The fine life lives in the Divine and eternal life, and is unspeakably content.(C. THE JEWISH CONCEPTION OF MAN. No principles of common benevolence are sufficient to explain the gracious acts of God to man. Salem Media Group. M. Gallaher, D. D.)God mindful of manDean Mansel.These words furnish no reasonable ground for a doubt as to the possibility of God's exercising a sustaining providence in favour of such a creature as man. )The greatness and littleness of manJames Brand, D. D.I. The earth is part of a system of worlds. It is probable, therefore, that this higher order of existence actually spreads itself over the entire surface of the material system, and is developing itself in some manner proportionate to its superior dignity. Man is an object of the manifold agencies of myriads of worlds. All these ages have been necessary in order to render it possible for a creature like man to come into existence.3. Does he not, in this respect also, sometimes exhibit a grandeur and sublimity in which we recognise traces of the Divine image in which he was created? The Bible takes the truth for granted. There are those general visitations in which God has drawn near to us collectively. It is a will separable in thought and fact from the material organism in which it finds its play and manifestation. This Psalm of David begins and ends with the same phrase, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth” (ESV). than that contained in Scripture, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. These influences of speech "declare the glory of God." And by its means we find the infinitude of God in every flying straw and in the smallest grain. Man is the occasion and object of an attribute whose blessing the fallen angel never enjoyed, and which the holy angel had never before beheld exhibited, the Divine mercy. Yes, these are the only relics which man has rescued from the Fall. Our main business, therefore, is to save our soul.(H. There is in all of us, whatever we may have been, something which rises in us and tells us what we are meant to do and to be, some sense of duty, some inherent conviction, that what we ought to be is assuredly in the long run what we can be. Commentary, Psalm 8, Paul K. -K. Cho, Preaching This Week, … Yet man must still seem insignificant when measured by the highest standard. A. Ages ago David felt the insignificance of man when compared with the greatness of God's material works, and expressed it in the words of our text. IT BECOMES NECESSARY, THEREFORE, TO MEASURE MAN'S PLACE AND IMPORTANCE IN GOD'S UNIVERSE BY ALTOGETHER OTHER STANDARDS.1. To answer text, see intellectual giants: Paul, Caesar, Shakespeare, Newton. If man, to use the poet's metaphor, is in his moral progress still working out the tiger and the ape, the tiger and the ape still hold their place in the animal world, and are not extinct species. What are we but microscopical insects, crawling in indistinguishable multitude upon the face of a planet, which, in comparison with the countless orbs of space, is itself no more than a grain of stardust? "The stars shall fade away," etc. Fill your soul with the Divine anger against your own sin; leave it now, and fly to the Father of lights.(W. The disciplined will submits, and rejoices in submission. Our main business, therefore, is to save our soul.(H. But, in reply, we have new species of animals. GOD HAS REVEALED THAT MAN WAS CREATED IN HIS IMAGE. The nightly vision of the starry heavens has three daughters, Religion, Superstition, Atheism. Banks, D. D."What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? If we had ever any doubt of man's destiny, and the purpose of his creation, surely the incarnation of God has removed it. Man can comprehend many of the mighty laws which are ever operating in the vast realms of matter and of mind. But if reason be corrupted, there follows Superstition, as in the East; or Atheism, as amongst modern scientific men. The approval of a good man's conscience has a meaning higher than that of a mere human phenomenon. There could be no greater folly than for men or women to treat themselves as though the physical life, which needs to have clothing of more or less fashionable cut, and food that may please the palate or nourish the body, were the real man or woman whose comfort is to indicate the decisions of life. and the son of man, … ON THE WONDERS OF DIVINE GRACE IN THE HEIGHTS ABOVE. The contemplation of our weakness and our littleness, the frailty of the perishing body, the instability of the mental powers, the fewness of our passing years, the shortcomings of our best endeavours, the insufficiency of what we accomplish compared with what we purpose and desire, — all this might well suggest to us a philosophy of despair. Yet it is in the remembrance of this fact that our moral strength can alone be found. And then the second objection — that we are too insignificant for God to notice. The true greatness of man can only be manifested as he is renewed by the Spirit of God; and comes to grow up into him in all things who is the Head, even Christ. ; but man will abide.3. If the mind of man were in unimpaired simplicity, the spectacle of the universe would teach him