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"Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of the sun. For thou didst it secretly : but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun."
"I have sinned against the Lord," uttered the broken-hearted David; for it was all that could escape the poor penitent's lips. Prostrate he fell at the throne of eternity and grace—O Lord, have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner.
As the prophet burned with remorse as he passed the condemnation, now he bended, supplicated, and sympathized in the sorrows of David: his heart doubtless melted into pity, and his tears mingled with those of the sinner. "The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die"—were the comforting and consoling words of Nathan. "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child that is also born unto thee shall surely die."
Then David was forgiven, Mamma?
He was, my love; but the sentence which was passed up him was awfully fulfilled; and his own son Absalom soon murdered his own brother, and afterwards became a traitor to his father, formed an army to fight against him, and even drove him from his own kingdom ; for David was obliged to fly with only a few followers, and experienced the very height of deprivation and misfortune.
And did David, Mamma, bear his trials and sufferings patiently?
During this period he wrote some of his most beautiful Psalms, which were expressive of his deep repentance, and beautifully descriptive of the mercy and grace of God. Even one line, my child, no heathen poet has been able to equal in the vastness of its meaning, and sublimity of its expression.
Why do not all people read them, Mamma?
Because, my love, the Bible is not generally read; and when it is, it is hurried over: but a spiritual Christian will take his Bible, and peruse a Psalm, and meditate on each verse in humble admiration of God, and indeed will feast his soul in delight and pleasure.
O, pray, Mamma, read me one, with your medit tion.
It will afford me great gratification to compl; with your wishes, my love. Let us then contemplate the beauties of the 90th Psalm, the first verse of which is, "Lord, thou hast been our dwellingplace in all generations." Can we not read in these lines, that God has been our dwelling place; that is, he has given to us a home to which we fly, and are safely protected from the tempest and storm. Is it not our safe refuge, and the place of our rest? the threshold of hospitality, and of all our comforts, and of all that is dear to us? At our home is the partner of our bosom, and the children of our tenderest care and love.
Who gave us this dwelling place? Was it not the Lord? Then does not my meditation, my child, lead me, in adoration and praise, to perceive the beauty of the verse, which brings my soul, in unison with the Psalmist's, to say: "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations t"
The second verse continues: "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world; even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
• How does my soul, my child, contemplate the beauty of yonder lofty mountains, and the golden tinge which streams to the east from the glorious sun, as he sets in the west! How does my soul, in calmness, survey the fields, and the corn ripening! How does my soul contemplate the vastness of the blue ocean, which these verses bring to my recollection! Do I not see the mightiness and the eternity of the Creator? While my soul joins in ac
knowledging," from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God!"
The third verso is: "Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye children of men." Does not my soul bring to its remembrance the fall of Adam and Eve? and does it not recognize in these lines an offended Parent? Yet I find in him a tender, loving, forgiving, pitying, father; and my soul joins in glorifying God for his mercy and condescension in saying, "Return, ye children of men."
The fourth verse is: "For a thousand years, in thy sight, are but as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night." What a vast idea does my soul form of God from these lines! A thousand years to God is as a day to us. How little is man, but how infinite is God! Thus the world has not been created 6000 years, yet, in the sight of God, it is only six days, and as a watch in the night; but to man, my love, how vast! Our minds, my child, are too little to bear the contemplation of the glorious Creator and maker of heaven and earth.
The fifth verse is: "Thou carriest them away as with a flood: they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass, which groweth up." And the sixth verse adds: " In the morning it flourisheth and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down and wi» thereth." And the seventh verse: ' For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled." What does my soul contemplate, my love? I look around me, and perceive the multitude who know not God, who have a real dislike to the mention of his name, who have never once read through the Bible to know this history or his commandments, who neglect his Sabbaths, who wilfully sin, and blaspheme his name, and who may perhaps go to church once on a Sunday, but pass the rest of that holy day in revelry.or in transacting business; who have no worship in their families, or thanksgiving or praise ; who have no prayer rising up or lying down; who possess,however, the abundance of God's gifts in dwelling, children, and subsistence; who are perhaps upright in dealing, and are men, with men, of integrity and honour; but, towards God, no acknowledgment nor gratitude. What does my soul contemplate? I see a flood of such a multitude carried daily away as a sleep—they are not awake to their awful responsibility for every word and action of their lives, and their neglect of God. My soul joins in mournful unison with the Psalmist's:" Thou carriest them away as with a flood: they are as a sleep.'' And my soul laments over the number who are swept away in the midst of their iniquities, who are in the beauty of youth, whose parents L2