Isaiah 32:2
Each will be like a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in a dry land, and the shadow of a great rock in an arid land.
Sermons
A Covert the TempestJ. Wells, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
A Hiding-Place from the WindProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
A ManProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
A Many-Sided ChristIsaiah 32:2
An Emblem of Our Gracious GodM. G. Pearse.Isaiah 32:2
Beneficent InterpositionW. L. Watkinson.Isaiah 32:2
Brotherhood in AdversityJ. Wells, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
Christ a RefugeC. Bradley, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
Christ a RefugeJ. M. Sherwood.Isaiah 32:2
Christ Our Hiding-PlaceW. Jackson.Isaiah 32:2
Christ the Perfect ManF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 32:2
Christ the Shield of the BelieverIsaiah 32:2
Christ the Source of RefreshmentJ. B. Patterson, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
Christ's Human SympathyJ. Wells, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
Comfort in ChristN. Emmons, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
Freeness of Grace in ChristIsaiah 32:2
Human Need Met in ChristF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 32:2
Humanity Greater than All Distinctions of ClassF. Ferguson.Isaiah 32:2
Infinite Fulness in ChristIsaiah 32:2
Jesus the RockProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
Jesus, the Hiding-PlaceJ. H. Evans, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
Men as Hiding-Places from the WindW. B. Dalby.Isaiah 32:2
Offices of ChristCarus Wilson.Isaiah 32:2
Our Hiding-PlaceJ. Wells, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
Refuge in Christ and in One AnotherW. Clarkson Isaiah 32:2
Religion a RiverHomilistIsaiah 32:2
Rivers of Water in a Dry PlaceIsaiah 32:2
Rivers of Water in a Dry PlaceW. B. Dalby.Isaiah 32:2
Rock-MenW. C. E. Newbolt.Isaiah 32:2
Shelter and Refreshment in ChristH. Macmillan, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
The Covert of Divine LoveA. D. Vail, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
The Fertilising Power of a Gracious CharacterW. B. Dalby.Isaiah 32:2
The Hiding-PlaceJ. H. Evans, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
The Hiding-PlaceA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
The Humanity of the Way of SalvationF. Ferguson.Isaiah 32:2
The Rock-Like ManW. B. Dalby.Isaiah 32:2
The Soul's RestW.M. Statham Isaiah 32:2
The Suffering World and the Relieving ManHomilistIsaiah 32:2
The True ShelterOr the WorldW. C. E. Newbolt.Isaiah 32:2
The Value of True Man-HoodJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 32:2
The Variety and Urgency of Human NeedF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 32:2
The Wayworn Pilgrim's Hiding-PlaceJ. C. Philpot.Isaiah 32:2
Weariness in LifeA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 32:2
A Flourishing KingdomIsaiah 32:1-8
A New EraF. Delitzsch.Isaiah 32:1-8
An Ideal of Political GoodE. Johnson Isaiah 32:1-8
Asayria and JudahProf. S. R. Driver, D. D.Isaiah 32:1-8
Isaiah's UtopiaW. B. Dalby.Isaiah 32:1-8
Reformed SocietyE. A. Lawrence.Isaiah 32:1-8


The shadow of a great rock in a weary land. This is an Eastern picture. God is described as our Shade. In the glare of a too-garish day we become endangered; the sun of prosperity smites us. Sunlight has its penalties as well as its pleasures. So has success! The human heart cannot bear too much of brightness. We need shadows for the mind to rest under as well as for the body.

I. A MAN IS HERE DESCRIBED. The God-Man. One who, knowing our infirmities and temptations, is able to succor them that are tempted. The true King who is to reign in righteousness is prophesied of. "A man shall be." Christ has been the Refuge and the Rest of hearts wearied of the world and scorched with its radiant beams. We are led to Christ. Not to theological systems; not to human creeds; but to Christ. The shadow! Yes. Shadow of a cross, where we may find forgiveness and. peace. Shadow of brotherhood, where we may find true sympathy in our hours of loneliness and disappointment. Shadow, where we may recline and rest as the patriarch did under the oaks of Beersheba, and Moses did under the mountains of old. And Christ's Divinity is proclaimed in the words, "a great Rock" High as heaven, having its roots in God's own eternal years. So great that it offers shelter for all the weary hearts of men.

II. A PILGRIMAGE IS HERE IMPLIED. "A weary land" The pilgrims are passing on through the scorching heat, the camel-drivers walking then, as they do now, in the shadow cast by these "ships of the desert." Before them stretch miles on miles of burning sand. The blinding sun is above them. With their white cummerbunds and their light Eastern dress, they ease the heat-burden all they can. And now the great mountains come in sight. Some with gentle acclivities and some with sharp-cut rocks jutting out above the pilgrim-way. What blessed shadows they cast! Such shady places are our sabbaths and sacraments and sanctuaries, our holy moments of Divine fellowship, when God comes near and casts over us the protecting shadow of his gracious presence.

III. WEARINESS IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE WAY, "A weary land." We are often tired. How many hearts have said, "O God, I am a-weary!" and then, instead of the sad cry, "O God, that I were dead!" we hear the voices of spiritual souls crying, "Oh that I knew where I might find him!" and the blessed answer comes from the lips of the incarnate God himself, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" - weary with the load of sin; weary with the care and fret of daily life; weary with inward conflicts; weary with ceaseless watching, for our Arab enemies dash suddenly by, and point their rifle as they fly. Pain makes us weary. The loss of dear, true-hearted friends makes us weary. Doubt, with all our dark mental conflicts - doubt, which is sometimes the exquisite action of a sincere mind, makes us weary. So we come to the great Father, and rest in the gracious answer to the cry, "Lord, show us the Father," in the revelation vouchsafed unto us by our Divine Lord, who has taught us when we pray to say, "Our Father," and also has declared, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." - W.M.S.









A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind.
In the East, the following phenomenon is often observed. Where the desert touches a river, valley, or oasis, the sand is in a continual state of drift from the wind, and it is this drift which is the real cause of the barrenness of such portions of the desert, at least, as abut upon the fertile land. For under the rain, or by the infiltration of the river, plants often spring up through the sand, and there is sometimes promise of considerable fertility. It never lasts. Down comes the periodic drift, and life is stunted or choked out. But set down a rock on the sand, and see the difference its presence makes. After a few showers, to the leeward side of this some blades will spring up; if you have patience, you will see in time a garden. How has the boulder produced this? Simply by arresting the drift. Now that is exactly how great men benefit human life.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

A Saviour who does not seek first to improve man's condition, but to improve man.

(W. C. E. Newbolt.)

The prophet here has no individual specially in his view, but is rather laying down a general description of the influence of individual character, of which Christ Jesus was the highest instance. Taken in this sense, his famous words present us —

I. WITH A PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY. Great men are not the whole of life, but they are the condition of all the rest; if it were not for the big men, the little ones could scarcely live. The first requisites of religion and civilisation are outstanding characters.

