Images de page
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

a

“BE THOU THEIR ARM EVERY MORNING.” intensity of love which clings to the person of the

sinner with unchilled devotion even while it con(ISAIAH XXXIII. 2.)

demns his sin with an abhorrence no less infinite,BY REV. J. B. FIGGIS, BRIGHTON.

imagine such a Being, and imagine Him accessible The lesson of life is a lesson of weakness. Who

to inan, and you imagine One, to whom in their that has learnt nothing else but has learnt that? hour of need all the world, unless spellbound by some The happiness of the happiest hour is flecked with deadly fascination, would be resorting continually for this unhappiness, I am weak, and

guidance, help and comfort. But this is no imaginaTo be weak is to be miserable."

tion. It is a reality. God is such a Being as we I am weak, and circumstances strong, and sin have laboured to describe.”* And this is prayer,

and stronger still. He then who would greet me to any prayer is ours. Well and truly may we assert, then, purpose must give me the tidings of strength. I that the day of prayer is the dawn of hope. look into many faces and see sorrows I would give Hope for ourselves, help for others. For we are anything to remove. I look into my own heart and allowed to pray for others also, and the prayer here see sins which I am all unable to allay; yet allayed is such a prayer. The change of pronoun from first they must be if joy or peace is to be to mine. to third has puzzled many; and Bishop Louth, folWhat then can we do, or whither can we turn ? lowing the Vulgate and the Chaldee, reads, “ Be Only to one spot—the throne, the face of a Father thou our arm." But there is no need of thus doing who is in Heaven, and coming to Him we begin violence to the text. It is quite sufficient to underagain to breathe freely. We begin to hope when we stand that Isaiah prays partly with his people, and begin to pray, as we may do now, pastors for people partly for them. Having identified himself with "sore let and hindered," and people for pastors in the nation at the beginning of the verse, he becomes sufficient for a thousand things, “O Lord, be graci- God's remembrancer for them in this clause; the ous unto us; we have waited for Thee. Be Thou words of which are therefore words of INTERCESSION. their arm every morning; our salvation also in the “Have we ever pondered in our hearts "ZI am time of trouble.”

quoting another of our greatest living teacherstTHIS IS A PRAYER, and, as I said, we begin to hope this word and this thing? What is it but the when we begin to pray. That hope will be enlarged attempt to deal with the invisible God on behalf of in proportion as we realise what Dean Goulburn another concerning things vital to him, and of which calls “the magnificence of prayer,” viz., that it is God, before I speak, knows his need? Is it not an “nothing more or less than a coming to God,"-a intrusion — presumption-almost an impertinence ? privilege "sublime and ennobling to the highest ... Nay, it is a duty which runs all through Scripdegree.” For, suppose that there stood open for us, ture, and finds its most wonderful utterance in day and night, the doors "of the very wisest, best the prayer of our Lord Himself, for His crucifiers, and most powerful man upon earth ;" or imagine we echoed in the prayer of the first martyr. The real

; had access to one of “the spirits of just men made efficacy-we who are fellow-workers for God will perfect," a father, say, “who has always had during do well to remember this-of a Christian ministry life a word of counsel and sympathy, and a hand of may be measured by the constancy and earnestness succour for his children; or to one of the minister- of its intercession. Those who can resist all else ing angels who in kind loving guardianship may be have been found, ere now, to relax their violence or supposed to tremble for our danger and rejoice at lay aside their bitterness before the influence of interour deliverance : if such access were possible, as cessory prayer. A devoted minister of this great some have rashly deemed it is, how eagerly would city—the words were spoken in the Temple Church we avail ourselves of it? How much more then of —tried this experiment but a few weeks ago upon this privilege of prayer in which we may come to a five young men with whom he had vainly sought Being so wonderfully endowed that the whole key- to argue the evidences of the Gospel, 'I shall pray board of Nature, Providence, and, the human heart for you five young men by name every day I live.'” jies under His hand, and, smitten by His mystic fingers, gives forth the harmony which pleases

“ Goulburn's Personal Religion,” pp. 54-57. Him; then invest Him in your conceptions with an + Dean Vaughan.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A son may

So, as another tells us,* "an infidel who was a and they fall out of the ranks of the marching army school trustee refused the key to a lady who wanted or faint by the way. Lean upon God, brother; the building for a Sunday-school. 'I think I am lean upon God. To try to go alone is to trust sell, going to get it,' she said, in answer to taunts and and self is sure to fail : “ He that trusteth in his insults. “I am going to pray over it; and I have own heart is a fool.” To rest on human props is found out from experience that when I keep on to lean upon a broken reed which sooner or later praying something gives way.' The next time she will prove its unreliableness. “Trust not in a saw him his hard heart had given way, and he not brother;" “ Trust not in a friend ;” but “Trust ye only handed her the key, but eventually took a part in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is himself in the work of saving souls." Have you a everlasting strength.” Make Him your “ arm every friend, a child, a church, to whom your heart goes morning.” forth, for whom it

may

be
you

lament that you can For the thing is as clear as the day. do little ? You can do this—you can pray; and be his father's right hand, but the right hand may sure we are that, if in faith and sincerity you do, be struck down or struck off. Other arms may fail; that church, that child, that friend, will obtain other friends may change or disappoint or die. But blessings beyond all human power to give. A God changes not nor fails ; " fainteth not, neither thousand voices will have cause for praise if you is weary." In Him we can never be disappointed. continue to pray, “ Be Thou their arm every morn

Of Him we can never be deprived. God's arm is ing.”

the arm for me! But to speak. of prayer and touch on intercession The arm and the wing are one, I think, in their will not satisfy souls suffering from weakness; for first formation, and so as a sinner I love to think that we must come to the kernel of the intercession of this arm of God as my SHELTER; and there is itself. Then we shall see at once how suitable are no other shelter that can stand the tempest, let the supplies stored up to meet our need. For the me tell you—no other shelter that can stand the

is the familiar symbol for STRENGTH, and tempest but God Himself. Any panoply less per"every morning" an evident synonym for con- fect than “ the righteousness of God unto and upon TINUAL.

them that believe" will be riddled by the bullets And STRENGTH is just what we weak ones want. of the enemy. The redemption of the soul is Some indeed do not feel themselves weak. Their precious, and no ransom less costly than “the language is,

precious blood of Christ" will effect it. Sinful “I thought that I was strong, Lord,

souls need a Saviour's arm. And did not need Thine arm."

I am not only without merit but “ without A young man came to a service conducted by a dear strength,” and as one frail and faint, I love to young evangelist whom I know : "So glad to see think, o Christ, of the arm of thy STRENGTH." you. Hope you know the Saviour,” was the greet- “ Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab and wounded ing. “I have always been regular at church and the dragon;" ay, sore wounded him in the lonely attentive at school, truthful and honest. I hope I wilderness? Tempted but triumphant Jesus, hold am all right.” Alas! if that is your only hope, I me, help me, hide me, for “ in Thee do I rest, and fear you are all wrong. For ‘Jesus Christ came into in Thy name do I go." I cannot go else at all. I the world to save sinners'-sinners not saints.” He cannot do without Thee. I can neither face the foe went away proudly, but returned a few days later. nor conquer him; but “I want to find Jesus." “ Well, how are you When my weakness leaneth on Thy might seeking Him?" “ As a sinner.” And he found

All seems right.” Him. Brother, have you?

Thou art “the shield of my strength and the Some lean upon the arm of flesh--a friend, a sword of my excellency." Through Thee “I shall pastor, a society, a church. They go on very well do valiantly." while circumstances cherish the religious life; but Weary as well as weak I am, "in weariness let only this tide turn and events become adverse, often," and sometimes ready to weep for “the great

National Sunday-school Teacher, in Christian, Dec. 29, ness of the way.” It seems so far to heaven and so 1881.

rough. The flowers that grow about the base of

2

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

PATHY.

