But the naturalist will tell us that all attempts at classification with a view to separating man off by a broad line from the lower creation fail signally.II. When I, said the Psalmist, who kept his shepherd's crook in the belt of Orion, when I considerealise, talk in stars and think in planets and pray in constellations — Reverence is the basis of true character. In every circumstance of temporal existence God rides the whirlwind and rules the storm. What wonders fill the heart when we look up into those distances of light. How often has it been observed, that the Book of Psalms is a rich treasury of devotion, which the wisdom of God has provided to supply the wants of his children in all generations! Still, man feels his littleness as he never felt it before in the vastness, the inconceivable vastness, of the system of nature. And then the second objection — that we are too insignificant for God to notice. It is necessary for Him either to repress His love or to express it. And for our happiness. 2. If any object be suited in its structure to impress the mind of man, this very suitableness is an expression of the mind of God. We pervert this conviction when we represent God under a form which makes providence a fiction and prayer a delusion, as an impersonal principle, as an immovable intelligence, as an inexorable fate, as a being who has no feeling for the wants of man, and is inaccessible to his prayers. Here the clouds will begin to disperse, and we shall see the wisdom as well as goodness of God towards men. By the influences of His Spirit.4. Take humanity out of the universe, and it is neither moral nor immoral, it is simply natural. Consider, then, the nature of God's benevolence. L. Moody.When the Prince of Wales visited America, people were very anxious to know what he came for. 3. Then the peculiar attribute of God is holiness. Psalm 8:1, 3-4 Our Mysterious Yet Personal God. For why should he not turn brute himself who has One for his god? the materialistic and semi-materialistic schools give various answers. The subject of man's redemption is that into which the angels desire to look. His great purpose is His own glory. Thought has no magnitude. Genesis 1 - Setting The Stage Contributed by Stephen Belokur on Nov 9, 2018 | 1,945 views. I am conscious of my own identity and of my utter separateness from all besides. But remember that the grandeur of our destiny is not determined and measured by our merits, but by the immensity of the Divine goodness. )The royal visit and its objectD. For the two truths stand or fall together. Art sets up its barriers against the threes of nature, which often assault us as a foe, or constrains her to submit to man and to accomplish his designs. Be sensible also of thy insignificance, and learn humility. Not, indeed, without God's help. If you consider that this world is a university. Hence the material universe, great as it is, may be nothing more than a stage for the accomplishment of the destinies of this higher order of existence. For the world without and the love of the world within present to it a fearful obstacle. One spirit reigns in both. This world and man are so insignificant that it is incredible that God should be mindful of him. Man's insignificance. But He has more than this constitutional tendency to develop His character. Consider, then, the nature of God's benevolence.1. 1. Not one of them gives evidence of this knowledge of personality which we all possess. How abominable, then, is man, who "drinketh in iniquity like water"! More servants wait on man, Than he will take notice of: in every path He treads down that which doth befriend him, When sicknesse makes him pale and wan, Oh, mightie love! The fact of a thinking mind in man puts him above sun and moon and stars. TO CHRIST. Whence, then, came the soul? So Pascal exclaims, "Oh, the grandeur and the littleness, the excellency and the corruption, the majesty and the meanness of man. AND DO WE COMPREHEND FULLY THE END PROPOSED? It expresses —1. This soul, in glorified body, shall go on forever. If we could see deep enough, we should recognise that "Whatever is, is in its causes just." Psalms 8:3-6. Care — God took care of Him.III. Christ cares not for the outward, but for the spirit of a man. By the application and exercise of his thought man is becoming the perfect master of the world in which he lives, Never did mind wield such a kingly power over matter as at present.IV. 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. )Man, what is heHomilist.? Through reason man is able to distinguish between his immortal soul and his perishable body. "The stars shall fade away," etc. It is in no sense self-sustained. Satisfying his spiritual needs. Presage thy future perfection and happiness, and get a foretaste of them!