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The Promise of Long Life

The Promise of Long Life

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY SAMUEL HORSFALL


Job v. 26, 27.

Thou shall come lo thy grave in a full age^ like as
a shock of coin cometh in, in his season. Lo
thisy rve have searched it, so it is; hear it and
know thou it for thy good.
BY SAMUEL HORSFALL


Job v. 26, 27.

Thou shall come lo thy grave in a full age^ like as
a shock of coin cometh in, in his season. Lo
thisy rve have searched it, so it is; hear it and
know thou it for thy good.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 24, 2013
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THE PROMISE OF LOG LIFEBY SAMUEL HORSFALLJob v. 26, 27.Thou shall come lo thy grave in a full age^ like asa shock of coin cometh in, in his season. Lothisy rve have searched it, so it is; hear it andknow thou it for thy good.These are the words of Eliphaz the Temanite,one of the three friends of Job, who came to con-sole him under the manifold afflictions he was thensuffering. He is here speaking of the happy ter-mination of the miseries of those whom God cor-rects, and after enumerating the blessed effects of these chastisements, he assures Job that he ^^ shall" come to his grave in a full age, like as a shock " of corn cometh in, in its season, Lo this," says he," we have searched it," or examined into it, andfind that God for the most part crowns the afflic-tions of men with the honours of a long life^ — *^ so232 SERMO XVI." it is, hear" or attend thou to '' it, and know thou" it for thy good;'* or rather for thy benefit.The Jewish people being chiefly occupied inhusbandry or in rural occupations; many are theallusions in Scripture, where the periods of humanlife are compared to the varying seasons of therevolving year: but the time of harvest seems tohave presented to the inspired writers so just anemblem, that they have used it on several occa-sions, in a manner which strikes us with its propri-
 
ety. We read in Joel — "Put in the sickle for the"harvest is ripe;" that is, cut down those sinnersthat are ripe for judgment. In like manner, Jere-miah prophesies — " The time of Babylon's harvest" is come;" or in other words, the time when sheshould be cut down. And likewise our Saviourspeaking of the last day, compares it to the timeof harvest, when his Father shall send his angelsas his reapers, to gather up the wheat into his gar-ner, and to burn the chaif with unquenchable fire.In the text, Eliphaz compares old age as therecompense of past afflictions, to a shock of corncoming in, in its season, full ripe, and as in theSERMO XVL ^33time of harvest, bending down to the sickle, withthe weight of its golden grain.Many are the promises of God in Scripture, of long life: not to mention the lives of those fatherswho lived antecedent to the flood ; before God de-clared that the age of man, at its utmost extent,should be an hundred and twenty years; we fmdthat to the favourites of heaven this promise wasfulfilled. To Abraham, God said — *^ Thou shalt" go to thy fathers in peace, and shalt be buried in"a good old age:'* and accordingly we find thatwhen " he gave up the ghost, he died" at the ageof an hundred and seventy-five, " an old man, andfull of years, and was gathered to his people."Isaac lived to an hundred and eighty years; hisson Jacob to an hundred and forty-seven; Josephhis son to an hundred and ten years. Moses diedat the age of an hundred and twenty, and Joshuaat an hundred and ten. And of Job we read, thatafter he had passed through his afflictions, he livedan hundred and forty years. From all which we
 
gather, that old age has been frequently a blessingwith which God has favoured his chosen servants^2! II254 SERMO XVLBut it is to be considered that it was a blessingpeculiarly granted to good men in the early agesof the world, before the luxuries of succeeding ge-nerations were known : their food was simple, theirexercise the labour of the field. Temperate, frugal,and delighting in the healthy occupation of hus-bandry, they experienced the happy effects of theirmoderation and abstemiousness. " Few and evil,"says the patriarch Jacob to Pharoah, ^^ have the days" of the years of my life been, and have not at-^' tained unto the days of the years of my fathers,'^ in the days of their pilgrimage." Barzillai, theGileadite, after he had seen David over Jordan,on his return to reassume the throne of Israel, whichhis rebellious son Absalom had usurped : on beingurged by the king to go up to Jerusalem, thus ex-cuses himself in words which shew, that althoughold age may be sometimes a blessing, yet it isoftener attended with its consequential infirmities." I am this day," says he, " fourscore years old," and can I discern between good and evil? can'^ thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink?'' can I hear any more the voice of singing menSERMO XVI. 03^'' and singing women ? Wherefore then should Ihy'' servant be a burden unto my lord, the king?"

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