Hands full of Honey

"And Samson turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, 
there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. And he 
took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and 
mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that 
he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion."— Jueoes xiv. 8, 9. 

It was a singular circumstance that a man unarmed 
should have slain a lion in the prime of its vigor; and 
yet more strange that a swarm of bees should have taken 
possession of the dried carcase, and have filled it with 
their honey. In that country, what with beasts, birds, 
and insects, and the dry heat, a dead body is soon 
cleansed from all corruption, and the bones are clean 
and white: still the killing of the lion, and the finding of 
the honey, make up a remarkable story. These singular 
circumstances became afterwards the subject of a riddle; 
but with that riddle we have no concern at this time. 
Samson himself is a riddle. He was not only a riddle- 
maker; but he was himself an enigma very difficult to 
explain: with his personal character I have at this time 
little or nothing to do. We are not to-day resting at 
the house of " Gaius, mine host," where the pilgrims 
amused themselves with a dish of nuts after dinner; 
but we are on the march, and must attend to the more 
important matter of refreshing and inspiriting those who 
are in our company. Neither are we going to discuss 
difficulties; but as Samson took the honey without being 
stung, so would we gain instruction without debate. 
We have in these days so much to do, that we must 
make practical use of every incident that comes before 
us in the word of God. My one design is to cheer the 
desponding and stir up all God's people to greater dil- 
igence in his service. I conceive that the text may 
legitimately be employed for this purpose. By the help 
of the divine Spirit, even after this lapse of time, we 
may find honey in the lion. 

The particular part of the incident which is recorded 
in these two verses appears to have been passed over by 
those who have written upon Samson's life: I suppose 
it appeared to be too inconsiderable. They are taken 
up with his festive riddle, but they omit the far more 
natural and commendable fact of his bringing forth the 
honey in his hands and presenting it to his father and 
mother. This is the little scene to which I direct your 
glances. It seems to me that the Israelitish hero with 
a slain lion in the background, standing out in the open 
road with his hands laden with masses of honeycomb 
and dripping with honey, which he holds out to his 
parents, makes a fine picture, worthy of the greatest 
artist. And what a type we have here of our Divine 
Lord and Master, Jesus, the conqueror of death and hell. 
He has destroyed the lion that roared upon us and upon 
him. He has shouted "victory" over all our foes. " It 
is finished" was his note of triumph: and now he stands 
in the mid*t of his church with his hands full of sweet- 
ness and consolation, presenting them to those of whom 
he says, '* these are my brother, and sister, and mother." 
To each one of us who believe in him he gives the lus- 
cious food which he has prepared for us by the over- 
throw of our foes; he bids us come and eat that we may 
have our lives sweetened and our hearts filled with joy. 


To me the comparison seems wonderfully apt and sug- 
gestive: I see our triumphant Lord laden with sweet- 
ness, holding it forth to all his brethren, and inviting 
them to share in his joy. 

But, beloved, it is written, " As he is, so are we also 
in this world." All that are true Christians are, in a 
measure, like the Christ whose name they bear, and 
it is to his image that we are finally to be conformed. 
When he shall appear we shall be like him, for we 
shall see him as he is; and meanwhile, in proportion 
as we see him now, " we are changed into the same 
image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of t lie 
Lord." The Samson type may well serve as the symbol 
of every Christian in the world. The believer has been 
helped by divine grace in his spiritual conflicts, and he 
has known "the victory which overcometh the world, 
even our faith." He has thus been made more than a 
conqueror through him that loved us, and now he stands 
in the midst of his fellow-men inviting them to Jesus. 
With the honey in his hands, which he continues still to 
feast upon, he displays the heavenly sweetness to all 
that are round about him, saying, "0 taste and see that 
the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in 
him." 

I have before now met with that popular artist Gus- 
tave Dore, and suggested subjects to him. Had he 
survived among us, and had another opportunity oc- 
curred, I would have pressed him to execute a statue of 
Samson handing out the honey: strength distributing 
sweetness; and it might have served as a perpetual re- 
minder of what a Christian should be — a Conqueror and 
a Comforter, slaying lions and distributing honey. The 
faithful servant of God wrestles with the powers of evil; 
but with far greater delight he speaks to his friends and 
companions, saying, " Eat ye that which is good, and 
let your souls delight themselves in sweetness." Set the 
statue before your mind's eye, and now let me speak 
about it. 

