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The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 18


By Dr. Morgan

MORNING WORSHIP.

O LORD!  “Open Thou our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” this day.  Especially do thou “reveal Jesus in us.”  In the written word may we find the living word.  And may our souls partake of Him, and find Him to be “bread of life” and “water of life” to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.  Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm xxxvi. 5-9.

SWEET is the memory of Thy grace,
My God, my heavenly King!
Let age to age thy righteousness
In songs of glory sing.

God reigns on high, but not confines
His goodness to the skies:
Through the whole earth His bounty shines,
And every want supplies.

With longing eyes Thy creatures wait
On Thee for daily food:
Thy liberal hand provides their meat,
And fills their mouths with good.

How kind are Thy compassions, Lord!
How slow Thine anger moves!
But soon He sends His pardoning word
To cheer the soul He loves.

Creatures of each succeeding race
Thy power and praise proclaim;
But saints, who taste Thy richer grace,
Delight to bless Thy name.

ISAIAH I. 1-20.

THE vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.  2. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.  3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4. Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 7. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9. Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10. Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? Saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. 12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  14. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.  15. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.  16. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.  17. Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.  18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

ISAIAH LVIII. 6-10.

IS not this the fast that I have chosen?  to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.  9. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.  If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day.

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Prayer.

LORD of the Sabbath!  wilt thou for Jesus’ sake grant us a Sabbath’s blessing.  This is thy day; O, do Thou own and honour it.  How blessed to call to mind what Thou hast thyself testified of it, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Enable us to enter into its purposes, and in our happy experience realize its wise and gracious designs.  By it Thou dost with thine own hand interrupt the course of this busy, perplexing world, and call us to devout meditation and converse with Thee.  May our souls enjoy its rest, as well as our bodies.  How good the Lord is, to relieve these labouring bodies: How merciful to calm and compose these anxious minds.  O, Lord the Spirit, do Thou possess our souls, while we seek to engage in the hallowed thoughts with which this blessed day is associated; so remembering the Sabbath day that we may keep it holy.  We think of creation: Thou didst call us and all things into being.  Thou didst form this beautiful world.  And O! what a place hast Thou assigned to us in it.  Thou didst create us after thine own image, holy and happy.  Alas! that we have fallen from that estate.  We are not what Thou didst make us at the first.  We are fallen into sin.  “How is the gold become dim!  how is the most fine gold changed!” Yet Thou has not forsaken us.  Thou dost create the poor sinners anew in Christ Jesus.  Lord may we be the subject of Thy saving grace.  May our family be all the adopted of Thy love, restored to Thy favour and fellowship, members of “the family that is named after Jesus.  And may we throughout all the hours of the blessed day be admitted to sweet communion with Thee, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Nor is it creation only of which Thou hast made this day the happy memorial.  How it impresses us with the thought of Thy providence!  It marks for us the stages of our life.  It reminds us how we are hastening on from time to eternity  It recalls to our grateful remembrance the mercies of another week.  “Thou hast made the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.”  Thou has supplied our wants, and sustained our labours, refreshed us with sleep, strengthened us with food, clothed us with fitting garments, and protected us by the way.  Help us to receive these blessings of Thy providence as the gifts of Thy love in Jesus Christ our Lord.  May we account our spared lives and continued blessings as the purchase of his death, no less than the salvation of our souls.  So may we ever be found walking with Thee.  May ours be a life of faith upon the Son of God.  May we see the mark of his blood on every earthly blessing.  May we have covenant right to all we enjoy.  May we enjoy Christ in every gift of Thy providence.  May we have fellowship with Him in it.  So may our progress be ever heavenward.  May our conversation be there, ever looking for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour  So may every Sabbath find us a week’s journey nearer to its everlasting rest.  And thus, O Lord! may the great subject of the Sabbath be made to engross all our thoughts, even the redemption of which it is the triumphant memorial.  Jesus is risen!  O may we be risen with him.  He hath ascended on high!  O that our affections may be set on the things that are above.  He hath received gifts for men!  O that the graces of his Holy Spirit may be vouchsafed to us in rich abundance.  May we be baptized afresh with his love this day.  May we have a sweet consciousness of being this “anointed with fresh oil.”  “O Lord, send now prosperity.”  May our souls be in health and prosper.  May grace and godliness be advanced in us, and in all the world.  As the sun of day has set out on his course afresh to bless the earth, and visit all its places and all their people with its light and life; so may the Sun of Righteousness rise with healing in his beams, and dissipate the darkness, and quicken the deadness, and fertilize the barrenness of the souls of men.  May this be a day to be remembered.  Bless the secret services of every closet.  May self-examination, and meditation, and prayer, and the devout study of the word, thus be greatly conducive to personal godliness.  May every family altar be set up, and every household visited with the fire of the Spirit from heaven.  May fathers and mothers, and sisters and brothers, and masters and servants, and parents and children, and husbands and wives, receive every one a portion of meat in due season.  May family religion prosper and prevail.  And O! may there be special power in the prayers and praises and preached word and administered ordinances of the sanctuary.  Help Thy servants, Lord, the earthen vessels to whom Thou hast committed the treasure of the word, “that the excellency of the power thereof may be of Thee.”  Bless all who are their helpers in Christ Jesus, the gifts and governments of the church.  Remember graciously the schools of the Sabbath, teachers and taught.  Compassionate the afflicted, the widow, the orphan, and the poor.  Be present in every sick-chamber, in every prison-house of men, in every ship that sails on the great deep, with the sailor and the soldier, the missionary at home or abroad, the stranger here and everywhere.  O Lord, bless the earth, and the fruits of it, and all that dwell upon it.  And soon may the world’s Sabbath come, and all enter into its rest.  Amen.

