The People's Bible by Joseph Parker
Father in heaven, take not thy Holy Spirit from us. Take what thou wilt, but take not thy Holy Spirit from the human soul. We live and move and have our being in God; thou wilt not willingly cut us off. As thou livest, thou hast no pleasure in death; there is no death in God, there is no graveyard in heaven. God is life, God is light; in him is no death, in him is no darkness at all. We would therefore receive God into our hearts, and say, Abide with us, for without thee we cannot live. We know thee through Jesus Christ thy Son; he revealed the Father; from the bosom of the Father he came; he proceeded forth and came from God. We heard the eternity of God in his voice. It was no voice of man; it was no voice of earth; never man spake like this Man. He made even our words divine by using them. Now we call thee Father; thou art in heaven, and we are upon the earth, yet there is no distance between us; thy heaven holds our little earth. Thou earnest all things, thou Creator of all. Watch over our life, we pray thee, in the name of thy dear Son, and make it precious in thy sight; make us good men, sound of heart, bright of mind, obedient of will. Teach us that obedience is greatness; show us that only true suffering truly borne is heroic; teach us that not to have our own way is the best way. Thus by loss, or pain, or trial, or sevenfold night, bring us into obedience. We pray for those who are sorely afflicted. How great is the darkness of God; how terrible are thy judgments when they come near to us! We pray for those whose house is desolated, whose firstborn lie dead. Thou knowest all the pain, the heartache, the blinding tear, the overwhelming sorrow, the sense of loss unutterable; now let them find the balm that is in Gilead, and fall upon the Physician that is there with all the trust of their love. Thou dost trouble this little world with great sorrows; sometimes the grief seems larger than the life itself, sometimes it is an overflowing water. The grace of God is sufficient for us all, but we cannot always seize it and apply it as we might do. Thou knowest our frame, thou rememberest that we are dust; thou wilt not plead against us with thy great power. But having shown us great and sore distresses, thou wilt comfort us again with unexpected solaces. Guide us during the few remaining days; for our days are but a handful at the best; give us the spirit of consideration; give us the sound large judgment that weighs things in the right scales; save us from making fools of ourselves by wasting what little daylight there is. Keep us steadfast in the faith of the Cross of Christ. We need that Cross when our grief is keen, when our eyes are blind with tears, and when our choicest friend says he can do no more for us: then, Jesus, Refuge of my soul, may I find thee indeed an eternal Sanctuary! Hear the poor soul that says this, and give it answers from the Cross and replies from heaven. Amen.
Some persons were afraid that the Revision Companies would take the Bible away. A Bible that can be taken away is not worth keeping. A God that can be stolen is a poor Lord to have dominion over any human soul. Take the Book of Hosea after the Revisers have had it under careful revision. Many passages are altered verbally; yet the alteration has only been like making an opening for a larger window. A house is none the worse for having more light in it. What we should ask for about every book is the truth. We do not want words we have been accustomed to if they are not true. We may be sorry to surrender them; they have come to be part of our very breathing; yet if they are not true they must go. Always draw a vital line between superstition and religion; between prejudice and true judgment. The conservatism that would keep an error is a blasphemy against the spirit of truth and progress. In the Book of Hosea we may see some striking instances of change in the word without seeing any real change in the inner and divine thought. Let us proceed to illustrate this:—
"And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel" (Hosea 2:21-22).
What does that mean? It means nothing as it stands. He is doing a useless work who tries to force it into meaning. Better confess that we are bewildered by these bold personifications. The image is graphic; but who can interpret the speech? The Revisers change the word "hear" into the word "answer"; then the prosopopœia runs thus: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the heavens will ask me to give their rain to the earth, and I will answer the heavens; and the earth will ask the heavens to give it rain, and the heavens will answer the earth; and the things that are in the earth will ask the earth to grow them to give them power such as it may possess of reproductiveness; and the earth shall hear every praying root that is hid in its heart, and thus there shall be a great process or ministry of request and reply, prayer and answer. Has the passage been destroyed by the revision? The passage has simply been illuminated.
"For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer" (Hosea 4:16).
