Page images
PDF
EPUB

There is much that is interesting and lovely in pity, whoever be the object of it. There is, however, a peculiar tenderness, which belongs to the pity felt for suffering children. Nothing goes so keenly to the heart as the child's tear and tale of sorrow. And is the pity of the Lord like this? Yes. It is not said that he pities, as man pities man; or as one pities children; or even as a parent pities children; but as a father pitics his children, so the Lord pities. "Like as a father.” Like as one who most affectionately loves, pities the dear object of his love, his child, his own child, when that child is sick, and he looks

upon his altered countenance, and with a weeping eye watches over him day and night, and hears his moans, and is imploringly appealed to by him for relief, which it is not in his power to give; like as he pities, so the Lord pities. So inexpressibly feels he towards them that fear him. Such deep and undefinable emotions as a parent's heart is occupied with, when he says “my poor child.” So the Lord pities. Can it be? It is even so. Well then, come want, come sickness, come sorrow, if such pity may come with it. The relief exceeds the suffering. The support is greater than the burden. It not only bears up, but lifts up the soul.

But how does a father pity! Does he pity so as never to chastise ? Oh no. “What son is he whom his father chasteneth not ?" He chastens out of pity. But he so pities that he is infinitely far from tak

16

I'r. Thoughts.

ing delight in the smallest sufferings of his children, even when it becomes his duty for their good to inflict them. It hurts him more to chastise, than them to be chastised. In all their affliction he is afflicted; and more afflicted than they. Have you never correc ed a child, and gone away and wept in pure pity for him? Have you never denied him something, and found it a greater self-denial ? Is such your heart toward

your

children? Such is God's toward his " He doth not afflict willingly."

Again, a father so pities that he would spare or relieve his child, if he could; that is, if he had the power; or having the power, it were proper he should exercise it. A parent sometimes has the power to relieve and does not exert it. The principle of benevolence within him which proposes

the

greatest good of his child for the longest period, forbids that he should yield to the impulse of compassion, which calls for the rendering of immediate relief. He pities his child too much to relieve him. So the Lord pi. ties. He has always the power to relieve. And often he exerts it. He always would, if it were, in view of all considerations, proper and benevoleni that he should. He, who for thee spared not his own Son, would

spare
thee

every sorrow thou hast, and would relieve thine every pain, but“ whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth."

A father so pities his children that he would, if he could, even suffer in their stead. More than one

for us

father has said, “Would God I had died for thee, my son, my son!” And is the pity of the Lord like a father's in this particular too? Yes. So the Lord pities. So he has pitied. He could suffer in the stead of those he pitied—and he did. “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." He has even died for us. O what pity !

A father so pities his children, that to promote their comfort and happiness, he will spare no pains and no expense. How freely the most avaricious parent will spend, if the necessities of a child require it! The wants and sorrows of his child can open even his heart. Such is the pity of the Lord. He spared not his own Son, but delivered him

up all. Having one Son, his only begotten, he gave even him for us.

Let the child of God derive from these considerations inexpressible consolation. O think that he, in all thy sorrows, pities thee. Yes, thy God feels for thee. Thy sufferings go to his heart. There is one in heaven who, from that exaltation, looks down upon thee; and the

eye

that watches over you, wept for you once, and would, if it had tears, weep for you again. He knoweth your frame. He remembereth that you are dust. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. It was he who, when his disciples had nothing to say for themselves, made that kind apology for them, “ The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He can be touched with the feeling of all your infirmities. You may cast all your cares on him, for he careth for you. All through this vale of tears you may rest assured of his sympathy; and when the vale of tears de clines into the valley of the shadow of death, not his sympathy only will you have, but his inspiriting presence, and his timely succor. And after that, what will not his bounty be, whose pity has been so great ? When there is no longer any occasion for pity-when misery is no more, and sighing has ceased, and God's hand has for the last time passed across your weeping eyes, and wiped away the final tear, what then will be the riches of his munificence? What then will he not do for you, having so felt for you? You know a father feels a peculiar affection for a child that has been afflicted, and that has cost him a great deal. How will our compassionate Redeemer cherish and caress those who have come out of great tribulation, and for whom he went through so much more himself! What must be the glory of that place to which he will take them, after he shall have made them perfect through sufferings! What exalted honors, what ecstatic joys must he not have in reserve for them, whom he came down here to weep with, and now takes up thither to rejoice with himself! And now that they have ceased to sin, and are perfectly conformed to his image, what will not be his complacency in them, when his pity towards them is so great in this im. perfect state, in which their suffering is always mingled with sin!

Well then, since we are the objects of such pity, let us be its subjects too. Let us pity, as we are piLied. Cared for ourselves, let us care for others. Let their case reach our hearts, as ours reached God's. Let us, for whom so many tears have been shed, be not sparing of our tears for others' woes. Nor let ns give to misery merely the tear, but speak the word of consolation, and reach out the hand of help.

37. Five Negatives.

It is known that two negatives in English are equivalent to an affirmative. They destroy each other. But it is not so in Greek. They strengthen the negation; and a third negative makes it stronger still, and so a fourth, and a fifth. How strong five negatives must make a negation! But do five ever occur? Whether they ever occur in the Greek classics, I do not know; but in the Greek of the New Testament there is an instance of the kind. And what is that? Are the five negatives used to strengthen any threatening? No. They are connected with a promise, one of the “exceeding great and precious promises," which are given unto us.

« PreviousContinue »