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Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker
Ezekiel 47

 

 

Verses 1-23

Curious Things In Life

Ezekiel 47

This chapter is a chapter of measurement. Everything is meted out, as it were, by so many cubits and inches. So we read, "he measured," "again he measured," and "again he measured," and in the fifth verse, "afterward he measured." It was a man who represented God. Thus the Lord shows us how everything is measured out. There is so much, and there is no more. You may measure it over and over again, sometimes with suspicion and unbelief, but it all comes to the same total. Everything is staked out, marked down, appointed. The voice is very dogmatic:—"This is the north side" ( Ezekiel 47:17); "This is the east side" ( Ezekiel 47:18); "This is the south side" ( Ezekiel 47:19); "This is the west side" ( Ezekiel 47:20). "So shall ye divide." Everything is done for us in grand totals. Within the main boundaries we do a great deal of detail, and so foolish are we and so easily imposed upon that sometimes we think we fix the main boundaries themselves. If we could but know that everything—birth, death, riches, poverty—is marked out, and that we live within positive bounds, we might make a great deal more of our strength, and we might spend to greater advantage the solicitudes which are now wasted upon impossibilities. Am I a whale, that thou hast set a watch over me? Am I a sea, that thou hast written round about my foaming billows, Hitherto, but no further? We see this illustrated every day, and yet every day we doubt it or deny it, and the day following we go out as if we had learned nothing. We have added some lamps to the thoroughfares, but we have not extended the horizon one ten thousandth part of an inch in all the ages of human history. No, we are committed to detailed work, comparatively small interior work, but with the four points and the great outline of history we have simply nothing to do. God is the Measurer, and all things are meted out. What, then, is the suggestion of wisdom? Surely it Isaiah , Lord, teach me where I am bounded, and how I am limited, and help me with patience and eager expectancy to do my little day"s work with all industriousness and heart-loyalty, knowing that that servant shall be blessed who shall be found working steadily at his humble lot whenever his Lord cometh. By following out this doctrine of measurement we shall get rid of a great deal of fret and worry and excitement, and we shall be able to welcome weird-looking guests into the house, and say, For God"s sake you are welcome, though we do not know you, and we do not like you at first; the Lord sent you this way; and presently that weird face will become beauteous as the face of a child-angel.

How curious is life, and from certain points how utterly unmanageable I From other points of view, how beauteous is life, how well-proportioned, and how easily handled if we would only keep our own hands off it, and let God do what he will! Look at your own industry and endeavour in the market-place, and in all the pursuits of business. What a curious law it is that in order to do a few things we must do many. In order to get six people to read what you have written you must probably address six thousand persons. If you knew beforehand the six who would read you would send direct intimation to them; and there would be an end of your trouble and expense; but you do not know them, and so to get at the six you must address the six thousand. There must be some moral and educational intent in all this; we must be illustrating some great doctrine or policy of Heaven. It is God"s own way; even the Lord, if we may say so reverently, is put to this selfsame trouble. He preaches the gospel to the whole world, and probably only one man replies. Here are mysteries we cannot solve; we can touch them at their remotest points, but on their innermost meaning we cannot dwell with ease, for we cannot comprehend the unspeakable and illimitable significance This one thing we know, that all tends in an educational direction. The things you do without any positive or profitable result are really profitable to you in another way. Your disappointments are your educators, as well as your satisfactions. You are taught patience, your ambition is limited if not rebuked; you say again and again, We must do a thousand things by way of endeavour in order to accomplish half a dozen things by way of positive and literal success. It is better that man is not omniscient; he would soon lose his omniscience, he would become proud of it. We cannot have one divine attribute only; we must have such a combination and interrelation of attributes as shall keep a balance, so that no man shall be top heavy, no man shall be overborne with one attribute that puts all his other attributes and features to shame. In unity is rest, in harmony is real progress. So we must be balanced on this side and on that; the thousand must be measured out. If there be a thousand and one, and a thousand, there will be loss of equipoise, and all such loss means unsteadiness, uncertainty, dissatisfaction. What money you could have saved if you had known how to go immediately and directly to the persons who wanted you! But you had to go up and down the world soliciting, trying, asking, appealing, wondering, and after many a snub and many a sneer and many a contempt meant to be cruel you did here and there light upon one who said, We have been waiting for you, we give you welcome. Why were you sent to all the inhospitable doors? To be taught, to be humbled, to be refined by chastening.

What a curious thing it is that though we know that only one can find the prize yet we all go out to seek for it! We are accustomed to the illustration of a treasure being lost in the darkness and on the broad thoroughfare. A thousand men get to know that a purse has been lost. It was only a purse, only one individual could find it and take it, and yet all the thousand are looking round and groping about for it. Do you not know that only one person can get that? You know it, but something says to you, Perhaps you are the one person. Could we just have that amount of faith in the Christian Church we should have a revival of godliness. Here is salvation; let us suppose that only one man can get it: who knows who that one man is? "Strive to enter in at the strait gate." Even suppose we knew that only one man in all the congregation could realise the Saviour"s presence, and all the advantages of the Saviour"s Cross, so long as we did not know who that one man was, should we not arise and strive mightily and cry loudly? Then who knows how human passion, the excited, ennobled pathos of the soul, might even move God himself to some unheard-of benevolence?

What is the meaning of all this? Even such apparently trifling circumstances as the possible finding of lost treasure should teach us some religious lesson. What if the Lord should say at last, when we say, "Master, we understood that many were called, but few were chosen; we understood that a certain number of persons were elect, and that the number could not be increased,"—what if he should say to us, "How do you know that you were excluded? and if you did not know that you were excluded, why did you not search and strive and try mightily? You were the man I saw seeking for the lost purse: thou wicked and slothful servant, out of thine own mouth I condemn thee." We had better seek and strive and work and pray vehemently and wait patiently, for, who can tell, it may be the meanest of us that is elected to some princedom in heaven. Never was earnestness disappointed, never did earnestness find the door shut. The earnest, the vehement in heart take the kingdom of heaven by force. God is willing, so to say, to be stormed by a besieging heart. It may be you might succeed; you cannot be sure that you are excluded even if we admit the doctrine of election in its most literal and even cruel form; unless you have a writing from heaven signed by God, who says, "You are excluded from my love," you ought to try: and no man tries in vain who tries with his whole heart.

A still more extraordinary thing is this, and curious in its way, that although we know we may at any moment die our plans are laid as if we were going to live for ever. That, I repeat, is a circumstance so extraordinary as to be charged with religious suggestiveness. Ask any man how long he will live, and he will tell you he does not know. Ask him if he may this very day die, and he will say, Certainly, this very day I may cease to live upon the earth. Now examine his plans—his plans of business, his plans of home, his plans of education—and you will not find one of them limited to the day. And the most curious part of it is that the man cannot help it. He could not be bound by the sunrising and the sunsetting. He will tell you plaintively that he may never live to see the sunset, yet his whole life is set in plans that shall endure for years and ages. Why build this fine house? You may never live to see the roof put on. The man cannot help building it; that is not in his disposal. He was told to build it, and build it he must. If he had been told in plain terms, he might have resented the commandment, but there are many ways of telling men what to do without speaking the commandment in so many cold and measurable words: there is a pressure that is not speech. Can we for a moment imagine that there is nothing religiously suggestive in this action? Do we not contradict our own atheism and our own theories of annihilation by it? On paper we write ourselves down as annihilationists; we die like dogs, and there is an end of us. We do not live like dogs—how strange that in the hour and article of death our whole nature should be transformed, and that we who were men planning for immortality are content to go into the kennel and sigh out our last breath and be lost! It cannot be. There is something within the heart that says, No, this is not right; there may be mystery about it, and there may be perversion about it, but we are not the creatures of a day: so far as the body is concerned, we may go any moment, and yet even the body says, Work for tomorrow; build for posterity; write for the unborn ages; breathe out your poetry; if it be not understood now there shall come up a generation by-and-by that shall say no such singer ever charmed its imagination or delighted its heart. Yet we say posterity has done nothing for us. Why, it is posterity that inspires us.