(G. WHAT IS THE SOUL? Man is not his accidents; not those things with which we associate him when we speak of any one man. 4. Man is made in the image of God. Read also the Scripture histories for further proof. There is a further sense, in which both man and the universe may be said to receive and reflect God, and so in this highest capacity of being to be again at one. And the son of man? The world reveals God without knowing Him: but man consciously receives God as a Divine guest, and feels His vivifying and purifying presence. Men are dispirited, embittered, crushed by the sense of their own failure, by the sense that they are infinitely weak, and circumstances infinitely strong. God is the God of order, and order is peace. God sees in man what is like Himself, the sense of justice, hatred of cruelty, unselfishness. (Clement Bailhache. Nature ministers to the Caffre and the Hottentot as truly as to the man of most advanced civilisation. In vain, however, shall we look to these several sources of esteem to account for that regard which God has been pleased to entertain for man. Through reason he is capable of investigating the powers of nature, and tracing them to their Creator. One of the special characteristics of man is self-consciousness. And it agrees emphatically with the Scripture distinction between the "fathers of our flesh" and the "Father of our spirits." Lord, that Thou visitest him!". 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. O Thou who carriest the worlds in Thine hands, carry, too, my poor life! And are they empty, and what is their destiny? A wonderful study are these heavens! We know nothing of mind force except through its material manifestations. We can wander from the Father's house.2. But if I have no other theatre of His grace than that one so infinite I can call Him the Infinite, but the name of Father dies away on my lips. 4. The individual life seems just but as a spark that can be snuffed out, puffed out, just by the breath and the wind of circumstance. Maintain communion. SPIRITUAL BEING. As a product of nature, man seems to possess a higher dignity. The first duty of man is enjoined upon him as the command of God: The first sin of man is disobedience against God. Psalm 144:3 LORD, what is man, that you take knowledge of him! The reasonableness of the fact that God is mindful of us.2. Hearest not thou his voice, saying, "Open to me, my sister: behold, I stand at the door and knock. Nowhere shall we find any hymns in which the glories of God in nature are more tenderly and devoutly celebrated than they are in these Psalms. The meanness of man, and his unworthiness of the regard and affection of the Most High God. This soul, in glorified body, shall go on forever. Man as a sinner is of special importance. The Psalmist has been contemplating the starry heavens. It is true, as the Psalmist reminds us, that man is like a thing of naught, that his time passeth away as a shade. Whence, then, came the soul? But if the flying straw and gnat display His wonderful works, what will He not have done in and for man? To us Christians the ascension, the glorification of our Lord, His triumph as prophet, priest, and king, ought to be a thought both of continual power and continual inspiration....In the moral world, ay, in the world of matter as well as of spirit, there is nothing ultimately strong but that cause, that cause of thoroughgoing holiness, truth, and love, which is forever embodied in Jesus our Lord. This is the first teaching of Scripture, and it is also the last. See how God visited Adam, Noah, Abraham, and others. When I look at death I am disquieted and overborne and impoverished; when I look at immortality I am young, I come out of my chamber as a bridegroom ready to run a race, like a giant that cannot be tired. That it is wrong for parents to bring children into the world and not care for them. Consider the amazing power of thought: man, by the exercise of his thinking faculty, is transforming the entire face of nature, and emancipating her mighty and long-kept secrets. 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. Sin is a gigantic failure. Oh, the grandeur and littleness, the excellence and the corruption, the majesty and meanness of man! Privilege of approach to the Nest High. HOW GOD IS MINDFUL OF MAN.1. We shall face our Maker. The Psalmist, in our context, was triumphant when he beheld the sun coming as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoicing as a hero to run a race. Man created after grand plan: "Let us make man in our own image." Man is God's image, and God would not have His image marred. P. Liddon, D. D.)ImmortalityClement Bailhache.The Psalm reveals not the littleness, but the greatness of man. His real degradation and misery. Trace God's visitations to His intelligent creatures upon earth, as Bible history unfolds them to us. Ask David, "What is man?" If, then, you feel not your souls mightily affected with this condescension of God, say thus unto your souls, What aileth thee, O my soul, that thou art no more affected with the goodness of