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more precious than anything and everything else. I obedience. Even its dark sayings, and its hard He therefore hid it, as men hide a treasure, which sayings, are revered for their wisdom, and loved for they wish to preserve, but are afraid of losing; and their excellency. The service which it requires is having no other place worthy of its character, approved as a reasonable, and enjoyed as a pleaor fit for its reception, he enshrined it in the sant, and recommended as a profitable service. affections of his heart. “Thy word have I hid Therefore,' says David, 'I esteem all thy prein mine heart.
cepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate This was in him the testimony of experience. every false way. I will run in the way of thy The word of God he had felt to be quick and commandments, when thou hast enlarged my powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword.' heart.' It had taught him the evil of sin, and the beauty It was not for the purpose of concealment, of holiness. He had found it to be a 'lamp to his but rather for the purpose of communication, feet, and a light unto his path. In affliction it that David hid the word of God in his heart. had been his comforter, and his guide in diffi-| · My tongue,' says the Psalmist, “shall speak culty and distress. When temptation assailed, of thy word. And again, · With my lips have it fortified him with the means of defence and I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. security; and when conscience accused, it cheered The word of God is not merely a trust which we him with the assurances of forgiveness and fa- should keep with a jealous care, but also a talent vour. In allusion to the effects which it had which we should employ with diligence and zeal produced upon himself, he could affirm that the for the spiritual good both of ourselves and law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; others. No man who knows its value feels any the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise disposition to monopolize the precious treasure; the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, on the contrary, as it is his duty, so it will be rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the his delight to put his fellow-sinners in possession Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of of it; and in attempting to make it the instruthe Lord is clean, enduring for ever; the judg- ment of good to others, he will render it more ments of the Lord are true and righteous al- productive of benefit to his own soul. “God be together.' “Thy word have I hid in mine merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face heart.'
to shine upon us.
That thy way may be known He hid it there both for convenience and upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. security. We cannot be certain of having the Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the word of God always in our possession, or people praise thee. within our reach. Circumstances may exclude us from the opportunity of reading it; sickness may deprive us of the capacity of reading it. How important, then, to have it laid up
EIGHTEENTH Day.--MORNING. in the heart, so as to carry it continually about with us, and to have ready access to it in all ' In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and places, and on all occasions, for instruction and knowledge, Col. ï. 3. comfort. For David hid the word, not as the The fullness of Christ constitutes the all-engrossmiser hoards his gold, for preservation merely, ing subject of scripture testimony. It pleased but for use. It was given not to amuse us with the Father that in him all fullness should dwell,' curious speculations, but to influence the affec- and in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godtions, to regulate the conduct, and form the cha- head bodily.' He is full of compassion; for 'we racter.
have not an High Priest which cannot be touched The only way to render the word of God fruit- with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all ful is to have it hid in the heart. If the seed points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.' is permitted to lie on the surface, instead of being He is full of power; for all power is given to him buried under ground, it would be altogether un- in heaven and in earth;' and he is able to save to productive. The incorruptible seed of the word, the uttermost them that come unto God by him, when sown in the soil of a good and honest heart, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for "takes root downward, and brings forth fruit up-them.' He is full of grace; for his grace is exward. Its truths and precepts, its cautions and ceeding abundant, and of his fullness have we all encouragements, received into the heart, exert a received, and grace for grace:' he is full of truth, powerful and purifying influence, and become so for in him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom many principles of holy activity and devoted and knowledge. Let us consider what is the
amount of this representation, and what is the world in the prefigurations of the Mosaic ecouse which we should make of it.
nomy, shone forth more and more unto the perPeter uttered the language of truth, when, ad- fect day. dressing himself to Jesus, he said, "Lord, thou By the personal ministrations of Christ upon knowest all things. As God he is essentially earth, the treasures of wisdom and knowledge omniscient; and his knowledge, as it is infinite, which had been hid in him, were exhibited in so it is underived. But it is in his official and rich and abundant profusion. He came that he delegated capacity that we have now to do with might bear witness to the truth, and could say, him, as the divinely appointed Mediator between 'I am the light of the world; he that followeth God and man, and Head over all things to his me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have body the church. · He needed not that any the light of life.' The Jews were astonished at should testify of man, for he knew what was in his doctrine, and asked, “From whence hath this man.'