We are not so much indebted to our ancestors as we are to the unborn ages. We feel they are coming, we are their housekeeper, we are preparing for them; we are saying, not in words, but in actions, The unborn must be prepared for—they must not come like starvelings into the world, we must get ready for them; we must get the library, and the fire, and all the house appointments duly arranged to receive the oncoming ages. Yet there are fools that tell us that they will do nothing for posterity because posterity has done nothing for them—a blank, palpable, absurd fallacy. The present is drawn upon by the future. I have no doubt about the immortality of man. Man now is immortal every day he lives; that is to say, he is immortal by some sign of his thought or action or plan or purpose. He never says, To-night at six o"clock I may be a dead Prayer of Manasseh , therefore I will draw my lines accordingly. He says, To-night at six o"clock I may be a dead Prayer of Manasseh , but the world will not be dead; the individual may go, but the race will remain; man dies, but humanity abides; and my last Acts , if it be my last Acts , upon earth, shall be an act of generous contribution to the progress of the total world. Do not stifle these voices. You need not give them any theological accent of any narrow or sectarian kind, yet you should not neglect their broadest moral suggestions. Instead of trying to make things less you should endeavour to make things greater; and in this spirit you will find that everything in life suggests the larger life. For that larger life, O my soul, prepare thyself. Such preparation comes by industry of every kind. In all labour there is profit. Even in the things you have done without result you have found some advantage to the soul if you have laboured faithfully. And as for that larger life, we know not what it Isaiah , it is enough to know meantime that it is larger. God is always enlarging and ennobling the outlook of man.

We might also notice as a curious thing in all this measurement, that when we have done our best there comes a point when we must simply leave results. We cannot follow our own labour beyond a certain point. The agriculturist has done what he can in the field; now, he says, I must wait. Can you not be more active in the field? No. Why do you not go into this ploughed and sown field every day and do something to show your activity? He says, I cannot, I must wait, I cannot hasten the sun or the processes of nature. So with the training of your children; all you can do is to show them a noble example. You can be chivalrous in the midst of your family, you can give them the best education in your power, you can encourage all that is good and beautiful in their nature, and then you must wait. You may have heartache, heartbreak, sorrow upon sorrow, tears may be your meat night and day, whilst you are continually mocked by the very presences that ought to have been your bodyguard and your loyalest allies and helpers in life; but having done a certain amount of work you simply now must wait, leave it, read the writing, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further. And so with business. You can apparently be driving your business with tremendous energy which ends in nothing. Really a quiet industry may often do more than a vehement impotence. You can be industrious, faithful, honourable, generous, and having done all you can, not as an atheist, but as a believer in God, you must say, Now, Lord, the harvest is in thine hands: I have done what I can in my poor little field; thou knowest that I have spared no energy and no thought: now let the harvest be as thou wilt; if I come back in the autumn and find this field sterile, the day of harvest a day of sorrow, help me to say, Thy will be done: I will leave it all now; I have tried to be a faithful and honest servant; and then if the harvest be golden, abundant, and far beyond the resources of our accommodation, to God"s name be the praise; he always surprises us by the infinity, the boundlessness of his gifts. If tor a moment he disappoint us, and we say, "There is nothing," he comes and says, "For a small moment I have forsaken thee; I put all the field back that thou mightest learn how to pray some deeper, tenderer prayer; thou hast done it well, poor chastised soul: now with everlasting mercies will I gather thee." The disappointments are momentary, they act as foils to the eternal radiance of love.

There must be a point of trust in our life. We find it in business, we find it in investment, we find it in friendship. There comes a point when all we can do is to confide: and if we be disappointed in consequence of treachery, remember it is better to be wronged than to wrong; it is better to be betrayed than to be the betrayer. You act the gentleman, let others do what they may; you act the Christian, and let us in the sum-total of things find out who was right and who was wrong. Then consider that life is a plan. It is not a cloud; it could be more perfectly illustrated by geometry than by cloud and mist or vapour. It has its four points, its main boundaries, its architectural shape; its elevation imposing, and all its appointments detailed with scrupulous care towards the education and spiritual comfort of the inhabitant, Work on that plan, and all will be right. Ask for the plan every morning; go into the little office, and have a look at the paper. Here is the great skeleton-building with all its anatomy of scaffolding and planking: what is that little house or wooden shed outside? That is where the plan is kept. Why do men go in there now and then? To look at the plan. Can they not carry the plan in their heads? Not well. Can they not make the plan as they go on? No. Architecture is not conjecture. It is settled, designed; every little part mapped out, and put down and set to scale. And art thou, poor fool, building a life-house without a plan? The only man who has ever grasped life in all its bearings and relationships and issues is the Son of God.

