Isaiah 3:10
These verses are parenthetical. "They assert the doctrine of 'future rewards and punishment' in a spiritual and not a mechanical sense. Good deeds ripen into happiness, as evil deeds into misery" (Cheyne). The point of impression may be stated thus -


II. TO THE WICKED - GOD'S JUDGMENTS ARE INEVITABLE. "The pious are graciously assured, that in the worst of times, and under the most trying circumstances, God will be their Friend and Rewarder; while the ungodly are equally assured that they shall suffer merited punishment' (Henderson). Compare the Divine pleadings with Cain (Genesis 4:7), and Abraham's pleading over guilty Sodom (Genesis 18:25). See Asaph's perplexity because it was so often ill with the righteous, and well with the wicked (Psalm 73.). How can God answer those who, looking cursorily upon life, say that the earthly lot of the righteous and of the wicked is very much the same? His answer may be set forth under the following divisions.

1. God cares for the righteous, and has some kind purpose towards them in letting them suffer.

2. The righteous should be willing to accept of a share of suffering, which aims at the correction and salvation of the many.

3. God keeps the conscience of the righteous quiet under suffering, and so he does not feel its real bitterness.

4. God can keep the righteous from sharing suffering if it pleases him so to do, just as he saved Israel in Goshen from the plagues that smote the rest of Egypt. To the wicked God's judgments have a bitter sting, for they are conscious of the connection between their sins and their judgments, unless conscience is utterly dead, and then there must come for them an awful day of awakening. And if the wicked do escape calamities here, there is the inevitable day coming when he must receive "according to the deeds done in his body." - R.T.

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him.
In this passage the Sovereign of the universe proclaims to all the subjects of His moral government the great sanctions of His law. Two powerful principles of action in our nature are addressed, namely, hope and fear. By the one we are allured to love and pursue that which is right; by the other, we are restrained from that which is wrong. The combined influence of both of these principles is, in most cases, necessary to the production and security of human virtue. God has established a natural and intimate connection between virtue and happiness, and between sin and misery, and in consequence of this connection, it must necessarily happen that it. will be, on the whole, well with the righteous and ill with the wicked.

I. Let us inquire what confirmation this doctrine receives from what we know of the present constitution of things, and from what we find to be THE USUAL COURSE OF GOD'S MORAL GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD, If we consult the structure and operations of our own souls, we shall find many striking intimations of this doctrine there. The Author of our nature has made us rational, free, moral, and accountable beings. For the direction and government of our conduct, He has implanted within us a principle, which we call conscience, which distinguishes actions as good or bad, and which always urges us to perform the one and to avoid the other. He has, moreover, enforced the authority of this principle, by annexing present pleasure to obedience to its dictates, and present pain to a violation of them. The passions of hope and fear ever attend on conscience; the one to encourage and reward faithful adherence to its commands; the other to restrain and punish a wilful transgression of them. Now, all this takes place in consequence of that moral constitution which God has given us, and of that intimate connection which He Himself has established between virtue and happiness and between sin and misery. So long, therefore, as the moral constitution of our nature continues the same, and so long as God continues to be the same infinitely wise, holy, and good Being, so long must it necessarily happen that, on the whole, it will be well with the righteous and ill with the wicked.

II. This doctrine receives additional confirmation from THE UNIVERSAL CONSENT OF MANKIND. In consequence of that moral nature which God has given us, by which we cannot but approve that which we know to be right, and condemn that which we know to be wrong, all men are agreed that vice (as far as they know it to be such) should be restrained and punished, and that virtue should be encouraged and rewarded. Hence, in all governments, laws are enacted against wickedness and for the protection and encouragement of the righteous.