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THE CHURCH IN THE HOUSE.

ALMIGHTY God! wilt Thou bless us in our prayers and praises, and all our exercises upon Thy holy word, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  May Thy word dwell in us richly in all wisdom and understanding and bring forth fruit in us unto life eternal.  And may the words of our mouth, and the meditations of our heart, be acceptable in Thy sight through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

PSALM CXVIII. 22-29.

THAT stone is made head corner-stone,
Which builders did despise:
This is the doing of the Lord,
And wondrous in our eyes.

This is the day God made, in it
We’ll joy triumphantly.
Save now, I pray thee, Lord; I pray,
Send now prosperity.

Blessed is he in God’s great name
That cometh us to save:
We, from the house which to the Lord
Pertains, you blessed have.

God is the Lord, who unto us
Hath made light to arise:
Bind ye unto the altar’s horns
With cords the sacrifice.

Thou art my God, I’ll Thee exalt;
My God, I will Thee praise.
Give thanks to God, for He is good:
His mercy lasts always.

MATTHEW I. 18-23.

NOW the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us. 

MATTHEW XXVII. 24-38.

WHEN Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25. Then answered all the people and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying Hail, King of the Jews! 30. And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe from off him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, A place of a skull, 34. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36. And, sitting down, they watched him there; 37. And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38. Then were there two thieves crucified with him; one on the right hand, and another on the left. 

HEBREWS II. 10-18.

FOR it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  11. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13. And again, I will put my trust in him.  And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil: 15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject of bondage. 16. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18. For in that he himself both suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

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SERMON XVIII.

“THERE THEY CRUCIFIED HIM.” -- Luke xxiii. 33.

THE hour was come -- the most momentous, the most pregnant with great results, that had ever yet been struck upon the clock of time.  It was a momentous hour when the world was created.  Then “the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy.”  It will be a momentous hour, when the world is summoned to the final judgment, when Jesus shall say, “Come ye blessed of my Father,” and “depart from me, ye cursed.”  But the hour was more momentous far, in the estimation of all holy and intelligent beings, when it was announced in the simple utterance of the text, touching the death of Jesus -- “There they crucified him.” Let us, then, turn aside and behold this great sight -- the realization of what Moses witnessed when he saw “the bush burning but not consumed.”  Let us charge our souls to meditate on the sufferings, the Sufferer, the words He uttered, and the portentous events which occurred when Christ was crucified.

        (1.)  In the crucifixion, the first object that arrests our attention is the extreme suffering it inflicted.  It has been thus described: -- “Crucifixion is, perhaps, the most ingenious and most perfect invention for mingling torture and death that was ever contrived.  Life is to be destroyed; but in this way of destroying it, it is arranged, with savage ingenuity, that no vital part shall be touched.  The torturer goes to the very extremities -- to the hands and to the feet -- and fixes his rough and rusty iron among the nerves and tendons there; and the poor sufferer hangs in a position which admits of no change and of no rest, until burning and torturing inflammation can work its way to the seat of life, and extinguish it by the power of suffering.” 

        This was the manner of death appointed for the Son of God from the beginning: for a thousand years before it had been announced in prophecy -- “They pierced my hands and my feet.”  At the time of this prophecy, such a method of torture was probably unknown, and a train of the most singular providences required to be put in motion in order to secure its accomplishment.  The Romans had to be formed into a nation; they must become a great people; the world must be conquered by them; Judea must become a Roman province; and then the charge against Christ must be of such a kind, and the sentence must be pronounced and the judgment executed by such authority that the legal punishment shall be crucifixion.  For a time it seemed to be doubtful whether the Romans or the Jews would be the judges in his case -- whether the accusation would be blasphemy or rebellion; and so, whether the punishment would be stoning or crucifixion.  The judges sought to cast the responsibility of his death off themselves severally, and to throw it on one another.  The Roman judge said to the Jews, “Take ye him and judge home according to your law, for I find no fault in him.”  But the Jews responded -- “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death;” till at length the clamour of the Jews prevailed -- Pontius yielded -- allowed the charge to go in the form of treason against the Roman emperor -- and sentenced Him to the death of the cross as the punishment which the law inflicted for such a crime.  It is expressly affirmed by the evangelist John -- “All this came to pass, that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which he spake, signifying what death he should die.”  All these events were ordered that prophecy might be accomplished. 

