How to Praise God Like Bartimeus

Taken and adapted from, “Blind Bartimeus; the Story of a Sightless Sinner, and His great Physician,” Chapter 10.
Written by, William Hoge, Published 1860.

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When Bartimeus eyes found their noblest joy, his tongue was put to its noblest use.

It is the glory of the tongue that it can glorify God. (James 3:9) Filled with irrepressible gladness, he broke forth in loud thanksgivings and praises. He began to sing in the ways of the Lord (Psalm 138:5) as soon as he entered them. He had reached the fourth and brightest link of that gracious succession revealed in Psalm 1:15;

1)  trouble leading to prayer,
2)  prayer issuing in deliverance, and
3)  deliverance in glorifying.

As Bartimeus looks around on the goodly frame of nature, and feels the streams of God’s gracious graciousness flowing into his consciousness, he is constrained to

“bear some humble part
In that immortal song,”

…which is sung in that world, in which both creation and redemption are glorified; Great and marvelous are Thy Works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Thy Ways, Thou King of saints! Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? (Rev. 15:3-4) Whoso offers praise glorifies Me, says God. (Psalm 1:23)

There were three ways in which Bartimeus glorifies Him, and none can glorify Him in any other way;” in thought, word and deed; by his heart’s secret gladness and adoration, by his audible and public praise, and by his following Jesus in the way.

The first, was the fruit of the soul,
The second the fruit of the lips,

The third the fruit of the life.

The first was visible to God alone, the second and third were manifest to men. The first was the hidden spring of both the others; for the thanksgiving of the soul is the soul of thanksgiving, and where it is wanting, the professions of the mouth and the works of the life are dead and offensive;” the loathsome offering of hypocrisy. But if the lips and life have not their offerings also, the praise of the soul is without its needful outlets and evidences, and like faith without works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:17) If through sloth or cowardice in speaking and acting for God, a bushel is put over the light, (Matt. 5:17) it will not only be concealed but smothered. The true light, the light of God’s kindling, will, indeed, according to the proverb, burn through the bushel. If there is abundance in the heart, the mouth will speak. (Matt. 12:34)

Art thou still dumb? Then thy heart’s fancied abundance is emptiness. Religion not in the soul is mockery. Religion in the soul only is impossibility. We must first be light, ourselves lighted from the Sun of Righteousness, and then our light must shine before men, that they may see our good works. So only can we lead others to glorify our Father who is in heaven, and thereby ourselves most effectually glorify Him. (Matt. 5: 14-16)

Dr. Doddridge once exerted himself to procure the pardon of a man condemned to die. When he succeeded and hastened to the cell with the glad news, and the prison door was flung open, the poor man cast himself to the earth, and clasping the feet of his deliverer, exclaimed, “Every drop of my blood thanks you, for you have saved them all!”

Such full-voiced expression of the heart’s gratitude was heard from the men also whom Christ delivered from their plagues. The dumb began to sing, the lame to leap, and all to testify, in some open, lively way, how thankful they were for such mercies. Only once do we hear that mournful question and complaint,”Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger! (Luke 17:17-18)

The piety of the primitive church was of the same cheerful, outspoken type. And when we go back to the more ancient ages, and climb the hill of Zion, what bursts of jubilant music greet us! What ringing of harps, and like the pealing of organs, so it is with the voice of psalms, like the swell of the sea! Hearken: Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul. (Psalm 66:16) I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 0 magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! (Psalm 34:1,3) 0 sing unto the Lord a new song! Sing unto the Lord! Bless His name! (Psalm 96:1,2) For it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High! for it is pleasant, and praise is comely.(Psalm 92:1) Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King! (Psalm 149:2)

Alas, how many who profess to be Zion’s children in our day, seem even ashamed of their King! They have no glad story to tell of His dealings with their souls, no harp to sweep in His praise, no triumphant echos to heaven and earth, to field and flood and the saints of God, challenging them to mingle their voices in celebrating redeeming grace.

But why do I speak of harps and strains of celebration? There are men and women who profess to have been healed by the Lord Jesus of their soul’s deadly malady, and yet can hardly bring themselves to speak a word in His praise in any company. Is He evil-spoken of? They will not defend Him. Is He well spoken of? They have no word to add. Is He not spoken of at all? He never will be, if they must begin. The beauty, excellency and glory of His person, offices and work; all His condescension, grace and tenderness; all the events of His life, all the sufferings of His death; all His exaltation, reign and second coming, seem not to be enough to loosen their tongues, or give them anything at all to say.

Nay, more: they see their blind neighbors groping their way down to endless night, but cannot go to them and recommend the Heavenly Physician. If an earthly physician is needed, they are at once voluble and bold. They can tell you how kind he is, what cures he has wrought, and where he is to be found. But let the soul be in danger, and they are dumb.

Shall I go farther? Yes, there are fathers and mothers, who are ashamed to tell the story of their healing to their own poor, blind sons and daughters, who have inherited from them the dreadful woe. They pity them; they know they will perish if they come not to Christ; they will be glad if ”the minister” will speak to them; but they cannot. They are ashamed to be heard by their own families speaking to Jesus. Even in the sanctuary of home they dare not call their offspring about them, and kneeling before His feet, bless Him, in simplest words, for His mercy, and then cry, ” Lord, look now upon these poor blind children, and heal them!”

Can we wonder that God withholds the joy of His salvation (Psalm 41:2) from such base cowardice? Oh, let us wonder that He withholds His wrath! Blessed Jesus, if Thou didst die for me, shall I not live for Thee? If Thou didst suffer for me, shall I not speak for Thee?

If Thou wast not ashamed of my shame, shall I be ashamed of thy glory? If my sins once laid on Thee, made Thee dumb, like a sheep before her shearers, (Is. 53:6-7) shall not Thy graces work in me, and open my lips that my mouth may show forth Thy praise, and my tongue sing aloud of Thy righteousness? (Psalm 51:14-15)