[ocr errors]

the mountain we miss farther up the height, and my motto; the DIVINE CONSTANCY, that is the other. we are left so alone and so tried ; and when I think It is conveyed by the words that bring in the time I have endured more than flesh and blood can bear, element, that assure us that we may have this help then a mountain torrent bursts, and “all Thy waves continually, “Be Thou their arm EVERY MORNING.” and billows have gone over me.” Ah! one needs Every morning brings its duties. In the desert an arm then; one needs SUPPORT, and needs sym- the manna had to be gathered every morning; and

And one may have them, too. Faith-eyes so I suspect it has here. In the Tabernacle the will see during all the trial that “underneath are sweet incense had to be offered every morning; oh! the everlasting arms;" and faith-ears will hear during I wish, I wish I could be sure that in all your all the tumult that “the Lord will command His homes it is offered still. So were the Levites loving-kindness in the morning."

“every morning to thank and praise the Lord;" “What," some watching angel might say, looking and so still more should we. For every morning into faces wistful still, “What not contented yet?” | brings its blessings ; yes, even the morning that No, not quite, I confess. It is a good thing to be breaks in sorrow and deepens in sadness. “I have saved no doubt, a great thing to be shielded in the made up my mind to submit to our trial," said the hour of temptation, and to be comforted in the hour suffering wife of a straitened minister. “A very of trouble, but “Well, but what ?” “I was good resolution ; let us write it down.” And he made to be satisfied and I am not. I thought I wrote, “We have God for our Father; we will was; but death has been busy here, and disap- submit to that. We have heaven for our home; we pointment there, and I feel left and lonely and sad." will submit to that. We have food and raiment, and “ Come with me to the brow of yonder hill,” says one another's love; grace here, glory for ever the angel. “Do you see that thicket?” “Yes, I Stop, stop," said the wife, “I will never speak of see it.” “The wood—the waste-the howling wilder- submitting again.” And yet they were really sufness?" "Yes, I see all; and “who is this that cometh ferers, and great sufferers too; but they felt, and up

from the wilderness leaning on her beloved ?' felt rightly, that God's “ mercies are new every A woman of sorrowful spirit, of lonely life, as morning.” lonely and as tried as thine own; but she hath found

Every morning brings its cares; the daily round, an arm; she hath found a Friend ; she hath found the common routine, a thousand little things ; and her God; she is satisfied. So satisfied that she can

I know nothing more difficult than to dignify the be described, as McCheyne says, as if there were

little and the lowly, and so make each day divine. only the Beloved and the believer in the whole There are three hundred and sixty-five just such days world. Jesus is so much to her as that. Make in every year, and in order that day unto day may Him your "arm every morning," and He will be as utter speech of good work done, and a holy life much to you.

lived,

“Before each morning breaketb, I feel that I have given no idea such as I wished

My soul would seek Thy face." to give of the shelter, the strength, the sympathy, the love of God. Illustration fails; no language is If God go before me to prepare all events, and with to be found in which adequately to convey such idea me to control them and to control me, then the at all.

It is llis shelter against whom we have prospect will be full of hope and the retrospect of sinned, and before whom we must appear. It is thankfulness. No work can be too hard, no wave His strength who has permitted Satan to rage, and can be too high, if God be my

arm every who has set limits to his raging. It is His sym- morning." pathy who has weighed the sorrow, and passed The words--a general promise for every daythrough it too. It is His love, who is love, and are a special promise for special days. We meet with who, having loved His own that were in the world, every sort of morning sometime in our lives. Some loved them unto the end. Such is the arm on

are bright with amber and rich with vermilion, is which we bid you lean, the heart on which we bid morning spread upon “the mountains,"_"a morning you lay your weary head—the strongest arm, the of joy,” the morning of a bridal, perchance. But tenderest heart, in all the world.

as the two souls start side by side for life, intensely The Divine Strength, that is one suggestion of happy as they are, they need, as much as any, such a