II. But in this philosophy of history there is A GOSPEL. Isaiah's words are not only man's ideal: they are God's promise, and that promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the most conspicuous example — none others are near Him — of this personal influence in which Isaiah places all the shelter and revival of society. This figure of a rock, a rock resisting drift, gives us some idea, not only of the commanding influence of Christ's person, but of that special office from which all the glory of His person and of His name arises: that "He saves His people from their sins." For what is sin? Sin is simply the longest, heaviest drift in human history. "The oldest custom of the race," it is the most powerful habit of the individual. Men have reared against it government, education, philosophy, system after system of religion. But sin overwhelmed them all. Only Christ resisted, and His resistance saves the world.

III. In this promise of a man there is A GREAT DUTY AND IDEAL for every one. If this prophecy distinctly reaches forward to Jesus Christ as its only perfect fulfilment, the vagueness of its expression permits of its application to all, and through Him its fulfilment by all becomes a possibility.

1. We can be like Christ the Rock in shutting out from our neighbours the knowledge and infection of sin, in keeping our conversation so unsuggestive and unprovocative of evil, that, though sin drift upon us, it shall never drift through us.

2. We may be like Christ the Rock in shutting out blame from other men; in sheltering them from the east wind of pitiless prejudice, quarrel, or controversy; in stopping the unclean and bitter drifts of scandal and gossip. How many lives have lost their fertility for the want of a little silence and a little shadow!

3. As there are a number of men and women who fall in struggling for virtue simply because they never see it successful in others, and the spectacle of one pure, heroic character would be their salvation, here is a way in which each servant of God may be a rock.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

In the first and second verses of this chapter we have suggested to us the three great forms of government or social power, in accordance with which society has been constructed, and under which men have lived; namely, the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the democracy. A king shall reign, princes shall rule, and a man shall be as a hiding-place. First, there is a throne, then a palace, and then the common earth. It seems to be a descent from a king to princes, and from princes to a man; but it is also an ascent, for the man is the climax rather than the king. The king and the princes disappear in the man. Humanity or the common nature is greater than all distinctions of class. A king exists for men, rather than men for a king; and the salvation of society consists in the elevation of the common substratum of the race. In this elevation all the three powers may play a part — the power of the throne, the power of the nobles, and the power of the people themselves. All these three forms of government may exist in the same constitution. In the heavenly, or eternal government, there is a King with different orders of subjects. But since, in this heavenly kingdom, He who is King of kings and Lord of lords became a man, and a poor man, that He might serve all, and lift up all to citizenship in His kingdom, and to sit even on His throne, the great moral and spiritual law has been laid down, that every one, from the ruler on the throne to the humblest subject, rises in moral character and dignity just as he stoops to the help of others. If it is by the gentleness of God that we are made great; if He who is over all became servant to all, we cannot hope to become great on a different principle; that is, by seeking to be ministered unto rather than to minister.

(F. Ferguson.)

It is probable that the prophecy had some reference to Hezekiah, who, as the successor of the iniquitous Ahaz, restored the worship of God, and re-established the kingdom of Judah. The very striking deliverance vouchsafed by God to His people, in the reign of this monarch, when the swarming hosts of the Assyrians fell in one night before the destroying angel, may justly be considered as having been alluded to by the prophet in strains which breathe high of the triumphs of redemption. And when "a king" is spoken of as "reigning in righteousness," and there is associated with his dominion all the imagery of prosperity and peace, we may, undoubtedly, find, in the holy and beneficent rule of Hezekiah, much that answers to the glowing predictions. But the destruction of the army of the Assyrians may itself be regarded as a figurative occurrence; and Hezekiah, like his forefather David, as but a type of the Lord our Redeemer. There are to be great and fearful judgments ere Christ shall finally set up His kingdom on earth. We shall consider the text as containing a description — metaphorical, undoubtedly, but not the less comforting and instructive — of what the Redeemer is to the Church.

I. The first thing which may justly strike you as remarkable in this description of Christ, is THE EMPHASIS WHICH SEEMS LAID ON THE WORD "MAN." A man" shall be this or that; and Bishop Lowth renders it "the man," as if he were man by distinction from every other — which is undoubtedly St. Paul's statement when he writes to the Corinthians: "The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." It is the human nature of Christ to which our text gives the prominence; it is this human nature to which seems ascribed the suitableness of Christ's office prophetically assigned. What our blessed Saviour undertook was the reconciliation of our offending nature to God; and of this it is perhaps hardly too much to say that it could not have been effected by any nature but itself.

II. Let us now proceed to consider WITH WHAT JUSTICE OR PROPRIETY THE SEVERAL ASSERTIONS HERE MADE MAY BE APPLIED TO OUR SAVIOUR. There are four assertions in the text, four similes used to represent to us the office of our Redeemer, or the benefits secured to us through His gracious mediation. These assertions or similes are not, indeed, all different; on the contrary, there is great similarity, or even something like repetition. Thus, "a hiding-place from the wind" does not materially differ from "a covert from the tempest." The idea is the same; there is only that variety in the mode of expression which accords with poetic composition. Neither is "the shadow of a great rock in a weary desert" altogether a different image; the idea is still that which shields — shelter from the heat, if not from the tempest. It may, perhaps, be more correct to say that there are two great ideas embodied in the text, and there are two figures for the illustration of each. The first idea is that of a refuge in circumstances of danger; and this is illustrated by "a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest." The second idea is that of refreshment under circumstances of fatigue; and this is illustrated by "rivers of water in a dry place, and the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." There is one thing, according to the three illustrations, which should be separately and carefully considered. The "hiding-place," the "covert," and the "rock," give shelter and relief, through receiving on themselves that against which they defend us. It were a dull imagination, nay, it were a cold heart, which does not instantly recognise the appropriateness of the figure, as taken in illustration of the Lord our Redeemer. These Scriptural figures while under one point of view they represent Christ, under another they represent ourselves. And it is simply because there is so little feeling of our own actual condition that there is so little appreciation of the character under which Christ is described. (H. Melvill, B.D.)

There is not a want, not a need, but we find Jesus enough for it.

I. MAN'S NEED OF A HIDING-PLACE.

1. What a tempest will sharp afflictions sometimes raise, particularly if one follows another in quick succession.

2. There are other storms — national judgments.

3. What a storm can the Eternal Spirit raise in a man's own conscience when the poor Christless sinner catches his first glimpse of God!

4. What a burning wind has oft withered the mere professor when the Eternal Spirit has in a dying hour forced him to the fearful review of the past.

II. THE GLORIOUS HIDING-PLACE WHICH THE GOSPEL POINTS OUT. As God-man, who can describe the hiding-place? What a hiding-place is His Person! What a hiding-place is His intercession! What a hiding-place is His deep sympathy! What a hiding-place is His fulness of grace! What a hiding-place, that has all the power, strength, and merit of Deity in it, and all the tenderness, love, and sympathy of humanity in it! The great question is, Have we really entered in?

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

We cannot easily imagine the fury of whirlwinds in the East. Granite and iron columns are snapped in two; the largest trees are torn up by the roots; houses are tossed about like straws, and at sea whole fleets are cast away. But Eastern storms are most terrible in the desert. There mountains of sand are lifted up and dashed down, sometimes burying whole caravans, and even whole armies. Picture a traveller in such a case. After a strange stillness, he sees a cloud of sand arising in front of him. At once the sky is darkened, and earth and heaven seem confounded. The angel of destruction rides on every blast, and claims the whole desert as his own. The poor man stands appalled, as if the clay of doom had come. Oh, for a shelter: it is his one chance for life! Lo! a gigantic rock rears its head; he runs under it. The storm spends its fury upon the sheltering rock, not upon the sheltered pilgrim.

(J. Wells, M. A.)

I. IN THE SAVIOUR THERE IS SHELTER FOR OUR SOULS. What are the storms from which the Saviour shields us? The Bible speaks most about two: the storm of God's wrath against sin, and the storm of life's trials.

II. IN THE SAVIOUR WE HAVE SAFETY. Shelter and safety are different things, though we may not see the difference at once. About eighteen hundred years ago there was a town in the south of Italy, called Pompeii, which owes its fame to its destruction. It was buried under streams of boiling mud from Vesuvius, and showers of dust and ashes. Most of the people escaped by flight. The priests, having no faith in their idols, seized their treasures and fled. But some poor folks ran to the temples, hoping that their gods would save them. They found shelter, and — a grave. Since many are more anxious about shelter than real safety, Christ is at great pains to warn us against a mistake as common as it is dangerous. You remember Christ's story about the two builders; the one building upon the sand, and the other upon the rock. Very likely the two houses were equally fair to look upon, and both the wise man and the fool found shelter enough in sunny weather. But the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the fool's house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. The poor man found shelter-and death. Many "refuges of lies" — man-made refuges all — would lure us away from our true safety.

III. IN THE SAVIOUR THERE IS SYMPATHY. Shelter and safety are often found without sympathy. The fortress that gave the besieged safety from their foes has often been a hateful prison, in which famine and pestilence slew more than the sword. The dens and caves which were the hiding-places of our martyrs were equally wretched and safe. The Alpine traveller, overtaken by snowstorms, hurries to the nearest shelter, and finds only four bare walls. No cheerful fire, no kind host welcomes and revives him; and often he faints on the threshold, and dies within. But the soul's hiding-place is the soul's banqueting-house. You must lay the stress on the word "man." To the Jews before Christ it was no news to be told that God was a hiding-place. But that a man should be their hiding-place and covert, their overshadowing rock and water of life — that was a very surprising and glorious prophecy. And what a man! The Man of men, the alone perfect Man, of all men the most gracious and tender-hearted the God-man. And He is a man by His own choice. More, He is a man from love to us. Had He been only God, we sinful, trembling creatures might not have dared to draw near; had He been only man, we should have doubted His power; but being both God and man, we can approach Him with equal confidence and affection. Your safety is not a hard, cold, empty thing. No, it is like the safety of the young eagle, covered with the feathers, and drawn close to the warm, ,beating side of the parent bird.

IV. IN THE SAVIOUR THERE IS SATISFACTION. Tis thorough satisfaction, as when the desert-traveller, perishing with thirst, finds "rivers of water in a dry place." Among men, Beasts, and birds, how boundless is the delight the thirsty find in fresh water! Every one has a craving for happiness, that never can The conquered, but lives while the soul lives. The Bible is ever declaring these" two truths —

1. Your soul cannot get true satisfaction away from Christ.

2. You may find it in Him.

(J. Wells, M. A.)

I. THE HOLY GHOST DECLARES IT IS "A MAN THAT SHALL BE THE HIDING-PLACE FROM THE WIND."

II. IN WHAT RESPECT OUR BLESSED LORD IS THAT "HIDING-PLACE."

III. THE MANY ENCOURAGEMENTS THAT ARE GIVEN IN GOD'S SACRED WORD TO THE POOR AND WEARY TEMPEST-BEATEN TRAVELLER TO ENTER INTO THAT "HIDING-PLACE."

1. The commandment of God, on the one side.

2. The freeness of invitation, on the other.

3. The open door.

4. The testimony of all those who are in heaven, and all those who are on earth, under the teaching of the Eternal Spirit, that never did any go thither and have a negative, but that as many as went were freely welcomed by the Lord of life and glory.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

Change the emphasis of your policy. You have been busy making alliances; now make a man. That was the teaching of this statesman-prophet.

(J. H. Jowett, M. A.)

What a revelation is here of the wants of men! The very supply indicates the depths and urgency of the need which craves for satisfaction. "Hiding-place!" "Covert!" "Fountains of water!" "The shadow of a great rock!" Each of these beautiful images serves to accentuate the impression of urgent and pitiful need. Lighthouses and harbours are always terribly suggestive.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

I. WIND. How apt a symbol of our lives is here! Often when all seems fair, suddenly a wild storm envelops us in a furious melee. A calumnious story is circulated, which is absolutely without foundation; a well-meant act is misconstrued; a love suddenly cools; a dam which had warded off the wild North Sea breaks; a life which had been dearer than our own fails; our whole nature is plunged into a bath of agonising pain; the mind is cast into a tumult of perplexity; the heart is rent. Then we know bitterly the spiritual side of the words, No small tempest lay upon us.

II. STORM. We are exposed not only to great and crushing sorrows, which threaten to suddenly engulf us, as it is said the old seats of human life were engulfed in the midst of the Indian Ocean; but we have to suffer from the accumulations of little stinging irritations, which are like the grit or sand grains of the desert. The rasping temper of some one with whom we have to live; the annoyances and slights which are daily heaped on us; petty innuendoes and insinuations that sting; trifles which we could not put into words, but which hurt us like acid dropped into a sore.

III. A DRY PLACE. Our lot is sometimes cast, as David's was, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. There are few helps in our religious life; we are cast into a worldly family; we are obliged to attend an uncongenial ministry; we are too driven with occupation to have quiet times for fellowship with God, and communion with His saints; or we are so lonely that we long unutterably for some kindred soul, some one to love, or to be loved. The eye ranges day after day over the same monotonous landscape.

IV. A WEARY LAND. Weary people — there are plenty of them! Weary of life, with its poverty from which there is never a moment's respite; with the love of the life unrequited; with the light of life hidden beneath a bushel; with common-place duties and monotonous routine! The demands are so incessant, the pressure so constant, the heartache so wearing, the pain so cruel! The eyes weary of looking for one who never comes; the ears weary of listening for a step that never greets them; the hearts weary of waiting for a love that never comes forth from the grave, though they call never so loudly. But all these many-sided needs may be met and satisfied in The Man Christ Jesus." No one man could perfectly meet even one of them; but Jesus perfectly meets them all.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

Have you not often wished to take the characteristic qualities from the men in whom they are strongest, and put them all together into one nature, making one complete man out of the many broken bits, one chord of the many single notes, one ray of the many colours? But this that you would wish to do is done in Him-in whom the faith of Abraham, the meekness of Moses, the patience of Job, the strength of Daniel, the love of the apostle John, blend in one complete symmetrical whole.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

I. THE STORMS.

1. The storm of adversity.

2. Of conviction.

3. Of temptation.

4. There is an eternal storm.

II. THE HIDING-PLACE. "A man," &c.

1. What man? The Man Christ Jesus.

2. A suitable refuge. While He feels for you as a man, He helps you as a God. A refuge from —

(1)A broken law.

(2)A raging devil.

(3)A persecuting world.

III. DELIGHTFUL REFRESHMENT. As rivers of water," &c.

1. Refreshing.

2. Purifying.

3. Free.

4. Free to all.

IV. NEEDFUL SHELTER. "As the shadow," &c.

(W. Jackson.)

I. Christ came to be A HIDING-PLACE PROM THE WIND. This part of our text may be regarded as referring to the lesser evils of human life; to those which chiefly affect our temporal condition. Who does not feel, in his measure, the winds of adversity, which never fail to blow upon this lower world? The widow mourns over her bereavement, and sits alone, as a sparrow upon the housetop. The orphans look in vain for a parent's sympathy and protection. The poor man stands aghast at the prospect of penury. The sick languish under the appointment of painful days and wearisome nights. The mourners go about the streets, telling the sad tale of their desolation, and refusing to be comforted, under the loss of some endeared object. But let us not imagine that even our most trivial sufferings are beneath the notice of Jehovah. He became a man that He might make Himself acquainted with the afflictions of humanity, and thus be able to afford His sympathy.

1. There is the shelter of His gracious declarations.

2. Of the promises.

3. Of Christ's example.See Him weeping with those that wept. See Him providing for the hungry multitude. See Him ever ready to alleviate human misery, and, during the whole period of His life, going about doing good. Is it possible to study the life of Jesus, and not derive succour from the view of His sympathy and compassion?

II. The second clause of our text leads us to the consideration of those greater evils, from which Christ protects His followers. He is spoken of as A COVERT FROM THE TEMPEST.

1. There is the tempest of God's wrath, roused by man's transgression.

2. Of Satan's buffetings.

3. Of indwelling sin. But, amidst all these tempests, Christ is a covert for His people. Consider how it is that He shelters them. It is by bearing Himself the stormy wind and tempest.

III. Christ is spoken of as RIVERS OF WATER IN A DRY PLACE. To the renewed mind, what is the whole world but a dry place?

IV. Christ is spoken of as THE SHADOW OF A GREAT ROCK IN A WEARY LAND. What are we but pilgrims toiling over the sandy desert of this weary world? We have various burdens to carry, and labours allotted to us; and now are we straitened in our work! With one hand we have to fight continually against our enemies, as we hasten onward to our home: with the other, we have to labour diligently, both for ourselves and others. We have to bear the burden and heat of the day. But shall we faint because of the way? No, we have a grand support. We have the shadow of a great rock in this weary land.

(Carus Wilson.)

I. We are reminded here of our DANGERS. These are set forth by images which we in our climate can only half understand. Except at sea, we have little to fear from winds and tempests. At the worst, they are inconveniences to us, seldom dangers. But in other countries they are at times the causes of great havoc. Besides these, there are gentler winds sometimes blowing in them, that are almost as fearful. Hot and debilitating, they cannot be breathed without much suffering, and instances, it is said, have been known in which they have been so noxious as to occasion death. Is not this a true picture of our situation? There are storms of outward affliction for us in the world. And there are inward storms also — storms of conscience, storms of temptation; and still worse storms than any of these — the ragings of our own corrupt affections. And yet what are all these? They are all nothing compared with one storm yet to come. There is the wrath of God awaiting us.

II. The text tells us of A PROTECTOR FROM OUR DANGERS. And who is He? If we understand what our dangers are, we shall all say He must be the great God. But the text does not say this. It tells us that He is a man. But how, we may ask, can this be? We have tried often enough to get help from men. This man is such as never before was seen or heard of, the everlasting Jehovah manifest in our mortal flesh, God and man united in one Christ. But why is the Lord Jesus called so emphatically a man in this passage? Perhaps for three reasons.

1. To lead the ancient Church to expect His incarnation.

2. To encourage us to approach Him. We naturally are afraid of God. But here, says this text, is .God appearing before you in a new character and form. His mere appearance in our world as a man, proclaims Him at once man's Friend and Saviour.

3. To show us the importance of His human nature to our safety.

III. THE EXCELLENCE OF THAT PROTECTION WHICH THE LORD JESUS AFFORDS US. Imagine yourselves in such a desert as the prophet has here in his mind. Suppose yourselves asked, what kind of shelter you wished for.

1. You would naturally say, in the first place, it must be a secure one. And Christ is a secure hiding-place.

2. Then you would say, the refuge I want must be a near one. And who so near at hand as the Lord Jesus.

3. But, you may ask, Can I gain admittance into this refuge if I flee to it? The answer is, You can. It is an open refuge, a refuge ever open, and open to all who choose to enter it.

4. He is a well-furnished hiding-place. There is provision and plentiful provision in this stronghold for all who enter it. Conclusion —

1. What think ye of this hiding-place? What use have you made of it? Have you fled to it?

2. But there are those who are out of this hiding-place. Oh, brethren, have mercy on yourselves!

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

Homilist.
I. THE SUFFERING WORLD. The world's trials are here represented by the imagery of —

1. A "tempest." Tempests in nature are often most terrible and devastating. Spiritually, the world is in a tempest. It is beaten by the storm of —

(1)conflicting thoughts,

(2)sinful passions,

(3)guilty memories, and

(4)terrible foreboding.

2. A drought. "A dry place." The Oriental traveller under a vertical sun, and on scorching sands without water, is the picture here. He has a burning thirst and is in earnest quest for the cooling stream. Is this not a true picture of man spiritually as a traveller to eternity? He thirsts for a good which he fails to get.

3. Exhaustion. "In a weary land." The Oriental traveller has exhausted his strength, and lies down in prostrate hopelessness. Man, spiritually, is "weary and heavy laden," "without strength." Without strength to discharge his moral obligations, to please his Maker, to serve his race, and reach his destiny.

II. THE RELIEVING MAN. "A man shall be," &c. Hezekiah did much to relieve Israel in its political troubles, but Christ does infinitely more. He relieves the moral troubles of humanity.

1. He is a shelter from moral storms. What a secure, accessible, capacious refuge is Christ.

2. He is the river in moral droughts. Christ refreshes and satisfies souls by opening rivers of holy thoughts, &c.

(Homilist.)

