Page images
PDF
EPUB

ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them : the Lord also accepted Job. 10 And the Lord turned the 10 Behold! Such at last is the sure captivity of Job, when he recompense of the just. prayed for his friends : also

11 Think what will be your jor,

when at the final gathering of the the LORD gave Job twice as

families of the earth every care, much as he had before. 11 Then

and trouble, and sorrow past-you came there unto him all his and those you love here, will herebrethren, and all his sisters, after meet in joy; and part no more. and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house : and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him : every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an ear-ring of gold. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning : for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima ; and the name of the second, Kezia ; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.

One cannot imagine a more touching picture than this of the aged Patriarch. O God, here give to us all the spirit of patience with which thy servant was blessed ; and hereafter, O grant us, for Jesus' sake, his rich and gracious recompense in the land where patience finds no exercise.

all Saints' Day.

MORNING. Wisdom ü. to ver. 10. But the souls of the right- 1 What a blessed truth for survivors eous are in the hand of God, to reflect upon! The righteous live and there shall no torment

in Paradise: their souls in safe keeptouch them. In the sight of ing ; even in the hand of God *

* “O mourner ! cease thy tears, and calm thy sorrow! Whilst thou art weeping the righteous dead, they are at rest. They know not your tormenting cares. They are spared your temptations, your sorrows, your griefs. They sleep in the Lord” till the last trump call to judg.

the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction : but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope

5 The righteous meet every trial as full of immortality. And

a chastisement from their heavenly having been a little chastised, Father ; and they consider the heathey shall be greatly re- viest trials as "light afflictions which warded: for God proved them, are but for a moment,” compared and found them worthy for their tribulations prepare them.

with that eternity of glory for which himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. ? And in the time of their

7 At the day of judgment they shall visitation they shall shine, be conspicuous in the brightness of and run to and fro like sparks their glory.

8 In this world, virtue may be said to among the stubble.

* They

judge wickedness even by its conshall judge the nations, and trast--in the next world, how inhave dominion over the peo- finitely greaterwill be that contrast. ple, and their Lord shall 9 Art thou of the elect, chosen reign for ever. They that people of God-being baptized unto

Jesus, whom God's free grace hath put their trust in him shall made known unto men? Take heed understand the truth : and then, to “add virtue to your faith, such as be faithful in love and make your calling and election shall abide with him : for

sure ?” (2 Pet. i. 10.) grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.

EVENING. WISDOM OF SOLOMON v. to ver. 17. "They shall the righteous 1 Observe, that the righteous and man stand in great boldness the wicked are supposed to be standbefore the face of such as ing before the judgment seat of God. have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach :

we fools accounted his life * Irreligious men mock the faithful madness, and his end to be followers of the cross. They can without honour: how is he

see no honour in self-denial, no cour

age in self-controul, no safety in selfnumbered among the chil

abasement. Theirs is ever the imdren of God, and his lot is passioned language of Festus to St. among the saints! There- Paul—“Paul, Paul, thou art beside fore have we erred from the thyself.”

6 Remorse will force confession of way of truth, and the light their own folly and madness. Time

of righteousness hath not

will prove that it is true wisdom to shined unto us, and the sun aim at such a life as shall bring a of righteousness rose not man peace at the last. All else is upon us. We wearied our

comparatively of no worth. selves in the way of wickedness and destruction : yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the way of the Lord, we have 8 In another world, the impenitent, not known it. 8 What hath though too late, will be amazed, that pride profited us? or what reckless of their soul's welfare, they

should have idolized riches, pride, good hath riches with our

and things of this world : for these vaunting brought us? All all pass away, like the froth of the those things are passed away wave, or the smoke of the flame ; like a shadow, and as a post and are less than vanity. that hasted by; and as a ship that passeth over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, the trace thereof cannot be found, neither the pathway of the keel in the ways; or as when a bird hath flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings, and parted with the violent noise and motion of them is passed through, and therein afterwards no sign where she went is to be found ; or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through: even so we in like manner, as soon as we were born, began to draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to shew; but were consumed in our own wickedness. For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm : like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tartieth but a day.

15 But the right- 15 What a glorious prospect for the eous live forevermore; their faithful and the good! reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand; for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them.

Gunpowder Treason.

2 SAMUEL xxü. And David spake unto the

1 Surely our gratitude is due to the Lord the words of this song

same God; who is our defence also, in the day that the Lord had spiritually and temporarily. Think,

1

delivered him out of the hand from how many troubles he has deof all his enemies, and out of livered thee. the hand of Saul: and he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer ; the God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour ; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid ; the sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; ' in my

70 the blessed fruits of prayer ; distress I called upon the Peace in trouble ; joy in sorrow; LORD, and cried to my God: guidance in life ; and in death, hope. and he did hear my voice (See Ps. 18.) out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured : coals were kindled by it." He

10 These noble expressions are used bowed the heavens also, and to indicate the supreme power and came down ; and darkness majesty of Jehovah-the sure dewas under his feet. And he fence of his people. rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them ; lightning, and discomfited them. And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. 17 He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of for me, fall before Him.

17 My enemies, though too strong many waters; he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me : for they were too strong for me.

19 The wicked are always cunning They prevented me in the in contriving evil : they pretent-go day of my calamity: but the beforehand with-the simple-minded. LORD was my stay. 20 He Turn which way I will, they are

ready to meet me. But when God brought me forth also into a

taketh up my cause, their evil devices large place : he delivered me, come to nought. because he delighted in me. 20 This is said not presumptuously, The LORD rewarded me ac

but as avowing a good conscience. cording to my righteousness: (Acts xxiii

. 1, and xxiv. 16.)

19

me.

according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed

22 For I have kept the 22 All sin is wickedness. He declares ways of the LORD, and have that he had not wilfully and delibernot wickedly departed from ately sinned * my God. For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness ; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew

27 Wouldest thou God's favour thyself upright. 27 With the

choose religious companions. pure thou wilt shew thyself pure ; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down. For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried : he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD! and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet : and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation : and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise : yea, they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength to battle : them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. They looked, but there was none to save ; even unto the Lord, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.

The distinction is illustrated by Peter and Judas. Judas sinned deliberately; Peter sinned from infirmity. How different was their end !

« PreviousContinue »