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come to one, but hope that comes to all, comes not to either.
But this is not so with the Christian old man. Broken, worn, feeble, fast sinking to the grave in body, bruised, it might seem, with all the wrath of God without, he has all the peace of God within. Desires, fears, passions, have all died away, and in the deep calm of his soul, he hears the voice of the Lord God speaking to him.
He hath known in part only yet, as yet he hath seen only through a glass darkly.' And he desires the day when he shall know as he is known, and shall see face to face. He looks at the grave and gate of death, with that fear indeed which man's corrupted nature must ever feel at the thought of that fell struggle, but he knows that the gate of death is to him the gate to life, the gate to knowledge, and the gate to rest. His word then is, “I would not live alway,' for the corruptible body weigheth down the mind and keeps it from the full vision of that glory that shall be, the full enjoyment of that rest which is reserved for the people of God. And so he passes the short time of his sojourning here in calm hope, and possesses his soul in patience. The Saviour that hath cheered and comforted him for so many years, leaves him not neither forsakes him in the day of his decline and the hour of his death, but leads him by gentle and easy steps, in the sense of God's comforting presence, to his end. Once again, ere he departs, he desires to partake of that high communion of his Saviour's body and blood, which has been his best comfort and best strength below, and there indeed he feels God manifesting Himself to his soul, renewing all His promises, now near at hand to be fulfilled, strengthening him against the hour of death, and freeing him from the fear of judgment. • I have waited, Oh Lord,' he says as he expires, for thy salvation! I fear no evil now, for Thou art with me! Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.'
ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears!
The account, which the Scripture gives of Esau, conveys a solemn warning to a class of characters which a kind heart cannot see without affection, nor a Christian heart without regret. It is not to the mere sensualist that it conveys any lesson of instruction; for, though Esau was certainly too much under the dominion of his passions, a sensualist becomes utterly selfish, and
· There is some dispute as to the right method of construing the last clause of the text. M'Knight conceives that as aŭtiiv cannot refer to TÓTOS it must refer to eủloyla, and that the meaning is, “though he sought for the blessing with tears.' Raphelius again thinks that uetavola refers to a change of purpose in Isaac, not Esau. I have no doubt that the obvious sense in our version is the right one; and that though aútyiv certainly cannot refer to tómos, yet by an usage very common in far better Greek, it refers loosely to the phrase Tónos uetavolas, keeping to the gender of the more important word. By a reference, indeed, to Parkhurst, it will be seen that there are many instances where μετανοία is used for τόπος μετανοίας. . I only men this to justify the sense in which I have taken the expression.
that was not Esau's case. It is to a class of men sometimes, though not very justly, described as the enemies of no one so much as of themselves. It is, in short, to the frank, the kind, the generous and the brave, the better and more lovely specimens of this world's produce, that the example of Esau applies, and tells them that it is not enough to be frank and kind, and generous and brave; that, though this may indeed charm all hearts and draw all eyes, this is not enough; that these are not the seeds of an immortal harvest; that there is one thing needful which they have not yet got, and for which alone the eye of God will look when they stand before his throne. It tells us, in a word, that the thoughtless happy enjoyment of natural affections and worldly goods, without applying them to the higher purposes for which they were given, that the burying the talents committed tò us, and not using them for the honour of God and the service of his Christ, is an abuse of a sacred and awful trust, and that after a long time it may be, but after a time, the Lord of those servants will come to reckon with them.
Esau is introduced to us as a man carried away through his whole life by his feelings, whether to good or evil, and following the bent of his wildest wishes. To gratify the mere appetite of a moment, he sold his birthright to his crafty brother, or, as the Scripture says, “ despised his birthright;' that is to say, showed his utter carelessness of the high privileges which he knew that God had attached to it. That transaction fixes his character at once, and shows us the element in which it was entirely wanting. He was contented, in short, like too many men, to live without God in the world. His marriage with the daughter of a profane and ungodly race, was a marriage of passion, and the source, as the Scripture says, of deep grief to his parents. He has appeared before us to day, however, not as the sinful, but as the injured, the deeply injured person. It is a miserable picture which the lesson of the day presents to us, a mother and a son combining to deceive and injure a brother and a dying father. They succeeded no doubt; but they reaped bitter fruits from their success. The curse was on the mother, who had called it on her own head, and who lost that which she most desired, the company of her darling son. He too had a curse and not a blessing, as he foreboded, for he lived for years in exile and fear; and afterwards suffered in his own family a series of misery, turbulence, and disaster, more bitter than he had brought unto his father's house; so that he might truly as well as deservedly say, in his old age, that. evil had been the days of the years of his mortal pilgrimage. Contrasted with him the character of Esau stands forth in its fairest light, and one might almost think that it was in the mind of the inspired writer to contrast them: and to teach us that even weighed in this. favourable balance Esau's character was found wanting, that although kindness and generosity shine forth in bright colours by the side of craft and guile, they are yet wholly insufficient in the sight of God. But however that may be, even in this transaction Esau showed forth his characteristic mixture of good