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Ps. l. 3.
the Lord pitieth them that fear him, for he knoweth our frame.”
" What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.”
Deut. xxxiii. 25. “As thy day so shall thy strength be.”
Is. xxvii. 8. “He stayeth his rough wind in the day of his east wind.” Matt. xiv. 27.
“It is I ; be not afraid.” 2 Cor. xii. 9. "My strength is made perfect in weak
Is. xxvi. 3. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”
Job xiii. 15. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Ps. xlviii. 14.
" He will be our Guide even unto death.'
Heb. xiii. 5. “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
Heb. xiii. 8. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.”
Ps. lxxiii. 25, 26. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Eph. ii. 14.
" He is our Peace.”
V. 8. · Who turneth the shadow of death into the morning."
i John i. 7. “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
Luke xxiii. 42. “Lord, remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
Acts vii. 59. “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 2 Tim. iv. 22. “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy
(Cf. Ps. xxiii. 4 ; Rev. xxi. 4 ; Deut. xxxi. 8 ; Is. xliii. 1-3, etc.)
The use of such Scriptures as these has been well com. pared to cordials, and to “a cool breeze for a burning brow.” It is “the Word” who lays His healing hand upon the head. One who touched the waters of Jordan said : · It appeared to me that, at a dying hour, the proper exercise of the soul is that of calm waiting, and sure expectation of the coming salvation, rather than the performance of a multiplicity of devotional exercises.” It is better, therefore, to speak little, and suggest Scriptures rather than any remarks of our own. “Oh, how sweet !” said a dying saint, when we are too weak to think of Christ, still to feel that He is precious
In such a moment as death our eye must rest on 4 nothing but Jesus. Not on self, not on past experience, not on our having once believed, but altogether and directly on Him whom we are about to see face to face. Neither are we to look on death, nor think of its sting. We are to think of Him who has made death a‘stingless serpent,' a powerless enemy,' a 'lion whose great teeth are broken.'"-A. Bonar.
“ It was the custom among the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans for the nearest relatives to close the eyes of the dead, as, for instance, the husband for the wife and vice verså, the parent for the child, and the child for the parent; and where such were wanting, one friend did it for an. other. This was looked for by the aged, and its expecta
tion brought much greater content of mind than they would otherwise have had. This appears by Gen. xlvi. 4, where Jacob, fearing he should die on his way to Egypt, by reason of his extreme old age or the length of the journey, and be thereby deprived of these funeral ceremonies, God, to remove those fears and comfort him, told him he should die in peace, with his children about him, and particularly that “ Joseph should lay his hands on his eyes,' as the text expresses it, which was as much as to say he should close his eyes and take all other care of his funeral.”—Thomas Greenhill (1705).
XXV. THE BODY IN THE CUSTODY OF ANGELS.
Jude 9. “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.''
(Cf. The guardian angels in the tomb of Christ : Matt. xxviii. 2–6; Mark xvi. 5, 6; Luke xxiv. 2-4 ; John xx. 12 ; also Ps. xci. 11, 12 ; Matt. xxiv. 31 ; Mark xiii. 27.)
It would seem, from the Sacred Scriptures, as if the bodies of the saints (as well as their souls) were entrusted for the time being to the keeping of the holy angels,--a thought in which there is some very precious consolation.
“ It is not a Christian thing to die manifesting indifference as to what is done with the body. That body is redeemed ; not a particle of its dust but was bought with drops of Christ's precious blood, and shall put on incor. ruption.”-Henry Melvill.
XXVI. THE INTERMEDIATE STATE.
“On the death of the body the departing spirit is transported into a condition which, in the light of the Gospel, can just as little be conceived of as one of un
conscious sleep, as one of already completed happiness or misery Rather must it be looked upon as a state of self-consciousness and of preliminary retribution, but, at the same time, one of gradual transition to a great final decision-a transition experienced in a world of spirits, in whose various circles Salvation or Perdition is determined above all by the inner state of each.” — Van Oosterzee (“Christian Dogmatics," p. 779).
XXVII. GRIEF FINDING UTTERAVCE.
2. Even to-day is my complaint bitter : my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
“3. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat !
“4. I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
“5. I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
“6. Will he plead against me with his great power? No ; but he would put strength in me.
“7. There the righteous might dispute with him ; so should I be delivered forever from my judge.
“8. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there ; and backward, but I cannot perceive him :
“9. On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him; he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him :
“10. But he knoweth the way that I take : when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
“11. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
“12. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
13. But he is in one mind, and who can turn him ? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
"14. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are with him.
“15. Therefore am I troubled at his presence : when I consider, I am afraid of him.
“16. For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me :
“17. Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.”
We have often blessed God that there was a 23d chapter of Job as well as a 23d Psalm. If it be an evidence that the Bible is of God, because it fits in so perfectly to all the folds of the human heart, surely we have such evidence here.
V. 2. Sighs and groans are not improper; anguish must bave vent. V. 3. The affliction does not seem right to the sufferer. V. 4. He could present many reasons why it appears to him it should be otherwise. V. 5. He would know God's answer. V. 6. It would not be harsh or arbi. trary. He would even help him to present his case in the best form. V. 7. The result of such a conference would be entirely satisfactory. Vv. 8, 9. But, in the absence of such an answer, all is dark. Past, present, future-look at it as he will in any of its relations, he cannot understand it. V. 10. His only refuge is FAITH. It may be the most impenetrable shade that ever any but David or Adam sat under, lamenting an Absalom or Cain accursed of God. But here is a ray from the throne: 'He knoweth the way that I take.''