Psalm 119:18
Open thou mine eyes. This figure of speech is a familiar Eastern one. It is based on the observed fact that the eye, as an organ, is dependent on the mind and the will. Men have to be helped to see everything that is really worth seeing; and if they are to apprehend Divine and spiritual things, it can only be with Divine illuminations. He who sees the unseen must have come into the eye-opening power of God. The servant of Elisha, with the partly closed eyes, could see nothing but the chariots and horsemen of Syria. With opened eyes he saw all round the hills the chariots and horsemen of God. Our Lord opened the blind bodily eyes of men in order to illustrate his gracious work in souls. And the living Lord counsels his half-blinded Church at Laodicea, "Anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see." The opening of the soul-eyes is a figure of speech for the quickening of the spiritual discernment. Nothing do we need more than keen sensitiveness to Divine and eternal things; insight of the Divine will; the sharpness of vision that can detect at once the pointing of the Divine finger. The prayer of the text implies -

I. A CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE DIMNESS OF OUR SPIRITUAL VISION. Our Lord reproached the Pharisees because they were blind, yet thought they saw with unusual clearness. "Ye say, we see, therefore your sin remaineth." There is no prayer in the man who thinks he sees. There is no conscious want to find expression. It is not merely that the vision is distorted by the self-willed spirit; it is that in the godly life things seen and temporal have the power to dim and darken the vision of things unseen and eternal. If humility proves mightier than self-satisfaction, the sense of dimness is a constant source of anxiety; but that is an anxiety which is altogether healthy.

II. A CONSCIOUSNESS OF OUR DEPENDENCE ON GOD FOR THE CLEARING OF OUR SPIRITUAL VISION. A man may feel the imperfectness of his soul-vision, but think to clear it himself. It is not always duly considered that the idea of self-help spoils the religious life as truly as it prevents our entering the religious life. It may have to come through a bitter experience, but it must come somehow, that we may discover the helplessness of self-help for clearing the soul-vision; and then we pray to God, "Open thou mine eyes." - R.T.







Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.
Homilist.
Moral blindness is the worst kind of blindness.

I. Physical blindness has its COMPENSATIONS. Other faculties and organs generally become so keen and active as to make up for the loss of the eye. The imagination also, as in the case of Milton, Homer, etc., gets power to create sunny worlds.

II. Physical blindness is not CRIMINAL. It is a calamity. All blindness arises from one of three causes, the want of the visual faculty, the want of light, or the non-employment of the visual faculty. Man is morally blind not from the first cause, for he has conscience, that is, the eye of the soul; not from the second, for he has a moral revelation outside and inside of him. It is the last; he closes his eyes.

III. Physical blindness CONCEALS THE HIDEOUS. To look upon the hideous is painful. The blind man sees them not. But the man who is morally blind has often terrible visions of the most horrible things, his conscience scares and scathes him.

(Homilist.)

I. MAN BY NATURE IS SPIRITUALLY BLIND. "Open thou mine eyes."

1. This spiritual blindness is the effect of sin.

2. It is universal.

3. It deprives man of his prerogatives.

4. It exposes man to danger. The refuge is before him, but he travels the path that leads to ruin. Who so blind as the sinner?

II. THE REMOVAL OF THIS SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS WILL ENABLE MAN TO PERCEIVE THE TRUTH OF GOD'S LAW. He is brought into a new sphere and new world.

1. The Bible is replete with realities.

2. The realities of the Bible are wonderful.

3. They are inexhaustible.

4. Mankind stands in need of perceiving these wonderful realities.

III. THE REMOVAL OF THIS SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS IS GOD'S WORK.

1. By the agency of His Word.

2. By the agency of His Holy Spirit, who applies the Word to the conscience.

IV. APPLICATION.

1. The necessity of applying to God for the removal of this spiritual darkness.

2. The impossibility of being happy without Divine light and life.

3. The obligation of the Christian to God for being possessed with light to perceive the truths of the Bible.

(J. O. Griffiths.)

