Page images
PDF
EPUB

le my people, and thy God my God. Vhere thou diest, I will die, and there vill I be buried. The Lord do so to ne, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me."

And was not Ruth's a right choice, and a happy choice too? She clave unto Naomi, because there was a loveliness in her character, that drew her heart towards her; and because she saw clearly that she was walking in the path that leads to happiness. And she longed perhaps to see something of Naomi's people, whom she had so often heard of as the people of God.

Now, does not all this show that the grace of God was already working in her heart? For no heart that is uncouched by grace, will " choose rather o suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of s'n for a season.” And shall we not sa too, that God was thus leading her b: His providence to the enjoyment oi brighter and happier days ?

Happy we, if our minds are made up, as hers was, to follow the Lord and His people! Happy we, if we can turn to the world, and say, None of these things have any longer a charm for me; neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy!

Ruth never repented of that day's choice. She had decided rightly, and God blessed her in her decision. And let me ask you, How do matters stand with you? Have you chosen the world as your portion, or have you taker Christ and Heaven, as your one grea

[graphic]

am, that which you will live for now, ad enjoy for ever?

But let us, before we close this hapter, fix our thoughts a moment on Orpah.

I am afraid there are a great many who have right feelings and good intentions, but they want that decision which is needful. So it was with Orpah. She was half-inclined to cast in her lot with Naomi. But the journey was long, and the prospect a sorrowful one; and she thought of the home she had just left. Such was the case with Lot's wife. She took the angel's advice, and escaped out of the city with her friends; but her heart and her affections were in Sodom; and she looked back with a longing eye on what she had left behind her. Such also was the case with those disciple to whom our Lord was forced to say, “Will ye also go away?" And so it was with the Galatians, to whom St. Paul wrote, “Ye did run well. Who doth hinder you?"

Beware of indecision. It will not do to serve God in a half-hearted

way.

It will not do to halt and waver in our course. This was the ruin of Orpah : and who can doubt that she suffered bitterly for it?

She returned to her home, but she found there no peace, There was no one to follow up the good instructions of her mother-in-law: no one to speak any more of that dear Friend above, on whom their thoughts had so often dwelt. How sad she must have felt!

And when her thoughts

arned to bye-gone days, one can al-
fost fancy her expressing her sadness
the words of the Christian poet :-
“What peaceful hours I once enjoyed ;

How sweet their memory still !
But they have left an aching void,

The world can never fill.” No, my friend, no; the World cannot fill your heart, if it has once tasted of those higher joys which Christ bestows. Pleasures may amuse you; friends

may

comfort you; the busy employments of life may occupy you; but these cannot satisfy a soul that has once been lifted up to God. In His service alone there is peace now; and n His presence there will be fulness of by hereafter, and at His right hand here will be pleasures for evermore.

« PreviousContinue »