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“Give thanks to God most high ;
The universal Lord;
Are still the same;
And let His name?
“The day is Thino, the night also is Thine; Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; Thou hast made summer and winter.”
PSALM lxxiv. 16, 17.
“ The morn, with glory crown'd,
His hand arrays in smiles;
His beauty blooms
“With life He clothes the Spring;
The earth with Summer warms,
Through all appear;
And round the year
“The number of his months are with Thee."
JOB xiv. 5. TID you ever try to count up how many U months you have lived ? If you are six years old, you have lived more than threescore and ten months. If you are eight years old, your months have been about a hundred. How many, many months you have had for rowing! Have you been growing holier and better, month by month, ever since you were old enough to think, and pray, and strive ?
How many months have you yet to live ? Ah! you cannot count these. If you should be spared till you are seventy, which (we are told) is the common age of man, then you will have lived hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of months! After you get to the other side of eighty, you will have had more than a thousand months pass over your head! But you do not know to what age you will be spared. Perhaps you have not another twelvemonth to live. You know nothing about it. And your friends know nothing about it.
But God knows. This is what our text speaks of, when it tells us that the number of man's months is with Him. God could tell each of us, if He pleased, exactly how long or how short a time every one of us is to remain in this world. He knows the number of our months, because it is He who appoints their number. We cannot live a month longer than He pleases. We cannot die a month sooner than He allows. There is joy in the thought that it is He who has the fixing of our life, and of its length—the fixing of our death, and of its time.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply : our hearts unto wisdom.”—Psalm xc. 12. MHOUGH God knows the number of months
I and days that we have to live, He does not tell us. It would not be for our good to know it. If we were told, we should be neither the happier for the wiser. Some would be sad, if they knew their months were to be few. Others would be sad, if they knew their months were to be many. And sinners would be still more beedless about their souls, and more inclined to put off coming to Christ, if they were sure that the last month or the last day of life is yet far off.
In one sense, however, we can number our days. We know they will be few, though we do not know how fėw; and that our life will be short, though we cannot tell how short. We know that our time on earth becomes shorter every day we live. We have now a day less to live, than we had yesterday. We shall to-morrow have a day less than we have now. Every day brings us just so much nearer eitlier to heaven or to hell. Let us watch the days as they go by, and let us make good use of each while we have it. Do you know how the Jewish Rabbies, or teachers, used to answer the question, “ When ought we to repent?” They said, “Let a man repent the day before he dies;" and then (to show what they really meant) they added, “but he may die to-morrow; therefore let him repent to-day.” If God teaches us to see how fast our days are going, we shall thus "apply" or set “our hearts unto wisdom" by seeking Him while He may be found. .
“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days,
so shall thy strength be.”—DEUT. xxxiii. 25. MHE shoes of iron and brass here spoken of,
I refer to the sandals which were sometimes worn by those who had to clamber among rough places on the mountains, and which were made with spikes that would take a firm hold upon the ground. The meaning of the text is, that when God's people have to pass through trial, He will so arm them for it that they shall pass through safely. The second part of the verse says the same thing in other words :-"As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” In the day of weakness, He gives them support. In the day of trouble, He gives them comfort. In the day of darkness, He gives them light. In the day of fear, He gives them peace. In the day of difficulty, He gives them counsel. In the day of temptation, He gives them help. In the day of prosperity, He gives them wisdom. In the day of death, He gives them the victory. And in the day of judgment, He will give them boldness, that they may not be ashamed before Him.
God always gives to His people exactly the kind and degree of grace they need ; and at the very time when they need it. He does not give them more than is wanted. He does not give them a stock in hand. For daily grace they must daily go to Him; and for the future, they may quietly trust Him. It has been truly said, that “dying grace is reserved to the dying hour." And so it is of all grace and strength. It is treasured up for us in Jesus, and if we seek it from Him, He will give it us as we want it.
: "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here." .
MATTHEW xii. 42. TT was a splendid sight to see “Solomon in all I his glory,” clothed in his royal robes, and seated on his great throne of ivory and gold. It was a marvellous thing to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and his proverbs, and his songs, and the curious things he had to tell about trees and plants, beasts and birds, fishes and serpents. There was a queen—the queen of Sheba-who came from a far country to see and hear him. She had expected much, but she found she had not expected half enough.
In after years there came One“ GREATER than Solomon." He was richer, for He was the Lord of all. He was wiser, for He was the Fo:intain of all wisdom. He had a more glorious throne, for His throne was in heaven. He had more wondrous things to teach, for His teachings were not of earth. But those who had Him at their very side, let Him go by unheeded. Those to whom He could even say, “ Behold, a greater than Solomon is HERE,” would not attend to His teachings. No wonder that He told them the queen of Sheba should rise up at the day of judgment, and condemn them!
The “ Greater than Solomon” is “ here” also. Christ's teachings lie at our very door. Are we listening to them? Both in India and in Africa, there have been heathens who have journeyed long distances, in order to learn the way of life. Those heathens will surely rise up, and condemn us, if they are found on the Judge's right hand, and any of us on the left!