Three touches may suffice. First, the believer's life has 
its conflicts; secondly, the believer s life has its sweets; and, 
thirdly, the believers life leads him to communicate of those 
sweets to others. Here is room for profitable meditation. 

I. First, then, the believer's life has its conflicts. To 
become a Christian is to enlist for a soldier. To become 
a believer is to enter upon a pilgrimage, and the road is 
often rough: the hills are steep, the valleys are dark, 
giants block the way, and robbers lurk in corners. The 
man who reckons that he can glide into heaven without 
a struggle has made a great mistake. No cross no crown : 
no sweat no sweet: no conflict no conquest. These con- 
flicts, if we take the case of Samson as our symbol, begin 
early in the life of the believer. While Samson was a 
child, the Spirit of the Lord moved him in the camps of 
Dan — see the last verse of the thirteenth chapter; and 
as soon as he was on the verge of manhood, he must 
match himself with a lion. God who intended that his 
servant should smite the Philistines, and should check 
their proud oppression of his people Israel, began early 
to train the hero for his life's conflict. So, when Samson 
was going to seek a wife, he turned aside into the vine- 
yards of Timnath, and a lion roared upon him. Yes, and 
the young believer, who as yet has not wrestled with 
the powers of darkness, will not be long before he 
hears the roar of the lion, and finds himself in the pres- 
ence of the great Adversary. Very soon we learn the 
value of the prayer, " Deliver us from the evil one ! " 
Most of the Lord's servants have been men of war from 
their youth up. Without are fightings even when within 
there are no fears. This early combat with the savage 
beast was intended by God to let him know his strength 
when under the influence of the Spirit, and to train him 
for his future combats with Israel's enemies. He that is 
to smite the Philistines hip and thigh with a great 
slaughter, until he has laid them heaps on heaps by his 
single prowess, must begin by rending a lion with his 
naked hands. He was to learn war in the same school 
as another and a greater hero, who afterwards said, 
" Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear, and this 
uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them." 

Soldiers are made by war. You cannot train veter- 
ans or create victors except by battles. As in the wars 
of armies so is it in spiritual contests: men must be 
trained for victory over evil by combat with it. Hence 
" it is good for a man that he bare the yoke in his youth" ; 
for it will not gall his shoulders in after years. It is 
assuredly a dangerous thing to be altogether free from 
trouble: in silken ease the soldier loses his prowess. 
Look at Solomon, one of the greatest and wisest, and 
yet, I might say, one of the least and most foolish of 
men. It was his fatal privilege to sit upon a throne of 
gold and sun himself in the brilliance of unclouded 
prosperity, and hence his heart soon went astray, and 
he fell from his high places. Solomon in his early days 
had no trouble, for no war was then raging, and no 
enemy worth notice was then living. His life ran 
smoothly on, and he was lulled into a dreamy sleep, 
the sleep of the voluptuous. He had been happier far 
had he been, like his father, called from his earliest days 
to trial and conflict; for this might have taught him to 
stand fast upon the pinnacle of glory whereon the 
providence of God had placed him. Learn, then,
young brother, that if, like Samson, you are to be a hero 
for Israel, you must early be inured to suffering and 
daring, in some form or other. When you step aside 
and seek for meditation in the quiet of the vineyard a 
young lion may roar upon you; even as in the earliest 
days of your Lord and Master's public service he was 
led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 

