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truth. The Gospel is a delu. When the question is put in sion. Man is incapable of the abode of the lost, Why guilt-remorse. (John v. 40; did
will say, Ezek. xviii. 32 ; Deut. xxx.
I found time for reading, 19)_“I here set before you society, pleasure, business, but —
choose life.” So God could find no time for rein the Gospel.
ligion ! Thirdly : Because IV. Why will ye die ? | they refuse to believe in any Some will in spite of God's danger. . . . Some awake to provisions, and His warnings, this only in eternity. (Luke and expostulations. Firstly: xiii. 25.) .. The text is Because they love their sins a word of solemn warning better than their souls. “Cast against death.
against death. Our concluaway your transgressions"- sion shall be a word of the condition of salvation. alluring invitation to life.
. No! I love and delight in “The Spirit and the Bride them. Secondly : Because say, Come. And let him that they will not give time to heareth say, Come. And let the serious consideration of him that is athirst come. And these things.
whosoever will, let him take clean heart.” This implies of the water of life freely.” serious attention, prayer, &c.
“ Make you a
It is a
and for learning." Through this SPEECH A ROD.
rod of speech souls flow and re“In the mouth of the foolish is a rod
flow into each other. of pride: but the lips of the wise shall conquering rod, or instrument. By preserve them.”-Prov, xiv. 3.
speech a man often achieves his SPEECH is one of the distin- highest conquests, conquests over guishing faculties of man. It is the thoughts, passions, purposes of here spoken of as a "rod,” or an minds. The mystic rod of Moses instrument of the soul. It is a smote the rock of Horeb, and communicating rod, or instrument. caused it to send forth refreshing " Its chief object,” says Bishop streams; the rod of speech can Butler, “is plainly that we may smite the rock of souls, and make communicate our thoughts to each it stream with influences to refresh other, in order to carry on the the mental desert. What wonders affairs of the world, for business, the rod of speech has done! The
text contains two things con- speech will tend to his own spiritcerning this rod.
ual development, and the promo I. IT MAY BE SELF-INJURIOUS, tion of his spiritual powers. "Out
BELP-ADVANTAGEQU6. It is of the abundance of the heart the said, “the lips of the wise shall mouth speaketh.” “Keep the preserve them,” and the implied heart with all diligence, for out of antithesis is, that those of the it are the issues of life. fool will injure them. First: “ The Lord shall cut off all fiat. There is a speech that is self-inju. tering lips, and the tongue that rious. The basty speech of evil speaketh proud things; who have passion, the unchaste speech of said, With our tongue will we sensuality, the lying speech of prevail; our lips are our own; untruthfulness; all such speech who is Lord over us." (Psa. xii. inflicts an injury upon the speaker. 3, 4.) It blunts his moral sensibility; it lowers his self-respect; it degrades his social credit. The rod of speech
(No. CXIII.) is often an instrument of spiritual
THE CLEAN CRIB, OR INDOLENCE. suicide. Secondly: There is a
“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; speech that is self-advantageous. but much increase is by the strength of " The lips of the wise shall pre- the ox."--Prov. xiv. 4. serve them.” A chaste, truthful, I. THE NEGATIVE GAIN OP INDObenevolent, judicious speech, is a LENCB. The indolent man will guardian-rod of souls.
not go to the trouble of keeping serves the character and the repu- oxen, and therefore he has no tation of the speaker.
crib to clean; work brings work. II. Its
Industry creates business. If SPEAKER, WHETHER SELF-INJURI- man will go to the trouble of OUS OR OTHERWISE, DEPENDS UPON keeping oxen, he must look after HIS OWN CHARACTER. First: The
thom, "keep their cribs elean," speech of the foolish must be self- &c. Indolence saves labour. First: injurious. His speech is a “rod This is true in secular matters. of pride." It is a rod that grows A man who will not cultivate his out of pride. By some the word land will save all the toil of rod here is understood as a shoot, harvest. A man who is too lazy or branch, as in the expression, to embark in business will be “ There shall come a rod out of freed from much anxious toil and the stem of Jesse, and a branch & thousand anxieties connected shall grow out of his roots. with a mercantile life. Secondly: Pride and foolishness are nearly This is true in intellectual matters. related. A proud man is a fool. A man who is too lazy to comHo does not know himself, the mence the work of self-culture, to universe, or his God. Proud
strive after science, or to struggle spcoch is the rod that grows out after scholarship, will of course of :: foolish heart; but the rod avoid all that study which is a which the foolish heart grows, it “weariness to the flesh." Thirdly:
its use must tend to self-destruction. A man who will not take the Pride works ruin. “Pride goeth trouble to ascertain the condition before destruction, and a haughty of his soul by looking into the spirit before a fall.” Secondly : | glass of the Divine Word, will The speech of the wise must be self- remain in that state of moral in. advantageous. The wise man is a difference by which he will good man, and a good man's escape all that battling against
VERACITY AND WISDOM.
