Isaiah 46
Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.
Religious Uses of Memory

Isaiah 46:9

Of all the powers that God has given us, none is more wonderful than memory. For what is memory? It is a twofold power. It is the power that gathers in the past, and crowds into some secret cabinet here the twice ten thousand things that we have learned. And then it is the power that out of that crowded storehouse brings the things forth again, calls them to mind.

I. There is no religion which lays such an emphasis on memory as Christianity. What do we call Christ's sayings? We call them memorable words. The words of Jesus are like the seal upon the wax. Once stamped with th s and memory will bear them to the end. Christ recognized the character of memory in making His words so memorable as that.

II. Now I wish to touch on three great offices of memory in the higher life:—

1. It is memory which helps us to consecrate the world. The hallowing of earth is memory's secret. There are villages sweeter than Stratford, and parks more ancient than the parks of Charlcote, but the memories of Shakespeare that cluster there have consecrated these spots for ever.

2. It is an aid to charity. It helps us to understand our friend. It has been said our friends are never ours till we have lost them. It is a strained expression of the certain truth, that of all lights there is none clearer than the light of memory. I cannot judge a man while he is here. Memory redresses things: helps me to see, and know, and understand: lets me do justice to the great, and to the men and women I knew and wronged.

Did you ever regard it as a signal mercy that it is in the light of memory we have to do with Christ? Perhaps you have thought it would be an easier thing to be a Christian if Jesus Christ were here. If I do not know my friend till he is gone, would I have seen the Saviour in a Nazarene? I can look back now. I can appreciate in the light of memory.

3. It helps us to understand ourselves. Only faith and prayer and memory will bring self-knowledge. Faith brings it, for it brings me near to Christ. Prayer brings it, for it shows me what I lack. And memory brings it too.

III. The kind of thing that you remember best is no bad token of the kind of heart you have.

As life advances memory grows richer. Can it be, then, that in the hour of death the memory of the past is blotted out? It is impossible. It is no power extraneous to myself. It is part of this immortal me. And when I wake, freed from this hampering body, enlarged and glorified in every faculty, my memory must share in the full tides of life.

—G. H. Morrison, Flood-Tide, p. 1.

References.—XLVI. 9.—R. Flint, Sermons and Addresses, p. 1. XLVI. 9, 10.—J. Martineau, Endeavours After the Christian Life (2nd Series), p. 105. XLVI. 12, 13.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy ScriptureIsaiah, p. 332. XLVII. 7.—W. R. Huntington, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lxiv. 1903, p. 109. XLVII. 14.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. viii. No. 444. XLVIII.—Ibid. vol. xl. No. 2379. XLVIII. 6.—Newman Smyth, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xliii. 1893, p. 248. XLVIII. 8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii. No. 779. XLVIII. 9-11.—Ibid. vol. xviii. No. 1041. XLVIII. 10.—Ibid. vol. i. No. 35; vol. xxiv. No. 1430. XLVIII. 16.—J. Keble, Miscellaneous Sermons, p. 199. XLVIII. 18.—Ibid. vol. xi. No. 610. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy ScriptureIsaiah, p. 336. R. F. Horton, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lxi. 1902, p. 374. A. Raleigh, Outlines of Sermons on the Old Testament. J. Keble, Sermons for Advent to Christmas Eve, p. 414. XLIX. 1-23.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvi. No. 2703. XLIX. 2.—B. Wilberforce, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlvi. 1894, p. 356. W. A. Gray, The Shadow of the Hand, p. 9. XLIX. 4. J. M. Neale, Sermons Preached in Sackville College Chapel, vol. ii. p. 207. H. Montagu Butler, Harrow School Sermons, p. 308. J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Prophets, vol. i. pp. 206, 215. J. Keble, Sermons for Advent to Christmas Eve, p. 401. XLIX. 5.—Ibid, p. 230. XLIX. 6.—J. J. S. Perowne, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lv. 1899, p. 296. XLIX. 8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii. No. 103. XLIX. 8-11.—B. Wilberforce, Feeling After Him, p. 82. XLIX. 9.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy ScriptureIsaiah XLIX.-LXVI. p. 1. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xli. No. 5397. XLIX. 10.—Ibid. vol. xxxvi. No. 2128.

They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:
And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.
They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.
Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:
I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.
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