piety; but, being as he is, piety must be first imparted by other means. Think for a moment of the rapidity of thought: time and space are both annihilated by it. How flee, how calm, how regular they are as they float in wide space — how innumerable. So you can get the lesson reduced as to mere size; you can have a universe in a microcosm, you can have all creation reduced to a minimum, so that you can see God's meaning and learn God's philosophy. The image of God which men now possess is an imperfect one. We are encompassed by laws which take no heed of the personal differences of men, of the varieties of their character, or of the vicissitudes of their condition. Intro: One day this past summer I had breakfast in New York, ate lunch at home and dinner in Hawaii. We look upon the earth, these rivers, these mountains, this ocean, we look back historically upon the tremendous forces which have pushed these continents up, and are pushing them, so that it is estimated that within the last five years Scandinavia has been pushed up over three hundred feet into the air from the ocean bed; we look upon the starry firmament with these immensities of space, and it will be very strange if we are not inclined to say, "What are we? From wise deliberation result laws, which are administered with wisdom and authority, establishing domestic and foreign safety, protecting life, property, and reputation, and promoting whatever tends to the well-being and improvement of those who are fellow citizens. If He created them, surely He may redeem them. Who can compute the number of yon flaming orbs? There are those general visitations in which God has drawn near to us collectively. Who can compute the number of yon flaming orbs? Still, man feels his littleness as he never felt it before in the vastness, the inconceivable vastness, of the system of nature. When you look at man in history there again the same sensation is borne in upon your mind. Seneca contends for it, but the Church by her teaching of the value of each soul counteracted all such views. He does not mean that man is insignificant in comparison with the heavens. 3. This soul, in glorified body, shall go on forever. Let us, then, hasten on, that in the infinite we may see the Father, to consider —II. Or are we afraid of science altogether, with a foolish, faithless fear, refusing to believe that by its means God is drawing nearer to our souls? All sense of moral obligation demands as a postulate free will — all praise or blame of others are based upon the same hypothesis. WHENCE COMES THIS SOUL? The child of circumstance, yet endowed with freedom of moral choice, and weighted with the responsibility which that freedom brings. THEN, SHOULD WE NOT BE MINDFUL OF HIM?(W. The keen conscience leaps up to answer His least command. Font Size. But if the flying straw and gnat display His wonderful works, what will He not have done in and for man? Only mathematical argument excludes, or can exclude, controversy. The character of individuals not only makes up the aggregate character of a nation and the world, but they affect each other; while each is employed and controlled for the one grand purpose of created beings. How couldst thou fail of perceiving Him, the Eternal, the Infinite, the Almighty, the Supremely-wise, the All-gracious, in these His works? This expression supposes more than mere care or providence. And if we find, as we do, that God has taken such care for our present life, is it not reasonable to suppose that He will also care for our spirits? Man has a spirit which can think and soar and worship. The second is, that God pays special regard to His creature man. They forget that all arguments other than those of the mathematician can be assailed again and again, and are always open to question. What is man when compared with immensity? It is in connection with human morality alone that what I may call the moral indifference of nature receives some measure of explanation. And the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest," etc. The tie of kindred not only binds together a few in smaller circles, but nations shape themselves into one grander whole, a great and glorious combination in which the individual serves the whole, and the whole the individual. It is emitted by the brain as thoughts are by the mouth, as music by the organ." And man too, unlike the material world, can obey or disobey the law which God has given him. This visitation is no accidental feature introduced to repair the catastrophe of the fall, but an integral part of God's original design. He keeps his ear attent to the sounds of the land, air, sea, and therefore they express to him rich truths. Beard, B. A.It is possible to measure man against the universe on more than one scale, and the result will be strikingly different according to the scale which we use.1. In the 8th Psalm, Israel’s shepherd king exclaimed: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have established [I am constrained to ask]; What is man, that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit [care for] him?” (3-4). I am not sure that we do not feel our littleness more when we think of the thousand millions of living beings on the earth now, and of the thousand times a thousand millions who have mouldered into its elemental dust. Tomorrow, in a moment of weakness and humiliation, he becomes conscious of the hollowness of this high pretence, and confesses to himself his utter incapacity to comprehend the simplest facts of his own being.I. (ii) That it binds the Creator to create a human soul at the will of man, perhaps an adulterer. He is so as man; and the relative position he holds, intellectually, morally, or socially, to his fellow men has nothing to do with the fact. II. The heavens have no power of self-modification — they cannot move slower or faster, grow brighter or dimmer, of their own accord; man can. In the individual heart; in families; in churches; in nations. — This language of the Psalmist shows that there were two facts in his mind that had settled down as undebatable convictions. We can wander from the Father's house.2. It is part of a wonderful and incomprehensible whole. The Psalmist thought of man's dominion over the beasts, birds, fishes of the sea. For Atheism is hastening to occupy the ground which Superstition long ago filled. Wonder; for how wonderful is Christ.2. In human affairs we pretty well know and are able to judge, of the powers, abilities, and ends of men, and of their wisdom. Wynn. And are we not taught modesty by this very vastness of the universe? On observed facts a theory is based, claiming to be covered by the facts in accordance with the strictest methods of induction, that there has been going on through countless ages of the universe a development from one primordial seed of insect, and animal, and man, through endless varieties of sub-species, each slightly deviating from and improving upon its predecessor in the series, until man, the latest result of evolution, appeared upon the earth. ; but man will abide.3. For the Psalm evidently expresses astonishment at the condescension of God in visiting creatures so unworthy of His regard. D.Considered as part of nature, mall is insignificant. I find no better answer to the question, What is man? A great and noble army of God's champions, who not only overcome their forbidden tendency to evil, but who also sacrifice time's noble things for something nobler: things seen, and even life itself, for things not seen, and who, by freeing themselves from all things earthly, have discovered to the world a freedom like that of God, to whom all things are subject. The Most High appears to take no heed of the moral qualities of men, or of their weakness and helplessness. Its repeated quotation (1 Corinthians 15:27; Hebrews 2:6-9) in the New Testament shows us that its words await a grander fulfilment than ever. It is the soul that makes man the most precious being in this lower world.V. But it meets both objections. Under the venerable oak, or on the skirts of the deep sea, or in the pure air of the mountain top, he talks with the Great Spirit. Everything that has happened in the way of advancing our knowledge of the world has gone to augment this consciousness of man's physical littleness. He is so always, from the earliest hour of our infancy. He exerts His wisdom in giving to the mind an impulse to infer the nature of the cause from the nature of the effect. God is just. For his complete redemption the wonderful means of grace are instituted, and made effectual by the vivifying and resistless energies of the Holy Ghost. And yet while this is so, at no point is the difference between them more radical; for the reflection of mind in matter is another and less thing than the reflection of mind in mind. A creature who sins always makes himself of importance. A. In the Bible all the possibilities of man's being are foreseen, and all his wants and actualities are fully provided for. A man is said to visit another when he comes to him in order to cultivate friendship and love. Man does not need it. )Man, what is heHomilist.? I think, and I know that it is only I who think. And He is mindful of us in His providence. What right have I to claim a different rank? The believer may boldly claim science herself as his teacher, for it has accumulated evidence at every step that, as a thinking, hoping, aspiring, progressive being he is quite unique in God's creation. We may listen respectfully to all the analogies and homologies revealed to us by the biologist, and yet pause in the immediate acceptance of a provisional hypothesis of one uninterrupted evolution exclusive of any specific acts of creation, when the geologist tells us that he can discover few (if any) traces of these thousands upon thousands of varieties and sub-species which the hypothesis postulates, and we may feel a natural difficulty in understanding how the present phenomena of life have been produced by the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence, when we observe that the alleged earlier and lower types still exist side by side with the later and higher. But there is a certain intellectual and moral vulgarity in attaching such importance to mere material magnitude. J. Gough, M. 3. Another reason why Jehovah makes use of His works as a language revealing His attributes is, that He promotes the welfare of His offspring by the revelation. Be sensible also of thy insignificance, and learn humility. Nature ministers to the Caffre and the Hottentot as truly as to the man of most advanced civilisation. L. Moody.When the Prince of Wales visited America, people were very anxious to know what he came for. A. Little or nothing could be lacking to man were not this power abruptly checked; or, which is still worse, were it not frightfully abused. 4. Pascal has finely said, "I do not admire in a man the extreme of one virtue, as of valour, if I do not see at the same time the extreme of the opposite virtue." For the heavens display the infinitude of God, and that infinitude filled with existence. D.Considered as part of nature, mall is insignificant. We have, in consciousness, a witness that helps us to comprehend the conception of man as a spiritual being. All these ages have been necessary in order to render it possible for a creature like man to come into existence. When the outward circumstances of my life were quite different from what they are now, when my bodily shape and form were so different that none who had known me earlier could recognise me now, when I had completely other thoughts and feelings and pursuits than I have now; when I was a little child and a schoolboy I was essentially the same as I am now. We have lived to witness his sovereignty over the elemental powers of nature — he can order the lightning, weigh the sun, make the vapour his slave. 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? The wonders of grace — the incarnation and the death of the Son of God — are so tremendous, whilst there is nothing in man that bears any proportion to such concern for him. The patient labours of science are unfolding to us day by day new and beautiful mysteries in the world of nature, with fuller knowledge of the marvels of animal life, and of seeming intelligence even in the tiniest of God's creatures; but no trace is found of anything akin to this capacitor of man, this high endowment of humanity — the power to know his Maker and to do that Maker's will. 2. (Psalm 8:4.) Having this thought of the dignity of man, the Jew had an equally clear view of —6. L. Moody.When the Prince of Wales visited America, people were very anxious to know what he came for. It is this which lifts him above the brute creation, and constitutes him an active, intelligent, and responsible agent. 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Man can comprehend many of the mighty laws which are ever operating in the vast realms of matter and of mind. But whatever else the words may mean, they clearly assure us that there is in every man something that is akin to God, something which separates him from all other creatures on the face of the earth, something which makes it possible for him to think of God, to know God, and to love God. But it becomes stranger and more significant still, when it is seen to involve the power of setting up the "I" over against the "All," and, weak, ignorant, transitory, as each one of us is, of distinctly comprehending the vast and complex totality of which we form a most minute and undistinguished part. This is the gospel of science. The song of the Psalmist falls on the ears of Christians now with a fuller cadence, swelled with the experience of nearly thirty centuries, and prolonged into the hopes of eternity. Thus there are two views of life, the detranquillising view and the all-tranquillising view. The crowning proof of man's greatness and worth must be taken from God's own estimate. P. Liddon, D. D.)ImmortalityClement Bailhache.The Psalm reveals not the littleness, but the greatness of man. THE NATURE OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT. 1 (To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.) THE MATERIALIST WILL BE CONTENT TO SAY, "WHAT IS MAN? Science, whose moral characteristics have often been reproached as pride and self-concept, preaches aloud from professorial chairs the lesson of humility, and, echoing the precept "Know thyself," bids man lay aside as a false illusion the fond imagination that he has a place in creation superior to the brute. The house cannot be shaken, but the tenant may spend his days in controversy and bitterness against the builder. How abominable, then, is man, who "drinketh in iniquity like water"! THE WORKS OF GOD'S GRACE IN THE DEPTHS BELOW. But think of one philosopher bringing into correlation to the same law the falling apple and the revolving worlds, and another reducing to theoretic uniformity the speed at which the planets circle in their courses, and a third demonstrating, with glass of new magic, the constituents of the solar atmosphere, and you will see how there can be no comparison between that which thinks and that which simply is. )Man, what is heHomilist.? If we perished, what difference would it make to this stupendous universe? Yet, while the future remains a dim, unknown quantity to our reason, and shadows flit across the canvas of our daily life, it is hard to believe that God stands within the shadow keeping watch over His own. When you look at man in history there again the same sensation is borne in upon your mind. 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