Psalm 37:7
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not when men prosper in their ways, when they carry out wicked schemes.
Sermons
DiscontentJ. Parker, D. D.Psalm 37:1-12
Fret NotT. Spurgeon.Psalm 37:1-12
Fretful EnvyHomilistPsalm 37:1-12
FrettingJohn Cox.Psalm 37:1-12
FrettingJ. Scilley.Psalm 37:1-12
The Cure for CareJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Psalm 37:1-12
The Good Man's DirectoryC. Clemance Psalm 37:1-40
Two PicturesW. Forsyth Psalm 37:1-40
A Sacred Duty and a Gracious RewardT. Yockney.Psalm 37:3-8
A Simple GospelJohn Hunter, D. D.Psalm 37:3-8
A Sure Method of Obtaining Our DesiresSketches of Four Hundred SermonsPsalm 37:3-8
Christian WaitingH. Ward Beecher.Psalm 37:3-8
Delight in GodJ. Marriott, M. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Delight in GodH. Allon, D. D.Psalm 37:3-8
Delight in God the Origin and Perfection of Human PleasurJ. Seed, M. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Delight in PrayerS. Charnock.Psalm 37:3-8
Delight in the LordH. Reynolds, D. D.Psalm 37:3-8
Delight in the LordJ. Monro Gibson, D. D.Psalm 37:3-8
Delighting in GodW. Dickson.Psalm 37:3-8
Delighting in the LordJ. Baker Norton.Psalm 37:3-8
Delighting in the LordC. Voysey, B. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Desires AnsweredHomiletic ReviewPsalm 37:3-8
Genuine Piety the Antidote to EnvyHomilistPsalm 37:3-8
On Trust in GodS. Partridge, M. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Our Heart's DesireR. J. Campbell, M. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Rest to the Aching HeartS. Baring Gould, M. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Sunshine in the HeartPsalm 37:3-8
Temporal ProsperityEvangelical Advocate.Psalm 37:3-8
The Desires of the HeartPsalm 37:3-8
The Remedy for Hard TimesH. Ward Beecher.Psalm 37:3-8
The Secret of TranquillityA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 37:3-8
The Strongest and Sweetest Songs Yet Remain to be SungA. E. Hooper.Psalm 37:3-8
Trust in the Lord and Do GoodJ. Baldwin Brown, B. A.Psalm 37:3-8
Work and WagesJohn W. Norton.Psalm 37:3-8
Christian Resting and UnitingS. T. Huntingdon, D. D.Psalm 37:7-11
Christian Resting and UnitingS. T. Huntingdon, D. D.Psalm 37:7-11
Confidence in GodC. Short Psalm 37:7-11
Patient Waiting Upon GodJ. Jenkyn Brown.Psalm 37:7-11
Rest for the TroubledM. Wilcox.Psalm 37:7-11
Rest for the TroubledR. M. Wilcox.Psalm 37:7-11
Rest in the LordH. Reynolds, D. D.Psalm 37:7-11
Rest in the LordPsalm 37:7-11
Rest in the LordJ. S. Maver, M. A.Psalm 37:7-11
Resting and WaitingG. L. Jarman.Psalm 37:7-11
Resting in the LordJ. Bailey, Ph. D.Psalm 37:7-11
Resting in the LordJ. Bailey, Ph. D.Psalm 37:7-11
Silent and Patient Waiting for the LordH. O. Crofts, D. D.Psalm 37:7-11
Stillness in GodBishop S. Wilberforce.Psalm 37:7-11
The Believer's RestPsalm 37:7-11
The Folly of Fretful Envy of the WickedHomilistPsalm 37:7-11
The Gate to the Waiting-PlaceMarch: R. Vincent, D. D.Psalm 37:7-11
The Good Man in TroubleT. Binnecy.Psalm 37:7-11
The Prosperity of the Wicked ConsideredJ. Roe, M. A.Psalm 37:7-11
Waiting Upon GodT. Binney.Psalm 37:7-11
Waiting Upon GodTrevor H. Davies.Psalm 37:7-11
The text of the whole psalm is in the first two verses. We are not to be discouraged in the service of God by the prosperity of the wicked; for it is more apparent than real, and is a short-lived prosperity. At the seventh verse the psalm takes a fresh start from the same key-note.

I. SILENT TRUST IN GOD, WAITING FOR HIM, IS THE ONLY TRUE SOLUTION OF THE DIFFICULTY. (Ver. 7.) Do not vainly argue the question; be silent to God, and he will speak by-and-by and explain the difficulties of his providence.

II. ENVIOUS ANGER THAT THE WICKED ARE BETTER OFF THAN YOU IS SINFUL. (Ver. 8.) It is an arraignment of God's providence, which is presumptuous, and a discontent which is ungrateful, and an undervaluing of that inward prosperity which is the greatest good of life.

III. IT IS THE RIGHTEOUS WHO REALLY INHERIT THAT WHICH IS BEST IN THIS LIFE. (Vers. 9, 10.) The prosperity of evil-doers will soon come to an end; for it is unrighteous, and cannot last in the world of a righteous God. But the righteous have an inward life that turns outward things into gold; they feast royally at the table of God, as is said in the twenty-third psalm.

IV. THE PRECEDING THOUGHT IS REPEATED WITH THE PROMISE OF AN ABUNDANCE OF PEACE. (Ver. 11.) Our Lord repeats the former part of this verse in the Sermon on the Mount. "The meek - those who do not vainly strive and fret over the impossible or the inevitable - shall inherit the earth." And shall have peace of heart and mind, which the wicked have not. - S.







Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself.
Note the man contemplated. He is a man of real piety, and he is contrasted with the wicked. The wicked are spoken of, but he is spoken to. He is understood to be of a different class altogether. But he is at present in circumstances of trial, and the battle is rather going against him. He sees that which he knows not how to reconcile with the idea that "there is a God who judgeth in the earth." A great cloud is upon his spirits.

