Lamentations 3:22
Because of the loving devotion of the LORD we are not consumed, for His mercies never fail.
Sparing CompassionJ.R. Thomson Lamentations 3:22
To the Reader. Christian ReaderHugh BinningLamentations 3:22
The Unfailing Compassions of JehovahD. Young Lamentations 3:22, 23
A Memorial of God's MercyChristian AgeLamentations 3:22-24
God's Mercies RecognisedAmos R. Wells.Lamentations 3:22-24
God's Mercy AcknowledgedW. D. Horwood.Lamentations 3:22-24
Innumerable MerciesMark Guy Pearse.Lamentations 3:22-24
Man Living by MercyJ. Parker, D. D.Lamentations 3:22-24
Manifold MercyLamentations 3:22-24
Man's Desert and God's CompassionD. Wilcox.Lamentations 3:22-24
Mercy and FaithfulnessJohn Hambleton, M. A.Lamentations 3:22-24
PreservationE. Hoare, M. A.Lamentations 3:22-24
Profitable DisciplineJ. Parker, D. D.Lamentations 3:22-24
The Perennial Stream of Divine CompassionJ. Trapp.Lamentations 3:22-24
The Unfailing Goodness of GodW. F. Adeney, M. A.Lamentations 3:22-24

At this point the meditations of the prophet take a turn. He looks away from his own and his fellow countrymen's afflictions and directs his gaze heavenwards. The scene of his vision changes. No longer the calamities of Jerusalem, but the character and the purposes of the Most High, absorb his attention. There is a rainbow which spans even the stormiest sky. Earth may be dark, but there is brightness above. Man may be cruel or miserable, but God has not forgotten to be gracious.

I. THE LORD'S GRACIOUS ATTRIBUTES. These are described as

(1) his mercies and

(2) his compassions.

It is the glory of revelation that it makes known a personal God, invested with the noblest moral attributes. The heathen saw in the ca]amities of cities and nations, either the caprice of angry deities or the working of inexorable fate. The Hebrews saw the presence, interest, and superintending providence of a God of righteousness, holiness, and grace,

II. THE UNFAILING EXERCISE OF THESE ATTRIBUTES FOR THE RELIEF AND SALVATION OF MEN. If "we are not consumed," it is not through any excellence or merit of ours, but because of the forbearance and pity of him who does not willingly afflict the children of me. We tempt the Lord by our ingratitude and rebellion to lay aside his compassion, but he is greater and better than our highest and purest thoughts of him: "His compassions fail not."


(1) a negative advantage - we are not consumed; and

(2) a positive advantage - we are saved and blessed.

The language of the prophet receives its highest illustration in the dispensation of the gospel. It is in Christ Jesus that the attributes here celebrated appear in their greatest glory, and secure the largest and most lasting results of good for men. Hence the privilege of listening to the glad tidings. And hence the obligation under which all Christians are laid to extol the mercies and compassions of God, revealed in his Son, and practically securing for all who believe the blessings of forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. - T.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.

1. It is of the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed bodily. Consider the waste constantly going on, etc. Set against this the powers of digestion and assimilation, and the constant supply of food.

2. It is of the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed intellectually. Consider the wear and tear of the brain, the continual evolution of thought, the daily anxiety of mind; and against this set the all-renewing energy of the Holy Ghost, who gives strength day by day, repairing the waste of faculty and renewing the resources of power.

3. It is of the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed morally. Consider our sins, our daily provocations, our constant obduracy of heart. Why aces lie withhold the stroke of righteous vengeance? The answer is, in His mercy! Very beautiful is the expression, "They are new every morning" — new just as we want them — standing at the very threshold of the day to help us through all work and trial, all darkness and light.

II. To know what the mercy is, consider WHAT IS MEANT BY CONSUMPTION. Figure a tree that is diseased at the roots; a man who is daffy pining away; a soul wasting! From such consumption there is no protection but in God's mercy. Show the vanity of all human schemes. Call the attention of Christians to the fact that every day is provided for; if the trial comes daily, so does the mercy. Human preservation is not merely a question of science or prudence; underlying all are the "compassions" which are "new every morning."

(J. Parker," D. D.)

I. The application of this to the case of the Jews is very obvious, considering their multiplied provocations, and God's multiplied mercies toward them; but we may well consider it in its application to ourselves, for AS SINNERS WE HAVE ALL DESERVED TO BE CONSUMED. "The wages of sin is death." "Sin is the transgression of the law." Sin therefore is man practically separating himself from God, refusing to love Him, to serve Him, preferring to go with the great enemy of God and godliness, and to be led by him according to his evil will, and to do the vile work which he commands. Thus sin is no trifle. We have all sinned in our different ways. In how many ways, how many times we have abused the faculties which God hath given us, whether of body, soul, or spirit! We have perverted the energies which should have been employed in serving Him, into so many weapons of rebellion wherewith we dared to fight against God. And what have we deserved? Surely to be consumed, to be cut off in our sins, to be separated from God forever. Then how is it that we are here spared as we are? It is not of our merits, but of the Lord's mercies. This explains His wonderful forbearance towards sinners while living in sin, forming habits of Sinning, and acting out those habits in innumerable acts, and deeds, and thoughts of a sinful character, doing, in fact, nothing to please God.

