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23May/17Off

《静夜亮光》五月二十三日

五月二十三日

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经文: 你没有用银子为我买菖蒲。(以赛亚书四十三:24)

到圣殿敬拜的人,通常带着有香气的礼物烧在上帝的祭坛上。但是堕落的以色列人,自私地扣减向主的还愿祭物。这事证明了他们的心,向上帝和向祂的殿是何等冷漠。经文中所记载的指责曾否偶尔(若非经常)扎你的心?那些生活贫苦但信心丰富的人,并不因礼物菲薄而减少上帝的悦纳。你是将应献之份给主,或是寡妇的小钱没有投入上帝的库房?有钱的信徒应该感谢上帝托付给他的财富,但也不能忘记他的重大责任,因为多给谁就向谁多取(参阅路十二:48)。你是否明白所必须给主的份,是按你得到的好处而定的?耶稣为我们流血,我们应献何物给祂?我们,并我们所有的都是祂的,因为祂以生命买赎了我们。我们怎能继续按自己的意思去行?给祂更多的供奉、给祂更多的爱吧!赐福的耶稣,世上最昂贵的礼物也不足以回报祢的无比大爱,然而,祢以欣喜接受最小诚意的爱之礼物!祢接受我们微小的勿忘我花,视为无限珍贵,就如孩童带了一束野花呈献给母亲一般。但愿我们永不对祢吝啬。从此时开始,希望我们不再因拒绝向祢献上爱的礼而听到祢的怨言。

Evening, May 23
Scripture: “Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money.”(Isaiah 43:24)

Worshippers at the temple were wont to bring presents of sweet perfumes to be burned upon the altar of God: but Israel, in the time of her backsliding, became ungenerous, and made but few votive offerings to her Lord: this was an evidence of coldness of heart towards God and his house. Reader, does this never occur with you? Might not the complaint of the text be occasionally, if not frequently, brought against you? Those who are poor in pocket, if rich in faith, will be accepted none the less because their gifts are small; but, poor reader, do you give in fair proportion to the Lord, or is the widow's mite kept back from the sacred treasury? The rich believer should be thankful for the talent entrusted to him, but should not forget his large responsibility, for where much is given much will be required; but, rich reader, are you mindful of your obligations, and rendering to the Lord according to the benefit received? Jesus gave his blood for us, what shall we give to him? We are his, and all that we have, for he has purchased us unto himself -can we act as if we were our own? O for more consecration! and to this end, O for more love! Blessed Jesus, how good it is of thee to accept our sweet cane bought with money! nothing is too costly as a tribute to thine unrivalled love, and yet thou dost receive with favour the smallest sincere token of affection! Thou dost receive our poor forget-me-nots and love-tokens as though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its mother. Never may we grow niggardly towards thee, and from this hour never may we hear thee complain of us again for withholding the gifts of our love. We will give thee the first fruits of our increase, and pay thee tithes of all, and then we will confess “of thine own have we given thee.”

22May/17Off

《静夜亮光》五月二十二日

五月二十二日

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经文: 我的良人哪,祢甚美丽可爱。(雅歌一:16)

从任何一个角度来看,我们的至爱是最美丽的。我们从山顶仰视祂,祂如太阳,以热力照射我们。我们也从有狮子的洞,从有豹子的山观看祂(雅四:8)。即使在该处,祂也没有失去任何可爱之处。从病塌至坟墓边缘,我们以眼目追随心中的良人。祂永远是“美丽可爱的”。许多圣徒从地牢的幽暗中、从火刑柱的熊熊火焰中仰望祂。他们不曾说出一句关于祂的恶言,反倒愿意为了极口颂扬祂超越一切的伟大而死。能永远注视我们美丽的主耶稣是何等的尊荣和喜乐啊!能从各方面观看救主,并发现祂与世上任何事物无与匹配,其喜乐是难以言喻的。就好像我们转动万花筒,发现祂性格中绝世恩典的新组合。在马槽中或在永恒中,在十字架上或在祂的宝座上,在花园内或在祂的国度内,在强盗之间或在基拉冰之间,在任何处所,祂是“完完全全可爱”的。请细察祂生活中的每一行动和祂本性中的每一特点,在祂之中充满了各样良善。在岁月的运转中,祂隐藏之荣耀将以更大的光辉照射,祂可爱将使所有属天的心充满狂喜的欢乐。

