Images de page
PDF
ePub

6

friends and attendants would fain comfort you, but your sickness bows down their own heads. And yet you should be comforted above them, for you have just now a far heavier burden to bear. I know you have, daily, distressing thoughts and fancies, which you would not wish to afflict them by revealing. Your soul is often, it may be, disquieted within you. You, perhaps, “remember God, and are troubled.” It may have been your happy lot, when you were able to go to church, to be “satisfied with The plenteousness of His house."" He may then have given you to drink of His pleasures as “out of a river.” You may be able to recollect some occasions in your past life when you appeared more than usually to have felt God's soothing, blessing presence with you in the sanctuary: and if so, you very naturally thirst, now, that He should reveal Himself, as much or more to your joy, beneath this roof of trouble. Your's may be the spirit of that beautiful verse,

“Let the sweet hope that Thou art mine,

My life and death attend :
Thy presence through my journey shine,

And crown my journey's end.” And I pray then, that you may be able to make the language of this difficult Psalm quite your own : that its spirit may linger in your heart when you die. So shall you see God in His power and in His glory

as you have never yet seen Him in earthly sanctuaries, in that temple above, where you shall for ever adore Him. How beautiful a version that is of a noble Psalm (the 84th), beginning,

“ Lord of the worlds above,

How pleasant and how fair
The dwellings of Thy love,
Thine earthly temples are !
To Thine abode

My heart aspires,

With warm desires
To see my God!”

But in proportion to the excess of your love for God's earthly temples, must have been your desire of attaining to the heavenly. And often perhaps, when you have found His presence with you in the earthly sanctuary so precious that you would fain have remained there a long, long time,-remembering that sooner or later the spell must be broken, and that you must go forth into a thorny world yet a little while longer, you may have felt, “ Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then would I flee away and be at rest!”

In this life we cannot see a step before us : “We travel, as it were, along a darkened road”: we cannot foresee the Divine dispensations that are in store for

But if we can realize David's spirit when he wrote and sang this Psalm, this fact will be no source of trouble to us. “ The Church, in passing through the wilderness, leaneth on the arm of her Beloved.And you, by baptism, were made 'a member of that Church, and though in common with the rest of us, you must very often have grieved and wounded the Holy Spirit, it is a precious thought that the longsuffering of God leads Him ever to move the heart to penitent thoughts and to draw its affections again more closely to Himself than before. Have you committed your soul to His keeping as into the hands of a faithful Creator? I do not mean, have

us.

you

done this once or twice on any special occasion which you may be able to recollect, but do you make the same surrender of yourself morning by morning, and evening by evening ? If you do this earnestly and in growing faith, I may comfort you by saying, I think there exists no real hindrance in the way of your making the utterances of this Psalm completely your own.

We should try to realize and to act up to the full privileges of our sonship to God in Christ: if we feel we love Him though but imperfectly, we may breathe our affection forth to Him in a warmer,

But let us never forget, at the same time, to approach Him in the deepest, most reverent humility. Far better is it to trust ourselves too little in our addresses to Him, than overmuch. For the true state of our hearts is to Him fully known: and He easily discerns when we would fain give vent to warmer feelings, did not reverence hold us back. Long, long might we dwell, step by step, on all the fervent breathings of this Psalm, and I cannot do better than urge you to do so, committing, if you can, its precious verses to memory. But because you may not be able to effect this, I would advise you to centre your thoughts very much on those words of loving trustfulness, “When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night-watches, because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” “I have been young, and now am old,” said the Psalmist, “yet saw I never the righteous forsaken." There have been those who were quite calm in the midst of a furious ocean tempest, while they and all around were expecting every moment to be drowned. When one was asked why he had no fear in the face of such imminent danger, he replied, “If it come to the worst, all will be well : if I sink, I cannot fall far, for 'He holdeth the waters in the hollow of His hand." In the same spirit, my brother, trust yourself to God for the coming scenes of life, whether they may be calm or stormy: and I will give you a verse to think upon that will show the blessedness you will gain thereby, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.

livelier way.

a

Prayer. Oh most holy, most good, most loving, Lord God, praised and blessed be Thy Name for ever and ever. Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, our lips would praise Thee, yea, we would bless Thee while we live: we would lift up our hands in Thy Name. Grant unto our souls, and especially to the soul of Thy sick servant, Thine ever-abiding presence within

us, and we shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness. Teach him to say, “Whom have I in heaven, but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison with Thee.” Our souls would fain follow hard after Thee : Oh let Thy right hand uphold us all, till this our earthly pilgrimage be finished.

And because this sick member of Thy Church is now in much gloom and heaviness, refresh him, we pray Thee. Grant that he “may love the

' thing that Thou commandest, and desire that which Thon dost promise; that so, among the sundry and

, manifold changes of the world, his heart may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found.” May he have the sweetness of feeling as to his own Case, that nothing can separate him from the love of Christ. And yet, oh Lord, who knowest his frailty, keep him ever mindful of the greatness of his sins. Let him feel duly sensible that salvation is not of

« PrécédentContinuer »