God? But it is otherwise with their successors. What manner of persons should we be in all holy conversation and godliness!3. This visitation is no accidental feature introduced to repair the catastrophe of the fall, but an integral part of God's original design. But then mere benevolence could be supposed to extend only to the relief of absolute necessity, or deliverance from immediate danger. Man is a member of the kingdom of spirits. Perfect machine; every part-adapted; power to repair itself, and reproduce its kind. The very next verse shows that he could not mean that, for he says, Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, etc. To us Christians the ascension, the glorification of our Lord, His triumph as prophet, priest, and king, ought to be a thought both of continual power and continual inspiration....In the moral world, ay, in the world of matter as well as of spirit, there is nothing ultimately strong but that cause, that cause of thoroughgoing holiness, truth, and love, which is forever embodied in Jesus our Lord. So in regard to this earth. Sider comes a long way up the track of language; it was born sidus. IV. To say that God is unmindful of us, that we cannot add to or take from His glory, is to say that I am a better being than He is, for I do care for them that are lower down than I am. He is so always, from the earliest hour of our infancy. (Psalm 8:4.) Then be absorbed in devotion, in adoration, O man, when thou contemplatest this theatre of the marvels of thy God. Traces of grandeur in fallen man.IV. How couldst thou fail of perceiving Him, the Eternal, the Infinite, the Almighty, the Supremely-wise, the All-gracious, in these His works? It implies a degree of union and regard which may well excite our surprise. Sovereignty, supreme and absolute, is in the case of Jesus of Nazareth the goal and climax of all moral effort. Psalm 8:4, KJV: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? There are those general visitations in which God has drawn near to us collectively. All creation waited for the coming of man, who was to be to all things, animate and inanimate, master and lord. And man too, unlike the material world, can obey or disobey the law which God has given him. And man too, unlike the material world, can obey or disobey the law which God has given him. SPIRITUAL BEING. The upbraidings of conscience are the declarations of His punitive justice. True, there is a sense in which science gives back to us with its left hand what it has taken away with its right. A. It is therefore but a like wonder that God should send His Son to redeem us. It teems with marks of purpose and intelligent design. There is nothing more great, nothing more noble, nothing more beautiful within the reach of humanity than to know with a personal affection the Being to whom we owe our existence, to be able to understand something of the working of His Divine power and love, to sympathise with the holiness and purity of His nature, still more to make efforts after attaining to some measures of that purity and that holiness in ourselves. 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. It is God's house; it is man's house; God-given for man's use and man's supremacy. But if reason be corrupted, there follows Superstition, as in the East; or Atheism, as amongst modern scientific men. But man cannot sin without Divine assistance. (Homiletic Review. I see the heavens full of stars, and man's heart of anticipations and forebodings. Has the issue of it been, "that the invisible things of God are more clearly seen." )God's idea of manDavid J. Hill, LL. Tholuck. The world reveals God without knowing Him: but man consciously receives God as a Divine guest, and feels His vivifying and purifying presence. M. Punshon.Christianity viewed as a system is seen to be sublime, when we consider the oneness and harmony of its grand design. He penetrates the bowels of the earth, and brings up to glisten in the sunlight that which lay hid in the darkness of her depths, he does more than this in his own bosom — an abyss not less deep and dark. It is on the one hand a Psalm of personal lament (mourning) and on the other hand also a psalm of confidence. J. Zollikofer.There is nothing of all that we can behold that more elevates the mind, or pervades it with more and grander thoughts and emotions, than the view of the starry sky. The reasonableness of the fact that God is mindful of us. Animal organism of little value aside from this. But has not the same reason sought to obliterate this distinction, leaving him in frightful confusion? As though his very being itself, with all its noblest faculties, were a contribution of his physical development! God is revealed in relation to man as He is revealed in relation to no other of His visible creatures — the personal God of His personal creatures. The laws of health are prescriptions from the great Physician. George Eliot says, "I could not live in peace if I put the shadow of a wilful sin between myself and God." Yet none but he can see what thou hast done; none but he can admire and adore thee in what he seeth: how had he need to do nothing but this, since he alone must do it! IMMORTAL BEING. The great sentiment in his mind at the time was undoubtedly the infinite condescension of the great Creator and Proprietor of the heavens. 