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Alicia Blackwood :: Introduction

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SEVEN STRONG TOWERS


THE REFUGE FOR WEAK AND SUFFERING FRIENDS,
TO WHOM THIS LITTLE BOOK IS DEDICATED.




"THE NAME OF THE LORD IS A STRONG TOWER."

BY LADY ALICIA BLACKWOOD

"Be Thou my strong habitation whereunto I may
continually resort. Thou hast given commandment to save
me; for Thou art my Rock and my Fortress.
" (Psalm 71:3)

LONDON
PRINTED AT THE OPERATIVE JEWISH CONVERTS' INSTITUTION,
PALESTINE HOUSE, BODNEY ROAD, HACENEY DOWNS, N.E.




Preface

In the following pages no attempt at criticism has been thought of.

When the heart is oppressed, or heavy with sorrow, or the feeble body wearied with sickness and pain, criticism affords but little consolation.

But the promises of God, as we have them in all the simplicity of His Word, give true comfort, for God is His own interpreter; and when He sends His Spirit to give understanding, the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in His wings.

To His blessing, therefore, I commend this little book-addressed to the Troubled and Weary.

A. B.
BOXMOOR HOUSE

"The Name of the Lord is a Strong Tower,
the righteous runneth into it and is safe." (Proverbs 18:10)

In the garden of the Lord's Word are Seven such Towers.

"Thou whose name alone is Jehovah, art the Most High overall the earth." (Psalm 83:18)

THOU ART
JEHOVAH JIREH The Lord will provide  Genesis 22:14
JEHOVAH ROPHI The Lord that healeth thee  Exodus 15:26
JEHOVAH NISSI The Lord my Banner  Exodus 17:15
JEHOVAH MEKADDISH-KEM The Lord that doth sanctify you  Exodus 31:13
JEHOVAH SHALOM The Lord send peace  Judges 6:24
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU The Lord our Righteousness  Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16
JEHOVAH SHAMMAH The Lord is there  Ezekiel 48:35

"Thy Name is as ointment poured forth" (Song of Songs 1:3).

"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweet of a man's friend by hearty counsel" (Proverbs 27:9).

Come, then, to this Garden of the Lord, and He will teach us of His ways" (Isaiah 2:3);
"And we will walk in the Name of the Lord our God for ever and ever" (Micah 4:5).




I. INTRODUCTION

Is there a weary heart that does not sigh for comfort, and to whom words of hope and joy are not welcome?

But whence shall comfort come? The world cannot yield it! Nor can it give hope, neither can empty mirth cover the wounds of a broken spirit.

Blessed be God, there is a Brother born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17). Yea, One that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), with still small voice ever whispering, "Come unto me, ye weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest!" (Matthew 11:28).

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulations that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Let us then try to do so, and with His blessing we shall bring comfort to others, with that which hath comforted us: for though sorrows abound to the children of God, consolation doth much more abound, for "Consolation aboundeth by Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:5).

Sorrows and trials, more or less, are indubitably the portion of the Christian here below. "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards" (Job 5:7). This is a truth, an experience, which cannot be gainsaid. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" (Psalm 34:19). But how often, oh child of God, is the furnace of affliction, the consecrated place of His call? The medium whereby He "delivers us from the power of darkness, and translates us into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). And, being so translated, how often is that furnace again the crucible for our sanctification-baptized, perhaps, with fire to refine, but the Lord Himself sits as the refiner. He will bring His people through the fire: "I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name, and I will hear them; I will say it is My people;" (Zechariah 13:9); and they shall say: "The Lord is my God!"

Did He not, as the refiner, purify the sons of Levi "That they should offer unto the Lord an offering in Righteousness?" (Malachi 3:3). And, who were the sons of Levi?

As Israelites, they were Princes with God; as Levites, they were Priests unto God, and Ministers in His Sanctuary.

And shall the Lord not refine and purify us, whom He hath made kings and priests unto God His Father, and whom He hath loved, and "Washed from our sins in His own blood," (Revelation 1:5-6) and whom He hath called to be a Holy Priesthood, that we may offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, and whom He hath chosen to be a Royal Priesthood that we should show forth the praises of Him who "hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light?" (1 Peter 2:9). Oh! surely He will purify the sons of the spiritual Levi, that they also may offer unto the Lord an offering in Righteousness.

Wherefore, oh sorrowing child of God, "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees" (Hebrews 12:12); look upward, and the Lord will hear your cry, and lead you to the "Rock that is higher than you" (Psalm 61:2); faint not, therefore, at the Father's loving rebukes, "for whom He loveth He chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6).

Rejoice, rather, that He owns you as a child.

Think what that relationship involves of love and mercy. "Except a man be born again he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5). What then, if God gives you that new birth, receives you by adoption and grace, gives you the Spirit within, to bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God" (Romans 8:16). A child of God! Why, then you are an heir of God, a joint heir with Christ, and if so be you "Suffer with Him, you will be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:17).

