Doubting Castle

The Pilgrims Progress - Part 12

Jan. 31, 2021


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Well if we could this evening with the Lord's help and the Lord's enabling, if we could turn back to that passage that we read earlier in Psalm 88, Psalm 88 and I just want us to consider the last verse, Psalm 88, I'm going to read it from the new international version, the NIV, Psalm 88 at verse 18, where the Psalmist says, you have taken my companions and loved ones from me and the darkness is my closest friend. You have taken my companions and loved ones from me and the darkness is my closest friend. As we continue our study in the pilgrims progress this evening, we will shortly be arriving at a place which many Christians have travelled, they have travelled to Doubting Castle. But as you know, Doubting Castle is a long way, it's a long, long way from the city of destruction and it seems a long time since we fled with Christian from the city of destruction, doesn't it?

[1:09] But you know in that time where we've travelled this long distance, we've walked with Christian, we've walked with Christian along the King's Highway and our destination is the celestial city, that's where we're going, that's our longing, that's where we want to be. But in our Christian pilgrimage, you'll remember that we were delivered from the slough of despond and we crossed over then into through the threshold of the wicked gate and then we explore the interpreter's house, we later stood at the cross, we persevered up the hill, we called difficulty, we launched at the top in the palace, beautiful, we fought with Apollyon in the valley of humiliation, we passed through the valley of the shadow of death, we then walked with Christian and faithful as they enjoyed friendship and fellowship with one another. And then last week we came to a place which every pilgrim must pass through, we came to the town of Vanity and we had to pass through Vanity, fear. And you'll remember that Bunyan's plea to us as we passed through Vanity, fear was that we're not to waste our life in Vanity, fear, we're not to waste our life on the temporal vanities of this world, we're not to waste our life chasing and striving after the things that will never ever satisfy.

[2:36] Instead as Bunyan emphasized to us, we're to look at life and we're to love life and we're to live life with that eternal perspective because what's of the utmost importance and what's of eternal value to us is our relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Bunyan's plea to us was don't waste your life in Vanity, fear. But as we saw last week, faithful lost his life in Vanity, fear. Faithful was condemned. He was put to death at the stake, faithful whom Christian had enjoyed friendship and fellowship with. He was faithful unto death and he was given the crown of life. But as we read when Christian escaped prison in Vanity, fear, he went on his way and he went on his way singing. He sang this song, well faithful thou hast faithfully professed unto thy Lord with whom thou shalt be blessed. When faithless ones with all their vain delights are crying under their hellish plights, sing faithful sing and let thy name survive for though they kill thee, thou art yet alive. And then Bunyan writes, Now I saw in my dream that Christian went forth not alone, for there was one whose name was hopeful. And you know it was the early church father, Tertullian, who said, the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church. The blood of the martyr is the seed of the church.

[4:18] And that was certainly through in the experience of the pilgrim's progress because through the martyrdom of faithful, hopeful appeared. Through the martyrdom of faithful, hopeful appeared. And now hopeful will walk with Christian along the King's Highway. They will enjoy friendship and fellowship all the way to the celestial city. And it's another reminder to us of the importance of friendship and fellowship in our pilgrim's progress. But as we continue walking with Christian and hopeful this evening, we're shortly going to be arriving at a place, as we said, the place which many Christians have travelled to Doubting Castle. But along the King's Highway, Christian and hopeful, they encounter three things. They encounter distractions, diversions and despair. They encounter distractions, diversions and despair. So first of all, we see that Christian and hopeful encounter distractions. They encounter distractions. Bunyan writes, he says, So I saw that quickly after they were got out of the fair, they overtook one that was going before them, whose name was Mr. Byens. So Christian and hopeful, they said to him, What country are you from, what's your name, and how do you intend to go this way? And Mr. Byens, he responded to them by explaining to Christian and hopeful that he was from the town of fair speech.