II. HIS MERCIES ARE TO BE TRACED UP TO HIS COMPASSIONS; even "because His compassions fail not." His mercies are the streams of which His compassions are the source. His compassions are in the essential goodness of our God, prompting Him to manifest His mercies in a way consistent with His glorious perfections. Of His compassion to guilty sinners He sent His Son to take man's nature, to become man's substitute, to be his surety, to suffer the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. Thus His compassions prompting, His mercies can flow freely through the mediation of Christ. God can be just, and yet justify the ungodly, believing in Jesus for His sake. Hence, if partakers of His mercies in Christ Jesus, we are quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; we are justified by faith, and so have peace with God, who were guilty before God, under condemnation, deserving hell. We, who were by nature the children of wrath, even as others, are made the children of God by adoption and grace. We are being trained and educated by the Holy Spirit for dwelling with God in heaven; our trials and sufferings are all being sanctified for our souls' profit. Thus how great the compassions of our God! what a never-failing source of mercies ever flowing and overflowing!

III. THESE MERCIES, SO TRACED UP TO THE COMPASSIONS OF OUR GOD, ARE ALL SECURED BY HIS FAITHFULNESS. Every morning brings a new or a renewed need to every man of the mercies and compassions of God. The coming day will bring its duties and its trials, its difficulties, its dangers, its temptations, it may be its sufferings. For all these we need new or renewed grace. The grace that was sufficient yesterday will not serve for today. We need like grace, or more grace today, and this our God in covenant is ready to supply. "As thy day is, so shall thy strength be." It is morning. "Son, go work today in My vineyard," the Lord of the vineyard is saying; then, Lord, I must look to Thee to give working strength, otherwise I faint and fail. But "He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength." Thus out of weakness we are made strong. Every working Christian, as he goeth forth, to his work and to his labour until the evening, can say or sing of God's mercies and compassions. "They are new every morning." But again, it is morning; a voice from heaven is saying, "My child, today go not out to work; stay at home and suffer according to the will of God; commune with thine own heart upon thy bed, and be still, and know that I am God." Here, then, is harder duty than outdoor work. But here again the mercies and compassions of our God are found "new every morning"; the throne of grace is nearer to us than before; these trials draw the soul nearer to God, and into closer communion with Him; there is more leisure now for retirement and devotion, or if pain and weakness interrupt, there is by the medium of pain a reminder of Christ's own sufferings and their saving object. He can make His strength manifestly perfect in this felt weakness. Thus the day of suffering, though it may seem long and tedious, may ye short and sweet in the experience of His mercies.

(John Hambleton, M. A.)

Spiritual experience must be looked at as a whole. It is not right to fix attention either upon this side or upon that, to the exclusion and the forgetfulness of the other. One side is very dark and full of sadness, sharply inclined towards despair; the other is brighter than the summer morning, tuneful, sunned with all the lustre of saintly hope: so we must take the night with the morning, if we would have the complete day. Where we find the highest mountains we find the deepest valleys. In proportion to the range and spirituality of the world in which a man lives will be the pensiveness and gloom of his occasional hours. If the poet droops when his harp does not respond to his touch, how must the soul faint when God hides Himself? If the timid child moans because his chamber light has gone out, with what bitterness of complaint should we speak if the sun were extinguished? If men say they are never depressed, that they are always in high spirits, it is probably because they never were really in high spirits at all — not knowing the difference between the soul's rapture, mental and spiritual ecstasy, and merely animal excitement. A great deal depends upon the clearness of the atmosphere as to whether we appreciate this object or that in natural scenery. So it is with souls. A great many of us seem to have such long winters, short days, with poor, artificial light, and such murky, gloomy, dispiriting weather, with cruel fogs. Others of us have more sunshine, more summer weather in the soul. But what we want to understand is this — that religion, right relations with God, a true standing before the Almighty, does not depend upon this feeling or upon that; it is not a question of climate, atmosphere, air, spirits: it is a question of fact. The question is not, How do you feel today? but, Where are you standing? are you on the rock? The rock will not change; the climate will. Be right in your foundation, and the season of rejoicing will come round again. Taking Jeremiah's experiences as a whole, what do we find that sanctified sorrow had wrought in him?

1. In the first place, it gave him a true view of Divine government. Jeremiah was brought to understand two things about the government of God. He was brought to understand that God's government is tender. What words do you suppose Jeremiah connected with the government of God? Why these two beautiful words, each a piece of music, "Mercies," "Compassions." A man can only get into that view of government by living the deepest possible life. A God all strength would be a monster. A God throned on ivory, ruling the universe with a sceptre of mere power, could never establish Himself in the confidence and love and trust of His creatures. Man cannot be ruled and governed by mere power, fear, overwhelming, dominating, crushing strength and force. So we find David saying, "Power belongeth unto God: unto Thee also, O Lord, belongeth mercy." Power in the hands of mercy, Omnipotence impregnated by all the tenderness of pity. That is the true exposition of Divine nature which opens up the fatherliness, motherliness, mercifulness, and compassion of God's great heart.

2. This discipline wrought in Jeremiah the conviction that God's government was minute. Speaking of God's mercies, he says, "They are new every morning." Morning mercies — daffy bread. That is it. God shutting us up within a day and training us a moment at a time. The Psalmist said, "Thy mercies have been ever of old." And another singer said, "Thy mercies are new every morning." Is there no contradiction there? Ever of old — every morning! Old as duration, new as morning; old as human existence, new as the coming summer. These are all inconsistencies that mark our life. Jeremiah having given this view of the Divine government, tells us two things about discipline. He tells us, in the first place, the goodness of waiting: it is good for a man to wait. Observe you: wait for God. I am not called upon to wait because somebody has put a great waggon across the road; I might get that out of the way. But if God had set an angel there, I must make distinctions. There is a waiting that is indolence; there is a waiting that is sheer faithlessness; there is a waiting that comes of weakness. This is the true waiting, — wanting to get on, resolute about progress, and yet having a notion that God is just before us teaching patience. Jeremiah tells us this second thing about the Divine government. It is good for a man to bear the yoke. Commend me to the man who has been through deep waters, through very dark places, through treacherous, serpent-haunted roads, and who has yet come out with a cheerful heart, mellow, chastened, subdued, and who speaks tenderly of the mercy of God through it all. And that man I may trust with my heart's life. A right acceptance of God's schooling, God's rod, God's judgment, and God's mercy, mingled together, will cause us to become learned in Divine wisdom, tender in Divine feeling, gentle and charitable in all social judgment; good men whilst we are here, and always waiting, even in the midst of our most diligent service, to be called up into the more fully revealed presence and the still more cloudless light.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. A STATE OF DESERVED PUNISHMENT. It is not enough to compare England with other nations — in the glory of her institutions, in the valour of her arms, in the extent and enterprise of her commerce, in the growth of her civilisation, in the freedom of her laws, in the grandeur of her discoveries, and in the nobility and genuine heartedness of her people — and then to boast of her superiority. No. We must look upon our nation in the light of her moral and spiritual character as she stands related to the God of the universe. And what is the nature and character of the spectacle? Have we not reason for humiliation? But regard this part of our subject in an individual point of view. Let us bring the matter home to our own hearts. And do we not find in them reason upon reason why the vengeance of Almighty God should fall upon us? Well then may we exclaim, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed."

II. A REASON FOR THE DIVINE CONDUCT. "Because His compassions fail not." Thus our hopes are centred in the unchangeableness of God's mercy and love. Other things do change. The sunshine gives place to the blackness of the tempest. The life and bloom of spring and summer pass away into the fading beauties of autumn and the cold sterility of winter. The health of childhood, of youth and manhood, soon yields to the power of sickness, and perishes beneath the blight of death. Prosperity is oftentimes overcast with the gloomy shadows of adversity. The smiles of peace are changed into the frowns of war. Promises and compacts are broken — superseded by the avarice of selfishness, by the grasping aims of ambition, by the caprice of pride, and by the tyranny of despotism. But the "compassions" of God "fail not." They are ever new, and ever abiding.


1. What more consistent and natural than thankfulness and gratitude?

2. Trust in God, and not in man, is another duty founded upon the constancy and immutability of God's compassion. There is something sublime, as well as consolatory, in trust in God: sublime, as respects its object, so infinitely superior to any other in the glory and majesty of its nature, its eternity and perfectibility; consolatory, inasmuch as the human mind is cheered and strengthened with the conviction, founded upon the most certain evidence, that "they who trust in the Lord shall never be confounded." And herein, too, lies the special privilege of the Christian.

3. Another duty presented to us by the text is repentance. And what so calculated to effect this glorious result as the unfailing compassions of the Almighty?

(W. D. Horwood.)

I. THE PRESERVATION. It is ascribed in this passage to three attributes.

1. Mercy. Many "mercies" here referred to, for there are many manifestations of the same mercy — e.g., there is atoning mercy, forgiving mercy, sanctifying mercy, and preserving mercy — all of which are combined in the salvation of the believer.

2. Compassion. This differs from mercy, because it does not, like mercy, necessarily imply sin.(1) It fails not. In it there is neither fickleness nor exhaustion (Hebrews 13:8).(2) It is new every morning. There are fresh mercies every day — daily bread, daily power for work, daily comforts, daily privileges of family prayer, etc.

3. Faithfulness. Faithfulness implies unchanging love. There may be faithfulness to a covenant, faithfulness to a promise, and faithfulness to a person. The latter seen in the faithfulness of a mother or nurse.

II. THE EFFECT OF THIS PRESERVATION ON THE MIND OF THE PROPHET. Seen in his declaration for the present, and determination for the future.

(E. Hoare, M. A.)

As John Bunyan says, all the flowers in God's garden are double; there is no single mercy; nay, they are not only double flowers, but they are manifold flowers. There are many flowers upon one stalk, and many flowers in one flower. You shall think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole flock of mercies. Our beloved is unto us a bundle of myrrh, a cluster of camphire. When you lay hold upon one golden link of the chain of grace, you pull, pull, pull, but lo! as long as your hand can draw there are fresh "linked sweetnesses" of love still to come. Manifold mercies! Like the drops of a lustre, which reflect a rainbow of colours when the sun is glittering upon them, and each one, when turned in different ways, from its prismatic form, shows all the varieties of colours, so the mercy of God is one and yet many, the same, yet ever changing, a combination of all the beauties of love blended harmoniously together.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I was going home one winter's evening with my little maiden at my side, when she looked up into the sky and said, "Father, I am going to count the stars." "Very well," I said, "do." And soon I heard her whispering to herself, "Two hundred and twenty-one, two hundred and twenty-two, two hundred and twenty-three," and then she stepped and sighed. "Oh dear! I had no idea" they were so many! Like that little maiden. I have often tried to count my mercies, but right soon have I had to cry, I had no idea they were so many!"

(Mark Guy Pearse.)

His compassions fail not.
Although the elegist has prepared us for brighter scenes by the more hopeful tone of an intermediate triplet, the transition from the gloom and bitterness of the first part of the poem to the glowing rapture of the second is among the most startling effects in literature. How could a man entertain two such conflicting currents of thought in closest juxtaposition? In their very form and structure these touching elegies reflect the mental calibre of their author. A wooden soul could never have invented their movements. They reveal a most sensitive spirit, a spirit that resembles a finely strung instrument of music, quivering in response to impulses from all directions. The author composes the first part in an exceptionally gloomy mood, and leaves the poem unfinished, perhaps for some time. When he returns to it on a subsequent occasion he is in a totally different frame of mind, and this is reflected in the next stage of his work. Still the point of importance is the possibility of the very diverse views here recorded. Nor is this wholly a matter of temperament. Is it not more or less the case with all of us, that since absorption with one class of ideas entirely excludes their opposites, when the latter are allowed to enter the mind they will rush in with the force of a pent-up flood? Then we are astonished that we could ever have forgotten them. Still it may seem to us a strange thing that this most perfect expression of a joyous assurance of the mercy and compassion of God should be found in the Book of Lamentations of all places. It may well give heart to those who have not sounded the depth of sorrow, as the author of these sad poems had done, to learn that even he had been able to recognise the merciful kindness of God in the largest possible measure. A little reflection, however, should teach us that it is not so unnatural a thing for this gem of grateful appreciation to appear where it is. We do not find, as a rule, that the most prosperous people are the foremost to recognise the love of God. The reverse is very frequently the case. The softening influence of sorrow seems to have a more direct effect upon our sense of Divine goodness. Perhaps, too, it is some compensation for melancholy, that persons who are afflicted with it are most responsive to sympathy. The morbid, despondent poet Cowper has written most exquisitely about the love of God. Watts is enthusiastic in his praise of the Divine grace; but a deeper note is sounded in the Olney hymns, as, for example, in that beginning with the line —Hark, my soul, it is the Lord.In his new consciousness of the love of God, the elegist is first struck by its amazing persistence. Probably we should render the twenty-second verse thus —The Lord's mercies, verily they cease not, etc.There are two masons for this emendation. First, the momentary transition to the plural "we" is harsh and improbable. Second — and this is the principal consideration — the balance of the phrases, which is so carefully observed throughout this elegy, is upset by the common rendering, but restored by the emendation. The topic of the triplet in which the disputed passage occurs is the amazing persistence of God's goodness to His suffering children. The proposed alteration is in harmony with this. The thought here presented to us rests on the truth of the eternity and essential changelessness of God. We cannot think of Him as either fickle or failing; to do so would be to cease to think of Him as God. If He is merciful at all He cannot be merciful only spasmodically, erratically, or temporarily. The elegist declares that the reason why God's mercies are not consumed is that His compassions do not fail. Thus he goes behind the kind actions of God to their originating motives. To a man in the condition of the writer of this poem of personal confidences the Divine sympathy is the one fact in the universe of supreme importance. So will it be to every sufferer who can assure himself of the truth of it. But is this only a consolation for the sorrowing? The pathos, the very tragedy of human life on earth, should make the sympathy of God the most precious fact of existence to all mankind. Portia rightly reminds Shylock that "we all do look for mercy"; but if so, the spring of mercy, the Divine compassion, must be the one source of true hope for every soul of man. Further, the elegist declares that the special form taken by these unceasing mercies of God is daily renewal The love of God is constant — one changeless Divine attribute; but the manifestations of that love are necessarily successive and various, according to the successive and various needs of His children. The living God is an active God, who works in the present as effectually as He worked in the past. There is another side to this truth. It is not sufficient to have received the grace of God once for all. If "He giveth more grace," it is because we need more grace. This is a stream that must be ever flowing into the soul, not the storage of a tank filled once for all and left to serve for a lifetime. Therefore the channel must be kept constantly clear, or the grace will fall to reach us, although in itself it never runs dry. There is something cheering in the poet's idea of the morning as the time when these mercies of God are renewed. God's mercies do not fail, are not interrupted. The emphasis is on the thought that no day is without God's new mercies, not even the day of darkest trouble; and further, there is the suggestion that God is never dilatory in coming to our aid. He does not keep us waiting and wearying while He tarries. He is prompt and early with His grace. The idea may be compared with that of the promise to those who seek God "early," literally, "in the morning" (Proverbs 8:17). Or we may think of the night as the time of repose, when we are oblivious of God's goodness, although even through the hours of darkness He who neither slumbers nor sleeps is constantly watching over His unconscious children. Then in the morning there dawns on us a fresh perception of His goodness. To the notion of the morning renewal of the mercies of God the poet appends a recognition of His great faithfulness. This is an additional thought. Faithfulness is more than compassion. There is a strength and a stability about the idea that goes further to insure confidence. The conclusion drawn from these considerations is given in an echo from the Psalms —The Lord is my portion.The words are old and well worn; but they obtain a new meaning when adopted as the expression of a new experience. The lips have often chanted them in the worship of the sanctuary. Now they are the voice of the soul, of the very life.

