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The Coming Night

The Coming Night

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The night cometh.' St. John ix. 4.

The night cometh.' St. John ix. 4.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 09, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE COMING NIGHTBY THE COUNTRY PARSON. The night cometh.' St. John ix. 4. EVEN on a bright summer morning, the man who has a long journey before him pushes on briskly and actively. He does not saunter by the way if he is a man of energy and sense. And why ? Because he knows he has only a limited time ; and he must make the most of it. The sky above is all blue and bright : there is not a clcud : the sun is rising high-er and higher: yet, however little appearance there may be of it yet, he knows that " the night cometh." He knows that far away as yet, — away towards the East, a deep and mighty shadow is stealing onward over the world. Before it all is activity and cheerfulness and exertion : behind it all is quietness and repose ; man's labor has ceased. He knows that when once that shad-ow has come up to the place where he is, he can jour-ney on no longer. So he feels that he must make the most of the day while it lasts ; for " the night cometh." The psalmist speaks our experience when he says that
THE COMING NIGHT. 257 after the sun has arisen, " Man goeth forth to his work, and to his labor, — until the evening." But when the evening shadows fall long, and the evening breezes whisper softly ; then, in all ordinary cases, man's labors cease. And night is the time for rest, not for working : whatever our day's task may be, we must see to finish it before night comes. There is hardly a thing more natural than to do what Christ does in our text ; — to extend this principle to a longer day, the day of life ; and to a darker night, the night of death. How naturally we speak of the morn-ing of life, — meaning infancy and childhood : how nat-urally of the evening of life, meaning the decline into age. And how naturally, as the light fades away, and the shadows gather, do we trace in all this the resemblance to approaching death ! Indeed it is by figures, drawn from the passing over of day and the coming on of night, that we just as often as not describe the life and death
of man. Who is there that does not understand the old man's meaning, when he says his sun is fast going down ! And in this case also, there is the same practical les-son as in the other. Here too we are called on to make the most of our time, because it is limited. Here too we are bidden to make the best of our day, because " the night cometh." It was in this sense that Christ spoke the words of the text. He had a work to do : and He Q 258 THE COMING NIGHT. gives His reason for missing no opportunity of doing it ; for losing no time in doing it. " I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is yet day : the night com-eth, wherein no man can work." His life and His min-istry were drawing to a close : and if He was to do His work at all, He must do it soon. He had now an oppor-tunity of working a cure upon the Sabbath-day : He had.

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