I. THE SENSE OF WONDER IN MAN, AND WHAT GENERALLY EXCITES IT. It is a great thing not to lose the sense of wonder, and yet to keep it for right objects.

2. The feeling may be excited by different objects.

(1)The new and unexpected.

(2)Things beautiful and grand.

(3)The mysterious.

II. GOD HAS MADE PROVISION FOR THIS SENSE OF WONDER IN HIS REVEALED WORD.

1. The Bible addresses our sense of wonder by constantly presenting the new and unexpected to us.(1) As to its form, it has gone on from first to last to add something new and fresh to all it had said before, and, if its circle has now closed, it is because it is already wide enough never to become old.(2) As to the spirit of the Bible, we know how it exhorts us to search, to meditate, to "dig for wisdom as for hid treasures," which must mean that we should bring out the fresh and unexplored.

2. While the Bible makes provision for constantly new views of truth, it sets before us also things beautiful and grand, without which the new would be a matter of idle curiosity.

3. And then, if we come to the third source of wonder, that which raises it to awe, it is the peculiar province of the Bible to deal with this. Its aim is, all through, to lead us to such subjects as the soul, and God, and the eternal world, and sin, the great mystery and root of mysteries, and the marvellous remedy which has been provided for it in the descent of the Divine nature to the human, that great mystery of godliness, "God manifest in the flesh."

III. THE MEANS WE ARE TO USE IN ORDER TO HAVE GOD'S WORD THUS UNFOLDED. — The prayer of the psalmist may be our guide — "Open Thou mine eyes that I may see."

1. He asks for no new revelation. It was in God's hand to give this, and He did it in His own time to those ancient believers; but to all of them at every time there was enough given for the purposes of life. The request is not for more, but that he may employ well that which he possesses. Still better does such a form of request suit us, to whom life and immortality have been brought to light in Christ.

2. He asks for no new faculty. The eyes are there already, and they need only to be opened. It is not the bestowal of a new and supernatural power which enables a man to read the Bible to profit, but the quickening of a power he already possesses. In one view it is supernatural, as God is the Author of the illumination by a direct act of His Spirit; in another it is natural, as it operates through the faculties existing in man's soul.

(John Ker, D. D.)

There are two classes of persons who may learn something from this prayer of the psalmist.

I. There are those-and many of them good Christians — who do not take so large a view of the Bible as they ought. They confine themselves to some doctrines and precepts, central and needful, and they read the Bible to find these in constantly recurring forms, just as some men look on flowers chiefly as verifying some botanical theory. This reduces the Book of God to a set of doctrinal moulds, and often makes what should be the most interesting of all books, one to which they have to urge themselves by a constraint of conscience, when they might be drawn to it by the attraction of constant freshness and growing beauty. For our own sakes, and for the sake of presenting it in its true light to the world, let us seek to study it in all the vividness of life and variety of colour with which God has set it forth. The special want of our time is to make the Bible more human without making it less Divine.

2. There is another class who may have given much thought to the Bible, and obtained from it fresh views of man and nature and God, but they have not yet lifted up the heart with this petition, "Open Thou mine eyes," etc. They have not felt their need of any such enlightenment, because they have not felt the presence of sin, nor realized the darkness that it pours over the spiritual vision. Let them ask of its Author the Divine eye-salve with which He anoints the eyes. Its first revelations may be unwelcome, and men may be startled to see how fancied wealth and fulness sink into spiritual poverty and misery. But continued vision will open up Divine remedies, gold tried in the fire, and white raiment, the value of which will only be enhanced by growing insight.

(John Ker, D. D.)