These conflicts, dear friends, may often be very terrible. 
By a young lion is not meant a whelp, but a lion in the 
fullness of its early strength; not yet slackened in its 
pace, or curbed in its fury by growing years. Fresh 
and furious, a young lion is the worst kind of beast that 
a man can meet with. Let us expect as followers of 
Christ to meet with strong temptations, fierce persecu- 
tions, and severe trials, which will lead to stern conflicts. 
Do not reckon, thou that art yet putting on thy harness, 
that thou shalt soon put it off, or that when thou puttest 
it off it will be quite as bright as it is to-day. It will be 
dimmed with blood and dust, and battered by many a 
blow; perhaps thy foe may find a way to pierce it, or at 
least to wound thee between its joints. I would have 
every man begin to be a soldier of the cross, but I would 
at the same time have him count the cost; for it is no 
child's play, and if he thinks it will be such, he will be 
grievously disappointed. A young believer will, on a 
sudden, have a doubt suggested to him of which he 
never heard before; and it will roar upon him like a 
young lion ; neither will he see all at once how to dispose 
of it, Or he may be placed in singular circumstances 
where his duty seems to run counter to the tenderest 
instincts of his nature; here, too, the young lion will roar 
upon him. Or, one for whom he has an intense respect 
may treat him ill because he is a follower of Christ, and 
the affection and respect which he feels for this person 
may make his opposition the more grievous: in this also 
it is with him as when a lion roareth. Or he may suffer 
a painful bereavement, or sustain a severe loss; or he may 
have a disease upon him, with consequent pains and de- 
pressions, and these may cast the shadow of death upon 
his spirit; so that again a young lion roars upon him. 
Brother, sister, let us reckon upon this, and not be dismayed 
by it, since in all this is the life of our spirit. By such 
lessons as these we are taught to do service for God, to 
sympathize with our fellow Christians, and to value the 
help of our gracious Saviour. By all these we are weaned 
from earth and made to hunger for that eternal glory 
which is yet to be revealed, of which we may truly say, 
" No lion shall be there, neither shall any ravenous beast 
go up thereon." These present evils are for our future 
good: their terror is for our teaching. Trials are sent 
us for much the same reason that the Canaan i tea were 
permitted to live in the Holy Land, that Israel might learn 
war. and be equipped for battles against foreign foes. 
These conflicts come early, and they are very terrible; 
and, moreover, they ♦happen to us when we arc least pre- 
pared/or them. Samson was not hunting for wild beasts; 
he was engaged on a much more tender business. He 
was walking in the vineyards of Timnath, thinking of 
anything but lions, and " behold," says the Scripture, 
"a, young lion roared against him." It was a remark- 
able and startling occurrence. He had left his father 
and mother and was quite alone; no one was within 
call to aid him in meeting his furious assailant. Human 
sympathy is exceedingly precious, but there are points 
in our spiritual conflict in which we cannot expect to 
receive it. To each man there are passages in life too 
narrow for walking two abreast. Upon certain crags we 
must stand alone. As our constitutions differ, so our 
trials, which are suited to our constitutions, must differ also. 
Each individual has a secret with which no friend can 
intermeddle; for every life has its mystery and its hid 
treasure. Do not be ashamed, young Christian, if you 
meet with temptations which appear to you to be quite 
singular: we have each one thought the same of his i 
trials. You imagine that no one suffers as you do, 
whereas no temptation hath happened unto you but 
such as is common to man, and God will with the temp- 
tation make a way of escape that you may be able to 
bear it. Yet for the time being you may have to enter 
into fellowship with your Lord when he trod the wine- 
press alone, and of the people there was none with him. 
Is not this for your good? Is not this the way to 
strength ? What kind of piety is that which is depend- 
ent upon the friendship of man ? What sort of religion 
is that which cannot stand alone? Beloved, you will 
have to die alone, and you need therefore grace to cheer 
you in solitude. The dear wife can attend you weeping 
to the river's brink, but into the chill stream she cannot 
go with you ; and if you have not a religion which will 
sustain you in the solitudes of life, of what avail will it 
be to you in the grim lonesomeness of death ? Thus I 
reckon it to be a happy circumstance that you are 
called to solitary conflict that you may test your faith, 
and see of what stuff your hope is made. 

The contest was all the worse for Samson, that in ad- 
dition to being quite alone, " there was nothing in his 
hand." This is the most remarkable point in the narra- 
tive. He had no sword or hunter's spear with which 
to wound the lordly savage: he had not even a stout 
staff with which to ward off his attack. Samson stood 
an unarmed, unarmored man in the presence of a rag- 
ing beast. So we in our early temptations are apt to 
think that we have no weapon for the war, and we do 
not know what to do. We are made to cry out, " I am 
unprepared! How can I meet this trial? I cannot 
grasp the enemy to wrestle with him. What am I to 
do?" Herein will the splendor of faith and glory of 
God be made manifest, when you shall slay the lion, and 
yet it shall be said of you " that he had nothing in his 
hand" — nothing but that which the world sees not and 
values not. 

Now, go one step further, for time forbids our linger- 
ing here. I invite you to remember that it was by the 
Spirit of God that the victory teas won. We read, " And 
the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he 
rent him as he would have rent a kid." Let the Holy 
Spirit help us in our trouble and we need neither com- 
pany nor weapon; but without him what can we do? 
Good Bishop Hall says, " If that roaring lion, that goes 
about continually seeking whom he may devour, find us 
alone among the vineyards of the Philistines, where is 
our hope? Not in our heels, he is swifter than we: not 
in our weapons, we are naturally unarmed: not in our 
hands, which are weak and languishing; but in the 
Spirit of God, by whom we can do all things. If God 
fight in us, who can resist us? There is a stronger lion 
in us than that against us." 

