Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 be-
lieved 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 in-
stead 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,
"I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
" That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
“I'll never--no never-no never forsake."

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

not attempt to explain a word that expresses what we all feel.

There is a care both for ourselves and others which God himself has cast upon us; and of which it were sinful to attempt to make any other disposition than he has made of it. But over and above this, there is a large amount of solicitude and anxiety which we lay upon ourselves, and which is unnecessary, useless, injurious. This is the care that is unfavorable to happiness. The other is friendly to it. It is very desirable to get rid of it, since it does us harm, and does no one good. Nothing is more hostile to the successful care of the soul than the pressure and poignancy of the care of which I speak. " Careful and troubled about many things," we intermit or entirely overlook the care of the "one thing needful.” But what shall we do with it—how get rid of it, since to bear it is so painful to our feelings, and often so ruinous to our better interests ? Divide it with others we may to some little extent. There is such a thing as sympathy. There is such an operation as unburdening the mind to a fellowcreature. And I will not deny that there is some relief in it. Yet the very etymology of the word sympathy evinces that it is no remedy. It is, after all, a suffering together. A great deal of what constitutes sympathy is grief that we can but grievesorrow that we cannot succor. Mixing tears does indeed diminish their bitterness, but weeping with those that weep does not wipe away their tears. They weep on, and the only difference is that we weep

with them, and our tears may be said to dilute theirs.

There is a better way of disposing of care than 10 cast it on our fellow-creatures. Indeed, what fellowcreatures can we find who have not enough of their own to bear, without receiving an additional burden from us? What friend has not himself surplus care to dispose of ?

There are some who cast off care without reference to what becomes of it. They sing, "Begone dull care.” These are the reckless. Care may go at their bidding, but the worst of it is, it is sure to return again, and it comes back a heavier burdenduller than ever. This is not the way to dispose of

Yet there is a way whereby all excess of anxiety may be effectually removed, and the heart be left with all its tender affection, and

yet

with more solicitude than such as the blessed in heaven might feel without diminution of happiness. It is to cast care on God. That is the true and only effectual way to dispose of care. He can take the burden, however huge and heavy. You do not doubt that; but you ask, “Will he ?—may I cast it on him? I, such a one as I, cast my cares, the whole multitude and burden of them, on such a being as God? I know the government of the mighty universe, and the providence which extends to the minute equally as to

care.

no

the magnificent-reaching low as to the fall of the sparrow, and the numbering of the hairs of the head, does not distract or burden him. I know he can take a larger charge and not feel it. But will he? Will such greatness stoop to such littleness?—such holiness come down to such vileness ?" Yes, it will, for condescension is one characteristic of greatness; and " the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” But why do I reason? Does not the Holy Ghost say by David, “cast thy burden upon

the Lord, and he shall sustain thee"-and by Peter, “casting all

your care upon him”—and by Paul, “ be careful for nothing"-and does not Immanuel himself say, " Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ?" No longer ask if you may, but use your privilege. Here is your authority. The Lord says you may do it. Nay more, commands

you

to do it. It is your duty, as well as your privilege. So far is it from being presumption to cast your care on God, it is a sin not to do it.

This is the way to dispose of care; and it is no matter how much there is of it. God will take it all. It is no burden to him. Many have made this disposition of their cares, and all testify how willingly he took and bore them; and if at times they took back the burden, yet willingly he received it again, when again it was cast upon him.

There is a reason given by Peter for casting care on God, that is inexpressibly touching. He says,

« PreviousContinue »