        But why such a prophecy?  There must have been a reason, anterior to the prophecy, why such manner of death should be determined upon and fulfilled.  The explanation is in the words of the apostle Paul -- “It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”  The work which Jesus undertook required to be accomplished through the greatest possible amount of human suffering.  The interests involved demanded that the Saviour should be a sufferer. The evil of sin, the holiness of God, the integrity of the law, the rectitude of the divine government, as well as the mercy of God, must all be palpably exhibited.  There was therefore a propriety in the selection of the most cruel, cursed and ignominious death, as that by which the Son of God should die, when He came forth as the sinners’ friend and substitute. 

        He had Himself counted all the cost.  Of his own free will and full purpose He took this position.  He assumed human nature that He might be qualified to occupy it.  When He cometh into the world He saith -- “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me.  Lo!  I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God.”  The anticipation of the scene through which He was to pass appears to have been seldom out of his thoughts.  “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”  “From that time forth began Jesus to show to his disciples how he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”  As the hour drew nigh He began to be “sorrowful and sore amazed,” and could not help exclaiming, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.”  Yet He drew not back.  “He set his face as a flint” to the work He had undertaken.  He endured an “agony” under which “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”  He gave Himself up to the claims of justice and the purposes of mercy, until the last scene of the fearful tragedy was enacted, and the historian could record of Calvary, “there they crucified him.”

(2.)  In the second place, meditate on the Sufferer.  It is impossible to be unmoved while his suffering is contemplated; but when this is associated with the character and dignity of the Sufferer, our conceptions are greatly heightened and our impressions deepened.  Even among men, the rank and position of a sufferer influence our sympathy.  If it be a king, or a man of eminent worth, who might justly expect to be exempted from the trials of ordinary persons, we are more strongly affected.  Let these ideas be applied then to Christ, and what are we to feel respecting the royal and holy Sufferer?  It is true, the idea sometimes creeps into our minds that his dignity caused his sufferings to be less acutely felt by Him.  But this is a great deception.  It was the very reverse.  Jesus felt his affliction more than ordinary men.  His moral perfection was the cause of his more keen perceptions.  He betrayed often the deepest emotions of distress.  He could truly say, “Never was there sorrow like unto my sorrow.”  His humanity was perfect, and He was “tempted in all things like as we are.”  Its holiness made Him more susceptible of anguish than any of his brethren.  How a good man is agonized when he feels himself suspected of evil conduct, much more when it is charged upon him!  How then must Jesus have been exercised when He was counted as “a winebibber,” and the companion of sinners?  He could truly say, “Reproach hath broken my heart.”  The Deity that dwelt in his humanity afforded no deliverance from his mental agony.  It caused Him to apprehend his position the more clearly and justly.  He felt Himself the “just in the room of the unjust.”  He was conscious of lying under the load of this world’s iniquity.  He knew it was justly charged upon Him as having consented to bear it.  We must not therefore for a moment indulge the idea that the dignity of the Sufferer abated the suffering; rather must we feel that it was proportionably bitter.  And so the question remains in all its force, when challenging an answer, “Who is this?”  And when we reply, “It is Jesus the Son of God, the Saviour of men,” into what reflections are we drawn as we gaze upon his cross?

In the first place, to what views of sin does it open up our minds?  For sin He took our nature -- for sin He tabernacled on earth -- for sin He became “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” -- for sin He endured the agony of the garden -- for sin He died on the cross -- and for sin He lay in the bed of death.  We do learn somewhat of sin in the desolations with which it has swept the earth, in the bodily pains and the mental conflicts which we endure, and in the awful judgements which a righteous God has denounced against it; but all these fall immeasurably below the testimony which is borne by the one fearful act, that it was sin which so oppressed the Son of God when He hung upon the accursed tree.  Oh, shall we not regard it as the abominable thing which God hates, and which He would have us also to hate! 

        Again, the spectacle of this Sufferer is an impressive lesson on what is required for the expiation and removal of sin.  It is recorded that “without shedding of blood is no remission.”  “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away sins.”  In the nature of the case it could not be, for there is no proportion between the sin and such an expiation.  The ancient sacrifices could only typify the one great sacrifice, and direct the attention of men to it -- even to “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” 

Yet farther: While the dignity of the Sufferer exposes the futility of all human expedients to atone for sin, it discovers an expiation perfectly worthy and infinitely available.  “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”  The efficacy of the atonement, by the death of Christ, is declared, and the reason of it is assigned -- He was the Son of God.  The Deity dwelt in the humanity that suffered.  The essential glory that belonged to the one nature conferred an infinite value on the sufferings that were endured in the other.  Thus, “by one sacrifice of himself, hath Jesus perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  “In him we have redemption through his blood.”  “We are redeemed not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Finally, by this atonement all obstacles to salvation are removed, as well on the part of man as of God.  The sinner is assured of the divine favour in Christ.  He is taught, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto men their trespasses;” and he is entreated, “Be ye reconciled unto God.”  Whenever the love of God is thus apprehended it overcomes the enmity of the natural mind, casts out fear, and restores the rebel to allegiance.  At the same time, while the sinner is thus saved, God is glorified.  The divine perfections are all honoured by such redemption: the wisdom that devised it -- the love that provided it -- the power that executed it -- the justice that demanded it -- and the faithfulness that applies it.  The song of the angels that announced the birth of Jesus is the appropriate cry of the believer who meditates upon it:  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will to men.”  Yes, he may say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  In that he may glory, as securing at once the safety of the sinner and the honour of his Judge.  Draw nigh with me, then, to this cross, and hearken.  From looking at the intensity of the suffering, there exhibited, and the dignity of the Sufferer, let us proceed to consider --

