Lessons of Summer
Psalm 74:17
You have set all the borders of the earth: you have made summer and winter.

It may be well enough, perhaps, to show one's acquaintance with nature, by talking learnedly of climate as affected by the sun's rays; the elevation of different regions above the level of the sea; the influence of mountains and currents; but, after all, we must discover in these several agencies the Hand of the Great and Good God. "Thou hast made summer." The constant repetition of this mercy should teach us —


II. Again: The text reminds us HOW PATIENTLY THE GOOD LORD BEARS WITH THE INGRATITUDE OF MAN. The slightest disappointment of our unimportant plans by a shower of rain will be met by complaints and murmurings, as if we were the only beings to be thought of, and our convenience to be consulted before that of all others. "All weather is good; sunshine is good; rain is good. One may see in Europe artificial waterworks, cascades constructed by the skill of man, at enormous expense — at Chatsworth, at Hesse Cassel — and the remains of magnificent waterworks at Marly, where Louis XIV. lavished uncounted millions of gold... The traveller thinks it a great thing to see a little water thus pumped up by creaking machinery or a panting steam-engine, to be scattered in frothy spray; and do we talk of its not being a good day when God's great engine is exhibited to us, His imperial waterwork sending up the mists and vapours to the clouds, to be rained down again in comfort, and beauty, and plenty?"

III. If we are bringing forth the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, no doubt the Holy Ghost has visited and blessed us. There is a delightful period of the year, known as Indian summer, and, in some parts of Europe, as St. Martin's summer. The woods put on their most brilliant colouring, the waters of the lakes are smooth and unruffled, and the red man of the forest are wont to welcome it as the special gift of their most honoured Deity, to whom they believe their souls go after death. As in nature, so in grace also do we find a pleasant illustration here: "In the life of the good man there is an Indian summer more beautiful than that of the season — richer, sunnier, and more sublime than the world has ever known — it is the Indian summer of the soul. When the glow of youth has departed, when the warmth of middle age is gone, then the mind of the good man, still ripe and vigorous, relaxes its labours, and the memories of a well-spent life gush forth from their secret fountains, enriching, rejoicing, fertilizing; and the soul, assuming a heavenly lustre, is no longer shut up within the narrow confines of business, but dwells happily upon the summer which awaits it within the gates of Paradise." Does not the same gracious God who makes summer in the physical, make it also in the spiritual world? And if the summer of the one be glorious, must not the summer of the other be even more glorious? Surely the joyful song of the ransomed ones, during the days of millennial glory, will be, "Thou hast made summer."

(J. N. Norton.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

WEB: You have set all the boundaries of the earth. You have made summer and winter.

The God of the Night
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