[5:54] And he was going to the celestial city. But what's interesting is that he didn't reveal his name to them. And this was because Mr. Byens was the kind of man who didn't want to give away too much. In other words, he wasn't committed. Because if he knew things weren't going to work out in his favor, he would just drop back and maybe just drop off. And that's because Mr. Byens was he wanted a casual Christianity. He wanted a carefree Christianity. Mr. Byens wanted a consumerist Christianity. He wanted to get where he wanted and yet live how he wanted. In other words, he wasn't sincere in his salvation. Mr. Byens wanted to get to the celestial city without having to experience or endure the pilgrims' progress. You know, my friend Mr. Byens was a typical middle class church goer. He wasn't a peasant. He wasn't from the working class like Bunyan was as a tinker from Bedford. Mr. Byens was from the wealthy town of Vanity, not Vanity Fair, but fair speech. He was from the town of fair speech where many well to do people lived. And as he described himself, it's interesting he describes himself that he was a gentleman of good quality. And his wife, he says, well, she is Lady Fainting's daughter. She's a very virtuous and honorable woman. You know, my friend Mr. Byens was he was religious in person, but not in practice. Mr. Byens had this outward form of religion, but no inward reformation of the heart. Yes, he believed the Bible, and maybe even read the Bible on occasion. And for sure he'd heard the gospel and he'd knew the gospel and he may even have said that Jesus was the savior of sinners. And yes, Mr. Byens would have attended church. He would have paid the church. He would have thought highly of the church. And on a Sunday morning, Mr. Byens would have looked the part and even sounded the part because he wore the right things and he said the right things and he acted in the right manner. That's because Mr. Byens was religious in person, but not in practice. Because he confesses to both Christian and hopeful. He confesses that he differs to those of the stricter sort. Because he never strives against the wind and tide. He's always zealous when religion is well dressed and goes in his silver slippers. And he loves to walk in the street if the sun shines and the people praise him. In other words, as we said, Mr. Byens wants a casual Christianity. He wants a carefree Christianity. He wants a consumerist Christianity. He wants to be satisfied rather than sanctified. He wants to be flexible with God's word rather than focused upon God's word. He wants a Christianity that's just calm and comfortable and that doesn't cause him to strive against the wind or the tide. He wants a Christianity that's fashionable and favourable with all people as he can prance about in his silver slippers. He wants a Christianity that's agreeable and approachable and even applaudable as he walks in continual sunshine. My friend Mr.

[9:45] Byens wanted to worship the God of his imagination. Because he wants the best of both worlds.

[9:55] He wants a food in both camps. He wants to remain uncommitted. He wants to be double-minded just like his ancestors before him. We're told that in the town of fair speech there were many like Mr. Byens. There was Mr. Smoothman, Mr. Facing Both Ways, Mr. Anything, Mr. Two Tongues. And like Mr. Byens, they were all outwardly religious. They were all Pharisees.

[10:25] Because they worshiped God with their lips, but their heart was far from him. Of course, Mr. Byens, we're told, he wanted to walk with Christian and hopeful along the King's Highway to the celestial city. But Christian insisted that Mr. Byens count the cost. He wanted Mr.

[10:46] Byens to count the cost of the pilgrim's progress. Because as we've discovered from Christian's experience, the pilgrim's progress isn't always fair weather and favourable paths.

[11:01] And that if Mr. Byens truly counts the cost of Christianity, he will see that it's not a casual, it's not a carefree, it's not a consumerist, it's not a calm or a comfortable Christianity. No, it's a cross-bearing Christianity. The pilgrim's progress, my friend, is a cross-bearing Christianity. Because as Jesus said, whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever shall lose his, save his life, shall lose it. But whosoever shall lose his life, for my sake and the Gospels, the same shall save it. What shall the Prophet of man, says Jesus, if he were to gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul? Christian called Mr. Byens to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus. But sadly, Mr. Byens, he was too proud and too principled in his own mind to deny himself, to take up his cross, and to follow Jesus. Mr. Byens was too proud and too principled to come, call, commit, and confess Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. My friend, Mr. Byens wanted liberty with Jesus, but he didn't want Jesus as Lord. And you know, Mr. Byens hasn't died. Mr. Byens hasn't died. He's still alive and well, and he's alive and well on the Isle of Lewis. Because there are many people who are like Mr. Byens, who have all the blessings and all the benefits of the Gospel, the same benefits and blessings that he had. But when it comes to commitment to Christ, they're either too proud or too principled in their own mind to deny self, take up their cross, and follow Jesus. They're too proud or they're too principled to call, commit, confess, and follow Jesus as their Saviour. And you know, pride, my friend, pride is an awful sin, a subtle sin. It gets in so easily. And whether someone is a Christian or not a Christian, the worst thing about pride is that it keeps us from Jesus. You know, pride prevents us from humility. Pride prevents us from denying self. Pride prevents us from taking up our cross and following Jesus. Pride prevents us from entering the

