« ForrigeFortsett »
COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD."
"JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND
KNOW IS LIFE ETERNAL.
“ Nerertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let
every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”—2 Tim. ii. 19. WHATEVER may be occurring in the days in which we live-and surely there were never more stirring or eventful times than the present-the child of God need neither be taken by surprise, nor (as far as he himself is concerned) be alarmed or dismayed. He may feel the deepest possible concern on behalf of others. It is perfectly consistent that he should practically sympathize 'with Lot, whose “righteous soul was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” He is justified in adopting the language of the weeping prophet, when he exclaimed, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!". His spirit is an unenviable one, if with respect to others—especially in regard to his own flesh and blood-he cannot testify, "I say the truth lin Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart," with respect to his brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh; or, as he elsewhere expresses himself, “Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears.” Yea, it is on account of this very sympathy—this travail of soul on behalf of others—this deep heart-anguish, that many-especially ministers and parents are so misunderstood. Their frequent sadness and their tears and their intense concern and solicitude are attributed to something in regard to themselves. That this may be partially true is not denied, because they have perpetually to lament their own sins and shortcomings, their ingratitude and distrust. But, as parents and as ministers, they have a relative sorrow an intensity of concern—a wormwood and a gall which form a bitter ingredient in their daily cup. It was the personal realization of this that prompted the Apostle to say, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;" and this utterance of his was based upon the declaration, “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” We repeat, we envy not, the man who lacks this sorrow, and partakes not of this grief. Such lack is a sorry sign, and is wanting, in this respect at least, of the spirit of his Master, of whom we read, that when he was come near Jerusalem, and beheld the city, He "wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes."
But, apart from this, as at first intimated, however serious the aspect the times in which we live may assume—whatever things may be coming—however facts may betoken the last days, the child of God has no real ground of alarm as far as he himself is concerned. He has a divine warrant and a holy encouragement for the peace and