[ocr errors]

prayer as this, and such direction and deliverance of the far West. The toil was hard, but God was as God's.

their arm that morning. Children were born, and The day may dawn with death, a lamb taken the home was bright till the father and the husband from the fold has to be swathed in the winding- was snatched away. It was a bitter trial to the sheet, and laid under the sward ; a husband, faithful widow and the orphans, but God was their arm and fond, has to be followed to the grave; a wife that morning. The boys grew, and when they got loving and beloved, may be removed, and the house old enough went out into the world. Şore was the be left unto thee desolate ; when others are struck separation of mother and sons, but God was their down the sad and the solitary will need God's arm arm that morning. The younger son eclipsed his that morning.

brother, eclipsed his comrades all, and advanced to There will come a day when some trying letter the greatest place in the greatest Republic in the has to be written, some difficult business to be world. He had been most happily wed, and all decided, some intricate perplexity to be unravelled : went well till the dire day when he was struck there may have been a night of toil, a midnight down, and the lonely hour when he was called of temptation, and at dawn the Angel of the home. Two nations wept, and the chief mourners, Covenant seems to cry : “Let me go for the day the devoted watchers of his home, would have been breaketh.” “I will not let thee go.” I cannot. desolato indeed, had not God been their arm that For I need thine “arm every morning."

morning. Oh! make Him yours, so shall you Or it may be "a morning without clouds, the rejoice and sing like one* who thus tells the blessedspringing of the tender grass by clear shining after ness of endeared communion :rain.” My brother, you never needed to pray the “I have been alone with Jesus, prayer more. All well around, beneath, within ;

My head upon His breast,

For I was so very weary have a care, have a care; that's the time men are

I wanted there to rest. apt to say, "I shall die in my nest;” apt to weave

I have been alone with Jesus;

He bade me stay awhile, the gossamer into paradises, or the golden sunbeams And I felt it very precious into castles in the air ; apt to settle down on their

The sunshine of His smile.

For I was weary, weary, and longed to be at rest, lees, and forget that “they got not the victory by And oh! it was so peaceful there wbile leaning on His breas'. their own sword ... but by Thine arm, O Lord, Shall I tell you wbat I told him and Thy hand and the light of Thy countenance."

While I was waiting there?

I told Him all my trouble, We cannot foresee the mornings of our lives, and

I told Blim all my care; it is well that we cannot; but we can foresee this,

I told Him Satan's whisperings

Ost called me into sin, that they will all need God, and that we shall be

And I asked Him if I might not weak indeed if we are found without Him. Soon it

For ever stay with Him?

For I was weary, weary, and longed to be at rest, may be—humanly speaking it will be for some of us

And ob! it was so peaceful there while leaning on His breast. that the day will dawn which shall be the last day

Shall I tell you what He told me of earth for us, the day of mecting God, of standing

Wbile I was resting there?

For it took away my trouble, face to face with Him of whom we have thought so

It took away my care! much, or so little. Are we ready for that morning

He told me how He loved m?,

His warward, erring child, - ready for that meeting? There is only One Hand

And I felt so very bappy. that can make us ready, only One Arm that can

For still on me He smiled.

For I was weary, weary, and longed to be at rest, avail us then.

And oh! it was so peaceful there while leaning on His breast. But for life, for life as much as death, we need Him.

Then He told me I was welcome This chequered, tempted, tried and trying life, how

To stay with Him for aye;

And He said that He would never can we endure the thought of it without this other

Cast His loving child away. thought of the Arm of God,- the Divine strength

“Hark!” He said, “I am your Saviour,

As the Ages Rock I stand, and constancy? For He is constant; yes, constant

Come and rest beneath My shadow as He is strong. You doubt it? Listen to testi

When weary in the land." monies louder than the waves of the Atlantic and For when the heart is weary 'uis the only place of rest.

