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My times are in thy hand.—Psalm, Xxxi. 15.
REASON and revelation unitedly assent that he who made, must also govern the world. "His kingdom ruleth over all." In every event, whether great or small, the providence of God is concerned. Not only the rise and fall of mighty empires, but even the shaking of a leaf, and the movement of an atom, are under the management and control af Jehovah. An insect is no more forgotten, and overlooked by him, than an angel ; an atom than a world. The omniscient, omnipresent God is certainly able to attend, at one and the same time, to all the concerns of his creatures, and to all events that take place throughout his vast dominions. A falling sparrow is not forgotten by him. And he numbers the very hairs of our heads. Mat. x. 23, 30. Nothing, therefore, can befal us,
without his knowledge and permission.
The Psalmist was fully convinced of this truth, when he uttered the words of the text. at that time, surrounded with enemies and dangers. “Have mercy, upon me," says he, “ O Lord, for
I am in trouble ; mine eye is consumed with grief, I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but espe. cially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance : they that did see me without, fled
I have heard the slander of many : fear was on every side, while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life."
Nothing could support a man in such a perilous situation but a strong faith in an overruling providence. This was the Psalmist's support. He knew that no one could take away his life, nor touch a hair of his head, without permission from Jehovah. A firm confidence in the divine government, enabled him to rise above his fears and to rejoice in God, though in the midst of powerful enemies and alarming dangers. In the language of triumph, he exclaims : "But I trusted in thee, O Lord. I said, thou art my God. My times are in thy hand."
David here declares his conviction, that the duration of his troubles, the period of his deliverance, the continuance of his life, and all his concerns, were wholly in the power of the Lord to manage and control as he pleased. The same is true of each and every individual of the human race. In reference to all the affairs of man, God has placed, the times and seasons in his own power.
To illustrate the words of the text, I observe
I. That as to our birth, with its attendant circumstances, our times are in God's hand.
There is a time to be born." It is obvious that we have not the control of this all-important
We cannot choose in what period, nor in what part of the world we will come into existence. God alone determines the time and place of our nativity. One is born in the deserts of Arabia, in the wilds of America, or in some of the numerous isles of the sea ; and is a heathen, of course : another is born in a christian land, where from infancy to age, from the cradle to the grave, he enjoys the full blaze of gospel light. One is born among idolators, and is early initiated into the mysteries of a religion, whose characteristics are pollution and cruelty: another is born among the worshippers of the true God, where, in childhood, he is made acquainted with the scriptures, and taught to walk in the path that leads to eternal life. Even in christian countries, very various are the circumstances under which different persons come into the world. Some are the children of affluence, others of poverty. One is born in a cottage, another in a palace. Some have irreligious parents, from whose example they soon learn to despise the scriptures, to trifle with the most solemn truths of the gospel, and to seek their happiness in worldly acquisitions. T'hey are suffered to grow up in ignorance of God, live and die in sin. Others are favoured with pious parents, by the influence of whose example, instructions and prayers, they are early allured to the worship and service of their