man these things? and what wisdom is this • Wisdom and knowledge' often express the which is given unto him? How knoweth this same thing. But in their nature they are essen- man letters, having never learned ?' But they tially different, nor are they necessarily united in spake ignorantly, and in unbelief. His doctrine the same person. Men of very extensive know- was new to them because it had been hid in him. ledge often discover a very small share of wis- But he knew it perfectly from the beginning, dom. But knowledge without wisdom to guide and now revealed it in order to make all men its application can do little good either to the see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which possessor or to others, and may do much evil. from the beginning of the world hath been hid Christ combines in himself both wisdom and in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. knowledge: his knowledge is wisdom, for it To the intent that now unto the principalities maketh wise, and without it there can be no and powers in heavenly places might be known true wisdom. It is the knowledge of God, of by the church the manifold wisdom of God. his attributes, his counsels, his will, and his According to the eternal purpose which he purways; especially the knowledge of his purpose posed in Christ Jesus our Lord.' of redeeming mercy. Of these subjects how This view of the Redeemer's character serves little can we know, and how much less can we to show both what he claims from us, and what comprehend! “No man knoweth the Father we may expect from him. Men eminently wise but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will and learned are universally regarded with respect reveal him.' His understanding is infinite. and admiration. Yet how much ignorance and Nothing is concealed from him; nothing is mys- folly do they often discover! The mind of man terious to him.
can know only a few things, and it cannot know In man the acquisition of wisdom and know- any one of these perfectly. But our Saviour is ledge is commonly the result of long and laborious the only wise God. What are the stores of exertions. But from eternity the treasures of wis- wisdom and knowledge which the industry and dom and knowledge were hid in Christ. They ingenuity of man have produced from the beginwere never hid from him; but they are hid in him, ning of the world to the present day, compared laid up in store as a precious treasure, that must with those boundless treasures which are hid in be kept in safety, and be ready for use as circum- him? He is light, and in him is no darkness at stances may require. He had them in himself all. All the wisdom and knowledge which his originally, independently, and inherently; but he creatures can attain to is but a faint emanation has them also in trust for his people. They were of that light in which he dwells, and which no committed to him by appointment of the Father, man can approach unto. To him, then, let us to qualify him for the discharge of his prophetical ascribe glory, and dominion, and blessing, and office. They are hid in him, not that they may be praise. And let us by faith and prayer look to concealed, but that they may be communicated. him as the fountain of all true wisdom and saving He opened his treasures to man at his creation in knowledge, that he may give unto us the spirit the light of nature around him, and of conscience of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of within him. He unfolded them anew to him him; that the eyes of our understanding being immediately after his fall in a revelation of mercy, enlightened we may know what is the hope of and in the promise of deliverance. To patriarchs our calling, and what the riches of the glory of and prophets in succession the same gracious our inheritance in the saints; that we may grow discoveries were repeated with increasing full- in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and ness; and the light which had dawned upon the Saviour Jesus Christ. Till we all come in the
unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the read that God gave Solomon wisdom.' Daniel Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the mea- afforded proofs of extraordinary wisdom, but he sure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.' acknowledged it to be God's gift, saying, "I thank
thee, O God, who hast given me wisdom.' And in both of these cases wisdom was bestowed in answer
to prayer. Solomon asked it; Daniel and his EIGHTEENTH DAY.--EVENING.
pious friends in Babylon prayed for it. God's way
of communicating wisdom is through the instru'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, mentality of prayer. “If any man lack wisdom, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth let him ask of God. The same rule is observed not, and it shall be given him,' James i. 5.
by him in dispensing all other spiritual blessings. That which the apostle has here made a matter He needs not to be informed, or argued with of supposition is in reality a matter of fact; for as if he were either ignorant or unkind. He it is undeniably manifest, from the testimony of is acquainted with all the exigencies of our scripture, experience, and observation, that every condition, and has promised to supply all our man ‘lacks wisdom. Vain man would be wise, need. But he intends that his people shall be though a man be born like a wild ass's colt.' But made sensible of their own wants, and of his his pretensions to wisdom serve only to discover ability to help them; he desires to bring them his folly. The children of this world are, indeed, to that state of mind which will prepare them wise in their generation, but their wisdom is to enjoy with the greatest comfort, and to employ earthly, sensual, devilish. Of that wisdom with the greatest advantage to themselves and whose beginning is the fear of God, whose 'ways others, those blessings which he sees to be are pleasantness,' and whose “paths are peace;' needful, and which he purposes to confer upon of that wisdom which is from above, and which them. Hence it is, that 'for all these things he is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to will be inquired of by the house of Israel to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, with- do it for them. The recipient of his favours out partiality and without hypocrisy,' of such must, in the first instance, be a suppliant. We wisdom they are altogether destitute.'