III. A further confirmation of this doctrine is derived from what appear to be THE PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH GOD'S PRESENT MORAL GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD IS CONDUCTED. We find that, in most cases, present good is connected by Him with virtuous dispositions and habits; and present evil, with sinful tempers and practices. And although this connection is not always so intimate and inseparable, as that punishment immediately follows transgression, and reward instantly attends obedience, yet the natural retributions or effects of virtue and vice are exhibited with sufficient frequency, to show us in what light God regards them. With certain vices, we find that God has connected terrible physical evils, as their proper consequences. Intemperance, in most instances, induces disease, excruciating pains and premature death. It impairs the mind, and is generally attended with the loss of property, and invariably with the loss of reputation. With some other of the vices of sensuality are connected the most loathsome and destructive maladies, in the endurance of which the victim suffers a dreadful retribution. And with regard to other vices, it not unfrequently happens that the events of providence are so ordered in reference to the perpetrators of them that the wicked man becomes miserable, notwithstanding all his worldly possessions and honours, and all that he has can give him neither joy not quietude. On the contrary, God has connected with temperance and industry, health, cheerfulness, and competency. To the godly there is the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come. This promise we see fulfilled, in part, in the general esteem and love in which the virtuous are held, and in the usual prosperity of their affairs. If they have not abundance, they have a competency; or, if they are abridged in that respect, they have friends and a contented mind. Besides, the events of providence are, in general, so ordered with regard to them, that they find "all things working together for their good." Upon these principles does the course of God's moral government of mankind appear now to be conducted. And from what is now known of the principles of His government, we may confidently infer that, during the whole of man's continuance in being, it will always be well with the righteous and ill with the wicked.

(J. Bartlett.)

1. "Good and evil are often so promiscuously distributed in the present life, that we cannot with certainty infer what are the principles upon which God's government of mankind is conducted. The fraudulent and wicked are frequently prosperous and rich and flattered, while the righteous are often poor, neglected, oppressed, and despised." This is frequently the fact, and were the present the only state in which mankind were to exist, and were worldly riches and honours the only and the proper reward of virtue, and were they, in themselves, that real good which mankind fancy them to be, then, this fact alone would render this whole doctrine suspicious, and the arguments adduced in support of it inconclusive. But it must first be proved that the present is the only state in which mankind are to exist; a position, which few will pretend to sustain, and against which innumerable arguments array themselves, suggested by the structure and operations of our own minds; the desires and hopes which are ever springing up within us; by our capacity of knowledge, goodness, and happiness, which here are only imperfectly attained, and also by that very unequal distribution of good and evil, in the present life, which has been objected to.

2. It is objected that "the miseries attending upon wickedness in this world are punishment enough for the vicious, and therefore they will be exempted from further suffering hereafter." It is true that, in the present life, there is much misery attending upon wickedness; but this furnishes not the least ground for the supposition that misery will ever cease to be connected with sin, as its natural and necessary consequence. On the contrary, it affords a very strong proof that this connection will ever exist, and that so long as men are wicked, so long will they be miserable. It is agreeable to the nature of things that it should be so. In the natural world, we find that fruit corresponds to the nature of the tree that bears it; the grain that is reaped to the seed that was sown.

3. It is inconsistent with the Divine mercy that the wicked should ever experience any more suffering than what they endure in this world." It savours not a little of presumption for creatures of such limited, weak, and erring minds as ours to undertake to decide, with regard to the various measures of the Divine government, what is and what is not consistent with God's mercy. No one thinks to arraign the Divine government for connecting with sin, in the present life, distress of mind, disgrace, and suffering. And were our stay on earth prolonged to millions of years it would still be thought just and right, and entirely consistent with the mercy of God, that the same evils should attend the wicked, and the same good should attend the righteous. It is an error, common to many, that they look upon the evils which attend upon sin in this life, as a punishment vindictively appointed by God, to be endured by the transgressor, as a penalty for having violated His law, and that after he has endured it, he has paid the price of his transgression; the sin for which he has suffered is expiated. and therefore he thinks it would be unjust that he should be subjected to any more suffering, although his disposition be not changed in the least. There is hardly a sentiment that can be named, more injurious in its influence than this, where it is fully entertained. This error proceeds from misapprehension of the design of God in connecting evil with sin. The miseries which are consequent upon sin are not appointed vindictively, as a punishment; but benevolently, as preventives of it. Our Maker has kindly placed at the entrance of every path of vice, pain, disgrace, and suffering, to deter us from entering therein; or if we have entered, to make us retrace our steps. Every onward step we take in a sinful course, these evils assail us.

(J. Bartlett.)

"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Plainly do we see this exemplified in the history of God's once favoured people, the Jews.


1. We must, before we contemplate their reward, inquire who are meant by the righteous. The Bible elsewhere tells us, "There is none righteous, no, not one." All our powers and faculties are represented as disordered and depraved. After the Holy Spirit has convinced anyone of sin, humbled his heart, and won his affections to Christ, that man is "accounted righteous" — "righteousness is imputed unto him also," as it was unto faithful Abraham. And "as a refiner's fire" will the Holy Spirit gradually purify all those powers and faculties of the now justified sinner that were once prostituted to the debasing service of the flesh, the world, and Satan.

2. And now we are prepared to notice his reward. We cannot, indeed, imagine that an infinitely glorious Creator can ever become obligated to reward a creature's faith and service: nevertheless, there is a "reward of grace."(1) It shall be well with him in life. Is he young? He shall, in the Spirit of adoption, and through a Saviour's mediation, cry unto the eternal God, "My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth." Is he engaged in the necessary cares and businesses of the world? He shall be "kept in the hour of temptation." Is he "small and of no reputation"? Angels shall minister unto him. Is he poor? "God hath chosen the poor of this world"; riches of grace below, and riches of glory in reversion, far outweigh in excellence and value every earthly good whatever. Is he "in sorrow, need, pain, sickness, or any other adversity"? "The high and lofty One" will "make for him all his bed in his sickness."(2) It shall be well with him also in death. That which to nature is commonly terrible and affrighting, is to the regenerate man — if not always desirable, at least, often so, and never otherwise than safe and happy.(3) It shall be well with him in eternity.


I. And, as before we inquired, Who were meant by the righteous? so here we must ask, Whom are we to understand by the wicked? Although, in a general way, people allow themselves to be sinners, yet even whilst making this admission, there is evidently no consciousness of sin, no apprehension of its adequate desert, no sorrow for it, no hatred to it.

2. Their woe. Here the woe of the wicked is called their "reward"; and a reward it is: for while "eternal life" is bestowed as a "gift through Jesus Christ," upon the righteous, the "woe" of the wicked is paid to them as "wages" earned.(1) It shall be ill with the wicked in life. The wicked may, as the Scripture says, "bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart, to add drunkenness to thirst"; but "the anger of the Lord and His jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this Book shall lie upon him." The life of the wicked is one "woeful day," nor is there a period of it, however marked either by prosperous or adverse circumstances, wherein it is not "ill" with him.(2) And can it be otherwise in death? "I am not afraid to die," says many a careless man: "I heartily wish you were so," is the mental answer of the pious minister. The stupid insensibility of the unhumbled, unawakened sinner, even death itself can scarcely appall. The same self-delusion prevails in the expiring moments as marked the days of life and vigour.(3) It shall be ill with the wicked forever.

(W. Mudge, M. A.)

The Book of God speaks but little of upper and lower classes; it says but little concerning the various ranks into which civil and political institutions have divided the race of man; but from its first page to its last it is taken up with this grand division, the righteous and the wicked. The line of nature and the line of grace run on the same as ever; the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent contend with each other still. A crimson line runs between the righteous and the wicked, the line of atoning sacrifice; faith crosses that line, but nothing else can. There is a sharp line of division between the righteous and the wicked, as clear as that which divides death from life. There are no "betweenites"; no amphibious dwellers in grace and out of grace; no monstrous nondescripts, who are neither sinners nor saints.


1. Observe the fact mentioned. "It shall be well with him"; that is the whole of the declaration; but the very fewness of the words reveals a depth of meaning.(1) We may gather from the fact that the text is without descriptive limits; that it is well with the righteous always. It shall be well with the righteous, especially, in futurity. Well, upon Divine authority.(2) It is well, we may rest assured again, with our best selves. The text does not say it is always well with our bodies, but our bodies are not ourselves, — they are but the casket of our nobler natures.(3) When I looked at the text, I thought, — "Yes, and if God says it is well, He means it is well emphatically."(4) It is so well with him that God wants him to know it. He would have His saints happy, and therefore He says to His prophets, "Say ye to the righteous it shall be well with him." It is not wise sometimes to remind a man of his wealth, and rank, and prospects, for pride is so readily stirred up in us. But it is not dangerous to assure the Christian that it is well with him.(5) It is no wonder that it is well with the believer when you consider that his greatest trouble is past. His greatest trouble was the guilt of sin.(6) Then, your next greatest trouble is doomed — indwelling sin.(7) With regard to the Christian, he knows that his best things are safe. As for his worst things, they only work his good.(8) It must be well with the Christian, because God has put within him many graces, which help to make all things well. Has he difficulties? Faith laughs at them, and overcomes them. Has he trials? Love accepts them, seeing the Father's band in them all. Has he sicknesses? Patience kisses the rod. Is he weary? Hope expects a rest to come. The sparkling graces which God has put within the man's soul qualify him to overcome in all conflicts, and to make this world subject to his power in every battle; I mean that he getteth good out of the worst ill, or throweth that ill aside by the majesty of the life that is in him,(9) Then mark how the Christian has, beside what is put within him by the Holy Spirit, this to comfort him, namely, that day by day God the Holy Ghost visits him with fresh life and fresh power. (10) Let me run over a few things which the Christian has, from each of which it may be inferred it must be well with him. He has a bank that never breaks, the glorious throne of grace; and he has only to apply on bended knee to get what he will. He has ever near him a most sweet companion, whose loving converse is so delightful that the roughest roads grow smooth, and the darkest nights glow with brightness. The believer has an arm to lean upon also, an arm that is never weary, never feeble, never ever withdrawn; so that if he hath to climb along a rugged way, the more rough the road the more heavily he leans, and the more graciously he is sustained. Moreover, he is favoured with a perpetual Comforter. It is well with the righteous when he comes to die. It is well with the righteous after death.