Homilist.
The Bible contains "Wondrous things." Wonderful in their nature, wonderful in their number, and wonderful in their influence. As containing the wonderful —

I. IT AGREES WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN MIND.

1. Man has a craving for the wonderful.

2. Man has a need for the wonderful to excite his faculties, to stimulate his inquiries, to challenge his powers.

II. IT ACCORDS WITH THE CHARACTER OF NATURE. All nature is crowded with the wonderful. We need not take the microscope to search the myriad worlds invisible to the naked eye, or the telescope innumerable worlds and systems rolling through infinite space to discover the wonderful. The wonderful comes under our eye, sounds in our ear, and beats in our pulse every moment. If the Bible did not contain the wonderful it would not be in harmony with nature, not in harmony with the works of God, either in this planet or in any parts of immensity.

III. IT REPROVES THE DOGMATISM OF RELIGIONISTS. "(Homilist.)

Two forms of Divine teaching are implied in these words — revelation and spiritual apprehension to receive that which is revealed; truth in the written Word, and the inward illumination of the Holy Spirit; the one therefore universal, common to all men — the open Bible, the Gospel preached to every creature under heaven; the other personal, private, incommunicable by man to man; the one the noonday sunshine flooding the whole world with light from the hills on the horizon to the grass and pebbles at your feet; the other the eye in which a clouded lens or a palsied nerve leaves you dark in the midst of the blaze of noon.

1. The distinction which is here implied is in perfect harmony and analogy with all the conditions of human knowledge. Every branch of human knowledge has what in the philosophical language of the day is called its objective and subjective side. In every art, every science, every pursuit, there are these two things; there are general laws, rules, theories, principles, illustrations, examples, which can be committed to writing, stored up in books, taught in words by the teacher to the scholar; and there is the personal aptitude, which may be developed by culture if it be latent, but which can never be bestowed when it is wanting. In the very same family one child has a talent for drawing and painting, and no ear whatever for music; another, if he were to drudge with the pencil or brush for years would never make anything of it, but music speaks a language that seems like his native tongue, and, with moderate teaching and moderate opportunities, yields up its secret to his ear and his finger. So it is familiarly in business as well as in art and in science, in everything that man can teach man; one succeeds where another fails, and the best and ablest, and most skilful teacher has often to say in despair, "If you cannot see it, I cannot make you see it." Now, if we find something exactly corresponding to this in regard to spiritual truth; if this book is one book to one man and quite another book to another; if doctrines which to some minds shine by their own light need no proof but what is in them, are to others dark, mysterious, difficult, and to others totally incredible or utterly uninteresting — this, you observe, is no more than you might expect; it is merely the repetition within the sphere or region of spiritual truth of what is abundantly familiar to us in all other directions. But it does not follow that the difference between the Christian and the unbeliever, between the earnest inquirer after Divine truth, and the careless, unintelligent, irreligious hearer, is to be accounted for on the same principles, and is simply of the same kind, as the difference between the musician and the painter, between the linguist and the mathematician, between the keen successful man of business and the blunderer who is always failing. Thank God, no; but surely this follows, that the prevalence of scepticism or of irreligion, were these a hundred times more prevalent than they are, does not produce the shadow of a presumption that the Christian is wrong in his faith, or that he is deluded in his experience.

2. The Bible amply recognizes and abundantly teaches this double character of Divine knowledge, this analogy between Divine knowledge and every other kind of knowledge, but at the same time with a broad and vital difference. The Bible knows nothing, either in the Old Testament or in the New, of any doctrine of reserve. Where it speaks it speaks to all; its "voice is to the sons of men"; its "sound is gone out through all the earth, and its word is to the end of the world"; but at the same time nothing is more emphatically and plainly taught in the Bible itself than that these open pages, open to the whole world, and even to be pressed upon the eyes of all men who can be persuaded to look into them, are all the while a sealed book except to those who have eyes to see. So far as it is possible for truth to be put into words, so far the Holy Scriptures are "able to make us wise unto salvation." But the Scriptures themselves tell us that there is a learning that cannot be put into words, that cannot be written, or printed, or spoken, and that, therefore, cannot be communicated by man to his fellow-man; that there must be the eye to see and the ear to hear.

