A Salve for Every Sore!
James Smith, 1859
Our newspapers, in their advertising section, claim to inform the afflicted of all kinds of remedies, for all sorts of maladies. If we believe them — then no one need to die, for there is a remedy for everything! And then the prices are so very moderate that few, except the poorest paupers, need to suffer.
Then if any of us are ailing, almost every friend we speak to is prepared with a remedy, and every remedy has been known to perform the most wonderful cures. Could we believe all that we read, or give credit to all we hear — our doctors might soon give up their establishments, for out of practice they must go.
Well, I feel a little inclined to follow the multitude. I have found a special remedy, and I feel as if I must advertise it. I must tell all my poor afflicted friends of it. And how many of my friends are afflicted? Bring them all together, and they would fill a good-sized hospital. They are suffering from all sorts of diseases, wounds, bruises, dislocations, sprains, and ruptures. Well, I have really found out a salve for every sore, and I wish to make it known. It has already been tried by many, and found efficacious. Now, my poor suffering, afflicted friends — give me your attention; listen to me with patience while I describe the remedy I propose to you. It is made up of six ingredients:
First, a saving interest in Christ. This entitles its possessor to all that Christ has done; and being entitled to the perfect work of Jesus, he has a free pardon, a full justification, and a clear title to eternal life. Now, if our sins are pardoned, if our person is justified, and if eternal life is ours — we shall be prepared . . .
to endure our afflictions,
to bear pains, and
to conquer death itself.
Reader, get a saving interest in Christ. Make sure of a saving interest in Christ. Rest not satisfied until you can say, "He loved me, and gave himself for me!"
Second, a good conscience. That is, a conscience cleansed and purified with the blood of Christ. A conscience which, instead of accusing and terrifying — approves and commends. A good conscience is . . .
washed in the blood of the Lamb,
enlightened by the truth of God, and
made and kept tender by the operations of the Holy Spirit.
Such a conscience will speak words of warning when danger is near; words of reproof when sin is committed, or temptation is tampered with; and words of comfort and peace when we are persecuted for righteousness sake. Reader, get a good conscience — that is, an honest, enlightened, tender conscience!
Third, a title to the promises. Many of the promises are made to the Lord's people in trying circumstances, or in certain states of mind, or as performing various duties. But every promise is deposited in Christ, and the faith which gives us a saving interest in Christ-gives us an interest in the promises too. So, that if Christ is mine — then all the promises are mine too. I may claim them, trust in them, and expect their fulfillment, according to their nature, and my circumstances and needs. Nay, God's promises pledge him to . . .
supply every need,
sanctify every trial, and
to make all things work together for our good.
Reader, get a title to God's promises, for they are exceeding great and very precious, and they bring you an assurance of all that you need.
Fourth, patience in tribulation. Troubles, trials, and tribulations will come; and impatience will make us fret, complain, and imagine that we are harshly dealt with. But patience will . . .
close the mouth,
quiet the mind, and
bring us to wait until God has finished his work.
Patience is a Heavenly gift.
It is a divine production.
It is generated by the Holy Spirit.
It springs from grace.
It is sustained by God's Word.
It looks forward to the coming of the Savior.
It keeps the soul in peace.
It never runs from God, nor goes before God — but quietly as a little child follows the Lord, and gently whispers, "All will be well."
Reader, get patience. Go to the God of patience, ask it as a favor, expect it as a promised blessing — and you will find that tribulation works patience.
Fifth, Prayer. Prayer carries every burden to the Lord — -and leaves it there. Prayer goes to the Lord . . .
with every need — to have it supplied;
with every enemy — to have it conquered;
with every corruption — to have it subdued;
with every trouble — to have it sanctified,
and with every promise — to have it fulfilled.
Prayer . . .
affects God's heart with a groan,
opens God's hand with a cry, and
obtains the most costly blessings with a tear!
While a man can pray . . .
he can never sink,
he can never be wretched,
he can never perish.
Reader, get and maintain a spirit of prayer; it will ease your mind, quell your fears, and fortify your soul against the sorest trials. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!" Philippians 4:6-7
Finally, Foretastes of Heaven. As Israel tasted the grapes of Canaan in the wilderness, so do the Lord's people taste the joys of Heaven upon earth. When the conscience is cleansed from guilt; when the love of God is shed abroad in the heart; when the Spirit bears his witness to our adoption, and when the glory of Christ is realized — then we taste the joys of Heaven. Tasting the joys of Heaven, we think little of the gall and wormwood of earth; we gird up the loins of the mind, and, as pilgrims, press toward home.
Reader, seek to enjoy these foretastes — these grapes from Eshcol — these glimpses of the promised land. In a greater or less degree, most of the Lord's people enjoy them at times; and the enjoyment of them weans us from the world, and stimulates us to run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.
Here, then, is my remedy for the sorrows of time, my medicine for the world-sick soul, my "salve for every sore." Get each of the articles, keep them always by you, apply them to your varied disorders, and you will prove them to be a sovereign and universal remedy!
Get a saving interest in the person, work, and blood shedding of the Lord Jesus;
get and keep a good conscience, a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men;
get and keep before the mind, a title to the precious promises of grace, glory, and all good things;
get and exercise patience, under all losses, crosses, and trials of life;
get a spirit of prayer, and in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let all your requests be made known unto God;
and get and enjoy, as frequently as you can, foretastes of the Heavenly state; and these things together, will enable you to be exceeding joyful in all your tribulations, and cause you to abound in hope of the glory of God.
In the Word of God, at the throne of God, from the Spirit of God — the ingredients that compose this precious ointment may be obtained, and every article may be obtained, gratis! Set, therefore, your heart to the work; seek until you obtain the blessings; keep always in your possession this universal remedy, and amidst life and all its trials, sickness and all its sufferings, and in death with all its agonies — you will be prepared to confess that you have in your possession, "a salve for every sore!"