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nearly the same words, “ For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof fadeth away, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever, and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

One thought the Bible suggests by this analogy is, the unchangeableness of God. The outward laws and movements of nature continue from the beginning. The same sun that shone on Abel, and Noah, and Abraham, shines on us.

These same stars that sparkle over our homes looked upon the fall and the flood. The grass grew and withered under the footsteps of Jacob, as under ours. “All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

Another thought suggested by these words is, the truth and reality of a brotherhood between us and Aowers and trees; between the green things that wither and the bright aud beautiful ones that die. The dead violet is the fragrant memorial of the infant that drooped and died--the flower that faded in June brings to our remembrance the fair form that was suddenly cut down by some mysterious emissary, and passed away in her noon. Another falls from the tree of life like the sere leaf. “ All Aesh is as grass ; the

grass withereth and the flower fadeth.” We are also reminded that mortality is the universal attribute. Man has his autumn as well as buds and flowers, and the same casualties too: a frost nips the flowers, a worm gnaws the root of the grass, or a blight falls on it from the air, and it withers. The great majority of the human family perishes in the mid-time of its days. And though some sheltered plant may retain its health and its fragrance amid the wreck of its faded sisterhood, it also must droop and die. God has written it, and no prescriptions, or balms, or care, can reverse it. 6 All flesh is as grass : the grass withereth.” And lest it should be supposed that rank, and wealth, and beauty, may possibly be exempted from the common lot, it is added, " And the flower," that is, the chief portions of humanity, “ fadeth." And we have only to read the history of mankind, and of the greatest of mankind, to see how often this has taken place. Alexander, the conqueror of a world, perished in his prime. Before he was forty years of age, , just when his schemes of universal sovereignty were laid, and his plans

of greater glory were formed, and he thought himself secure, he was seized with a fatal disease, and all his magnificent conceptions perished in that day.

But the universal fact of death is not the only lesson taught by the withering grass. It seems to teach us also how to die. The productions of nature die as if they felt full confidence in Him that made and summons them. The leaf drops gently from the tree without a murmur—the Aower welcomes the death-frost as a messenger from its maker, bows its head upon its stalk, and yields its richest perfume as it dies. From the heath-bell on the common to the oak in the forest, all die softly : God says to each, “ Return,” and they answer in music, “We return.” Why should not Christians equally trust ? Why should not they yield themselves as gently and willingly to God? Does God care for Aowers and

Are we not much better than they?" Nature also, as she dies, looks most beautiful. The trees in autumn seem to put on their coronation robes. Did you ever notice that just as the trees are about to bare themselves and cast off all their magnificence,


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they break forth in the richest hues ; so that the tints of autumn are proverbial for their beauty. It seems as if the year would die with queenly dignity,

-as if nature would descend into its momentary grave in robes of triumph ; or at all events, the year seems to die softly and sweetly, reminding us that if nature hears the voice of Him that bids her “ return," and she returns in uncomplaining submission to the dust, we too, the children of that same Father, listening to the same behest, should die not as those whose only doom is the grave, but as those who descend into its depths only to rise to a richer glory, to live and reign for ever and ever.

Death is but the removal of the broad shadow of mortality, the emancipation of the spirit, the porch of life, the vestibule of glory.

All that man admires and pursues on earth must perish as the grass, and as the flower of the grass. Do we glory in personal beauty? It has all the prominence, and all the evanescence also of the flower of the grass. Like the bloom on a plum or peach, touch it, and it is gone. Do we glory in intellectual wisdom? The wisdom of yesterday is the folly of to-day. Do we glory in wealth? Of all earthy possessions it is the most precarious. In all its shapes, and formulas, and representations, it perisheth, It melts in our hands; it is liable to take wings and Aee away. Our ship founders at sea, and rich argosies perish. Our splendid mansions and public edifices are consumed by the fame that revels amid their glory. Languages change, ceremonies vary, sacraments are temporary. Sabbaths exist like little ponds till the ocean of eternity overturns them. Prayer continues only while there are wants; and a ministry, while there is ignorance.

The Autumn is a sad season. It is melancholy to see the grass wither and the flower fade. We walk amid lovely landscapes, and when we see the leaves fall in fitful showers from the trees, and all nature apparently descending to its grave, we feel, what man must ever feel when he gazes upon the wreck of the bright and the beautiful, sombre and yet solemn. What and where is our consolation ? The apostle tells • Let the

grass wither, as wither it will; let the flower fade, as fade it must; but are we to despair—to be cast down ? No! Our hearts are not in the withering grass, our hopes are not interwoven with the fading flower, they both stretch upward and away to something that outlives them all—the Word of God—to which we are to betake ourselves for a foresight of a new spring, a year without an Autumn. It remains and it endures for ever and

The season of Autumn, when nature fades, is just the season when Scripture should appear to us more than a most beautiful substitute, and the departure of all the magnificence of the outer world should only lead us to look with intenser thought, if we can catch a gleam of the richer magnificence of the inner. As the transient in nature passes away, it should only be to induce us to open our eyes to the eternal in grace that lies beyond. The loss of the lower world thus is compensated by the higher. Autumn acts upon nature precisely as the night acts upon the day. You know that when the night comes down upon us, it conceals all the beauty on the earth; but as the compensation, it reveals a far richer splendour in the skies. Just so with Autumn; when Autumn comes and sweeps away the bright things that fade, and the frail things that die, it is only thereby to withdraw the veil, that we may gaze into God's other grand department, his own word, and see brighter things that never fade, and strong things that never die. As the grass withers and the flower fade



we fall back upon that glorious truth, that there is something still behind lasting and unchanging, more precious than either, and enduring as eternity, that is the word of God. To that we appeal, and from that we learn those lessons that make us contented in autumn, happy in summer; without which we cannot be holy here, and in ignorance of which we have no well grounded hope of being happy hereafter. Thus the fading leads to the unfading, the perishable to the imperishable; nature as it wastes and wanes, becomes by this divine teaching suggestive of immortality, of permanent happiness, accessible now and promised richly hereafter. thankful ought we to be that we have such a blessed book to fall back upon. Let all forsake us, give us the Bible, and we have in it all still. Let riches take wings and fee away—let friends, like swallows in summer, desert us,—we have only to draw the circle a little closer and retreat within our own hearts, and find a home, a bope, a habitation, and a joy in God, for his word, which is his mind, endureth for ever and ever,


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Ruth I., 16, 17.-And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, c. This portion of sacred history is very instructive. There is much to learn from the circumstances, and much to admire in the character of Naomi. The purpose, and resolution, and conduct of Ruth, will supply many lessons of instruction.

I. Notice the leading principles whence Ruth's resolution sprang. They

1. An affectionate feeling towards her mother-in-law. This was creditable both to Naomi and Ruth.

2. A decided preference of revealed religion to all the inventions of men. Religious character implies choice. Education, circumstances, the manners of the multitude, may mould us into the religious habits of the time; but true religion requires us to make our election from a conviction that we are regarding the will of God.

3. A spirit of self-denial and sacrifice. She parted with her relationsleft her native land-went to a land which she knew not.

Real religion requires the relinquishment of all impediments. 4. Here are decision and resolution of character, Religion requires decision, and its high importance justifies its claims.

5. Here is a persuasion that religion would compensate for all the disadvantages connected with it. Hence she is determined to persevere in her resolution till death.

II. The purport of this resolution :

1. “Thy God shall be my God." The object of my adoring affection and regard. To him will I devote myself, to obey his will as made known in his word. Psalm xcv., 3, 5, 8. To confide in him for protection and support, and the supply of all wants. Psalm 1xxxiv., 10, 11. To delight in him as our portion, for time and eternity. Psalm lxxiii., 25.

2. “ Thy people shall be my people." This part of the resolution implies conviction that they were the people of God—and this relation to

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God is sustained by all who turn from sin-obelieve in Christ, walk in the way

of God's commandments, and aim to promote his glory. 3. Determination to unite with them in religious services and duties. Psalm lxvi., 16. Mat. iii., 16. Heb. X., 24, 25.

4. A decided preference of them as our companions and friends. Psalm xvi., 1, 2; cxix.

5. A willingness to partake of their sufferings, and disadvantages, and reproach.

6. A desire to have her interests and happiness identified with theirs, both in time and in eternity.

III. Recommend Ruth's example to the imitation of all, especially to

the young.

1. Observe, none will follow this example except their hearts are brought under the influence of Gospel motives--the grace of God -the love of Christ, &c.

2. Religion is indispensably requisite in order to the substantial and lasting happiness of the soul.

3. Great advantages belong to such as through grace choose God for their portion. Psalm iii., 8.

Psalm iii., 8. I Pet. v., 7. Rom. viii., 27. 4. Communion with the people of God is attended with many advantages.

5. În a dying hour all feel the inexpressible worth of a portion in God and with his people.

6, Be persuaded to resolve thus without delay-in dependence on divine aid, with holy resolution.

7. You are encouraged by examples, by promises, by the prospect of future reward.

ON ANGER. Anger does not necessarily include, though it is too frequently accompanied with, revenge. Anger is the rising up of the heart against some real or supposed injury-or it may be thus defined—the aversion, uneasi

— ness, and opposition, which is occasioned by that which is offensive. Anger is sometimes justifiable-revenge never. Hence the apostle exhorts his Christian brethren, “ Be ye angry and sin not : let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Eph. iv., 26. By which we understand him to mean that you may sometimes feel displeasure, and show that you do, but you are not to cherish or arbour wrath-for“ anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”

A thing is said to be in the bosom, when it is much loved, cherished, or delighted in. Anger resteth, taketh up its abode, dwelleth in the bosom of fools. They are fools-fools in the worst sense of the word—who cherish or delight in anger.

Anger may visit the heart of a wise man, but it does not take up its abode there; in the heart of a fool it is an inmate, takes up

its abode, has its dwelling.

We have said anger is sometimes justifiable—God's word does not wholly prohibit it--that which it prohibits is hastiness to be angry, cherishing anger. The spirits of some are like tinder-the slightest spark will set

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them all on fire; it is this touchiness which is prohibited, and against which we should guard. Also against letting anger have a dwelling or a resting place within us. As we have said anger is sometimes justifiable, it may

be as well to show when it is so. 1. It is so when it is excited by that which is really wrong. It is right to show our displeasure when anything is said or done to dishonour God. When God's salvation or our fellow creatures happiness is trifled with. Not to be angry at such times, and show that we are so, would be to betray an apathy wholly unworthy of us as children of God, and 'as redeemed by the blood of his Son. Yet, while we are right in feeling and showing displeasure towards the guilty, we must not feel unkindly towards them.

On the contrary, we must seek their welfare by every means in our power.

We have several instances of justifiable anger in the sacred scriptures.

See the case of Jacob with Laban : “ And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban, and said, What is my trespass, and what is my sin ? that thou pursuest so hotly after me?" Gen, xxxi., 36. That he had no unkindly feeling towards Laban is evident, by the covenant which he immediately entered into with him.

See the case of Moses when he descended the mount; the children of Israel were dancing round the calf they had made. “ And Moses anger waxed hot ; and he cast the tables out of his hands and brake them beneath the mount." Yet was his love for them so great, that he was willing to suffer any loss, so that they might be forgiven. Thus, when God threatened to destroy them and make of him a great people, he ventured to intercede for them, and said, “O this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them Gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin

And if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." Exod. xxxii., 31, 2. In Neh. v., 6, that holy man and noble patriot tells us,

was very angry when he heard the cry and words of his people against their brethren the Jews, who had been most cruelly oppressing them. Yet he sought the welfare of his brethren, the Usurers as well as others, by every means in his power.

We have still more illustrious examples of justifiable anger in the case of our beloved Lord towards the Pharisees—who murmured and watched whether he would heal on the Sabbath day, 6. When he had looked round about on them with anger, he was grieved for the hardness of their hearts." Mark iii., 5. Yet did he seek their welfare and cherish for them the tenderest feelings. Though he gave up the Jews, their city and polity to destruction, he wept over them with the greatest compassion. Hear his touching apostrophe; it seems to thrill every cord of the heart. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets,” &c. Matt. xxiii., 37.

2. What kind of anger is justifiable ? ' It is not in general that sudden feeling which arises in our minds because we, our ways, or wills, are opposed, but it is that which arises from clear evidence, that the thing is wrong in itself-offensive to God or injurious to men. It is not a rush of feeling which brake out in passionate expressions, but that concern which we have for the good of men and the glory of God. Hence the wisdom of the direction, “ Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry." Anger is naturally a hasty passion, and very apt to prevent reason.

It may be compared to a dog that barks at a man before he knows whether he

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