Nehemiah and Jude.

There is one striking correspondency between the book of Nehemiah and the epistle of Jude. In the former we read, that "every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held a weapon. For the builders, every one, had his sword girded by his side, and so builded." In the latter, Jude, at the commencement of his epistle, exhorts us "earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints;" and, at the end, "to build up ourselves on our most holy faith." He would have us, in a word, like Nehemiah's builders, with the sword in one hand, and the trowel in the other. The reason is found in the character of the times. Certain men had crept in unawares, and apostates abounded. It was no time for peace, therefore, when the foundations were being assailed. In the face of such dangers God would have His people valiant for the truth. The sword, it should be observed, is rather for defence than for attack; but conflict must not be shrunk from when the faith once delivered to the saints is in question. But while prepared for, and even in the midst of, conflict, we must also be diligently occupied with the edification of ourselves, and of one another, that we may be the better prepared to resist the attacks of the enemy.