1 Not unto us, O Yahweh, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.
2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their Elohim?
3 But our Elohim is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
9 O Israel, trust thou in Yahweh: he is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in Yahweh: he is their help and their shield.
11 Ye that fear Yahweh, trust in Yahweh: he is their help and their shield.
12 Yahweh hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
13 He will bless them that fear Yahweh, both small and great.
14 Yahweh shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
15 Ye are blessed of Yahweh which made heaven and earth.
16 The heaven, even the heavens, are Yahweh's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
17 The dead praise not Yahweh, neither any that go down into silence.
Walk through a cemetery, for instance, and read the tombstones. There you have a sleeping congregation of people, who have done with life. There are all sorts -- from the grey-haired captain who acquired military or naval honours in various parts of the world, and in the language of Parliamentary compliment, "deserved well of his country," to the unknown pauper who drivelled out his inglorious days in the workhouse.
There are merchants under these sods, who, in their day, had risen to the top of the social scale by their industry and by talents which were highly applauded as their own, and who died in the lap of luxury.
And there are beautiful daughters of rich men, who pined away in the surfeit of luxury, when, perhaps, a fair battle with the rough responsibilities of life might have saved them from an early grave. And there are also strong young men and beautiful children, with whom parents had to part, and whom, too, notwithstanding breaking hearts, they have had to follow into the grave. There they lie a common mass of corruption, "unknowing and unknown," forgotten in the land of the living.
... Everyone would say, it was most reasonable that people who lived for themselves should reap what they had sown. The great majority of the dead lived for mortal life; and they cannot complain that they get and perish for what they worked. All they worked for was to have good things to put into their mouths, fine clothes to put on their backs, and the satisfaction of "respectability" in their day and generation.
They got what they worked for; they had their reward; therefore, what would you bring them forward into the kingdom of God for? The kingdom of God is for those only who seek it first, and work for it in a practical, enthusiastic way, and are considered fools for their pains.
Let us then, brethren, never listen for a moment to those who would hinder in the good fight by recommending what is called "temperance" and "moderation" in the things of Christ. Their exhortations are altogether misplaced, and altogether uncalled for. The tendencies of the sluggish beast of the natural man are sufficiently powerful in that direction to render it quite needless for anyone to exhort us in that line.
We need exhorting the other way. We want continually to be pulled up in the direction of the path which the Captain of our Salvation himself has trodden before us, and in which he is, so to speak, leading us on. We know what sort of path that was. We know he was no "mild" and "moderate" man in the things of God. We know he had no schemes in hand but the one scheme of God's purpose.
We know that he was never found trimming his sails to worldly breezes, or emulating or inculcating worldly principles; he devoted himself solely to the work which the Father gave him, and his relation to the world was one of continued antagonism. Our work, and our attitude, if we are his brethren, will be the same. The work may be different now in its external form, but it is the same work for all that, based upon the same testimonies and the same principles, and aiming at the same end - - the purifying of a peculiar people for the inheritance of the kingdom of God.
Let us not fear to give ourselves to it with all our hearts. We shall not regret it when that day comes to us, or when we shall gasp out the vital energy which keeps us going for the time being. We shall look back with satisfaction on our little course if we are able to say,
"Well, I know my efforts were weak, and I know my shortcomings were many, but I have sought to serve Christ to the extent of my mortal possibilities as circumstances allowed, and although it has been a toilsome career, hard work, and unsatisfactory in some respects, I am glad to look back upon it, and would do as I have done if I have to live it over again."
On the other hand, the men or the women who have merely mild notions of Christ, and who have been devoting themselves to personal aims connected with this mortal life, as the object of their exertions, when they get through their comfortable drive and come to die, will be far other than satisfied with the account they will have to look upon; they will be filled with consternation when they come to present it.
Seasons 1: 32.
18 But we will bless Yahweh from this time forth and for evermore. Praise Yahweh.