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God's CARE FOR ORPHANS.
fluence over their children than fathers; and well they may, for they are with them by day and by night. A mother's love, a mother's watchfulness, a mother's earnestness, a mother's instructions and warnings, and a mother's tears and prayers, how invaluable, persevering, and memorable! Hence a mother's loss is irreparable, and the sorrow and desolation of “one that mourneth for his mother,” may well be great. Some have lost both father and mother. Such are orphans indeed, and have a strong claim on the care of every one who has a heart to feel, and a hand to help. Orphanage is so sad and desolate a state, that God in His word, has given special promises, and special comfort for it. “I will not leave you orphans.” “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive.”
The great consolation felt_“Then the Lord will take me up.” This language implies, that orphans my expect the special presence of God. The orphan may say, I am a wanderer in the world, but I shall not wander alone. “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” My father is dead, my mother is dead, and sometimes I feel desolate and friendless, but Jesus says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” His presence shall guide me in difficulty, in danger, and in sorrow. I am not alone, for the Lord is with me.
I shall enjoy divine protection. The phrase "shall take up,” means in the original, shall gather. The hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and when thus gathered, they have peace, protection, and comfort. So the Lord gathereth me, how tenderly, how carefully! He comforts me in sorrow, He shields me from danger, He spreads the wings of His love over me, and He delivers me from evil. “God is for me," and who or what can be against me? “He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” I shall enjoy divine provision. Orphans have often great privations, and they and their friends may have fears of want, but God will raise up some helper. Job says, “I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.” Let every orphan say, " The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall want.” What a Shepherd! He gathers the lambs in His arms. What a possession! He is mine, my Lord and my God. What an assur
I shall not want a friend-I shall not want a home-I shall not want any good thing. I shall enjoy heaven at last-“the Lord shall take me up”-up to heaven. David believed that God would gather him to his fathers. Now, where were Jesse, and Obed, and Boaz, and Ruth? All were safe in heaven, and there is no want there.
DECISION IN RELIGION.
“ Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God."
1 Chron, xxii. 19.
David desired to build the temple of the Lord, but not being permitted, gave a solemn charge to Solomon and the princes of Israel to do it. The words of this text are part of David's dying charge to the princes of Israel. Here we have an important duty—the manner of its performance -and the right season.
The important duty—“Seek the Lord your God.” The object to be sought is “the Lord.” Our immortal souls are so capacious, that no earthly object, nor combination of earthly objects, can satisfy them. One says, I would be satisfied with a thousand pounds; suppose he gets it, then his desires enlarge, and he would like ten thousand; suppose he gets it, his desires would still enlarge, so that there is no limit to our desires and ambition. Hence, if our souls are ever satisfied, it must be by a boundless object, and that object is “the Lord.” But we must not look at Jehovah absolutely. He is “the Lord your God," a God in covenant with His people, a God in Christ, and through His ransom, reconciling the world to Himself. He says, I am the Lord your God, and each one must claim
Him saying, the Lord is my God. It is not as Creator and Sovereign we are to seek Him, but as a kind and merciful Father in Christ, and willing to forgive and save us for Christ's sake. He is to be sought. “Seek ye the Lord while He
may be found.” As we would dig and search for gold in the earth, so must we search for God as our portion till we find Him. He is to be prayed unto, for many have sought and found Him at a throne of grace. Thus Jacob sought Him and found Him; thus Manasseh sought Him and found Him ; thus the poor publican sought Him and found Him; and thus all may seek Him, yea, all are required and warranted to seek Him earnestly, and perseveringly, till they find Him.
“My God, the cov'nant of thy love,
A bides for ever sure,
My happiness secure.” The manner in which we should seek Him_“Let your heart and soul.” Our hearts and souls are apt to be set on other objects; but in His word, and in His ordinances, we must seek Him sincerely and earnestly. We must not depend on external duties, we must not bring merely bodily service, but there must be heart work, and soul work. Religion is a matter of such moment, that, unless the heart is exercised and changed, we cannot succeed; unless the thoughts are engaged, and the soul renewed, we never can make
DECISION IN RELIGION.
any progress. With divine aid sought and obtained, the heart must be set, and firmly resolved to seek the Lord. When the Moabites and the Ammonites invaded Judea, the danger was great, and “Jehosaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord.” So our danger is great, our sins expose us to the wrath of God, and we must, by a strong effort and a strong resolution, set our hearts and souls to seek the Lord. In vain will we plead. We cannot do it, we must know what are God's intentions towards us, for we must do it, or perish-we must do it, or we can have no peace, and no safety.
The right season- is “Now." The Lord must be sought now, because of the uncertainty of life. God says, “ Now,” “To-day,” and reader, wilt thou say, Not now, to-morrow. To-morrow thou mayest be dead. This was David's last appeal to the princes of Israel, and this may be the last time you shall be urged to believe in Christ, perhaps, the very last. The Lord must be sought now, because your day of grace may end to-day. God says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” It is awfully possible for your day of grace to end before the day of your life. It is awfully possible for you to be given over to a reprobate mind. The Lord must be sought now, because it will be best and easiest now. Reason, conscience, interest, heaven, hell, every thing proclaims, Now or never.