What is a backsliding heifer? We do not know; there is no such creature. But read: "Israel acts stubbornly like a heifer," and the meaning is clear. The heifer will not go as its owner wants it to go. The heifer stands back when it ought to go forward; turns aside when it ought to move straight on; wriggles and twists and, as it were, protests; and only by greater strength, or by the infliction of suffering, can the heifer be made to go to its destined place. The prophet, looking upon that heifer, now on the right, now on the left, now stooping, now throwing up its head in defiance, says, Such is Israel, such is Ephraim. We lose nothing by the change; we gain very much.
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth" (Hosea 6:3).
What does that mean? Nobody knows; that is to say, no one who confines attention simply to the English tongue. How has the Revision put it? Thus: "Let us know, let us follow on to know the Lord; his going forth is sure as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth." How much simpler, how perfectly obvious the meaning!" Let us follow on to know the Lord." Will he come? Yes, as sure as the morning. After what manner will he bless us if we follow on? Why, he will bless you as the rain blesses the earth; yea, as the former and the latter rain come down to quench the thirst of the arid soil. Thus all difficulty is taken away, and the beauteous truth stands out in fullest figure.
The sixth chapter is remarkable for changes.
"Your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away" (Hosea 6:4).
What is the "early dew"? Is there a late dew? No. Then why speak of an early dew? The prophet did not speak of it. All dew is early. How then should we read it?—"like the dew that goeth early away." It is not the dew itself that is early, but the dew that goeth early up into the sun, for the formation of clouds and the elaboration of rainbows. Is anything lost by this change? Much is gained.
A very striking change is made in the seventh verse of the same chapter:—"But they like men have transgressed the covenant" In the Revision a name occurs to which the Bible seems to have paid very small attention; instead of "like men" we read "like Adam." How remarkable it is that so little mention is ever made of the first man in the English translation! Of course in the original Scriptures "Adam" occurs again and again under various forms, as, "Thou son of man," or, "Son of Adam"; but hardly any reference of a personal and specific kind is ever made to the first man. Everybody seems to have been only too glad to forget him. If he cannot forget himself, what a life he must have been leading these countless centuries! He is restored, however, in this verse: "But they like Adam have transgressed the covenant."
Can anything be more mysterious and bewildering than (Hosea 7:4):
"As an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened"?
No man can explain these words as they stand in the English Bible; but alter them, as the Revision does, into "He ceaseth to stir the fire from the kneading of the dough," and you have a picture of men whose passions are so hot that it is needless to stir the fire, or add additional fuel. The lust burns like hell, that the baker can do no more.
"I have written to him the great things of my law" (Hosea 8:12).
How beautiful is the change into, "Though I write for him my law in ten thousand precepts"! Not "great things of my law," but my law split up into ten thousand little laws or precepts that a child might commit to heart. If I say to him, Thou shalt not have all the law at once, for that might overpower thee, but thou shalt have the law little by little—now an infantile precept, now a larger statute, now a broader ordinance; and if I am proceeding too quickly for thee, then I will stop on thy account, and what is a thousand shall be ten thousand, so that little by little thou mayest be educated into wisdom and into obedience, and into the truly spiritual purpose of God, is anything lost by such a change as that? Much is gained by it.
"He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God" (Hosea 12:3).
Where? When? We cannot understand these words, and yet their meaning is perfectly evident when they are thus translated: "In the womb he took his brother by the heel, and in his manhood he had power with God." Thus the man is taken at two different points in his history: he began by an exhibition of power, his little hand was strong even at the first—destiny can hardly be hidden even in protoplasm; and this man who began thus early grew into larger power, yea, in his manhood he wrestled with God. A wondrous page in the development of human strength; a marvellous page in the illustration of divine condescension.
How many sermons have been preached from (Hosea 13:9)
"O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help."
All that is true; great discourses may be preached upon this interpreted text. Sometimes the discourse may be true, but not true to the passage upon which it is founded; sometimes there is an absolute divorce between the sermon and the text, both being good, but neither related to the other. It is better as it stands in the Revision: "It is thy destruction, O Israel, that thou art against me, against thy help,"—the supreme madness, the ineffable and all but incurable insanity.
One more, as illustrative of the Revision in this minor prophet:—
"So will we render the calves of our lips" (Hosea 14:2).