Here is our one necessity, — to be endowed with power 
from on high: the power of the Holy Ghost. Helped by 
the Spirit of God, the believer's victory will be complete: 
the lion shall not be driven away but rent in pieces. Girt 
with the Spirit's power, our victory shall be as easy as it 
will be perfect : Samson rent the lion as though it were 
a little lamb, or a kid of the goats. Well said Paul, " I 
can do all things through Christ that strengthened me." 
Sin is soon overcome, temptations are readily refused, af- 
fliction is joyfully borne, persecution is gladly endured, 
when the Spirit of glory and of peace resteth upon us. 
"With God all things are possible;" and as the be- 
liever is with God, it cometh to pass that all things 
are possible to him that believeth. 

If we were surrounded by all the devils in hell we 
need not fear them for an instant if the Lord be on our 
side. We are mightier than all hell's legions when the 
Spirit is mightily upon us. If we were to be beaten 
down by Satan until he had set his foot upon our 
breast, to press the very life out of us, yet if the 
Spirit of God helped us we would reach out our hand, 
and grasp the sword of the Spirit, which is the word 
of God, and we would repeat the feat of Christian with 
Apollyon, when he gave the fiend such grievous wounds 
that he spread his dragon wings and flew away. Where- 
fore fear not, ye tried ones, but trust in the Spirit of God, 
and your conflict shall speedily end in victory. Some- 
times our conflict is with past sin. We doubtfully en- 
quire, " How can it be forgiven ? " The temptation 
vanishes before a sight of the dying Redeemer. Then 
inbred lust roars against us, and we overcome it through 
the blood of the Lamb, for "the blood of Jesus Christ his 
Son cleanseth us from all sin." Sometimes a raging cor- 
ruption, or a strong habit, wars upon us, and then we 
conquer by the might of the sanctifying Spirit of God, 
Avho is with us and shall be in us evermore. Or else it 
is the world which tempts, and our feet have almost 
gone; but we overcome the world through the victory 
of faith: and if Satan raises against us the lust of the 
flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, all at 
once, we are still delivered, for the Lord is a wall of fire 
round about us. The inward life bravely resists all sin, 
and God's help is given to believers to preserve them 
from all evil in the moment of urgent need; even as he 
helped his martyrs and confessors to speak the right 
word when called unprepared to confront their adver- 
saries. Care not, therefore, oh thou truster in the Lord 
Jesus, how fierce thine enemy may be this day ! As 
young David slew the lion and the bear, and smote the 
Philistine too, even so shalt thou go from victory to vic- 
tory. " Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the 
Lord delivereth him out of them all." Wherefore, with 
a lion-like spirit, meet lions which seek to devour you. 

II. Now, then, we come to our second head, which is: 
the believer's life has its sweets. We are not always 
killing lions, we are sometimes eating honey. Certain 
of us do both at a time; we kill lions and yet cease not 
to eat honey: and truly it has become so sweet a thing 
to enter into conflict for Christ's sake, that it is a joy to 
contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the 
saints. The same Lord who hath bidden us "quit your- 
selves like men; be strong," has also said, " Rejoice in 
the Lord alway; and again I say, rejoice." 

The believer's life has its sweets, and these are of the 
choicest : for what is sweeter than honey? What is more 
joyful than the joy of a saint ? What is more happy than 
the happiness of a believer? I will not condescend to 
make a comparison between our joy and the mirth of 
fools; I will go no further than a contrast. Their mirth 
is as the crackling of thorns under a pot, which spit fire, 
and make a noise and a flash, but there is no heat, and 
they are soon gone out: nothing comes of it, the pot is 
long in boiling. But the Christian's delight is like a 
steady coal fire. You have seen the grate full of coals all 
burning red, and the whole mass of coal has seemed to 
be one great glowing ruby and everybody who has come 
into the room out of the cold has delighted to warm his 
hands, for it gives out a steady heat and warms the 
body even to its marrow. Such are our joys. I would 
sooner possess the joy of Christ five minutes than I 
would revel in the mirth of fools for half a century. 
There is more bliss in the tear of repentance than in the 
laughter of gaiety; our holy sorrows are sweeter than 
the worldling's joys. But, oh, when our -joys grow full, 
divinely full, then are they unspeakably like those above, 
and heaven begins below. Did you never cry for joy? 
You say, perhaps, "Not since I was a child." Nor have 
1 ; but I have always remained a child as far as divine 
joy is concerned. I could often cry for joy when I know 
whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able 
to keep that which I have committed to him. 

