April 17 PDF Print E-mail
"Behold, I will engrave the graving thereof saith the Lord of hosts." — Zechariah 3:9,

This is spoken of the stone, upon which were to be seven eyes, and which intends the Messiah, the foundation laid in Zion.

To engrave, is to pierce and cut. When he became a man of sorrows; when he said, Reproach hath broken my heart; when he gave his back to the smiters, and his check to them that plucked off the hair; when the crown of thorns entered his temples, and the nails his hands and feet, and the spear his side, then, O my soul, was the Scripture fulfilled.

As there is no engraving without wounding, so to engrave is to embellish and beautify. And he was made perfect through suffering. Hence, "I do cures," said he, "to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Hence he calls the season of his passion the hour in which he was to be "glorified." Hence he adds, "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." And the richest display of his graces and the acquirement of the dispensation of the Spirit, and the dominion he exercises in our nature, and the prerogative of judging the world in righteousness, and the praises he will inhabit through eternal ages, all these resulted from his sufferings, according to the language of divine prophecy, and history: "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities." "Because he was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, therefore God hath exalted him, and given him a name above every name."

"And as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." To a person unacquainted with the process, the pruning of the tree; the cleaving of the ground with the ploughshare; the operation of the chisel on the stone; would look like an effort to injure or destroy. But look at the thing afterwards. Behold the vine, adorned with purple clusters. Survey the field, yielding the blade, the ear, the full corn in the ear. Examine the carved work when the sculptor has achieved his design, and fixed it in the proper place.

Christians are sometimes perplexed, and discouraged, because of their trials. They know not what God is doing with them. They fear he is angry, and going to crush and destroy. But they are his workmanship. He is preparing them for their destination in the temple of his grace. These trials are applied to qualify and advance them. They will only perfect that which concerneth them. Howard was taken by the enemy, and confined in prison. There he learned the heart of a captive; and this experience originating in his suffering, excited and directed his thoughts, and led him into all his extraordinary course of usefulness and fame. "It is good for me," says David, "that I have been afflicted." "I know," says Paul, that this shall turn to my salvation. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

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