I. THE ADVICE GIVEN TO HIM.

1. As to that which he is not to do. He is not to fret himself because of the prosperity of the wicked. It does not mean merely that he is not to be envious, not to indulge in that dark, malignant spirit. I think you must regard him as looking upon some of the great perplexing events of God's providence. There are a set of wicked men, whose diabolical skill and device are crowned with success. They are bound, perhaps, in a vigorous crusade against God, and against God's Church, and apparently are successful in their wicked endeavours. You are not to let such thoughts get down into your soul to weaken and destroy your faith in God. "Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in the way." Then there is a second piece of advice, which I should say goes farther because things are getting worse — "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil." It is not merely now a man looking upon that which is objective, and being rather disturbed by it; but things are coming near and touching him personally; the successful device has entangled him, and now passion is rising; he is getting excited; he has began to imagine an opposite device, and thinks to overcome strength by strength. Now, he must guard against that, for if affliction have this effect the devil will have the victory then, and not God, in regard to his soul. After these two pieces of advice, which may both be considered negative, though they are put in positive forms — we come to that which is positive. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Do this by a filial trust, with an entire faith. Believe that the Lord lives, acts, governs. Simple advice, but easier to understand than to practise: for our tendency is, under such circumstances, to let go our hold on God. A man has an idea that he can do things better for himself, faith fails, and corruption gets the advantage.

II. WHY A MAN SHOULD REST IN THE LORD. The first thing suggested is, that in spite of all appearances a man must hold to the great fact that there is a great, Divine, presiding personality, an observer, governor, judge — he must keep to that, and hold to that great truth. You, a religious man, having a religious faith in you! but what is your religion and faith good for, if it will not hold you to the primary truths of religion? The second thing suggested is, that the good man should understand that the laws and constitution of things are upon his side, that in the long run they will turn up to be on the side of righteousness, goodness, and virtue, that the working out of things will ultimately be against the bad. Whatever may be the primary prospect of the success of wickedness — evil-doers shall be cut off. Why, some of you have seen that fifty times over. "Dear me, I wonder what has become of so and so! I remember twenty years ago he was the most-talked-of man in London; but there was something very dark and suspicious about him. I wonder what has become of him. I have lost sight of him for many years." Another says, "I can tell you. All gone to nothing. He sunk, and sunk; all his splendour disappeared, and he gradually came down to poverty and his children too, and the very house in which he lived is in ruins." It is thus that things work out. Sometimes you do not observe the process, but presently, unexpectedly, you see the result of the working out of the law, "Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be." And sometimes it is done otherwise, in a more palpable manner. "Into smoke shall they consume away."

III. GOD'S PROVIDENCE AND CARE SHALL WATCH OVER HIS OWN. The little that a righteous man hath," etc. A religious life is favourable to life. This is the natural law. Those that wait upon the Lord may have sorrow for a night, but light is sown in the darkness, and joy will spring up with the day. "Yet a little time and the wicked shall not be. Thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;" yes, even though he should call his lands after his own name. I remember the circumstance of a man cutting his name into the stone upon his house, eight inches deep, because he was determined to go down to a remote posterity, upon the house which he had built for himself. I have seen the house, with the letters cut into the stone, almost a foot deep; and it is let now for a school, This may seem a simple matter. Aye, but simple matters illustrate great principles. It is in simple matters that God is most seen. CONCLUSION.

1. These principles apply to the milder afflictions which we at times are called on to suffer.

2. Whilst remembering the judgment that is coming upon the wicked if they do not repent, we are to pray for them that they may.

3. Lay to heart the truth that God, as surely as He lives, is oil the side of right. You are not in the devil's world, He neither made nor governs it. Therefore keep to the right and the true. to religious faith and the side of God.

(T. Binnecy.)

I. THE CONFIDENT REPOSE. Best in the Lord. Let us do so —

1. In his all-sufficiency for reasonable and sufficient supplies.

2. In His wisdom for counsel and guidance.

3. In His power for protection.

4. In His truth and faithfulness for the fulfilment of Ills promises.

5. In His gracious love for all.

II. THE PRAYERFUL ENDURANCE AND EXPECTATION.

1. "Wait patiently for" the Lord, for this is the only way of keeping our minds calm.

2. For His arrangements concerning our afflictions.

(M. Wilcox.)

One of our hardest lessons is to find out the wisdom of our hindrances; how we are to be put forward and upward by being put back and put down. When the company in the "Pilgrim's Progress" had to sit up watching all night at, the house of Gains, Greatheart kept them awake with this riddle, "He that would kill must first be overcome." And the truth in it has been practically dug out by trials that broke sleep through many a hard fortune in every Christian experience since. Yes, defeats help progress; a compulsory standing still helps us on. The Cross of Christ solves the riddle, and, gradually, to believing eyes the fact comes out. The precept, "Best in the Lord," etc., seems at first too tame for a spiritual ambition. We ask for some positive doctrine, for a task worthy of our energies. "Sound a bugle note that calls to close contests and we will follow; but this is a poor, spiritless tiling, this resting and waiting!" We must see, if we can, what force there is in this answer. Possibly, if we search deep enough, we shall flied that where some of us fancy our religion ends, it is only feebly begun.

I. GOODNESS IS NOT SO MUCH SPECIFIC DEEDS AS A FAITHFUL HEART: it is being, rather than doing, though sure to lead to right doing. If the principle is true, what is often called passive goodness is the necessary condition, nay, the interior fountain of active goodness. A man, that is, must, be a silent believer in his heart before he can be a powerful Christian worker with his arms, or speaker with his lips. He must pray in his closet before he can honour his Maker in the multitude or shop, in pulpit or street.

II. COMPARE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VIRTUES, AND SEE WHAT EACH REQUIRES TO RESTRAIN IT.

1. Submission — if there be any distinction between these virtues — would fall on the side of the passive graces. But in all the compass of human achievements there is not one that more tasks the stoutest energies of the soul, not one that demands a more resolute gathering up of all the resolution left. And yet men speak of it, of this resting in the Lord, as one of your passive, secondary, ignoble virtues.

2. So, too, with gentleness of temper and of speech. There is natural amiability, but that has cost no struggle. But do we not know some persons that need all the weapons in the Christian armoury, and all the watchfulness of the camp, to reach that plain achievement, the "soft answer" that "turneth away wrath"? So, then, the passive virtues, as they are called, are those that require the greatest effort, and, according to Christ, are therefore of the greatest worth. All the nine beatitudes, with, perhaps, one exception, pronounce their blessing on what the world would call tame and passive traits. So does Christianity turn upside down the vulgar vanity of our ambition, and empty our worldliness of blessedness. But the subject reaches on to wider applications yet. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him," is —

III. A COUNSEL ADDRESSED TO THE HABIT AND TENDENCY OF THESE TIMES; and no time perhaps ever needed to listen to it more; a time more eager to conquer the world by putting girdles of intelligence and bonds of travel about it, than to feel its dependence on Heaven; readier to run, to work, to build, to ask questions, to yoke the elements, than to kneel, to believe, to have patience and to pray. But the strength of a community is not in its enterprising, self-confident, profane or prayer-less great men, but in the men, be they few or many, who while they are "diligent in business," and faithful in public spirit, "rest" secretly "in the Lord," and "wait patiently" every day "for Him."

IV. See again, WHAT BESIDES RIGHTEOUS LABOUR SUCH A STILLNESS SUPPOSES. To wait patiently for God is to hold the heart open for what God gives. Subjection, then, it implies. It is to expect His love; and so it implies file penitence that goes before pardon. It is to believe He will give and guide; and so it implies faith. And it implies, too, self-restraint, self-renunciation, prayer, thanksgiving; and these are not the elements of man's infirmity. We must not be surprised that men are so slow to learn this lesson. When it is learnt, then will Christ's kingdom have come. Let us help it forward as we best can. Meanwhile, we must rest and wait. So, too, in regard to the manifold sins and sorrows of human life: the slowness of our own growth in goodness; the secret sorrows of our homes — in regard to all them, and every other like to them, take the precept of our text. Let one subject regulate our judgments of one another: save us from morbid discontents, and cause to abide ever "in the Lord," that we may rest in Him.

(S. T. Huntingdon, D. D.)

Rest and security are sought universally, but seldom found. The want of interior quiet is felt by every one; it is the deepest desire of our being, but it is pursued wisely only by a few. That the Lord intended man to enjoy rest may be known by these three considerations; first, He has made it the inmost affection of every human being; secondly, restlessness is destructive to the health of both mind and body; thirdly, God has assured us in His Word, and provided in His works, that we may come into a state of rest.

1. It may not appear at first sight evident that the demand for rest is an interior feeling in every one. Yet very little reflection will make it plain.(1) Under the restless garb of the busiest of mankind abides the constant desire to procure a sufficiency. Look at the energetic tradesman; he seems incessantly active; he labours early and late; nothing seems so foreign to him as rest. Yet let him unbosom himself, and you will find all this activity arises from a wish to secure the means of attain. ins a secure rest in his declining years. He believes he can only be satisfied in the gratification of his desires, and when he has won all that his wishes require, he will recline in peace and enjoy rest.(2) The rest, which is the inward aim of the soul, and to which every man may attain, is foreshadowed by the contentment of little children, though theirs is the peace of ignorance, not the peace of wisdom. They find their wants supplied, and they have no cares. They have full confidence in the love of their parents, and no doubt as to their power.

2. We may be assured that rest is intended to be enjoyed by us in this world from the circumstance that restlessness disturbs and destroys the health of both mind and body, and is therefore in contrariety to the laws which build up both. Opposites cannot come from God.

3. We are invited, by frequent calls in the Word, to rest on the Divine love and wisdom.

(J. Bailey, Ph. D.)

"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7). This is not a call to indolence, but to action enveloped in repose. In all probability the writer was one of the leading men of action of his age. Our deeds should have their origin and their completion in patient waiting.(1) Restfulness is the preparation for service; it is the interior fountain of active goodness. The man that would give must first receive.(2) Restfulness should be the spirit in which action is concluded. The fretful anxiety which looks back upon faithful work is a denial of God and a weakening of the soul. This is a call to service with the fret taken away. There is no true rest for man save in the thought of God. Aubrey de Vere relates a conversation he had with Wordsworth in Lakeland. The poet remarked that travellers boasted much of Swiss mountains because they were two or three times as high as the English, but he added, "I reply that the clouds gather so low on them that half of them remain commonly out of sight." His visitor did not wish to contradict him, and so the poet went on declaiming. "You cannot see those boasted Swiss mountains when the clouds hang low." "Certainly not," replied the prudent visitor. Then, after a pause, his veracity prevailed, and he added, "But I must admit you know that they are there." "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my strength." Sometimes the clouds gather, but it makes all the difference to life to know that "the hills" are there. "We rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

I. THIS SPIRIT OF PATIENT WAITING IS IN ITSELF A HIGH ACHIEVEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. In religion all means are ends, and all ends only means to some larger end. Repentance is not only a condition of salvation, but also a part of the work; it is an indication of a deep change which God works within the heart. To wait patiently upon the Lord is a means of grace, but it is also a feature of a lofty spirit. Our God is the "God of patience." How patiently He waits as Creator — not at once, but slowly have order and beauty emerged from chaos; how patiently He stands as the World Redeemer, while men scourge and revile and spit at Him, and crown Him with thorns, and smite Him with their hands! He waits patiently "to see of the travail of His soul," and is able to breathe the spirit of calm, fearless, hopeful endurance into all His people.

II. THIS SPIRIT OF milder afflictions which we at times are called on to suffer.

2. Whilst remembering the judgment that is coming upon the wicked if they do not repent, we are to pray for them that they may.

3. Lay to heart the truth that God, as surely as lie lives, is on the side of right. You are not in the devil's world. lie neither made nor governs it. Therefore keep to the right and the true, to religious faith and the side of God.

(T. Binney.)

I. THE CONFIDENT REPOSE. Rest in the Lord. Let us do so —

1. In His all-sufficiency for reasonable and sufficient supplies.

2. In His wisdom for counsel and guidance.

3. In His power for protection.

4. In His truth and faithfulness for the fulfilment of His promises.

5. In His gracious love for all.

II. THE PRAYERFUL ENDURANCE AND EXPECTATION.

1. "Wait patiently for" the Lord, for this is the only way of keeping our minds calm.

2. For His arrangements concerning our afflictions.

(R. M. Wilcox.)

One of our hardest lessons is to find out the wisdom of our hindrances; how we are to be put forward and upward by being put back and put down. When the company in the "Pilgrim's Progress" had to sit up watching all night at the house of Gains, Greatheart kept them awake with this riddle, "He that would kill must first be overcome." And the truth in it has been practically dug out by trials that broke sleep through many a hard fortune in every Christian experience since. Yes, defeats help progress; a compulsory standing still helps us on. The Cross of Christ solves the riddle, and, gradually, to believing eyes the fact comes out. The precept, "Rest in the Lord," etc., seems at first too tame for a spiritual ambition. We ask for some positive doctrine, for a task worthy of our energies. "Sound a bugle note that calls to close contests and we will follow; but this is a poor, spiritless thing, this resting and waiting!" We must see, if we can, what force there is in this answer. Possibly, if we search deep enough, we shall find that where some of us fancy our religion ends, it is only feebly begun.

I. GOODNESS IS NOT SO MUCH SPECIFIC DEEDS AS A FAITHFUL HEART: it is being, rather than doing, though sure to lead to right doing. If the principle is true, what is often called passive goodness is the necessary condition, nay, the interior fountain of active goodness. A man, that is, must be a silent believer in his heart before he call be a powerful Christian worker with his arms, or speaker with his lips. He, must pray in his closet before he can honour his Maker in the multitude or shop, in pulpit or street,

II. COMPARE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VIRTUES, AND SEE WHAT EACH REQUIRES TO RESTRAIN IT.

1. Submission — if there be any distinction between these virtues — would fall on the side of the passive graces. But in all the compass of human achievements there is not one that more tasks the stoutest energies of the soul, not one that demands a more resolute gathering up of all the resolution left. And yet men speak of it, of this resting in the Lord, as one of your passive, secondary, ignoble virtues.

2. So, too, with gentleness of temper and of speech. There is natural amiability, but that has cost no struggle. But do we not know some persons that need all the weapons in the Christian armoury, and all the watchfulness of the camp, to reach that plain achievement, the "soft answer" that "turneth away wrath"? So, then, the passive virtues, as they are called, are those that require the greatest effort, and, according to Christ, are therefore of the greatest worth. All the nine beatitudes, with, perhaps, one exception, pronounce their blessing on what the world would call tame and passive traits. So does Christianity turn upside down the vulgar vanity of our ambition, and empty our worldliness of blessedness. But the subject reaches on to wider applications yet. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him," is —

III. A COUNSEL ADDRESSED TO THE HABIT AND TENDENCY OF THESE TIMES; and no time perhaps ever needed to listen to it more; a time more eager to conquer the world by putting girdles of intelligence and bonds of travel about it, than to feel its dependence on Heaven; readier to run, to work, to build, to ask questions, to yoke the elements, than to kneel, to believe, to have patience and to pray. But the strength of a community is not in its enterprising, self-confident, profane or prayer-less great men, but in the men, be they few or many, who while they are "diligent in business," and faithful in public spirit, "rest" secretly "in the Lord," and "wait patiently" every day "for Him."

IV. See again, WHAT BESIDES RIGHTEOUS LABOUR SUCH A STILLNESS SUPPOSES. To wait patiently for God is to hold the heart open for what God gives. Subjection, then, it implies. It is to expect His love; and so it implies the penitence that goes before pardon. It is to believe He will give and guide; and so it implies faith. And it implies, too, self-restraint, self-renunciation, prayer, thanksgiving; and these are not the elements of man's infirmity. We must not be surprised that men are so slow to learn this lesson. When it is learnt, then will Christ's kingdom have come. Let us help it forward as we best can. Meanwhile, we must rest and wait. So, too, in regard to the manifold sins and sorrows of human life: the slowness of our own growth in goodness; the secret sorrows of our homes — in regard to all them, and every other like to them, take the precept of our text. Let one subject regulate our judgments of one another: save us from morbid discontents, and cause to abide ever "in the Lord," that we may rest in Him.

(S. T. Huntingdon, D. D.)

Rest and security are sought universally, but seldom found. The want of interior quiet is felt by every one; it is the deepest desire of our being, but it is pursued wisely only by a few. That the Lord intended man to enjoy rest may be known by these three considerations; first, He has made it the inmost affection of every human being; secondly, restlessness is destructive to the health of both mind and body; thirdly, God has assured us in His Word, and provided in His works, that we may come into a state of rest.

1. It may not appear at first sight evident that the demand for rest is an interior feeling in every one. Yet very little reflection will make it plain.(1) Under the restless garb of the busiest of mankind abides the constant desire to procure a sufficiency. Look at the energetic tradesman; he seems incessantly active; he labours early and late; nothing seems so foreign to him as rest. Yet let him unbosom himself, and you will find all this activity arises from a wish to secure the means of attaining a secure rest' in his declining years. He believes he can only be satisfied in the gratification of his desires, and when he has won all that his wishes require, he will recline in peace and enjoy rest.(2) The rest, which is the inward aim of the soul, and to which every man may attain, is foreshadowed by the contentment of little children, though theirs is the peace of ignorance, not the peace of wisdom. They find their wants supplied, and they have no cares. They have full confidence in the love of their parents, and no doubt as to their power.

2. We may be assured that rest is intended to be enjoyed by us in this world from the circumstance that restlessness disturbs and destroys the health of both mind and body, and is therefore in contrariety to the laws which build up both. Opposites cannot come from God.

3. We are invited, by frequent calls in the Word, to rest on the Divine love and wisdom.

(J. Bailey, Ph. D.)

"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7). This is not a call to indolence, but to action enveloped in repose. In all probability the writer was one of the leading men of action of his age. Our deeds should have their origin and their completion in patient waiting.(1) Restfulness is the preparation for service; it is the interior fountain of active goodness. The man that would give must first receive.(2) Restfulness should be the spirit in which action is concluded. The fretful anxiety which looks back upon faithful work is a denial of God and a weakening of the soul. This is a call to service with the fret taken away. There is no true rest for man save in the thought of God. Aubrey de Vere relates a conversation he had with Wordsworth in Lakeland. The poet remarked that travellers boasted much of Swiss mountains because they wore two or three times as high as the English, but he added, "I reply that the clouds gather so low on them that half of them remain commonly out of sight." His visitor did not wish to contradict him, and so the poet went on declaiming. "You cannot see those boasted Swiss mountains when the clouds hang low." "Certainly not," replied the prudent visitor. Then, after a pause, his veracity prevailed, and he added,":But I must admit you know that they are there." "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my strength." Sometimes the clouds gather, but it makes all the difference to life to know that "the hills" are there. "We rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

I. THIS SPIRIT OF PATIENT WAITING IS IN ITSELF A HIGH ACHIEVEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. In religion all means are ends, and all ends only means to some larger end. Repentance is not only a condition of salvation, but also a part of the work; it is an indication of a deep change which God works within the heart. To wait patiently upon the Lord is a means of grace, but it is also a feature of a lofty spirit. Our God is the "God of patience." How patiently He waits as Creator — not at once, but slowly have order and beauty emerged from chaos; how patiently He stands as the World Redeemer, while men scourge and revile and spit at Him, and crown Him with thorns, and smite Him with their hands! He waits patiently "to see of the travail of His soul," and is able to breathe the spirit of calm, fearless, hopeful endurance into all His people.

