Isaiah 26:3
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
Sermons
Perfect Peace Out of TrustR. Tuck Isaiah 26:3
The Song of a City, and the Pearl of PeaceCharles Haddon Spurgeon Isaiah 26:3
A City the Emblem of SecurityR. H. Davies.Isaiah 26:1-10
A Song of SalvationG. Clayton.Isaiah 26:1-10
Our Strong CityA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 26:1-10
Periods of RestorationW. Reading, M. A.Isaiah 26:1-10
Salvation, I.EProf. S. R. Driver, D. D.Isaiah 26:1-10
Saving HealthJ. M. Gibson, D. D.Isaiah 26:1-10
The Church not in DangerJ. C. Cronin.Isaiah 26:1-10
The City of SalvationA. Fletcher, D. D.Isaiah 26:1-10
The Saving Arm of God a Sure Defences to the Church of Christ Against All Her EnemiesJ. Young.Isaiah 26:1-10
The Song of SalvationR. H. Davies.Isaiah 26:1-10
The Triumph of GoodnessC. A. Dickinson.Isaiah 26:1-10
The Walls and Bulwarks of a CityJ. C. Cronin.Isaiah 26:1-10
Three Elements in ProphecyC. A. Dickinson.Isaiah 26:1-10
The Vision of Future GloryE. Johnson Isaiah 26:1-13
Confidence in God Composing the MindW. Jay.Isaiah 26:3-4
Freedom from CareJ. R. Miller, D. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
God Between the Soul and CircumstancesF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
Hindrances to a Mind Stayed on GodJ. Summerfield, M. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
Membership in the Ideal CityProf . S. R. Driver, D. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
Mr. Gladstone's TextSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 26:3-4
PeaceW. L. Watkinson.Isaiah 26:3-4
PeaceH. Jones, M. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
PeaceW. Hay Aitken, M. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
Peace for the CarewornH. G. Guinness.Isaiah 26:3-4
Peace not from Nature, But from GodW. Hay Aitken, M. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
Peace Out of TrustWeekly PulpitIsaiah 26:3-4
Peace the Perfect and Assured Portion of the BelieverF. Lear, B. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
Peace the Result of Confidence in GodW. J. Brock, B. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
Perfect PeaceDean Farrar, D. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
Perfect PeaceW. L. Watkinson.Isaiah 26:3-4
Perfect PeaceHomilistIsaiah 26:3-4
Perfect Peace a Medium of RevelationW. L. Watkinson.Isaiah 26:3-4
Perfect Peace in PerilR. M. Kyle, B. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
Stonewall Jackson's FaithIsaiah 26:3-4
The Blessing Attendant Upon Having the Mind Stayed on GodS. Knight, M. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
The Human Soul Needs SupportW. Birch.Isaiah 26:3-4
The Inhabitant of the RockA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
The Song of a City and the Pearl of PeaceIsaiah 26:3-4
The Source of PeaceR. M. Kyle, B. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
The Source of True PeaceC. Gilbert.Isaiah 26:3-4
The Sustaining Power of FaithT. Davies, M. A.Isaiah 26:3-4
The Way of PeaceL. R. Foote, D. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
Trust Gives SteadfastnessA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
Trust in God Brings PeaceJohn Taylor, LL. D.Isaiah 26:3-4
Trust in God ReasonableIsaiah 26:3-4
WorryA. R. Wells.Isaiah 26:3-4
Literally, "Peace, peace;" the Hebrew superlative form meaning the "greatest, or perfect peace" - inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events, God's own peace, the peace which God's own Son knew, and left as his legacy to his disciples. These two last expressions give us two divisions for our subject.

I. GOD GIVES THOSE WHO TRUST HIM HIS OWN PEACE.

1. God's peace is the result of his inward harmony. There are no conflicts within him. And this seems an amazing thing to us, who never do the right save after a fight with the wrong in which we have come off conquerors. As a living Being - a Person - we must think of God as having mind, will, affections, emotions, attributes, and relations to others outside himself. He is One. But in our idea of the unity of God we include the manifold comprehensiveness of God; and we understand that in him is perfect peace, because there is harmony; judgment never conflicts with feeling, will never struggles against desire. Every line tends to the focus of Divine purpose; every power combines to execute the Divine thought. Sometimes our idea of the Divine peace is spoiled by representations that are made of the work of redemption, as if, in connection with it, his justice was in antagonism with his mercy, and his Law made hard terms with his love. Surely that redemption is the work of Divine peace; it is the outgoing of his whole being towards us in the harmony of pitying love.

"Still hushedly, hushedly, snowed down the thought Divine,
And in a voice of most exceeding peace, the Lord said (While against the breast Divine the waters
of life leapt, gleaming, gladdening),
Let the man enter in?"


(R. Buchanan.)

2. God's peace follows on his aboveness. A word has to be coined to express this thought. We feel that we should be at peace if we could get above. God is above: not in the conflict which we know, but calm in the vision of it all; calm in seeing the end from the beginning; peaceful as the doctor is when, above the patient, he reads the issue of the disease; peaceful as the teacher, who is above the child, and knows perfectly what is causing it so much care and toil. A little picture in the Leeds Exhibition showed us how man may feel God's peace out of his aboveness. An old farm-laborer, dressed in his long patched brown smock and clouted boots, and grasping tremblingly his stick, was looking up at a little opening that appeared in a dull, heavy, leaden sky. A grand old face, seamed and lined with years of poverty, toil, and care, but full of the peace which God alone can give; tears were glistening in the eyes, and standing ready to drop; but smiles were breaking through, as, remembering sorrows in the home and weary burdens on the heart, he sweetly said, "Up beyond is the blue sky." Peace and God, he knew, were up above; over there.

3. God's peace attends on his righteousness and love. Nothing can disturb the peace of him who always doeth right, and is love. Peace and Righteousness go hand-in-band - twin sisters - through all creation. They live and toil and die together. And in the heart and home of God they have dwelt together from everlasting, before the earth and the world were formed. So he is the God of peace.

II. GOD GIVES THOSE WHO TRUST HIM HIS SON'S PEACE. It is one thing to admire the peace of God, but quite another thing to feel that it may become ours, that it can ever be the possession and the power of a man. The contrasts, God, man, strike us as too severe. The step of descent is too vast. We want a Mediator. We ask for some instance in which God's peace can be seen in a man. And that is one of the revelations made in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is prophesied of as the Prince of Peace. He was the Teacher of peace. He is our Peace. He knew the peace passing understanding. Ills peace was the peace of God, for it also came from inward harmony, from aboveness, and from the intertwinings of righteousness and love. But it also was, characteristically, man's peace. It was such a peace of mind and heart as we may know; and from Christ we may learn what its sources are. Man, too, may reach the restfulness of inward harmony. Man, too, may rise above the petty disturbances of life. Man, too, may win the perfect rule of righteousness and love. But it is Christ who teaches us, and shows us how, and gives us strength to wire He reveals the three great sources of peace for man, and they are found to be these - trust, submission, and obedience. Trust that says, "The Lord knoweth the way that I take." Submission that says, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Obedience that says, "My meat and my drink is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." These are the sources of peace for man, for they were the sources of peace for man's Head, the "Man Christ Jesus." Nay, but there is an earlier secret, than this. In Christ, for man, is the great peace. Peace with God, before we can have peace in God, and so the peace of God ruling in our hearts. We "have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;" and his work in us involves such a change in us, such a moral regeneration and renewal, as can only find fitting activity in lives of peacefulness and "sweet reasonableness." Yes, man can have God's peace; for he is a spiritual being, made in the image of God. He feels like God. He thinks like God. He wills like God. He loves like God. And he can be at peace like God. All, indeed, within limitations and in narrow measures; but the passing clouds can find a true mirror in a wayside pool as well as in a mighty mountain-lake. A dewdrop will hold the sunshine in its tiny ball; and the mighty forest oak will go into the limits of the acorn-seed. God can give his own eternal peace to man, his creature. He will give it, he does give it, to all who put their trust in him. - R.T.







Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.
The Scriptures are full of priceless secrets, and here is one of them — the secret of trust in God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ, as the sole method and means of that peace which we all desire. "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace"; or, as the original expresses it still more forcibly in its Semitic simplicity, "Thou shalt keep him in peace, peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee." It is not the promise of freedom from sorrow; it is not, by any means, a promise of success or prosperity on earth: but it is a promise of that inward peace — of that heart's ease in the breast — with which sorrow itself is a tolerable burden, and without which prosperity itself is a questionable boon. The existence or the absence of peace in our hearts is no slight indication of our true condition, for, as peace must exist with the righteous even in the midst of adversity, it cannot exist in the hearts of the wicked, however smiling, however prosperous their lot. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." There is, I know, a false, as well as a true peace. There is the simulated contentment of a hard indifference. There is the cynical self-complacency of a moral blindness. There is the deep infatuation of a false security. There is the dull stupefaction of an obstinate despair. But who will call this peace? The carelessness of a traveller by night, who knows not that he is walking all the time along the edge of a frightful precipice — is that peace? For, just as we must not be deceived by the false semblance, or by voices which cry Peace, peace, when there is no peace, so let us neither be robbed of the deep reality by external appearances, or by passing troubles.

1. Take, for instance, the case of personal anxieties. Most — perhaps everyone — of us suffer from these anxieties for ourselves; anxieties about our families; anxieties for the present; anxieties of a still deeper kind about the future. Though we are children of God, yet the cares of life come to us which come to all. They are the necessary incentive to our efforts. They are the necessary impulse to make us treasure otherwhere than on earth our hopes. But, oh, how differently do they happen to the Christian and to the sinner! But to be absorbed in merely private agitations is the characteristic of a mean soul, and the lives of many men who rise far above these personal and domestic egotisms are yet deeply troubled by the world's agitation and unfit, by the perils of institutions to which they are devoted, by the perplexities of nations which they love. We have heard how Augustus, the ruler of the world, constantly moaned in his sleep for the loss of his three legions. We remember how the sad English queen, who lies with her great sister in this Abbey, said that when she died the word "Calais" would be found written on her heart. We have known how, in his later days, the good and great Lord Falkland fell into deep melancholy, ever murmuring the words "Peace, peace," because his heart bled with the bleeding wounds of his country. We recall how the wasted form and shattered hopes of William Pitt were laid, in a season dark and perilous, at the feet of his great father, Chatham, with the same pomp, in the same consecrated mould, and how, grieved to the soul with the news of Austerlitz, he died, with broken exclamations about the perils of his country. Well, we should not be human if we did not suffer thus with those whom we see suffer. We may say to the fools, "Deal not so madly, — and to the ungodly. "Lift not up your horn on high; but the issues of all these things we must leave humbly," calmly, trustfully, with God. The earth is not ours, nor the inhabiters of it; neither do we hold up the pillars of it. Let us not think much of our own importance. Ah, yes, for the anxieties of the statesmen, and the churchmen, and the patriot, here again is the remedy. We know that the angels of the Churches and the angels of the nations gaze on the face of God. Troubled was the life of David, yet he could say, calmly and humbly, "God sitteth above the water floods, and God remaineth a King forever."

2. Again, the lives of how many of us are troubled by the strife of tongues! And yet even amid these flights of barbed arrows; amid these clouds of poisonous insects; amid these insolences of anonymous slander, what peace — what perfect peace — may we find if our minds be stayed on God. Let them say what they will," said a good man, now gone into his rest, "they cannot hurt me; I am too near the great white throne for that." Yes, "Thou shalt hide them privily by Thine own presence from the provoking of all men. Thou shalt keep them secretly in Thy tabernacle from the strife of tongues." "Thou shalt keep him in peace, peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee."

3. There is yet another, the heaviest of all life's troubles in which this promise of peace comes to us like music heard over the stormy waters. It is when we are most overwhelmed with shame and sorrow for the past, — when our sins have taken such hold upon us that we are not able to look up. Who shall count the number of the men whose lives are ruined by the consequences of the past, but who, even in the midst of that ruin, are far more embittered by shame than by calamity, and who feel the sickness or the downfall far less than they feel the remorseful accusing of the evil conscience. It is the lost Heaven which torments no less surely than the present hell. In Michael Angelo's great picture of the last judgment, one of the evil spirits has seized upon a doomed transgressor, and is dragging him downwards; and as he drags him in down rushing flight the demon is driving his furious teeth into the sinner's flesh; but, with a touch of marvellous spiritual insight, the great painter has represented the poor wretch as wholly unconscious of that agony — as so unaware of it that his clasped hands and his eyes gazing upwards in agony on his offended Lord, show that, in the absorbing sense of having forfeited the blessing of the forgiven, he has no anguish left to thrill at the torture of the condemned. Yes, it is the worst sting of misery to have once been happy, — the worst pang of shame to have once been innocent, — the most fearful aggravation of punishment that men do not forget the Heavens from which they fall. Lock at the white water lily, in its delicate fragrance, as it lifts from its circle of green floating leaves the immaculate purity of its soft sweet flower. Its roots are in the black mud; its resting place is on the stagnant wave. Not from its mean or even foul surroundings — not assuredly from the blackness of the mud, or the stagnation of the wave — did it draw that pure beauty and that breathing beneficence, but from some principle of life within. And cannot He who gave to the fair blossom its idea of sweetness draw forth from us, the souls whom He made when He breathed into our nostrils the breath of life — oh, though we have debased those souls with the stagnancy of idleness, and blackened them with the mud of sin — cannot our God still bring forth frown those souls that He has made His own sweetness and purity again? He can, if we trust in Him. The alchemy of His love can transmute dross to gold, and, though our sins be as scarlet, the blood of His dear Son can wash them white as snow. Let the very depth of your remorse, if God grants you to feel remorse and a shameful and sinful past — let the very depth of this remorse be your protection from despair. Seek God, and that remorse may be but the darkness which is deepest before the dawn.

(Dean Farrar, D. D.)

is the balance of a thousand forces in that centre of all things — the human heart; and, if we regard the question apart from revelation, such a balance seems quite unattainable. History discovers the successive generations plagued by inquietudes — mental, moral, and political. And the most popular philosophy in the world, taking for its basis the common experience of mankind, teaches that peace is logically impossible; that all nature is full of blind and endless striving; that existence means desire, and desire means misery; that thus the world and life are fundamentally and essentially evil, and there is no escape from discontent, except in insensibility and extinction. In opposition to all this, revelation teaches that the world is a cosmos, not a chaos; that human nature is intrinsically noble and only accidentally base; and that the Lord Jesus Christ waits to restore the lost balance in the hearts of all who trust in Him, bringing their life into accord with the infinite music of God's perfect universe.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

Let us trace the method of God's operation in securing to us the peace which passeth all understanding.