3. It is an unspeakably consoling and delightful reflection that this impossibility of attaining spiritual truth apart from Divine teaching which God's Word so plainly sets forth, puts no hindrance in any man's way, no hindrance in the way of the simplest learner, no hindrance in the way of the unbeliever any more than of the believer, if only the unbeliever is desirous of knowing what is truth. Our Saviour's words, when He says, "No man can come to Me, except the Father who hath sent Me, draw him," are not building up a barrier between Himself and any human soul; they are throwing down all barriers; they are assuring us that so far as is possible, God has put all men upon one spiritual level of privilege and opportunity. It is not that a hindrance and a barrier has been built up; it is that human nature, as it exists, needs the Divine light, the Divine grace, the Divine help, as it needs the Divine atonement and the Divine Saviour, and that as man cannot lift himself, even a single foot or inch from his mother earth by his own power, so much less can he lift himself one step towards God, unless not only the light shine down and shows him what he is, and what God is, but the saving hand lays hold of him and inspires within his heart the assurance that the hand that has once taken hold upon him shall never loose its hold.

(E. R. Conder, D. D.)

I. SOME THINGS IN WHICH IT DOES NOT CONSIST.

1. It does not consist in any degree of knowledge acquired in the ordinary manner.

2. It does not consist in revelations of new truths.

3. It does not consist merely in lively and affecting views of the truths already revealed in the Word of God.

4. It does not consist in any conceptions, or creations of the imagination, respecting God, Christ, heaven, or hell.

II. IN WHAT, THEN, DOES IT CONSIST? It is a sense Of Divine things. In its results it differs entirely from a mere opinion or judgment of the mind. There may be an opinion founded on the testimony of others, that light is pleasant; but of this pleasantness the blind man has no just conception. If sight is granted to him, he will find light to be widely different from anything which he had ever conceived. So of Divine things. The natural man may believe them to be excellent and glorious, but of this excellency and glory he has no just conception. The natural man discerneth not the things of the Spirit. A sense of their superlative excellency and glory in the mind is as certainly the work of God as sight in the natural eye, or hearing in the natural ear, or tasting in its appropriate organ.

III. THE PRODUCTION OF THIS SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING HIS PEOPLE IS EVERYWHERE IN THE SCRIPTURES LITERALLY AND IMMEDIATELY ASCRIBED TO THE ALMIGHTY.

IV. CONCLUSION. This subject suggests,

1. The reason why those who have been newly born into the kingdom of Christ seem to regard everything as new, and feel themselves to be in a new world.

2. That persons of very limited capacities may have spiritual understanding.

3. The importance of inquiring concerning the nature of our understanding in a spiritual respect.

4. No other knowledge is so pure and elevated as that which is thus acquired.

5. No other knowledge is so capable of producing sacred joy.

6. No other knowledge is so purifying in its influence. A spiritual understanding of the character of God, a holy sense of His presence, a sacred view of the character of Christ, a holy sense of the presence and work of the Spirit, a spiritual appreciation of the extent and spirituality of the law — all these things are pre-eminently calculated to excite the renovated heart to walk in the statutes and commandments of the Lord.

(J. Foot, D. D.)

Homilist.
I. IT CONTAINS WONDERS. The Bible has many wonders, but the great "wonder" is the Incarnation of Christ. It is that into which angels desire to look, that which will be the study of eternity.

II. MAN SHOULD DISCOVER these wonders. To know Christ is of paramount importance to him. It is his life eternal.

III. To discover these wonders GOD MUST OPEN MAN'S EYES. Man has spiritual eyes, eyes to see moral truth and God. These eyes are closed. No one can open them but the Divine Ophthalmist. Oh that men saw things as they really are!

(Homilist.)