Would you forego all this because of the light affliction which is but for a moment (2 Corinthians 4:17)? Would you forego that endearing and comforting name which Jesus permits us to use, and which none but the children of God have a right to use? When ye pray, say 'Our Father' (Luke 11:2). Remember if we are not sons, we are not heirs; we have no right to the inheritance. No names of sonship registered above!-If "no cross, no crown;"

Oh, think, if continual prosperity were our portion, where would be the need of help? Were our life all joy, should we seek the Comforter?

Or were it one unbroken even tenor of calm-oh, how deceitful would be that peace. Do we run for shelter when no storm beats upon our head?

Blessed be God, He hath not left us to the hardening influences of continual prosperity-nor to the reckless thoughtlessness of perpetual pleasures, nor to the deceitful whisper of "Peace, peace, when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14).

The children of God shall be taught of the Lord (Isaiah 54:13), and He will scourge "Every son whom He receiveth;" (Hebrews 12:6) for our Heavenly Father seeth how needful trials are, and He calls us by pains and sorrows and anxieties, to trust in Him, and fix our affections above. He shows us our utter weakness, and weans us from this world; He would have us, like John, as a beloved disciple, to lean upon our Saviour's bosom, there to learn His love to us, and there to find peace and balm to heal the broken heart-and catch the spirit to sympathize with others, and weep with them that weep!

Wherefore, think it not strange that afflictions befall you. Be thankful, and pray that they may be tokens of your sonship; for if we have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15) how softened will sorrow be to us.

It is well, when we are chastened by a loving Father's hand: the cloud may seem heavily laden, but a Father's face shall brighten all behind.

Poor Mary felt her cloud so dark, for her Lord was gone, and she knew not "Where they had laid Him" But-"Mary!"-Oh, that welcome sound; that beloved voice-and "Rabboni!"-was the outburst of her heart (John 20:16-17).

And now she was to be the happy messenger: "Go, tell My brethren, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God!"

Oh, how did that voice restore the weeping Mary's joy? The cloud had passed, and sunshine beamed again upon her path. What love was in those words? What comfort in those names? "My Father and your Father, My God and your God."

And does not Jesus, by the Comforter, repeat those names to you, oh, mourning child of God? Ah, listen! for Jesus is "Nigh unto all them that are of a broken heart" (Psalm 34:18), and His whisper is the still small voice within, "I will call thee by thy name, Thou art mine" (Isaiah 13:1).

"Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that weep now for they shall laugh" (Matthew 5:4). "The Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted" (Isaiah 49:13).

Here, indeed, is joy set before you.

It was for the joy that was set before Him that Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame.

And for whom did He suffer shame?

Oh, for whom was that fiery trial, the burning wrath of God endured?

For you and me!

Ah! let our eyes be turned to Him, when we are faint and weary. Let us consider Him, who knew no sin, and yet whose unsullied Holiness bore the weight of sin for us, and endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself (Hebrews 12:3). I say, let us look at Him, and "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow, which is done unto Him, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Him in the day of His fierce anger" (Lamentations 1:12). Look, for He was "a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, stricken, smitten of God; and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:3-4).

And for whom? Again, I ask, for whom? For us! For our transgressions, and for our iniquities.

What, if we had been left to bear our own iniquities, and that throughout eternity?

No Saviour to redeem, no Rock to cling to, no Hope of deliverance, no Tower wherein to find safety, no Heaven beyond. And such were our deserts; for the soul that sinneth it shall die, and death is banishment from God.

And could we strive against God, "Who giveth not account of any of His matters?" Could we say unto Him, "What doest Thou?" (Job 9:12).

But, God be praised, it is not so. Ah, no! We have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. That loving eye passed by and saw us in our misery, and said unto us, "Live!" (Ezekiel 16:6). "He looked, and behold there was no helper, He saw there was no man, and wondered there was no intercessor; therefore, His arm brought salvation, and His righteousness it sustained Him" (Isaiah 19:16). And what now does He say to us: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15). "The Name of the Lord is a strong Tower, the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10). Oh, gracious Saviour, give us grace that we may be sheltered in that Tower, and may glorify Thee. Oh, comfort us, and refresh us with the fruits of the Spirit, and the sweet spices which grow in Thy garden.

"Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits, camphor, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices; a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south wind; blow upon my garden that the spices thereof may flow out" (Song of Songs 4:13-14; 4:16).

Love is the sweetest bud that blows,
Its beauty never dies;
On earth among the saints it grows,
And ripens in the skies.

Oh, what a garden will be seen,
When all the flowers of grace,
Appear in everlasting green,
Before the planter's face.

Christ is their shade, and Christ their sun,
Among them walks the King,
Whose presence is eternal noon,
Whose smile eternal spring.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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