Imagini ale paginilor



fore a fall—that God can easily so direct human affairs as to thwart the best laid schemes of wicked men. If, at Mordecai's refusal to bow before him as to a god, Haman swells with rage, and says to himself: “Well, he will not bow his knees—I will see if a halter cannot break his neck;” and if, as he plans for this, his malice, and envy, and rage, grow by what they feed on, until he will not stoop to be revenged on Mordecai alone; if he will not rest until, like the Egyptian kings portrayed on the old palace walls of the Nile, he can hold the hair of all Jewish heads in one hand, and by one stroke of the king's sword, cut them all off at once; if one lark is not enough for the stomach of this Amalekite, but, like a vulture, he would have the whole flock, why then we have only to wait for the sequel, and we shall see who prevails. For it was not against Mordecai alone, nor merely against Mordecai and the Jews that this heathen Agagite was raging. His heart was set against God's chosen people, and against Jehovah himself. It is no wonder then, that, contrary to all human appearances, his plans miscarried, and the Jews were saved. For who hath ever hardened himself against the Almighty and prospered ? Is He not as wonderful in execution as in council? Let the potsherds of the earth strive with the potsherds of the earth ; but wo to a man that striyeth with his Maker! Who shall deliver us from His wrath?

The delay of the execution of the sentence against evil-doers, is not, in itself, a blessing, if it does not lead to repentance. It were a mercy to arrest them, and so prevent their increase of guilt. A thing is not good because it prospers, but because it is according to the will of God—because it is commanded by him. An act is not evil because it is punished at once, but because it is disobedience—because it is forbidden. The act—the sin itself—is a judgment upon the sinner. He that believeth not, is condemned already, and his continuance in unbelief and disobedience, against the offers of pardon and calls of grace, only enhances his condemnation. The tyranny of Haman's evil passions, instead of growing less by the opposition he met with, only became more and more violent. His revenge became a-scorpion that could not rest.

His heart was so filled with pride and envy, that no scheme was too cruel or bloody for him. But it is always, as it was with him, such wicked passions indulged are more injurious to those who allow them to govern them, than they are to the victims upon whom they are expended. It is better to receive and endure an injury, than to inflict one. Oh how dangerous is ambition in a narrow minded, ill-informed, headstrong man on the pinnacle of earthly grandeur! Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit, there is more hope of a fool than of him? If he be brayed in a mortar, he is still a fool. Prov. xxvii. How impossible is it for a man to have the spirit of Christ who is filled with malice and anger, and evilspeaking, and backbiting, and slander? How earnestly ought we to pray to be delivered from violent passions, and from unreasonable men; and how thankful should we be when God restrains us from the indulgence of wicked propensities?

But what if we have fallen ; what if we are sinners ? Is there no hope for us? O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, saith the Lord, but in me is thy help. There



is forgiveness with God, not that we may go on in sin, but that He may be feared. Christ Jesus is exalted at His right hand, a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins. I remember having read something like the following, in regard to a little boy, a white-haired lad of some six



His mother was sick, and the little fellow left his playthings in the yard to stay with his mother, and in trying to amuse himself in her sick chamber, without making a noise, he employed himself sometime in painting his name, with a pencil, on paper. But suddenly his busy little finger stopped. He had made a mistake, and wetting his finger, he tried again and again to rub out the wrong mark, as he had been accustomed to do on his slate; but in vain. His mother having observed his distress, and his useless efforts, said: “My son, do you know that God writes down all you do in a book ? Every naughty word and wicked thought-all your acts of wickedness, peevishness and disobedience? do you suppose, my boy, you can ever rub out these marks against you?His face grew red, and then pale. He was evidently much agitated with thoughts about his standing in the sight of God. His mother observed him affectionately, but said nothing. At last he came to her bedside and said, with great earnestness : “Dear mother, can not the blood of Jesus Christ rub them out?” Yes, dear boy, you have the secret

A secret the whole world cannot give you without the Gospel: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.

[ocr errors]




6. Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.”

Esther ix: 5.

" Just in the last distressing hour

The Lord displays delivering power,
The mount of danger is the place,
Where we shall see surprising grace."


As the history now before us opens up, we find two royal edicts, just the counterpart of each other, left to war it out. Neither side are rebels, for both are to fight under royal authority. And since it must be so, may God protect the right.

We have found Haman hanging on the gallows which he built for Mordecai, and Mordecai coming into the possession of the honors, power and estates of Haman. And the queen undisputed mistress of the king's heart; but the decree of extermination, against the Jews, cannot be reversed. It can only be met by a counter-one, which it is hoped will practically render it null and void. Accordingly, two months after the first, and

« ÎnapoiContinuați »