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The Compensations of Life.

The Compensations of Life.

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Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters." — 1 Chron. ii. 34.


Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters." — 1 Chron. ii. 34.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE COMPESATIOS OF LIFE.BY JOSEPH PARKER ow Sheshan had no sons, but daughters." — 1 Chron. ii. 34.WE have often seen that amongst the Jews and insome Eastern countries, daughters go for nothing.They are not counted in the family census. If a Jew hadsix sons and five daughters, he said he had six children.When reminded that he had five girls, he would say, * Yes ;but girls are not counted." We have advanced sincethen. What has brought us on our way ? A multitude of ministries, but all centred in the great Christ-life andChrist-thought. My purpose in dwelling upon this uniquetext is not to speak as about sons and daughters, but toseize the principle that if a man has not one thing hehas another, and that we ought to reckon up what we haverather than moan and pine about what we have notThis lesson is always needed. It is more needed by thecommon people than a lecture upon ancient heresies, thanan address upon remote and partially incomprehensiblemetaphysics. We want human lessons, domestic theology,household reasoning, and piety. We ought to be taughthow to count our treasures. If we have not one thing,THE COMPESATIOS OF LIFE. 1 39we nave another. We do not want a list of blanks, if it be possible to draw one : we want a list of positivepossessions and treasures ; and every man can draw upsuch a list if he will. There is not a lad, how ragged anddesolate soever, that has not his own little song, his ownoccasional laugh, his own transient, but palpable, comedy.There is a patch of blue on every sky. Why this longmoan about the dark clouds, the frowning heavens?Why not now and then pick out flashes of blue, flecks of whiteness — signs that behind all darkness there burns theeternal morning ? That is how it is proposed to use thistext — " o sons, but daughters " ; the word " but " nota disjunctive, separating sweetness from bitterness, not a" but " with a subtle tone of contempt and undervaluation
in it — rather a word that indicates that though the oneside was a poor record, the other side was a radiant andgrateful witness.ow, what have you? Let us take account of whatyou have. You have no money, but you have wonderfulmental power. Think of that You have a clear head,you have a far-seeing eye, you have internal resources :you can muse, and think, and contemplate, and dream,and express yourself to yourself in wordless poetry. Youhave high times with yourself. Many a festival you havealone ; you are quite sorry when you hear an approachingfootfall, because it breaks up the sweet and sacred revel.You call yourself a poor man. Why, I put you down asa millionaire — a man who can think himself right up intoheaven, a man who can look at the wholeness of things, sofar as that is possible to our present low estate — a manwho can hear the going of God in the wind Is he poor ? ishe lonely ? is he to be pitied ? Pity the man whose handsare yellow with counted gold, but whose heart is without140 STUDIES I TEXTS.a thought of heaven, or immortality, or God Put downyour treasures. You have no external fame, then whathave you ? You have an excellent repute at home ; thatis better. I would not care what the world says aboutany man if he is not loved at home — if their hearts athome do not weary for him and say, " His very speech hasmusic in it" I would not care to have a world followinga man if the people at home did not long for him, andthink he was the very best man in all the world Thatis how you stand to-night. You do not know howmuch you are loved and honoured ; and you would beloved and honoured more if you could think less aboutyourself and your destitution of external fame. Theylove you and honour you at home : they say when youcome home the whole house will be full of light and musicand joy ; or if they do not so express themselves they willsay, " When he comes home we shall feel that the founda-tions of the house are all right : we shall have a judgewithin our own four corners, a man of great counsellingpower, a man of equity, an arbitrator in the house, areferee of our own ; what he says will be the word of  justice, and will be the verdict of equity — a strong, honest,
oak-hearted father ours."Are you a poor man ? are you to be pitied ? Do youlook over those whose personalty was sworn at over£500,000 and call yourself a poor man ? Their person-alty ought not to have been sworn at half a farthing. Itis a lie to call it personality. How well it is calledpersonalty I I am glad that the law has, by the removalof one letter, saved that word from being confused withpersonality. They had personalty, but you have person-ality, individuality, fine heart-life, and you make yourlittle house glad; when your shadow falls on the wall,THE COMPESATIOS OF LIFE. 141the wall is pictured with beauty. I will not have it thatyou are poor. You have no high connections ; you arenever troubled with finding out whether there was not,about five hundred years ago, a duke in your family.That duke gives you no trouble. There are manypersons who think there was a duke in the family aboutfive hundred years ago, and they have got no end of oldsoiled yellow paper ; but there is wanting one marriagecertificate. If they could find that ! You and I have notrouble about that duke ; we know there never was aduke in our family ; if there was, we should be sorry toknow it You have no high connections. I have heardof a boy who lives on the good-nature of other people, onthe ground that he has, or had, or ought to have had, anuncle who was a knight. Do you know how to spell thatkind of knight — with a large K ? You and I have notrouble even with the knight. o ; we stand squarely outin poverty, in honour, in faculty, in power of prayer. Godis in the family : his altar is there ; and there we have highconnections— earls of eternity, aristocrats of piety andnobleness, good-loving and good-doing. Are you a poorman ? If you know the way to God in your sorrow, whatis the way to any bank of money compared with that highroad ? o lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast goup thereon ; they shall not be found there. And you, bornpoor, and trained on unbuttered bread, and not known bythose of fame and name, you have high connections, youhave come to the general assembly and Church of thefirstborn written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all,and to the blood of Jesus, the blood of sprinkling, which

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