(3.)  In the third place, the words uttered by the Sufferer on the cross.  It is natural, reasonable, and right that special attention should be paid to the dying sayings of enlightened and godly men.  Their words are treasured up as precious relics of the dead, and they are recorded and circulated for the instruction of the living.  If this be so in the case of ordinary men, with what interest should we mark the last words of the expiring Saviour?  The death which he died afforded good opportunity for such utterances, and well did He improve it.  For six hours He was suspended on the cross.  During all that time his mind was calm and clear, thought the body was tortured and the soul was agonized with fierce assaults from men and devils.   The potion usually given to the crucified in order to stupefy them and render them less sensible to pain, appears to have been offered to Him, but He would not drink it.  He would meet death in all its terrors with the full possession and unclouded exercise of all his mental faculties.  His sayings were therefore the utterances of his wisdom and grace.  There are seven of them which have been preserved by his biographers, and truly they are memorable.  They develop both his own spirit and the nature of that religion which He bequeathed to mankind.  Let us draw near, then, to his cross, and catch these sayings of our dying Lord.

Hearken!  The scene enacted is thus graphically described in the 22nd Psalm: “Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.  They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax: it is melted in the midst of my bowels.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.  I may tell all my bones, they look and stare upon me.  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”  The tormentors of Jesus are compared to bulls and lions and dogs, tearing Him asunder.  But in the midst of their fury his voice is heard.  In tender accents it rises to heaven, and cries “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  Oh, what a Saviour! what a religion is his!   Forgiveness is its theme.  No amount of iniquity is beyond it pardoning mercy.  Learn these two lessons: we may ourselves have pardon, be our sin what it may; and we ought to pardon others, be their offence what it will.  Oh, let us ourselves accept the forgiveness of God, and freely extend it to others.

Again, hearken!  While Jesus was so earnest for others, his own agony forced attention to Himself, and another cry is heard -- “I thirst.”  He was truly man, and acutely felt his suffering.  Yet in this saying, He looked beyond Himself; for He uttered it that the “Scripture might be fulfilled.”  Even that cry was turned into mockery, and his tormentors gave Him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall.  In this torture of body and mind, must He not have endured, as the sinner’s substitute, the pain of the damned which He himself describes, when he represents the rich man to say -- “Father Abraham, send Lazarus that he may dip his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame?”  And all this He endured that He might say to us -- “He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Hearken!  There is another cry, more vehement than any yet heard -- “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Jesus was forsaken of God!  He gave Him up to those enemies to whom He had said, “This is your hour and the power of darkness.”  While He was fiercely assaulted by wicked men and devils, He was left, not without the support of his Father’s power, but without the light of his countenance.  Then were verified the words, “The enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.  Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.”  Why?  That we might never be forsaken -- that we might enjoy the favour of God -- that that we might for ever sing the song of triumph, “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance!  in thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” 

A new scene now opens.  There were two malefactors crucified with Christ, one on either side.  Of these, the heart of one was smitten on the cross.  There at the eleventh hour of his life, he was convinced of sin; and having his mind opened to discern the Saviour in Jesus, he prayed to Him, and said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”  The reply is another of Christ’s last words -- “To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”  Simple, but weighty words!  No sinner beyond the reach of mercy!  No time too late to seek salvation!  No prayer of penitence and faith refused!  The soul made meet for heaven whenever it embraces the Saviour!  And as soon as it is released from the body admitted to the presence and enjoyment of God! 

Full, however, as eternity was in the eye of the Saviour, He did not forget the interests of his people in time.  Another of his memorable sayings makes this apparent:  “There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!  And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”  What a heart was here!  In the midst of his own agony He did not neglect to make provision for his aged and, no doubt, widowed mother.  He is the same yet, and saith to his poor suffering people, “Your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need of these things,” and intimates that He will provide for them.  What an example to us!  We must respect the relations of life, remember their claims, discharge their duties, and do all in a spirit of tenderness and love. 

Hearken once more!  The tragedy approaches to a termination.  Jesus knew that all things were now accomplished, and saith, “It is finished.”  What is finished?  Let the familiar words of the paraphrase be our reply --

“’Tis finish’d! was His latest voice;
These sacred accents o’er
He bow’d his head, gave up the ghost,
And suffer’d pain no more.

“’Tis finish’d!  The Messiah dies
For sins, but not his own
The great redemption is complete,
And Satan’s pow’r o’erthrown.

“’Tis finish’d! All his groans are past;
His blood, his pains, and toils,
Have fully vanquished our foes,
And crowned him with their spoils.

“‘’Tis finish’d! Legal worship ends,
And gospel ages run;
All old things now are pass’d away,
And a new world begun.”