I. THERE IS THE ANTAGONISM BETWEEN OUR CONSCIENCE AND HISTORY. We recall all we have been and done, and of how little in past years can an instructed conscience approve! From a certain historical character came the sad outburst: "My whole life has been one great mistake"; and this confession is wrung from all when the law comes home and we know ourselves as we are known of God. Not simply an intellectual mistake to be condoned on grounds of infirmity, but a profound moral mistake also, for which we are and ought to be accountable. Now there can be no rational peace until we are freed from this dead, accusing past. Here Christ becomes most precious to all who believe. This peace in Christ is of the noblest. The law of Heaven is not relaxed one jot or tittle. Neither is the tone of conscience lowered to ensure us peace, but, on the contrary, He who gives us a new heart gives us a new conscience; conscience in evangelical penitence becomes more acute and authoritative than ever, and yet in its utmost majesty and tenderness is satisfied with God's reconciling work and word in Jesus Christ. And yet how few pardoned ones have entered rote the enjoyment of "perfect" peace! "Being justified by faith, let us have peace with God."

II. THE SECOND SERIOUS ANTAGONISM OF LIFE IS THAT BETWEEN OUR FLESH AND SPIRIT. The apostle describes this feud in language which brings the sad fact home irresistibly. "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." This is the fundamental, fatal discord. There can be no true peace until this internecine war ends in the utter breaking down and final extinction of the law in our members. The supremacy of the flesh would not ensure rest; such triumphant usurpation would bring all hell with it. Any alliance between the rival powers is also impossible. They greatly err who argue that the law in the members and the law of the mind are simply disturbed polarities of our nature between which harmony may be established; that they correspond to the antithetical laws we find in creation, and whose just mutual action is altogether beneficent. That conflict of the soul in which all other fightings — elemental, national, or social — have their origin, and out of which spring the manifold miseries of human life, is not the result of powers, properties, and laws altogether good and pure having fallen through ignorance and accident into displacement and misrelation, and needing only the correction of culture; but our nature has lost its purity, that is, its homogeneity; an exotic element, an alien power, an abnormal law has found place within us, working our destruction, and this the grace of God only can master and extirpate. Christ pours into us the light, energy, joy of His own glorious nature, breaking the tyranny of the law in the members, giving ascendency to the law of the mind, and thus brings back the paradisiacal calm. Perfect peace goes with perfect purity.

III. A FURTHER ANTAGONISM OF LIFE IS THAT BETWEEN FEELING AND REASON. One of the most painful and perplexing phases of life is the conflict between instinct and logic; our reflective reason contradicting our spontaneous reason on many of the greatest questions of existence. A primitive intuition apprehends the goodness of the Supreme, but the intellect pondering this sad world cannot confirm the intuition. A constitutional principle prompts us to prayer, implies the intervention of God in all our affairs and the validity of supplication, yet our dialectics often disown our devotions, and it seems as unphilosophical to pray as it is natural. Our consciousness assures us of our freedom and responsibility, giving grandeur to thought and life; but science contradicts consciousness, degrading us into mere mechanism. The fact of immortality is a truth found in the depth of our mind, a glorious instinctive hope lending the colour of gold to all the sphere; but science is at variance with sentiment; and we look into the black grave with dismay. If we dare trust that feeling in us which is at once deep, noble, and positive, we could welcome all the glorious articles of the creed and rest in them with unmixed delight, but reason enters another verdict, and we are overwhelmed in the dilemma. Here, once more, Christ is our peace, giving us rest by giving us light. We are far from asserting that the New Testament formally harmonises syllogism and sentiment, that it demonstrates agreement between intuitionalism and rationalism; but it suspends the bitter polemic by mightily reinforcing the brightest convictions and aspirations of our nature. It shows us the greatest, wisest, holiest Teacher the world has ever seen — He who spake as never man spake — giving direct and ample authentication to the grand creed of the heart; and this is surely an adequate reason for waiting in hope the final solution of the apparent antagonism between feeling and philosophy. Here also many who believe in Christ have not the "perfect" peace. We argue these questions away from Christ, and our soul is troubled. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me." It is perfectly quiet at the centre of the whirlwind. Jesus Christ is the centre of the whirlwind of modern controversy, and whilst our lame interpretations of the universe, our little systems of philosophy put forth with so much pride and hope, are being driven about and driven away like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, with Christ at the centre reason finds lasting quiet.

IV. THE FINAL ANTAGONISM OF LIFE IS THAT OF CHARACTER AND CIRCUMSTANCE. No sooner are we what we ought to be than we painfully feel the world is not what it ought to be, and the more nearly we are right the more we realise how deeply the world is wrong, and how hard a thing it is to carry into effect high principles and convictions. Life is one long severe trial. We are tried in every possible way — in principle, temper, affection, and faith. Here again, however, Christ becomes our peace by giving us power. He makes us to share in His own triumphant spirit and might, thus enabling us to over. come the trial and temptation, the allurement and sorrow of life. We are filled with wisdom, love, power and joy as He was. How few in the friction and strain of this worldly life attain this "perfect peace"! We have solicitude, fretfulness, misgiving, and sorrow. And we explain this to ourselves by regarding our circumstances as specially harsh and afflictive, which is an explanation very wide of the truth. The blame of our lack of peace is not to be laid on our severe environment, but on the inner defect of power which, in its turn, is caused by our qualified faith. If we fully identified ourselves with the world-conquering Christ we should know no more irascibility or fear, but in fiery trials prove abiding equanimity and imperturbation.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

I. THE STATE OF MIND HERE SPOKEN OF. The soul may be said to trust, or stay, upon anything, when it relies upon it for its present comfort and future salvation. The soul that possesses the blessing here spoken of, has for the object of its trust and stay the Lord Jehovah. It confides in His name and character as revealed in the Scriptures of truth: it relies upon His promises of mercy and grace declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord and derives its support and consolation from viewing God as "in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." This confidence in the Almighty stands opposed to various false refuges and deceitful grounds of confidence.

1. It is opposed to that confidence which men are often apt to place in an arm of flesh, in human wisdom, experience, power, interest, etc.

2. This affiance in the Lord Jehovah is likewise directly opposite to all reliance on our own services and performances.

3. This trust in Jehovah is very different from confidence placed in any feelings, or what are usually termed frames of mind. These are, at best, very uncertain, often very deceitful.

II. THE PROMISE OR BLESSING HERE SPOKEN OF. "Perfect peace."

1. There is an energetic simplicity in the original expression: it is "peace, peace"; intimating that the soul which steadfastly reposes itself on God, may expect every kind of peace as its portion. Whether you understand by the word, reconciliation with God, amity with men, composure in the conscience, resignation to the appointments of providence, rest from the turbulency of sinful passions and appetites, or finally, that everlasting state of rest and felicity which remains for the people of God; rain all these senses peace is the happy lot of those whose minds are stayed on God.