2. The ground upon which it is well with the righteous. "They shall eat the fruit of their doings." That is the only terms upon which the old covenant can promise that it shall be well with us; but this is not the ground upon which you and I stand under the Gospel dispensation. Absolutely to eat the fruit of all our doings would be even to us, if judgment were brought to the line and righteousness to the plummet, a very dreadful thing. Yet there is a limited sense in which the righteous man will do this. I prefer, however, to remark that there is One whose doings for us are the grounds of our dependence, and, blessed be God, we shall eat the fruit of His doings. He, the Lord Jesus, stood for us, and you know what a harvest of joy He sowed for us in His life and death.

II. THE MISERY OF THE WICKED. "Woe," etc. You have only to negative all that I have already said about the righteous. But why is it ill with the wicked? It must be ill with him; he is out of joint with all the world. The man has an enemy who is omnipotent, whose power cannot be resisted; an enemy who is all goodness, and yet this man opposes Him. How can it be well with the stubble that fighteth with the flame, or with the wax that striveth with the fire? An insect fighting with a giant, how should it overcome? And thou, poor nothingness, contending with the everlasting God, how can it be anything But ill with thee? It is ill with thee, sinner, because thy joys all hang upon a thread. It is ill with you, because when these joys are over you have no more to come. It shall be ill with the wicked, and let no present appearance lead you to doubt it.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)


1. In this mixed state, when men are neither perfectly good nor bad, the exact boundaries are not so easily fixed, especially when an application is made of these characters to particular persons, and we judge concerning ourselves, in which case prejudice and self-partiality often mislead men; and superstition, a very prevailing error among mankind, contributes to these errors by leading them to imagine that there is righteousness and religion in those things which have really nothing to do with it. In general the righteous is he in whose heart the morally good or pious, virtuous and pure affections rule, and whose practice is habitually conducted by their direction; the man who loves God above all things; not the person who is altogether free from any infirmities, which, strictly speaking, may be called sinful, and who never, through the whole course of his life, has by ignorance or surprise been drawn into those indeliberate actions, which upon a review he cannot justify. If this were the sense of righteousness, who could pretend to it?

2. In what sense it shall be well with him. The meaning certainly is not that he shall possess all external advantages in this world, whereby his condition shall be rendered more easy and prosperous than that of the wicked. That is contrary to fact and experience, as well as to many plain declarations of Scripture. The stable uniform desire of the good man, is, that God may "lift on him the light of His countenance," or grant him His "favour, which is better than life." Nor is it to be thought that Divine providence will always interpose to rescue the righteous from those calamities that come upon the world of the ungodly in which they live; it was not the intention of the prophet to assure them, that they should be preserved from the ruin of Jerusalem, and the common fall of Judah, which was to be expected because of their crying national sins, in which the righteous had no share; but that in all events they should be happy, even though they were involved in the common desolation, and perished with the multitude of sinners. We must, therefore, in order to understand fully how it shall be well with the righteous, enlarge our notion of the state of man; we must consider him in the whole of his being, his soul as well as his body and in every condition and period of his existence. It is thus we judge concerning our state within the compass of the present life, and its affairs. A man may be easy and prosperous in the main, when his principal interests are flourishing, although he meets with various disappointments in things which are of lesser moment. In like manner we may justly say, it is well with good men when their souls prosper; they enjoy inward peace and satisfaction, and their future happiness is secured, though they are liable to sufferings in this present time.

II. UPON WHAT EVIDENCE THE PROPHET'S ASSERTION RESTS, or how it appears that there is a connection between righteousness and felicity.

1. Consider the state and constitution of human nature as in fact we find it, abstracting from any inquiry concerning the Author of it and His designs and conduct towards us. Scarcely is there any man not conscious, in some measure, of the satisfaction which arises from morally good dispositions; and that this is stronger and more intense than the enjoyments which any sensible object can yield appears from this consideration, that the latter are frequently sacrificed to the other. Who doth not know, on the other hand, the pains of a self-accusing heart?