I. WE ARE ALL BORN SPIRITUALLY BLIND. Think of Samson when the Philistines put out his eyes. What a picture of misery l and further, what a picture of man l a mirror where unconverted men, had they eyes to see, might behold themselves. Was he taken captive of the Philistines? — so are they of their vices. Did he pass his days in the service of his enemies? — slaves of Satan, they serve one who hates them with cruel hatred. Was he bound in fetters of brass? — what are fetters of brass or iron to the chains of the drunkard, of the licentious, of the miser, of the lover of this world? Was he blinded as well as bound? — so are they. "Eyes have they, but they see not;" "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not;" they are insensible to their state. But here fails the parallel. Samson felt his degradation keenly; longed for liberty; groped about to find a door of escape. How different the poor sinner! He hugs his chain, and delights in the vices that enslave him.

II. CONSIDER SOME OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS BLINDNESS.

1. Blindness deprives its subjects of many pleasures which God's goodness lavishes on us, and, through our eyes, pours into our hearts.

2. Blindness makes the condition of its subjects one of painful dependence.

3. Blindness exposes its subjects to deception. Satan makes thousands believe that all is right, that the path they tread is one of safety, when all the while, step by step down, but gently down, he conducts his blind, deluded, singing, dancing joyous victims on to the brink of ruin, and to that last, fatal step which plunges them into hell.

4. Again, blindness exposes us to danger. A blind man will starve with bread within his reach; parched and perishing with thirst, he will pass the well that invited his lips to drink; drowning, with a rope thrown within his grasp, and the cries of eager voices in his ear, Lay hold of life! he will sink into a watery grave — lost, when he might have been saved. Such is the case of the unconverted.

III. THE EYES OF THE BLIND BEING OPENED, THEY BEHOLD WONDROUS THINGS OUT OF THE LAW OF GOD. There was an eminent philosopher who had devoted a lifetime to the pursuits of science, and not, as he thought, in vain. She had crowned his brow with laurels, and inscribed his name in the temple of fame. In the evening of his days, at the eleventh hour, God was pleased to call him, open his eyes, convert him; and now, he who was deeply read in science and conversant with its loftiest speculations, as he bent his grey head over the Bible, declared that, if he had his life to live over again, he would spend it in the study of the Word of God. He felt like a miner, who, after toiling long and to little purpose in search of gold, with one stroke of his pick-axe lays open a vein of the precious metal and becomes rich at once — the owner of a vein that grows the richer the deeper the mine is driven. Such a treasure the Bible offers to those whose eyes God has opened to its wonders of grace and glory. It is inexhaustible.

IV. GOD ONLY CAN OPEN OUR EYES. Hence to Him David directs the prayer of my text; and also this — Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death. Men use instruments to restore sight, and nowhere does surgery achieve a nobler triumph, or bestow greater blessings on mankind, than in yonder theatre, where skill and a steady hand cut into the sightless balls; and man, opening a way for the light of heaven, imitates Christ in His divine works of might and mercy — pouring light into the blind man's eyes, and joy into the blind man's heart. God also uses instruments — His instrument the Word, His agent the Holy Spirit. By these, working faith in men, and renewing them in the spirit of their minds, He has often answered, and is now ready to answer the prayer, Open Thou mine eyes.

( T. Guthrie, D. D.)

It was an ancient custom for the reader of the Law in a Jewish synagogue to put a veil upon his face. Originally designed as an act of reverence, as if the glory of this law was too dazzling for the human eye to behold, the veil upon the countenance has become an awful type of the veil that is Upon the heart. Century after century has passed away, and still in every Jewish synagogue "Moses is read." But so blinded are the minds of those who read, and of those who listen, that they do not perceive the beauty, or understand the meaning of their own Scriptures — an affecting proof of the necessity of the Spirit's teaching, for the right understanding of the Word of God.

I. GOD'S LAW CONTAINS "WONDROUS THINGS." All the Divine works are wonderful. There is not a leaf which God has moulded, or an insect He has formed, or an atom He has made, which does not demand, and will not repay, our thoughtful study. But Revelation contains a brighter display of His wisdom and love than nature with all its sublime and glorious discoveries.

