The Night of Weeping

by Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

 "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."  Ps 30:5

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     This sermon may not fit American churches today. But it did fit 19th century Scottish church. Amidst the poverty, illness, and daily struggles to feed families and overcome obstacles, this message brought hope and victory through uncompromising churches.

     In our times, the joy of His Word is all too often quenched by the bright lights of contemporary thrills and shallow distractions. Let us pray that our wonderful Lord will use Pastor Bonar's words to shine the light of His glory into our hearts this day -- and that we will recognize and live by it!

"He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. ...
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities...." Is 53:3-4

"I do not mean that the saint is ever to be gloomy. No. Gloom and melancholy are not our portion. "The lines have fallen unto us in pleasant places." They are not the inmates of a soul that has tasted the joy of pardon and is walking in light, as a happy child with a loving father.

But true joy is a serious thing. Its fountains are deep. It is the waking up of the heart's deep springs. Mirth and levity are not joy. They are too shallow to deserve the name. Like the sun-flash on a stagnant pool, they are a mere surface gleam of light. There is nothing in them of the calm radiance illuminating the ocean depths many a fathom down, as if the waters themselves were a mass of solid sunshine, and remaining amid the heaving of the billows, unbroken and unobscured.

In coming to Him, who is the fountain of all gladness, the saint of God bids farewell to gloom. Tribulation he may have -- no, must have -- but not gloom. That has left him forever since the day he knew the Savior, and opened his ears to the joyful sound. Peace is now his heritage. ...

It is through tears that truth is best seen. When looked at through this medium, objects assume their right proportions and take their proper level. ..

Such especially is the life of the saint! He not only knows that there is an eternity, but he has seen and felt it. ... He not only knows that there is such a thing as forgiveness and eternal life, but he has found them, he has tasted them; his eyes have been opened, and he has now come into the very midst of realities. They compass him about on every side.... especially as he "looks for that blessed hope... the glorious appearing" of the Lord....

Affliction is full of warnings. It has many voices and these of the most various kinds. It speaks counsel, it speaks rebuke, it speaks affection. ...

1. Affliction says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world [referring to the world system, not the people of the world] the love of the Father is not in him." (I John 2:15).

2. Affliction says, "Take heed and beware of covetousness" (Luke 12:15). Riches cannot help, neither earthly comfort avail us in the hour of grief. They cannot dry up tears, nor reunite broken bonds. ... It is then we find that we need a "treasure in the heaven that fails not."...

3. Affliction says, "abstain from all appearance of evil" (I Thess 5:22). "Hate even the garments spotted by the flesh."... It is not merely abstain from evil, but from all appearance of evil. Suffering teaches us to shrink from sin -- even from the remotest and most indirect connection with it. It says, "Oh, do not that abominable thing which I hate!"

4. Affliction says, "Do not grumble against one another." (James 5:9). Let there be no halfhearted affection in the family of God. Let there be no envy, no jealousy, no misunderstandings among the brethren. Why should we be less than friends who are both fellow-sufferers and fellow-soldiers here? ... Yet oftentimes it needs affliction to teach us this, to remove our jealousies, and to draw us together as brethren in sympathy and love.

5. Affliction says, "Keep yourselves from idols" (I John 5:21). If there be one remaining idol, break it in pieces and spare it not. Nothing is so fruitful a cause of suffering as idolatry. Nothing so forcibly displays the vanity of our idols as suffering. ...

Church of the living God! Be warned. Please not yourself, even as Jesus pleased not Himself. Live for Him, not for yourself, for Him, not for the world. Walk worthy of your name and calling, worthy of Him who bought you as His bride, worthy of your everlasting inheritance.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one, stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank of that life giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “I am this dark world’s Light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise, and all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found in Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk, till traveling days are done.

Horatius Bonar, faithful Scottish pastor,1846.

Source article: HERE


"...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are -

  • hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed...

  • perplexed, but not in despair

  • persecuted, but not forsaken;

  • struck down, but not destroyed..."

"Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ!" (2 Cor. 2:7-9, 14)

  The pictures were taken by our friend, Thomas Faunce, who can be reached at

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