« PoprzedniaDalej »
COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD.”
JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER.
KNOW IS LIFE ETERNAL.”
VOL. IV.-NEW SERIES.
BELOVED READER,—The closing up of another year calls for our annual word; and truly we are lost in wonder, love, and amazement, as we contemplate the boundless grace and mercy of our covenant God and Father in Christ Jesus. If each day and every hour adds to the vast list of inconceivable wisdom, love, and compassion, as so richly and blessedly displayed on the part of Jehovah in regard to His dear children, what shall we say with respect to the openings out and developments of His wisdom, love, and mercy, through a year; and, further, what as to a whole life-time? Oh, how much have we thought lately, beloved, of the exclamation of the patriarch in the grand and glorious development and unfolding of the Lord's secret but wonderful counsels as to the way by which he had been conducted, in the midst of so much that was apparently so dark, so doubtful, so disastrous and destructive; “It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive. I will go and see him before I die.” Then again, “And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.” And again, “I had not thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.” Furthermore, in the midst of blessing his sons by whom he was surrounded, in the overpowering fulness of his heart, he exclaims, whilst looking up and contemplating all the marvellous acts of his good and gracious Lord God, “I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord.” As much as to say, “I have longed for it. I have hoped for it. I have at times believed and rejoiced in it by faith, but now I behold it, in all its rich and blessed and marvellous unfoldings.” “Oh, what a God,” as if he would say, "is my God, in all His wisdom, mercy, love, grace, and power."
Beloved, we are thoroughly persuaded, that, as with Jacob so with Jacob's seed, there will, in the issue and at the end, be an equally admiring and adoring view taken and acknowledged of all the way by which the Lord has led His dear children. At different stages and under various aspects, there may be—and there doubtless will be -fear and misgiving as to the working out and the ultimate results of a course so often dark and mysterious. Many and many a time as with Jacob, so with his seed, there may be—there doubtless will be
-the unbelieving utterance, “All these things are against me;" but oh, in the Lord's wonderful way of connecting, and blending, and causing to “work together,” there will at length be the unexceptionable, the unqualified, the unwavering, the universal testimony, “He hath done all things well." “ And can it be?”
“What, this circumstance, that untoward event, the other loss, cross, vexation, disappointment, be for my good ?” Yes, unquestionably so. It will not-it cannot-in the leastwise militate against or contradict that blessed assurance, “We know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It may be asked, “But how can it be?” Ah, we know not, but the Lord knows. He has not forsaken the earth ; His interest in His people has not in the veriest shadow of a shade diminished. He has as much at stake as ever; and, in a sense, seeing that the end of all things draweth nigh, and the final consummation of His great and glorious purposes is nearer than it ever was before ; so, by comparison, He looketh on and He regardeth with acutest intensity all that is going on. Satan, “knowing that he hath but a short time,” may have
come down, having great wrath,” but Jehovah is more than a match for Satan; and, as he has commonly outstripped himself, and with all his craftiness and experience been himself taken in the net which he has spread, so will it continue to be even unto the end.
In the daily operations of this grace, beloved, there is one thing of which we are increasingly convinced: it is the simple looking to, leaning and living upon Jesus. That is a wonderful word of the apostle, and there is very much more in it than we are wont to consider: “As ye have, therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Now the question is, how did we receive Christ Jesus the Lord ? How? Only as poor, lost, helpless, sinful and undone creatures. “We had nothing to bring to Jesus” (as a poor dying one once said to us) “but sin."
“Nothing but sin could we Him give,
Nothing but love did we receive.” But now, if the reader's experience tallies with ours, he finds an ever-constant inclination and effort to come to Jesus in a less guilty, less filthy, less helpless condition. Having known the Lord, it may