(W. F. Adeney, M. A.)

I. GOD HAS THE ORDERING OF BOTH WHAT HIS PEOPLE FEEL AND WHAT THEY ARE KEPT FROM FEELING; that they are cast down, and yet not destroyed; afflicted, and yet not consumed. All their times are in His hand (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6). He orders what affliction shall befall any one of His children, and in what manner; to what degree it shall prevail, how long continue, and what shall be the issue (1 Samuel 2:6; Job 38:11). This is agreeable to His nature, and His relation to them; to His love and promise to His people, and to the design He is carrying on by all His dealings with them, which is to fit them for the kingdom He hath prepared for them (Psalm 103:8, 9, 14; Isaiah 57:16). In judgment He remembers mercy, correcting in measure, and staying the rough wind in the day of His east wind (Isaiah 27:8).


1. The loss or being deprived of the image and Spirit of God, being abandoned by Him, and left to live without Him in the world.

2. It is part of the misery due to sin, to be cast out of the favour of God, and abhorred by Him.

3. A being stript of all external comforts, of whatever might make life easy or desirable; a deprivation of all such things, is our due upon the account of sin.

4. Having the body filled with pain and torment, making its beauty to consume away as a moth-eaten garment, is part of the punishment due to sin.

5. Having the soul filled with horror, belongs to the punishment of sin; which some have felt to that degree, as to extort from them that doleful cry (Psalm 88:15).

6. Being cut off by death, and cast into hell, is the destruction due to sin.

III. Such is the evil of sin, and so much of it is found even in saints themselves, that SHOULD GOD BE STRICT TO MARK INIQUITY, THEY WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO EXPECT BUT TO BE CONSUMED.

1. Such is the evil of sin, that it deserves this. It is the abominable thing that God hates; and well it may, as by it His majesty and justice are affronted, His power and wisdom disowned, His goodness despised; His holiness reproached, His truth contradicted, His promises and threatenings slighted, as if His favours were not valuable, nor His wrath to be feared.

2. So much of this is found in saints themselves, as would expose them to destruction, should God deal with them according to it.