II. THE ENLIGHTENED MIND CAN ALONE UNDERSTAND IT.

1. There is ignorance. "Having the understanding darkened," is the brief but solemn description which the apostle gives of the Gentiles, and it is a true representation of unregenerate nature.

2. Then there is prejudice. We cannot understand a truth, if we dislike that truth.

3. Unbelief prompts men to misinterpret Scripture, and renders them ingenious in their objections against it.

4. Worldliness is another veil which hides from our view the wonders of God's Word.

III. THAT GOD ONLY CAN COMMUNICATE THE LIGHT WE NEED.

1. The Spirit humbles us, and humility enables us to understand the Scriptures.

2. The Spirit purifies the heart, and purity enables us to understand the Scriptures.

3. The Spirit fills our hearts with love, and love enables us to understand the Scriptures.

(H. J. Gamble.)

I. THE INVOLVED ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE.

II. THE REASONS UPON WHICH THE PLEA RESTS.

1. Spiritual sight or knowledge is of itself a great blessing

2. Such a petition honours and acknowledges the work of the Holy Ghost.

3. There are wonders in the system of revealed truth which have yet to be explored and known.

4. The opening of our eyes is a work of Divine grace and power, and stands intimately connected with our pardon and regeneration.

5. This prayer stands before us as a spiritual and heaven-inspired petition, because of its opposition to the spirit and desires of the carnal mind.

6. Unless this prayer, or its equivalent, be uttered in an earnest and believing spirit, a blinding process will go on, which can only terminate in the darkness of death eternal.

(A. Barrett.)

vision: — In the Old Testament what do we see? A great many Christian people see very little in the Old Testament, and they are always ready to criticize. I know men in the Church who go into raptures over the poetry of Homer, or the eloquence of Demosthenes, or the philosophy of Plato, about the artistry of Greece or about the jurisprudence of Rome; but they have no enthusiasm whatever for these great, noble teachers who declare the simple everlasting laws which are the very light and fire. In this great Book of Righteousness, this Old Testament, a good many of us see but little into the gleam here and there; our eyes have not been opened to its breadth and depth and significance. I remember once looking over a magnificent piece of scenery — mountains, rocks, and sea — and all of it bathed in the splendours of the setting sun. And I heard a lady close to me complain that she did not think much about it because it was all land and water. Exactly. But, I say, what if Claude had been there? What if Turner had been there? What would they have seen in that panorama of splendour and delight? What did your Master see in the Old Testament? How Christ appealed to these prophets, minstrels, and seers, and how He brought out of that Old Testament all the wondrous things of the Sermon on the Mount! The Church wants its eyes opening to the full noon of the Old Testament, where God has given to us such grand histories, and statutes, and suggestions. You may well pray, Open Thou mine eyes that I may understand these great teachings, that I may appreciate these great parables of truth and of righteousness. What do a great many of us see in the New Testament? Do you think, to-day, that we see all the glory of the incarnate Christ? Do you think that we have seen with open eyes the crucified Christ — the Christ of the Resurrection? "My soul has feelers, not eyes; I grope, I do not see. Oh, that I might get eyes, that I could see," that I could see the glory of God, that I could see the beauty of Christ, that I could see the majesty of His higher law, that I could see a door opening into heaven t Open Thou mine eyes, that I may see the wonderful things out of Thy law. There is another thing. Here you consider the special appeal: that I may see wonderful things out of Thy law. What wonderful things? I tell you one is this: We ought all to pray to God that He would open our eyes to the reality of the law of righteousness. Oh, what you want God to do with this generation is to work into its understanding and soul the truth, the reality, the inviolability of the moral commandment. One French writer says he does not like Christianity because it condemns a man if he does not believe in it. And the law of gravitation condemns you if you do not believe in it. I wish we could for once believe that the law, the higher law, is as true as the law of gravitation, and that it will as certainly inflict upon the transgressor a penalty, only infinitely more disastrous. But there is another thing which we want to have our eyes opened to about the law of righteousness, and that is its universal application; that it is like the sky shutting us all down. Oh, that society might feel the obligation universally, the absolute obligation, rich and poor, intellectual and vulgar; clergy and laity; public virtue and private virtue all under one great commandments — "thou shalt," "thou shalt not!" We want our eyes opening to the broad, solid, imperative commandment, as we shall all one day stand before one throne and each and all give an account of themselves.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

