OUR Father in heaven! We read in Thy holy
word, that because we know not what to pray for as we ought, Thy
Holy Spirit helpeth our infirmities. Grant that on this occasion
we may experience His gracious assistance. We have often been
conscious of distraction of mind and of wandering thoughts in
the worship of Thy holy name, and we fear lest we should now be
hindered in our praises and prayers. That we may worship Thee
aright we ask the aid of the Holy Ghost, which we beseech Thee
to grant unto us according to Thy promise, and for Jesus
Christ’s sake. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm cxliii. 6-10.
ETERNAL Spirit! by whose power
Are burst the bands of death,
On our cold hearts thy blessings shower,
Revive them with thy breath.
Tis thine to cheer us when distressed;
To raise us when we fall;
To calm the doubting, troubled breast,
And aid when sinners call;
Tis thine to ring God’s sacred word,
And write it in each heart;
There its reviving truths record,
And there its peace impart.
Almighty Spirit, visit thus
Our hearts, and guide our ways;
Pour down thy quickening grace on us,
And tune our lips to praise.
BLESSED is he whose transgression is
forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2. Blessed is the man unto whom
the Lord imputeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no
guile. 3. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my
roaring all the day long: 4. For day and night thy hand was
heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.
5. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not
hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and
thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. 6. For this shall
everyone that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest
be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not
come nigh unto him. 7. Thou art my hiding-place: thou shalt
preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs
of deliverance. 8. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the
way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9. Be
ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no
understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle,
lest they come near unto thee. 10. Many sorrows shall be to the
wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass
him about. 11. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous:
and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
O ISRAEL, return unto the Lord thy God; for
thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 2. Take with you words, and
turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and
receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
3. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses;
neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are
our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. 4. I will
heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger
is turned away from him. 5. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he
shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 6.
His branches shall spread, and is beauty shall be as the olive
tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 7. They that dwell under his
shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as
the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. 8.
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have
heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me
is thy fruit found. 9. Who is wise, and he shall understand
these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of
the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the
transgressors shall fall therein.
2 CORINTHIANS, VII. 1-10.
HAVING therefore these promises, dearly
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the
flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2.
Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we
have defrauded no man. 3. I speak not this to condemn you: for I
have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with
you. 4. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my
glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful
in all our tribulation. 5. For, when we were come into
Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every
side: without were fightings, within were fears. 6. Nevertheless
God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by
the coming of Titus; 7. And not by his coming only, but by the
consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us
your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me;
so that I rejoiced the more. 8. For though I made you sorry with
a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive
that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but
for a season. 9. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but
that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a
godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
OUR heavenly Father! suffer us now to pray
unto Thee. Thou hast given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises, all which are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus.
We ask that these words of grace and truth
may be fulfilled in our experience. Thou hast promised
abundantly to pardon : grant unto us the forgiveness of sins.
Thou hast promised to put thy laws in the mind and to write them
in the heart: transfer thy holy commandments to our spirits, we
beseech Thee. Thou hast promised to be a Father to those who
come out of the world and are separate: be then, we beseech
Thee, a Father unto us, and train us to live as the sons and
daughters of the Lord God Almighty. Thou hast given to all
believers a promise of rest: may we through faith enter into
rest, enjoying now the rest which remaineth for the people of
God. Thou hast promised comfort and succour in affliction: when
we pass through the waters be thou with us that they may not
overflow us, and when we pass through the fire be thou with us
that it may not consume us. Thou hast promised help in
temptation: when we are tempted to make a way for our escape
that we may be able to bear it. Thou hast promised us eternal
life, and this is named in Thy word as Thy chief gift: give us,
we pray Thee, although we deserve the wages of sin, this
inestimable gift, everlasting life. Good things, more than we
can mention, Thou hast promised: fulfil to us, we beseech Thee,
all Thy most gracious words, and so strengthen our faith that we
may lay hold of them with a firm and earnest grasp.
And seeing, O God of hope, that Thou hast
given all these promises that we may abound in hope, we pray one
fruit of our faith in Thy words may be the expectation of good.
