God's children have a place of refuge, and the reason why others have not is, they flee from it instead of fleeing to it. The words of our text are a call to souls in distress: they speak the language of our Saviour: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Mt 9:28.
II. Consider what is implied in our seeking this relief - Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope
2. Turning to the strong hold implies a principle of grace implanted in us, by which the mind is renewed and directed to the Saviour.
3. It implies the total renunciation of all other refuges as insufficient and vain.
4. There is now a joining ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant never to be forgotten.
III. Notice the characters addressed - Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope
2. They are prisoners of hope. All men are so in some sense, while life continues, and the sentence not executed upon them.
(2) There is hope of such as have frequent convictions of sin, some desires after God, and whose consciences retain a degree of tenderness, so that they neither neglect private duties, nor are wholly unaffected under tl.e preaching of the word. We sometimes witness the rising sigh, and the falling tear, and are ready to hope that all is not in vain. Like Zaccheus, they seem to be in the Saviour's way ; and who knows but he may look up and say, as he did to that publican, "Come down, for today I must abide at thy house!" They are almost persuaded to be Christians, and we would hope they will become altogether such. Such appearances resemble the little cloud which Elijah's servant saw, and may be the forerunner of a delightful and refreshing shower. reasonably expect that he has some work for him to do. Paul must abide at Corinth, because God had much people in that city : and may it not afford encouragement respecting many of our towns and cities that he hath placed his faithful servants, and planted his gospel in them for a series of years? The dawning of the day is a presage of the rising sun ; and God cannot be said fully to have left any people till the gospel has departed from them.