Monday, May 12, 2008

When the Waters are Deep, Billowy & Dark

The language of David, and of David's Lord, is that of all the spiritual seed of David: 'Deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterspouts: all your waves and your billows are gone over me.' Deep and billowy and dark are often the waters through which the saints wade to glory.

'The Lord tries the righteous'; and he tries them because they are righteous, and to make them yet more righteous still. It was deep in the fathomless depths that Jonah learned the most precious of all truths: 'Salvation belongs to the Lord.' It was in the cave of Adullam - in the lion's den - in the noisome pit - in the jail of Philippi - in the isle of Patmos - in the garden of Gethsemane; that David, and Daniel, and Jeremiah, and Paul, and John and JESUS, were brought into the richest teaching, holiest lessons, and most blessed experience of their lives.

And shall we, beloved, plead exemption from these depths of trial, tribulation, and sorrows? Ah no! what losers should we be were it so! Who would not follow in the footsteps of the flock? Above all, who would not walk in the footsteps of the Shepherd of the flock, who, though he were a Son, 'yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered'? Look up, then, you sinking child of sorrow! Are you enquiring of the Lord, 'Why am I thus tried, thus afflicted, thus chastened?' Listen to his answer: 'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.'

~ Octavius Winslow, Soul-Depths & Soul-Heights: Sermons on Psalm 130 (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006), p. 17.


My heart has been ministered to as I've been reading this series of sermons on one of the most familiar of the Penitential psalms. Winslow's nine-part sermon series on Psalm 130 has been re-typeset and reprinted. According to Winslow's Preface, the only other exposition of this particular psalm that was available to him, was that of John Owen (which can be found in Volume 6 of The Works of John Owen [read online at CRTA]). Due to Owen's "peculiar style" (ie. difficult) Winslow thought that a more popular exposition would be of benefit to the Church. Thus, in 1874, this more simple exposition was published.

Octavius Winslow (1808-1878) was a descendant of Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrim Fathers. Through his prolific writing and passionate, gospel-centered preaching, Winslow came to be held in high esteem as a nonconformist preacher in nineteenth century. Having followed his brothers into the Gospel ministry, Winslow pastored/preached for a short season at Second Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY. In 1839, he returned to England where he pastored in Leamington Spa, Bath, and Brighton.
Winslow, Octavius. Soul-Depths & Soul-Heights: Sermons on Psalm 130. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006. Paperback, viii + 135 pages.