May a good hope through grace be the anchor of our soul, and may
it be our helmet covering our head in every day of conflict.
On this day we especially ask that the
promise of rest may be fulfilled unto us all. Grant us rest from
fear and from care, from regret and from foreboding, from sorrow
and from sin; and may this rest be sanctified to our spiritual
refreshment, so that after this day of holy quiet we may be
better fitted for the duties of this new week. And grant,
merciful Father, we beseech Thee, that when we come to the end
of all our working days on earth, we may be cheered by the
bright prospect of the rest of heaven, and may pass through
death to that blessed consummation of our life of faith on
We do not, O merciful Father, confine our
prayers to ourselves, but according to thine own directions, we
make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks
for all men. We pray Thee to bless our Queen, the Prince and
Princess of Wales, and all the royal family. May they all be
true disciples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We pray
Thee to direct the ministers of state, and all our rulers,
imparting unto them the wisdom that cometh from above. Assist
the judges and magistrates, that they may not bear the sword in
vain. Bless all sorts and conditions of men in Great Britain,
Ireland, and the Colonies. Increase the number of true
Christians daily, and purify and extend the influence of those
who are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the
world. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as in
God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and
cause His face to shine upon us, that Thy way may be known upon
earth, Thy saving health among all nations. Let the people
praise Thee, O God, let all the people praise Thee.” Bless this
day all preachers of Thy gospel, O blessed God. Inspire them
that their words may be with power, and that the message which
they deliver may be mighty through Thee. Help all teachers in
Christian schools, that they may teach, not themselves, but
Christ Jesus the Lord. Direct all parents and masters in the
instruction of their families, and grant that the children of
all Christians may grow in the knowledge of their Saviour. O
send out Thy light and Thy truth. Send Thy light wherever now
darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people. It is
not Thy will that any should perish but that all should come to
repentance. Remove blindness from the Jews, we pray Thee, that
Israel may be saved; and so baptize the nations with the Holy
Ghost, that the fulness of the Gentiles may be brought into Thy
We acknowledge to Thee, O Holy Father, our
manifold sins. We have transgressed Thy holy law, and need the
pardon which Thou alone canst give. Pardon us, O Lord our God,
as we have already asked Thee, and cleanse us from all
We bless Thee for Thy pity, and patience, and
long-suffering. Thou has not dealt with us after our sins, nor
rewarded us according to our iniquities. For all Thy gifts and
for all Thy goodness our hearts thank Thee; especially do we
thank Thee for the love Thou hast shown us in the gift of Thine
only-begotten and well-beloved Son. Thanks be unto God for His
unspeakable gift. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who only doeth wondrous things: and blessed be His glorious name
for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
CHURCH IN THE HOUSE.
ALMIGHTY God, Father
of all mercies! Thou hast made us capable of knowing and of
loving Thee, and Thou hast revealed Thyself unto us men, that we
may not be without the knowledge of Thy name. Incline us to
listen to the heavens as they declare Thy glory, and to look
upon the firmament as showing thy handiwork. Move us to read
diligently Thy holy word. Above all incline us to study the life
and character of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, that in Him, as the
brightness of Thy Glory, and the express image of Thy person, we
may see Thyself, and beholding thee, love and serve Thee in
Jesus Christ. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm xxv. 7-10.
GRACE, t’is a charming sound,
Harmonious to the ear;
Heaven with the echo shall resound,
And all the earth shall hear.
Grace first contrived the way
To save rebellious man;
And all the steps that grace display,
Which drew the wondrous plan.
Grace taught my wandering feet
To tread the heavenly road;
And new supplies each hour I meet,
While pressing on to God.
Grace all the work shall crown
Through everlasting days;
In lays in heaven the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise.
THE heavens declare the glory of God; and the
firmament sheweth his handywork. 2. Day unto day uttereth
speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3. There is no
speech nor language where their voice is not heard. 4. Their
line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the
end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun;
5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and
rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6. His going forth is
from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it:
and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7. The law of
the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the
Lord is sure, making wise the simple: 8. The statutes of the
Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord
is pure, enlightening the eyes: 9. The fear of the Lord is
clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and
righteous altogether. 10. More to be desired are they than gold,
yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the
honey-comb. 11. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned: and in
keeping of them there is great reward. 12. Who can understand
his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13. Keep back
thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have
dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be
innocent from the great transgression. 14. Let the words of my
mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy
sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
ROMANS V. 1-11.