1. The evidence of this is obvious.(1) As it is not owing to any worth nor power of their own, not to anything they could do for God, or do against Him.(2) Nor is their preservation owing to this, that God is unacquainted with the sins of His people, or makes light of them.(3) Nor is their preservation owing to God's want of power to punish to the height of the desert of sin.(4) He has given dreadful proofs of His power on His implacable enemies; and that His people are otherwise treated, is because His mercies and compassions fail not. It was mercy that spared them in their unregenerate state, though they were by nature children of wrath, even as others (Ephesians 2:3). It was mercy in God that provided us an all-sufficient Saviour, even His own Son (John 3:16). It was mercy that from eternity designed their recovery whom God is pleased to set apart for Himself; and according to it, in the appointed season, He called them into the kingdom of His dear Son.

2. What kind of mercy it is.(1) It is most free and sovereign, This is His own declaration (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15).(2) It is rich and full; large and abundant in the fountain, and extending to all His people.(3) It is most wonderful mercy; considering by whom it is exercised, towards whom, against what provocations, in what manner, and to what ends. Considering by whom exercised. How astonishing is it that the High and Holy One, who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven, will attend to the preservation of any in this lower world! Considering to whom it is exercised, to men, to sinners; recovered indeed, but very imperfect; such whom He fetched out of nothing by His power, and from a state of guilt by His grace. Considering against what provocations, even from those towards whom it is exercised. How often do we offend our God, while preserved by Him? How many, how great are our sins? How grievous to Him, and how plain before Him? How worthy of destruction are we, and yet He spares us! Considering in what manner it is exercised by God, even with delight. Judgment is His strange work. Considering to what end it is exercised, namely, in order to their salvation, for them or in them, preparatory to their being with Him in heaven, the blissful state to which by mercy they are designed.(4) It is most seasonable mercy. How often has my life been in danger, and yet God has appeared for me, when unable to help myself, and the help of fellow creatures was tried in vain, in how remarkable a juncture did He take my case into His own hands; proving thereby that to Him alone belong the issues from death?(5) The mercy of God, to which saints owe their preservation, is distinguishing, such as He did not exercise towards apostate spirits.(6) The mercy of God is never-failing (Psalm 103:17). This makes up the greatest part of His name, and what He esteems His glory (Exodus 34:6).

3. The manner in which this mercy is exercised.(1) Through a Mediator, for His sake, and upon His account.(2) In a covenant way.

(D. Wilcox.)

Because His compassions are not spent, wasted; but as the oil in the cruse, as the spring ever running, the sun ever shining, etc. This should ever shine in our hearts as the sun doth in the firmament.

(J. Trapp.)

Joseph Parker bids us "never go to God for new blessings before we have given Him a receipt for the old ones." We may at least recognise them, and the recognition is sure to render us grateful. But, on the contrary, most lives are one big sponge, one hungry petition, always greedily asking, and never stopping to repay.

(Amos R. Wells.)

Christian Age.
Many times Captain Holm had crossed the Atlantic Ocean without losing a spar, but at last disaster overtook him. He says, "On one voyage my ship was struck by lightning in mid-ocean. The bolt came down the mizzenmast through the cabin and passed into the hold, leaving a long black scar on the mast as it went. We were cotton loaded, and we had every reason to fear the horrors of a ship on fire at sea. But the Lord in His mercy spared us, and we came safely to port. When, a little later, men came on board to make some repairs, I went into the cabin one day, just as the painter was raising his brush to paint out the lightning mark on the mast. 'Stop! stop!' I said; 'don't you put a brushful of paint on that mast. So long as I am master of this ship, that scar on the mast shall stand, so that I may never forget how good the Lord was to save us when my cotton-loaded ship was struck by lightning:"

(Christian Age.)

Cease, Ceases, Compassion, Compassions, Consumed, Destruction, Doesn't, Ended, Fail, Indeed, Kindnesses, Limit, Lord's, Love, Loving, Loving-kindness, Lovingkindnesses, Mercies, Steadfast, Surely
1. The prophet bewails his own calamities
22. By the mercies of God, he nourishes his hope
37. He acknowledges God's justice
55. He prays for deliverance
64. And vengeance on his enemies

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Lamentations 3:22

     1030   God, compassion
     1055   God, grace and mercy
     1060   God, greatness of
     1443   revelation, OT
     4019   life, believers' experience
     5790   anger, divine
     5946   sensitivity
     6667   grace, in OT
     6730   reinstatement
     8296   love, nature of

Lamentations 3:1-26

     5831   depression

Lamentations 3:7-24

     6701   peace, search for

Lamentations 3:16-26

     9250   woe

Lamentations 3:19-24

     8025   faith, origins of

Lamentations 3:20-23

     5805   comfort

Lamentations 3:21-22

     9612   hope, in God

Lamentations 3:21-24

     5916   pessimism

Lamentations 3:22-23

     1035   God, faithfulness
     4954   morning
     5762   attitudes, God to people
     6025   sin, and God's character
     8203   character
     8741   failure
     8797   persecution, attitudes

