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me as Thou seest best. If Thou wert on earth, I would go to Thee for healing; now that Thou art in Thy glory, still I come to Thee and lay myself before Thee. Thou knowest more than I know. I know how long I have lain in this case; Thou too knowest that, but Thou knowest more ; Thou knowest why I have been kept lying here so long, and what the evil was that had to be rooted out, and what the good was that my Father would do to me. Is it done? Has the chastisement been effectual ? Is the evil subdued by grace ? Has the good been fully wrought in me by the Spirit ? If so, wilt Thou be gracious to me, and speak the word, and heal me, and let me go forth to serve Thee ?
If not, if the work of grace be going on but yet not done, then, Lord, I dare say but this: “Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live, and keep Thy word. Deal with Thy servant according unto Thy mercy, and teach me Thy statutes. Perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands."
“A FEEBLE FOLK.”
“ The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their
houses in the rocks.”—Prov. xxx. 26.
CONEY is the old English name for the rabbit; but the conies of Scripture are not the same as our rabbits. They are about the same size, and even more timid and defenceless, but they are quite different animals. The coney of Scripture is the hyrax. It is still found, though rarely, in the rocks of the Holy Land, especially in those of Sinai.
“ The conies are but a feeble folk," small and weak and timid; yet God has given them instinct. They are among the “four things -mentioned by Solomon—" which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise.". They know their helplessness against their many enemies—the leopard, the eagle, and
others—and so make their dwellings where their enemies cannot reach them, in the chinks and clefts of rocks.
Not only has God given them this instinct for their own preservation, but, in His pity for His little helpless creatures, He has cleft the rocks for them to hide in. Among His gracious works for the good of His creatures for which the Psalmist calls on his soul to bless the Lord (Psalm civ.), we find the rocky homes of the conies mentioned: “the high hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the conies" (ver. 18).
. I too am among the “ feeble folk.” I am weak and helpless, with no power of my own to resist my spiritual enemies, or to bear up against illness and trouble and depression. Let me learn a lesson from this " feeble folk,” the conies, who find safety by making their houses in the rocks.
There is a Rock for me also, a better Rock than theirs, the Rock of Ages, the Lord Himself. David knew this Rock well. 66 Unto Thee will I cry,” he says in one psalm, “O Lord, my Rock;” in another, , “Bow down Thine ear to me; deliver me speedily; be Thou my strong Rock, for a house of defence to save me. For Thou art my Rock and my Fortress;” and again in another, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.'
All these words of David show a deep sense of helplessness; and that is what I also feel. He wanted a help and defence outside himself; and so do I. He felt himself feeble; and I am feeble; O Lord, Thou knowest how feeble
I cry to Thee, O my God. Thou art higher than I am, Thou art high above all weakness and want, with Thee there is safety and peace : lead me to Thee as my Rock, help me to rise to Thee, and to take refuge in Thee. My heart is overwhelmed ; I feel far away from all human help and comfort, as though in “ the ends of the earth :" but from thence, O my God and Father, I cry unto Thee. Bow down Thine ear to me, be Thou my Rock, my house of defence. Often hast Thou been a shelter to me; oh, be so now again ; be now my Rock of defence, my strong tower; not only against outward troubles, but against inward troubles—fears, apprehensions, misgivings, despondency and gloom—against the whispers of unbelief, against the assaults of Satan.
It is in the clefts of the rocks that the conies make their dwelling; the chinks and crannies,
: the narrow and secret places, where they cannot be reached : the hymn comes to my mind
“Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!” The Rock of ages cleft means the Lord, the Son of God, slain for me. I would take refuge in Him. To that cleft Rock would I flee, and hide myself there from guilt and trouble, from danger and fear. O
my Saviour, I am feeble indeed; but in Thee is perfect safety, peace, and strength. I look to Thee, I flee to Thee, I cast myself upon Thee, I take refuge in Thee. Oh, receive me, shelter me, grant me to abide in Thee.