Ours is a joy which will bear thinking over. You can 
dare to pry into the bottom of it and test its foundation. 
It is a joy which does not grow stale; you may keep it in 
your mouth by the year together, and yet it never cloys; 
you may return to it again, and again, and again, and 
find it still as fresh as ever. And the best of it is there 
is no repentance after it. You are never sorry that you 
were so glad. The world's gay folk are soon sick of their 
drink; but we are only sorry that we were not gladder 
still, for our gladness sanctifies. We are not denied any 
degree of joy to which we can possibly attain, for ours 
is a healthy, health-giving delight. Christ is the fullness 
of joy to his people, and we are bidden to enjoy him to 
the full. Christians have their sweets, and those are as 
honey and the honeycomb, the best of the best. 

Of these joys there is plenty; for Samson found, as it 
were, a living spring of honey, since he discovered a 
swarm of bees. So abundant was the honey that he could 
take huge masses of the comb and carry it in his hands, 
and go away with it, bearing it to others. In the love 
of Christ, in pardoned sin, in acceptance in the Beloved, 
in resting in God, in perfectly acquiescing in his will, in 
the hope of heaven, there is such joy that none can meas- 
ure it. We have such a living swarm of bees to make 
honey for us in the precious promises of God, that there 
is more delight in store than any of us can possibly real- 
ize. There is infinitely more of Christ beyond our com- 
prehension than we have as yet been able to comprehend. 
How blessed to receive of his fullness, to be sweetened 
with his sweetness, and yet to know that infinite goodness 
still remains. Perhaps some of you have enjoyed so 
much of Christ that you could hardly bear any more; 
but your largest enjoyments are only as tiny shells filled 
by a single wave of the sea, while all the boundless ocean 
rolls far beyond your ken. We have exceeding great 
joy, yea, joy to spare. Our Master's wedding feast is 
not so scantily furnished that we have to bring in another 
seat for an extra guest, or murmur to ourselves that we 
had better not invite at random lest we should be incom- 
moded by too great a crowd. Nay, rather the pillared 
halls of mercy in which the King doth make his feast are 
so vast that it will be our life-long business to furnish 
them with guests, compelling more and more to come in 
that his house may be filled, and that his royal festival 
may make glad ten thousand times ten thousand hearts. 

Dear friends, if you want to know what are the ele- 
ments of our joy, I have already hinted at them, but I 
will for a moment enlarge thereon. Our joys are often 
found in the former places of our conflicts. We gather our 
honey out of the lions which have been slain for us or 
by us. 

There is, 'first, our sin. A horrible lion that! But it 
is a dead lion, for grace has much more abounded over 
abounding sin. Oh, brothers I have never heard of any 
dainty in all the catalogue of human joys that could match 
a sense of pardoned sin. Full forgiveness ! Free forgive- 
ness ! Eternal forgiveness. See, it sparkles like dew of 
heaven. To know that God has blotted out my sin is 
knowledge rich with unutterable bliss. My soul has be- 
gun to hear the songs of seraphim when it has heard 
that note, u 1 have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and 
as a thick cloud thine iniquities." Here is choice honey 
for you ! 

The next dead lion is conquered desire. When a wish 
has arisen in the heart contrary to the mind of God, and 
you have said — " Down with you ! I will pray you down. 
You used to master me; I fell into a habit and I was soon 
overcome by you; but I will not again yield to you. By 
God's grace I will conquer you '' ; — I say, when at last 
you have obtained the victory such a sweet contentment 
perfumes your heart that you are filled with joy un- 
speakable; and you are devoutly grateful to have been 
helped of the Spirit of God to master your own spirit. 
Thus you have again eaten spiritual honey. 