Oh! 'tis precious, very precious, to lean on Jesus' breast, borne across them. Years ago a young couple went

* J. Lonsdale - “ Echoes from Beolab ” Series, No. 1. into “ the forest primeval,” their home a log cabin | London : Haughton & Co.

1

XXII.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. -A DIALOGUE.

in Christ which is so often enjoined, and to which
so many blessings are attached. By faith we enter

into that place of safety and of peace-by faith we
(Continued from page 32.)

abide there. The holy, gentle calmness which is “ You have removed most of my difficulties ; your engendered by trusting is that which enables us description of an early morning renewal of trust and to realise that the blessing is ours. If through a consecration is helpful. I have learned something sudden temptation we are conscious of wandering, from this. How about the after-experiences of the let us get back to our hiding-place at once.” day- the evil tempers of others - the trying dis- " How to get back is the question. The shame positions—the vexatious conduct of those by whom of wandering becomes so great—the tenderness of I am surrounded; how are these to be met ?” Christ so overwhelming—that what Paul calls the

“ First, let Patience have her perfect work, as kindness and love of God our Saviour' (Titus iii. 4) was well urged by a dear Christian friend at one becomes an obstacle to our return; so much do we of our recent meetings at Stafford Rooms. Such undervalue, if not abuse, that kindness." injunctions are not given for nought, little as they “True. It is well that we should feel something may be thought of by some of the talkers of the of this, but that 'kindness' is inexhaustible ; and day, who tell you that you may have sin taken out every moment we remain outside we add both to

you by one act of faith. Such persons either do our sin and misery. Abide--remain)-in Me'is not read Scripture at all, or they read only a small the loving counsel of the mighty Saviour.

Let us portion of it; missing out the instruction which obey it and be at peace. details to us both God's commands and God's “I see the statement and believe it. With the promises."

heart man believeth'--the heart, with all its affec“I am much harassed by such persons, who tell tions, its hopes, its desires—all are fixed on Christ. me that unless I plunge into the Pool—as some To keep this blessing is the need." of them call it-and get sin excised altogether, “Get into the habit of looking up at all times I cannot lawfully rejoice or walk in freedom and and under all circumstances. As Madame Guion in fellowship with Christ. They quote the text, told me of her inquirers—Be still and quiet, and let • The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin' the Lord speak, not you.' And this is in accordance (1 John i. 7), to prove that sin is gone from them with the Word — Be still and know.'

Yes, this altogether."

knowledge comes by being still. Let all the “ It is sufficient, in answer to this, to say that earth keep silence before Him.' When blessing the text referred to proves the contrary. It is in comes-and it will come to all true seekers—be the present tense, and gloriously shows that the quiet and keep it. It does not bear much talking cleansing goes on perpetually in all who trust the about. Testimony must, indeed, be given-as Great Cleanser; yet, if there were not something required; but it is testimony for Christ—not what to cleanse, there would be no need of cleansing. I am, or even so much what I have got; but what But a truce to controversy ; let us rather cultivate Christ is to me, and how I find His love and power the spirit of love and forbearance- of humility flow out to me as He keeps me abiding. To pray and gentleness--in the fear of the Lord. No one without ceasing is to be kept in and under the will who is walking in real fellowship with Christ either of God. And yet we should make time, as we have passes hasty judgment upon others or is otherwise seen, for stated prayer. "At midnight,' says the

• than meek and gentle, like the Great Master Him- Psalmist, will I rise and give thanks '—and we may, self. The fighting which has to be done is either most of us, make time at mid-day to praise Him; with Satan or in the good fight of faith,' grasping and the wholesome flow of grateful adoration will and keeping 'hold of eternal life' in all its mani- keep the soul in fellowship with Him. This is the festations."

beginning of that fulness of joy which is to be

per“Tell me how you think it best to meet the fected at His Right Hand for evermore. We will temptations I have mentioned as coming through close our conversations for the present, and renew the conduct of those around us."

them only when fresh or special difficulties arise." “By understanding and holding to that 'abiding'

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »