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S C RIPTU R AL AND DEW OTION A. L.
1. BALAAM'S PROPIIECY IN BEHALF OF ISRAEL. – Numbers.
AND Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said: Balaam, the son of Beor, hath said, and the man whose eyes are open, hath said; — he hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, - falling into a trance, but having his eyes open : — How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar-trees beside the waters. His king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God is not a man, that He should lie ; neither the son of man, that He should repent. Hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or, hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good Behold, I have received commandment to bless; and He hath blessed ; and I cannot reverse it. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed ? Or, how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied ? IIe hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them. God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath, as it were, the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations, his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought ! Behold, the People shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion : he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. For, from the top of the rocks I see him; and from the hills I behold him : lo, the People shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel ? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
2. PAUL'S DEFENCE BEFORE FESTUS AND AGRIPPA.
I THINK myself happy, King Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews; especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews; wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own Nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth ; which thing I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon, as I went to Damascus, with authority and commission from the chief priests, at mid-day, O King! I saw in the way a light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me, and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads.” And I said, “Who art thou, Lord ' " And he said, “I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest; but rise, and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the People, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Whereupon, O King Agrippa I was not disobedient unto the: heavenly vision; but showed first unto them of Damascus and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having, therefore, obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say
should come, – that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the People, and to the Gentiles.
TheN spake Jehovah to Job out of the whirlwind, and said: Who is this, that darkeneth my counsels by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man I will ask thee, and answer thou me ! Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations of the earth 2 Declare, since thou hast such knowledge Who fixed its dimensions 2 since thou knowest ' Or who stretched out the line upon it ! Upon what were its foundations fixed 2 And who laid its corner-stone, When the morning-stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy 7 Hast thou penetrated to the springs of the sea, And walked through the recesses of the deep 2 Have the gates of death been disclosed to thee, And hast thou seen the gates of the shadow of death Hast thou surveyed the breadth of the earth 2 Declare, since thou knowest it all !— Where is the way by which light is distributed, And the East wind let loose upon the earth 2 Who hath prepared channels for the rain, And a path for the glittering thunderbolt, To give rain to the land without an inhabitant, To the wilderness, where is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground, And cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth 2 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, Or loosen the bands of Orion ? Canst thou lead forth Mazzaroth in its season, Or guide Arcturus with his sons Knowest thou the ordinances of the Heavens ! Hast thou appointed their dominion over the earth 2 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, So that abundance of waters will cover thee ? Canst thou send forth lightnings, so that they will go, And say to thee, “Here we are " ? Who hath imparted understanding to thy reins, And given intelligence to thy mind 2 Who numbereth the clouds in wisdom 2 Hast thou given the horse strength 2 Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder ? Hast thou taught him to bound like the locust?
How majestic his snorting ! how terrible!
4. TRUE WISDOM. – Job, translated by Rev. G. R. Noyes.
WHERE shall wisdom be found 2 And where is the place of understanding 2 Man knoweth not the price thereof; Nor can it be found in the land of the living. The deep saith, It is not in me; And the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, Nor shall silver be weighed out as the price thereof. It cannot be purchased with the gold of Ophir, With the precious onyx, or the sapphire. Gold and crystal are not to be compared with it; Nor can it be purchased with jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of crystal, For wisdom is more precious than pearls. The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be purchased with the purest gold.
Whence, then, cometh wisdom ? And where is the place of understanding 2 Since it is hidden from ". eyes of all the living, And kept close from the fowls of the air. The realms of Death say, We have heard only a rumor of it with our ears. God alone knoweth the way to it; He alone knoweth its dwelling-place. For He seeth to the ends of the earth, And surveyeth all things under the whole Heaven. When He gave the winds their weight, And adjusted the waters by measure, — When He prescribed laws to the rain, And a path to the glittering thunderbolt, — Then did He see it, and make it known;
He established it, and searched it out;
5. A NATION'S STRENGTH...— Psalm 33, translated by Rev. G. R. Noyes.
HAPPY the Nation whose God is Jehovah ; The People whom He hath chosen for His inheritance. The Lord looketh down from Heaven; He beholdeth all the children of men; From His dwelling-place He beholdeth all the inhabitants of the earth; He, that formed the hearts of all, And observeth all their works. A King is not saved by the number of his forces, Nor a hero by the greatness of his strength. The horse is a vain thing for safety, Nor can he deliver his master by his great strength.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him;
May Thy goodness be upon us, O Lord, According as we trust in Thee!
PRAISE ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon : praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord : for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps: fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word: mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars; beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl; kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth; both young men, and maidens; old men, and children; let them praise the name of the Lord : for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary : praise him in