An expression absolutely without meaning. We read it respectfully because it is in the English Bible; it must be right, because it is there. What, then, is the meaning? The signification is brought out beautifully by the Revision: "So will we render thee the thankful praise of our lips instead of bullocks' blood." Thus up to this time men have been offering bullock, and heifer, and lamb, and goat; but the time has now come when our lips shall be calves, our praise shall be the offered bullock. No longer shall there be blood-letting in thy Church, but there shall be praise instead of blood. We will render thee the calves of our lips, the calves of our praise; we will give thee hymns of adoration, because we know that this was the meaning of every sacrifice of blood that thou ever didst command. Thus we grow from the material to the spiritual, from the visible to the invisible, from things rough, coarse, elementary, to things refined, exquisite, final. The great end of the creation of man is that at last and for ever he should sing, the song being the highest expression of service; not the service itself, but the delight which man takes in doing all that God has told him to do.
Is the Bible, then, taken away from us by these changes? What is it that you worship? If you only worship a book in a certain form, then you are as much idolaters as any savage tribe ever found on the face of the globe. You must seek for the inner truth, the spiritual meaning; and let go whatever forms you may, you must never let go the divine thought, the divine purpose. We must not be given to bibliolatry; we must know that the Bible is within the Bible; we must more and more feel that no man can touch the Scriptures of God injuriously, fatally; the revelation abides. There may be persons who have deluded themselves with the thought that the very translation was inspired. The thing that is inspired is the truth; and all language is growing towards its larger and clearer expression. That there is a truth to be unfolded, illuminated, and applied, the conscience of man continually proclaims. We should ask for that truth, and if we have to pay down for it the price of many an old custom and many an old prejudice, we must pay the price more or less willingly, that we may possess the pearl of great price, the truth of God. Nothing necessary to salvation has been touched by all the revisions that have ever taken place, personal or official. The Christ has never been other than a Christ. The Son of God has never been modified as to his personality or function. All that has been changed is of the nature of grammar, history, incident God's love has never been lessened; God's grace has never been contracted into smaller channels by any grammatical changes. All the changes that have been made have only lifted Christ to a higher elevation, and invested the idea of God with a supremer royalty, a more subduing pathos.
Almighty God, thou art the great Shepherd. Thy flock is dear unto thee; if one has gone astray thou wilt come after it and seek it until thou dost find it. This is our hope, as it is our joy; in thy patient love we find the reason of our song. All we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one to his own way; now we have returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, now thou hast fed us with promises; we shall be gathered upon the high mountains of Israel, we shall be within reach of showers of blessings; thou wilt make us thine own by a seal which cannot be broken. Having then these promises of thine, may we accept them as inspirations; may we not rest upon them slothfully, may we accept them as impulses towards nobler service, that we may glorify our Father which is in heaven. Jesus Christ said, I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. He laid down his life for men; he said he had power to lay it down, and power to take it again. Having been saved by his death, how much more shall we be saved by his life. We have passed his Cross, we are under the dominion of his crown. Rule in us, Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God. Once we would not have thee to reign over us, now we have no king but Jesus. We bless God for the King-Shepherd, the royal and final David, the Shepherd of redeemed souls. Lord, Shepherd, hear us, keep us, watch us; we are prone to wander, we love to stray: keep us by the mighty tenderness of thy grace. We rejoice that we have heard of the Shepherd, and that we are in the fold by his grace and love: may we prove ourselves to be of the flock of the Redeemer, not by our pride and vanity, but by our obedience and discipline, and love of others, by our broad and ever-broadening charity; may we in our turn be shepherds of the weak, taking care of those who are helpless, and leading back those who have gone a little astray. Lord, hear us whilst we thank thee for thy shepherdly care, for thy tender, loving, daily oversight. We thank thee for life, though it is full of pain, as we bless thee for the sky, though it is so often dark with clouds. One day thou hast promised we shall be rid of all things evil and distressing; in our language there shall be no word but that which is musical. In that higher land, in that brighter, larger time, men shall not say one to another, I am sick: out of the language of men thou wilt drive every unwelcome and distressful word. In the prepared place there shall be no sin, no pain, no death, no night: these will be forgotten words; thou wilt teach us another speech and a purer language, and we shall speak of