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GRACIOUS THOUGHTS.pdf

GRACIOUS THOUGHTS.pdf

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Published by glennpease

BY JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LL.D.,




I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil. — Jer. 29 : li.

BY JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LL.D.,




I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil. — Jer. 29 : li.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 30, 2013
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GRACIOUS THOUGHTS.BY JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LL.D.,I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,thoughts of peace, and not of evil. — Jer. 29 : li.ONE of the most marked features of thereligion of the Bible is the light in whichit represents the Divine Being. Pagan-ism represents Him as a stock or stone,carved into the similitude of a man, or a bird, ora four-footed beast, or a creeping thing, withoutintelligence, and even without life. Some, underthe pretence of exalting His majesty and great-ness, represent Him as occupied only in certaingreat creative and conserving acts, and not at allconcerning himself with the little affairs of humanlife or destiny.Men are prone to conclude either that there isno God, or that He knows nothing about ourbehavior in this world, or that He is wholly in-different to what we do, or say, or think. Butthe holy Book assures us that He is an infinite andliving Intelligence, who is with everything thatHe has made, not only as an unconcerned specta-tor, but as a loving Father, in sympathy with Hiscreatures, consulting each one's good, and so397398 GRACIOUS THOUGHTS.minute in His attentions as to keep count of the
 
very hairs of our heads. So far from retiringfrom His works to dwell apart in the secrecy of His own unapproachable Godhead, uncaring forsuch, worlds as ours or such beings as we, there isnothing done, nor said, nor thought, nor felt byman but He knows it, and notes it, and thinks of it, and orders His dealings with reference to it.God does think of its. This He himself affirmsin the text. The same is also attested in Nature,which is one vast volume of divine thoughts, inevery one of which, if rightly read, we find marksand tokens that we have been thought of, and thatour interests are not unconsidered. In the veryframework of the heavens above us ; in the adjust-ment of the sizes, spheres, and motions of theplanets and stars; and in the arrangement of therelations of the celestial orbs to the world whichwe inhabit, references to us, as well as to otherbeings, can easily be traced. This mysteriousocean of air which envelops the earth, at thebottom of which we live, in all its currents,changes, adaptations, and never-ceasing opera-tions, — the mighty sea of waters, in their varieddistribution and multiform offices, — the moun-tains and rocks, and lands and streams, — thetrees, and fruits, and flowers, — the night and day,the rains and dews, — the seasons and laws of seed-time and harvest, — the beasts of the field and thebirds of the air, — the links of kindred and the tiesof home, — the relations of the elements, the courseof things, and the constituents, pursuits, and veryTWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. 399burdens of life, — a// are freighted with evidencesin every part of the great machinery of creationthat God has thought of us, and never ceases to
 
have a very particular regard to us. "Many,"says the Psalmist, "many, O Lord my God, arethy wonderful works which Thou hast done, andThy thoughts which are to usward: they cannotbe reckoned up in order unto Thee. They aremore than can be numbered."And God'' s tJioiigJits to iisivard are all benevo-lent^ — " thoughts of peace and not of evil."This we do not always realize. There is somuch disappointment, disaster, affliction, trial,and suffering that we are often doubtful and mis-giving. We are in a constant war of good andevil, which surges first one way and then another.If we have peace one day, we are disturbed thenext. There is not a rose but in plucking it weare pricked with its thorns. Hence we are oftenhurried into very mistaken estimates of the econ-omy under which we are placed. Trouble comesor adversity overtakes us, and we conclude thatGod is thinking of us other thoughts than thoughtsof peace. When Jacob finds Joseph gone andBenjamin about to be taken, he says, "All thesethings are against me. " But it is not so. Eventhese adversities are connected with "thoughts of peace and not of evil." Joseph is taken just thathe might be the instrument of saving Jacob andall his house, and that the promises might notfail. When Israel was pursued by Pharoah, andthe strong warriors of Egypt were pressing upon400 GRACIOUS THOUGHTS.their rear, while the mountains hemmed them inon either side, and the Red Sea was in their front,they felt as if God had led them there just to de-stroy them. But it was not so. It was to destroy

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