[14:05] Kingdom of God. And what we see in the narrative is that Christian and hopeful, they distance themselves from Mr. Byens. And when they look back, they walk ahead a wee bit, but when they look back, they see that Mr. Byens, he has renewed acquaintance with other like-minded friends. Mr. Money Love, Mr. Save All, and Mr. Hold the World. And Bunyan writes, he says, these four men, Mr. Byens, Mr. Money Love, Mr. Save All, and Old Mr. Hold the World, they walked on together while Christian and hopeful were far in advance. And so along the King's Highway, Christian and hopeful, they encountered distractions. But then secondly, they encountered diversions. So distractions and diversions. Diversions. Bunyan writes, he says, then Christian and hopeful went on till they came to a delicate plain called

[15:10] Ease, where they went with much content. Then at the further side of that plain was a little hill called Luker. And in that hill, a silver mine, which some of them that had formerly gone that way because of the rarity of it had turned aside to sea. Then I saw in my dream that a little off the road over against the silver mine stood Demas, calling passing travellers to come and see. Now as we read, the area to which Christian and hopeful were now entering was a plain called Luker. And of course, Luker is a word that's used in the authorised version to describe money which has been earned or acquired dishonest dishonestly, either by stealing or gambling. And you know, it's interesting that Paul and Peter in their letters, they emphasise that ministers, elders and deacons are not to be given to filthy Luker. When Paul wrote to Timothy, he said that church leaders must not be worthy of, they must be worthy of respect, but not double tongued, not drunk with wine, and not greedy of filthy Luker. And what Paul stressed to Timothy was that church leaders are not to be diverted by dishonest and deceitful gain. But it's also important that we understand who this character Demas was, because Demas, he's someone who's mentioned in the Bible.

[16:52] And he was an important and influential church leader in the early church as it was being established. And Paul mentions Demas, he mentions him, first of all, very warmly in his letters to the Colossians and also in his letter to Philemon. But in Paul's last letter, prior to his death, Paul sadly had to report to Timothy that Demas had forsaken him. And Demas had forsaken Paul because he loved the world. Demas was diverted by dishonest and deceitful gain.

[17:31] And we see that here in the narrative by the way in which Demas tried to divert Christian and hopeful by dishonest and deceitful gain, because as Christian and hopeful walked along the King's highway, Demas called to them, he urged them to divert their course and come and see what they might gain. Demas said, here is a silver mine, and some are digging in it for treasure. With a little effort, you may be richly rewarded. And with Demas's invitation, young hopeful wanted to go over and see the silver mine. But Christian, he counseled and cautioned young hopeful. He said to him, I have heard of this place before.

[18:18] Many have been destroyed there. And besides that, worldly treasure is a snare to those who seek it for it hinders them in their pilgrimage. You know, Christian, he counseled and cautioned hopeful. And he did so in the manner every Christian should be counseled and cautioned.

[18:38] He used the words of scripture. Because you know, my friend, our Bible counsels and cautions us, doesn't it? And in relation to filthy Luca, it says those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown people in destruction and ruin for the love of money. It is the root of all evil, which some have coveted and through their craving have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows, just like Demas had. And you're with us, Christian said to hopeful, let us not turn out of the way, but keep on our path. Let us not turn out of the way, but keep on our path. But Demas, he calls to Christian and hopeful again, compelling them to to reconsider their their decision about diversion. But Christian, he firmly answers him saying, Demas, you are an enemy to the right ways of the Lord. And you have already been condemned for turning aside. I know you says Christian, Gehazi was your great grandfather and Judas was your father. And you're treading in their steps. Gehazi was the corrupt servant of the prophet, Elisha. He was the one who went after Nehman looking for money after Nehman had been healed by Elisha. Judas, as you know, was the treasurer of Jesus's disciples. He was the one who had the money back, but he always wanted more.

[20:20] And he betrayed his Lord for 30 pieces of silver. And as Christian said to Demas, your father was hanged as a traitor. And you deserve no better. Then Bunyan writes, he says, thus they continued on their way by this time by ends whom they had passed and all his companions, Mr Money Love and everybody else, they had all come within sight. And they at the first beckoning, they went over to Demas. They went straight over to see what gain they could get. But then just on the other side of this plane were told that Christian and hopeful, they came to a place where an old monument stood. And it seemed as if it had been a woman transformed into the shape of a pillar. And they stood looking for a while until hopeful noticed an inscription which read, Remember Lot's wife. Remember Lot's wife. This was the pillar of salt, we're told, which Lot's wife had been turned into for looking back with a covetous heart when she was fleeing Sodom for safety. And looking at the pillar of salt, Christian were told he sent to faith to hopeful, my brother, this is a timely warning.

[21:45] It came providentially to us after Demas's invitation to come over to view the hill. Luca, for had we gone as he desired, and as you were first inclined to do, we ourselves would probably have been made like this woman. Hopeful says, I am sorry that I was so foolish.

[22:06] Let God's grace be adored, and let me be ashamed that such a thing should ever have been in my heart. This woman serves as both a warning and an example to us. She is a warning in that we should shun her sin or receive her judgment. This also gives us an occasion to thank God and to fear Him and always to remember Lot's wife. Remember Lot's wife.

[22:37] Then Bunyan writes that they went on their way to a pleasant river which King David called the river of God, but the apostle John called the river of the water of life. And as we saw this morning, the river of God refers to Sam 46 and the river of the water of life refers to Jesus' words in John chapter 7. And both Christian and hopeful were told that they drank from the river which was pleasant to them and enlivening to their weary spirits.

[23:09] But as they journeyed on, they saw that the path separated. The river was going along, but the path was separating. To the point that the path that they were on became rough and difficult and that they longed for an easier path. They wanted an easy going path.

[23:28] Then just ahead of Christian and faithful on the left hand side of the road was a field named By Path Meadow. And By Path Meadow was yet another diversion. Because there was a parallel path on the other side of the fence in By Path Meadow. And because Christian and hopeful had found the path that they were on to be difficult, they decided to take an easier path to the celestial city. And so the pilgrims, they climbed over a style into By Path Meadow. But as you know, my friend, the easier path isn't always the best path.

[24:10] Because the best path is the path which God has appointed. The best path is the path which stays close to God's will and God's word. The best path, says Jesus, is the narrow path.

[24:25] Because the way may be hard, but it leads to life. The way may be hard, but it leads to life. And don't you find it interesting that young hopeful, he was suspicious of taking an easier path that might lead them astray. And it was actually the more mature Christian who insisted on crossing over the style into By Path Meadow. And with that bunion, it's just reminding us that even mature Christians who have been on the road for a long time, even they can get it wrong sometimes. And so Christian and hopeful, they followed the diversion onto By Path Meadow. And they want an easygoing path. And they get an easygoing path. And then looking ahead along this easygoing path and By Path Meadow, they saw a man named Vayne Confidence, who was also on his way to the celestial city. But as Christian and hopeful as they followed Vayne Confidence along this easygoing path to By Path Meadow, we're told that the night began to draw in and they grew, it grew very dark. To the point that Christian and hopeful, they lost sight of Vayne Confidence. In fact, we're told that

[25:45] Vayne Confidence lost his way. And he fell into a deep pit and he was dashed to pieces. Then we're told a storm begins to gather. There was thunder and lightning. They're nearly drowned by the rising rainwater. And by this point, Christian is pleading with hopeful to forgive him for leading him astray. But then at last we're told that they find a shelter, a little shelter. And it's there that they lie down and fall asleep. But what they don't realise is that they've strayed into the grounds of Doubting Castle and into the home of giant despair. And so along the King's Highway, Christian and hopeful, they encounter distractions, diversions and despair. Distractions, diversions and despair. So lastly, despair. Do you know when Christian and hopeful opened their eyes the following morning? They not only saw sunshine after the storm, they also saw a very unhappy giant standing over them. Giant despair had found Christian and hopeful asleep in the grounds of Doubting Castle. And after waking them, he accused the pilgrims of trespassing. And then he throws them, we're told, in a very dark, nasty and stinking dungeon in his castle. And we read that Christian and hopeful were left there without one bit of bread or a drop of water or light or anyone to help them. Then Bunyan writes, now giant despair had a wife whose name was Dividence. When he had gone to bed, he told his wife what he had done. And you know, although this section in the Pilgrims' Progress, it's very dark and it's very, it's a difficult experience for Christian and hopeful. Even though, you know, this element of humour brought before us in the conversations between these two giants, despair and diffidence. Because don't you find it amusing that even though giant despair, he had caught and captured Christian and hopeful first thing in the morning. And yet he didn't tell his wife Dividence what he had done until they were lying in bed together that evening. In fact, when you read through the narrative, you'll see that all the conversations between despair and diffidence, between these two giants, all their conversations take place while they're lying in bed together. Because you know, like most married couples, all their discussions about the day and their plans for the morrow there had when they're lying in bed together. Of course, also like most married couples who share their struggles, the wife advises or in this case, instructs her husband on how he should deal with the current struggles that he's facing. And so on their first night in bed, with Christian and hopeful in the dungeon of Doubting Castle, this advises her husband, giant despair to mercilessly beat his new guests in the morning.