light, and love, and truth, and growth, and all things beautiful. Towards that high point thou art drawing us day by day, through wildernesses weird and desolate, through disappointments stinging and fiery, and through all the trouble of the earth. Thou hast not forsaken the flock: no man shall pluck any out of the Father's hand. Give us to feel the comfort of thy hand; may we know that we are not keeping ourselves; hold thou us up, and we shall be safe. We pray for our loved ones, part of ourselves, not with us in this act of worship,—for the father, the husband, the traveller; the man who is sick; the woman who is at home making it brighter for us; the child at school. We pray thee for those who are unhappily further away, men who never pray for themselves, men whose lives are blasphemies; may our prayer be heard at the Cross when we say again, God be merciful unto all sinners. Thou knowest where special comfort is needed, where lives are sad, where there is no strength, no hope; thou knowest the homes in which there has been no song these seven years; all our disappointments thou dost know: the letter brings no answer, the appeal elicits no response; pain brings forth no tear of sympathy. Thou knowest the misery of solitude and of being misunderstood by men; thou knowest how irregular some of us are in make, and thought, and practice, so that we plunge ourselves into misunderstanding, and are made the victims of our own folly. Yet thou wilt pity us, thou wilt make us over again, thou wilt not forsake thy flock. Shepherd of Israel, Christ of the universe, enfold us within thine arms! Amen.
The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.The Ministry of Sorrow
A wonderful book is this prophecy of Hosea [b.c. 800-725]. The man himself at once attracts our sympathy and regard by his personal sufferings. There is no teacher of divine truth to be compared for one moment for excellence so deep and great as trouble. You can learn but little in the schools. Information, except for temporary purposes, is worthless. Well-informed men, if they be nothing more, are oftentimes hindrances and discouragements to those who, not having had their advantages, are conscious of aspirations and possibilities which do not lie within the range of mere intelligence, and which cannot be satisfied or realised by any amount of information. A well-informed man may be a nuisance; his information may tend to the increase of his vanity; but when information is followed by a sanctified moral excellence it becomes valuable and helpful for educational and religious purposes. Hosea had an infinite sorrow at home; therefore he was so great and tender a teacher of divine truth. He read everything through his tears; hence the enlargement, the colour, the variety, the striking beauty of his visions. Men who have never been in the valley of the shadow of death may amuse us, delight us, cheer us, and in some subsidiary ways may help us; but sorrow only can enrich the voice. When the sorrow is home grief it assumes a tenderer quality; yea, there is on it a bloom such as can only be wrought by the ministry of the sun at midday.
Hosea had sorrow of the deepest kind. Gomer the daughter of Diblaim was the daughter of the devil. Hosea had no peace, no rest, no singing joy within the four corners of his own house. He lived in clouds; his life was a continual passage through a sea deeper than the Red Sea; if we may vary the figure, his wandering was in the wilderness, unblessed, cursed by the very spirit of desolation. He had children, but they had evil names; their very names were millstones round the prophet's neck. If one of them had a name historically and ideally beautiful, it was to be used for the expression of judgment and vengeance; for even Jezreel, so glorious geographically, was to be a very tragedy in the judgments which it introduced and exemplified. As for the others, one represented the vanished mercy of God, and the other represented the alienation of the people from God, and the alienation of God from the people. Sometimes when there is no joy between the adults of the house, there may be a kind of intermediate joy in consequence of the presence of the children; they will laugh and say childish things, and will touch some vein of humour or fancy; they who look sourly at one another, and with the bitterness of distrust, may be melted into sympathy because of the miracle wrought by infantile genius. It was not so in the house of Hosea. A common sorrow like an unbroken cloud rested upon the house and upon its weary life. This man will do us good then.
Only sorrow should read some parts of the Bible, because only sorrow could have written them. How many sing the words of poets they never understand! You cannot sing a man's music properly until you know the man himself; until you are familial with the genius of the musician; until, indeed, you have some acquaintance with his deepest experiences. Notes are more than notes. A fool can be taught the staff; but who can be one with the musician, live with him, in the sanctuary of his genius, in all the variety of his experience; who can be wild with his madness, sober with his gravity, sullen with his melancholy, and joyous to rioting and trumpeting and rapture with his ineffable gladness? Then we may begin to sing something of what he has written. But the great psalmists of the age are not to be interpreted by frivolous children; they can only be interpreted, rendered, and expressed by those who have been comrades of their sorrow and companions of their joy.