Lamentations 3:22-24

     8331   reliability

February the Twenty-Fourth Moving Towards Daybreak
"He hath brought me into darkness, but not into light." --LAMENTATIONS iii. 1-9. But a man may be in darkness, and yet in motion toward the light. I was in the darkness of the subway, and it was close and oppressive, but I was moving toward the light and fragrance of the open country. I entered into a tunnel in the Black Country in England, but the motion was continued, and we emerged amid fields of loveliness. And therefore the great thing to remember is that God's darknesses are not His goals;
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

February the Twenty-Fifth the Fresh Eye
"His compassions fail not: they are new every morning." --LAMENTATIONS iii. 22-33. We have not to live on yesterday's manna; we can gather it fresh to-day. Compassion becomes stale when it becomes thoughtless. It is new thought that keeps our pity strong. If our perception of need can remain vivid, as vivid as though we had never seen it before, our sympathies will never fail. The fresh eye insures the sensitive heart. And our God's compassions are so new because He never becomes accustomed to
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Solitude, Silence, Submission
"He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope."--Lamentations 3:28, 29. THUS the prophet describes the conduct of a person in deep anguish of heart. When he does not know what to do, his soul, as if by instinct, humbles itself. He gets into some secret place, he utters no speech, he gives himself over to moaning and to tears, and then he bows himself lower and yet lower before the Divine Majesty, as if he felt
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

"And we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
Isaiah lxiv. 6.--"And we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Here they join the punishment with the deserving cause, their uncleanness and their iniquities, and so take it upon them, and subscribe to the righteousness of God's dealing. We would say this much in general--First, Nobody needeth to quarrel God for his dealing. He will always be justified when he is judged. If the Lord deal more sharply with you than with others, you may judge there is a difference
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

To the Reader. Christian Reader
To The Reader. Christian Reader, This holy preacher of the gospel had so many convictions upon his spirit of the necessity of the duties of humiliation and mourning, and of people's securing the eternal interest of their souls for the life to come, by flying into Jesus Christ for remission of sins in his blood, that he made these the very scope of his sermons in many public humiliations, as if it had been the one thing which he conceived the Lord was calling for in his days; a clear evidence whereof
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Lord is My Portion. Lam 3:24

John Newton—Olney Hymns

The Disciple, -- what is the Meaning and Purpose of the Cross...
The Disciple,--What is the meaning and purpose of the cross, and why do pain and suffering exist in the world? The Master,--1. The cross is the key to heaven. At the moment when by My baptism I took the cross upon My shoulders for the sake of sinners, heaven was opened, and by means of My thirty-three years bearing of the cross and by death upon it, heaven, which by reason of sin was closed to believers, was for ever opened to them. Now as soon as believers take up their cross and follow Me they
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

How Christ is to be Made Use of as Our Life, in Case of Heartlessness and Fainting through Discouragements.
There is another evil and distemper which believers are subject to, and that is a case of fainting through manifold discouragements, which make them so heartless that they can do nothing; yea, and to sit up, as if they were dead. The question then is, how such a soul shall make use of Christ as in the end it may be freed from that fit of fainting, and win over those discouragements: for satisfaction to which we shall, 1. Name some of those discouragements which occasion this. 2. Show what Christ
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The Practice of Piety in Glorifying God in the Time of Sickness, and when Thou Art Called to Die in the Lord.
As soon as thou perceivest thyself to be visited with any sickness, meditate with thyself: 1. That "misery cometh not forth of the dust; neither doth affliction spring out of the earth." Sickness comes not by hap or chance (as the Philistines supposed that their mice and emrods came, 1 Sam. vi. 9), but from man's wickedness, which, as sparkles, breaketh out. "Man suffereth," saith Jeremiah, "for his sins." "Fools," saith David, "by reason of their transgressions, and because of their iniquities,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

How they are to be Admonished who Lament Sins of Deed, and those who Lament Only Sins of Thought.
(Admonition 30.) Differently to be admonished are those who deplore sins of deed, and those who deplore sins of thought. For those who deplore sins of deed are to be admonished that perfected lamentations should wash out consummated evils, lest they be bound by a greater debt of perpetrated deed than they pay in tears of satisfaction for it. For it is written, He hath given us drink in tears by measure (Ps. lxxix. 6): which means that each person's soul should in its penitence drink the tears
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

