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14 The page of sacred history presents several instances, where the removal or bestowal of some grace or power, is indicated by a corresponding outward sign. See 1 Sam.
xv. 27, and 1 Kings xi. 31.
he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not. And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not? And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake. And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.
24 Habitual reverence towards the aged forms a prominent religious duty in the young. The divine curse rests upon the mockers of old age.
Monday in Whitsun-week.
MORNING. GENESIS xi. to ver. 10.
1 AND the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the
of waters, and at the same time be
east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they 4 Nimrod and his followers thought, for morter. And they said, by building this tower, to secure Go to, let us build us a city themselves against any future flood and a tower, whose top may conspicuous as a wise and mighty reach unto heaven; and let people. They knew that unity was us make us a name, lest we strength thence their fear of disbe scattered abroad upon the persion *. face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they they begin to do: and now them, which they have imagined to do. 'Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
5 God is equally present every where. The particular expression here is in conformity with human nature and habits, indicating that all men should see by the effects of the work, that the hand of God had done it. have all one language; and this nothing will be restrained from
7 God often confounds the designs of the wicked when they least look for punishment, and by the mode in which they least contemplate it +.
8 Thus by a strictly retributive justice these "sons of men" brought upon themselves exactly the consequences they in their pride had hoped to avoid-as stated in verse 4.
9" Babel" is a word meaning “confusion."
Though an hundred years had passed since the flood, we may well suppose that the recollection of that awful event was still fresh in their minds.
+ So their gracious Father delivers his faithful servants often in a time least hoped for, and by means least expected.
Let us be warned! Let us not think to stand in our own strength. That is to build up for ourselves Babel towers of pride, which will confound and ruin us. Blessed be God for his Gospel, which figuratively, at the day of Pentecost, did unite all men again by one language the language of praise and adoration, as accepted sons of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
EVENING. NUMBERS xi. ver. 16 to ver. 30.
17 Thus too our divine Master is now ever at hand, ready to come down, and talk with us by his Spirit; supplying to us, his ministering servants, such aid as may be needful for the due performance of our of fice*.
AND the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and talk with thee there and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; but even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? And
the LORD said unto Moses,
23 What God wills, shall be done; though man's wisdom imagineth not
Is the LORD's hand waxed the means.
short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not. And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave
* Doubtless, those angels which alway do the Lord service in heaven, are permitted, though invisible, to "succour and defend us on earth"directing, guarding, and sustaining us-bearing our burden with us.
it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
Never let me desire any other state or condition of life than that appointed me; lest God in anger grant my desire, and I find the change bring only care more bitter, and sorrows more multiplied.
Tuesday in Whitsun-week.
MORNING. 1 SAMUEL Xix. ver. 18.
So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah. 23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah : and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like down naked all that day and all that night. say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
23 Saul being thus seized with a prophetic spirit, his intended violence against David was forgotten. O the gracious providence of God, in dispersing the evils which wicked men devise against his servants! Is not David's God, our God.
manner, and lay Wherefore they
EVENING. DEUTERONOMY XXX.
AND it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath 2 Behold the proof of true repentdriven thee, and shalt return ance !-even "obedience" according to the commandment.
4 Is the Church persecuted? Are her faithful sons dispersed? Lo! God will at last surely gather them, and lead them to their home in
unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: and the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: if thou shalt hearken
St. Paul likewise reminds us, that the true circumcision is " that of the heart; in the spirit, and not in the letter"-even, the removal of sin.
with all thy soul, that thou
7 God adapted his proceedings on this occasion to a temporary dispensation. They were a token, however, of surer vengeance for the wicked, and extended blessing to the righteous, in another and a better world.
* What a motive to faithfulness does this thought suggest. If ye live and die true Christians, ye lay up in store, comfort for generations yet unborn. Your example will yet live to encourage them; and when thy children's children ask-"Our fathers where are they?"-Hope may without presumption whisper to the heart of affection-" Lo! they rest in the promised land of joy."