Imágenes de páginas

lem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah ; and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel : and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.”

2 Sam. iii. 33, 34. “And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth ? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters : as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.”

Ps. lxxxii. 6, 7. “I have said, Ye are gods ; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”

Ezek. xix. 11, 12. “And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was ex. alted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.

But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit : her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.”

The death of good rulers is a great affliction. Jer. xli. 2. “Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.”

Death by assassination. Cf. Eglon, Judges iii. 20. Is. xl. 23. “That bringeth the princes to nothing ; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.”

Ps. xxxvi. 9.

“For with thee is the fountain of life : in thy light shall we see light.?'

God, the author of life and the fountain of lise. Vot light beyond only, but light here. In His light : not in philosophy, nor in occupation, nor in amusement, nor in unavailing regret, nor in fancies that we have communication with the departed, but in the true consolations of re

ligion. “And the Life was the Light of men" (John i. 4). Ps. xlvi. 1. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.''

"A help to be greatly found in distresses” is the literal version. A centre in which to come to rest, as from centrifugal force ; a centre from which to begin anew, as from centripetal force. The tendency in grief is to expend itself in action, or to shut itself away in contemplation.

This avoids both extremes. Ps. xlix. 4. “I will incline mine ear to a parable : I will open my dark saying upon the harp.” The story of death is indeed a “ dark saying.”

Let us treat it-1. By way of parable: in showing its resemblances and analogies of instruction. 2. By way of har.

mony : in reducing its disorder to melody, if we can. Ps. xxxix. 4. Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is ; that I


know how frail I am.''

Psalter: "That I may be certified how long I have to live." Marginal reading : “What time I have here." Septuagint : That I may know what comes afterward.” M. Henry : Lord, give me wisdom and grace to consider it (Deut. xxxii. 29), and to improve what I know concerning it.” Jam. Fauss. and Brown : Lit. 'when I shall cease.'” A. Bonar : A pilgrim-spirit, one journeying through a world of vanity and praying at every step to be taught and kept in the will of God." Hebrew : “I will know how leaving off I am.” The text suggests : 1. The shortness of life. 2. The importance of right opinions.

[ocr errors]

3. The help into trust upon God, which comes from the

consideration of our own weakness and inevitable fate. Matt. ii. 15. “And was there until the death of Herod.”

The word here for death is “end." It was the close of Herod's hopes and power. There was nothing afterward.

His life was simply an obstruction. Ps. lv. 19. “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.”

It is an unfortunate matter to have an easy and prosperous and sheltered life, in such a view as this. The soul requires to be shaken out of its security. Note: the blessings of the unconverted are often a final source of doubt and of regret. How much have they understood

them ? and valued them? Ps. cvii. 43.

· Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.''

Notice the construction of the Psalm. The chorus is : O that men would praise the Lord,” etc. The antichorus is : “ Then they cried unto the Lord,” etc.

I. The “ redeemed of the Lord” are here instructed. 2. So are "fools,” i.e. the thoughtless and ignorant and foolish. 3.

they that go down to the sea in ships.” 4. So are the tillers of the land. The text is the sum of all these things, a message to Christians, to the impenitent, and to

the toilers by sea and by land. Ps. Ixxiii. 4. “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death : but their strength is firm.”'

“Then understood I their end”; “ How are they brought into desolation as in a moment”; They are utterly consumed with terrors. To be used, not by way of severity, but hy contrast with the Christian. “Bands," i.e. pains

So are


-the idea being that the wicked often have an easier phys. ical death than the righteous. We should covet, not the temporary, but the eternal riches. Mark ix. 10. “And they kept that saying with them. selves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.”

This was after the Transfiguration. 1. The “saying” was that the Son of Man should rise from the dead. 2. Moses (whom God buried, Deut. xxxiv. 6; Jude 9) and Elijah (whom God translated, 2 Kings ii. 11) appear and talk with Jesus, coming there from heaven, as did the voice (2 Pet. i. 16-18).


of my

1. Suicide.
Job x. 1. “My soul is


life.' Contrast this with Paul : “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?" and Christ : “My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” To learn to say “ Thy

will be done" puts the possibility of suicide entirely away. Cf. Ecc. ii. 17; iv. 2, 3.

Job iii. 20–22. “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul ; which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures ; which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave ?"

This is the old problem of existence. To cut the Gordian knot is not to untie it. The sentinel must remain at his post until relieved.

In every man's lise come awful moments when he must meet his fate-dree his weird '-alone. Alone, I say, if he have no God-for man or woman cannot aid him,

[ocr errors]

cannot touch him, cannot come near him.”—Gcorge Mac. Donald. Num. xi. 15.

- And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”

And this was Moses !

“What a battle-ground is the soul of man! We are given up to those gods, those monsters, those giants-our thoughts. Often these terrible belligerents trample our

very souls down in their mad conflict.” Victor Hugo. Job vii. 15, 16. “So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway : let me alone ; for my days are vanity.”

Death desired, through utter weariness. Cl. Rev. ix. 6; Jonah iv. 3, 8. Jer. xx. 18. “Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?!?

There will be present at the funeral of a suicide-1. The “ shamed” ones.

2. The curious ones. 3. The scoffers and skeptics. 4. The perplexed Christians. Their ques. tions will be the same thought put in different shapes, and this text will serve as a focus into which to collect them. (Cf. Ahithophel, 2 Sam. xvii. 23 ; Judas, Matt. xxvii. 5; Saul, 1 Sam. xxxi. and i Chron. X.; Haman, Esth. vii. 10; Samson, Judges xvi. 29, 30.) 2. A fallen woman.

2 Kings ix. 34. Bury her : for she is a king's daughter'

1. We are not to refuse to perform such a funeral service. 2. We are to remember that she was ing's daughter." 3. For the sake of what she was we must take up ten. derly" what she is.


« AnteriorContinuar »