When you are able to feel in your own soul that you 
have overcome a strong temptation, the fiercer it was 
and the more terrible it was the louder has been your 
song and the more joyful your thanksgiving. To go 
back to Mr. Bunyan again ; when Christian had passed 
through the Valley of the Shadow of Death during the 
night, and when he had come entirely out of it and the 
sun rose, you remember he looked back. (A pause). 
He was long in taking that look, I warrant you. What 
thoughts he had while looking back. He could just dis- 
cern that narrow track with the quagmire on one side 
and the deep ditch on the other; and he could see the 
shades out of which the hobgoblins hooted and the fiery 
eyes glanced forth. He looked back by sunlight and 
thought within himself, " Ah me ! What goodness has 
been with me ! I have gone through all that, and yet 
I am unharmed ! " What a happy survey it was to him ! 
Ah, the joy of having passed through temptation without 
having defiled one's garments ! How must Shadrach, 
Meshach, and Abednego have felt when they stepped 
out of the fiery furnace, and were not even singed, neither 
had the smell of fire passed upon them. Happy men 
were they to have lived in the centre of the seven-times- 
heated furnace where everything else was consumed. 
Here again is "a piece of an honeycomb." 
_ We find honey again from another slain lion; namely, 
our troubles after we have been enabled to endure them. 
This is the metal of which our joy-bells are cast. Out of 
the brass of our trials we make the trumpets of our tri- 
umph. He is not the happy man who has seen no trouble ; 
but " blessed is he that endureth temptation, for when he 
is tried he shall receive a crown of life that fadeth not 
away." 

Death, too. Oh, the honey that is found in dead death. 
Death is indeed dead. We triumph over him, and are 
no more afraid of him than little children are of a dead 
lion. We pluck him by the beard, and say to him, u O 
death, where is thy sting? grave, where is thy vic- 
tory ? " We even look forward to the time of our de- 
parture with delight, when we shall leave this heavy 
clay and on spirit wings ascend unto our Father and 
our God. You see there is rich store of honey for God's 
people ; and we do not hesitate to eat it. Let others say 
as they will, we are a happy people, happy in Christ, 
happy in the Holy Spirit, happy in God our Father. So 
that believers have their sweets. 

III. But the third is the point I want to dwell upon : 

THE BELIEVERS LIFE LEADS HIM TO COMMUNICATE OF THESE SWEETS. 

As soon as we have tasted the honey of forgiven sin and 
perceived the bliss that God has laid up for his people in 
Christ Jesus, we feel it to be both our duty and our privi- 
lege to communicate the good news to others. Here 
let my ideal statue stand in our midst: the strong man, 
conqueror of the lion, holding forth his hands full of 
honey to his parents. "We are to be modeled according 
to this fashion. 

And, first, we do this immediately. The moment a 
man is converted, if he would let himself alone, his in- 
stincts would lead him to tell his fellows. I know that 
the moment I came out of that little chapel wherein I 
found the Saviour, I wanted to pour out my tale of joy. 
I could have cried with Cennick — 

" Now will I tell to sinners round, 
What a dear Saviour I have found; 
I'll point to thy redeeming blood, 
And say, ' Behold the way to God ! ' " 

I longed to tell how happy my soul was, and what a de- 
liverance I had obtained from the crushing burden of 
sin. I longed to see all others come and trust my Lord 
and live ! I did not preach a sermon, but I think I 
could have told out all the gospel at that first hour. Did 
not you, my friend, feel much the same? Did not your 
tongue long to be telling of what the Lord had done for 
you ? Perhaps you are one of those proper and retiring 
people who are greatly gifted at holding their tongues; 
and therefore you left the feet of Jesus in silence, — si- 
lence which angels wondered at. Is that why you have 
held your tongue ever since ? Perhaps if you had begun 
to speak then you would have continued your testimony 
to this day. I repeat my assertion that it is the instinct 
of every newborn soul to communicate the glad tidings 
which grace has proclaimed in his heart. Just as Samson 
had no sooner tasted of the honey than he carried a por- 
tion of it to his father and mother, so do we hasten to 
invite our neighbors to Christ. My dear young friend, 
as soon as ever you know the joy of the Lord, open your 
mouth in a quiet, humble way, and never allow yourself 
to be numbered with the deaf and dumb. Let no one 
stop you from unburdening your heart. Do not follow 
the bad example of those who have become dumb dogs 
because of their cowardice at the beginning. 

