« السابقةمتابعة »
places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I 21 Then shalt
21 Jerusalem--the Church-long thou say in thine heart, Who desolate, being deserted by her own hath begotten me these, see- children, is amazed at finding herself ing I have lost my children, surrounded by other children ; even and am desolate, a captive,
the Gentiles. and removing to and fro ? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone ; these, where had they been? Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people : and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
23 When kingsand queens “seek first 25 And kings shall be thy the kingdom of God," and the honour nursing fathers, and their of his ordinances ; they shall find queens thy nursing mothers: blessing at the hand of the Lord. they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. 24 Shall the prey be taken
24 It seemed to human view in. from the mighty, or the law- possible that the Church should be ful captive delivered ? But freed from the strong tyranny of the thus saith the LORD, Even
Chaldeans : but with God all things the captives of the mighty
are possible. shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered : for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy 26 The enemies of God, who are children. 26 And I will feed united in a spirit of enmity against them that oppress thee with his religion and people, shail be contheir own flesh; and they sumed; one of another. shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine : and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
Observe throughout this magnificent chapter, how powerfully the divinity of our Redeemer is displayed and insisted upon.
The Conversion of St. Paul.
MORNING. WISDOM OF SOLOMON v. Then shall the righteous 1 Observe that the righteous and man stand in great boldness the wicked are supposed to be standbefore the face of such as ing before the judgment seat of God. have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach : * we fools accounted his life
* Irreligious men mock the faithful madness, and his end to be followers of the cross. They can without honour : how is he see no honour in self-denial, no cournumbered among the chil- age in self-controul, no safety in self
abasement. Theirs is ever the imdren of God, and his lot is passioned language of Festus to St. among the saints! There- Paul—“ Paul, Paul, thou art beside fore have we erred from the thyself.” way of truth, and the light their own folly and madness. Time
6 Remorse will force confession of of righteousness hath not
will prove that it is true wisdom to shined unto us, and the sun aim at such a life as shall bring a of righteousness rose not man peace at the last. All else is upon us. We wearied our
comparatively of no worth. selves in the way of wickedness and destruction : yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the way of the Lord, we have 8 In another world, the impenitent, not known it.
8 What hath though too late, will be amazed, that pride profited us? or what reckless of their soul's welfare, they
should have idolised riches, pride, good hath riches with our
and things of this world : for these vaunting brought us? All all pass away, like the froth of the those things are passed away wave, or the smoke of the flame ; like a shadow, and as a post and are less than vanity. that hasted by; and as a ship that passeth over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, the trace thereof cannot be found, neither the pathway of the keel in the ways; or as when a bird hath flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings, and parted with the violent noise and motion of them is passed through, and therein afterwards no sign where she went is to be found ; or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through: even so we in like manner, as soon as we were born, began to draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to shew;
but were consumed in our own wickedness. For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind ; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm : like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day. " But the right- 15 What a glorious prospect for the eous live forevermore; their faithful and the good! reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand; for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them. He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies. He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise. Then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they fily to the mark. And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them. Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away : thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.
Reader, nou prepare for that day of final recompense ; nou, put away evil, and avoid the misery of everlasting death ; nou, cleave to that which is good, and gain life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord.
EVENING. WISDOM OF SOLOMON vi. Hear therefore, O ye kings, and understand ; learn, ye that be judges of the end of the earth. Give ear, ye that rule the people, and glory in the mul- 3 We all are answerable to God for titude of nations. 'For power the use of the talents—the advanis given you of the Lord, and tages-committed to us. How fearsovereignty from the Highest, to princes and governors Power
fully is this responsibility increased who shall try your work, and is a talent, given by the Lord ; and search out your counsels.
He will watch the counsels of those Because, being ministers of to whose care he has entrusted it. his kingdom, ye have not judged aright, nor kept the law, nor walked after the counsel of God; horribly and speedily shall he come upon you: for a sharp judgment shall be to them that be in high places. For 6 « Unto whomsoever much is giren, mercy will soon pardon the
of him shall much be required ;" meanest ; but mighty men
saith the Lord of life. (Luke xii. 48.)
shall be mightily tormented. For he which is Lord over all shall fear no man's person, neither shall he stand in awe of any man's greatness : for he hath made the small and great, and careth for all alike. But a sore trial shall come upon the mighty. Unto you therefore, O kings, do I speak, that ye may learn wisdom, and not
10 Blessed encouragement for kings For they that
to rule in righteousness and holiness! keep holiness holily shall be Their labour shall not be in vain in
the Lord. judged holy: and they that have learned such things shall find what to answer. Where. fore set your affections upon my words ; desire them, and ye shall be instructed.
12 Search the Scriptures: there shalt dom is glorious, and never
thou find wisdom. fadeth away : yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.
13 Wisdom goeth before and pre* She prevented them that
pareth the way—or preventeth. Thus, desire her, in making herself when we pray, God to “pretent first known unto them. Who- us in all our doings"-we mean, so seeketh her early shall have
“ Go before, and prepare a holy and no great travail: for he shall
safe way for us in all our doings." find her sitting at his doors. To think therefore upon her is perfection of wisdom: and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be without care. For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought. For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love; and love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption ; and incorruption maketh us near unto God: therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to 21 And when the chief shepherd
21 If your de- shall appear, ye shall receive a crown light be then in thrones and of glory that fadeth not away *. sceptres, 0 ye kings of the people, honour wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore. As for wisdom, what she is, and how she came up, I will tell you, and will not hide mysteries from you : but will seek her out from the beginning of her nativity, and bring the knowledge of her into light, and will not pass over the truth. 23 Where envy is, there must be " Neither will I go with con
misery. suming envy; for such a man shall have no fellowship with
* In how affecting a strain does the Church in our Liturgy, having prayed for the stability of the sovereign's earthly crown, pass to an ardent upplication that after this life an eternal crown may await her, “and tually after this life she may attain everlasting joy and felicity.”
wisdom. 24 But the multi
24 Let sovereigns weigh well their tude of the wise is the wel- responsibility. Let them learn wis. fare of the world : and a wise dom ; that they may know how to king is the upholding of the
govern : for that is their proper
Receive therefore instruction through my words, and it shall do you good.
How happy for us, who live in a christian country, where our rulers may learn the art of good government by a diligent study of the Word and Will of the King of kings. For to rule a people either upon the narro* principles of mere human policy-which is always dangerous, and often wicked-or upon any other principle than that laid down in the word of God, perils the welfare alike of princes and their people. (Eccles. X. 2)
The Purification of St. Mary.
MORNING. WISDOM OF SOLOMON ix. O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who has made all things with thy word, and ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, and order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with an upright heart : give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne; and reject me not from among thy children : for I thy servant and son of thine handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and too young for the understanding
6 All must feel the justice of this of judgment and laws. For
reflection *. though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded. Thou hast chosen me to be a king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters: thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon thy holy mount, and an altar in the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of the holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning. And wisdom was with thee: which knoweth thy works, and was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandments. O
10 Mark the wise distinction here send her out of thy holy drawn, between a presumptuous conheavens, and from the throne fidence in the aid of the Spirit, and of thy glory, that being pre
a fatal neglect of itt. * True wisdom is from above. The christian therefore looks to Heaven for blessing upon his counsels and conduct. Solomon the more deeply felt this as a king, because from the good or evil counsels of princes and governors, weal or woe cometh to the nations over whom they rule.
+ Solomon prays, as also in ver. 17, for the Holy Spirit from on high ;