You can hew away at this old book called the Bible as much as you please, you cannot get away from this living and all-dominating fact, that no man known to history has so laid hold of life in all its depth and length and breadth and height, in all its pain, tragedy, agony, destiny, in all its discipline, education, and culture, with such grasp, such clearness, and such wisdom as it has been realised and provided for by the Christ of God. There are other religions, and many of them fine, fantastic speculation, beautiful, cloudy, rainbow-like dreaming; but for culture of the soul, for discipline of the will, for stirring the whole nature into benevolent impulse towards other men, Christianity stands alone. To that Christ I ask my fellow-men; to that Christ I would go every day and say, Lord Jesus, what is the next thing to be done? and tell me how to do it, and never leave me one moment to myself: measure out the thousand cubits; tell me which is the north side, the south side, the west side, the east side; and if it comes to a great fight, show me how to stand, how to move, how to stretch: Lord, be with me all the time, till "the hurly-burly"s done," till "the battle"s fought and won." Given a young man who goes out to make his own fortune and his own destiny, and you have an image of folly: given a young soul who says, As everything else is meted out, measured, adjusted, and balanced, mayhap my poor little life is treated in the same way; I will go to the divine Measurer, and he will tell me within what lines to work, where to stop and how to live—and in that young soul you have an image of Wisdom.

The Life-giving River

Ezekiel 47:9

The river would have been of small consequence to us but for this declaration. Ezekiel is not describing poetically a river which he saw in vision or in dream. The poet may deal only in words, but the poet-prophet deals in realities. The river means something; it means beauty and fruitfulness and issues a thousandfold. The whole story of the river is told in these words—"Every thing shall live whither the river cometh." In the earlier part of the verse we have the same thought—"It shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live." We do not need to spiritualise this river, for it spiritualises itself. The river is Christian life, Christian revelation. It is the revelation of Christ; it is the dispensation of the Spirit; it is the outflow from heaven of all blessing and truth and goodness. No other interpretation would fit the occasion; small poetical annotations would not rise to the dignity of the central thought. Here is a divine outflow, making for itself a channel everywhere, and wherever the channel is the banks are full of green trees, and the trees are fruit trees, and the leaves are medicinal, and the whole vision is a glimpse of heaven. We might profitably commit the first twelve verses of this chapter to memory. Teach your children such recitations. They will outlive the comic Song of Solomon , the foolish and impossible romance, the pile of words that ends in evaporation. Fill the memory of your child with such words as these, and they will come up in old age a rich and imperishable inheritance.

Ponder the words. "Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house." The heathen have a proverb that we might as Christians well copy. The heathen proverb says, "Follow the gods wherever they lead." Have we exceeded that thought? Is not heathenism a rebuke to us in this matter? Have all the great thoughts of the human mind not been anticipated? Is not antiquity the really modern thought and modern literature? It is like going back, not to ten miles farther down the stream—that would be nothing; it is like going back to the well-head. You like to go back to the spring, the fountain, and the origin of the uncommon water. Who has not, who has entered upon the danger and enterprise of exploration at all, desired to find the sources of the Nile? No man has been content to go twenty miles down the river and say he has come to that point and means to stand there. Twenty miles is nothing, fifty miles is a mockery; that is not going back to antiquity. You must find the source, the fountain, or you have found nothing, and all your journeying is a fool"s enterprise. Who is this anonymous "he" who is always bringing men to new visions, and undreamed-of rivers, and revelations that glow and shine like summer skies? Who is that other person? Has he no name? Did he not sign on our roll of signatures? We cannot get rid of him; he finishes the experiment, or he begins it, or he interrupts it in the middle. There is a ghostly quantity or force always having its own way. We cannot explain it. Why did you pray so long? You cannot tell. Why did your thoughts fix themselves in one tremendous centralisation upon a point? We cannot tell; tomorrow we shall know. There is a Ghost in the world. You may vote out God, and you may vote out all the theological terms, and come down to the plain vulgar word ghost; but there it is. When you come to the full comprehension thereof you will return to the old words and say they are best—God, Father, Sovereignty, Providence. Some men have to go a long way round to get at their theology, but if they are honest men they will come to it at the last, and we shall find that antiquity is the present day, and the present day is a poor experiment that may end in nothing.

What saw the prophet?—"waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward." Who knows what water is? Yet how we reject it! The universe could not live a day without water. It could live a little whilst the water was sinking down, but when the water really went out of it the universe itself would collapse. Christ is water; Christ is commonplace; Christ flows and trickles; Christ is not a measured wine, he is an unmeasured and immeasurable river, now a torrent, now a stream of silver, now a river that a lamb might gambol in, so shallow; and now a river so deep that navies might rock themselves in its abundance of water. There was a man who had a line in his hand, and he went forth eastward to measure a thousand cubits. Who is this man who is always measuring the world? He cannot lay that line down. Is the world growing, shrinking? Why this eternal measurement? Plato said, God is always measuring the world. We find these waters in Joel and in Zechariah and in the Apocalypse, and we find this measuring man everywhere. The earth is mapped in heaven. Heaven"s map will be the final geography. We may meet in military committees for the purpose of redistributing geographical areas, but the map of the old sinning earth is kept in the archives of heaven. One day, we shall see, the desert shall be marked out as gardenland, and stony places shall glow with flowers. What a marvellous river was this! The man "measures a thousand cubits," and "the waters were to the ankles"—hardly more than a pool: yonder a little bird was sitting at the brink, farther on a lamb was lapping its daily portion, a little farther on and green grass was waving above the little stream. It was a beauteous lake, hardly more than a mirror, laughing at the blue heavens, and doubling them. And then there was a second measure, another thousand cubits, and "the waters were to the knees"; another thousand, and "the waters were to the loins"; another thousand, and there "was a river," a river "to swim in." The waters never broke, they increased; at last they demanded a sea. The river must find the sea, or make one. All this motion means a grand finale. This increase means ultimate benediction. This is the way of the gospel in the world: first very little, then more, then still more, and then the mightiest and grandest of all objects. O Saviour of the world, what is thy kingdom like? It is like a grain of mustard-seed. So small? Yes, so small in itself, but when it is grown it is a cathedral for birds to sing in. Oh tell us more, thou gentle One! to what is the kingdom of heaven like? It is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened. We think that God should reveal himself in some tremendous exposure or declaration. God will not work after this manner; the path of the just is as the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The year has its springtime; life has its infancy; the river reaches to the ankles at first, but at the last it cannot be passed over. Here is the law of progress, beneficent, continuous, and consummating increase.

Then said the anonymous one, "Son of Prayer of Manasseh ,"—literally, Adam,—"hast thou seen this?"—then be wise: in the little see the great; in the seed see the harvest; in hints see consummations. This is the very gift of God, the intellectual miracle, the spiritual coronation of Prayer of Manasseh , namely, that he shall see in beginnings the meanings of endings, that he shall see in the first chapter and the first verse of Genesis the meaning of the Apocalypse. That is the difference between the literalist and the prophet. The literalist gets no further on; the prophet is at the end when he is beginning. His soul burns with heaven.

Beautiful is this imagery, but not so beautiful as the reality. Sometimes history has to lag after symbolism. In the case of Christian missions or the propagation of the truths of the Cross, history shakes off the brightest symbolism as being inadequate to express the glorious realities. We are to judge of the river, fairly, clearly, by the life which it brings. The Lord is always willing to submit himself to practical tests. If Christ cannot give life, disbelieve him. Do not talk about his beautiful expression, his tender poetic strain, his gracious voice, his manifold appearances; but put the testing, crucial question, What does it total up to? and if the answer be other than life, let him be crucified; he is the prince of mocking poetasters, he is not the Son of God. Even when Christianity is willing to be judged in this way it by so much establishes a great claim upon the confidence of man. Christianity does not say, Examine my metaphysics, consider me as a philosophy, compare me as an effort in thinking with all the other religions in creation: Christianity says, Judge me by my fruit, see what I do, and if I do not make the dead live, then I am going forth on false pretences. Is it true that wherever Christianity has gone—the spiritual idea, the true conception of God, the right view of the Cross of Christ—is it true that wherever this has gone life has gone? We hold it to be true upon every ground, and we undertake to prove its truth not by tropes but by figures statistical and by facts human, palpable, and accessible. He would not enter upon any very perilous experiment who undertook to prove that the Christian idea—by that involving the whole work and function of Christ—has done more for the commerce of the world than any other force. Christianity has turned over more money than any other thought of man. Christianity has kept more workpeople, paid more wages, patronised more art, than any other religion, or any other conception of the human mind. The highest artists could not have lived without the religious genius and the religious fact. This is true in sculpture, in oil, in music, in architecture, in literature, in poetry. Take out of the world all the cathedrals, all the churches, chapels, religious houses; take away all the monuments that Christianity has erected; take away all the pictures that represent religious or Christian subjects; burn all the oratorios and all the music that derives its sublimity from Christian inspiration; take away all the books that have been printed, all the engravings that have been published, representing Christian thought and Christian history; go into the nursery and into the drawing-room and into the studio, and take out of them everything that the Christian thought has done,—and then, viewed commercially, you have inflicted the greatest possible loss upon the civilised world. "Every thing shall live whither the river cometh": plenty of business, plenty of work,—clearing forests, building cities, exchanging merchandise; the seas alive with vessels, and the desert encroached upon for more city-room.

This religion of Christ is a great business thought. It is the principal factor in civilisation of an active kind. There has been civilisation without it, there is civilisation today that ignores Christianity; but what a languid civilisation, what a self-enjoying and self-destroying civilisation! How wanting in pathos, in pity, in care for others; how exclusive, how selfish, how little! We do not call that civilisation from the point of view of the Cross. When Christianity uses the term civilisation it means to use it in its deepest and most inclusive senses. So judged, Christianity keeps the widest market-place in the world, circulates most money, keeps the world alive. Not the less truly so that some who carry on the merchandise of the world do not know under what inspiration they are working. Who cares for atmosphere? Who cares to go into subtle questions about spiritual relationships, spiritual movements for operating upon the mind and heart? Who knows the mystery of dreams that have ended in temples and in civilisation? Yet there must be a sanctuary in which all these things are adjusted, regulated, and directed to certain positive issues.

Or, leaving the commercial thought altogether and looking at moral progress, only those who have not studied the history of missions can be wanting in sensitiveness on this point. If men would read the Acts of the Apostles published yesterday they would see that the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament is being continued in many a glowing supplement. How many people have heard, from a missionary point of view, of New Guinea? It was a heathen country, given over to all manner of debasement and corruption and foulness and cruelty. To-day it blossoms as the rose. Why? Because the gospel has been instituted there, preached there, received there; and men who once would have devoured you are now inquiring about the very highest possibilities of thought and destiny. In the name of justice, find the cause of this transformation, and acknowledge it. Did a band of purely scientific persons go over there and colonise? Not they. Was New Guinea transformed by a little brigade of botanists? Never. Who went first? The man who always goes first—the Christian. Then crowds follow, and the crowds that follow are apt to think they made the highway on which they travel. Not a stone of it did they lay. Have you heard of Madagascar and the islands of the Pacific—of any missionary field at all? The missionary has gone and found it given over to all manner of evil, all manner of cruelty, and he has left it a comparative paradise. The question ought to be asked, What did it? and the answer Isaiah , The river came, the river brought life with it. It may seem to be a simple thing to say, but it contains a whole philosophy of civilisation, that the river does not come to the city, the city comes to the river. What a gracious thing it was for the Thames to come to London! The Thames never did come to London; the Thames made London. We as a city are built on the Thames. Rome stands on the Tiber. How kind of Rome to receive the Tiber! How very condescending of London to make way for the Thames to roll through almost her very centre! The river did not come. Where water is men go. Build a magnificent palace, anywhere, and then find out at the end there is no water in the neighbourhood: now you may sell your palace to any fool who will buy it. What is wanting? The river. Has a river anything to do with building? Everything. No water, no life; no river, no home. Yet how many persons act as if they thought London had brought the river, and act as if they thought that they were the creditors of religion, and not debtors to it! The truth Isaiah , men do not go back to facts; they do not force themselves back to first principles and starting-points; they accept civilisation as it is without tracing it to its fount and origin. Has the river brought life to your house? Wherever it has come it has brought life, has tamed ferocious nature, has made the feeble strong, has made the sick at heart hopeful and glad. Has the river come into your soul? If Song of Solomon , you are a new man. You live now; your thought is quicker, more sensitive, larger, tenderer; now you think about other people, and when you put on all your wrappages you wonder if you could not find room for poor shivering poverty under one corner of your gaiety; when you make a feast you are, at all events, now disposed to give the leavings to the poor: by-and-by you will reverse the arrangement and let the poor sit down first. "Every thing shall live whither the river cometh"—honesty and beauty, and all holy purpose, and all generous thought and effort; everything shall live: the domestic animals on your hearthstone, your horse in the stable, your man in the loft. When you are converted the poorest beggar that knocks at your door will know it.

 


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Bibliography Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 47:4". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/ezekiel-47.html. 1885-95.

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