II. THIS SPIRIT OF PATIENT WAITING IS NECESSARY FOR THE HIGHEST AND MOST PERMANENT SERVICE. In Mr. Winston Churchill's Life of his father we have the story of one who had it in him to be one of the most influential workers of his age, but who failed because he was all impulse, impatience, restlessness, and left little behind save the memory of a most pathetic career. After his conspicuous blunder he wrote to his wife from Mafeking: "Well, I have had quite enough of it all. I have waited with patience for the tide to turn, but it has not turned, and will not now turn in time. All confirms me in my decision to have done with politics and try to make a little money for the boys and ourselves." That is the secret of impermanent service — "the tide has not turned, and will not turn now in time." In whose time? Man has no right to fix the time. Of the hour knoweth no man, but only the Father. Our times are in His hand. How patiently Christ waited; for thirty years He waited in obscurity for the ministry to begin. He remained hopeful in the presence of the cross, the symbol, it would seem, to others, of everlasting defeat and shame.

III. THIS SHOULD BE A MESSAGE OF COMFORT TO US AMID LIFE'S PAINFUL PERPLEXITIES, One night Henry Drummond sat up with a young man who had lost himself in philosophical speculations. "I seem to be walking round and round and arriving nowhere," he said sadly, "and I am thoroughly tired of it all." "True," said Drummond, "but you are not too tired to lie down." The psalmist had been wandering in the same bewildering way. He had fretted himself because of the prosperity of evildoers; all his theological ideas had been disturbed by the "little that the righteous hath and the abundance of many wicked." But he was not too tired to lie down, and to the weary in every age he proclaims the glad restfulness of the soul in God. There are times when reason fails us.

(Trevor H. Davies.)

It was more difficult for David to do this, than for us to do it. He had more at stake, and less to help him; he bad all the mysteries which beset us, and many more peculiar to his age and to the dispensation under which he lived. He found it harder than we do, to sever temporal disasters from Divine inflictions; and yet he could use this inspiring language, and summon his brothers to rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for Him. But men now seem only too disposed not to trouble themselves: fatalism, and indifference to unseen things, are so common that advice very different from David's is often imperatively needed. But the world's rest and quietness is only an apparent one, not real.

I. THY REST OF WEARINESS. The body rests; it is this rest which "knits up the ravelled sleeve of care," which is "sore labour's bath," "balm of hurt minds," "great nature's second course," "chief nourisher in life's feast." All life is submitted to this law. The leafless winter, the hushed songsters of the forest, the infant slumbering on its mother's breast, the sealed eyes of the shipboy cradled on the surge, and all the "magic of night as she moves from land to land and touches all with her opiate wand," tell the same story. Work demands rest, and rest is the stimulus of work. The intellect itself must have its quiet places and still retreats, where holy calm, and unconscious growth, and secret renovation, repairs its losses. Further, weariness comes at times even to the relief of the spiritual faculty, and gives the half-awakened spirit its first lessons in the mighty art of faith,. Perhaps we have been eagerly seeking to reconcile God's truth to our own standards; to adjust Jehovah's attributes for Him; to enter the kingdom of heaven like a man, with violence, and not as "a little child." Perhaps we have been striving to fill up the bottomless abyss of need in our hearts with our own merits, and we find the undertaking impossible. Now, at length, beaten with the struggle, and ceasing our efforts, we may be taking an enforced rest; we may just lie quiet for a time, and this may seem to be "a rest in God"; while, on the contrary, it is only an inevitable pause in our fruitless endeavour, a hall of energy by which the mind recovers its power of self-infliction. But if, on the other hand, we will go simply, humbly, trustingly to God as our Father, then rest may be found. Better far to learn the lesson of faith, and so be filled with peace, resting in the Lord.

II. THE REST OF STRENGTH. This is a far higher thing than that we have now considered. It is a voluntary rest, which is to some extent within our own power; it is a sign of vigour rather than weakness, of strong will rather than of over-taxed effort. This rest of conscious strength is closely associated with every Christian grace, and is as necessary to our success in the conflicts of the divine life, as it is to the culture of our higher nature. Neither faith, nor hope, nor love can be maintained within us without the rest of faith, the rest of hope, and the rest of love. Faith fights a good fight, which requires, however, that it rest in God. And hope, too, needs to rest in the fruition of that which God has given. And love is quickened by quiet hours of patient waiting for the Lord. Prayer, also, and work depend on resting in the Lord. It often requires all our strength "to sit still" and believe in the love of God, and even to augment our confidence in that love, when what we think to be our proper interests are disregarded, and apparently trifled with, and perhaps in our view utterly sacrificed. The philosopher maunders to us about "general laws," and "the good of the whole"; the unafflicted Christian does what .is little better, he suggests a few of the commonplaces of consolation. "Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust!"

III. I have now briefly to allude to a third form of this great duty and privilege — THE REST OF VICTORY WHICH FLOWS OUT OF DEEP FAITH; that peace with God which Jesus gives, which passes all understanding. Here patience has her perfect work, and is entire, wanting nothing. "The Lord is my Shepherd," says the holy psalmist, "I shall want nothing."

(H. Reynolds, D. D.)

The trial for which this precept is intended to strengthen us is the irritation to which all are tempted by the sight of successful wickedness. But there shall be a setting right of all such seeming injustice. But the precept has a wider application than this.

I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN HOLDING OURSELVES STILL IN GOD. The word "still" means "hold thee in stillness upon God." It is the quality of mind which is the opposite of restlessness. And we are to "hold still in God" in reference both to things temporal and things spiritual. Restlessness has a twofold sort of bitterness which trust in God must extirpate.

