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consider my wants and my health and my comfort, and my very feelings. I am not forgotten by Thee, and I never shall be.
And if I am remembered by my God and Father, and He is caring for me, what more can I want ? Must not all be well with me ? This little relapse, He can restore me from it; and if it should make me feel my dependence on Him more than ever, then it will prove one of His blessings to me. I will not be disappointed or cast down. I will thank the Lord for all his dealings. I will hope in the Lord through all.
When the woman of Canaan (Matt. xv.) cried to our Lord for mercy, and at first He answered her not a word, and when He did speak spoke in such a way as to dash to the ground all her hopes, she did but come nearer to Him and plead more humbly and earnestly; and then what did He say ? "O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee me ! For this very discouragement, I draw nearer to Thee; and because Thou hast been pleased to send me this check, I plead more earnestly for Thy mercy. I am not worthy to gather up the crumbs; yet bless me, help me, comfort me, for my Saviour's sake!
as thou wilt.' The same gracious Saviour is mine, and He bids me draw near to the Father by Him. O Father, for Thy dear Son's sake, hear me and help
THE HILLS ABOUT JERUSALEM
« The hills stand about Jerusalem: even so standeth the
Lord round about His people, from this time forth for evermore.”—Psalm cxxv. 2; P. B. version.
DAVID, or whoever was the author of this psalm, probably composed it at Jerusalem. He looked from his window, or from the house-top, and had the hills in full view. On the east was the Mount of Olives, on the south the hill of Evil Counsel, on the west a more gentle slope, on the north a ridge connected with the Mount of Olives. All were near, not above a mile or two distant, and together they almost surrounded the city.
They formed a beautiful prospect; but more than that, they were a great defence.
In modern warfare, they might possibly form a danger; but in ancient times they were out
works of defence, keeping an enemy at a distance, and placing a difficulty in his way.
This is a striking figure: “Even so standeth the Lord round about His people.” He is near them. He is on every side of them. He is a Defence to them, keeping their enemies from them, but far more effectually than the hills kept the enemy from Jerusalem.
Lord, help me to believe this! Help me to live in the faith that Thou dost compass me round as my Defence! What can the enemy do against me, if Thou dost stand between me and him? Thou dost interpose thyself; Thou wilt keep him off; thou wilt make me to be safe, and to feel safe.
What is more constant and stable, more unmoving and unchanging, than the hills ? “The everlasting hills," they are called; and " the strong mountains.” Cities may perish; but the hills remain; man's works may decay and come to nothing, yet the mountains keep their place. But the Lord is stronger and more enduring than the hills. He made them; and the Maker is mightier than the mightiest of His works. Frosts may crumble
the rocks, a landslip may destroy the very city or village it seemed to protect, an earthquake may shake the foundations of the hills ; but the Lord abides still, changeless and immovable, the Rock of ages. And this defence is mine! The Lord himself is my Keeper. He stands round about His people, He surrounds me with His defence. Let me not fear!
Jerusalem and its hills surrounding formed a beautiful prospect. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the city of the great King." Often did the people of Jerusalem look abroad on their hills, and feast their eyes with the view. I have no such pleasure; no beautiful view meets my eyes, I cannot even get to the window, and, if I could, my view would not be one of beauty; I am shut out from beauty of that sort. But not from all beauty, not from all that can please. The hills about Jerusalem were but a figure to represent what is far better. If I can see my Lord by faith, if I can feast my soul upon thoughts of Him, if I can realize His nearness,