2. But the thing especially intended here seems to be composure of mind, as opposed to distraction or disquietude.

3. This may be properly termed, "perfect peace," not because it actually excludes every degree of disquietude from the soul; nor, as if in the measure in which it is enjoyed, it never met with any interruption; but it is perfect peace, when compared with any satisfaction or composure of mind which this world, or anything in it, can administer, and as proceeding from Him from whom cometh every good and every perfect gift; as being the best preparative for, and support under, the troubles of life, and, probably, the choicest foretaste that can be communicated to us of the peace of God's eternal kingdom.

4. This blessing will be enjoyed, this peace will be experienced in the soul, in proportion to the degree of its confidence in God.

III. ENFORCE THE EXHORTATION here given. "Trust ye in the Lord forever": to which is subjoined the encouraging declaration, "for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Such an exhortation as this supposes their state to be distressing and dangerous, and that either through ignorance they are likely to betake themselves to false refuges, or through fear may be deterred from venturing upon what they believe to be the true one.

1. God calls upon you to do this.

2. Whatever your wants and necessities may be, you will thus obtain a rich and full supply of them.

3. Take the precious promises which He has caused to be recorded for this purpose.

4. Examples might also be produced from Scripture, in abundance, of those who looked unto Him and were lightened.

(S. Knight, M. A.)

Weekly Pulpit.
I. AN EXPRESSION OF CONFIDENCE IN GOD. It is characteristic of Jehovah —

1. That He seeks the trust of His people. Heathen gods, all gods that are the men creations of men's minds or hands, seek the service of things; they want our gifts; they claim, not the man, but that which the man only has. Jehovah seeks the service of love and trust.

2. That He rewards the trust of His people. And this He does —(1) By giving them the perfect peace, which is inward peace.(2) By giving them the outward peace of circumstances, so far as may be consistent with higher than individual ends. If we can see that the true issue of the discipline of life is character; then we shall see that the very highest reward God can give us is that soul-triumph over surrounding circumstances, that soul. mastery over the very self, which goes into the expressive word "peace." Outward things are to us according as we are within us.

II. AN APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE FOR CONTINUITY IN THEIR TRUST IN GOD. "Trust ye in the Lord forever," etc. We cannot keep on trusting if our trust is in things; for the "fashion of this world passeth away." We cannot keep on trusting if our trust is in man; "for the pain of living is our disappointment in our best loved friends." We can keep on trusting in God. His very name implies a basis of confidence.

(Weekly Pulpit.)

If we may suppose the invocation of the preceding verses to be addressed to the watchers at the gate of the strong city, it is perhaps not too fanciful to suppose that the invitation in my text is the watchers' answer, pointing the way by which men may pass into the city. At all events, I take it as by no means accidental that immediately upon the statement of the Old Testament law that righteousness alone admits to the presence of God, there follows so clear and emphatic an anticipation of the great New Testament Gospel that faith is the condition of righteousness, and that immediately after hearing that only "the righteous nation which keepeth the truth" can enter there, we hear the merciful call, "Trust ye in the Lord forever."

I. THE INSIGHT INTO THE TRUE NATURE OF TRUST OR FAITH GIVEN BY THE WORD EMPLOYED HERE. The literal meaning of the expression here rendered "to trust" is to lean upon anything. And that is the trust of the Old Testament; the faith of the New.

II. THE STEADFAST PEACEFULNESS OF TRUST. (See R.V. margin.) It is the steadfast mind, steadfast because it trusts, which God keeps in the deepest peace that is expressed by the reduplication of the word. And if we break up that complex thought into its elements it just comes to this —

1. Trust makes steadfastness. No man can steady his life except by clinging to a holdfast without himself.

2. The steadfast mind is rewarded in that it is kept of God. The real fixity and solidity of a human character comes more surely and fully through trust in God than by any other means; on the other hand, it is true that, in order to receive the full blessed effects of trust into our characters and lives, we must persistently and doggedly keep on in the attitude of confidence.

3. Then, still further, this faithful, steadfast heart and mind, kept by God, is a mind filled with deepest peace. There is something very beautiful in the prophet's abandoning the attempt to find any adjective or quality which adequately characterises the peace of which he has been speaking. He falls back upon the expedient which is the confession of the impotence of human speech worthily to portray its subject when he simply says, "Thou shalt keep in peace because he trusteth in Thee." The reduplication expresses the depth, the completeness of the tranquillity which flows into the heart. Such continuity, wave after wave, or rather ripple after ripple, is possible even for us. For the possession of this deep, unbroken peace does not depend on the absence of conflict, of distraction, trouble, or sorrow, but on the presence of God.

III. THE WORTHINESS OF THE DIVINE NAME TO EVOKE AND THE POWER OF THE DIVINE CHARACTER TO REWARD THE TRUST. "In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."

I. The words feebly rendered in the A.V., "everlasting strength," are literally "the Rock of Ages"; and this verse is the source of that hallowed figure which, by one of the greatest of our English hymns, is made familiar and immortal to all English-speaking. people.

2. But there is another peculiarity about the words, and that is that here we have, for one of the only two times in which the expression occurs in Scripture, the great name of Jehovah reduplicated. "In Jah Jehovah is the Rock of Ages." In the former verse the prophet had given up in despair the attempt to characterise the peace which God gave, and fallen back upon the expedient of naming it twice over. In this verse, with similar eloquence of reticence, he abandons the attempt to describe or characterise that great name, and once more, in adoration, contents himself with twice taking it upon his lips, in order to impress what he cannot express, the majesty and the sufficiency of that name. What, then, is the force of that name?(1) Jehovah, in its literal grammatical signification, puts emphasis upon the absolute, underived, and therefore unlimited, unconditioned, unchangeable, eternal being of God. "I am that I am." In that name is the Rock of Ages.(2) That mighty name, by its place in the history of revelation, conveys to us still further thoughts, for it is the name of the God who entered into covenant with His ancient people, and remains bound by His covenant to bless us.

3. The metaphor needs no expansion. We understand that it conveys the idea of unchangeable defence.

IV. THE SUMMONS TO TRUST. We know not whose voice it is that is heard in the last words of my text, but we know to whose ears it is addressed. It is to all. "Trust ye in the Lord forever."

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Peace has ever been praised and desired by the majority of mankind. It is generally supposed to be near, to be possible; but it moves before or follows men like the shadow of themselves, which cannot overtake them, which they cannot overtake. The schoolboy sees it in release from his lessons and his school. The man of mid-life sees it in his childhood, and by the fireside of an honoured successful age. But when old he looks back with regret to the appetite for repose which accompanied an active life. There is no more peace in twilight than at noon. In the morning we say, "Would God it were evening"; and in the evening, "Would God it were morning."

I. THERE IS MUCH PEACE WHICH IS IMPERFECT.

1. There is the peace of ignorance. The child plays by the coffin of its mother. The peasant fool stands quietly beneath the tree which draws the lightning stroke. But this peace, we need not stop long to see, passes away. We learn, our eyes are opened, and we regret or shudder at our insensibility.

2. There is the peace of corruption. Dead bodies make no stir, ask no questions, have no doubts. Dead minds are quiet and peaceable enough. Their peace is that of quiet, painless stagnation; but we cannot call it perfect.

3. There is the dependent peace: when we leave other people to think and act for us. This is pleasing enough till they make some fatal irremediable mistake. It is bad enough to lose a few bank notes; but it is a far more serious thing to find that your conscience keeper has embezzled your soul.

4. There is the peace of success. When the action is over then comes reaction. The peace it gives is not perfect. It needs patching and polishing as soon as it is obtained. It entails labour and involves additional anxiety.

5. All these kinds of mock peace die out, or break down, or run dry. If not that, they hinder our being what we might be; they keep us down.

II. WHAT WE ASSOCIATE MOST WITH THE WORD PEACE. It is the opposite to war. It is freedom from disorder, disturbance. But it is by no means idleness. The time of peace is the time of work. The surest advance and most abundant plenty may be made in the time of the profoundest peace. There is most life where there is least disorder. It is thus in nature. What can be more quiet than a field of wheat on a still summer day? and yet an important work is going on then; there God is making bread for man. Again, what suggests more repose than a silent, cloudless night? And yet the globe on which we stand, and the brightest of the stars we see, and which seem so still, are really whirling through space at a prodigious speed. Their perfect peace is perfect fulfilment of the win of God.

III. IS THERE SUCH A THING FOR US — PEACE WHICH CAN NEVER BE DESTROYED, NEVER DIE OUT? "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee." On Thee — there is the point. On God Himself. We are not the masters of this world, or time. We can neither make nor destroy it. By quietly doing our own work we do our share, and the Great Master will look after us and the rest. Peace is found only along with Him, by straying upon Him. Those who do the work He plainly sets them need not be distressed about the main chance and the great end and course of life. The sailor who has confidence in his captain and pilot is at peace; he knows the ship is in good hands. So if we would believe that we were in good hands ourselves, how full of comfort we should be. An explorer is searching for a new country. He sails over the seas, here and there, in vain; he is deceived by low lying clouds which look like land, but are dispersed as he approaches them. At last, after many disappointments, he spies the shore, sails to it, finds he is not mistaken this time; he sets his foot upon the beach, he sees new trees, animals, plants. He returns to his ship, night comes and he can perceive nothing. Nevertheless the discovery is made; the sought for land is found. There is an end to his surmises, expectations, guesses, watchings. The land is found, though he leave or lose sight of it. He has fulfilled his object; it is a fact; it is there. So the man who has been beating about in vain in the waves of this troublesome world, looking for peace, steering this way and that, but has at last laid hold of the great immovable fact that peace is in God, and not to be got from himself or his fellow creatures, may often seem solitary and disturbed; but he has made the discovery, and all is well.

(H. Jones, M. A.)

I. THE SOURCE OF FAITH IS DIVINE. "Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength"

1. Faith is Divine in its inception. God is author and object thereof.

2. Faith is Divine in its inspiration. Trust in God is not a single act, but a condition of restfulness. There are occasions when special acts are called forth, but these are the trials of faith. When Abraham was called to offer up Isaac on Moriah, God proved him there.

II. THE SEAT OF FAITH IS MENTAL. "Whose mind (or thought) is stayed on Thee." Mr. Ruskin says, "The power, whether of painter or poet, to describe rightly what he calls an ideal thing depends upon its being to him not an ideal but a real thing. No man ever did, or ever will, work well but either from actual sight or sight of faith." The sight of faith is no less keen, or complete, or perfect, than actual sight. There are many thoughts which agitate the human heart — faith is the solution of these.

1. One thought is our acceptance before God. We are perplexed by many aspects of this all-important subject. Take one of them — how can the death of Jesus Christ atone for our sins? Faith alone can make the matter plain. How is it done? By taking the mind to God to be saved by the acceptance of this great truth. Faith never says, How is it? but, Let it be. God Himself is the solution of the difficulty.

2. Thoughts concerning our guidance in life. We are the creatures of circumstances, and often fail to see their bearing. Faith brings forth tranquillising influences, and speaks with firmness. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." All wrongs will be avenged. All stolen possessions will be restored. Therefore, take no thought for the morrow: He who measures the minutes fills them with mercies.

III. THE INFLUENCE OF FAITH IS SUSTAINING. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose thought is stayed on Thee."

1. Faith is our strength in duty. To do the right is not always easy. We are often tempted to do as other people do, and sometimes we are chided because we do not follow the way of the world. Whatever may be the temptation to do wrong, or whatever may be the adverse criticism for doing right, trust in God will sustain us in the effort.

2. Faith is our stay in trouble.

3. Faith is our prospect in death. Charles Wesley said, "Satisfied! Satisfied!" Benjamin Abbot said, "I see Heaven opening out before me." Baron Humboldt was full of peace, and said, "How sweet these rays; they beckon me up to Heaven." Robert Wilkinson exclaimed, "The lovely beauty! the happiness of paradise." Mrs. Hemans bade this world adieu by saying, "The visions cannot be told; the mountaintops are gleaming from peak to peak." We believe in the same Saviour. God will be with us in the person of the Good Shepherd to lead us safely home. Why do the gracious impressions received by many, while listening to the Gospel, die out? Because they are not sustained by faith.

(T. Davies, M. A.)

I. A STATE OF MIND to be described. "Whose mind is stayed on Thee." This is an act that includes in it —

1. A renunciation of dependence on the creature.

2. The exercise of filial dependence on God.

3. This is a frame of mind exercised on evangelical principles. It is the shadow of that throne where the Saviour appears as the Lamb in the midst of it beneath which true faith causes us to repose.

II. A GRACIOUS ASSURANCE to be considered. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace." This does not refer to external peace, but to mental peace and serenity in trying circumstances; and this is very great.

1. Reflect on the Author of it. "Thou wilt," — the very Being on whom the soul reposes, who is the Lord God all-sufficient.

2. Consider the extent of this peace. As the Redeemer once said to all the elements of nature that were convulsed, "Peace, be still; and there was a great calm"; thus He speaks to all the agitated and perturbed powers of the human mind.

III. AN INTIMATE CONNECTION to be established. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee." This connection is established —

1. By the dictates of reason. It is reasonable to expect that he who reposes on a rock should feel himself immovable.

2. In the promise of Scripture.

3. In the experience that trust in man has often been deceived; but the benefits of having the mind reposed on the infinite and eternal God can be attested by thousands.

(C. Gilbert.)

I. WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY STAYING THE MIND ON GOD. It simply means relying upon Him or trusting in Him.

II. THIS STAYING OF THE MIND ON GOD KEEPS IT IN PEACE.

1. This alone can calm the mind when convinced of sin, and searching in dreadful distress for pardon.

2. This confidence also calms the mind under delays.

3. This confidence composes the mind in the events of life, and this is the thing principally intended.

III. THE PEACE THAT FLOWS FROM THIS TRUST IN GOD IS SAID TO BE PERFECT. It is not indeed absolutely so, as if it were incapable of addition; but it is so —

1. Comparatively. What is every other peace to this? What is the delusion of the Pharisee, the stupidity and carelessness of the sinner, the corn and wine of the worldling — what is everything else, compared with this peace?

2. In relation to this confidence. It is true this peace rises and falls; but it is only because this confidence varies.

(W. Jay.)