[29:16] And that's what he did. Then the next night, while they're lying in bed, diffidence again advises despair on how to deal with Christian and hopeful. Only this time she instructs her husband to tell the pilgrims to commit suicide. And that's what he did. Giant despair told Christian and hopeful. He said, since you're never going to get out of the dungeon of Doubting Castle, the best thing for you would be to kill yourself, either with a knife, a noose, or poison. And as you would expect in the dungeon of Doubting Castle, Christian wasn't smiling. Christian was sorrowing. And we're told that Christian actually had double sorrow because he had led himself and hopeful astray. Christian was experiencing deep darkness in the dungeon of Doubting Castle. And he was experiencing this deep darkness, not only physically, but also spiritually. There was a darkness which had overcome Christian, which left him in a state of discouragement and doubt and depression and despair and even death. Christian wanted to end his life by suicide. And you know, this section in the pilgrims progress, it's not only a very painful section to read. In many ways, it's also a very pastoral section to read. Because even though it was the 17th century when this was written, as a pastor, Bunyan was well aware of the issues of mental health and depression and loneliness and isolation and even suicide. And Bunyan knew that sometimes people do reach that place of darkness and double sorrow. Even Christians. Maybe Bunyan experienced it for himself. Because while he was in prison for 12 years in the darkness of the Bedford prison, Bunyan, if you read Grace Abounding, his autobiography, he experienced depression.

[31:30] He experienced loneliness and isolation. Maybe he even experienced thoughts of suicide. And although we don't speak about it as openly as we should, people do reach that place of darkness and double sorrow. Even Christians do. And you know, especially over the past year with the coronavirus pandemic and all that we've been through as a nation and all the way seen as a nation, you know, we just don't know the effect that that'll have upon people in the future. But you know, what I love about the Bible is that there's even a Psalm which expresses the agonies of darkness, discouragement, doubt, depression, despair and death. Because as we read earlier from Psalm 88, Psalm 88 is a psalm of darkness and double sorrow. Psalm 88 is a psalm of darkness and double sorrow. Many of you will remember that a few years ago in the prayer meeting, we did a series called My Favorite

[32:40] Psalm, where we studied everyone's favorite salmon, we learned why it was so precious and so personal to them. But you know, when it comes to Psalm 88, it's not a Psalm that you would readily describe as my favorite Psalm, because there's no light in Psalm 88.

[33:01] It's a psalm of darkness and double sorrow. And as we read, Psalm 88, it closes with the words, you have taken my companions and loved ones from me. And the darkness is my closest friend. The darkness is my closest friend. And you know, even though it's a dark Psalm, Psalm 88 is one of those Psalms where you're glad it's there. Because it expresses, as Calvin says, it expresses the anatomy of the soul, especially when we're undergoing the experience of darkness or discouragement or doubt, depression, despair, and even death.

[33:46] And you know, that's the way Christian was feeling in the pilgrim's progress, because he was tempted to take his own life. And he said to hopeful, he said, brother, what shall we do? The life that we now live is miserable. For my part, I do not know what is best to live like this or to kill ourselves. The grave seems better to me than living in this dungeon, only to be oppressed by this giant. And hopeful, he responds by saying, indeed, our present condition is dreadful. And death would be far more welcome to me than to live like this forever. Yet, let us be patient and endure for a while. The time may come in which we may be released, but let us not be our own murderers. And Bunyan tells us that from Wednesday until Saturday, Christian and hopeful remained in the dark dungeon of Doubting Castle. And all the while, you read it again and again, hopeful repeatedly says to Christian, let us be patient. Let us be patient. Let us be patient. Then at midnight on Saturday, Christian and hopeful begin to pray and they continue praying until the morning comes until the morning breaks. And you know, what Bunyan says here is so important for us and we're not to miss it. Bunyan tells us that Christian and hopeful are in darkness and despair in the dungeon of Doubting Castle and they're there from