2. Consider righteousness not merely as the glory of the human mind, and the naturally felicitating exercise and attainment of its powers, but further, as it is approved and recommended to mankind by the Deity, their rightful and supreme Ruler. We have the clearest evidence that He approves the good actions of men, and disapproves the bad; whence we infer that one part of His own character is moral rectitude, which is a perfection that necessarily appears to our minds amiable, and every way worthy of the most excellent nature; and since He is our natural Governor, by whose will we exist, are preserved, and all the circumstances of our condition are determined, here is a sufficient intimation of the rule, according to which He doth, and will always proceed, in His dispensations towards us, making us happy or unhappy.

(J. Abernethy, M. A.)


1. A "righteous" man before God is made so by the imputation of Christ's holy obedience, put to his account.

2. He has a righteous kingdom implanted and set up in his soul. A righteous man has proof of his being such.

3. He can feed upon nothing but God's righteous provision. He cannot feed upon his own obedience, or upon the mere letter of the word, or upon his mere judgment. He must have "precious faith" to "eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man."

4. He loves righteous fruits — a holy walk in all godliness and fear.


1. In providence.

2. In spiritual things. All thy temptations, all thy darkness, all thy perplexities, all thy disquietudes, all thy wanderings, God will overrule. There shall never be a night, but morning shall come; never a day of adversity, but a day of prosperity shall follow; never an emptying, but there shall be a filling; never a bringing down, but He will raise thee up again.

(J. Warburton.)


1. Negatively.(1) Not the self-righteous, who have a high opinion of themselves. It cannot be well with them, for they deny the sacrifice of Christ by which sinners are constituted righteous.(2) Not those who deny the necessity and importance of good works (Romans 6:1, 2).

2. Positively. This leads to a very affecting truth, namely, that all by sin are unrighteous. Observe —(1) Every true believer is righteous according to the covenant of grace (Romans 5:1; Romans 4:3, 23-25; Romans 5:18, 19).(2) They have an inherent righteousness wrought in them by the Holy Spirit. They are "born again" — "renewed in the spirit of their minds," and are new creatures in Christ Jesus.(3) They declare by their conduct that they are righteous. "They love mercy, do justly," etc. They "have their fruit unto holiness," etc.

II. WHAT IS THEIR HAPPINESS? "It shall be well with him."

1. Their present state of justification, etc., already described, proves this: they are free from guilt and condemnation. "Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven," etc. This freedom gives hope and is the precursor of blessedness to come.

2. They have a good conscience (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:21, 22; 2 Corinthians 1:12).

3. They enjoy all the pleasures of true religion, arising from the possession of Christian graces — the enjoyment of Christian privileges — and the performance of Christian duties.

4. It shall be well with them in all adverse circumstances.

5. In death, the period when the presence of God is most needed.

6. At the resurrection. "They that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of life."

7. At the judgment day (Malachi 3:17).

8. For ever in heaven. They shall be "with Christ."







(H. Woodcock.)

"God hangs great weights on slender wires." Thus He has made Eternity to depend on Time, and our state in heaven or in hell to be decided by our character on earth. Our whole history, in like manner, often hangs upon a trifle; and that which moulds our character, upon an incident which we hardly notice. Hence even the least actions in themselves and in their connection with others, in leading to results, forming habits and moulding character, are of the highest importance to us, and demand our most thoughtful reflection.

I. THEIR CONNECTION WITH ONE ANOTHER. No action stands alone; each is a link in a chain stretching out to eternity. Take the case of an intemperate and unchaste man; his habits are neither without a cause preceding nor an effect to follow. It is quite possible that several generations backward, some ancestor of his, through some so-called trivial accident, some casual meeting, first gave way to drunkenness. Now look onwards a few steps; we will suppose ourselves in a hospital a generation or two hence: as we pass from ward to ward we come to a descendant of the man before us — a poor creature, more miserable than any we have seen dying of some miserable disease. The cause of his suffering is to be found in the intemperance and incontinency of those who have gone before him. Step by step it may be traced back to the trifle which led his forefather to his first night of revelling and drunkenness. Take an instance on the brighter side — the thought which first hit on the art of printing. This too arose from some so-called trivial accident. We do not know what preceded it; but we may be sure it did not come without some connection in its author's mind. Every great result strikes its roots deep into the past. But what has followed? has it stood alone, unconnected, the act of one isolated mind? is not the world rather full of its consequences, one of which, perhaps the most blessed, is that men of all kindreds and nations may now read in their own tongues the wonderful works of God? Both good and evil actions fructify, and reproduce themselves in various forms. Whither their roots shall extend, and when shoot up again, whither their seed may be carried, where it may fall, and what it shall produce, who can tell? Sometimes the least promising seed will produce the most abundant return of fruit. So that we may not pronounce upon the importance of an action, for we do not see its connection; neither may we think any action trivial, for it may, I had almost said it must, lead to consequences of importance throughout eternity.


