« AnteriorContinua »
2. The Persevering Suppliant
Matt. xv. 27.
19. New-born Citizens..
Ps. lxxxvii. 4, 5,
FOR THE CLOSET.
July 1.-" I beseech thee, shew me thy glory."
Exod. xxxiii. 18.
prayer was not entirely proper. It would seem that Moses desired some visible display of Deity, or some kind of representation—and so far it was refused. “He said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. Behold, there is a place by me; and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift. of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts—but my face shall not be seen.”
Here we see our weakness, even physically considered. How little can we bear! When Daniel only saw an angel, he fell into a deep sleep. John, at the sight of Him on whose bosom he had often leaned, fell at his feet as dead. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
We cannot go on well, till God has gained our full confidence. Let us never suppose that he denies us
any thing from insufficiency to give, or from a grudging disposition—“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" The very same principle that leads him to give us some things, induces him to withhold others—a regard to our safety and happiness
“Good when he gives, supremely good;
“ Nor less when he denies :
“Are blessings in disguise." Had He yielded all the wish of Moses, he would have been destroyed upon the spot. He therefore rejects what was evil, but grants what was good -“I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” We are morally defective; and our infirmities appear even in our prayers—we know not what to pray for as we ought. What would be the consequence, if all our desires were accomplished? It is our privilege that God is as wise as he is kind. He knows what is really good for us; and answers us, not according to our wishes, but our wants; and according to what we ourselves should only pray for, if we were alive to our real welfare, and always knew wherein it consists.
Thus qualified, we cannot do better than to make this prayer our own, and desire God to shew us his glory. For he alone can do it efficiently. As the sun can only be seen by his own shining, so God can only be known by his own revealing-in his light we see light. But we have every encouragement we could desire, if we seek to him. If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. Then shall
ye know if ye follow on to know the Lord.
Let us pray, therefore, that he would show us more of his glory. More of it in his works. More of it in his ways. More of it in his dispensations and ordinances. And, above all, more of it in the face of Jesus Christ.
Nor let us ever think we do not stand in need of this. For who expressed this desire ?—but a man who had been indulged already beyond any of his fellowcreatures! Yet, after communications the most deep and extensive; after being inspired to write Scripture ; after beholding God in the burning bush ; after talking with him as a man talketh with his friend--SO far is he from being satisfied, that his soul is drawn forth after more; and he, even he, cries—I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. Behold another instance. Paul, after all his intimacies with the Lord Jesus for many years, cries—“That I may know him !" But who is Moses? who is Paul ? _“Which things the angels desire to look into.”
Yet some are so perfectly indifferent to the subject of this prayer, that they say unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. Spiritual darkness is the forerunner and pledge of eternal. If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. Because they are a people of no understanding, therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them ; and he that formed them will shew them no favour.
JULY 2.-" And from thence they went to Beer ; that is the well, whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well ; sing ye unto it. The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the Lawgiver, with their staves. And from the