From his Entrance on the Ministry in 1815, to his Commission to Reside in Germany in 1820
1815.--After the long season of depression through which John Yeardley passed, as described in the last chapter, the new year of 1815 dawned with brightness upon his mind. He now at length saw his spiritual bonds loosed; and the extracts which follow describe his first offerings in the ministry in a simple and affecting manner. 1 mo. 5.--The subject of the prophet's going down to the potter's house opened so clearly on my mind in meeting this morning that I thought I could almost have publicly
John Yeardley—Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel

Meditations for one that is Like to Die.
If thy sickness be like to increase unto death, then meditate on three things:--First, How graciously God dealeth with thee. Secondly, From what evils death will free thee. Thirdly, What good death will bring unto thee. The first sort of Meditations are, to consider God's favourable dealing with thee. 1. Meditate that God uses this chastisement of thy body but as a medicine to cure thy soul, by drawing thee, who art sick in sin, to come by repentance unto Christ, thy physician, to have thy soul healed
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Letter xxvi. (Circa A. D. 1127) to the Same
To the Same He excuses the brevity of his letter on the ground that Lent is a time of silence; and also that on account of his profession and his ignorance he does not dare to assume the function of teaching. 1. You will, perhaps, be angry, or, to speak more gently, will wonder that in place of a longer letter which you had hoped for from me you receive this brief note. But remember what says the wise man, that there is a time for all things under the heaven; both a time to speak and a time to keep
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Of the Character of the Unregenerate.
Ephes. ii. 1, 2. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. AMONG all the various trusts which men can repose in each other, hardly any appears to be more solemn and tremendous, than the direction of their sacred time, and especially of those hours which they spend in the exercise of public devotion.
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Question Lxxxii of Devotion
I. Is Devotion a Special Kind of Act? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Meaning of the Term "Devotion" S. Augustine, Confessions, XIII. viii. 2 II. Is Devotion an Act of the Virtue of Religion? III. Is Contemplation, that is Meditation, the Cause of Devotion? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Causes of Devotion " " On the Devotion of Women IV. Is Joy an Effect of Devotion? Cardinal Cajetan, On Melancholy S. Augustine, Confessions, II. x. I Is Devotion a Special Kind of Act? It is by our acts that we merit. But
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

The Mercy of God
The next attribute is God's goodness or mercy. Mercy is the result and effect of God's goodness. Psa 33:5. So then this is the next attribute, God's goodness or mercy. The most learned of the heathens thought they gave their god Jupiter two golden characters when they styled him good and great. Both these meet in God, goodness and greatness, majesty and mercy. God is essentially good in himself and relatively good to us. They are both put together in Psa 119:98. Thou art good, and doest good.' This
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Covenant Duties.
It is here proposed to show, that every incumbent duty ought, in suitable circumstances, to be engaged to in the exercise of Covenanting. The law and covenant of God are co-extensive; and what is enjoined in the one is confirmed in the other. The proposals of that Covenant include its promises and its duties. The former are made and fulfilled by its glorious Originator; the latter are enjoined and obligatory on man. The duties of that Covenant are God's law; and the demands of the law are all made
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

"Take My Yoke Upon You, and Learn of Me," &C.
Matt. xi. 20.--"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me," &c. Self love is generally esteemed infamous and contemptible among men. It is of a bad report every where, and indeed as it is taken commonly, there is good reason for it, that it should be hissed out of all societies, if reproaching and speaking evil of it would do it. But to speak the truth, the name is not so fit to express the thing, for that which men call self love, may rather be called self hatred. Nothing is more pernicious to a man's
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Thou Shall Keep Him in Perfect Peace, Whose Mind is Stayed on Thee, Because He Trusteth in Thee. "
Isaiah xxvi. 3.--"Thou shall keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." Christ hath left us his peace, as the great and comprehensive legacy, "My peace I leave you," John xiv. 27. And this was not peace in the world that he enjoyed; you know what his life was, a continual warfare; but a peace above the world, that passeth understanding. "In the world you shall have trouble, but in me you shall have peace," saith Christ,--a peace that shall make trouble
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

No Sorrow Like Messiah's Sorrow
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! A lthough the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the law of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophecies (Luke 24:44) , bear an harmonious testimony to MESSIAH ; it is not necessary to suppose that every single passage has an immediate and direct relation to Him. A method of exposition has frequently obtained [frequently been in vogue], of a fanciful and allegorical cast [contrivance], under the pretext
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate,
CLEARLY EXPLAINED, AND LARGELY IMPROVED, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BELIEVERS. 1 John 2:1--"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." By JOHN BUNYAN, Author of "The Pilgrim's Progress." London: Printed for Dorman Newman, at the King's Arms, in the Poultry, 1689. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of the most interesting of Bunyan's treatises, to edit which required the Bible at my right hand, and a law dictionary on my left. It was very frequently republished;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

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