must ask that we may receive, and seek that we Man is naturally blind to his real character may find, and knock that it may be opened and his highest interests. He overlooks alto- unto us. gether the chief end of his existence. He knows Other means should be used in connection with not in what true happiness consists, nor where it prayer. God teaches wisdom in his word, and is to be found. He prefers the body to the soul, by his ordinances, which must be carefully and time to eternity, earth to heaven, death to life. devoutly attended to. Prayer is designed not to He calls sweet bitter, and bitter sweet; he mis- supersede other means, but to enforce their obtakes light for darkness, and darkness for light. servance, and insure their success. And as prayer The world is his idol. He looks only at things is necessary, so it will be effectual. We know which are seen and temporal. Daily he puts the that “if we ask any thing agreeable to his will question, Who will show us any good ?' but he heareth us.' He has said, “if any man lack, never joins in the prayer, ‘Lord, lift thou up the let him ask. No conditions are proposed, no light of thy countenance upon me. He is led price is demanded, no characters are excluded. captive by satan at his will. His language and He requires only that we should feel our need of conduct, his desires and pursuits, make it abun- wisdom, and express it in prayer. In other dantly manifest, that with all his boasted attain- cases the success of our prayers may be doubtful, ments he still lacketh one thing, that is, wisdom. but here it is certain. We know not what things “But where shall wisdom be found? and where to pray for as we ought, and in our ignorance and is the place of understanding? Man knoweth folly we often desire what we should dread and not the price thereof; neither is it found in the deprecate. But in praying for wisdom we act Land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in in obedience to God's express command, and in me; and the sea saith, It is not in me. It can- reliance on his promise. In answer to such a not be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be prayer he not only gives but gives liberally; never weighed for the price thereof.'
less than is asked, generally more.
And God * Blessed be God, for wisdom and might are said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, his. He giveth wisdom to the wise, and know and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honledge to them that know understanding. Solo-our, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet mon surpassed all other men in wisdom, but we hast asked long life, but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself; wisdom and knowledge wisdom of God. Its doctrines are the word of is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, wisdom; its precepts are “the ways of wisdom.' and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings All who believe and obey it have been made have had that have been before thee, neitherwise unto salvation.' The voice of Christ shall there any after thee have the like. Thus speaks in every part of it, and in every part it appears that “godliness is profitable unto all it speaks the language of true wisdom. Obthings, having the promise of the life that now is, serveand of that which is to come.'
The publicity of its announcements. The Wisdom comprehends all that is essential to heathen oracles uttered their responses in secret, the spiritual and eternal interests of man. It is and with studied ambiguity. Error shuns the another name for real and saving religion. In light; but wisdom crieth' that all may hear. principle, it is faith; in experience, it is peace; and she comes forth to the gates of the city, or the in character, holiness. It is the pearl of great streets, and other public places, where all classes price; it is the one thing needful. Other things of the people usually congregate in the greatest may be desirable, this is indispensable. Other numbers. Thus did Jesus in the course of his things may be needful to some, but all stand in personal ministry. In the last day, that great need of wisdom, whether learned or ignorant, day of the feast, he stood and cried, saying, 'If high or low, rich or poor.'Wisdom is the prin- any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.' cipal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy To Pilate, who asked him of his disciples and of getting, get understanding. She is more precious his doctrine, he could say, 'I spake openly to than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire the world, I ever taught in the synagogue, and are not to compared unto her. She is a tree of in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy and in secret have I said nothing. He had not is every one that retaineth her. And as wisdom one doctrine for the rich, and another for the is necessary to all, so it is attainable by all. poor; but addressed to the people without dis• Wisdom crieth aloud; she uttereth her voice in tinction and without exception the word of truth the streets, If any man thirst, let him come and salvation. That which he did in his own unto mie and drink. But wisdom is God's gift ; person, he commanded the disciples to do in his as he confers the blessing, so he claims the glory. name, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak Let us then live in the spirit of dependence and ye in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, gratitude, daily asking, “So teach us to number that preach ye upon the house tops.' It is his our days, that we may apply our hearts unto will that all men should come to the knowledge wisdom.'
of the truth, that they may be saved. Still he * Now unto him that is able to keep you from cries, 'Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is falling, and to present you faultless before the to the sons of men. Who hath ears to hear, presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the let him hear.' The gospel is recommended by— only wise God our Saviour, be glory and ma- The kindness and impartiality of its adminisjesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.' tration. Wisdom crieth at the gates, at the Amen.
entry of the city,' in the hearing of a large and promiscuous multitude, comprehending persons of every variety of rank and character. No where
is the preaching of the gospel so much needed as NINETEENTH DAY.-MORNING. in places of public resort, frequented as they
usually are by the most ignorant, depraved, and · Wisdom crieth at the gates, at the entry of the worthless of mankind. The master of the feast
city, at the coming in at the doors, Prov. viii. commanded his servants, 'Go out into the high 3.