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. No interval of time or transference of scene, no contrast of persons or of circumstances, has tarnished its freshness or robbed it of its power. One of the special characteristics of man is self-consciousness. Traces of grandeur in fallen man.IV. no answer could be found. Bacon, who originated our modern philosophy, and Newton, who verified it, — the two minds who more than any other have ruled the world of mind, — both believed in the Supreme Intelligence which the material universe demonstrated. God, who feeds the ravens and gives food to the young eagles, was He not to have taken care to feed man's heart? Some say that human nature can regenerate, can perfect itself; that it has in it a principle inherently good, and needs no Gospel to lead it into the way of truth. To try to comment on verse 1 is kind of like commenting on the splendor of the Grand Canyon. 3. V. RESPONSIBLE BEING. So, then, let us meditate —I. But there are also individual visitations in which God makes Himself felt in every human life; some of these are so striking and significant that even the most careless soul can only put them away by an effort; some of them so quiet and commonplace that only the spiritually minded will see God's hand in them at all. However feeble, and obscure in rank, if he suffers, and is liable to suffer forever, he becomes of importance in the Divine government.5. Be consoled. The lower animals do not possess this sense of personality. Stars have fallen, angels have dropped out of line; consider thyself. Others say, man is so insignificant that it is not to be thought that he can be brought into contact with God; he is but dust, and as such is born and dies. He is dependent for everything. GOD HAS REVEALED THAT MAN IS THE RESULT OF A SPECIAL CREATION. Will the Lord indeed put value on filthiness, and fix his approving eye upon an impure thing? He does not mean that man is insignificant in comparison with the heavens. All its powers are hidden from us until by our own energy we have discovered them, mastering us until by our own supremacy we have dominion over them; if you consider that all this has been given to us to make "character" — does it seem so strange that this world should be also the theatre of a more Divine redemption, the place whereon a greater service to character has been wrought than can be wrought by cloud, or tree, or mountain stream, or ocean? What is our knowledge but that of a single spot? Fill your soul with the Divine anger against your own sin; leave it now, and fly to the Father of lights. POSITIVELY. In all the helpless years of infancy and childhood. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: Has the issue of it been, "that the invisible things of God are more clearly seen." THE DEALINGS OF GOD TOWARDS MAN. Man is not his accidents; not those things with which we associate him when we speak of any one man. Man is God's best workmanship. He is not worthy of the least Of all thy mercies; one's a feast. Our main business, therefore, is to save our soul.(H. The makeup of the human body has ever been a matter of wonder to the thoughtful mind. )Work of God's fingersJohn Trapp.This is most elaborate and accurate; a metaphor from embroiderers, or from them that make tapestry. Has it not arrayed in open opposition a Nature idolised and a God betrayed?2. Man is capable of wonderful growth. THE WORKS OF GOD'S GRACE IN THE DEPTHS BELOW. Holy Scripture is one continuous record of God's effort to catch the attention of human ears, and to win the affection of human hearts. David, the author, never calls the reader to actually do anything. No principles of common benevolence are sufficient to explain the gracious acts of God to man. Insects on a globe of sand; the world an ant hill, and we but ants upon it." If we had ever any doubt of man's destiny, and the purpose of his creation, surely the incarnation of God has removed it.2. )Man, what is heHomilist.? (1885) Contemporary References, Commentary and Comparative Links. It is emitted by the brain as thoughts are by the mouth, as music by the organ." So much, then, for what nature teaches. But God is not as we are. Feuerbach declares that "The soul is but the sum total of nervous processes." Man is represented as an improved animal or vegetable, differentiated in the long course of ages from earlier forms of life by a more perfect organisation and a more complete adaptation to his surroundings, but not superior in essence or endowed with higher hopes than the rudimentary organised beings who have preceded him in the gradual development of the universe. Little or nothing could be lacking to man were not this power abruptly checked; or, which is still worse, were it not frightfully abused. It involved —1. 