I. A PICTURE OF THE STATE OF THE WORLD. We may view this picture of the world under four aspects —

1. A picture of the natural world. The four elements of nature are brought into view — earth, air, water, and fire; and each in its turn may become a blessing or a curse to man. Man has lost the dominion of nature, and is no longer at home in it. He fights an unequal battle, and is obliged to succumb.

2. A picture of the moral world. Although war, famine, and pestilence are physical evils, their causes are moral. They fall more directly on man than other natural evils. They are the storms of human society.

3. A picture of the spiritual world. This earth is the platform, not merely of a natural and political moral strife; it is the arena, as well, of a spiritual strife. To realise this, and to know it as the most certain of all facts, the soul must be awakened by the Spirit of God to the true meaning of life. We must feel the battle within ourselves in order to see it around us.

4. Something that reminds us of a condition of existence in the eternal world. All the storms of which we have spoken are but the foreshadowings of the wrath of God.

II. A PROPHECY OF THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD. This is represented under the figure of a hiding-place, a covert, rivers of water, and the shadow of a great rock.

1. The blessedness of the prophecy. In proportion as we have realised the world to be what the word here describes it as being, Will the announcement of the text appear most acceptable and blessed.

2. The wonderfulness and apparent contradictoriness of the prophecy. It says that a "man" shall be a hiding-place. Man is the creature who is in want of salvation.

3. The prophecy itself, more directly and particularly. We accept the statement as at once referring primarily to Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Only in Him is the prophecy fully realised, and delivered from its apparently contradictory character. Believers look upon Him as the only one who can save from physical, moral, spiritual, and eternal evil.

4. How the man Christ Jesus is such a hiding-place.

(F. Ferguson.)

I. There underlies this prophecy A VERY SAD, A VERY TRUE CONCEPTION OF HUMAN LIFE.

1. We live a life defenceless and exposed to many a storm and tempest.

2. "Rivers of water in a dry place!" And what is the prose fact of that? That you and I live in the midst of a world which has no correspondence with nor capacity of satisfying our truest and deepest selves — that we bear about with us a whole set of longings and needs and weaknesses and strengths and capacities, all of which, like the climbing tendrils of some creeping plant, go feeling and putting out their green fingers to lay hold of some prop and stay — that man is so made that for his rest and blessedness he needs an external object round which his spirit may cling, on which his desires may fall and rest, by which his heart may be clasped, which shall be authority for his will, peace for his fears, sprinkling and cleansing for his conscience, light for his understanding, shall be in complete correspondence with his inward nature — the water for his thirst, and the bread for his hunger.

3. And then there is the other idea underlying these words also, yet another phase of this sad life of ours — not only danger and drought, but also weariness and languor.

II. But another thought suggested by these words is, THE MYSTERIOUS HOPE WHICH SHINES THROUGH THEM — that one of ourselves shall deliver us from all this evil in life. "A man," &c.

III. THE SOLUTION OF THE MYSTERY IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I. In the day of earthly DISAPPOINTMENT.

II. In times of AFFLICTION.

III. In the day of TRIAL. God tries our faith, our hope, our patience, our principles.

IV. In the day of FEAR.

V. From the torments of an accusing CONSCIENCE.

VI. In the day of FINAL WRATH.

(J. M. Sherwood.)

There are two very distinct methods and aims in the Bible. A very large portion of the Scriptures are in the form of appeals to duty, to service. But there is another part of the Bible that appeals to exactly the opposite sentiment, and is a call to rest, to quiet, to ease, to everything but action — to contemplation, to silence. And there are times in our experience when we need the call to rest as absolutely as at others we need the call to duty. I desire, then, to call your thought to the rest side of religion.

I. PRAYER, as revealed to us in Scripture, is beautifully illustrated by the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

II. THE WORDS THAT ARE GIVEN US IN THE SCRIPTURE are offered to us like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land — the Scripture is full of these delightful surprises. "Come unto Me," &c. "Let not your heart be troubled," &c. "Lo! I am with you alway," &c. Such doctrines as Divine Providence; the idea of God giving you work to do; the idea that trouble comes to us as a dispensation from our Father's hand, &c.

III. CHRISTIAN HOPE is also like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Rest, in the Word of God, is like rest in nature. The night is very blessed for the weary one, but the morning follows the night, and rest is given that we may be strong to labour.

(A. D. Vail, D. D.)

(with ver. 3): —

I. Who THE TRAVELLERS are, on their homeward march, and the dangers and difficulties which beset their path. The way to heaven is often spoken of in Scripture as a journey, and this by no flowery meadow or purling brook, through no over-arching bowers or verdant shade, but through a wilderness.

1. The first peril mentioned is the wind. By "the wind" here, I understand the pestilential wind, sometimes called the simmom, or samiel, which at certain seasons passes over the desert, blasting and withering all it touches, and carrying death in its train. But what is there in the spiritual desert corresponding to this pestilential wind? Sin.

2. The second peril in the wilderness is "the tempest." This we may characterise as the thunderstorm, which differs from the pestilential wind in being from above, not from beneath; violent, not subtle; destroying by lightning, not by poison. And what so aptly corresponds to this as the manifested anger of God against sin?

3. But there is a third peril in the wilderness — one in a measure peculiar to it, and rarely absent from it, "the want of water," for the wondrous man here spoken of is promised to be "as rivers of water in a dry place." The wilderness is especially dry. What an expressive emblem, then, is thirst of the desire of the soul after Christ!

4. The last peril of the wilderness here mentioned is the wearisomeness of the way. What poetry and beauty there are in the expression, "a weary land"! As if the land itself were weary, weary of its own wearisomeness, weary of being such an uncultivated waste, and of wearing out the lives of so many travellers. One main, perhaps the chief, element of the weariness of the desert is the unclouded sun, ever darting his beams down upon it. What does the sun here, then, represent? Temptation.

II. THE HIDING-PLACE AND COVERT — the refreshment and shade which the Lord has provided for these travellers in the Son of His love.

1. "A hiding-place from the wind." This wind we have explained as the pestilential breath of sin. A hiding-place is wanted, lest it should destroy body and soul in hell. Where shall we find it? In the Law? That is going out of the wind into the storm. In self? That is the very thing we most want shelter from. Jesus is the hiding-place, the only hiding-place from sin and self. But three things we must know and experionce before we can enter into the beauty and blessedness of Jesus as a hiding. place from the wind.(1) We must feel our need of such a shelter.(2) We must be brought to see the hiding-place which God has provided in the Son of His love.(3) Then follows the third step — the entering into the hiding-place.

2. But the same wondrous man is also "a covert from the storm." This we explained as referring to the law. How a shelter is needed from its condemnation and curse! Where is this refuge to be found? In Jesus. He has redeemed us from its curse.

3. From this springs the third character which Jesus sustains to the pilgrim in the wilderness. "As rivers of water in a dry place." How graciously does the blessed Spirit, by this figure, set forth the suitability of the Lord Jesus Christ to travellers in the wilderness. The Lord Jesus is spoken of as "rivers of water." The very thing in the desert which we need. In the wilder. ness we do not want strong drink; that would only inflame the thirst, make the blood boil in the veins, and smite the frame with fever. As it toils through the desolate wastes of sand it is water that the fainting spirit wants. It is water — the well of water springing up into everlasting life — that is provided. The fulness of the Lord Jesus is not a rill, but a river; not only a river, but "rivers."

4. But the Lord Jesus is spoken of also as "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." He has been tempted in all points like as we are; but as the rock bears uninjured the beams of the hottest sun, and yet, by bearing them, shields in its recesses the wayworn pilgrim, so did Jesus, as man, bear the whole fury of Satanic temptations, and yet was as uninjured by them as the rock in the desert. And having borne them, He shields from their destructive power the tempted child of God who lies at His feet under the shadow of His embrace.

III. THE OPENING OF THE EYES TO SEE AND THE UNSTOPPING OF THE EARS TO HEARKEN to the blessings thus promised.

1. "The eyes of them that see shall not be dim." Our text speaks rather of dimness than blindness. There is a difference between the two. The dead in sin are blind; the newly-quickened into life are dim. How true is this of the wilderness pilgrim! The breath of the pestilential wind, the thick clouds of the tempest, the hot and burning sand, and the glare of the mid-day sun, all blear and dim the eye. But the hidingplace from the wind, the covert from the tempest, the rivers of water, and the shady rock heal the dimness.

2. "And the ears of them that hear shall hearken." The persons spoken of in the text are not totally deaf, for they "hear." Yet there is a difference between hearing and hearkening — a difference almost analogous to that between the eyes being dim and seeing. To hearken implies faith and obedience. When the pilgrim in the wilderness reaches the hiding-place from the wind, and the covert from the tempest; when he drinks of the rivers of water, and lies under the shadow of the great rock, he not only hears but hearkens — believes, loves, and obeys.

(J. C. Philpot.)

The sandstorms of the desert margin have their counterparts in human history and society. Here also the victories of faith and effort are won painfully, and often, after a little time of security, are overswept by some blighting evil influence. Isaiah himself, St. Paul, Luther, Wesley, are examples of the rock-like men of history, who have withstood the storm, and made the good things of life — faith, hope, and charity — possible to others. Isaiah's bold stand against a disposition and a policy which would have made Israel the plaything of the greater nations around, preserved the national existence and made possible the great revival of religion which took place in the reign of Josiah. St. Paul's protest against the Judaisers saved the infant Church of Christ to be a worldwide faith instead of a feeble sect. Luthers great work of reformation broke one of the strongest currents of history — the dead set of things towards superstition and lifeless formalism. And when in England religious indifference and a cold, heartless scepticism lay on the land like a nightmare, it was the work of Wesley and his helpers which gave a new opportunity to Christian enterprise and fervour. The great value of these lives is not only in their own intrinsic nobleness and beauty; they make space for others. Thousands of hearts pining in secret for the opportunities of service, for the inspirations of faith and courage, gather to them, take shelter in their greatness, and are vitalised and transformed by their personal power.

(W. B. Dalby.)

Who is the rock-like man?

1. He is always a man of great strength of will. A purely natural quality? Yes; but one which is nourished on prayer and striving.

2. Another virtue of the rock-man is moral courage. He dares to do right when right-doing is dangerous, when it carries with it probabilities of loss and suffering.

3. But that which adds the crowning value to the true moral hero is that he is always a man of faith, i.e. the unseen is real to him. He has many ways of realising the unseen, differing according to the age in which he lives, the influences which have moulded him, the manner and form in which the Divine revelation has come to him; but this one thing is of the essence of his life, whether he be a Socrates, a Marcus Aurelius, a St. Bernard, a Dante, or a Martin Luther-that he shall have felt and known that "man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth," that "man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

(W. B. Dalby.)

It was said of one who even as a boy showed the promise of his later years, "it was easy to be good when he came to the school." A man may be a rock to his fellows at school, in the office, in the home life, in the world, wherever his influence falls, a fertilising shelter, a healing shade, an opposing barrier — the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

(W. C. E. Newbolt.)

Once when addressing children upon this text, I asked what word in it proved the sympathy of the Saviour. A boy, in his eagerness forgetting where he was, started to his feet, and, waving his right hand, made the whole church ring with, "A man, a man."

(J. Wells, M. A.)

I was one of five or six who, the other day, under a tree sought shelter from a passing shower. I noticed that, though strangers to one another, we seemed then more friendly than friends usually are. The storm gave us a sense of fellowship as well as of danger. The common deliverance from the common peril, trifling though it was, had power somehow, I thought, to awaken friendly feeling. The least easily suggests the greatest. There is a sad want of love in the world, but brotherly love would reign everywhere, if we only remembered that we are all fellow-travellers through the desert, that the same storms may any moment sweep down upon us, and that we have the same hidingplace in the man Christ Jesus.

(J. Wells, M. A.)

As rivers of water in a dry place.
Homilist.
This chapter is a prophetic photogram of a bright age that awaits this world. The dry places are unregenerated souls — souls scorched with the drought of sin, dusty and leafless, without any vestige of spiritual life or verdure. Without figure — a soul unrenewed by heavenly influence, is, in a moral sense, "a dry place," barren and unfruitful. What is the river that is to run through it, irrigate its barren districts, clothe it with living beauty, and enrich it with fruit? It is Christ's religion. Let the river then stand, not for objective Christianity, but for Christianity in the soul, for experimental godliness; and we have four ideas suggested concerning it.

I. VITALITY. So necessarily do we associate life with a river, that the ancients traced the universe to water as the first principle of all things. Life, in all its forms, follows in profusion the meandering course of rivers. Even all the races of men crowd to their banks and settle on their shores. The Euphrates made Babylon; the Tiber made Rome; and the Thames makes London. Water is life. "Everything shall live whither the river cometh." Religion, which, in one word, is supreme love to God in the soul, is life; it quickens, develops, and brings to fruition all the powers of our spiritual nature.

II. MOTION. The river is not like the torpid pool or the stagnant lake, resting in the quiet of death. It is active, essentially and perpetually active. So with real godliness in the soul. It is in perpetual flow; it keeps all the powers of the soul in action. Thought is ever at work, gathering elements to feed the fire of devotion, and brighten the lamp of duty. The spirit is always abounding in the work of the Lord.

III. EMANANCY. A river is an outflow — it has a fountain-head somewhere. It has no independent existence; there is a force that started it at first and feeds it every hour. A river is an emanation; so is true godliness in the soul.

1. There is a Divine fountain from which it emanates. What is its primal font? The love of God. This fountain lies far back in the awful depths of eternity.

2. There is a Divine channel through which it flows- Christ.

3. There is a Divine agent to let it into the heart. The Spirit of God does this in connection with means.

IV. PROGRESS. In a river there is twofold progress.

1. Progress in its volume. As the river meanders on its way, it grows in bulk by the contributory streams that flow into it. At length it gets force enough to sweep everything before it and to give a character to the district. So with godliness in the soul. Holy currents of thought, sympathy, and purpose, deepen their channels and rise in the strength and majesty of their flow, as years and ages pass on.

2. Progress towards its destination. So with the godly soul. Godward it ever moves.

(Homilist.)

1. Christ relieves His people from their feelings of dissatisfaction, inspired by the vanity of earthly things.

2. Christ may be described as the source of refreshment to His people, in consequence of the comforts He vouchsafes to them amidst the toils and sorrows of their Christian pilgrimage.

(J. B. Patterson, M. A.)

I. As setting forth the benedictions which come to us through the incarnate God, LET US STUDY THE METAPHOR of rivers of water in a dry place. This means —

1. Great excellence of blessing. A river is the fit emblem of very great benefits, for it is of the utmost value to the land through which it flows.

2. Abundance. Jesus is full of grace and truth.

3. Freshness. A pool is the same thing over again, and gradually it becomes a stagnant pond, breeding corrupt life and pestilential gases. A river is always the same, yet never the same; it is ever in its place, yet always moving on. We call our own beautiful river, "Father Thames," yet he wears no furrows on his brows, but leaps in all the freshness of youth.

4. Freeness. We cannot say this of all the rivers on earth, for men generally manage to claim the banks and shores, and the fisheries and water-powers. Yet rivers can scarcely be parcelled out, they refuse to become private property. See how freely the creatures approach the banks.

5. Constancy. Pools and cisterns dry up, but the river's song is —

Men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.So is it with Jesus. The grace to pardon and the power to heal are not a spasmodic force in Him; they abide in Him evermore.

6. The text speaks of "rivers," which implies both variety and unity.

7. Force. Nothing is stronger than a river; it cuts its own way, and will not be hindered in its course.

II. A SPECIAL EXCELLENCE which the text mentions. "Rivers of water in a dry place." In this country we do not value rivers so much because we have springs and wells in all our villages and hamlets; but in the country where Isaiah lived the land is parched and burnt up without rivers. When the man Christ Jesus came hither with blessings from God, He brought rivers into the dry place of our humanity. What a dry place your heart was by nature! Do not many of you find your outward circumstances very dry- places?

III. THE PRACTICAL LESSON from it all.

1. See the goings out of God s heart to man, and man's way of communing with God. Other rivers rise in small springs, and many tributaries combine to swell them, but the river I have been preaching about rises in full force from the throne of God. It is as great a river at its source as in its aftercourse. Whenever you stoop down to drink of the mercy which comes to you by Jesus Christ you are having fellowship with God, for what you drink comes direct from God Himself.

2. See what a misery it is that men should be perishing and dying of soul-thirst when there is this river so near. Millions of men know all about this river, and yet do not drink.

3. Let us learn, if we have any straitness, where it must lie. Our cup is small, but the river is not.

4. Is Christ a river? Then drink of Him, all of you. To be carried along on the surface of Christianity, like a man in a boat, is not enough, you must drink or die.

5. And if you have drunk of this stream, live near it. We read of Isaac, that he dwelt by the well. It is good to live hard by an inexhaustible spring. Commune with Christ, and get nearer to Him each day.

6. If Christ be like a river, let us, like the fishes, live in it.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I always feel very fidgety when theologians begin making calculations about the Lord Jesus. There used to be a very strong contention about particular redemption and general redemption, and though I confess myself to be to the very backbone a believer in Calvinistic doctrine, I never felt at home in such discussions. I can have nothing to .do with calculating the value of the atonement of Christ. Appraisers and valuers are out of place here. Sirs, I would like to see you with your slates and pencils calculating the cubical contents of the Amazon: I would be pleased to see you sitting down and estimating the quantity of fluid in the Ganges, the Indus, and the Orinoco; but when you have done so, and summed up all the rivers of this earth, I will tell you that your task was only fit for schoolboys, and that you are not at the beginning of that arithmetic which can sum up the fulness of Christ, for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. His merit, His power, His love, His grace, surpass all knowledge, and consequently all .estimate.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I took pleasure the other gay in seeing the cattle come to the river to drink. The cows sought out a sloping place, and then stood knee deep in the stream and drank and drank again t I thought of Behemoth, who trusted he could snuff up Jordan at a draught, they drank so heartily, and no one said them nay, or measured out the draught. The dog, as he ran along, lapped eagerly, and no tax was demanded of him. The swan was free to plunge her long neck into the flood, and the swallow to touch the surface with its wing. To ox, and fly, and bird, and fish, and man, the river was alike free. So thou ox of a sinner, with thy great thirst, come and drink; and thou dog of a sinner, who thinkest thyself unworthy even of a drop of grace, yet come and drink. I read near one of our public ponds a notice, "Nobody is allowed to wash dogs here." That is right enough for a pond, but it would be quite needless for a river. In a river the foulest may bathe to his heart's content. The fact of its fulness creates s freeness which none may restrict.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Isaiah's moral ideal is not exhausted in a single picture. The scene is changed, The desert is indeed a "dry place"; but so also is every place in Palestine when the hot season is reaching its close. The whole land is thirsting for the coming rain. The harsh, dry air shimmers over the rocks and dusty roads. The heavens are as brass. Every evening when the red sun sinks below the western horizon one can imagine him sullen and weary. The grass is no longer green, hut of a dull dead brown. In the vineyard the vine leaves hang sapless and limp, or drift wearily to the ground. The figs, the oranges, and the pomegranates have all been gathered; the last flower has withered upon its stem. The reservoirs are rapidly becoming exhausted; the diminished Jordan wanders sluggishly along its southward course; its tributary streams have long since ceased to run. The land is a "dry and thirsty land, where no water is." But by-and-by the watchers on Carmel see the light clouds rising out of the Great Sea. Soon the heavens are overspread, and the first heavy drops begin to fall. The rain comes at length in sheets, in torrents. The water-courses fill as by magic. Kedron, Cherith, Kishon, and Jabbok are now no longer mere names, but "rivers of water in a dry place." The change wrought in a few days is wonderful. The hot earth drinks in the living stream, and gives it out again in life, abundant, exuberant. Everywhere the grass grows green, the fields are carpeted with flowers. Soon the orange trees mingle the silver of their blossoms with the golden glow of their fruitage, and the dark leaves of the oleanders are relieved by the rich red or snowy white of their flowers. The air is clear and the horizon luminous. It is a land of rejoicing now; the song of the birds is heard around, on high, fitting accompaniment to the sounds of happy labour — labour which will soon result in the abundance of vintage and harvest, when Palestine shall literally be "a land flowing with milk and honey."

(W. B. Dalby.)

Where is the life that answers to the comparison, "as rivers of water in a dry place"? Any life which is rich in the softer virtues — unselfishness, gentleness, purity, patience, charity. There are some people whose natures overflow in blessing. To have known them is an education m morals and religion. They are strong: they have will, courage — especially the courage which endures; they have a lofty faith. But these are not the things which most impress you in them. Their sphere, it may be, is a narrow one; their gifts of the quiet, homely order. It is not so much what they say or do, it is what they are, that so penetrates you with a sense of sweetness, graciousness, and charm. They are women with no particular idea that they have a "mission." Or they are men of quiet, self-contained nature, very high-principled, though they never tell you so; of sensitive honour, though they never call attention to the fact. When trouble comes, they meet it calmly; loss and sorrow are to them merely experiences which profit to the increase of their hopefulness. If you make demands upon their patience, upon their self-sacrifice, they are ready to endure hardness, to go all lengths to succour any brother human being broken by the world. Their lives are lovely and pleasant in themselves, fruitful in blessing to others. It is said of the late Clerk Maxwell, the great natural philosopher, that "he made faith in goodness easy to other men." You never heard of him as a public advocate of religion or philanthropy. His life was absorbed in what are called "secular studies," yet the character rang the true note of Christian purity and graciousness. "Rivers of water in a dry place": that is a very affluent description of these quiet lives; but not any too much so, for without them the work of the great moral reformer would be in vain. Each type has its place and power; each is needed for the work of God in the world.

(W. B. Dalby.)

During the Crimean War a bombshell was fired from the fortifications of Sebastopol by the Russians, which buried itself in the earth, and burst on the side of the hill on which the British troops were encamped. Strange to say, immediately from the ragged hole which it made in the ground came out a copious stream of clear, cold water. The shell had tapped a hidden fountain in the dry and thirsty land, and broken the rocky cover which hid it. And thus, in a most extraordinary fashion, the British soldiers, who were complaining of thirst, and had great difficulty in getting water, had their want supplied; and the enemy's shot that was meant for their destruction, proved their salvation. And so the wounds inflicted by your sins upon the Rock of Ages, not only produced a place of safety for you, but also opened up a fountain of refreshment in it. And a Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, is your hiding-place from the wind, and your covert from the tempest — the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, and rivers of water in a dry place.

(H. Macmillan, D. D.)

As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
This is the agreeable truth to be illustrated: that saints may always find comfort in Christ in this wearisome world.

I. THIS WORLD IS WEARISOME TO SAINTS. Their treasure is in heaven, and they are only passing through the world to take possession of it.

1. This is a laborious world. "All things are full of labour." Employment was originally enjoined upon man. But since the apostasy servile labour has become a burden.

2. This is a troublesome world. Trouble attends every stage and condition of life.

3. This is a dark world. What is past, what is present, as well as what is to come, lies involved in darkness. Good men are often weary of conjectures, and despond under the darkness of Divine dispensations.

4. This is a sinful world.

II. WHEN SAINTS ARE WEARY OF THE WORLD THEY MAY FIND COMFORT IN CHRIST. They are then prepared to receive comfort; and Christ is always ready to bestow comfort upon those who are prepared for it. In particular —

1. They may always find compassion in Christ, which is a source of comfort. Christ has gone through the heat and cold, the storms and tempests, the labours and troubles of this world. He knows what it is to be faint and weary. He knows the heart of a pilgrim and stranger. And He has the tenderest compassion for His friends in distress or want.

2. Weary saints may find comfort in the intercession of Christ.

3. When saints are weary of the world, they may always find comfort in the strength of Christ.

4. They may find comfort in the government of Christ. Since Christ has the government of all things in His hands, His people may safely confide in His wisdom, power, and compassion to defend His own cause and repel every weapon formed against it.

5. They may find comfort in the promises of Christ.Improvement —

1. May the friends of Christ always find comfort in Him when they are weary of the world? Hence we may see the reason why He forbids them to be conformed to it, or seek to derive their supreme happiness from it.

2. If those who are weary of the world may find comfort in Christ, then the more they become weary of the world, the better they are prepared to enjoy His promised peace and comfort.

3. If Christians who are weary of the world may always find rest and comfort in Christ, then they may enjoy more happiness than sinners do, even in this life.

4. If saints, when weary of the world, find comfort in Christ, then we may readily believe that those who have lived in the darkest times, met with the greatest troubles, and experienced the severest trials, have often arrived at the greatest degrees of holiness and happiness in the present life.

5. Since all real saints who are weary of the world may always find rest in Christ, they have no reason to murmur and complain under any of the troubles and afflictions in which they are involved.

6. Since all true believers may always find rest in Christ, when they are weary of the world, they have no more reason to be anxious about future, than to be impatient under present, troubles and trials.

7. Since saints may find rest in Christ when they are weary of the world, we may easily account for their being sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker than other men in adversity.

8. Since weak and weary saints may always find rest in Christ, they have a much brighter prospect before them than sinners.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

A traveller, recently returned from Africa, relates that one day, overcome by intense heat, he fell asleep on the baked earth, but on awaking had the sensation of freshness, and found it was caused by the thoughtfulness of his attendants, who were standing around him, receiving upon themselves the fierce glare, and sheltering his recumbent body from the ardent rays of a vertical sun. In truth, the whole world rests in the shadow of Him who stands between us and the consuming fire of outraged law, and in virtue of His interposition a thousand blessings are ours. "A man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind," &c.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

Of Jesus, the believer can truly say that life on this side of Him is very different from life on that.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

The rock and its shadow. Look at it! It is the mingling of all that is most massive and immovable with all that is gentlest and tenderest. The rock going down to the very depths of the solid world, rooted and grounded, it is the very figure of all that is enduring and abiding. Yet its shadow is a thing almost spiritual; noiseless in its fall, it creeps as if it feared to disturb those whom it has lulled to rest, like a mother who fears to stir lest she awaken the little one that she has hushed to sleep. The shadow — is it not the perfection of gentleness?. The breeze whispers of its coming and grows boisterously playful sometimes; but the shadow will not add a burden to the flower bell. The rock and its shadow — it is power and pity. It is the fit emblem of our God and Father. The great Creator of heaven and earth, from everlasting to everlasting He is God — yet how gracious and pitiful is He, how gentle!

(M. G. Pearse.)

O! the weariness felt by us all, of plod, plod, plodding across the sand! That fatal monotony into which every man's life stiffens, as far as outward circumstances, outward joys and pleasures go! the depressing influence of custom which takes the edge off all gladness and adds a burden to every duty! the weariness of all that tugging up the hill, of all that collar-work which we have to do!

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Applying the language of the whole verse to the Lord Jesus Christ, the King in Zion, we are struck with the number of the metaphors. He is not merely a hiding-place, and a covert, and a river, but He is a shadow of a great rock. Yes, if we attempt to set forth our Lord's glories by earthly analogies, we shall need a host of them, for no one can set Him forth to perfection, each one has some deficiency, and even altogether they are insufficient to display all His loveliness. It is very pleasant to see that our Beloved is such a manysided Christ, that from all points of view He is so admirable, and that He is supremely precious in so many different ways, for we have so many and so varied needs, and our circumstances are so continually changing, and the incessant cravings of our spirit are so constantly taking fresh turns.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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