I. THE BLESSING HERE DESCRIBED. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace." We take it for granted that the prophet is referring to the blessings of the Gospel. Christ is called, by this same prophet, the Prince of Peace; and apart from Him, true peace of mind can never be attained.

1. The word peace at once suggests the cessation of hostilities. It is true there never was any hostility in the mind of God towards man. But when we look at the aspect of man towards God, we see him in an attitude of rebellion. It became necessary that some means should be adopted by which his enmity might be destroyed, and reconciliation affected. The wondrous plan, devised in the mind of God for the accomplishment of this purpose, was the sacrifice of His own dear Son, who thus became our Mediator between God and man.

2. The peace which God bestows arises not merely from a consciousness of pardon and restoration to the Divine favour, it springs further from the calming influence which He exerts on the mind by the transforming of the affections from things earthly to things heavenly.

3. But the peace which God bestows is a "perfect peace"; by which we understand peace, ever-flowing like a river, broad, deep, and calm, — peace, including all spiritual blessings, and available under every circumstance of Christian trial

4. Mark the expression, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace." It is not a mere transitory feeling, a sun flash on the storm presently to be lost behind the cloud, but an abiding principle, which God keeps for His people and in His people, that they may be preserved from dismay whatever may befall them.

II. THE MEANS OF ATTAINING IT. Who is the happy possessor of this inestimable blessing of peace? He whose mind is stayed upon God, because he trusteth in Him. We cannot take a single step in religion without trust, or faith. As this trust is essential to the first acquirement of peace, so is it equally necessary to its continued possession. It is enjoyed only so long as the mind is "stayed" upon God. But all men have not peace; and some never will have peace. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." There is no peace to them who stay their minds on the world, on worldly objects and worldly pleasures. There is no peace to them who keep away from Christ.

(W. J. Brock, B. A.)

That almost every man is disappointed in his search after happiness is apparent from the clamorous complaints which are always to be heard; from the restless discontent which is hourly to be observed, and from the incessant pursuit of new objects, which employ almost every moment of every man's life. As men differ in age or disposition, they are exposed to different delusions in this important inquiry.

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THIS TRUST IN GOD, TO WHICH PERFECT PEACE IS PRESSED? Trust, when it is used on common occasions, implies a kind of resignation to the honesty or abilities of another. Our trust in God ought to differ from every other trust, as infinity differs from an atom. It ought to transcend every other degree of confidence, as its object is exalted above every degree of created excellence. We know that He is infinite in wisdom, in power, and in goodness; that therefore He designs the happiness of all His creatures; that He cannot but know the proper means by which this end may be obtained; and that, in the use of these means, as He cannot be mistaken, because He is omniscient, so He cannot be defeated, because He is almighty. He therefore that trusts in God will no longer be distracted in his search after happiness; for he will find it in a firm belief, that whatever evils are suffered to befall him, will finally contribute to his felicity.

II. HOW THIS TRUST IS TO BE ATTAINED. There is a fallacious and precipitate trust in God — a trust which, as it is not founded upon God's promises, will, in the end, be disappointed. Trust in God, that trust to which perfect peace is promised, is to be obtained only by repentance, obedience, and supplication.

(John Taylor, LL. D.)

In considering the great event of the Saviour's first advent, there is one circumstance of which we should never lose sight — the peculiar character in which He then came to earth. He was pleased to veil His more awful attributes behind His humanity; and, instead of showing Himself as our future Judge, to reveal Himself as our "Prince of Peace." Hence this is the peculiar characteristic of the Gospel, that in looking to it the sinner finds it to be a message of peace. And not only this, but he finds, as he proceeds in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, that whilst glory is the prospect which it holds out for eternity, in time it corresponds with what might well be called the Redeemer's dying legacy to His Church: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: no as the world giveth, give I unto you."

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY HAVING OUR MIND STAYED ON GOD? Nothing is more evident than the fact that man always needs someone on whom to lean. But there are cases in which it must appear peculiarly necessary to stay our minds on the Lord, because there are cases in which man can absolutely do nothing to help us. Look at the various sorrows, the various doubts, the various fears by which we are liable to be assailed, and say whether any but a Divine power can assist us there. Our natural state being enmity with God, we are, whilst still unconverted, more inclined to forget Him or flee from Him, than to draw near to Him and depend on Him for assistance or protection. But the believer has been led by the Holy Spirit to see how ruinous is his alienation from God. He has therefore turned to the God against whom he had sinned; he has entrusted himself to the mercy and faithfulness of God; and, having done so, he feels that it is a little matter to trust to Him for support and comfort in that conflict here, which a few years or hours may change into the triumphs of eternity. The more advanced he is, the more humble will he be; and in the hour of trial, instead of depending on his former attainments, or looking to be upheld by his past experience, he will continue, at each fresh assault of his enemy, to look for strength according to his day.

II. THE BLESSING PROMISED TO HIM WHOSE MIND IS THUS STAYED ON THE LORD. "Perfect peace."

1. Peace with God (Romans 5:1).

2. Peace of conscience.

3. Peace with the world.I do not say that the world has peace with him. But the Christian has received the spirit of gentleness and love.

(R. M. Kyle, B. A.)

There is a sweetness in the very word "peace"; it fills the mind with a number of pleasing thoughts, and oven by its very sound seems to convey something which attracts and charms us. But if the mere sound of peace be thus pleasing, how much more so must be the substance. Peace is what everyone may be said to prize, and to be in search of. Why is it so seldom found? Because we are always seeking peace, and saying peace, where them is no peace; we seek it anywhere, and in anything, rather than in Him, and from Him, who alone can give it.

I. THE CHARACTER brought before us in the text is that of the man whose mind is stayed on God. The word "stayed" denotes —

1. Firmness. It is that kind of leaning or resting which shows full confidence in the strength of the foundation which has been chosen.

2. Calmness and quietness.

3. An unchanging trust; a resolution of the soul to abide by its choice under all circumstances; a fixed adherence to its God.

II. THE BLESSING PROMISED AND SECURED TO THOSE TO WHOM THE CHARACTER REALLY BELONGS. "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace."

1. The blessing itself: "perfect peace." Perfect, because —

(1)Present. He who gives it is about our path and about our bed.

(2)Future.

(3)Eternal.

2. The way in which this blessing is said to be secured to every believer. The Lord, on whom his mind is stayed, will keep him in it.

III. THE GRACIOUS FULFILMENT OF HIS WORD in the case of him whose remains have so lately gone down into silence.

(F. Lear, B. D.)

In the description given of the state of the ungodly in Romans 3, the apostle Paul says: "The way of peace have they not known." There are many ways in this world — ways of sin, of disappointment, of pleasure, of death, of misery, but beside all these there is "the way of peace."

I. THE PERSON WHO IS KEPT IN PEACE. He is a person whose mind is stayed on God, and who trusts in God. A man's self, and sin, and pleasure, and false religion, and vain hopes are every one of them troubled waves in one common ocean of disquietude, and no soul can stay itself upon these, though many souls have sought to be stayed upon them. Mark the mighty Rock on which such an one lieth down and findeth repose. That rock is God. Yet it is a most certain fact that our God is a consuming fire, out of Christ. Ah, you say, some of you, "I trust in God," but you know not the God you trust in. What is the sole object of faith? It is the God-man.