THEREFORE, being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2. By whom also we
have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and
rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3. And not only so, but we
glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh
patience; 4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5.
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ
died for the ungodly. 7. For scarcely for a righteous man will
one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to
die. 8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9. Much more then, being
now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through
him. 10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall
be saved by his life. 11. And not only so, but we also joy in
God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received
HEBREWS X. 19-25.
HAVING therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus, 20. By a new and living way, which he
hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, his
flesh; 21. And having an high priest over the house of God; 22.
Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith,
having our heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our
bodies washed with pure water. 23. Let us hold fast the
profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful
that promised;) 24. And let us consider one another, to provoke
unto love, and to good works: 25. Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting
one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day
“TO TESTIFY THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.”
--Acts xx. 24.
“GOD” --what different thoughts and emotions this word suggests
and awakens in different minds! “God” -- “There is no God,”
siath the atheist. “God” -- “There is a God, but he has little
or nothing to do with any of us,” saith the deist. “God” -- “I
believe in God,” sith the ungodly, but I have no time to inquire
about him or to think of him. “God” saith the erring and
unenlightened spirit--”He is too merciful to punish sin;” or “he
is too just to forgive sin; he is an austere man, reaping where
he has not sown.” “God,” saith the sin-stricken soul -- “He is a
terror to me.” “God,” saith the enlightened and contrite spirit
-- “O that I knew where I could find him, that I might come even
to his seat.” “God,” saith the disciple of Jesus Christ-- “God
--He is my Father. Blessed be God! Blessed be his glorious name
for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.”
There is a God. We are conscious of his
existence. Our spirits feel him to be near. And this sense of
his existence and of his presence is confirmed by the testimony
of the things he has made. Of the attributes of God we have no
correct or adequate notion, apart from special divine
revelation. We know that God is in every sense supreme, and we
see by his works that the Maker of all things is mighty, wise,
righteous, and benevolent. But where is the oracle in creation,
or in my own spirit, that speaks to me of God’s grace?
The grace of God is not the simple benevolence of God, but love
cleaving to its object when that object has become unlovely and
unloving; love ministering when the beneficiaries have actually
forfeited all claim and lost all merit and worthiness; love
cleaving to those who are repulsive and hateful; love seeking to
enrich the impoverished, to assist the weakened and exhausted,
to reform the depraved, to elevate the degraded, and to deliver
from punishment the guilty. And where in creation, or within my
own spirit, is the oracle that tells me that God’s love has
taken or will ever take this gracious form? The material world
and my own entire constitution show me that if I transgress
God’s laws I must suffer; but they present no indications of
redeeming and restoring grace. With the grace of God I can
become acquainted, only by the gospel of that grace.
But let us tarry for a moment to reflect what
the grace of God must be. Like God, the grace of God is
self-existent and eternal. He has not been constrained to be
gracious. He has not lived to become gracious. His mercy is from
everlasting to everlasting. As before creation creative energy
was pent up in the divine nature, so before sin was committed,
or sorrow felt, the grace of God was in existence. The grace of
God is the grace of the living God--a vital, active, stirring
principle, ready for expression from eternity, and manifested to
man on the first occasion. The grace of God is all-sufficient
and almighty, able to descend to the lowest depths, to ascend to
the loftiest heights, to expand itself to the utmost embrace of
its objects and to proceed even to the uttermost--no blind
impulse, but love seeking the lost in eternal light; no foolish
emotions, but depth of feeling with depths of wisdom; no
unworthy sympathy with the sinner, but love pure as the crystal
is clear and holy as the sun is bright. The grace of God is
godlike grace -- an ocean of mercy shoreless and unfathomable; a
firmament of mercy cloudless and infinite; an arm of mercy
almighty and stretched out still; a hand of mercy full of
blessing for the sinful and the guilty. The grace of God is
sovereign as his own will, yet never capricious; free and
unbought as air and light, yet given according to covenant and
promise; full even to unsearchableness, yet flowing to us in
streams adapted to our sorrow and to our sins; variable in
manifestation, yet in itself immutable.