Evening, May 22
Scripture: “Behold, thou art fair, my Beloved.”(Song of Solomon 1:16)

From every point our Well-beloved is most fair. Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus; how amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and he has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen him also “from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards,” and he has lost none of his loveliness. From the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, have we turned our eyes to our soul's spouse, and he has never been otherwise than “all fair.” Many of his saints have looked upon him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word of him, but have died extolling his surpassing charms. Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be for ever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus! Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Saviour in all his offices, and to perceive him matchless in each?-to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of peerless graces? In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on his throne, in the garden and in his kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, he is everywhere “altogether lovely.” Examine carefully every little act of his life, and every trait of his character, and he is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh him as you please, and he will not be found wanting. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, his hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendour, and his unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds.

21May/17Off

《静夜亮光》五月二十一日

五月二十一日

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经文: 埃及有粮。(创世记四十二:2)

饥荒紧紧扼住整个国家。雅各和他的家人,似乎也不可避免地因饥荒而遭受严重苦难。但是供应人的上帝绝不会忘记祂所爱的百姓,祂为他们贮备了一个粮仓。雅各虽然没有期望从埃及获得帮助,但是那里却有为他贮存之粮。信徒啊,虽然看来所有事情皆与你为敌,但是你可以安心,相信上帝会为你的缘故供应你。在你的忧伤之中,有一使你得救的恩典。祂将以某种方法搭救你,也将在某处供应你。你的拯救可能来自一个非常意外的地方,但是帮助一定会来到。即使人不喂养你,乌鸦会。即使地上不产麦子,天上会降下吗哪。因此,不要丧胆,安息在主里面吧。上帝若喜悦,太阳可以从西边升起。祂能使焦虑的源头成为喜乐的管道。埃及的粮食完全控制在约瑟的手中。同样的,最丰富的祝福也握在我们主耶稣的绝对权柄中。祂会随己意分配给祂的百姓。耶稣对祂弟兄的信实关怀是永不停止的。祷告能将我们带至最尊贵兄弟的面前。一旦到达祂的宝座前,我们只要求就必得着。主啊!饶恕我们的不信。今晚,领我们来支取祢的丰盛,并接受祢的恩典。

Evening, May 21
Scripture: “There is corn in Egypt.”(Genesis 42:2)

Famine pinched all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that Jacob and his family should suffer great want; but the God of providence, who never forgets the objects of electing love, had stored a granary for his people by giving the Egyptians warning of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of the years of plenty. Little did Jacob expect deliverance from Egypt, but there was the corn in store for him. Believer, though all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God has made a reservation on thy behalf; in the roll of thy griefs there is a saving clause. Somehow he will deliver thee, and somewhere he will provide for thee. The quarter from which thy rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will assuredly come in thine extremity, and thou shalt magnify the name of the Lord. If men do not feed thee, ravens shall; and if earth yield not wheat, heaven shall drop with manna. Therefore be of good courage, and rest quietly in the Lord. God can make the sun rise in the west if he pleases, and make the source of distress the channel of delight. The corn in Egypt was all in the hands of the beloved Joseph; he opened or closed the granaries at will. And so the riches of providence are all in the absolute power of our Lord Jesus, who will dispense them liberally to his people. Joseph was abundantly ready to succour his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in his faithful care for his brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is provided for us: we must not sit still in despondency, but bestir ourselves. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence of our royal Brother: once before his throne we have only to ask and have: his stores are not exhausted; there is corn still: his heart is not hard, he will give the corn to us. Lord, forgive our unbelief, and this evening constrain us to draw largely from thy fulness and receive grace for grace.

20May/17Off

《静夜亮光》五月二十日

五月二十日

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经文: 我用慈绳爱索牵引他们。(何西何书十一:4)

我们天上的父常以慈爱的绳索牵引我们,但是我们却迟疑不敢奔向祂!对祂温柔的推动,我们的反应是何其缓慢!祂吸引我们来操练对祂存更简单的信心。我们像马大一段,不将属世的烦恼交给上帝,而背着重担去事奉祂。贫乏的信心使我们的灵魂变为瘦弱。虽然上帝应许过要大大充满我们,我们却不肯大大张口(参阅诗八十一:10)。今晚,祂要吸引我们到祂自己那里。我们能听到祂说:“孩子,来吧,相信我。幔子已经撕裂,进到我里面来,大胆来到我的施恩座前。我值得你完全信任。将你忧虑之尘抖下,穿上喜乐的美衣吧。”
父上帝也吸引我们与祂有更亲密的相交。我们已经坐在上帝的家门口了。祂邀请我们进入筵席大厅与祂一同坐席。但是我们拒绝这荣誉。有一些密室尚未向我们开启,耶稣呼唤我们进入,我们却后退。我们是甜美之主耶稣的可怜爱人,不配作祂的仆人,更不配作祂的新妇。然而,祂将我们升高,成为祂骨中之骨、肉中之肉。我们藉荣耀之婚约与祂成婚。这是真爱,也是不被拒绝之爱!我们真是愚笨的孩子,竟然拒绝祂的慈绳爱索!

Evening, May 20
Scripture: “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.”(Hosea 11:4)

Our heavenly Father often draws us with the cords of love; but ah! how backward we are to run towards him! How slowly do we respond to his gentle impulses! He draws us to exercise a more simple faith in him; but we have not yet attained to Abraham's confidence; we do not leave our worldly cares with God, but, like Martha, we cumber ourselves with much serving. Our meagre faith brings leanness into our souls; we do not open our mouths wide, though God has promised to fill them. Does he not this evening draw us to trust him? Can we not hear him say, “Come, my child, and trust me. The veil is rent; enter into my presence, and approach boldly to the throne of my grace. I am worthy of thy fullest confidence, cast thy cares on me. Shake thyself from the dust of thy cares, and put on thy beautiful garments of joy.” But, alas! though called with tones of love to the blessed exercise of this comforting grace, we will not come. At another time he draws us to closer communion with himself. We have been sitting on the doorstep of God's house, and he bids us advance into the banqueting hall and sup with him, but we decline the honour. There are secret rooms not yet opened to us; Jesus invites us to enter them, but we hold back. Shame on our cold hearts! We are but poor lovers of our sweet Lord Jesus, not fit to be his servants, much less to be his brides, and yet he hath exalted us to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, married to him by a glorious marriage-covenant. Herein is love! But it is love which takes no denial. If we obey not the gentle drawings of his love, he will send affliction to drive us into closer intimacy with himself. Have us nearer he will. What foolish children we are to refuse those bands of love, and so bring upon our backs that scourge of small cords, which Jesus knows how to use!

19May/17Off

《静夜亮光》五月十九日

五月十九日

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经文: 就坐在那里求死。(列王纪上十九:4)

这是一个很特别的祷告,祷告的人却永远没有死。以利亚后来被火车火马带上天去了。但在此时此刻,他走到绝望的境地,以致他求上帝说:“求祢取我的生命,因为我不胜于我的列祖。”虽然上帝总会回答我们的祈求,但常常不是恰如我们所求的。上帝真的听以利亚的祷告,并回答了他,但祂赐的是胜过他所求的。这位有狮子般勇猛之心的以利亚,居然被耶洗别的恐吓压倒,以致求死,这事似乎有点奇怪。我们的天父实在仁慈,祂没有接受失去勇气之仆人的祈求。在信心祈祷的教导中有一个限制,就是我们不能期盼上帝应允我们每个祈求。我们必须明白有时求了却得不着,是因为求错了(参阅雅四:3)。我们可能求一些上帝没有应许的事,或者所求的有违于上帝要我们培养的精神。有时所求是违背祂的旨意或与祂的命令背道而驰。或者我们所求只为满足自己的方便,而不考虑到上帝的荣耀。在这些情况中,我们不能期所求的能成就。若我们以不动摇之信心祈求,却仍不能得到恰如所求的,必会得到更多。有人说:“主若不给你银子,祂要给你金子;祂若不给你金子,就要给你钻石。”祂若不给你所求的,就要给你其他同等或更好的东西。

Evening, May 19
Scripture: “And he requested for himself that he might die.”(1 Kings 19:4)

It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, for whom God had ordained an infinitely better lot, the man who should be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and be translated, that he should not see death-should thus pray, “Let me die, I am no better than my fathers.” We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though he always does in effect. He gave Elias something better than that which he asked for, and thus really heard and answered him. Strange was it that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Jezebel's threat as to ask to die, and blessedly kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father that he did not take his desponding servant at his word. There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith. We are not to expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss. If we ask for that which is not promised-if we run counter to the spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate-if we ask contrary to his will, or to the decrees of his providence-if we ask merely for the gratification of our own ease, and without an eye to his glory, we must not expect that we shall receive. Yet, when we ask in faith, nothing doubting, if we receive not the precise thing asked for, we shall receive an equivalent, and more than an equivalent, for it. As one remarks, “If the Lord does not pay in silver, he will in gold; and if he does not pay in gold, he will in diamonds.” If he does not give you precisely what you ask for, he will give you that which is tantamount to it, and that which you will greatly rejoice to receive in lieu thereof. Be then, dear reader, much in prayer, and make this evening a season of earnest intercession, but take heed what you ask.

18May/17Off

《静夜亮光》五月十八日

五月十八日

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经文: 后来。(希伯来书十二:11)

经磨炼以后的基督徒是何等快乐啊!暴风雨以后的宁静是多么深沉!谁不会为雨后闪烁的阳光欢呼?攀登上艰难山以后,我们坐在树荫下憩息。经过谦卑谷的旅行和与黑暗之子争战以后,发光者出现了,手持生命树的医治枝子。我们的忧伤像在海上通过的船,在海面上留下圣洁的银线,那是“以后”的事。在一度统治我们之罪恶心灵的可怕混乱之后,接续而来的是甜美深沉之平安。基督徒最后必获得上好的东西。即使在最糟之事“后面”仍有美好之事,如同艰辛的耕犁产生喜乐的丰收。甚至现在,他也能因损失而致富、因跌倒而爬起、因死亡而得生、因倒空自己而变为丰盛。在今生中,他忧伤的痛苦带来许多平安的果子,“以后”在天国中,喜乐将是何等之多?若在地牢中他能歌唱,在天国中他的歌声将是何等甜美!若现在他能视困难为好事,到那时,上帝涌流的仁慈对他是何等美好!谁不愿意为以后将得之冠冕去背负目前的十字架呢?但是我们需要忍耐。因为今日尚不能休息,得胜也不在眼前,在“以后”。等待吧,让忍耐作成其功。

Evening, May 18
Scripture: “Afterward.”(Hebrews 12:11)

How happy are tried Christians, afterwards. No calm more deep than that which succeeds a storm. Who has not rejoiced in clear shinings after rain? Victorious banquets are for well-exercised soldiers. After killing the lion we eat the honey; after climbing the Hill Difficulty, we sit down in the arbour to rest; after traversing the Valley of Humiliation, after fighting with Apollyon, the shining one appears, with the healing branch from the tree of life. Our sorrows, like the passing keels of the vessels upon the sea, leave a silver line of holy light behind them “afterwards.” It is peace, sweet, deep peace, which follows the horrible turmoil which once reigned in our tormented, guilty souls. See, then, the happy estate of a Christian! He has his best things last, and he therefore in this world receives his worst things first. But even his worst things are “afterward” good things, harsh ploughings yielding joyful harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he lives by dying, and becomes full by being emptied; if, then, his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life, what shall be the full vintage of joy “afterwards” in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world's days, what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven! If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how will he extol him before the eternal throne! If evil be good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then? Oh, blessed “afterward!” Who would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which cometh afterwards? But herein is work for patience, for the rest is not for to-day, nor the triumph for the present, but “afterward.” Wait, O soul, and let patience have her perfect work.