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2. Is submission to the king and our governors a dutý? Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well. (I. Pet. 2. 13, 14.)
3. What comprehensive exhortation does St. Peter give? Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. (I. Pet. 2. 17.)
4. Are we told to avoid those who are given to change? My son, fear thou the Lord and the king; and meddle not with them that are given to change. (24 Pr. 21.)
5. Is obedience required of servants?
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service as menpleasers; but, as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. (6 Eph. 5, 6, 7. See also 3 Col. 22, 23, 24.)
6. Are masters to be greatly honored?
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed: and they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. (I. Tim. 6. 1, 2.)
7. Are fidelity and meekness enjoined on servants?
Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining; but shewing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (2 Tit. 9, 10.)
8. Are servants required to obey even "froward” masters? Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward: for this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (I. Pet. 2. 18, 19.)
XXXV. LIFE-ITS UNCERTAIN AND FADING NATURE:
OF PRESENT TIME.
Scripture estimate of Life-The fading nature of Life, and the flight of Time, illustrated from NATURE by the Wind, Clouds, Vapour, Smoke, Shadows, Dust, Flood, Grass, Flowers, Leaf, Eagle, Moth:-from ARTIFICIAL OBJECTS, by the Weaver's Shuttle, a Post, Swift Ships, a Foundation in the Dust, a Measure, a Hand-breadth :— from MAN'S EMPLOYMENTS, by a Watch in the Night, a Sleep, a Tale, the Days of an Hireling, a Pilgrimage, a Sojourning, Art of Numbering.-Exhortations as to our fading Lives.-Danger of Delay.-End of Time.
1. “What is your life?” (4 Jas. 14.)
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (4 Jas. 14.)
2. How did Jacob speak of his life to Pharoah?
The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years. Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been. (47 Gn. 9.)
3. How does Moses contrast the eternity of God with man's fading life?
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up: in the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. (90 P. 3 to 6.)
4. Does Moses compare our years to a tale?
We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (90 P. 9, 10.)
5. When viewing the shortness of life, what prayer did Moses offer?
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (90 P. 12.)
6. How does Job speak of the frailty of life?·
Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?-My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle.-O remember that my life is wind. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. (7 Job, 1, 6, 7, 9.)
7. How does Job refer to the flight of time?
My days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. They are passed away as the swift ships; as the eagle that hasteth to the prey. (9 Job, 25, 26.)
8. Does Job compare man to a flower and a shadow? Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. (14 Job, 1.)
9. How does Eliphaz speak of men?
Them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth. (4 Job, 19.) 10. What does Bildad say?
We are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow. (8 Job, 9.)
11. How does the Psalmist describe the effects of God's chastisements on man?
When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. (39 P. 11.)
12. Does he pray to be made sensible of his own frailty? Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an hand-breadth, and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily, every man at his best state is altogether vanity. (39 P. 4, 5.)
13. By what comparisons does the Psalmist teach the shortness and uncertainty of life?
For he knoweth our frame: he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. (103 P. 14, 15, 16.)
14. Does the Psalmist compare life to the wind?
He remembered that they were but flesh: a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. (78 P. 39.)
15. What further comparisons does the Psalmist make? My days are consumed like smoke. (102 P. 3.)
My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. (102 P. 11.)
Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou takest account of him! Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away. (144 P. 3, 4.)
16. How does Isaiah speak of the Israelites?
Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower. (28 Isa. 1.)
17. What does Isaiah say of all flesh?
All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth : because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (40 Is. 6, 7, 8.) 18. How does Isaiah describe our fading nature? We all do fade as a leaf. (64 Is. 6.)
19. How does St. Peter direct us to pass our fading lives? Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. (I. Pet. 1. 17.) 20. How does Solomon caution us?
Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (27 Pr. 1.)
21. Is frail man unworthy of our trust?
Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of? (2 Is. 22.)
22. Does God hold the breath of all creatures in his hands?
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (12 Job, 10.)
The God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified. (5 Dan. 23.)
23. How did Felix, when he trembled, put off serious thoughts?
Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season I will call for thee. (24 Ac. 25.)
24. For what reason does the Apostle caution us against the abuse of even lawful pursuits?
The time is short. (I. Cor. 7. 29.)
25. Is the present time of the utmost importance to such frail creatures as we are?
Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation. (II. Cor. 6. 2.)
To day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (3 Heb. 7, 8.)
26. What caution does the Apostle give to the Ephesians? Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (5 Eph. 15, 16.)
27. Will the day of the Lord take careless sinners by surprise?
The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night: for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them. (I. Thes. 5. 2, 3.)
28. Has God decreed the termination of time?
And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. (10 Rev. 5, 6.)