Imatges de pÓgina
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sent she may labour with me, that I may know what is pleasing unto thee.

11 The Spirit both excites and temshe knoweth and understand- pers our zeal—leading us“ soberly" eth all things, and she shall in our doings. lead me soberly in my doings, and preserve me in her power. So shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I judge thy people righteously, and be worthy to sit in my father's seat. For what man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is? For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain. - For the corruptible body 15 How soothing the thought, that presseth down the soul, and the spirit of the Lord “helpeth our the earthy tabernacle weigh- infirmities!" eth down the mind that museth upon many things. And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us : but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out ? And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above? For so the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom.

EVENING. WISDOM OF SOLOMON xü. 'For thine incorruptible Spi- 'Is the spirit of the Supreme in rit is in all things.? There- all things ? Let it be our care not fore chastenest thou them by to grieve this great Spirit ; so holy, little and little that offend,

so good, so merciful *.

2 God is ever long suffering. and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that leaving their wickedness they may believe on thee, O Lord. For it was thy will to de- 3 Israel was the appointed instrustroy by the hands of our ment for the destruction of the Cafathers both those old inha- naanites. bitants of thy holy land, whom thou hatedst for doing most without which man is nothing regarded. Ver. 6. Yet he does not therefore fold his hands in slumber, and leave the work of righteous judgment to be done by that Spirit. He labours and strives ; but then only thinks the event will prosper, when the Spirit labours with him. So the Christian works out his own salvation : "for it is God which worketh in him, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. ii. 12.) With such aid, uct to labour in the work, were to add sin to sin.

* God, “a lover of souls,” (xi. 26) knoweth what is in man, and he hath compassion upon him, because he is the God of the spirits of all flesh. (Numb. xvi. 22.)

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but exe

odious works of witchcrafts, They caused their sons to pass and wicked sacrifices ; and through the fire to Moloch. Their also those merciless murder- worship was equally licentious and

cruel. ers of children, and devourers of man's flesh, and the feasts of blood, with their priests out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents, that killed with their own hands souls destitute of help: that the land, which thou esteemedst above all other, might receive a worthy colony of God's children. Nevertheless even those thou sparedst as men, and didst send wasps, forerunners of thine host, to destroy them by little and little. Not that thou wast unable to bring the ungodly under the hand of the righteous in battle, or to destroy them at once with cruel beasts, or with one rough word:

10 God chose to destroy these his cuting thy judgments upon enemies, “not at once; lest the them by little and little, thou

beasts of the field increased on his gavest them place of repen

people.” (Deut. vii. 22.) tance, not being ignorant that they were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed.

11 Noah said, “ Cursed be Canaan." " For it was a cursed seed from the beginning ; neither didst thou for fear of any man give them pardon for those things wherein they sinned. For who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment ? or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou hast made ? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men? For neither is there any God but thou that careth for all, to whom thou mightest shew that thy judgment is not unright. Neither shall king or tyrant be able to set his face against thee for any whom thou hast punished. Forsomuch then as thou art righteous thyself, thou orderest all things righteously : thinking it not agreeable with thy power to condemn him that hath not deserved to be punished. For thy power is the beginning of righteousness, and because thou art the Lord of all, it maketh thee to be gracious unto all. For when men will not believe that thou art of a full power, thou shewest thy strength, and among them that know it thou makest their boldness manifest. 18 But thou, mastering thy 18 The Lord mercifully restrains his power, judgest with equity, power of vengeance Surely else and orderest us with great should we be consumed. favour: for thou mayest use

19 Thus the truly penitent is en

couraged always to look for pardon ; power when thou wilt. " But and we all are taught not to be exby such works hast thou treme towards those who offend or taught thy people that the injure us.

just man should be merciful, and hast made thy children to be of a good hope that thou givest repentance for sins. For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy children, and the condemned to death, with such deliberation, giving them time and place, whereby they might be delivered from their malice: with how great circumspection didst thou judge thine own sons, unto whose fathers thou hast sworn, and made covenants of good promises ? Therefore, whereas thou dost chasten us, thou scourgest our enemies a thousand times more, to the intent that, when we judge, we should carefully think of thy goodness, and when we ourselves are judged, we should look for mercy. Wherefore, whereas men have lived dissolutely and unrighteously, thou hast tormented them with their own abominations. 24 For they

24 Idolatry degrades the powers of went astray very far in the

the soul, whilst it ruins its hopes. ways of error, apd held them for gods, which even among the beasts of their enemies were despised, being deceived, as children of no understanding. Therefore unto them, as to children without the use of reason, thou didst send a judgment to mock them. But they that would not be reformed by that correction, wherein he dallied with them, shall feel a judg

27 So at the last, even the fierce ment worthy of God.

For,

enemies of the cross, as they look look, for what things they

on him whom they pierced, shall grudged, when they were pu

with shame confess amid their sufnished, that is, for them whom

ferings, that the vengeance of God they thought to be gods ;

is just. (now being punished in them, when they saw it, they acknowledged him to be the true God, whom before they denied to know; and therefore came extreme damnation upon

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them.

