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wisdom of holiness is evidenced in making provision for things of primary importance; hence we see the difference between the wise and the foolish in preparing for death and its consequences,—death is the last enemy. “ What king going to make war against another king sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand ?" Fools sit not down to consider whether, with no better preparation than their own righteousness, they can meet the last enemy; but the wise sit down and count the costs, and consider the results of the
prepare accordingly; and, consequently, while the former are foiled and overcome, the latter are triumphant, and more than conquerors, through Him who hath loved them ; " for we are persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The soul is impressed with whatever is presented to it, whether it be the folly of sin, or the wisdom of holiness; and therefore it is of the first importance that those things which are most durable in their consequences should be primarily cherished and exhibited to the mind. It behoves the youthful reader to get early acquainted with the folly of sin, and the way of salvation, from the effects of sin ; and be assured, my young friend, this knowledge is better than all the book learning to which it is possible to attain. Job felt this when he said, “ Neither have I gone
back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the word of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
We may also bear in our minds that although the
eternal Jehovah is represented as loving sinners, his love is combined with hatred towards sin; for it follows of course that he who is wise and holy must have an abhorrence for the things that are opposed to these his attributes : and such are folly and sin.
“ Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him," unless God touch his heart. This consideration should lead us to seek his influence and grace upon our hearts, for we have all more or less the remains of our folly abiding in us, and we have all need of help in pressing onwards to the perfection of wisdom.
THE WORKS OF GOD SHEW FORTH HIS
It is remarkable that familiarity with things that are wondrous and magnificent leads to their neglect; were it not so, how is it to be accounted for that we glance upwards, and behold the grandeur of the heavens by night, without eliciting feelings of admiration and praise—that we regard them merely to remark that it is a fine night, or that we shall have fine weather ? Were it not that familiarity with wondrous and magnificent objects renders them apparently unworthy of notice, we should entertain an increasing desire to witness the majestic rising of the sun, than which, on a clear morning, there is not a finer sight in our world. Were public notice given by advertisement, that at a specified time a vast fire balloon would be seen ascending in a certain direction, is it not more than probable that all eyes would be directed to that quarter? And yet the sun, which has the appearance of being a body of fire immensely great, and which in bulk is known to be a million times larger than the world we inhabit, is looked upon with comparative indifference, because we are accustomed to behold it day by day.
When the psalmist says, “ All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord," he does not mean literally or positively that those of God's works which are inanimate shall praise him; the words are to be understood objectively-viz., that God's works are objects from the observance of which angels and men shall give him praise.
The highly poetical language used by the psalmist at the beginning of the 19th Psalm, is another instance in which the inanimate works of God are said to declare his praise : “ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” This passage implies that the heavens are a most legible book, an universal and admirable teacher; that however the language of nations may differ, and prove difficult to understand, yet the heavens speak to all people, and may be understood clearly by all. Tully, a wise and learned heathen," said, “ No nation or people is so barbarous as, when they look up to the heavens, not to perceive that there is a God, or to imagine that those things are the effect of chance which are made with wonderful art and wisdom.”
“Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale;
The grandeur, the stupendous magnificence of the universe, speak the praises of our God. I would primarily notice the solar system. The sun,
be considered a fixed star comparatively near to us, while the stars are suns at an immense distance,-the sun
is situated at the centre of the system of the planets.
of the sun is occasioned by those rays passing to us through a calorific medium, or by chemical union with our atmosphere ; hence the sun's heat is greatest where our atmosphere is most condensed, which is nearest the surface of the earth, in plains or valleys; and in proportion as we ascend mountains, and become elevated in a more rarified medium, we experience an increase of cold, and that in proportion to the height of the mountain. The highest peak of the Himalaya mountains is more than 25,000 feet above the level of the sea, and though situated under the torrid zone, where the sun's heat is greatest, their summits are covered with perpetual snows, which would not be the case were the sun a body of fire, for then the elevation nearest to it would be the hottest, which now is the coldest.
There is abundant reason to believe that a body a million times larger than the earth was not created for the exclusive purpose of ministering to the planets, but that it is also inhabited. It has been suggested that a phosphoric or luminous atmosphere would answer the double purpose of enlightening the planets, and giving an extensive surface for the accommodation and comfort of its inhabitants.
Have we not abundant reason, in reflecting upon the works of God, for uniting in the language of the psalmist, and saying ? “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord, and thy saints shall bless thee.”