inward corruptions, striving after
(No. CXIV.) spiritual holiness which the true feel to be a strenuous and unre. mitting conflict.
“A faithful witness will not lie; but a
false witness will utter lies. A scorner Thus a lazy man saves much
seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but work' by not keeping oxen; he knowledge is easy unto him that underhas no crib to clean.
atandeth."-Prov. xiv. 5, 6. . II. THE POSITIVE LOSS OP IN- I. HERE WE HAVE THE SUBJECT DOLENCE. “ But much increase OP VERACITY. “A faithful witness is by the strength of the ox.” will not lie." This is so much like The man who keeps the ox, cleans a truism, that it will scarcely call out his crib, takes care of him, for a remark. It means that a and industriously employs him in true man will be true in his exhis fields, gets from him results pressions; an untrue man will be that will more than compensate false. Two things, however, may all his toil. Industry is potential be implied in it. First: That wealth. In all true labour there veracity in witness-bearing is very is a profit. First: What an indo- important. Lies are bad every. lent man loses in secular matters. where-in the family, in the He loses (1) The pleasure of market, &c.; they are bad in gaining wealth. There is often themselves, and bad in their conmore gratification in the pursuit sequences, but they are worse in of riches than in their possession. the court of justice than anywhere (2) He loses the pleasure of else. Perjury is the worse form rightly using wealth. The gene- of lying. It frustrates justice, rous heart alone can tell the and when the oath is added, it exquisite delight connected with involves the blasphemy of taking the distribution of wealth for the God's name in vain. Secondly: relief of the distressed, the pro- That veracity in witness-bearing motion of knowledge, and the can only be secured by a truthful advancement of human happiness.
character. The true man will be Secondly : What an indolent man true everywhere; the false man, loses in intellectual matters. What false everywhere. The only way, glorious mental results grow out therefore, to put down lying in of laborious study, well dis- courts of justice, and everywhere ciplined faculties, varied treasures else, is the making of men true of knowledge, great social in- and right in heart. This Chrisfluence. Mental riches, unlike tianity does. material, are inalienable, they II. HERE WE HAVE THE SUBcannot take to themselves wings
"A scorner and flee away. Thirdly: What seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not, an indolent man loses in spiritual but knowledge is easy unto him matters. How great the joy of a that understandeth.” Two things spiritually disciplined soul," it is are implied in this. First: That a joy unspeakable, and full of the attainment of wisdom is a very glory." Here, then, is a choice desirable thing. Wisdom includes for men. Indolence or industry. two things. (1) Acquisition of the Indolence will save work, but highest knowledge. The knowlose its splendid results. Industry ledge of man, his nature, conwill have hard work, but out of dition, relations, responsibilities. it will come "much increase,” in- God, his being, character, laws, crease of the highest good.
works, &c. (2) The right application of this knowledge. Knowledge is only really useful to us as
we practically apply it. All the reaching perfection in isolation, arts that bless and adorn the civi- his very existence would be inlized world are but the practical tolerable in absolute solitude. application of scientific know- The text holds up the society ledge. The sublime life of which we should avoid - the godliness is theology practi- society of the foolish. A "foolish" cally applied. This is wisdom. man here stands for a "bad" man. Secondly: The attainment of wis- The text suggests that the society dom depends upon the spirit of the of such should be avoided for seeker. “A scorner seeketh wis- three reasonsdom, and findeth it not,” &c. No I. IT IS UNPROFITABLE. “Go character is more despicable than from the presence of a foolish the scorner. This spirit includes man, when thou perceivest not in pride. He sneers at a truth-in- him the lips of knowledge." dicating intellectual pride. He What you want in society is sneers at a person – indicating knowledge. True knowledge social pride. Irreverence. He scoffs knowledge that (1) shall rightly at God. Heartlessness. He is re- guide, (2) truly comfort, and (3) gardless of the feelings of others. A religiously inspire the soul, but man with such a spirit can never such knowledge is not to be got get wisdom. He has not the eye from the foolish man. He has no to see truth, even though it stand power to help you, and, thercfcra, incarnated in a glorious person- time spent in his society is waste ality. Pilate with this scoffing time, and you have no time to lose. spirit saw it in this form, and yet II. IT IS NISLEADING. “The asked, “ what is truth?” The folly of fools is deceit." First: scoffer, even in seeking wisdom, They cheat themselres. They fancy attains confounding fictions. they have the true ideas, and the “ Hear the just doom, the judgment of true pleasures, but it is a miserable the skies,
delusion. “A depraved heart is He that hates truth shall be the dupe deceitful above all things and
of lies; And he who will be cheated to the last, desperately wicked." Secondly: Delusions, strong as hell, shall bind him They cheat others. They mislead fast."