[35:23] Wednesday until the early hours of the Lord's day. And Bunyan tells us this because that was the experience of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You remember in his last days and living in the shadow of Calvary, Jesus experienced and endured all our darkness, all our discouragement, all our doubt, all our depression, all our despair and all our death. And he experienced it and endured it all at Calvary. But on the first day of the week, on the first Lord's day morning, Jesus rose triumphant over the grave and he abolished death, we're told he brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And my friend, that's where our hope is. Our hope, my friend, in the face of darkness, discouragement, doubt, depression, despair and even death. Our hope is in the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, seen only in the face of Jesus Christ. Our hope is the anchor of our soul and it's grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love. And you know, it was in the early hours of the Lord's day morning that Christian and hopeful, they're sitting there and Christian turns to hopeful and says, what a fool I've been to lie in this stinking dungeon when

[37:04] I could have been free. I have a key, he says, I have a key called promise in my bosom, which will open any lock in doubting castle. And my friend, you have that key called promise too. You have that key in your bosom, you have that key in your heart because like Christian and hopeful, you're to call, claim and confess every promise in scripture. You are to call, claim and confess every promise in scripture because every promise in scripture will open for you any lock in doubting castle. Any promise in scripture will open for you any lock in doubting castle. And you know, that's what happened. Christian used the key of promise to unlock the door of the dungeon on on that Lord and on that Lord's day morning, Christian and hopeful were told that they escaped doubting castle. The giant despair tried to catch them, but he failed. They escaped doubting castle and they made their way back to the King's highway. But in conclusion, Bunyan writes, Now when they had got over the style, they began to discuss what they should do to prevent others who would come after them from falling into the hands of giant despair. So they agreed to erect a pillar there and to engrave this warning upon it. Over this style is the way to doubting castle, which is kept by giant despair, who despises the King of the celestial country and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.

[38:48] And we're told that many therefore who later came to that place read the warning and escaped the danger. And so in the section, we see that along the King's highway, Christian and hopeful, they encountered distractions, diversions and despair. And God willing, we'll see what else they encounter as we continue walking with them next week in the pilgrims progress.

[39:16] Well, may the Lord bless these thoughts to us. Let us pray together. O Lord, our gracious God, may give thanks to thee that even these things remind us of what we face in our Christian journey. My Lord, we know that we often face distractions and there are diversions and even times of despair. But we give thanks to thee this evening that we have hope. We have a hope that is sure and steadfast. We have a hope founded in our Savior and that we are able to cling to His great and precious promises, promises that are sure and steadfast, promises, Lord, that are founded upon the word of God, that they are unchanging promises, that they are promises that are ye and amen in Christ. Help us, Lord, we pray to claim them, to cling to them and even confess them and to know that they are ours in and through our Savior. O Lord, keep us, we pray, keep us and encourage us. Even Lord those tonight who may be going through difficulties of discouragement or even despair or depression or even facing death itself, Lord, we ask that thou wouldst minister to such, that they would know thine hand upon them, that they would know thy grace to be sufficient, that they would know thy help and thy strength. O do us good, Lord, we pray, go before us and cleanse us for Jesus' sake. Amen.

[40:52] Well, we're going to bring our service to a conclusion this evening by singing the words of Psalm 107. Psalm 107 in the Sing Psalms version, we're singing from verse 10, we're singing on through the Psalm to verse 16. Psalm 107, it's in the Sing Psalms version, and we're singing these words. These words, Psalm 107, it's a Psalm where there are many testimonies of the Lord's people. They're testifying to the Lord's goodness. And the Psalmist calls the Lord's people to praise God because he is good, because he redeems his people. And in these verses, we're reminded about the experience of one Christian, and it's very similar to what Christian and hopeful experienced in Doubting Castle. We're told in verse 10, some sat in darkness and in gloom, in chains of iron held, they scorned the ways of God most high against his words rebelled. And so he made them labour hard and bitterness and shame. They stumbled and they could not rise to help them. No one came. Then to the

[42:05] Lord they cried for help. He saved them from their doom. He broke away their cruel chains and brought them out of gloom. Just the experience of Christian and hopeful. We'll sing these verses to God's praise.

[42:49] And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in these verses, we're reminded of the experience of the Lord's people. And in our

[44:41] And thy all- relativity