« VorigeDoorgaan »
upon the earth as water. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.” Deu. xii. 23, 24, 25.
When referring to the law, Moses says, “ Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath ; but with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God; and also with him that is not here with us this day.” Deu. xxix. 14, 15.
Thus far the law ; which the Apostles, Elders, and whole church afterwards confirmed-commanding the Gentiles to “abstain from blood, and from things strangled, &c. from which if ye keep yourselves ye shall do well.” Acts, xv. 20—29.
“ Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes towards your idols, and shed blood : and shall ye possess the land ?” See Ezek. xxii. 26; xxxiii. 25.
Consider how greatly now is the word of God neglected and violated by strangling poultry; which should be killed by pouring out the blood—“ so shall ye prosper”-remembering " when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants.”
Let no man deceive himself by saying, “ We are not under the law, but under grace:"_true, the deeds of the law will not justify; for it is only “the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin,”—and here lies the power of the command! Slain beasts under the Mosaic
dispensation were of no avail without the slain, or “ broken heart : ” Paul was afraid some would make void the law, and therefore says, “ Yea we establish the law;” because he knew what God doeth he doeth for ever.” Amen! Does not God “wait that he may be gracious,” when he says, “ Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.” 2 Chron. xxxiii. 8.
How many take shelter under this text, Mark, vii. 15 : “ There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” It is as full a truth as any other Scripture-food cannot defile a sinner. The sin is disobedience:– The command is, “ Thou shalt not eat it :” and, “ If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Saul was commanded to “smite the Amalekites ;” his disobedient, hypocritical evasion lost him his kingdom, subsequently his life, and possibly his soul! And for this text sake, swine's flesh is eaten ; yet the command is, “Of their flesh shall ye not eat: and their carcases shall ye not touch, (not taste it, it is unclean unto you;” (unwholesome.) Acquaintance with Scripture would teach us, even in a foreign land, what may be eaten or refused; and did the people live by Scripture rule, there would have been no cause to lament the al.
most destruction of a ship's company, by eating improper fish! The Lord has given his people instruction both for life here and hereafter: instead therefore of acting in rebellion to the command of our Maker, there is cause to bless and praise his gracious love and tender care in thus providing, and so wisely ordaining infallible rules.
“ Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my band against their adversaries.”
2 Sam. xi. 1.
* At the time when kings go forth to battle .... David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
When it is our duty to be lawfully engaged, and which we neglect for personal indulgence, it generally ends in mortification, and sometimes ruin !
Gen. xxx. 1. Rachael said, “ Give me children, or else I die.” She died in giving birth to her second child !
Direct not the Lord what blessing to bestow; the granted request may prove the tomb of desire !
When Balak sent to Balaam, he enquired of God, and was answered, “ Thou shalt not go.” When Balak sent a second time, Balaam said—“Tarry.”
When once assured of the mind and will of God, confer not with flesh and blood,” lest it bring shame, reproach, and death!
BLESSINGS IN VARIETY. THERE is no possible state, or circumstance, that an individual may be brought into, but the Holy Writings, will supply suitable portions in all its beautiful variety.
Say to the Sportsman, come to the “Field the Lord hath blessed.” Gen. xxvii. 27. To those who love pleasure; it is to be found “at God's right hand for evermore.”—Call the glutton, tell him, here he may “ eat a feast of fat things.”—Tell the drunkard to “ take the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord,” and he will have “ wine on the lees well-refined.” Even the covetous man may indulge to excess, if he will but covet earnestly the best gifts. Let the gardener watch “ the fruits of the valley ;” and “ see whether the Vine flourishes, and sweet will be his ingathering.” If the ploughman will put his hand to the Gospel plough, and not look back, he “is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Servants serve your Master, the Lord of Glory, and he will pay you “the wages of Eternal Life.” Tell the farmer, the Lord of the harvest has promised “not the least grain shall fall upon the earth:”
”“ be strong in faith.” Merchants, “ make merchandise of Wisdom ; " " it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” Ye builders, lay a deep foundation, raise the superstructure very high ; build a Temple for the Lord : and when ye lay the Top-stone, ye will shout “Grace, Grace, unto it.”—The lovers of antiquity may here be indulged with researches into “ the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,” where they may find a Gem called “ Wisdom,” exceeding every thing else in value; and a “ Pearl of Great Price.” -If our armies were clothed in the the armour to be found in Eph. vi. 11, &c. they would be invincible. To the poor in faith Jesus says, 66 But thou art rich !!!”
Rev. i. 9. “I John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the