II. THE POWER WHICH KEEPS THE BELIEVER IN PEACE. Not the power of his own faith, as some would think at first sight; not the power of his own effort, struggling to obtain confidence, as some would suppose; but the power of God.

III. THE PEACE IN WHICH SUCH A PERSON IS KEPT.It is called here "perfect peace." It is like the Redeemer with his head on the pillow, with His eyes closed, with His mind in conscious repose and sleep, in the midst of the wild storm at night upon the lake of Galilee, when the waves beat upon the trembling vessel, and the clouds rolled over head, threatening to beat the waves still higher, and engulf them all. He slept secure and Peaceful amidst the storm. So does the soul of the believer, afterwards, that stayeth itself upon God. Upon what lay that peaceful head of Jesus but on the unseen arm and bosom of God? Men said of Christ mockingly, "He trusted in God." He did trust in God, as the most exalted believer, and far more than the most exalted believer; and in that simplicity of faith, amidst contending elements He was kept in peace, sleeping amidst the storm. So with the believer. And he that thus trusteth in God findeth not only that peace in life; for death to him, what is it? It is as a peaceful sunset.

(H. G. Guinness.)

There are two hindrances to a steady mind.

1. The loving of unlawful things.

2. The loving of lawful things with inordinate affection.

(J. Summerfield, M. A.)

Homilist.
I. THE PROMISED GIFT. "Peace." Not freedom from sorrow, not assured prosperity, not a certainty of success, but inward tranquillity, ease of heart, without which even prosperity would be a burden. Not the simulated contentment of indifference. Not the cynical self-complacency of moral blindness. Not the dull stupefaction of despair. There is peace —

1. Amid personal anxieties. These come to God's people as well as to the world. But the effects they produce in each are very different.

2. Amid the contests of the world. The nations are at strife. Good is at war with evil. The noblest institutions are threatened. Lawlessness stalks forth threatening all that is true. But the Christian has peace in his dwellings.

3. Amid the struggles of sin and the assaults of the evil one. The remorse of sin, the anxieties of sin, all disturb the soul, but here is peace.

4. In the conflicting emotions of sickness, the pain of death, and the realities of a future world.

II. THE CONDITION EXACTED. Faith. "Whose mind is stayed on Thee." This act assures us of the promise —

1. Because it is the carrying out of the Divine requirement. It is God's own condition, God's own plan, and unless that is complied with no man can hope to obtain the fulfilment of the promise.

2. Because it is in itself a calming, sanctifying act. The man who casts all his cares upon God, feels no responsibility resting on himself. He who leaves his sins on Christ ceases to trouble about the consequences of those sins, so far as he himself is concerned. The man who leaves all events in the hands of One who knows all, feels that whatever happens all is for the best. How can such feel anything but peace? The great thing wanting is the power to place such unreserved confidence on an unseen Being.

III. THE SAFE ASSURANCE. Thou wilt keep. Here is a sure ground of confidence — the promise and power of the Author and Ruler of the universe. "Thou."

1. Here is the source of all strength; He is therefore able.

2. Here is the source of all love; He is therefore willing.

3. He is the supplier of all comfort, the refuge of all the oppressed. If peace exists at all, surely It can be obtained from Him.

(Homilist.)

I. WHAT IS THIS PERFECT PEACE?

1. This "peace, peace" means, an absence of all war, and of all alarm of war.

2. This perfect peace reigns over all things within its circle.

3. No perfect peace can be enjoyed unless every secret cause of fear is met and removed.

4. Peace in a city would not be consistent with the stoppage of commerce. Where there is perfect peace with God, commerce prospers between the soul and Heaven. Good men commune with the good, and thereby their sense of peace increases. If you have perfect peace, you have fellowship with all the saints; personal jealousies, sectarian bitternesses, and unholy emulations are all laid aside.

5. It consists in rest of the soul ; a perfect resignation to the Divine will; sweet confidence in God; a blessed contentment.

6. It means freedom from everything like despondency.

7. There we are kept from everything like rashness.

II. WHO ALONE CAN GIVE US THIS PEACE AND PRESERVE IT IN US? How does the Lord keep His people in peace?

1. By a special operation upon the mind in the time of trial (ver. 12).

2. By the operation of certain considerations intended by His infinite wisdom to work in that manner.

3. By the distinct operations of His providence.

III. WHO SHALL OBTAIN THIS PEACE? The whole of our being is stayed upon God in. order to this peace.

IV. WHY IS IT THAT THE LORD WILL KEEP THAT MAN IN PERFECT PEACE WHO STAYS HIMSELF ON HIM? "Because he trusteth in Thee." That means surely —

1. That in faith there is a tendency to create and nourish peace.

2. His faith is rewarded by peace.

3. This peace comes out of faith because it is faith's way of proclaiming itself.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Man alone of all created beings of whom we know anything seems strangely out of harmony with the circumstances with which he is surrounded, and the conditions of his existence. Everything around us, and much within us, seems specially designed to militate against the possibility of peace.

1. If man is to be at peace, why does he hold his very life, and everything else that he values best, on the most precarious tenure? The lower animals are exposed to nothing like the same number of uncertainties; they, for the most part, live out their own appointed span of existence, while, on the other hand, their incapacity for reflection saves them those gloomy apprehensions of possible disaster, and that still sadder certain anticipation of ultimate dissolution, which cast so dark a shadow over the experience of man just because he can and must think, Man's affections are immeasurably more intense than theirs, and yet he knows what they do not, that at any moment he may be robbed of all he loves most; thus the very strength of his affections militates against his peace. They seem incapable of care, and what they need usually comes to them without any laborious provision. He has to exercise forethought and skill, and to expend much patient labour before he can hope to obtain so much as the bare necessaries of life; and even then he cannot make sure of these, owing to the apparent caprices of nature.

2. And the worst of it is that these are not the only causes of our disquiet and unrest. There are disturbing influences within as well as without. Peace is broken by inward war, the conflict of one element of our nature with another.

3. All this shows us that either we are to be denied even such a peace as the animals apparently enjoy, and that their condition in this respect is to be vastly preferable to ours, or else that some higher provision must have been made for inducing this feature in our experience — some provision that they know nothing about, and that does not lie upon the surface of outward nature; some provision that has to be otherwise made known than by the ordinary phenomena of the outer world. And this is one of the most cogent amongst many proofs, that a supernatural revelation is absolutely necessary to supplement the phenomena of the world known to sense, unless nature is to be found guilty of strange and anomalous inconsistencies. The "God of peace" knows that we need peace, and He has provided it for us. He who has blessed His lower creatures with a restful uncarefulness, that renders existence not only tolerable, but pleasant to them, has not left His highest creature to be the victim of his own greatness, and to be tossed about aimlessly upon a sea of troubles, until at last the inevitable shipwreck comes upon the pitiless shoals of death. Our great Father, God, dwells Himself in an atmosphere of eternal calm, and His love makes Him desire to share His peace with us "the peace of God which passeth all understanding."

(W. Hay Aitken, M. A.)