1. It springs from dissatisfaction with the present, or from anxiety about the future. There is a deep melancholy in the heart of every man, bound up in the very bundle of his life, which, like the breath of myrrh, is ever ready to spread itself over all his being; and in spirits of the deepest tone there is most of this: it is the yearning after our true portion, but it will make all life restless unless we learn to lean upon God, believing that He is Truth and Love, and is ours through Christ Jesus. In common life this must be our rest; and in great sorrow too. Then we must learn to be at rest, not indeed by striving unnaturally not to feel sorrow, but by our taking the sorrow from God. It is not being sanguine, but being trustful, that is required of us.

2. And in things spiritual the precept is just the same. Stillness the very opposite of self-trust, which is the common root of these two false schemes — seemingly so opposite — of the spiritual life — the life of the mere formalist, and that of him who is engaged in a heart-eating searching into his own frame and feelings. For both are building on self, not on God. It is not that silence of spirit, that meditation and stillness, that uniting upon God which are so closely connected with true religion. And this stillness is, perhaps, that feature of religion which is most seldom to be met with in our day. It is a busy age, and we love activity. We need to be silent before God in order to realize our personal reconciliation with Him through the blood of Atonement, to walk in His Spirit, to spend our lives as His obedient, trusting children. Now, this is the essence of Christianity.

II. IT IS MOST BLESSED, both in regard to our temporal life and that which is spiritual. For in it we become transformed and bear God's impress. All growth is silent. It is not in the lordly storm, or in the over-mastering hurricane that Nature puts forth her powers of growth and increase. It is amidst the drenching dews, in the still dawning of the spring-time, that the leaf unfolds itself, and the tender shoot steals upwards. And these works of nature are all symbols of the inner growth. In times of quietness the heart unfolds itself before God. If you would grow in grace, enter into thy closet and shut to thy door upon the world; shut it most of all upon thy busy unresting self, and then God shall speak to thee. How silent, surely, is an angel's heart when God is nigh; how is self hushed there; how, as some earthly vapour by the sun, is every power of His mighty being drawn up into adoration! And this truly is to know Him.

III. How ARE WE TO GROW IN THIS GREAT GRACE? And, first, need I say, that such growth must be the work of His grace. That it is not natural to us; that nothing is, indeed, less natural. Only the Spirit brooding over our hearts can secure this. He renews, calms, cools, purifies them. He who said to the waves, "Peace, be still," must create this great calm. Therefore must we draw near to God if we would win so great a blessing. This must be our rule. Draw near to Him in the covenant of His Son's blood: to Him as the Loving, the True, the Great: as Love, as Truth, as Holiness, as Power, gathered into one adorable Person; one real Being; and that Being your portion, your friend, your rest: for "this is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."

(Bishop S. Wilberforce.)

Our text being where it is in this psalm is an instance of the great rule that the Lord does nothing by halves. In verse 1 the Lord found His servant liable to fretfulness and envy, and exhorted him to cease from fretting; and He did not stay the operation of His grace till He had perfected that which concerned him, and brought him up to the elevated point of our text, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Rest is a blessing which properly belongs to the people of God, although they do not enjoy one tithe so much of it as they might. So let us consider —

I. THE STEPS TO THIS ROYAL CHAMBER OF REPOSE. They are shown in this psalm —

1. "Fret not thyself." You are not in the fields among the wild beasts; cease to hunt them: Come within doors into your Father's house. Come away from contact with worldlings. The griefs which make the ungodly pine are not for you. Then —

2. When you have thus come out of the field into the palace of love, the first staircase is described as "trust and do." "Trust in the Lord and do good." Not a dead faith which will not serve you at all, but one which will "do" as well as receive. It is through the exercise of faith that comfort comes to the heart. When thou hast learned this lesson, thou wilt have ascended a noble staircase of the royal palace, and it will land thee in the King's dining-room, where it is written, "Verily thou shalt be fed." If thou hast a living, active faith, thou shalt be provided for. Leave the fields, and thy brethren sowing there, who are complaining that their Father never gave them a kid to make merry with their friends — leave them and come up this first staircase of active faith, and sit down where a feast is spread. Then —

3. Ascend higher, and climb the next staircase, which is marked "Delight and desire." "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Think what a good God thou hast; yea, what a blessed God He is. We have mounted now to the royal treasury, the King's almonry. Here He bids you open all your heart, and pour forth your desires, for He will satisfy them. But you are not up to the royal rest-chamber yet.

4. Climb another stair, marked, "Commit thy way and trust." All the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. What hast thou to do in ordering thine own way? Now, this brings us into the undressing-room, which stands side by side with the royal bedchamber. Take off the dusty garments of thy cares and commit them to the Lord. Strip thyself of all thy anxieties, and leave thy worn and travel-stained raiment. Then enter the quiet chamber and take your rest; "Rest in the Lord."

II. THE REST.

1. It is a rest of mind, a sense of security and fixedness;

2. Contentment.

3. Immovable confidence.

4. Submission to all God's will. The Hebrew is, "Be silent to God." One of the old versions reads it, "Hold thou still before God."

5. Patient waiting. Feel that you can waive your desires, and tarry the Lord's leisure.

6. Peace, unmixed calm.

7. Expectation, especially in regard to the Kingdom of God. Do not fret about that.

III. THE ROYAL CHAMBER. "Rest in the Lord," in Himself.

1. As your covenant God.

2. As your Father.

3. In His attributes.

4. His word.

5. His will. So that, we can say, "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE MEANING OF THE WORDS. There are many passages which breathe a similar spirit.

1. The meaning here is implied by contrast — see the beginning of the psalm, as to fretting; anxious, worldly care; the unrest of the wicked, of which sin is the great cause.

2. Then think of the Lord Himself, and we see that to rest in Him is to trust in Him, and to be still and silent in our trust: resting, we wait in patient hope and in the assurance of love.

II. THEIR APPLICATION. This fitting when —

1. We are troubled about the slow progress of the Gospel. Or, 2, about the general dispensations of God's providence. The wicked prosper. Our own personal trials, temporal and spiritual. But resting in the Lord is the secret of the highest life, the truest strength and the richest blessedness.

(G. L. Jarman.)

