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a time at least lost upon him. We can but hope that this second trial, with its wondrous teachings, succeeded better. The narrative leaves him, under his withered gourd, as a listener to the gentle reproofs of his gracious God, and we may hope a learner also.
Jeremiah appears to considerable advantage alongside of Jonah. True, he speaks of “bitterness and misery, wormwood and gall;" still he murmured not, he did not faint. He took the cordial provided for him, and was revived. " This I recall to my mind (or make to return to my heart), therefore I have hope.” Then comes a meditation on God's tender mercies and rich compassions, which has refreshed thousands of weary hearts, and been as the breath of heaven to fainting souls. Comforts might fail, friends might die, health might fade as a leaf; still “ the Lord is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in Him” (Lam. iii. 21-26). Thus with firm steps he walks the narrow path, alternately singing of his infinite treasure, and counselling all tried ones to quietly bear God's yoke and patiently wait for His salvation.
Elijah seems to be a very different person from either Jonah or Jeremiah. What intrepidity he displayed Carmel; what power he had over man; what power with God! Yet are we called to view him fainting, and requesting to die. Truly he was “a man of like passions with ourselves,” and did not perfectly keep the narrow path.
One in after days, who was gentle as a nurse cherisheth her child, was more consistent in his walk than the Tishbite. What a catalogue of trials and sorrows Paul gives in 2 Cor. xi. 24–33! and his history proves that he did not exaggerate them, nor magnify his endurance. “We faint not,” he twice exclaims in another place (2 Cor. iv. 1, 16); and he tells us the reason why. He deeply realized his responsibility as having received a ministry from God; he rejoiced in having obtained mercy; he rose upward and soared forward, looking, that is aiming, at the things not seen. Such communings with the unseen and the eternal kept him from
fainting, and nerved his soul for all suffering and service.
Look at an opposite case. Lot, “ just Lot” as he is called, was a wanderer from the narrow road. God chastened him by permitting him to be taken captive and carried away with all he had. In mercy God sent His servant Abraham to recover him; but Lot seems to have gone from the deliverance -gone even from the companionship of Abraham and the presence of Melchizedek-back to Sodom. Then came heavier woes,
mixed with a heavenly deliverance, succeeded also by a dark closing page. Dark indeed would his whole life appear, but for the bright gleam which the New Testament throws over it (2 Pet. ii. 7, 8). As it is, he reads all chastened ones
a solemn lesson upon the danger of going back to a scene of temptation, after God has wisely corrected and kindly delivered.
" Ye have heard of the patience of Job,” how that, when bereaved of all, when sorely smitten in his body, when tempted by the wife of his bosom, he calmly trod the narrow path-mourning, yet not murmuring. How doth the music of his plaintive sighs float down the sorrow-laden centuries, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” True, he faltered, he reasoned, he complained afterward. But let us look now where God points us, admire such wondrous patience, and admire still more that wisdom, power, and love that brought all his sufferings to such a blessed and beneficial end.
Asa, honoured of God and helped by God, presents a very different case from that of Job. Amid all his kingly glory, he is chastened of God by the reproofs of a faithful friend. To rightly receive and truly profit by deserved reproof is a difficult path to tread, and Asa attained not thereto. “ He was angry with the seer, and put him in prison.” But“he who breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.” Asa despised the Lord's gentle strokes ; he broke through the hedge, and is stricken by an invisible hand; he returned not to Him that smote him. “He sought not to the Lord, but to the
physicians;” means he might have used, but earnest believing prayer should have preceded and accompanied all. This he neglected ; and after a few months of heavy affliction he who despised the Lord's chastening passed away from view.
Very different was the case of David. “ Thou art the man!” was the solemn charge of his true-hearted friend. “I have sinned was the response. Then, along with heavy chastenings, came the spirit of prayer, the balm of mercy, and the grateful song. In the midst of the deepest gloom he submits. “If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again, and show me both it and His habitation. But if He thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him” (2 Sam. xv. 25, 26). Few chastened ones have trodden the narrow path so well as this; and it led David into the "shadow of the Almighty,” up to the mount of deliverance, and then on to a happy, honourable, and useful old age.
One other contrast must be noticed. If we look at the whole company of God's tried people in all ages, we shall find that all failed more or less while treading the path of trial. “Few go down into the Valley of Humiliation without making some slips.” Faith, patience, courage have all more or less failed. Only one Sufferer has walked the narrow path without failing or faltering. Let us consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest we be weary and faint in
our minds. Our infinite Saviour is our one perfect Pattern and conquering Leader. He who redeemed us from sin will help us through sorrow, and teach us how to honour God while bearing His paternal rod. We should study His history in the light of His own thoughts and feelings, as recorded in prophecy. “For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set My face as a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isa. 1. 7). “I have set the Lord always before Me: because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved ” (Ps. xvi. 8).