One other saying only He uttered, and with it “He gave up the ghost.”  “With a loud voice,” indicative of a sound mind, He cried, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.”  In the last moment of life he manifested the immateriality of the soul, and its independence of the body.  He exhibited his power to dispose of his own life, and He “gave his soul an offering for sin.”  He taught us by his example how to die, yielding our souls into the hands of our heavenly Father, reconciled to us by his blood.  And He gave a premonition of the time when, as He presented his own spirit to God, so He shall at last present all his people “a glorious church: not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” 

Thus Jesus died when they crucified Him.  Let us now complete our mediation on the scene, noticing --

        (4.)  In the fourth and last place, the portentous events that happened while Christ was crucified.  Portentous they truly were.  They cannot be accounted for on natural principles.  They were the voice of God speaking to guilty man, and proclaiming the deep interest of heaven in the deed then transacted upon earth. 

“There was darkness over all the land from the sixth till the ninth hour.”  This must have been supernatural, for it occurred at the time of the Passover, which was always observed at the full moon, when there could be no eclipse; and it commenced at noon, and continued for the space of three hours.  It is recorded of a heathen philosopher that he exclaimed, “Either nature’s God is suffering, or the world’s destruction is come.”  Ancient historians, independent of the Scriptures, relate the fact.  And what saith it? He that made the sun suspended its influence.  The sun of day bore testimony to the Sun of Righteousness.  The one veiled his face in shame while the glory of the other was obscured.  God gave the last sign of his indignation to a deluded race, if perhaps they might be awe-struck, and led to repentance. 

Nor was this the only prodigy.  “The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”  It was that which separated holy place from the most holy.  It was so constructed for strength, and of such materials, that no human hand could have thus torn it.  And the import of the sin is well explained by the apostle Paul, when he thus manifestly refers to it in his explanation of the Jewish ritual: -- “Having therefore boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus; by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”  The rent vail is the Saviour’s humanity.  Through his death there is access to all -- Jew and Gentile, bond and free.

More impressive still than either of these signs, we are informed farther, -- “The earth did quake, and the rocks rent, and the graves were opened, and many of the bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and appeared unto many.”  Earth sympathized with heaven in contemplating this scene.  Both owned the sovereignty of their dying Creator.  Death itself bore witness to Jesus, and proclaimed Him to be the resurrection and the life.  All nature attested his innocence, divinity, and triumph.  There was but one exception.  Alas! It was found in him on whose account He suffered -- in man.

In conclusion, let me remind you, there is what the Scriptures call “crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to an open shame.”  This is done by unbelief, when we refuse Him in his mediatorial work: by impenitence, when we harden our hearts against Christ and his claims; and by any sin when it is knowingly committed, against the very design of his death, which is to destroy it.  Shall we be thus guilty?  In the view of his cross let us reply, “No! no!”

I hear from every voice, What then shall we do? --

1. Let us by faith accept the crucified one.  Let us say, with self-appropriation, “He of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” We are “complete in Him.”

2.  Let us in penitence wait upon Him.  He has given us this word of appeal, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  We will pour out our hearts before Him, and plead that “the sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart.

3. Let us submit to Him  This is his demand: “Yield yourselves unto God” -- our understanding, to be taught by Him; our will, to be ruled by Him; our affections, to be set upon Him; our life to be devoted to Him; all we are, all we have, all we can do; owning “we are not our own, but bought with a price, and should glorify Him in our body and spirit, which are his.”

4.  Let us confess Him.  Be it ours to say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”  “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.  I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem!  Praise ye the Lord.”  -- James Morgan, D.D.

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THE CHILDREN’S SERVICE.

OF THE WICKED QUEEN JEZEBEL.

THE land of Canaan, before the people of Israel were placed in it by God, was full of very vile worshippers of idols.  That, indeed, was the reason why God took the country from them, and gave it to the children of Abraham, his ‘friend.’  God was, therefore, very desirous that his own nation should not learn to serve stocks and stones, like the race that was in Canaan before them.  Now, as all around them -- in Moab and Syria, and Philistia -- the people followed idols, it was necessary to keep Israel from having too much or too close intercourse with them, lest they should come to do as their neighbours did.  So God made a strict law that his people were not to make marriages with idolatrous women of the nations around them.  If, indeed, the women became worshippers of the true God, like Ruth the Moabitess, there was nothing to prevent their marrying into the families of Israel; but so long as they were idolaters, the sons of God’s people were forbidden to wed them.  The law, however, was often broken.  The wise king Solomon himself in his later years sinned greatly in this respect, and took unto him many strange or foreign wives, and these became a sad snare to him.  So much so, that we are told the very man who built the grand temple to Jehovah in Jerusalem, built also temples on hills that could be seen from Zion to different heathen gods.  This was a painful proof how needful and how wise the law was which forbade these mixed marriages.

