PROTECTION AND JUSTICE

RECENTLY, in an old book, I came across an article called the "Journeys of the Children of Israel," in which the writer tries to show that at least a part of the Scriptures was written allegorically ; and in illustrating this he refers to the following passages : "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn;" which is alleged by the apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians to prove that such as "preach the gospel should live of the gospel;" and that the Spirit of God intended this figurative sense in this precept, besides the literal, is manifested by the verse which follows this passage, where it is said that for our sakes the gospel was written. That a figurative sense was chiefly there intended, appears evident by the verses cited, which teach justice toward all that labor for us, especially in the doctrine of the gospel, and this by the emblem of an ox treading out the corn. The apostle has brought out here so well that a laborer is worthly of his hire, that in this connection it may be well to quote the passages referred to: "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."

I also find that the Universal Dictionary gives this definition of preach, "To give earnest advice, especially on religious or moral subjects." We are all more or less preachers in this sense, and we are certainly like the ox ; therefore all the more entitled to our worthy reward. In the 2d chapter of Ruth I find these good words: "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust." We trust in the Lord God of Israel, knowing that He led our fathers, and this trust is in one sense a prayer, for we as Christian Scientists know our prayers to be a continual affirmation of God's goodness; therefore we can affirm continually that He will recompense our work. As an element of justice seems to enter into the case, we must remember that the Bible is continually declaring God's justice and judgment, as for instance, "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment ; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great ; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man ; for the judgment is God's : and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it." The psalmist, too, tells us, "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face." Again, in Zechariah, we read, "These are the things that ye shall do ; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor ; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: and let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord." On this point we have also the word of Christ Jesus, when he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just ; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

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