1. On ourselves. Every step we take not only brings us forward, but leaves a footprint behind. Every thought, word, action, all we suffer and all we do, not only has its own importance, and leads us forward in the march of life, but also leaves its impression, its foot print upon us, and tends to form, confirm, or change our character. There is a memorable instance in point, illustrating both the weakness of yielding and the nobleness of holding fast to one's convictions, in the visit of Henry III of France to Bernard de Palissy in the dungeons of the Bastille. The King desired to give the celebrated potter his liberty, asking as, the price of his pardon the easy condition of giving up his Protestant faith; My worthy friend, said the monarch, "you have now been forty-five years in the service of my mother and myself; we have suffered you to retain your religion amidst fire and slaughter; I am now so pressed by the Guises and my people, that I find myself compelled to deliver you into the hands of your enemies, and tomorrow you will be burnt unless you are converted." The old man bowed, touched by the goodness of the King, humbled by his weakness, but inflexible in the faith of his fathers. "Sire," he answered, "I am ready to give up the remainder of my life for the honour of God; you have told me several times that you pity me, and now in my turn I pity you, who have used the words 'I am compelled'; it was not spoken like a king, Sire, and they are words which neither you, nor the Guises, nor the people shall ever make me utter: Sire, I can die." By continually yielding, the monarch had become a slave; by continually acting up to his convictions, the potter had become more than a king. "He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city."

2. Look next at the effect of our actions upon others. Not only our children, friends, servants, but all we have any intercourse with, are more or less affected by us. Everyone knows the force of example, the impulse we have to imitate. Everyone musk have noticed the contagion, as it were, of opinion, which from house to house influences a whole circle of acquaintanceship. How often have you felt the devotion or the carelessness of the person kneeling by your side in church! How frequently must you have noticed the way in which you catch the habits and manners of those you live with; the way in which you too are watched, and observed, and copied by others. So that, if you did nothing directly to influence others, the effect of your indirect influence is yet incalculable. But you have direct influence also to exercise and give account of. Everyone does act directly upon others. Everyone does hinder or encourage, lead into sin, sin with, or lead away from sin, and walk godly with, others. And where is this to stop? You ruin or, under God, save others. This goes on; their influence ruins or saves others, and so on and on forever. Solemn, indeed, are the words of our Saviour on this subject. (Luke 17:1, 2.) On the other hand, it is equally encouraging to know that no virtuous effort is ever lost. It has been said that every pulsation made in the air by the feeblest human effort produces a change in the whole atmosphere; so that the air is one vast library, on whose pages are forever written all that man has ever said or woman uttered. Is it not equally true, that the feeblest effort made for God has an influence on some heart, and that on others onwards and onwards throughout all generations? that, as the air is one vast library of whatever has moved it from eternity, so the hearts and consciences of men are a vast register of every effort made, every word spoken, every influence exerted upon them for God and for His Christ from the beginning to the end of time; a register to be read out on the last great day.

(F. Morse, M. A.)

When Dr. Adam Clarke was an old man he wrote: I have enjoyed the spring of life; I have enjoyed the toils of its summer; I have culled the fruits of its autumn; I am now passing through the rigours of its winter, and I am neither forsaken of God nor abandoned by man. I see at no great distance the dawn of a new day, the first of a spring which shall be eternal. It is advancing to meet me! I run to embrace it! Welcome, eternal spring! Hallelujah!"

Gates of Imagery.
An old gardener said, "I trust I cannot be wrong in believing that year by year, as I grow older, I draw nearer to a garden of perfect beauty and eternal rest, — a garden more glorious than that which Adam lost, the Eden and the paradise of God."

(Gates of Imagery.)

When John Bunyan was once asked about heaven, and the glories of heaven, he answered: "If you want to know more about it, you must live a godly life, and go and see for yourselves."

(D. J. S. Hunt.)

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