Hosea will have a tone of his own; he will talk like nobody else; he will be an eccentric, peculiar individual; he will begin when he pleases, and he will take a circuit marked out for him by an invisible guide; but now and again he will come down to the road we travel, and will present us with flowers and fruits, and will say little sweet sentences to us that shall be as angels, covered with light, and tremulous with music. The sorrow of Hosea was symbolic. The Lord meant it to be so. All sorrow, as well as all joy, is meant to be typical. Hosea's cloud was not meant for his own house alone; he was to hear voices in that cloud which he was to repeat to all Israel, and all Judah, and all time. We divest the little books of the Bible and the great books of all their noblest meaning by dwarfing them into local pamphlets, tracts which referred only to the passing day, with its darting showers and glancing sunbeams and variety of nothingness. Whoso has sorrow is meant to be a teacher; whoso has joy is meant to be a gospeller, an evangelist, a good-news-man. You have no right to the exclusive use of your own sorrow; you weep that you may shed tears with the common trouble of the world. Men are not to be laughed out of their losses, their gains, their troubles, and the clouds that overshadow and overweight them; they will know the voice of comradeship; they will say instantly: This is the language of truest experience and richest friendship; the man who speaks to me now speaks from a great height; he is eminent, if not in the manner of his words, in their spirit and accent and emphasis. You have no right to the exclusive proprietorship of your own household joys. They were meant to make the people in the other house as glad as you are. You cannot drink that goblet of joy, and then dry your lips as if nothing had happened; what you have imbibed of gladness should be an inspiration to all who come within your influence. Weep with them that weep; rejoice with them that do rejoice; enter into the common fellowship of the world, and make your contribution ungrudgingly and lavishly and eagerly, as if you had been waiting for the opportunity.
Sorrow should only be silent for a time; by-and-by it should find all its words, refine, enlarge and dignify them, and pass them on as messages, bright as gospels, rich as the oldest wine of heaven's infinite vineyard. Thus the Bible maintains its supremacy. At noon of summer's longest day we do not ask for the Bible; the open air is enough, the green leaves, and the singing birds, and the blushing flowers, and the garden that seems to multiply itself until it occupies the whole earth—these are quite enough for us; but when the company breaks up, and the leaves fall and the birds begin to go elsewhere—for they, poor little faithless ones, follow the sun, they do not follow men; they never say, Here is a little cluster of men gathered in garden party, let us sing to them; not they, they follow the light,—and when the birds have gone and the flowers are dead and the garden has withdrawn, then we want comfort, cheer, hospitality, stimulus. Where can we find all these as in the divine old book? It is because it speaks to men in their deepest experience that it cannot be deposed from its primacy of spiritual influence. It knows us; it searches us through and through; it has the noblest words for our sorrow, the purest music for our joy, and all the notes between it can utter with a precision and exquisiteness impossible to all other books. Hosea would, then, in a sense, share his sorrow. But for his own sorrow he never could have understood God's grief. Again and again God asks us to look at him through ourselves:—"Like as a father... so the Lord": that is the key of the Bible; that is the key of Providence; that is the key of the Cross: omit that basis line from your theology, and your theology is a cloud without water; only a shadow, dark, spectral, barren, promising much and giving nothing. You could never understand God's love until you found that your own child had stabbed you to the heart; you never knew the meaning of sorrow as it is experienced in heaven until you looked round and found your disappointed eyes confronted by emptiness. When it was told you that the vacant chair would not be filled that day because the prodigal had gone, then you read the Bible as no lettered priest or scribe ever read it. You knew nothing of life until you had been desolated by death. When there were only two of you in the house, and one lay dead and speechless, then you knew what the critics could never tell you of Bible truth, divine presence, and divine purpose; then you saw beyond the veil, and there stole into your soul a courage that loved the very image of death; there came into your spirit an inspiration that made death itself a silent friend.
So the Lord will put Hosea to school; and so he will put all his prophets and apostles through their education. Happy they who come up out of household trouble, public disappointment, and social criticism, and loss and desolation, to pray larger prayers, and offer to those who are outside a larger hospitality of love and rest. If sorrow make us narrower in thought and purpose, then sorrow has failed to convey God's meaning to the soul. Sorrow should open the heart-door, so that no man can shut it, that all may enter in who need comfort and quietness, and peace and hope.
Yet the Lord cannot be angry all day. He breaks down like a woman; he thunders in terrible judgment, and at the end of the thunder he pronounces the benediction. Hosea is full of but's and yet's and therefore's, which the critics say ought to be nevertheless's; but after all these words there come gospels broad as dawning day, dewy as the eyelids of the morning. After such words as the Lord puts into the mouth of the prophet you would say a gospel was impossible; yet as the rippling plough goes before the sowing hand, so God's judgment goes before God's mercy, God's desolations prepare the way for God's benefactions. When I am weak, then am I strong. After poverty shall come wealth; after well-borne disappointment shall come sunny contentment, serenest tranquillity and peace:—"But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them." We knew he would break down. Jonah knew it, and was angry. The Lord said, Art thou angry because I have had compassion upon that great city? And Jonah said, I am. The Lord said, Doest thou well to be angry? And Jonah said, I do—because Jonah was little, incomplete, imperfect, infirm in temper, wanting not only in imagination, but in the true compassion which would sacrifice all heaven if by doing so one poor lost child could be brought home again. Prophets like their own prophecies to be fulfilled. Jonah did not like to be made a fool of; it was very important that Jonah, having gone up and down the streets of Nineveh, saying, "In forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown," should be looked upon in the evening of the last day as a very respectable person. He studied the dignity of the ministry. Jonah's respectability was infinitely greater than Nineveh's salvation. So he was petulant and furious and wholly absurd.
How will the Lord carry out his purpose of mercy? Already he begins to be spiritual in his method of salvation—"not by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen." This is a point in history. All outward, visible, material salvations are driven away; a grand supersession of these is now to take place. For a long time men could understand no salvation but that which was physical. When they heard that ten thousand horses were coming down the hill they began to feel, as it were, safe; when some quick-eared sufferer caught the first blast of the trumpet of an approaching host they who were in prison began to sing, because they were made perfectly sure that their salvation was at hand. There came a time in the history of the world, as given in the development of the Bible, when God dispensed with all manner of mechanical auxiliaries, as bow and sword and battle, and horses and horsemen. God hath chosen the foolish things and the weak things and the non-existent things that he may work out all his glorious purpose. Without a single horseman on the field he will open the gate and deliver the prisoner, and give joy to those who have only fed on tears and bread of affliction. The Lord delighteth not in the legs of a man; the Lord is not dependent upon the strength of a horse, though his neck be clothed with thunder, and his nostrils be scarlet with energy. The Lord delivers spiritually; he comes invisibly; a thousand angels start on their journey when he bids them arise and depart, and save those who are in extremity. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be cast into the midst of the sea." Amid all the seas, oceans on oceans piled, and thunder on thunder heaped, there is a river, a little silver stream, that maketh glad the City of God: the river shall be more useful than the sea, the stream shall have in it more water than the Atlantic; there shall be a deeper calm amid the apparently little inheritance which God gives to his people than there is in all the plentifulness of antiquity.
Then we come upon one of Hosea's yets. Lo ruhamah had been weaned, Lo-ammi had been born, and it seemed as if the night continued in all its wild and stormy darkness; but in Hosea 1:10 we have "Yet." What weaving is this, of storm and peace, winter and summer, wilderness and paradise! what wondrous weaving have we here! Oh, that flying busy shuttle! What is it doing? now a judgment, and now a hymn of peace. What is to come of it all? How will the day end?
"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God" (Hosea 1:10).
What a chapter! How like an April day, beginning in anger, in swift darting showers, every drop a spear point; and ending in brightest June, in such a wealth of light, in such an infinity of peace. This may be an apocalypse, a hint. This may come true of us. We have had sorrow, difficulty, toil, travail, misery: who can say that at eventide there shall not be light, and in the calm sunset we shall not forget the battle of early day?