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justice and truth, full of care and watchfulness, full of love and pity, full of tenderness and understanding; a friend, a guide, a counsellor, a comforter, a Saviour to all who trust in him. He is nearer to us than nature and science: and he should be dearer to us; for they speak only to our understanding : but he speaks to our human hearts, to our inmost spirits. Nature and science cannot take away our sins, give peace to our hearts, right judgment to our minds, strength to our wills, or everlasting life to our souls and bodies. But there sits one upon the throne who can. And if nature were to vanish away, and science were to be proved (however correct as far as it went) a mere child's guess about this wonderful world, which none can understand save He who made it—if all the counsels of princes and of peoples, however just and wise, were to be confounded and come to nought, still after all, and beyond all, and above all, Christ would abide for ever, with human tenderness yearning over human hearts; with human wisdom teaching human ignorance; with human sympathy sorrowing with human
mourners; for ever saying, 'Come unto me, ye
that are weary and heavy laden, and I will 'give you rest.'
Cherubim and seraphim, angels and archangels, dominions and powers, whether of nature or of grace these all serve him and do his work. He has constituted their services in a wonderful order: but he has not taken their nature on him. Our nature he has taken on him, that we might be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh; able to say to him for ever, in all the chances and changes of this mortal life
* Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in thee I find ;
Heal me, sick; and lead me, blind.
Freely let me drink of thee;
Rise to all eternity.'
RUTH II. 4.
And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the
reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee.
M OST of you, know the story of Ruth,
1 from which my text is taken, and you have thought it, no doubt, a pretty story. But did you ever think why it was in the Bible ?
Every book in the Bible is meant to teach us, as the Article of our Church says, something necessary to salvation. But what is there necessary to our salvation in the Book of Ruth?
No doubt we learn from it that Ruth was the ancestress of King David; and that she was therefore an ancestress of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ : but curious and interesting as that is, we can hardly call that something necessary to salvation. There must be something more in the book. Let us take it simply as it stands, and see if we can find it out.
It begins by telling us how a man of Bethlehem has been driven out of his own country by a famine, he and his wife Naomi and his two sons, and has gone over the border into Moab, among the heathen; how his two sons have married heathen women, and the name of the one was Ruth, and the name of the other Orpah. Then how he dies, and his two sons; and how Naomi, his widow, hears that the Lord had visited his people, in giving them bread; how the people of Judah were prosperous again, and she is there all alone among the heathen; so she sets out to go back to her own people, and her daughters-in-law go with her.
But she persuades them not to go. Why do they not stay in their own land ? And they weep over each other; and Orpah kisses her mother-in-law and goes back; but Ruth cleaves unto her. · Then follows that famous speech of Ruth's, which for its simple beauty and poetry has become a proverb, and even a song, among us to this day. :
And Ruth said, 'Intreat me not to leave "thee, or to return from following after thee: * for whither thou goest, I will go; and where 'thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be 'my people, and thy God my God:
· Where thou diest, will I die, and there will 'I be buried : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.'
So when she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go to her, she left speaking to her..
And they come to Bethlehem, and all the town was moved about them; and they said, Is this Naomi ?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, "call me Mara : for the Almighty hath dealt 'very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the " Lord hath brought me home again empty : why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord