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which, or through which, the light shines. "Thou makest darkness." It is an essential part of God's work. Perhaps, (but I fancy there is no need of saying, perhaps,) every creature in heaven is in himself darkness, yet so finely organized, as to be in the highest degree receptive and transmissive of the Eternal Light? The holy angels certainly know that they would be instantly dark spirits, if God withdrew His Presence.

II.—“It is Night; wherein all the beasts of the

forest do creep forth."

Darkness, as well as light,

Light is good for flowers,

serves its own purposes. but it is not so good for their roots. There would be no flowers long if the roots did not abide in darkness. Darkness is essential to those things which flourish in the light. Eyes rejoice in light, but the stomach, which is a great laborer, and very essential withal to the eyes, fulfils its patient work under darkness. Light is glorious, but there are creatures who cannot do with it, it overpowers them. Darkness is a defence. There are birds, insects and reptiles, who cannot bear the sun they never venture out, till it is dark. The beasts of the forest are stupified by light. By day, they are inactive and sleep. "Thou makest darkness;"-the beasts of the forest awake, they

are clothed with energy, they go forth for their food and pleasure. They "creep forth." For about the creatures, whose element is darkness, there is always something subtle and stealthy:as though they had no absolute authority for their existence. By slinking away before the light, they seem to confess :-'We belong only to the strife and twilight of the universe. When the great Day comes, we shall be no more.'

III." The young lions roar after their prey,

The young


and seek their meat from God." know not God, but God knows them, and understands the roar of their desire. Their meat is "prey," and they "roar" for it; for violence and impatience are the animus of their rank, brute flesh. God answers the roar of the lions: poor brutes, it is their nature to be fierce and restless till they are satisfied. Awful is the midnight forest, when its fierce tenants awake to their infernal concert,when the roar of the lions, the screams and yells, squalls and howls of other beasts, are rising from earth to heaven. They are the prayers of the forest under night. God expects no meeker prayers from His wild beasts.

IV.—“The sun ariseth; they gather themselves

together and lay them down in their dens." Great wonder-working God, Thou clothest Thy strength with beauty. Thy Beauty is Thy Power. How dreadful is Thy Gentleness to the ungentle! Thou bringest no greater force to bear upon Thy wild and dreadful beasts, than the rising of the sun. So have I read in the book of the Wars of Heaven, that the meek angels of His Presence, through the blood of The Lamb, in them, overcame the Dragon and his angels. And I have read a vision of future things, in which a little child holds all beasts in stillest awe.

Also Thy sun, O Lord, the wonder of the universe, and the great power thereof, ariseth without anger and noise. Very meekly Thy sun ariseth; for he confoundeth not, too suddenly, even the beasts. By little and little he riseth upon them, that they may have time to wind up their carousal and disappear. It is enough. The yelling, the screaming, the howling, the roaring, are over. The furious ones prey no more: light makes dastards of them. They are not children of light, they are not. They gently retire, they lie down in their dens. It is Day. There are children of the Day, and there are children of Darkness. While the beasts had their sport, man slept. Now the beasts sleep; and 'man rises, and "goeth forth unto his work and to

his labor, until evening." The world is yielded up to Day and to man.

And now we must go over the ground again, and find a human sense, a Sermon of God to man.

V.-" Thou makest darkness, and it is night.” Nature is a great darkness, in which the kingdom of God appears not. "It is Night;" but a wonderful night. There is a light in nature, a candle of God, shining in the darkness, but the candle is lit, because the Very Light is absent. The face of God is shut out from nature, by nature, I ought to say. The True Light is not to be seen in nature's skies. Nature is a huge organization of Night. God has organized it. He has brought it under law, and made it to reflect His glory, an immense advance upon the lawlessness of the great night. It is not any longer, chaotic night, but Night travelling through vast cycles of changes towards Break of Day,-God's Day. Fallen man needs a screen. He could not subsist in the light of God's Face. He is himself an organization of darkness. His eye, which of all his organs, is most akin to light, is in itself utter darkness. The representative character of nature is the work of God; but there is much in nature, attributable both to angelic and human apostacy

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from Him. God is not the author of confusion, or chaos; but He is the Author of Cosmos. Apostacy from God necessarily becomes brutish. Apostacy is night. The devil is Night. He is that old serpent, he is the great red Dragon, he is the leviathan of the abyss, he is the first of the wild and the fierce kind, and the ground and beginning of the wild, beastly life. "He is king over all the children of pride." Only God can set limits to his dominion. Under God, his empire is the whole night of nature and humanity. The Lord Himself, in our nature, found Himself under night. was "with wild beasts" also, and subject to the assaults of the devil. He found how far this life, in the dark house of flesh, and under the darkness of nature, is from God and Heaven, and how near it is to Hell.


What shall we say then, of the greed and the cunning, the selfishness and tyranny of mankind? Are they not as subtle beasts before God, restless for prey, and stealthily seeking it, under the darkness both of nature and their souls? Such instincts and passions would have no chance before the Face of God. They are only possible on the nether side of the veil. The successes of worldly men are closely analogous to success in taking prey. The principles and affections of our animal nature are

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