Psalm 35:14
The general subject in this section of the psalm is a contrast between the wicked and the good, setting forth the baseness of the wicked nature, and the generous sympathies of the good.

I. THE BASENESS OF THE WICKED. Their general characteristics are:

1. They often bring false malicious charges against good men. (Ver. 11.) "They demand satisfaction at my hands for injuries of which I have never even heard."

2. They return evil for good. (Ver. 12.) They had been former friends: this was the sting of their ingratitude and injustice. Former favours sour the minds of the ungrateful, and intensify their hatred.

3. They exult over the calamities of the good, and insult and injure them. (Ver. 15.) "The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel," and cruelty always embrutes the bad mind.

4. They incite the senseless rabble to persecute good men. (Ver. 16.) The multitude ever ready without reason to join in a hue and cry, and, without thinking, are ready to become the instruments of bad men.

II. THE NOBILITY OF THE GOOD.

1. Broken friendships fill them with a sense of bereavement. (Ver. 12.) The good hunger for love, as well as give it; and, when denied it, are afflicted with a sense of loneliness.

2. They are deeply sympathetic with the afflictions of others. (Vers. 13, 14.) They fast and pray in token of the sincerity and depth of their sympathy.

3. In the calamities and sorrows of life the good turn to God for help and deliverance. (Ver. 17.) Especially the more they feel deserted by former friends.

4. They are constrained to give thanks to God for his mercies. (Ver. 18.) They are not ungrateful, like the wicked. Gratitude is a joy to the generous and religious mind. - S.







I bowed down heavily as one that mourneth for his mother.
I. SOME GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE TEXT.

1. It displays a beautiful combination of apparently opposite virtues in the same character. Undaunted courage and yet loving tenderness.

2. A gradation in the claims of relative attachment. The mother has stronger claims than any friend, though he be one "who sticketh closer than a brother."

3. The loss of an excellent and pious mother is a most afflictive calamity, especially at some periods of her children's life — as infancy and youth.

II. THE REGARD WHICH A BEREAVED FAMILY SHOULD SHOW TO THE MEMORY OF A GOOD MOTHER.

1. Retrace with gratitude her loving care.

2. Recall to remembrance the efforts she made to promote your best welfare.

3. Imitate her.

4. Cultivate all those principles, and that character, which were in her, and which shall prepare you to meet her in heaven.

(John Clayton, A. M.)

I. WHAT IS THERE IN THE DEATH OF A MOTHER THAT EXCITES PECULIAR SORROW?

1. The want of the expressions of a mother's affection makes the heart bow down heavily for her loss.

2. The loss of a mother's care, and of its ministrations, excites this regret.

3. The loss of a mother's sympathy and its soothing expressions excites this sorrow.

4. The heart mourns for the loss of the counsels of a mother's wisdom.

5. The affectionate heart mourns for the loss of the lessons of a mother's piety.

II. WHERE CONSOLATION IS TO BE SOUGHT AND OBTAINED UNDER SUCH A CALAMITY.

1. There is consolation in the thought that it comes to you by the appointment of God.

2. There is consolation in the thought that all the benefits which you derived from so dear a relative, are to be found in God. In Him every blessing which the creature can yield us is to be found in richer abundance, and in a nobler form.

3. Consolation will be obtained by you in the fulfilment of their wishes and purposes.

4. Consolation will be found in the imitation of their virtues.

5. There is comfort in the belief that a departed mother is happy, and in the hope of a reunion.

(H. Belfrage.)

The death of a true mother is a great event in the life of any one. It can occur but once in a lifetime. When it takes place in childhood, it is a sore calamity. A father can never supply a mother's place; seldom can any one else but very imperfectly.

I. A MOTHER'S DEATH REMINDS US MOST STRONGLY OF THE PECULIAR BLESSINGS CONFERRED BY GOD THROUGH THE MATERNAL RELATION. A mother's influence is the first felt: it acts at the very fountain-head of life, it is gentle, tender, winning. Her smile greets the first dawn of intelligence: her voice is the first guide and encouragement to infant speech; her hand invites and sustains the first infant steps. From the pious mother's lips her children first learn the name of Jesus, and the words of prayer; from her example and instruction they receive the elements of virtue.

II. THE DEATH OF A MOTHER OCCASIONS BITTER RECOLLECTIONS OF FILIAL DISOBEDIENCE AND NEGLECT.

III. THE DEATH OF A MOTHER BREAKS UP THE HOME OF OUR EARLY DAYS, AND MAKES US FEEL THAT WE ARE ONLY SOJOURNERS HERE.

IV. THE DEATH OF A MOTHER, ESPECIALLY OF AN AGED MOTHER, IS ADAPTED TO MAKE US SENSIBLE OF OUR NEARNESS TO ANOTHER WORLD. Conclusion.

1. I appeal to fathers. Remember what you owe your mothers, and teach your children, especially your sons, the deepest reverence for their mothers.

2. I appeal to mothers. Cherish a deep and constant sense of your own importance to your children, especially to your sons.

3. I appeal to those who have mothers living, especially to sons in early life. I entreat you, each of you, as you value your well-being for time and eternity, study well the will of God concerning your duty to your mothers, and strive to fulfil it.

(J. M. Johnson.)

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