If Solomon himself, after all God had done for him and by him, fell thus--

“Beguiled by fair idolatresses,”

we need not wonder that when the division of the nation into ten tribes and two had taken place, and the former had been cut off by their kings from the regular worship of the true God, the law against intercourse with idolaters should be greatly disregarded among them.  One of their kings, moreover, has become infamous for the open example of disobedience which he set in this manner, and for the wickedness into which it led him.  His name was Ahab.  He reigned in Samaria, which his father Omri had built.  He was not content with the idolatry of the kings who went before him, who, led by Jeroboam, worshipped calves in Bethel, calling them representatives of the God of Israel, but prepared the way for bringing in the service of other gods by taking to wife the daughter of the king of the Zidonians.  Her name was Jezebel.  She was a very clever, unscrupulous, determined woman, given to the worship of Baal, and resolved to make Israel honour her god.  She made Ahab do much as she liked; so that he built a temple for Baal in Samaria, and reared an altar in it, and planted a grove, and allowed a swarm of priests to minister to the idol.  Jezebel in her zeal did still more.  She sought out, for the purpose of killing them, all the prophets of the Lord, and she succeeded in destroying many of them.  Indeed, she would have cut them all off, but that one of the king’s servants, who feared God, made himself their friend, and hid a hundred of them in two caves, and fed them there.

There was one other prophet of truth whom the Lord himself hid from her rage, after sending him with a message of woe to Samaria.  This was the great Elijah, who was at last carried up into heaven by a chariot of fire.  One day he suddenly appeared in the streets of the royal city, and said that there would not be rain or dew in the land till he should give the word.  Then he went out of sight to the place where God bade him go.  Where he went, what happened meanwhile, and how he showed himself again, and gathered the people together and gave them proof that Baal was no god, I must tell you in a separate story, for the whole is very wonderful.  Here, in connection with the wicked queen of whom I am now speaking, it is enough to say that after letting the people see how foolish and wicked it was to forsake Jehovah for Jezebel’s idol, Elijah had them slay four hundred and fifty priests of Baal whom he had put to shame that day.  This was God’s just punishment of men that had led his people into sin.  But it filled the queen with rage, and she swore a great oath by her gods that she would take the life of Elijah next day.  And in the fierceness of her passion she sent him a message to say that she had sworn she would.

It often happens that people in a passion do things which defeat their own ends.  Jezebel did not think that, by sending her fierce message, she was warning the prophet, and giving him time to flee.  But surely Elijah, the chosen prophet of the Lord, did not need to flee.  God could surely protect his servant even against Jezebel’s wrath.  That is quite true; and Elijah should have trusted in his power and waited for directions what to do.  But to show us how weak the strongest are in themselves, God allowed the prophet to get notice of the queen’s threat, and to act according to his own feelings.  So when Elijah heard that the wife of Ahab had sworn to take his life, he who the day before had boldly faced the whole host of Baal’s priests, and braved the king and his court, arose and fled.  It is sad to think of one so great and strong becoming weak like other men; but good lessons came out of the failure of Elijah’s faith, both to himself at the time, and to us who now read the account.  But what these were, and how they were given, I will tell you also in another story.  Here I must finish what is to be said about wicked Jezebel. 

After Elijah had come back from his flight something happened which brought him face to face again with King Ahab, and led him to foretell the doom of himself and his bad queen.   The thing was this.  A man of the name of Naboth had a vineyard in Jezreel, very near to the palace of King Ahab.  This vineyard the king thought would make a nice garden for herbs; so he offered to buy it from its owner for money, or to give another in exchange for it.  But Naboth would not sell it on any account, because, he said, it was the inheritance he had gotten from his fathers.  Now it happens with children, as you may know, who get their own way in everything, as kings were wont to do of old, that when anything they wish for is denied them, they fall into a pet about it, and this is exactly what Ahab did.  Man though he was, and king, he behaved like a weak spoiled child; he went home, and lay down upon his bed, and would not eat his dinner. When the queen heard of it, she came to see what was the matter.  But when Ahab told her what ailed him, she said, Are you the king of Israel or not, that you should fret about not getting what you may take when you like?  Get up, and go to dinner; I will get you the vineyard you want.  On that, she went her way, and wrote letters to the magistrates and great people of the town where Naboth lived, and told them to get men to witness against him that he had spoken treason against God and the king, and to have him publicly tried, and condemned, and stoned to death.  The nobles and elders, sad to say, did as the cruel queen bade them.  They got men to swear lies against Naboth, and passed sentence on him, that he should be stoned to death. ‘Then they carried him forth out of the city,’ says the Bible, ‘and stoned him with stones, that he died.’ After this they sent word to the queen that they had done her bidding, and she went to Ahab and said, ‘Naboth is dead, go now and take possession of his vineyard;’ and away for this purpose the king went.

Perhaps you say here, when you think of Naboth being killed and robbed, why does God allow such things to happen?  It is a question that has often been put.  I cannot answer it fully.  But there are some things which I may venture to say, and which you may understand.  I think God allows such things to be done for one reason, that it may be seen how bad the sinful heart is when it has its way.  Then he lets them happen that there may be room for patience and forgiveness on the part of those who are cruelly wronged.  He allows them, that he may give to some up in heaven sufferers’ and martyrs’ crowns.  One thing more: he lets them be done without punishing them at once, that he may give the doers space to repent, and if they do not, may show that sin always in the end finds the sinner out.