The believer will do this first to those who are nearest to 
him. Samson took the honey to his father and mother 
who were not far away. With each of us the most nat- 
ural action would be to tell a brother or a sister or a 
fellow-workman, or a bosom friend. It will be a great 
joy to see them eating the honey which is so pleasant to 
our own palate. It is most natural in a parent at once to 
wish to tell his children of divine love — have you all 
done so? You pray for your children, but many of you 
would be the means of answering your own prayers if 
you would talk with them one by one. This may appear 
difficult, but once commenced it will soon grow easy: 
and, indeed, if it be difficult we should aspire to do it 
for that very reason. Should we not do many a difficult 
tiling for him who overcame all difficulties for us? At 
the least, do not deny to your own children the personal 
testimony of their father or their mother to the surpassing 
power of grace and the unutterable sweetness of divine 
love. Tell it to those who are nearest to you. 

The believer will do this as best he can, Samson, you 
see, brought the honey to his father and mother in a 
rough and ready style, going on eating it as he brought 
it. If I wished to give honey to my father and mother 
I should do it up rather daintily : I would at least put it 
in as respectable a dish as our kitchen could afford: but 
there were no plates and dishes out there in that Timnath 
vineyard, and so his own hands were the only salvers 
upon which Samson could present the delicacy, — "he 
took thereof in his hands, and came to his father and 
mother, and he gave them, and they did eat." Perhaps 
you think, " If I am to speak to any person upon true 
religion, I should like to do it in poetry." Better do it 
in prose, for perhaps they will take more notice of your 
verse than of your subject. Give them the honey in your 
hands, and if there is no dish they cannot take notice of 
the dish. " Ay, but I should like to do it very properly," 
says one; "it is a very important matter, I should like 
to speak most correctly." But my judgment is, that, as 
you will not be likely to attain to correct speech all in a 
hurry, and your friends may die while you are learning 
your grammar and your rhetoric, you had better tell 
them of Jesus according to your present ability. Tell 
them there is life in a look at Jesus. Tell them the story 
simply, as one child talks to another. Carry the honey 
in your hands, though it drip all round: no hurt will 
come of the spilling, there are always little ones waiting 
tfor such drops. If you were to make the gospel drip 
about everywhere, and sweeten all things, it would be 
no waste, but a blessed gain to all around. Therefore, 
I say to you, tell of Jesus Christ as best you can, and 
never cease to do so while life lasts. 

But then Samson did another thing, and every true 
believer should do it too : he did not merely tell his parents 
about the honey, but he took them some of it. I do not 
read, "And he told his father and mother of the honey," 
but I read, " and he took thereof in his hands." Nothing 
is so powerful as an exhibition of grace itself to others. 
Do not talk about it, but^carry it in your hands. " I 
cannot do that," says one. Yes, you can, by your life, 
your temper, your spirit, your whole bearing. If your 
hands serve God, if your heart serves God, if your face 
beams with joy in the service of God, you will carry 
grace wherever you go, and those who see you will per- 
ceive it. You will hardly have need to say, "Come and 
partake of grace;" for the grace of God in you will be 
its own invitation and attraction. Let our lives be full 
of Christ and we shall preach Christ. A holy life is the 
best of sermons. Soul-winning is wrought by a winning 
life more surely than by winning words. 

Take note, also, that Samson did this with, great modesty. 
We have plenty of people about nowadays who could 
not kill a mouse without publishing it in the Gospel 
Gazette; but Samson killed a lion and said nothing about 
it. He holds the honey in his hand for his father and 
mother — he shows them that; but we are specially in- 
formed that he told not his father or his mother that he 
had taken it out of the carcase of the lion. The Holy 
Spirit finds modesty so rare that he takes care to record 
it. In telling your own experience be wisely cautious. 
Say much of what the Lord has done for you, but say 
little of what you have done for the Lord. You need not 
make much effort to be brief on that point, for I am 
afraid that there is not much of it, if all were told. Do 
not utter a self- glorifying sentence. Let us put Christ 
to the front, and the joy and blessedness that comes of 
faith in him ; and as for ourselves, we need not speak a 
word except to lament our sins and shortcomings. 

