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LUKE xii. 19.
"Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years."
WHAT a wonderful museum is Holy Scripture! What cabinets of rare things are found within it! Not gold and silver and precious gems certainly, such as men generally set their eyes and mind on, but better than these; wisdom, and knowledge, and stores of spiritual wonders. Not dug out of the bowels of the earth, but brought forth, with singular power, from the caverns and wells of Truth and Grace. We can never reach the end ; we can never go to the bottom of the mystic springs. The infinite wonders of the Godhead are in a measure set before us; and the strange products of human nature laid bare. Here in the text, for instance, we are taken through the strange outside of a man's being, and made to see and to hear, sights and sounds, that are generally shut up
from our senses. The secrets of all hearts are known to God, and He can lay them bare.
Oür Blessed Master shews that He knew what was in man, by the way in which He spake. For simple grace, for sterling truth, you can find nothing in books like the parables and other sayings of Jesus Christ.
Two brothers have a dispute about some earthly property; the one is loath to let go his hold on the whole ; Master, speak to him, said the other, that he divide the inheritance with me.
• Man,” said the Saviour, “who made Me a judge and a divider over you ?" And then, turning Him about, He said to His disciples and the rest, " Take heed and beware of covetousness : for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” And then He spake the parable about the rich fool, out of which I have taken my text. You know it so well that I have no occasion to say it over ; keep it in your mind, just now, if you please, and regard it as a specimen of the products of human nature that demands our study. The book of secret experience is written by God, and will one day afford strange reading; but here in this place is a short extract from it, for our notice and benefit. May God bless it to
Suppose our private talk with ourselves should be overheard, and then said out loud in public assembly, as here, what should we say, or think? God has, for the present, shut up in darkness the great bulk of
human experience, but at doomsday He will open the caverns, and bring forth the treasures of secrecy, and dispose them in their proper places. Oh! what a revelation that will be! Blot out our sins, O God, and remember them no more, for Christ's sake.
And now to return to the parable. « The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully.” This was, of course, by God's blessing. God, the great Proprietor of all! You will say, perhaps it was the man's diligence, or good farming. Well! suppose it was ; yet, I repeat, it was God's blessing still. It is by God's blessing that we are diligent, and know how to farm well; and the mystic elements of good crops are from the treasury of heaven. Never forget God when you talk about human agencies. Prosperity comes in ; this bright sun shines upon the man, and he betakes himself to dalliance and ease. He begins to study comfort and self-indulgence. He sets himself to calculations concerning his future enjoyment. His old barns must come down and make room for better and larger ; this would take some time; "I will then say to my soul,” he adds, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.' What a pity for him that there was a God, and that his soul had a master. What a pity that his barns blocked up
his view of futurity ; for he suffered a terrible reverse ; and money, and barns, and selfish enjoyment, and good cheer were all overwhelmed by the hurricane of God's