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prosperity, and an enemy cannot be hid in adversity. He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith; and he that hath fellowship with a proud man shall be like unto him. Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things in wisdom, and that reasoneth of holy things by his understanding. He that considereth her ways in his heart shall also have understanding in her secrets. Before man is life and death; and whether him liketh shall be given him ; for the wisdom of the Lord is great, and He is mighty in power, and beholdeth all things. Say not, then, I will hide myself from the Lord : shall any remember me from above? I shall not be remembered among so many people; for what is my soul among such an infinite number of creatures. For the Lord's eyes are upon them that fear Him, and He knoweth every work of man.-ECCLESIASTICUS.
This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.
EXODUS xvi. 15.
How often things appear to happen but for no other end but to provoke and to distress; and, indeed, things do happen to consume and wear out the carcases that must fall in the wilderness. Until they fall we cannot enter into the promised inheritance, and this is the manner of our Father's love therefore, to consume and waste that which hinders our entering in; and in all that consuming and
wasting and wearing out there is a love hidden, and that love, which is God's will in everything that happens, as the kernel is contained in the shell, is the food which God giveth us, that our souls may eat and live. This is the manna which is rained round our tents. “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me." How often, when my Father has given me this meat to eat have I said, " What is it? Is this the bread of heaven ?” We would eat our own will—that is, the flesh pot of Egypt,--and God would have us eat His will, that we may be of one mind with Him, partaking of the Divine nature. How much easier it is to say this than to do it! But it is more sweet and more blessed to do it than to say it.-T. ERSKINE.
The lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.-PROVERBS XX. 15.
If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest; take diligent care for them, and so sit down. Speak thou that art the elder, for it becometh thee, but with sound judgment; and hinder not music. Pour not out works where there is a musician, and show not forth wisdom out of time. A concert of music in a banquet of wine is as a signet of carbuncle set in gold. Speak, young man, if there be need of thee, and yet scarcely when thou art twice asked. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in
few words. Be as one that knoweth, and yet holdeth his tongue. If thou be among great men, make not thyself equal with them; and when ancient men are in place, use not many words. Do nothing without advice, and when thou hast once done, repent not. Go not in a way wherein thou mayst fall, and stumble not among the stones. Be not confident in a plain way. Give not thy son and wife, thy brother and friend, power over thee while thou livest, and give not thy goods to another, lest it repent thee, and thou entreat for the same again. As long as thou livest, and hast breath in thee, give not thyself over to any. In all thy works keep to thyself the preeminence; leave not a stain in thine honour. ECCLESIASTICUS.
Get wisdom, get understanding.–PROVERBS iv. 5.
Use thou, but love not things given only with intent
Ill fares the child of heaven who will not entertain
Mark how then still has run, enwoven from above,
To see the face of God, this makes the joy of heaven;
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for
us a far more exceeding and abundant weight of glory.1 CORINTHIANS v. 17.
I do not expect in this world to be delivered from a heavy weight of sorrow. We are called into a union and participation with Him who was a man of sorrows, and who, though a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which He suffered. Beloved friend, faint not, neither be weary; take up your cross and follow Him unto the same place whither He has gone before. As He puts the cup of sorrow into our hand, He says, “ Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?” And shall we refuse or hold back from this fellowship with Jesus, in the sorrow which kills sin when it is received in the spirit of Jesus, in the filial spirit. Sorrow is not merely a difficulty which we are to endeavour to pass through as easily and as quickly as we can; it is the thing which works out the eternal weight of glory, not at all in the way of a price paid for it, but as the wise education and medicine of God. We are like the Israelites travelling through that dreary wilderness, until our carcases, our fleshly thoughts and desires, fall in the desert.-T. ERSKINE.
ST. MATTHIAS'S DAY.
Acts i. 26. It is a comfort which every religious mind knows when any emergency of our life seems imminent, that there is One who controls us in all things which affect us; that, as it is true that without His cognizance not a sparrow falls to the ground, so all the little incidents that have given its bias to our life past—all the relations into which we have been thrown, all the influences which have been brought to bear upon us, all the helps we have had in rising to positions of usefulness, and all the checks, too, which have at times thwarted our cherished desires—have been subject to His absolute controlling will; that, as a loving Father, He has tended us from our earliest childhood. . Our life
have seemed to flow on at random, acquaintances may seem to have been formed by chance which have given a turn and complexion to our whole life; but Christians know that they are not subjected to chance, that they are dealt with even in the minutest matters by the Lord who loves their souls.-TAIT.