« PreviousContinue »
more than language can unfold. Bear me witness of this, ye lofty pines, which lift your ever verdent heads to the sky in honour of Him.
I am here reminded of the earthly paradise when our first father was placed in the delightful garden, midst trees in full verdure, the fruits of all which, one only excepted, he might freely eat; while the birds
melodiously around, and all creation was joy : and mindeth me still more of the paradise above, where songs of everlasting praises to God and the Lamb still resound.
May I join the happy concert of the redeemed before the throne, in singing that eternally sweet anthem of gratitude,
“ Unto “ him that loved us, and washed us from
our sins in his own blood, and hath made
us kings and priests unto God and his Fa“ther ; to him be glory, and dominion, for
ever and ever! Amen," Rev. i. 5, where a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceedeth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; and in the midst of the street of
the city, and on either side of the river is there the tree of life, which beareth twelve manner of fruits, and yieldeth her fruit every month; the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations. Rev. xxii. 1, 2.
Here grow a number of hazels : though they be but little esteemed in comparison with most other trees in the wood, yet are there none more fruitful, if indeed any so much : though they be humble plants, yet are they as useful in their kind as some other trees which are more highly valued.
Not to speak of various other uses they are for, that of hoops for supporting staves of far more valued wood, is none of the least; and as they hold up the staves, and the staves them, thus the one supporting the other forms a complete vessel ; so, though the poor are numerous in the world, and but little esteemed in comparison with the rich and great, yet are they, generally speaking, most fruitful in holiness and good works.
As hoops of the hazel support staves of esteemed wood, so they hold up the rich and great in their affluence and dignity, and the rich and great support them.
Without the poor, not only the wealth, but the dignity of the great, would soon come to nought, neither without these could those subsist ; thus human society is still uniformly préserved from decay.
How wisely then, hath the infinitely wise and good God connected and linked together human society! In consideration of this chain of connexion, and how useful the one is to the other, let not the poor and low disregard and dishonour the rich and great, nor these despise and
There is the quick-beam which is so much idolized by the vulgar as an antidote against witchcraft. Greatly bewitched indeed those are ; not by the devil as second-hand dealers with familiar spirits, but with the evil spirit, the father of lies himself, who believe in this lie, and worship the creature more than the Creator, Romans, i. 25, and trust in a senseless piece of wood more than in the living God.
Horribly depraved, strangely bewitched, and great idolaters, such certainly are. However light and trifling to some this charm
may seem, it cannot be proved to be any thing less than idolatrous worship: and should we fall down to the stock of a tree? Isa. xliv. 19.
As the stock is a doctrine of vanities, Jer. x. 8, so surely this charm is the same. How carefully then ought parents and masters to be in teaching their children and those they have under them, both by example and precept, the evil of such a pernicious conduct, and to place their trust only in the living God, who hath said, “ Thou shalt have no other “ gods before me," Exod. xx. 3, and who hath all power over devils and wicked men, so that they can harm none of his servants without his special permission.
The devil could not touch Job, nor even enter into a single swine, without the Lord's particular permission, Matt. viii. 31 ; and whenever he withdraweth the sufferance, not a moment longer can Satan harrass, tempt, or hold his possession.
Seeing then the master is under such restraints, what must his servants be! In full belief of this, that the Most High God hath him and them under his absolute controul, may I, regardless of both, persevere through grace in discharging my duty to God and man.
The berries of this tree regale the cheerful thrushes, that entertain us with their song through the months of spring and summer, for which this tree ought to be chiefly valued : Herein the goodness of God is manifest, who not only supplieth in due season his rational creatures, but also the fowls of the air, beasts of the earth, and fishes of the sea, with food convenient for them. Psal. cxly. 15, 16. • The Lord is good to all, and his tender “ mercies are over all his works.” Psal. cxlv. 9.
The wood-man, I perceive, has planted this grove variously; some trees in a moist soil, and others on a dry; some on an eminence, and others on low ground; some exposed to the northern blasts, and others to