St. Matthias's Bay.

MORNING. WISDOM OF SOLOMON xix. As for the ungodly, wrath By the ungodly here,are meant the came upon them without Egyptians. Upon them came “wrath mercy unto the end : for he

without mercy,

They were not in

covenant with God. God's wrath at knew before what they would times fell upon his own people, but do: how that having given with mercy. For them he was enthem leave to depart, and

treated by Moses and Aaron in days sent them hastily

away, they of old ; as by Jesus the great and Fould repent and pursue

only intercessor, now.

3 The Egyptians were mourning them. For whilst they were

their first-born : yet went they on

yet mourning and making still in their wickedness. They would lamentation at the graves of take no warning. the dead, they added another foolish device, and pursued them as fugitives, whom they had intreated to be gone. For the destiny, whereof they are worthy, drew them unto this end, and made them forget the things that had already happened, that they might fulfil the punishment which was wanting to their torments : s and that 5 Israel passed through the sea by thy people might pass a won- a wonderful way—the waters bein: derful way: but they might a wall unto them on their right hand

and on their left. As for the Egypfind a strange death. For the whole creature in his pro- whelmed in those very waters

tians, they found a strange death; per kind was fashioned again 6 So amazing were the miracles, anew, serving the peculiar that all crcation seemed new. commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt: as namely, a cloud shadowing the camp; and where water stood before, dry land appeared ; and out of the Red sea a way without impediment; and out of the violent stream a green field: wherethrough all the people went that were defended with thy hand, seeing thy marvellous strange wonders. For they went at large like horses, and leaped like lambs, praising thee, O Lord, who hadst delivered them. 10 For they were yet

10 Allusion is here made to the mindful of the things that

plagues of Egypt. were done while they sojourned in the strange land, how the ground brought forth flies instead of cattle, and how the river cast up a multitude of frogs instead of fishes. But afterwards they saw a new gene. ration of fowls, when, being led with their appetite, they asked delicate meats. For quails came up unto them from the sea for their contentment. And

13 God fed his people with quails: punishments came upon the but the Egyptians--who had cruely sinners not without former entreated Israel, strangers and se signs by the force of thun- journers among them—they were ders : for they suffered justly punished as sinners. according to their own wickedness, insomuch as they used a more hard and hateful behaviour toward strangers. For the Sodomites did not receive those, whom they knew not when they came : but these brought friends into bondage, that had well deserved of them. And not only so, but peradventure some respect shall be had of those, because they used strangers not friendly: but these very grievously afflicted them, whom they had received with feastings, and were already made par

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takers of the same laws with

17 The history alluded to is in Gen. them." Therefore even with xix. 1). The Egyptians suffered by blindness were these stricken,

a miraculous thick darkness which as those were at the doors of might be felt

, and which continued

for three days. the righteous man : when, being compassed about with horrible great darkness, every one sought the passage of his own

18 The elements are often used as doors. 18 For the elements

an emblem of the harmony of sounds *. were changed in themselves by a kind of harmony, like as in a psaltery notes change the name of the tune, and yet are always sounds ; which may

well be perceived by the sight of the things that have been done. For earthly things were turned into watery, and the things, that before swam in the water, now went upon the ground. The fire had power in the water, forgetting his own virtue : and the water forgat his own quenching nature. On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of the corruptible living things, though they walked therein ; neither melted they the icy kind of heavenly meat, that was of nature apt to melt. 22 For in all things, O Lord,

22 The same omnipotent hand is thou didst magnify thy peo- ever now ready “ to assist, in every ple, and glorify them, neither time and place,” you and me, and all didst thou lightly regard who trust in Him. 0! cleave unto

such a God. them: but didst assist them in every time and place.

EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUS i. All wisdom cometh from

1 This is clear ; because, soul and the Lord, and is with him body, we are all the creatures of for ever. Who can number

God's hand. the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of Etemity? Who can find out the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the deep, and wisdom? Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting. The word of God most high is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlasting commandments. To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed ? or who hath known her wise counsels ? [Unto whom hath the knowledge of wisdom been made manifest ? and who

As a musician has power over sound, and out of discord brings harmony, so he who rules the elements—the music of the spheresruleth each sound as be wills, and from amid apparent discord and intricacy, pours forth at last the full tide of a clear and glorious harmony;till all creation own Him their maker and their God.

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