The sum of what I have to say is this, — if we have 
tasted any joy in Christ, if we have known any consola- 
tion of the Spirit, if faith has been to us a real power, 
and if it has wrought in us peace and rest, let us com- 
municate this blessed discovery to others. If you do 
not do so, mark you, you will have missed the very ob- 
ject for which God has blessed you. I heard the other 
day of a Sunday-school address in America which pleased 
me much. The teacher, speaking- to the boys, said, 
'• Boys, here's a watch, what is it for ? " The children an- 
swered, "To tell the time." " Well," he said, "suppose 
my watch does not tell the time, what is it good for?" 
" Good-for-nothing, sir." Then he took out a pencil. 
" What is this pencil for?" ik - It is to write with, sir." 
"Suppose this pencil won't make a mark, what is it 
good for?" "Good-for-nothing, sir." Then he took out 
his pocket-knife. "Boys, what is this for? " They were 
American boys, and so they shouted, — " to whittle with," 
— that is to experiment on any substance that came in 
their way by cutting a notch in it. "Bat," said he, 
" suppose it will not cut, what is the knife good for ? " 
" Good-for-nothing, sir." Then the teacher asked, " What 
is the chief end of man?" and they replied, "To glorify 
God." "But suppose a man does not glorify God, what 
is he good for ? " " Good-for-nothing, sir." That brings 
out my point most clearly; there are many professors of 
whom /will not say that they are good-for-nothing, but 
methinks if they do not soon stir themselves up to glorify 
God by proclaiming the sweetness of God's love it will 
go hard with them. Remember how Jesus said of the 
savourless salt " henceforth it is good for nothing." 
What were you converted for ? What were you forgiven 
for? What were you renewed for? What have you 
been preserved on earth for but to tell to others the glad 
tidings of salvation and so to glorify God ? Do, then, 
go out with your hands full of the honey of divine love 
and hold it out to others. 

You must assuredly do good by this ; you cannot pos- 
sibly do harm. Samson did not invite his father and 
mother to see the lion when he was alive and roaring, 
— he might have done some hurt in that case, by 
frightening them, or exposing them to injury; but he 
settled the lion business himself, and when it came 
to honey he knew that even his mother could not be 
troubled about that; therefore he invited them  to 
share his gains. When you get into a soul-conflict, do not 
publish your distress to all your friends, but fight man- 
fully in God's name; but when you possess the joy of 
Christ and the love of the Spirit, and grace is abundant 
in your soul, then tell the news to all around. You can- 
not do any hurt by such a proceeding: grace does good, 
and no harm, all its days. Even if you blunder over it 
you will do no mischief. The gospel spilled on the 
ground is not lost. Good, and only good, must come of 
making known salvation by Jesus Christ, 

It will be much better for you to tell of the sweets of 
godliness than it will be to make riddles about the doc- 
trine of it. Samson afterwards made a riddle about his 
lion and the honey; and that riddle ended in fighting 
and bloodshed. We have known certain Christians 
spend their lives in making riddles about the honey and 
the lion, by asking tough doctrinal questions which even 
angels cannot answer: "Riddle me this," they say, and 
then it has ended in a fight, and brotherly love has 
been murdered in the fray. It is much better to bring 
your hands full of honey to those who are needy, and 
present it to them that they may eat of it, than it is to 
cavil and discuss. Xo hurt can come of telling what 
the Lord has done for your soul, and it will keep you 
out of mischief. Therefore, I would stir up all Christian 
people to continue from day to day exhibiting to needy 
sinners the blessedness of Christ, that unbelievers may 
come and eat thereof. 

By doing this you will be blessing men far more than 
Samson could bless his parents, for our honey is honey 
unto eternity, our sweets are sweets that last to heaven, 
and are best enjoyed there. Call upon others to taste 
and see that the Lord is good, and you shall have there- 
in much joy. Yon shall increase your own pleasure by 
seeing the pleasure of the Lord prospering in your hand. 
What bliss awaits useful Christians when they enter 
into heaven, for they shall be met there by many who 
have gone before them whom they were the means of 
turning to Christ. I do often inwardly sing when I per- 
ceive that I can scarce go into any town or village but what 
somebody hunts me up to say to me, " Under God I owe 
my salvation to your sermons or to your books." What 
will be the felicities of heaven when we shall meet those 
who were turned to righteousness by our holding forth 
the word of life ! Oar heaven will be seven heavens as 
we see them there. If you have done nothing but ex- 
hibit in your lives the precious results of grace you will 
have done well. If you have presented to your com- 
panions truths that were sweetness itself to you, and 
tried to say in broken accents " Oh that you knew this 
peace ! " it shall give you joy unspeakable to meet those 
in glory who were attracted to Christ by such a simple 
means. 

God make you all to be his witnesses in all the circles 
wherein you move. 
C. H. SPURGEON.