How does He who was the Man of sorrows cheer His tried people on ! If they would neither turn to the right hand nor to the left by despising or fainting, let them listen to His words of counsel and comfort: “ Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His Servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light ? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God” (Isa. 1. 10). And again : *These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John xvi. 33).
Yes, we must use His words, even as He used His Father's words, as food for meditation, as helps in prayer, and as weapons against the enemy. So shall we, while mourning over many faintings and failings, have to testify, “He restoreth my soul, and leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.”
PARABLES AND SIMILITUDES OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. L. THE THREE PHYSICIANS.
neighbouring town, and had them safely
lodged at the principal hotel. THREE merchants were wounded as they “Who is the best physician in the journeyed through a foreign land. The town?” he inquired of the landlord. robbers set upon them, and spoiled “ That's rather a difficult question to them of their goods, leaving them answer,” replied the host.
« There are bruised and sore.
One was almost three; and some people prefer one, and blinded, and another suffered from a some another." broken arm ; but the third, who was the Before long one of the medical men least injured, got them conveyed to a arrived at the inn, and offered his ser
PARABLES AND SIMILITUDES OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
" but many
vices. “I have heard of your misfortune,” he said to the merchant, “ and I came at once, hoping to be of assistance.
“ What is your name?" inquired the wayfarer, who scarcely liked the gay dress of his new acquaintance.
“I am known by several names,” replied the physician. "Some call me Dr. Earthly Skill, and others Dr. Princeof-this-world.”
For a moment the merchant stepped aside, and calling his host asked his opinion of the new comer.
“I am unwilling to do any harm to a townsman,” he replied; say that for all his fair speeches and apparent cures he only makes his patients worse, binding up their wounds with dangerous ointments, and prescribing such deadly drugs that numbers have never recovered from their effects.”
This was enough. The merchant declined to trust his companions to the care of Dr. Earthly Skill.
Shortly after this a grave and learnedlooking man passed along the street. He seemed to be a physician, judge from his dress; so the merchant stepped up to his side, and asked him whether or not that was his profession. In a solemn voice he replied that it was, and inquired the nature of the injuries which bad befallen his interrogator's friends.
They have fallen among robbers," said the merchant; “and one is nearly blinded, and the other has a broken arm.
" Then it is no case for me,” said the physician; “I am named Dr. Law, and my business is confined to telling people what to do to remain well, not to setting broken bones and giving sight to the blind." As he said this, the learned doctor gravely passed down the street.
“He is the strangest physician I ever met with,” thought the merchant to himself; “but as time passes the danger becomes imminent: this delay will never do; I must find a doctor somewhere."
Now it so happened that near one of the poor districts of the town lived à certain medical man about whom the
opinions of the chief men of the place were divided. He was generally known as Dr. Mercy, though many persons suspected that he bore a far higher name than this. Those who had tried his skill spoke of it in the highest terms. But as a number of these were poor people, some of their richer neighbours doubted whether they ought to presume to judge for themselves respecting so important a matter. It was in vain they affirmed that they had been ill and he had cured them. Some said the illnesses were all fancy, and others replied that even if he worked cures the cures were not performed in the ordinary manner, and therefore his services ought to be refused. But perhaps the real reason why so many rejected him was because he would receive no fees. “ We do not wish to be under an obligation to him,” the multitude cried, “ and consequently we shall not make use of his remedies." But notwithstanding all this his practice went on increasing; and in cases of
; extremity, when every other means had failed, many became willing to receive the assistance only he could render.
As soon as the merchant heard his name mentioned, he determined to go and ask him to attend his companions. It is true he did not like to receive his services without payment; but he hoped he might be prevailed upon to accept a present, even if he refused a fee. When he reached his dwelling, a small house in a mean district of the town, he was received with a warm welcome. “I will come with you at once,” said the physician; "and if your fellow-travellers attend implicitly to my orders, they will speedily be restored to health and strength.”
His words were quickly realized. The cures progressed rapidly. The merchants were delighted to have found so skilful a medical man. Only one thing troubled them, and that was that he would accept nothing for his services. “My invariable rule,” said he, “is this; whoever comes to me must come without money and without price, and I cannot set it aside to oblige even you.”
“But is there no way in which we can show our gratitude ?" asked his patients.
Yes,” said the doctor; “send me as many more patients as you can. You have the poor always around you: assist them; and be sure that he who does a service to the least of these has done it unto Me."
LI. THE UNTRIED BOAT.
to whom he spoke, “is very fresh and bright to look at; but she has never yet been in a storm. Wait till you have tried her, and she has resisted the strength of the gale, before you talk of what she can do."
How many of us are constantly boasting, either in words or by our actions, that we or our friends have never given way to the sins which have overcome many of our neighbours; whereas, if the whole truth were known, we should have nothing to glory in on that account, since our immunity from falling simply arises from the fact that we have never been exposed to the force of any great temptation.
