XCII. The Night Cometh.

JOHN ix. 4. “I must
work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the
night cometh when no man can work.”

LIKE other sayings of Jesus, this utterance is, in one sense,
solely appropriate to Himself, in another it is applicable
to each of His brethren. In two respects He uses these
words as none else could.
I. He is taking a survey of His whole earthly career.
Not merely the past, but the future is before Him. We
are unable to foresee. We cannot forecast with certainty.
But our Lord was master of His destiny.
II. In these words Jesus unveils a consciousness of the
solitary greatness of His worth. Much there was in His
life in which He is our example to the end of time; but
by His work He means emphatically His work as the
Mediator. In these sufferings and struggles He stood
alone among the sons of men, conscious of His unique
relationship towards the Father and towards His brethren.
III. Our Lord’s words do express a conviction and a
law which should govern every one of our lives—which do
govern every consecrated life—a conviction of the short-
ness of the day of work—a deep sense of the duty of
making the most of it. Men and women sometimes talk
of expedients for killing time, as if time would never end,
and there was no eternity beyond it, and no serious obliga-
tion to make the most of it—as if the day of life had no
setting sun, and there were no night to succeed its evening.
May God teach us one and all what it is to live—to have
a work within our souls and without them to do in this
life, and to have an account to give of that work.
Henry Parry Liddon, D.C.L.

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