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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER - Chapter 1 - Verse 25
Verse 25. But the word of the Lord. In Isa 40:8, "the word of our God." The sense is not materially varied.
Endureth for ever. Is unmoved, fixed, permanent. Amidst all the revolutions on earth, the fading glories of natural objects, and the wasting strength of man, his truth remains unaffected. Its beauty never fades; its power is never enfeebled. The gospel system is as lovely now as it was when it was first revealed to man, and it has as much power to save as it had when first applied to a human heart. We see the grass wither at the coming on of autumn; we see the flower of the field decay; we see man, though confident in his strength, and rejoicing in the rigour of his frame, cut down in an instant; we see cities decline, and kingdoms lose their power: but the word of God is the same now that it was at first, and, amidst all the changes which may ever occur on the earth, that will remain the same.
And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. That a is, this gospel is the "word" which was referred to by Isaiah in the passage which has been quoted, In view, then, of the affecting truth stated in the close of this chapter, 1 Pe 1:24,25, let us learn habitually to reflect on our feebleness and frailty. "We all do fade as a leaf," Isa 64:6. Our glory is like the flower of the field. Our beauty fades, and our strength disappears, as easily as the beauty and rigour of the flower that grows up in the morning, and that in the evening is cut down, Ps 90:6. The rose that blossoms on the cheek of youth may wither as soon as any other rose; the brightness of the eye may become dim, as readily as the beauty of field covered with flowers; the darkness of death may come over the brow of manliness and intelligence, as readily as night settles down on the landscape; and our robes of adorning may be laid aside, as soon as beauty fades in a meadow full of flowers before the scythe of the mower. There is not an object of natural beauty on which we pride ourselves that will not decay; and soon all our pride and pomp will be laid low in the tomb. It is sad to look on a beautiful lily, a rose, a magnolia, and to think how soon all that beauty will disappear. It is more sad to look on a rosy cheek, a bright eye, a lovely form, an expressive brow, an open, serene, intelligent countenance, and to think how soon all that beauty and brilliancy will fade away. But amidst these changes which beauty undergoes, and the desolations which disease and death spread over the world, it is cheering to think that all is not so, There is that which does not change, which, never loses its beauty. "The word of the Lord" abides. His cheering promises, his assurances that there is brighter and better world, remain amidst all these changes the same. The traits which are drawn on the character by the religion of Christ, more lovely by far than the most delicate colouring of the lily, remain for ever. There they abide, augmenting in loveliness, when the rose fades from the cheek; when the brilliancy departs from the eye; when the body moulders away in the sepulchre. The beauty of religion is the only permanent beauty in the earth; and he that has that need not regret that that which in this mortal frame charms the eye shall fade away like the flower of the field.
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