SCRIPTURE WORDS AND PHRASES.
No. IV. THE first portion of our present this question, asked in this wise, if he article we intend to devote to the signs will answer true English, he must of affirmation and denial so often used answer Yea, and not Yes. But now if in our English Bible, " Yea" and the question be asked him thus, lo, by
Nay.” These words have been almost the negative, 'If an heretic falsely wholly replaced in our spoken tongue by translate the New Testament into " Yes” and “ No," which most persons English, to make his false heresies consider to be the exact equivalents of seem the word of God, be not his books the former particles. Nevertheless well worthy to be burned ? ' to this such is not the case, as may be seen question, in this fashion framed, if he from the ensuing extract, quoted by Mr. will answer true English, he may not Wright from Sir Thomas More's works answer Yea, but he must answer Yes, (1557) :-“ Nay answereth the question and say, "Yes, marry, be they, both the framed by the affirmative; as, for en- translation and the translator, and all sample, if a man should ask Tindall that will hold with them.'” himself Is an heretic meet to trans- The necessity of a study of the early late Holy Scripture into English ?' lo, English writers, in order to a full underto this question if he will answer true standing of our Bible, is very clearly set English, he must answer Nay, and not forth in the remarks of an able American No. But an if the question be asked critic on the word “ borrow.” We give him thus, lo, ' Is not an heretic meet to the substance of his essay, persuaded translate Holy Scripture into English ?' that it will prove of interest to the to this question, lo, if he will answer student. true English, he must answer No, and There are three texts in Exodus (iii. not Nay. And a like difference is there 22; xi. 2 ; xii. 35, 36) which are conbetween these two adverbs Yea and Yes. stantly selected as points of attack by For if the question be framed unto Tin- assailants of the morality of the Bible. dall by the affirmative in this fashion, In them the Israelitish slaves, just mi• If an heretic falsely translate the New raculously emancipated from an unre. Testament into English, to make his compensed bondage and about to leave false heresies seem the word of God, be finally the land of their oppressors, are his books worthy to be burned ?'to directed to borrow_both men and
women too, and of everybody they know -jewels, raiment, and valuables, to take these borrowed goods with them when they go, and thus to spoil (or despoil) the Egyptians. This is by ignorant persons at once taken as a Divine command to obtain goods under false pretences, and to make off with the plunder.
These texts too are a noted field for infantile Hebraists and juvenile critics. Thus a very elaborate article on this matter in the Danville Review owns with charming simplicity, “We have not the requisite facilities for tracing out and ascertaining the meaning of our term borrow, at the time when our present translation was made.” But, as if this were of no consequence whatever, the writer proceeds,—"The rendering itself is incapable of being sustained by any view which it seems possible to take of the facts in the
Of course, before the article is finished the whole fifty-four translators are annihilated.
But what is the real meaning of the English word? It seems to have been originally a noun, signifying a pledge given or taken, a thing left in pledge, a pawn. " Then Melibee ceived their obligations, and their bond by their oath upon their pledges and borrows" (Chaucer).
“ This cursed man hath taken in his hand
This poison in a box, and quick he ran
-Chaucer. Here it is plainly a purchase of the bottles which is called borrowing them ; for the man had been supplied with money for bottles and wine, and intended to leave the neighbourhood without stopping to return anything.
The word being then to take what belongs by purchase to the taker, it is next to take up that which before belonged to him. And thus, in the next quotation, a man in love is made to borrow his own boliday russets, his own Sunday clothes. And now, be it noted, we are getting very near an intelligible sense for these texts.
"He borrowed, on the working days,
His holy russets oft." Not merely this, but it is to take permanent possession of one's own, to take a thing finally. Still nearer the required sense is this passage in an Elizabethan writer :
“We'll borrow place of him." If necessary, this taking may be by force; as in this case, which is the rescue of a comrade from custody: “Now go we hence, said these brave yeomen;
Tarry we no longer here;
Though we buy it fuil dear." And, having got thus far, we have fulfilled the idea of the English text. The Israelites simply claimed and took the valuables to which their services had created a title : those things were taken in permanence, without any idea of restitution; and force instead of persuasion, wherewith to take them, is not excluded, though not necessarily implied.
“Nay, quoth the clerk, have here my faith to borrow.”
"And thus they be departed till the morrow, When each of them had laid his faith to borrow."
Being thus used as a pledge or pawn, it next became a verb, meaning to take by purchase, that is by giving at once the pledge value ; but with this step the idea of take began to come in prominently.
ANGEL COMPANIONS. COULD you have peeped into the large, Amy sitting at her mother's feet. She cool sitting-room of farmer Gilbert's was very quiet, and her little black and house at the close of a pleasant day white kitten, which lay drowsily winking lagt summer, you might have seen little in her lap, was very quiet too. Kitty