1. It may need to be a quiet waiting. The word "rest" literally means that — "Be silent to the Lord." The best thing may be, at times, to wait quietly. There once was an alarm of fire in a crowded hall, and a general rush was made to the door. The alarm proved to be a false one, and by and by the people got back to their seats. It was noticed, however, that one little girl had not moved, and on being asked why, it turned out that her father was a member of the fire brigade, and that he had often impressed upon her that if ever she found herself in a situation of that kind, she was to sit still. That is what God often told His servants of old, and what He tells us yet through His Word, with regard to trying experiences; but how hard to learn the lesson, and obey! "Their strength is to sit still."

2. But, assuredly, it should be a hopeful waiting. Let not the stillness be mere torpor. Let not the dumbness be numbness. "Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him," says the psalmist; and that word "yet" is the keynote of the whole psalm. Perhaps the highest and most difficult thing of all, however, is that it be a patient waiting. Hope may be deferred, the dawn may seem never to be coming, and yet be patient — patient. "All will come right," are the words put on the tombstone of President Brand, a late President of the Orange Free State. It was a remark he was in the habit of making in his lifetime. If our trust be in God, may we not take them up too?

(J. S. Maver, M. A.)

I. REST FROM WANDERING. O my heart, how thou didst wander, like a weary pilgrim, through the Egypt of thy bondage! Thou didst wander to Sinai, where thou didst hear the law that made thee tremble. Thou didst wander across the wilderness of Sin, where thy good works vexed and tired thee, and thine evil works, like fiery serpents, bit thee; but that is all over now. My soul, thou hast crossed the Jordan, and having found Christ thou hast no inclination to wander more.

II. REST FROM ALL OUR FOES.

III. REST IN THE SENSE OF CONFIDENCE. In this meaning of the word we do really "rest in the Lord." We are not Christians if we do not, for the very first mark of a believer is that he rests in Christ for everything. Whatever need thou hast, rest thou on the bare arm of God to supply it.

IV. REST IN THE SENSE OF SAFETY.

V. PERFECT REST FROM WEARINESS. We read in Isaiah's prophecy, "This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest;" and I know there are some weary ones here. You are not weary of God's work, but you are weary of bearing Christ's cross, you have had so much shame and so much sorrow; well, "rest in the Lord."

VI. THE REST OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. Either Christ completed all that was necessary for your salvation, or He did not. If He did finish it, then rest in Him, and be glad.

VII. THE REST OF COMPLETE SATISFACTION. Having Christ, we want nothing more. If we go up or down, to the right or to the left, we can find nothing beyond our Lord.

VIII. THE REST OF CONSCIOUS ENJOYMENT.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. REST IN THE LORD.

1. This implies that we are the Lord's people.

(1)By the enlightenment of our minds, the forgiveness of our sins, the regeneration of our nature, and adoption into the family of God.

(2)By separation from the unclean, by self-dedication to God, and by solemn covenant engagements.

2. Being the Lord's, we should rest in Him.

3. To rest in the Lord is to be silent in the Lord. Be still; and think not hard thoughts of God, because He permits thee to suffer. Be still; and murmur not against the Lord, because He does not deliver thee at once out of thy distresses.

II. WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM.

1. "Wait" signifies to be strong, firm, stable; to wait, stay, delay: to wait for, to await, from the notion of enduring, holding out, which is kindred with that of strength. It signifies to wait upon God in prayer, with faith and patience.

2. "Wait patiently" — however long.

3. "For Him." To wait for the Lord is to wait for His promised help, and to hope in Him for deliverance out of all our troubles. Hope in God maketh not ashamed. His help will come, if we wait; His help will be sufficient when it does come.

(H. O. Crofts, D. D.)

When a man has once come into right relations with God, has begun to live for others rather than for self, when his desires are summed up in the prayer — "Thy kingdom come," he is apt to grow uneasy as he sees how slow the Divine kingdom is in coming, and how many indications there are of the presence and tremendous power of another and hostile kingdom in society. This psalm is addressed to a soul which is confused and alarmed by this aspect of the world. Over against it all it sets the great truth — "God reigns," and the consequent precept — "Trust in Him." "Yes," is the reply, "but He is so long in bringing it to pass: He makes me wait so long." So He does, and probably will; and it is this side of the lesson of faith in God which I want to bring out of this psalm — the lesson of waiting.

1. We are to wait unwaveringly (ver. 84). God brings men to His consummations only by His own road. And this is often a severe trial of faith. It is as when one has been travelling for long hours over a rough road, amid storm and mist, with night drawing on, looking, as he gains the top of every successive hill, for the spires of the city to which he is going, and seeing instead only a new stretch of dreary road, and a new hill to be climbed — he is tempted to think his guide has lost the way, and to take matters into his own hands. To the man who waits on God it is indispensable that he trust his guide.

2. To wait on the Lord rightly is to wait cheerfully. "Fret not thyself," says the psalmist (ver. 1), "because of evil-doers;" and again (ver 8), "fret not thyself in any wise to do evil." You have seen two children bidden by their parent to wait in a certain place for an hour, until he should return, or until some promised pleasure should be prepared: and you have seen the one cheerfully occupy himself with a book or with some object at hand, while the other, though he obeyed the command to remain, fretted, and watched the clock, and wondered when father would return, and was angry because he did not come sooner, and began to fear that he would not come at all, and so made himself generally miserable until the hour had expired. Thus, obedience is not always cheerful; and just in proportion to its lack of this element, it is defective. For obedience is of the very nature of faith.

3. We may wait confidently. The psalm backs its exhortations by numerous promises (vers. 8, 4, 6, 29). Look especially at verse 23. We have been watching the course of a man in God's way — a traveller who is long in coming to the end — on whom God's providence imposes various and trying delays. To the eye of reason it seems as though the man were walking aimlessly; as though his life, with its continual interruption, and confusion, and stumbling, and baffling, were an utter, irredeemable failure. And so it seems not only to reason, but to weak faith. There have come times to most of us when we have lost out of our lives all sense of plan or order, and have just gone on from day to day, doing and taking what the day brought with it. We have thought, I say, that those were disordered periods. They were not. Did you ever study the waves of the ocean? If so, you have noticed that each wave was full of little, irregular swirlings and eddies, moving in all possible directions. And if you could fasten your eyes upon a square foot. of that water and shut out all the rest, you might say that it was a mere watery chaos; but when your eye takes in the whole wave, you see that a common movement propels its whole mass, and takes up into itself all these minor movements, and bears them on with the regularity of a marching host. So these spaces of apparent confusion in our lives are not out of order. They are carried on in the larger order of God's plan. Perhaps we cannot see the whole movement, but it bears steadily and continuously onward, every incident, every crossing and confusion of incidents swept on at God's own rate, and in nice adjustment with God's own plan. Mark, too, that the "steps" are ordered. The whole way is ordered, it is true, but ordered through the steps. Just as gravitation acts upon each separate particle of the stone which rolls down the mountain-side, so God's general providence reaches its result through the special providences. The philosopher sneers at the marking of the sparrow's fall; but it is in the ordering of just such details that God fulfils Himself in history. So our lives are what their details are. The only thing we are to be careful about is that we step each time in God's track.

(March: R. Vincent, D. D.)

There are many who may wait, but they do not wait patiently upon God. They soon lose heart and lose expectation. They think that everything is against them, because in the little space that they can cover, and the little vision that they possess, they cannot discern that for which they wait. This is especially the case with Christian men in their Christian work. They want the reaper to tread upon the very heels of him that sows the seed. They wish to gather in the harvest almost as scan as they have ploughed the soil or cast in the grain. They forget that they are fellow-workers with God, and that God's working-day is all time and all eternity. They lose heart and lose faith, and then very speedily they cease to work altogether. It is still more difficult to bear suffering patiently than to serve and to do duty patiently. It is much more easy to bear a heavy affliction, if it be short, than to bear a long affliction, though it be light. In the one case the stroke may stun us, but we may speedily recover and gain new strength and fresh hope. In the other case, the long, weary, exhausting affliction seems to wear out all elasticity, all strength, and all hope in the soul. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick," and when that hope is long deferred it often breaks the heart altogether. Hope is the grace of the young; patience is the grace of the mature. Hope is the flush of the morning-dawn, bright and gladsome, indeed; patience is the seeing sun in its golden softness and beauty, gilding and crowning the last hours of the day. Hope enters into the battle full of expectation, and confidence, and strength; patience is the virtue of the veteran who has gained it in many a struggle, in many a march, and in many a triumph. It is much more easy to work energetically if the day of service be short, than to work patiently, faithfully unto the long day's end; and it is much more easy to bear the shower that drenches you than to bear the drizzling mist that comes down and wraps you in coldness and chili,

(J. Jenkyn Brown.)

Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way.
I. WITH REGARD TO GOD. Though prejudice is too apt to whisper that God's ways are not equal, yet a very little serious reflection on His wisdom and justice, and the ends of His various dispensations, together with our own undeservings, would effectually calm all anxious concern or repining on this account. And to any one that shall be so impertinent as to require satisfaction as to God's distributions, our Saviour's answer to St. Peter may be a sufficient reply: "If I will" that it be thus or thus, "what is that to thee?"

II. WITH REGARD TO THE PERSONS SAID TO BE THUS PROSPEROUS. Would we allow ourselves leisure to view the precipice which the most exalted sinner stands upon, how unsure his footing, how liable to be shaken by opposition from below, or the hand of vengeance from above, and how much more fatal a fall may be from so dangerous an height; we should find nothing so tempting in it as to raise our discontent, or provoke one wish to change an innocent inglorious safety for so hazardous an eminence.

III. WITH REGARD TO OURSELVES. We come all into the world alike naked and defenceless; and it is to the same bountiful hand, which clothes the lilies of the field, we owe our food and raiment. Now, if these are sufficient for our support and even well-being, and all beyond what is requisite for our comfort and convenience, be allowed to be more than what is strictly necessary; why should we quarrel with Providence for not loading us with what, by our own confession, is superfluous, and therefore insignificant to any useful purpose? Do we do well to be angry, if, having a proper competency, we want only what would be a clog and incumbrance? Nay, even though the Almighty should reduce, instead of exalting us, and assign us trouble and disgrace, where perhaps we might hope for a better lot; yet will it not be difficult to find a lenitive for this grievance. Add to this, that a contented deportment, under adversity or distress, is the most probable means of engaging the Almighty to withdraw His scourge.

(J. Roe, M. A.)

Homilist.
I. THE PASSION RANKLING IN THE HEART HAS AN EVIL TENDENCY.

1. It inflicts an injury on the soul of its possessor. Malign passions are to the soul what the legions of locusts are to the vegetation of the East — they eat up the life. Aye, worse than locusts, they are fiends, kindling fires that burn down to the very centre of being, and reduce to ashes the better parts of human nature.

2. It stimulates to the infliction of injury upon others. "Anger stirreth up strife." Men, under the influence of anger, are ever disposed to mischief; their tongues deal out slander, their hands are lifted in battle, and their feet are "swift to shed blood."

II. THE CONNECTION OF THE WICKED WITH THE EARTH IS NOT ENVIABLE.

1. It is exposed to a violent termination. "Evil-doers shall be cut off." It is said the "wicked shall be driven away in his wickedness." He does not leave the world with a free will. All his sympathies, interests, hopes, are rooted in the earth, and he will hold on to the last with the energy of desperation; still he must go.

2. It is utterly unsatisfying,

III. THEIR OPPOSITION BRINGS ON THEM TERRIBLE MISERY.

1. The seed of the serpent has from the beginning had a venomous animosity to the good. This animosity is here represented(1) As cunning, it "plotteth against the just"; it is fertile in schemes of ruin.(2) As raging. It "gnasheth upon him." Like the hidden fire of the volcano, it reveals itself by terrible vibrations.(3) As practical. Plan and passion will not satisfy it, it must work, and work with more implements than one — "sword and bow." In how many ways the wicked labour to beat down the ideas, thwart the plans, and wound the feelings of the righteous!

2. But all this opposition only brings ruin on themselves. The ruin involves(1) The contempt of Jehovah. Can the boldest imagination create a figure to give a more terrible representation of misery than this — the "laugh" of the Infinite? Sooner let Him hurl His thunders at me, and rain down His fires on my spirit than laugh at me.(2) The recoil of their own purposes. "Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken." A remarkable instance of the kind may be found in Esther (chaps. 5.-7.) in the case of Haman. A straightforward course is easy, and men are safe in it; but it requires more skill than most men are endowed with to manage a crooked and crafty policy safely, or so as to be safe themselves in pursuing such a course.

(Homilist.)

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