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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
that watches over you, wept for you once, and would, if it had tears, weep 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 munifi. cence? 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 18 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.
The case occurs in Heb. 13: 5, " for He hath said. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." There five negatives are employed. We translate but two of them; but there they all are, as any one may see who looks into his Greek Testament. Now, they need not all have been there. They are not all necessary to express the simple idea that God will never forsake his people. There must have been design in multiplying negatives so. I do not believe the phraseology was accidental, and I think it not difficult to guess the design. God meant to be believed in that thing. He would secure the confidence of his children in that particular. He knew how prone they were to doubt his constancy-how strongly inclined to that form of unbelief—and how liable to be harassed by the dread of being forsaken by him; and he would therefore make assurance more than doubly sure. So, instead of saying simply,
I will not leave thee," which alone would have been enough, he adds, “nor forsake thee;" and instead of leaving it thus, “ I will not leave thee, I will not forsake thee," he uses language equivalent to the foliowing: “I will not, I will not leave thee; I will never, never, never forsake thee.” There is a stanza, which very faithfully, as well as beautifully, expresses it
“The soul that on Jesus hath lean’d for repose,
How in earnest God appears to be in this matter ! How unworthy it is in his children, after such an assurance as this, to suspect that he will forsake them ! He cannot. It is impossible for God to lie. Here one who was never known to break his word, assures his people, each of them individually, and five times over in a single sentence, of his continued presence with them. Under similar circumstances, what man of reputed veracity would be discredited ? and shall not the God of truth be believed in a like case ?
38. How to Dispose of Care.
There is such a thing as care.
Who does not know it by experience? Who has not felt it at his heart? How heavily it presses there ! and it pierces too. It is a burden; and it has also a sting. Nothing is more unfriendly to happiness than care. It is hard being happy with a load on the heart. The objects of care are almost innumerable. What shall I eat; what shall I drink; and wherewithal shall I be clothed, are only a few of its anxious interrogations, and they are among the least important of them, These concern ourselves;
but care often forgets self in its solicitude for others. Parents, and especially mothers know what I mean by this. But I need