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reviving faith shall quickly discern it—and the storm shall be hushed, the dark portentous clouds shall roll away, and all around him shall again be peaceful and serene !
How delightful to think of that glorious day and that bright abode where we shall no longer need this token of God's faithfulness and love : there shall be a cloudless' sky, and glory without obscurity! It is only as long as the earth endureth, or “ all the days of the earth,” that this covenant shall endure. When the angel shall lift his hand and swear by Him that sitteth on the throne that time shall be no more-then upon an astonished world will a tempest burst which shall be accompanied with no emblem of hope or mercy! “ The bow in the cloud” will then appear no more! despair and desolation will brood over the ruins of the earth and its guilty inhabitants—" it is the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
And then upon his redeemed and chosen people—upon his elect, “his jewels,” his special treasure, upon them shall that blessed day dawn which shall never end, and upon them shall that sun rise which shall never set; and “ the morning stars shall again sing together, and all the sons of God shall shout for joy.” Praised be his
Praised be his name, “the night is far spent, the day is at hand :” may we be found " walking as children of the light and of the day;" “casting off the works of darkness,” and desiring to be made more and more meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Meanwhile the bow is in the cloud-God's covenant is sure—none of his little ones shall perish-shortly will he bruise Satan under their feet—and to Him shall be the praise and the glory and the majesty, for ever and ever. Amen.
THE PATH OF THE JUST.
PROVERBS iv. 18.
“ BUT THE PATH OF THE JUST IS AS THE SHINING LIGHT, THAT
SHINETH MORE AND MORE UNTO THE PERFECT DAY.”
The book of Proverbs abounds in brief, striking antitheses, and terse sentences, wherein truth is more prominently distinguished by being placed in direct opposition to error. A mode of instruction highly calculated to impress the heart and convince the judgment. Thus in the preceding chapter the relative condition of the servants of God and the servants of sin is thus described: “ The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just."* “The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”+
In the passage connected with the text, the contrast is drawn between the path of the wicked * Ver. 33.
+ Ver. 35.
and the path of the just; that of the former is represented as dark and dangerous, and likely to grow more so, until it terminates in blackness of darkness for ever; and that of the latter is described as bright and luminous, terminating in the perfect glory of the redeemed. “ Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away ....
For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”* Here then we have two ways and two ends--the one dark and ruinous, the other bright, and leading to everlasting glory. It shall be our pleasant task to follow the inspired description of the latter of these two paths; and while we are contemplating the path of the just, may it please God to make it appear beautiful in our eyes, that we may have grace to join in their pilgrimage those who are journeying towards the land which the Lord their God hath promised them.
Let us then consider THE PATH OF THE JUST UNDER THIS FIGURE AS A SHINING LIGHT; PROGRESSIVE IN ITS NATURE, AND ULTIMATELY PER
I. When we read that “the path of the just is as a shining light,” we naturally ask what description of persons is intended by this expression, “ the just ?” It is a general term for the true servants of God, for those who, having deeply repented of their sins, have believed in Jesus to the saving of their souls. And while the epithet must not be understood of all those who bear an upright and honest character in the world, it seems to point particularly at the sincerity and integrity of God's people. The wise man speaks not of hypocrites or false professors in these words, but of the simple, humble, and holy followers of God: and when he says that “their path is as the shining light,” he refers to their whole character, conduct, and general demeanour
* Ver. 14-17.
- he describes the way by which they are led to heaven, illustrating all the dealings of God with them, and all their experience of his mercy and goodness. This path is as “a shining light!" How beautiful the idea! The believer walks in light amidst surrounding darkness! He has “light in his dwelling!” " Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people, but the light of the Lord has arisen upon him.” It was not always so with him; "he was sometime darkness, but now he is light in the Lord.”* He dwelt in the darkness of nature, he knew not the light of truth-he was unacquainted with God and a stranger to his own heart—" he groped at noonday as in thick darkness, and knew not at what
* Eph. v. 8.