This grace of God is revealed by the gospel,
and by the gospel alone. This word gospel had long been used to
designate the announcement of joyous events--as the birth of a
child, a coming of age, a propitious marriage, recovery from
sickness, the advent of prosperity in any such form as a victory
or deliverance from any personal, domestic, or national evil.
And the sacred writers employ it to represent the announcement
of the following facts:--
1. That God loves
the world. God knows that his image in man is defaced; that the
imagination of man’s heart is evil; that we have all gone out of
the way; that we have gone astray like lost sheep; that there is
none righteous, no, not one; and that the whole world is guilty
before him; yet He loves the world. God cannot blame himself for
man’s fall. He can find no fault with his first commandment, and
he made man upright; yet he loves the world. God hates sin; he
punishes sin, and he will destroy many of the wicked; yet he
loves the world. There are in the world those who are elect
according to the foreknowledge of God; yet he loves the world.
We may ask, why did he, foreknowing all, permit sin to enter and
to abound? Why does he not urge forward more swiftly the
dispensation of his grace? We feel these difficulties and
mysteries, and we have no explanation to offer; still we
reiterate upon divine authority that God loves the world.
2. God gave to be the Saviour of the world
his Son--his own Son, only begotten and well beloved. An
unspeakable gift! The value of this gift is unspeakable. All
calculations and illustrations of the preciousness of Jesus
Christ fall far short of his glory. In giving his Son to be our
Saviour, God gives himself. Our Redeemer is not a redeeming man
or a redeeming angel, but the redeeming God. And see the value
and importance of this fact! Our salvation is committed to the
only begotten Son of God. He knows all that is required; and he
is willing. That which he does to save us is performed with
perfect knowledge, consummate wisdom, complete righteousness,
and perfect love. He who made all things, and without whom
nothing was made, is given to be our Saviour. Thanks be unto God
for this unspeakable gift.
3. God made his Son Jesus Christ sin for
us--that is, God accounted his sinless Son a sinner, and
afflicted him as such, that the punishment due to our
transgressions might be remitted--remitted consistently with the
claims of justice and of divine law. “He was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the
chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we
are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned
every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the
iniquities of us all.” “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse
of the law, being made a curse for us.” And is this gospel? Can
we rejoice in suffering--in the suffering of another, of another
for us, of another for our sins, of the Son of God for our sins?
These tidings must ever be characterized by features which are
sorrowful and awful; still they are good tidings. God making his
Son a sin-offering is consistent with eternal love for his Son;
and, at the same time, is a marvellous exhibition of his love
for our race. Besides this, the bearing our own sins would ruin
us, but Christ bearing our sins for us, although it involved
humiliation, suffering, and death, did not destroy him; on the
contrary, it was his path to a throne of peculiar grandeur and
glory, while it is the means of our salvation. Although,
therefore, with the sorrows of the smitten Redeemer we mourn, in
the design and effect of these sorrows we cannot but rejoice.
4. As by the disobedience of one many were
made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made
righteous. The Son of God was not only made a curse for us; he
was made a blessing for us. He not only suffered, he also
sanctified himself. He not only endured the penalty of the law;
he also fulfilled the law. He not only represents us as a
punished transgressor; he also represents us as a righteous
head. The man Christ Jesus is a representative man; he is the
second Adam: so that, as by our sins being imputed to him our
punishment may be remitted, by his righteousness being reckoned
to us we may be justified. This justification, on the basis of
the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, is no false position
or fictitious state, because it is taken with the perfect
knowledge and full consent of the law-giver and judge (it is, in
fact, the provision of the law-giver and judge), and because it
is recognized as the free gift of the eternal mercy. Apart from
such a provision no flesh living could be justified; but herein
is justification for the ungodly. And seeing that, without such
justification, the results of sin and guilt, even though
punishment were remitted, must cleave unto us, we perceive that
the announcement of God’s provision for this purpose is good
tidings of great joy.
5. God has exalted his Son a Prince and a
Saviour to give repentance and remission of sin. Jesus Christ
humbled himself to lay the foundation of the dispensation of
divine mercy, and he is exalted to carry up the superstructure,
and to place the topmost stone. Jesus Christ suffered to make
atonement for sin, and he is glorified to apply that atonement
to individual salvation. Jesus Christ was delivered into the
hands of wicked men that he might suffer, the just for the
unjust; and he is enthroned that he may bring us to God. He laid
down his life that his sheep might not die; and he has taken it
again that his sheep may live. He endured the cross to remove it
from our shoulder; and he has taken a crown that he may put a
diadem upon our brow. An enthroned Redeemer! with the earth and
the sun and the universe at his feet; with hell subject to him,
and all heaven obedient to his will; with all things placed
under his control. In his hands we may well be quiet from the
fear of evil, and may be saved by hope. All things are ours, if
we have committed our souls into the hands of the Saviour. Who
shall separate us from the love of Christ? “I am persuaded that
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor
depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from
the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
6. Whosoever believeth in the Son of God
shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. This is
another of those facts which God calls the gospel. Sin dooms the
transgressor to perish. There is a natural connection between
sin and destruction, iniquity and ruin. God can disturb or
destroy that connection--but God alone. He who begins to sin,
begins to perish; and he who continues in sin, hastens to
perish. To perish! this is not to lose being or existence, but
to lose blessedness. It is the perdition of all love--even of
self-love; the loss of all hope and joy and peace; the perdition
of a good conscience and of godliness; the loss of all that
renders existence richly and fully animated, holy, happy, and
godlike. To perish is to be like a potter’s vessel when broken
to pieces, like a tree scathed by a storm or blighted, like a
piece of silver condemned as reprobate, like a wreck cast high
and dry upon the shore, like a sheep wandering hopelessly, and
torn at every step. To perish is to feel broken and scathed,
blighted, condemned, and lost, without hope of deliverance, and
with the cursing of self as the cause of the ruin. Not to
perish--this is good news! And what shall we say about this
“everlasting life?” To live in the image of God--is to live in
purity and righteousness--to live in complete holiness and
perfect happiness--to live in ever-growing godlikeness--to live
with saints and angels--to live with Christ--to live where God
reveals himself most perfectly, and holds the closest possible
communion with all around him--to live seeing God, rejoicing in
God, and reflecting God’s glory--is to have “everlasting life.”
And this exemption from perdition, this introduction to eternal
life, is by believing. God grants exemption from punishment upon
our acceptance of pardon, and he bestows life as an act of free
grace. To be pardoned upon asking forgiveness as God directs, to
be justified upon seeking to abide under the shadow of a perfect
representative, to be regenerated and sanctified by submitting
ourselves to certain spiritual divine influences, to regain
Paradise by union with its true heir, to be saved by simply
trusting the Saviour--is a dispensation of most wondrous grace.
These facts constitute that which God calls
the gospel--the fact that God loves the world, that he sent his
Son to be the Saviour of the world, that his Son was made sin
for us, that by his obedience many are made righteous, that he
is exalted a Prince and a Saviour, and that whosoever believeth
in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. These facts
are gospel--the best news that ever reached earth; the best that
were ever sent from heaven.
The gospel of the grace of God can be known
only as it is revealed and preached. Reason cannot discover it.
Experience and observation cannot reach it. It is above the
creative power of human thought, reason, and imagination, even
as a scheme; and as a system of fact it is historical, and can
be known only by testimony.
Let us, moreover, here observe, that nothing
which reason can discover or experience reach can ever take the
place of the gospel.
In the first instance,
God revealed the gospel by his Holy Spirit, and he then required
those to whom it was revealed to teach and to preach it. He
caused it to be written in holy scripture, and now calls men,
who have learned it thence, to proclaim it. There is no work so
honourable, and none so important, as the labour of those who
testify the gospel of the grace of God. They have good news for
every creature. They reveal God’s existence to the atheist. They
show the true God to the idolater, and the besetting God to the
deist. They convey truth to the sceptic. They exhibit great and
glorious things to the scorner, and the way of life to the
anxious inquirer, and the mercy seat to the weeping penitent,
and certainty to the troubled doubter, and consolation to the
son of sorrow, and redemption to the slave of evil, and
salvation, free, full, and everlasting to every sinner. And the
preaching of the gospel is God’s power unto salvation. Faith
follows hearing, and hearing necessitates preaching. How
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of them that bring
these good tidings!