ways, and as many as ye shall find bid to the By wisdom Solomon intends the Son of God. His marriage.' In him there is enough and to spare; people may be wise, but he is wisdom. He is and as the provision is sufficient for all, so it is the essence, the source, the perfection, the per offered to all • without money and without price.' sonification of wisdom. The term wisdom may, There is no respect of persons with him. He conhowever, be understood to represent that system demned the proud Pharisees who felt no need of of divine truth which was taught by him, and by repentance; but kept company with the publithe apostles in his name. The gospel is emi-cans and sinners, who confessed their guilt, and nently entitled to the appellation of wisdom. It desired instruction. The gospel is remarkable is the wisdom of God in a mystery; the manifold for
Plainness and simplicity. It speaks not only have refused, and the means of grace which they to the multitude promiscuously, but particularly have despised, and the opportunities of improveto individuals. All the knowledge of it which is ment which they have neglected, and the capacinecessary may easily be obtained even by the ties of usefulness which they have misapplied, most illiterate inquirer. Wisdom crieth not only will form so many bitter ingredients in their cup “at the gates, at the entry of the city,' but also of misery. But ‘now is the accepted time. Let "at the coming in at the doors. Thus Christ the cry of wisdom, calling to repentance and taught both publicly, and from house to house. promising forgiveness, be responded to in the Not only has he placed the word of salvation prayer of the publican, who smiting on his breast, within our reach, he has brought it to our very and not daring so much as to lift up his eyes doors. He has made it not only accessible, but to heaven, cried, “God be merciful to me a intelligible to all, so that every man may read sinner. Such a cry will assuredly come up and can understand it for himself. “And the with acceptance into the ears of the Lord God Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, of Sabaoth, who is not only compassionate and and make it plain upon tables, that he may run merciful, but faithful and just to forgive us that readeth it. The wayfaring men, though our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousfools, shall not err therein.' The gospel is ness.' characterised by
The urgency of its calls and invitations. Accordingly wisdom "crieth' with an earnest and importunate voice. And she does not wait to
NINETEENTH DAY.-EVENING. be applied to, but goes forth to meet the people “at the entry of the city,' and there solicits their 'Oh that they were wise, that they understood attention. She perseveres in the attempt, and
this, that they would consider their latter end!” continues to press upon them with her impor
Deut. xxxii. 29. tunities, following them from the gates' of the THE Jews were proverbially inconsiderate. Isaiah city even to the coming in at the doors' of their complained of them saying, “The ox knoweth his houses. Truly the Lord is long-suffering to owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel usward, not willing that any should perish, but doth not know, my people doth not consider.' that all should come to repentance. He not Moses had witnessed many sad proofs of their only waiteth to be gracious, but employs posi- forgetfulness and folly: and at the close of a long tive means in order to persuade sinners to turn and laborious life, spent in their service, his heart's and live. He addresses them by his word and desire and prayer for them was, “that they would ordinances, by his ministers and people, by the consider their latter end.' The subject was not remonstrances of conscience and the dispensations more important to them than it is to all. It of providence. He speaks to them in the teaches us that to consider our latter end’ conlanguage of kindness and terror, of promise and stitutes true wisdom. By our latter end he threatening, of expostulation and entreaty. In- means death. But it cannot be profitably constead of leaving them to the consequences of sidered unless it is properly understood. their criminal resistance, he bears with their understand it to beindifference and renews his solicitations; he The end of our present state of being, of its raises another and a louder cry; has recourse joys and sorrows, its duties and dangers, its posto more urgent importunity and more powerful sessions and pursuits, its comforts and cares. The means to enforce their compliance. With some hand then forgets its cunning, the tongue is silent, the means prove successful; and when sinners the pulse ceases to beat, and the lungs to breathe; repent and turn to the Lord, he sees in them the whole frame becomes a lump of cold and the travail of his soul, and is satisfied. Others senseless clay. The ties which bind us to our continue impenitent; and over them he utters nearest and dearest friends, and to every thing the lamentation of unavailing sympathy: 'If earthly, are then broken asunder; for “they that thou hadst known, even thou, at least, in this have wives shall be as though they had none; thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace; and they that weep as though they wept not, and but now they are hid from thine eyes!' they that buy as though they possessed not; for
How fearful, yet how just, will be the con- the fashion of this world passeth away. And demnation of those who turn a deaf ear to the the change is final. “There is hope of a tree if it cry of heavenly wisdom! They are without ex- be cut down, that it will sprout again. But man cuse; and the invitations of mercy which they | dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the