Let us ask, What is it that hinders peace? in order that we may better understand the things that belong to our peace. Here, I think, we shall discover three distinct sources of mental disturbance by which man is affected — three distinct and terrible discords that mar the harmony of human life until they are resolved by redemption. Man is, to begin with, out of peace with God; he is, in consequence, out of peace with nature, or the order of things with which he is surrounded; and, in the third place, he is out of peace with himself. These other discords which break in upon and destroy his peace are dependent upon and spring from the first. It is because man is not at peace with God that he finds himself at war with nature, and the victim of internal feuds. The conditions of his existence in this material world seem of a kind to militate against his peace; but this is only so when they are viewed apart from any higher and ultimate object to which they may be designed by infinite benevolence to contribute. Once let me see that the trials and uncertainties of life are intended to enforce upon my attention the true character of my present position and its relations to the future, and I no longer quarrel with them. I confess that I am a stranger and a sojourner, and I see wisdom and love in the very circumstances which impress this upon my mind. And even so is it with those moral discords that disturb my peace within. They spring from the controversy that exists between man and God. Here we see how the Gospel is adapted to the deepest needs of the human heart, and how skilfully it is designed to deal with cause and effect in their own proper order in the moral sphere. The Gospel is primarily a proclamation of peace between God and man, a revelation of a wondrous method of reconciliation.

(W. Hay Aitken, M. A.)

The text contains the open secret of a spiritual life, which is peace, and discloses the sure way of attaining it. The person spoken of is one whose mind is stayed on God. The man has become fixed upon this centre, and he cannot be moved therefrom. To this man God is omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving. God commands his entire nature. There is a prevalent disposition amongst men to be stayed upon themselves, but the Scriptures declare that "he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool." A self-centered man is always a weak man. There is another class of men who desire to be stayed upon riches But God says, "Labour not to be rich, for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle towards Heaven" (1 Timothy 6:9, 10). The man referred to in the text, if he have money, does not stay himself upon it. This man does not stay himself on his fellow men. There is a prevalent disposition amongst men to pin their confidence to some human sleeve, and when that proves unfaithful, as it often does, such people are thrown into confusion. Peace flows alone from trust in God. But faith never stands alone. Peace never stands alone in the heart of man. Trust brings peace, but it brings other graces besides. Trust does not put a man to sleep. It does not alienate a man from the source of power. It does not scatter a man. It unites him and unites him to God. It animates him. It sets him in motion. The ear of the trusting disciple lies close to the mouth of his beloved Master, whose words are the sweetest messages that can possibly break upon his consciousness. The feet of faith tremble with desire to run upon the errands of its Lord. Obedience is the corollary of faith. Without obedience, peace would become discord in the soul. Trust stirs us to industry and success in prayer; it makes us cheerful and faithful in obedience; it makes us patient in affliction; it makes us resolute in trials; it consoles us in desertions; it makes us fruitful in life, and triumphantly victorious in death.

(L. R. Foote, D. D.)

How can a willow be stiffened into an iron pillar? Only — if I might use such a violent metaphor — when it receives into its substance the iron particles that it draws from the soil in which it is rooted. How can a bit of thistledown be kept motionless amidst the tempest. Only by being glued to something that is fixed. What do men do with light things on deck when the ship is pitching? Lash them to a fixed point. Lash yourselves to God by simple trust, and then you will partake of His serene immutability in such fashion as it is possible for the creature to participate in the attributes of the Creator.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

When you have a really calm sea, what rare things the placid waters reveal! Sculptured coral, whorled shells, iridescent fish, pearls — snowflakes of the deep not one moment white but white forever, gems whose strange e the floods cannot quench, with glorious plants and blossoms, as if the silver water mirrored the flowers of Heaven as well as its stars. And what rare things the unstirred sea reflects! The ambient blue, with all its treasures of light and colour; the devious coast, with all its fantasy of rock forestry and mountain. But let one ripple pass over the glassy tide, and the matchless spectacle is sadly marred. So in "perfect" peace we realise the glory of our own being, the glory of higher worlds, as no language can tell; but the first ripple of passion, or care, or doubt, spoils the magic of the picture and the joy.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

When the mind leans for strength upon itself it cannot be at peace. Conflicting thoughts are ever passing through the brain, and we need something solid on which to stay ourselves. The mind may be compared to ivy, which, if it is to grow vigorous, needs to cling to an upright support. The mind may be also likened to a lever, which without a fulcrum is almost useless; and to a ladder, which when placed upright will fall, but when stayed against a building is steady and strong enough to bear your weight.

(W. Birch.)

A respected brother in the ministry once told me that he was at Villa Franca in Italy, when a shock of an earthquake was felt. The various members of a family with which he then was all showed alarm or uneasiness in different ways, with the exception of one, who merely smiled at perceiving the effect produced on them. That one was a dying man — in about a week after he died in the Lord — and he knew that the time of his departure was at hand. It mattered little to him whether he were summoned by the slow wasting hectic, or by the crush of an earthquake. His mind was stayed on the Lord, and was therefore kept in perfect peace under circumstances which would have made most of us tremble.

(R. M. Kyle, B. A.)

Ver. 3 (see R.V. margin) states the conditions of membership in the ideal Zion; a "steadfast mind" may share the "peace" which the ideal city is to enjoy.

(Prof . S. R. Driver, D. D.)

A ship is made to go in the water, and no matter how deep the sea nor how wild the tempest, all goes well so long as the water does not get into the ship. The problem of managing a ship is, not to keep the ship out of the water, but to keep the water out of the ship. The problem of true Christian living is, not to keep ourselves out of cares and trials and temptations, but to keep the cares and temptations from getting into our souls.

(J. R. Miller, D. D.)

A great difference comes into the life when, instead of putting circumstances between ourselves and God, we put God between ourselves and circumstances. Then when annoyance and fret, unkind speeches and unjust treatment, worries about money and helpers and procedure accumulate, they seem like the passage of crowds up and down a London thoroughfare, whilst we sit quietly within and pursue our work behind the double windows, that render the room almost impervious to sound. Happy the soul which has learned to live inside the film of God's invisible protection, poured around it by the Spirit of peace!

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
It is said that Mr. Gladstone, for forty years, had on the wall of his bedroom this text: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." These were the first words on which the great statesman's eyes opened every morning, and they were one of the sources of his calm strength.

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

George M'Donald says somewhere that it is more. absurd to trust God by halves than it is not to believe in Him at all.

At a battle in the American Civil War, a general asked Stonewall Jackson how it was he kept so cool while the bullets literally rained about him. Jackson instantly became grave, and earnestly answered, "My religions belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready." After a pause, he added, looking his questioner in the face, "That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."

Every time a man worries, physiologists say, he changes a portion of his nervous system. Sometimes the change is serious; sometimes it is permanent; sometimes it is fatal. What worry does for the body, it does also for the spirit. It is the destruction of energy, the ruin of that serenity which is half of power, and the fruitful cause of a large of life's failures. The bicycle is useful because, on a level or a down grade, it relieves a man not only of the weight of his burdens, but even of his own weight, and he can put all his strength into the matter of getting along. Now that is precisely what the Christian's trust will do for him. God never intended that we should carry the burdens He lays upon us. He never intended even that we should carry the burden of our own evil nature and sinful tendencies, no is willing, nay, eager, to carry them all for us, emancipating all our strength for pure progress

(A. R. Wells.)

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