So it was with Ahab and Jezebel.  When the king went down to the vineyard of Naboth, Elijah met him, and told him the Lord knew all about his murder and his robbery, and said that the dogs would lick his blood where they had licked that of Naboth, and would eat the flesh of Jezebel by the wall of Samaria.  And so it came about.  For after that, Ahab was shot with an arrow at a great battle with the Syrians, and the chariot he was taken home in was covered with gore from his wound, and was afterwards washed at a pool, round which the dogs came lapping up the blood.  So, too, with the wicked queen.  A captain of the name of Jehu rebelled against Ahab’s son, and took the city Samaria, when some of Jezebel’s own servants threw her out of a window, and she was trampled on and torn, and eaten up of dogs, according to the word of the Lord.

The lessons of this painful story are such as these: -- Success in sin for a time does not secure against punishment.  If we do not repent of sin, it will destroy us.  God is strong to save, but he is also strong to smite.  The word of the Lord stands sure. 

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QUESTIONS ON THE BIBLE STORY.

1.  Where is Abraham called the friend of God?

2. What was the name of the great idol of Philistia?

3. Where is the law against the Israelites marrying idolaters, with the reason for it, to be found?

4. In whose reign were the twelve tribes divided into ten and two?

5.  Do you know the name of a wicked queen of Judah, who was, like Jezebel, a murderess?  Whom did she kill?

6.  What was the name of Ahab’s servant who saved a hundred prophets’ lives?

7.  What terrible slaughter befel the worshippers of Baal by another hand than that of Elijah?

8.  Who was it that wrote letters to get rulers of a city to commit not one, but seventy murders, at once?

9.  Who was stoned in New Testament times for pretended blasphemy?

10.  In which of the Psalms does the writer tell us how perplexed he was with the prosperity of the wicked?

ANSWERS to the foregoing questions may be found by consulting James ii.; Judges xvi.; 1 Sam. v.; Deut. vii., Ezra ix.; 2 Chron. x.; 2 Kings xi.; 1 Kings xviii.; 2 Kings x.; 2 Kings x.; Acts vii.; Psalm lxxiii.

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Prayer.

O LORD God, the Ruler of all the earth, King of kings and Lord of lords, we thank Thee for the peaceful and happy rule of our beloved Queen.  We thank Thee that Thou hast cast our lot in a land where one who is kind and just and noble reigns.  We pray Thee to comfort and care for our Royal Mistress, and to prolong her life, and establish her throne in righteousness.  Break the power of all cruel and unrighteous and bloody kings, and change their hearts.  Have pity on all who are imprisoned or made in any way to suffer for Christ’s sake.  Give them grace to be patient, faithful to truth, and willing rather to die than to deny Christ.  Give them deliverance or the crown of the martyrs.  O God, let not our trust in Thee at any time fail, and keep us always on the side of lovingkindness and truth and peace in the earth.  All we ask is in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  

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EVENING WORSHIP.

O THOU, who art the fountain of all truth and holiness, whom to know is life eternal, possess our souls with the might of thy grace, so that all the strongholds of Satan, and whatever is opposed within us to Thy supreme authority, may be overturned and brought into the obedience of Jesus Christ.  Deliver us from all ambitious desires to advance our selfish interests, all prejudice against, and sinful ignorance of, Thy word, and help us to acknowledge Thy revealed will as the rule of our life, Thy precious promises as the fulfilment of our hopes, and union with Thyself as joy unspeakable, that we may believe and live.  Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm cxlix. 1-5.

PRAISE the Lord, who reigns above,
And keeps His courts below;
Praise the holy God of love,
And all His greatness show:
Praise Him for his noble deeds,
Praise Him for His matchless power;
Him from whom all good proceeds
Let earth and heaven adore. 

Publish, spread to all around
The great Immanuel’s name;
Let the trumpet’s loudest sound
Him Lord of Hosts proclaim:
Praise Him, every tuneful string,
All the reach of heavenly art;
All the powers of music bring --
The music of the heart

Him in whom they move and live,
Let every creature sing;
Glory to their Maker give,
And homage to their King.
Hallow’d be His name beneath,
As in heaven on earth adored!
Praise the Lord in every breath;
Let all things praise the Lord!

PSALM XXII. 1-31.

MY God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 2. O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, 8. He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 9. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts, &tc.

HEBREWS VIII.

NOW of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8. For, finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make andw covenant with the  house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  9. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the and of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man is brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.  Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

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Prayer.

O LORD, we began thy holy day with Thee, and with Thee we desire to end it, through Jesus Christ.  We have waited upon Thee, the God of ordinances, and of all the grace thereby imparted to sinful men.  And now we beseech Thee, for the sake of our Advocate whom Thou hearest always to make this day and its duties effectual for all the gracious ends which it is designed to serve.  It is the Lord’s day!  O that it may be found we have been in the Spirit upon it.  May we have reason and grace to say of Him, and of our fellowship with Him, “We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth; and of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace.” Of the blessed fruit of union and communion with Jesus may we be ourselves sweetly conscious, and may it be manifested to others in our sanctified walk and conversation.  Give us reason and grace to say, “Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures.”  And may all that see us “take knowledge of us, that we have been with Jesus.”  As it was with thy servant Moses, so may it be with us, whose face shone when he came down from the mount of communion.  We have been reading and hearing thy most holy word; may its power in us and over us and by us be felt increasingly.  May we understand it better, love it more, and obey it as we have never yet done.  May it prove to be profitable for doctrine, enlightening us more fully in the knowledge of “the truth as it is in Jesus;” for reproof, making us better acquainted with ourselves, and especially with our sins and shortcomings; for correction, recovering us from our errors, infirmities, and backslidings; and for instruction in righteousness, building us up in our most holy faith, and making us thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  So may we “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  As many of us as have enjoyed the privileges of the sanctuary, do Thou help to manifest that we have met with the God of the sanctuary.  Save us from trusting in any outward observances, but may it be apparent to us and to others that they who “are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God, and still bring forth fruit abundantly.”  May we have grace to go on our way rejoicing, as strong men refreshed with wine; and on the strength of the spiritual food with which we have been fed may we be enabled to journey upward and onward, till we come to the mount of God.  Wherein any of us have enjoyed and embraced opportunities of doing as well as receiving good, may it be found that we have not laboured in vain, either for ourselves or others.  May we know that in doing good we get good, and in watering others we are ourselves watered.  May similar blessings rest on all those with whom we have been associated in exercises of worship or well-doing.  May the church of Christ be greatly edified.  Cause it to rise and shine with the radiance of divine truth.  May all its members be “epistles of Christ, known and read of all men.”  May its ministers and it missionaries and teachers be all “burning and shining lights, holding forth the word of life.”  And may they approve themselves to be witnesses for God in all the earth.  Refreshed and quickened and strengthened by the return of this blessed day, and all its divine associations, may they lie down upon their beds, as it closes, with peaceful minds and grateful recollections.  Raised up in health of mind and of body on the coming day, may they and we all once more begin the business of the week better prepared for all that is before us in it.  May we have increased strength to resist the temptations that may assail us, as well as with more fidelity to discharge its duties; or growing patience to bear its sorrows, or improve its dispensations.  In all the circumstances and relations of life may we be enabled to walk worthy of the high vocation with which we have been called.  May we be enabled to act on the heavenly counsel, “As he who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written, Be ye holy for I am holy; and pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, forasmuch as ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without spot.”  In our personal deportment and inner life may we be more pure and circumspect.  In our worldly business may we be more upright and sincere.  In our intercourse with others may we be forgiving, forbearing, generous, and benevolent.  In our family may we be tender and loving, and full of holy sympathy.  In all that is given to do may we hear Christ saying, “Occupy till I come.”  May it be our care and endeavour to “serve our day and generation” in the prospect of falling asleep in Jesus.  O that it may be our high and holy purpose to leave the world better than we found it.  And so may we prove to all men the profit of the holy Sabbath, in these blessed and gracious fruits and influences.  May we realize the experience of the godly in other days, of whom it is upon record -- “They go from strength to strength; every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.”  Thus may our Sabbath end in peace.  Amen.

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MORNING AND EVENING MEDITATIONS.

MONDAY.

Morning.

       Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

        Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

        And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

        And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

        Likewise also the cup after supper, saying This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

        For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

        1 Cor. v. 7, 8.     Matt. xxvi. 26.   Luke xxii. 19, 20.   Matt. xxvi. 28.

Evening.

        Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

        And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

        And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

        And did all drink the same spiritual drink; (for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ:)

        But with many of them God was not well pleased.

1 Cor. x. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

TUESDAY.

Morning.

        The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

        For we, being many, are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

        But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

        Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Cor. x. 16, 17, 20.       1 Cor. xi. 27.

Evening.

        The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

        What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me?

        I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.

        I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.

        As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.  I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

        He brought me to the banqueting-house, and his banner over me was love.

Ps. cxvi. 6, 12, 13, 14.        Song. ii. 3,4.

WEDNESDAY.

Morning.

        I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

        And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

        And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.

        He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. 

Rev.xxi. 6.         Isa. xxv. 6, 7, 8.

Evening.

        I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

        I am the living bread which came down from heaven.  If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

        Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

        Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 

John vi. 35, 51, 53, 54.

THURSDAY. 

Morning.

        John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

        He it is, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

        The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!

        This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for he was before me.

        And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 

        John i. 26, 27, 29, 30, 31.

Evening.

        And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?  And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

        Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

        When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

        Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  

Acts xix. 3, 4, 5.        Matt. xxviii. 19.

FRIDAY.

Morning.

        Except  man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

        He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

        And the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

        And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

        And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

John iii. 5.   Mark xvi. 16.  Acts viii. 36, 37, 38.

Evening.

        What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

        God forbid.  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

        Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

        Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom. vi. 1, 2, 3, 4.

SATURDAY.

Morning.

        For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

        For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

        For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

        There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

        And if ye be Christ’s,  then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

1 Cor. xii. 13.    Gal. iii. 26, 27, 28, 29. 

Evening.

        Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

        And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

        Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

        And having principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

        Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink.

Col. ii. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

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