and entangle by the falsehood of That wisdom is easily attained by their speech and the craftiness of him that understandeth ; by the their policy.
Thirdly: It is man that has the true spirit, the wicked. They “make å mock at spirit of humble docility which sin." Sin, the greatest insult to Samuel, Mary, and Cornelius had. God, and the greatest curse to “Blessed are the poor in spirit, humanity-fools make a mock at. for theirs is the kingdom of The spirit of mocking at sin is God."
the most impious, cruel, infatu. ating; and from those who posses
it we should flee as from the (No. CXV)
savago beasts of prey. "Ga," THE SOCIETY TO BE SHUNNED.
then, “from the presence of a “Go from the presence of a foolish
foolish man." Seek the society man, when thou perceivest not in him of the wise, whose society is the lips of knowledge.”-Prov. xiv. 7.
profitable, who have the lips of Man is a social being, his knowledge, whose society is natural affinities and relations truthful. “ The wisdom of the show that he is made to a great prudent is to understand his way," extent for others, and that others Whose society is good. “ Amanz are made for him. So far from the righteous there is favour."
* The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy."--Prov. xiv. 10.
THOUGH men live in towns and cities, and in social gatherings, each man is a world to himself. He is as distinct, even from him who is in closest material or mental contact with him, as one orb of heaven is from another. Though governed by the common laws of his race, he has an orbit of his own, an atmosphere of his own, and abysses of life into which no eye but the eye of God can pierce.
I. THE HEART HAS HIDDEN DEPTHS OF SORROW.
"The heart knoweth his own bitterness." There is bitterness in every heart. There is the bitterness of disappointed love — the soul recoiling with agony at the discovery that its affections had been misplaced. There is the bitterness of social bereavement Rachels weeping for their lost children, and I uvids for their Absaloms. There is the bitterness of moral remorse. All this is hidden where it is the most deep. The deepest sorrow in the human heart is hidden from others from three causes. First: The insulating tendency of deep grief. Deep sorrow withdraws from society and seeks some Gethsemane of solitude. Men cannot do a greater outrage than intrude on the notice of men in grief. Secondly: The concealing instinct of deep grief. Men parade little sorrows, but conceal great ones. Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief” mentioned his distress to no one but to God. Deep SOTTOws are mute. Thirdly: The incapacity of one soul to sound the depths of another. There is such a peculiarity in the constitution and circumstances of each soal,
that one can never fully understand another.
II. THE HEART HAS HIDDEN DEPTHS OF JOYS.
“A stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy." Though joy is less selfconcealing than sorrow, yet it has depths unknown to any but its possessor and its God.' The joy that rushed into Abraham's heart when Isaac descended with him from the altar on Moriah; the joy of the father when he pressed his prodigal son to his bosom ; the joy of the widow of Nain when her only son raised himself from the bier, and returned to gladden her lowly home; the joy of the heart-broken woman when she heard Christ say, “Thy sins are all forgiven thee;” such joy has depths that no outward eye could penetrate. The joy of the true Christian is indeed a joy unspeakable and full of glory."
This subject furnishes an argument. First: For candour amongst
We do not fully know each other, therefore we ought to be generous and candid in
our treatment. " What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him.” Secondly: For piety towards God. Though men know us not, God does. He knows what is in man, and more, he has the deepest interest in our sorrows. “ In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Isa. Ixüü. 9.)
THE SOUL'S HOME. "The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.”—Prov. xiv. 11. The house and the tabernacle in the passage here, must be taken in