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. Some say that human nature can regenerate, can perfect itself; that it has in it a principle inherently good, and needs no Gospel to lead it into the way of truth. )The subject of religion -- the soulH. Mind is above matter, intelligence above force.2. )The Jewish and the Christian thought of manWilliam Clarkson, B. A.I. W. Dale, M. One law governs and unites all, and each is contributive to it. There is a sense in which, viewed as a physical force in the world of matter, man is nothing.II. WHAT IS THE SOUL? This is the gospel of science. Man, in the pride of his heart, seeth no such great matter in it; but a humble soul is filled with astonishment. Consider the amazing power of thought: man, by the exercise of his thinking faculty, is transforming the entire face of nature, and emancipating her mighty and long-kept secrets. Whence this fulness of provision, and this unbounded wealth of beauty and of blessing?" WHAT IS THE DESTINY OF THE SOUL? Ask David, "What is man?" Man as a sinner is of special importance. Man has a spirit which can think and soar and worship. His greatness is the measure, not of His distance from us, but of His nearness to us. Try from the greatness of man to estimate the greatness of the end. 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. "Visit him." And are we not taught modesty by this very vastness of the universe? The very conception of universal law and order, which science discloses as pervading the material world, is liable, if contemplated in an irreligious spirit, to lead our thoughts away from God, who is mindful of man and visits him, to represent to us a God of science, who is not a God of worship, to set before us an intelligence, it may be, manifested in the grand scheme of the universe, but to hide from us the personal God of each one of us, our Father who is in heaven. The reasonableness of the fact that God is mindful of us.2. Denomination: Pentecostal. Harrison.We regard the entire Psalm as descriptive of man's dignity and importance, which is at once seen in the exalted position he occupies in the realm of nature, and in the Divine system of revelation with which God in His love has blessed him.I. He can contend with his Maker.3. Me told us He came that He might bind up the broken-hearted; that He might give liberty to the captives; that He might give sight to the blind; that He might seek and save that which was lost, and to strengthen the weak. And of all this we are conscious. Yet thou thy greatest mercy hast On this accursed creature cast. 4. Why here alone? The ascent is easy from nature to grace, in which the Divine estimate is raised to its highest point. Yet, if we think deeply, we shall come also to the thought of the Psalmist, and see in the very grandeur of nature a testimony to the grandeur of man. The first — that man can perfect himself. What does consider mean? Ruth 1:6 . Of the East, which tell of the transmigration of souls.2. A. He draws nigh to them who seek Him in His works, and He hides Himself from them who care not to listen for His voice. I take the Psalm before us as furnishing a triumphant and lasting reply to the kind of unbelief in question. THE METHODS IN WHICH THE DIVINE CHARACTER IS REVEALED BY THE DIVINE OPERATIONS. 1. How do we know He has not? The word means, God keeps man constantly in view, ever watching over him, and never ceasing to do him good.2. Thou oughtest not to be proud, but neither shouldst thou be of an abject mind.3. A sufferer is a being of importance in God's universe. D.)God mindful of manW. As a product of nature, man seems to possess a higher dignity. The kingdom of nature. To say that God is unmindful of us, that we cannot add to or take from His glory, is to say that I am a better being than He is, for I do care for them that are lower down than I am. How instantaneously, how inexpressibly, are we dwarfed by the result! We give account of our powers. Biology took up the story where geology left it; and man, the speck in space, the moment in time, becomes now just as one of the changing phases in the ever-running river of life. His eyes dismount the highest starre: He is in little all the sphere. Contemplate the nature of the great and glorious God, and judge how unlikely it is that He should be "mindful of man," or visit him. We may well exclaim, "Whence all this weight of magnificence — this perfect arrangement and adaptation? I. Consider a Being who, full and complete in Himself, needs no addition, and feels no want, a Being who knows all things, embraces the past, the present, the future, in one comprehensive glance. 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