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"Thou hast been a shadow from the heat." — Isaiah 25:4

And what he has been, he is, and will be — the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.

Heat means evil — any evil, every evil, from which it is desirable to be screened. Heaven is a state — and many have reached it — where the sun does not light on them, or any heat. But it is otherwise in this world. Here many things affect the mind, as oppressive heat does the body, and make us pant for deliverance and repose. The wrath of God — a sense of his fiery law in the conscience — the temptations of Satan — the persecutions of wicked and unreasonable men, afflictions - public and private, personal and relative: here is the heat.

Where is the shadow? Behold me, says the Saviour of sinners; behold me! Come unto me, and I will give you rest. This is the rest, says God, wherewith ye shall cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing.

But what kind of shadow is He? We read in the Scripture of the shadow of a cloud, of the shadow of a tree, of the shadow of a rock, of the shadow of a tabernacle from the heat. The shadow of the cloud in harvest is grateful, but transient. The shadow of a tree under which we sit down, is delightful, but it is limited to a small distance; and the rays frequently pierce through the boughs. The shadow of a great rock is dense and cool, but it befriends not on every side, and covers little from the vertical rays. The shadow of a tabernacle, into which we may continually resort, and find not only room, but entertainment, is the most complete and inviting. All these have some truth in their application to him, but none of them can do justice to the subject. He is what they imply, but more; and not only more than each of them, but more than all of them and more than all of them combined; and more than all of them combined in their best estate — and infinitely more. He is not only perfect, but divine; and "he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

Let me leave, then, other shadows. They are all inadequate to the wants of the soul and, in some way or other, will be sure to fail me; yea, whatever else I get under for shelter, will not only prove vanity, but vexation of spirit.

But let me make use of this shadow from the heat. He is not far off. He is accessible. He is easy to approach. And it is only by repairing to him that I can enjoy the benefit derivable from him.

And while believing, I rejoice in him with joy unspeakable, let me show my benevolence by recommending him to others. They also are strangers to repose. They also want rest unto their souls. And he is sufficient to receive, and defend, and succour, and bless all. Oh happy period, when the eyes of men, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord; and when in him all the families of the earth shall be blessed. The Lord hasten it in his time.

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

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