one hundred thousand dollars." He would say: "What, sell my birthright for that; no, ten thousand times no." There might be some reckless man would; but I doubt it. Suppose I have this one hundred thousand dollars; I am afraid some thieves will break through and steel it from me; I am anxious about it. I take it to the best bank in Philadelphia, and I deposit it. I trust the bank to keep that money for me. St. Paul •ays: "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." He is able to keep my deposit; that is the true meaning of it. Will you make your deposit to-night? Will you not trust him with all your heart to save you? I tell you he will do it, if you trust him. The Lord does not tell you to do something that is impossible for you to do, and then punish you if you do not do it. With the command comes the power to obey. When Christ said to the man with the withered hand, "Stretch forth thine hand," the man might have said, "I have tried, and I cannot do it." With the command came the power. With the command to trust in the Lord, comes the power to obey. Don't let the devil deceive you by telling you you cannot trust him. Make up your mind that you will trust him, from this hour; and you will do it.
As I was preaching at one of our meetings I noticed a lady looking very steadily at me, and she seemed to fetch home to her heart every word that fell from my lips. After the sermon I went down and asked her if she was a Christian. She said: "No, but I wish I waa, I have been seeking Christ for three years, and I cannot find him.
What am I to do?" Says I, "There must be some mistake. Why I know he has been seeking you for twenty years; and if you have been seeking him, you would have met long before now." She aaid, "What am I to do?" I said: "Do nothing, just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved." She said: "I have heard that until my head aches. Every body says believe, believe, believe; and I am none the wiser." I said, "I will drop that word." I said: "Trust the Lord Jesus Christ, as you stand here." She said: "If I say I will trust the Lord, will he save me." I said: "No, you might say that a thousand times, and not do it. Will you do it?" She said: "I trust the Lord Jesus Christ with all my soul, and I don't feel any difference." I said: "You have been seeking after feeling, you have been seeking for feeling in your heart. Now, there it no promise in the Word of God where you will get feeling. There is no verse, from Genesis to Revelation, where feeling is attached to salvation." I quoted, "He is able to keep that which I nave committed unto him." "Now, I said, "will you not put your trust in him? Trust him, and let your feelings take oare of themselves." She looked at me about five minutes it seemed, but I don't suppose it was more than one; and then she reached out her hand,, and said: "I trust the Lord Jesus Christ this night to save my soul."' There was no tear, no prayer, but there was a decision. "1 trust." She turned to the pastor of the church, and calling him by name, said: "I trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save my soul." Turning to one of the elders she said: "I trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save my soul." She started and went down the aisle, and just as she was going out the door she met another officer of the church, and she said: "I am trusting Jesus to save me." The next night she was in front of me. I did not have to go down that night and ask her if she loved Jesus. At the close of the meeting she was the first to go into the inquiry-room, and when I got in there she had her arm around a young lady's neck, and she was saying: "It is only to trust him." She led more souls to Christ in two weeks in that church than anyone. If you trust him to-night, it will be the best Sabbath in all your life.
The time has come for us to close these Sunday night meetings. Probably this is the last Sunday night service we will nave. Some of you have been here nine Sunday nights; and now on this last night what are you going to do? Are you going on distrusting God; or are you going to put your trust in him? Let this be the golden night—the blessed night of your salvation. Let this be the night of your decision. Now take Job's motto, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Say: "I will trust him, in spite of my doubts or my feelings; in spite of the devil. In spite of the powers of darkness and the devil combined, I will trust him." Will you not lay
hold on eternal life? As you are sweeping on towards the judgment, lay hold upon it
Thero was a man on a broken raft, in the river at Pittsburgh, and the uews spread rapidly that the man was in danger. In coming down the stream, he would have to pass three bridges. At the first bridge a rope was let down, but he missed it. The people shouted to him to catch the rope at the second bridge. He missed that; and now his last hope is to catch the rope at the third bridge. He comes near the last bridge, and he seizes the rope, and is drawn up out of the jaws of death. Sinner, it may be that the rope is held here for you to-night for the last time. I beg of you to lay hold of it. Don't go out of this building without laying hold of it. Christ is near, if you will have him. Young man, will you have him? Thank God, he says he will. Is it not the most reasonable thing you can do to put your trust in him to-night?
I can imagine some of you saying, "I don't see it yet." Suppose you are in a brick building five stories high, which is on fire; and the flames have got round the stairs, leaving no way for you to save yourself. Up comes a fire-escape, and a man shouts to you, " Leap into the fire-escape!" Wouldn't you do it? If you stay there, you perish. Now, the Lord Jesus Christ is the fire-escape. Will you not leap to-night into his arms. Will you say from this hour, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Did you ever hear or read of a man regretting in his dying hour that he put his trust in God? Did you ever hear of such a man? Can any infidel say that he has heard of such a man? You have seen and heard of many a man regretting that he had not trusted him more. You have seen men die without God and without hope, that have regretted not putting their trust in him; but never a man regretted trusting him. During the war I saw men die without God and without hope; and I can say there is as much difference between a man dying in a glorious hope of immortality and the man dying without hope, as there is between Heaven and hell, or darkness and light. It is a terrible thing for a man without hope to feel the cold, icy hand of Death upon him. What will you do in the swelling of Jordan without Christ, if you do not put your trust in him?
I remember coming down the Tennessee River after a battle, and we had four hundred and fifty wounded men on board the vessel. A good many of them were mortally wounded. A few of us had gone to look after their temporal and spiritual wants; and we made up our minds we would not let a man die on the boat without telling him of Christ and Heaven—that we would tell them of Christ as we gave them a cup of cold water. We found one young man unconscious. His leg had been amputated, and he was sinking rapidly. I asked the doctor, "Will this man live?" The doctor said: "We have amputated one of his legs, and he has lost Bo much blood he has got to die." I said: "Is there anything you can do to restore consciousness?" The doctor said: "Give him a little brandy and water, and it will bring him to for a few minutes." I gave him the brandy and water, and I said to the man next to him, "Do you know this young man?' His eye brightened up and he said: "We came from the «ame town; we belong to the same company; we enlisted together." I said, "Where does his father and mother live?" The man snid: "His father is dead, his mother is a widow." I thought the mother would be anxious to get some message from her boy, and I asked if the was a Christian. He said: "Yes, she is a godly woman."
"Has he any brothers or sisters?"
"He is an only son; but he has two sisters."
Then I was anxious to get some message from the son to the widowed mother. I lingered around some time, and every once in a while I would speakthe young man's name. After I had spoken his Mine a number of times, he opened his eyes—beautiful black eyes. I gave him a little more brandy and water, and said: "William, do Tou know where you are?" He says, "Oh, yes; I am on my way nome to mother." I said: "The doctor told me you can not live. Have you any message to send to your mother?" He said, " Tell my mother that I died trusting in Christ." Oh, how sweet it was. It seemed as if I was at the very gate of Heaven. I said, "Is there •nything else?" He was sinking rapidly, but he said: "Yes, tell my mother and sisters to be sure and meet me in Heaven." In a few minutes he was unconscious, and in a few hours he died. What a glorious end. "Tell my mother I died trusting in Christ."
Put your trust in Christ. He sticketh closer than a brother. Now I beg of you, at the close of this meeting, to bow your heads and put your trust in him. Say like Job, "I will trust him from this hour.'' Lay hold on eternal life. May God bring hundreds and thousands to trust in him to-night.