There is nothing so wonderful as God's law; nay, it may justly be said to include in itself all that is most wonderful, all that truly merits our admiration, all that will really reward our curiosity. For what is it? The psalmist here was not thinking merely of the law given to Moses, or of the words written in any book, however sacred; he was not thinking of spoken words or written characters, but of God's eternal realities. He was an earnest man, and his mind sought to be in contact with truth itself; he was a pious man, and his heart longed for nothing less or lower than communion with the living God. He felt himself in the Divine presence, and he felt that the Divine law was within and around him. The wonders of physical nature, and the human soul and human history, and of redeeming love and grace, are all wonders of that law of God which the psalmist longed and prayed to behold, that law which ruleth alike in what is least and greatest, to which all things in heaven and earth do homage, the seat of which is the bosom of the Eternal, the voice of which is the harmony of the universe. There is no science cultivated among us which can ever have anything else for its highest aim than simply to discover and exhibit some part of the Divine law, since the end of every kind of study worthy of our engaging in is directly or indirectly to extend our knowledge of laws which we distinguish from one another by calling laws of astronomy or chemistry, laws of language or history, physical, morn], or spiritual laws, but which all agree in being laws of God, the operations of His will, the expressions of His character, the rules which He has implanted in His creatures, and assigned to them as the conditions and limits of their workings. But the most important of God's laws are those which He has given us for the regulation of our own lives. In reality, whether we see it or not, there is far more that is wonderful in these laws than in any other. They are, for example, the laws of God in a far higher sense than other laws; the laws of the physical world might have been quite different from what they are. God made them to be what they are by making the physical world itself what it is; if He had made quite a different material world, with quite other laws, He would have been none the less God, the true object of our worship. But He did not make by any forth-putting of His will the fundamental laws of moral life to be what they are; they are eternal and unchangeable. That God should alter them would be for Him to cease to be wise and righteous and holy and loving, it would be for Him to cease to be good. The wonders of these laws are thus the wonders of the Divine nature, and far greater, therefore, than any wonders of created nature; at the same time these laws are the laws of our natures, of our spirits, of what is much higher and much more wonderful than anything else to be beheld in nature. On earth, it has been said, there is nothing great but man, and in man there is nothing great but mind; and certainly a soul is a far more wonderful thing than even a star, a spiritual being than a material world, and its laws far more wonderful. It is spiritual law which determines men's relations to their God and one another, and it is on obedience or disobedience to it that the weal or woe of individuals or societies chiefly depends, so that all the marvels and mysteries of human life and destiny gather around. If we would see, however, the wonders in the most impressive light, we must turn to Revelation. Every miracle, every prophecy, every striking dispensation recorded in Scripture, whatever else it may have meant, was always a proclamation of God to men that they should reverence this His law. If we can see no wonders in the law which Christ died to satisfy and glorify, if we do not see it to be unspeakably more wonderful than all other law, assuredly our blindness is great indeed, and we cannot too earnestly cry to a merciful God, "open Thou mine eyes."

(R. Flint, D. D.)

The psalmist's delight in God's law, and intense desire to know God's judgments, may thus be read as an expression of a feeling which we may cherish towards everything that is going on in our world and among the stars. There are wondrous things for us to behold in the processes of nature and human life. The more our eyes are open to the ordering and the law of God in all existences and events the more fascinating will our view of the universe become to us; and as our brief sojourning here draws toward its close, the more intensely interesting will all our experience of life and the vistas of promise beyond become to us. Consider, first, why it is that we take pleasure in watching the course of events. What deeper motive is there which leads men with increasing civilization to ask daily, "What is the news?" Why is it that we wish to live where we can keep in quick touch with everything that is transpiring throughout the whole world? Not simply because they are current events, but because they are events in history; because they are things happening in the life and progress of the world; because these facts are parts and moments of some vast half-discovered whole of human history; because they are not mere happenings, but they are orderings of events; because they are not mere blows of events struck over and over again upon the hollow round of the world, sounding ever the same dull tone; but because they are events beaten out to some single purpose; because they are successive notes in the world's marching music. What beyond our passing sympathy interests us so much is not merely the event, or the fact in itself, but something to which the fact belongs, the movement, the order, the problem, the on-reaching history, the providential purpose to which it belongs. Oh, the charm of the seen is the unseen, and the perpetual fascination of history is the revealing of its Messianic law and order l Consider as another instance our interest in common human life. What is that ultimately, in the last analysis of our comradeships or our friendships? Some of you can remember for many years past. But in what, as one whole, lies to you the real human interest of all this which you have been seeing, and knowing in your sojourning here? The persons, the events, the friends, the faces? Yes, they shall always Be of concern, some of dear memory and hope to you; but the supreme interest of your life as a whole, in all its human contacts and experiences, lies after all not in what you have seen and known, but in something that you have half seen, or dimly grasped after, or at times without seeing have become inwardly, deeply sure of; it has been the leading of God through it all; something more than human felt through all human love and sorrow; the Infinite surrounding the finiteness of it all; the eternal giving and taking the lives of men back into itself; the larger hope, the ever forward movement, the eventful Providence; the mystery of some higher purpose, measureless, unknown, let with moments of bright revealings; oh, this is something vaster and diviner, which .as you sit and think over the long past, seems to take it all up, events, persons, sorrows, joys, all that you have been and seen, and felt, into one indistinguishable memory and dream and hope of glory, and to leave your heart, like the psalmist of old, saying. "I have seen wondrous things," etc.

(Newman Smyth, D. D.)

Christian Age.
The spiritual eyesight must be opened in order that the spiritual beauty and wisdom and glory of the Divine Word may be discovered. When the great philosopher, Sir David Brewster, was dying, he said to Sir James Simpson, "I have had the light for many years, and oh, how bright it is! I feel so perfectly sure, so perfectly happy." "Come and see." That is the short, simple, earnest common-sense appeal which is made to every honest seeker after truth, every soul troubled with a sense of sin and guilt. Come and see.

(Christian Age.)

Sunday Circle.
The other day (writes Mr. Reader Harris, K.C.) I had the privilege Of witnessing one of our great surgeons remove the cataract from a woman's eye. It is a beautiful illustration of God's work of deliverance from sin. It was done almost instantaneously. The cataract was taken out of the eye. The surgeon took it right out, and then, very soon afterwards, he put glasses on that woman's eye, and he said: "Mr. Harris, take out your watch," and to the woman he said: "How long have you been blind?" She said: "I have been blind for six years." "Now," he said, "look through this glass, and tell what his watch says." She read it at once, hour hand and minute hand. Why? Because the surgeon had taken out of the eye that which obscured the vision; and because that operator had not only taken out what hindered the vision but he had given her, in the lens, that which could take the place of it. May God clarify our spiritual vision by purifying our hearts, and filling them with the Holy Ghost!

(Sunday Circle.)

The naked eye can see only about 3,500 stars, but the man who looks and sees through the telescope the star dust of eighty-five million worlds grows more interested through deeper views into the skies. So with the Bible, when the eyes of our understanding are opened on the vast firmament of Bible truth by the aid of the telescope of spiritual discernment.

(J. Crafts.)

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