And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin.
I. Man is a part of God's creation, just as truly as fowls and flowers are, and must be just as fully included in the Creator's daily care. "The eyes of all wait on thee."
II. But, if included, man must he included as man, and as God knows man, and all his wants, bodily and spiritual, seeing that God created him, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
III. For God's care - if we are to conceive of it as worthy of God - must be in precise adaptation to each creature for whom he cares.
IV. Then we may be sure that God cares for man so far as man is kin with the fowls and the flowers.
V. Then we may be sure that God cares for man so far as man is superior to the fowls and the flowers. Remember Mungo Park's reflection when, in a time of utter despair, he found a small moss, and, admiring its root, leaves, and capsule, thought thus: "Can that Being who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image? Surely not." That reflection inspired new effort, which resulted in Park's rescue. - R.T.
Consider the lilies.I. THE OBJECTS TO WHICH HE DIRECTS US FOR THE LESSON HE WOULD TEACH.
II. THE LESSON ITSELF. God takes care of the lilies; the inference(1) From the less to the greater;(2) From the gift to the recipient. Shall God follow the gift with so much interest and be unmindful of him for whom it is intended;(3) From the ornamental to the needful.
III. THE REBUKE TO UNBELIEF AND CALL FOR FAITH.
(C. M. Merry.)1. For the sake of their tender associations. The life of flowers has all the vicissitudes of human life.
2. Consider their growth.
3. Their beauty.
4. Their unselfishness.
5. Their death.
(W. E. Shalders, B. A.)1. Lily-life and growth teach us freedom from care.
2. The lily grows everywhere, the Oriental lily.
3. The special utility of the lily.
4. A word on this question of raiment. Life first, then clothing.
(A. J. Griffiths.)
I. So, then, THERE IS A GOSPEL IN NATURE. Under pretence of exalting what God has said in His Word we must not depreciate what He has done in His works. There is a gospel in nature, not the gospel. Christ comes as the interpreter of nature's gospel. This gospel of nature is especially for the poor.
II. THIS GOSPEL MUST BE MUSED ON. Nature's text must be studied — "consider." Multitudes are blind and deaf, not through misfortune, but from disposition. Nature's gospel has no vision for those who consider not.
III. THIS GOSPEL IS VERY CONVINCING AND CONSOLATORY AS EXPLAINED BY JESUS CHRIST.
1. God takes care of the lilies and the grass. They do not grow by chance.
2. From these specimens of nature Jesus preaches the good news of faith in providence. Men are better than birds, and more useful.
(J. Stoughton, D. D.)Song of Solomon 2:1).
2. Admiration at the amazing power of God.
3. The unceasing watchfulness the Almighty One extends over all His works.
4. Humility. It delights in the valleys.
5. Contentment. Other flowers may boast that they grow in more conspicuous places, that their colours are more gay; but the lily is content to be as God made it.
7. A reminder of immortality.
(J. Norton.)1. The first lesson which these silent preachers would have us learn is the unfailing care of God for His creatures.
2. They indicate a resurrection.
3. The flowers teach us a lesson of usefulness.
4. The flowers teach us to be a comfort to our neighbours.
I. They are CLOTHED WITH BEAUTY (1 Peter 3:3, 4).
II. They GROW WITHOUT ANXIETY. They never fret because of the heat, drought, rain, or cold. They pass through changes; are of different growth.
III. They are WATCHED, ALTHOUGH SOON TO PALL.
(Canon Titcomb, M. A.)
(Bishop Hall.)I. It has its root HIDDEN. Secret trust, etc. No pure white lily could live without the hidden root to draw up moisture from the soil.
II. Consider how pure and sweet the lily is, and how INNOCENT. Everybody loves them. What a picture of the Child Jesus!
III. Consider the lilies as A LESSON ABOUT DRESS. This the special lesson of text. He clothes the lilies in white. Some children always fretting about dress. Vain about dress. Sinfully careless about dress,
IV. Consider the lily in THE EVENING. When sun sets, close up. Don't stare at darkness, hang the head and sleep. Children should do the same.
V. Even lilies MUST DIE.
(C. R. Wynne, M. A.)
I. OUR FATHER'S POWER. Our heavenly Father is almighty. Variety in colour, size, and form of the lily, an indication of God's power. God's resources are so boundless. This power will punish or save us.
II. OUR FATHER'S CARE. Describe the beauty and delicacy of all the parts, etc. Note concerning lilies. They are comparatively insignificant. They are perishing. They often grow amongst thorns, yet are cared for.
III. OUR FAITH. Our weakness and liability to sickness and death. Lilies not more frail than our lives.
IV. OUR FUTURE LIFE. When stem and flower wither, root does not die, etc.
V. Jesus CHRIST. He is called the "Lily of the valley." There are spots and flaws in the character of all others, none in His.
(W. H. Booth.)I. A lesson of WONDER AND DELIGHT in contemplating the works of God. They are God's workmanship.
II. ADMIRE AND LOVE WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL. Some people take no account of beauty; they want only the useful. The beauty of heaven, the beauty of holiness.
IV. PATIENCE AND PUNCTUALITY. Every blossom has its season.
V. TOLERANCE. Lilies and roses and oaks all grow in obedience to same laws; but each after its own pattern.
VI. A lesson of FAITH.
(E. R. Conder, D. D.)stuck on as mere outside show, but grows out of their nature. Men often make a thing ugly first, and then cover it up with paint, or plaster, or gilding, to make it beautiful. God never does so. You will find no sham ornaments on His works. The shape He gives to each creature is just that which is fitted for it; and the colour with which He adorns it will never wash off. In His great workshop, truth and beauty go together.
(E. R. Conder, D. D.)
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