Our first duty is to believe the gospel--so
to believe it as to take full advantage of its provisions. Our
second duty is to be assured that we have life. Doubt upon this
point is exceedingly dangerous. There may be reason for
doubting: but some persons cherish doubt as indicating godly
fear, salutary suspicion, and healthy self-distrust. In their
judgment, to be clothed with doubt is to be clad with humility.
But who bids us doubt? What inclines us to doubt? Whom do we
doubt, or what? “Know ye not yourselves?” Is there not a
conscious difference between darkness and light, death and life,
coldness and fervour, a barren heart and a spirit filled with
the fruits of righteousness?
Our next duty is
to live according to the gospel--so to order our conversation
that our inner and outer man, our character and our conduct, our
plans and pursuits, may all harmonize with our faith in the love
of God and in the mission of Jesus Christ.
And besides this, it is our manifest duty to
endeavour to communicate the gospel to our fellow men. Every
believer may act the part of an echo to heralds who first
proclaimed the gospel--to the ambassadors who first delivered
the message of salvation. Who is there among us who cannot say
to his neighbour, God so loved the world that he gave his only
begotten Son? There are many believers who cannot teach or
expound; but every believer may proclaim the gospel, and every
believer may commend the gospel to his fellows by the joyousness
and hopefulness of his spirit, the kindness of his disposition,
the truthfulness of his words, the godliness of his character,
the usefulness and holiness of his life. Moreover, every
believer may pray God to raise up faithful preachers of his holy
gospel, and to sustain those who now carry the good tidings to
their fellow men. And we have more faith in prayer, as a means
of calling out labourers to the harvest, than in any other
instrumentality. There are many believers who can teach the
gospel to a household, to two or three gathered together, to a
class in a school, or to an entire school; while some can preach
the gospel--and woe be unto them if they do not. Like Jonah,
they may refuse to go to Nineveh, but God will take care that
they do not reach Tarshish. There are ministers who ought to be
merchants, and there are merchants who ought to be ministers;
there are professional men who ought to be preachers, and
preachers who ought to be professional men; there are teachers
who ought to be tradesmen, and tradesmen who ought to be
teachers. All who are called to preach the gospel are not
following their vocation, and some are preaching uncalled. May
the love of Christ constrain those whom God hath called! And
further, every believer can sustain those who preach the gospel
by sympathy, co-operation, prayer, and the contribution of
property. Let us devote to this object our silver and gold, our
houses and our lands. Let the widow give her mite, and the rich
their abundance. Let those who have an alabaster consecrate it
to this object. Sometimes men complain that they are without law
and rule as to giving, and they sigh for the definite directions
of the Levitical institutes. But is this complaint well founded?
No law as to giving! Is the law of love no law? Is there no rule
in Jesus Christ’s example, none in that which our blessed
Saviour has done for us, none in the value and essential
importance of the gospel? No law! Giving is fixed by this
law--God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son:
and by this law--Christ loved us, and gave himself for us. The
law hereby expounded and enforced requires that we give the
largest and the best. For prayer we have a literal law--Pray
without ceasing; continuing instant in prayer. Here our great
danger is substituting prayer in word and in form for prayer in
spirit and in truth. The full power of prayer remains to be
realized. It has done much compared with other agencies, but
little compared with what it might do. Would the harvest field
be as thin of labourers as it is, if heaven were beset and
besieged with the petition -- “Send forth labourers?” We have
prayed, “Thy kingdom come,” and have meant our kingdom. We have
asked, “Thy will be done,” and have intended our own will. “We
ask, and receive not, because we ask amiss.” In co-operation we
have a definite rule-- “As every man hath received the gift, so
let him minister, as good stewards of the manifold grace of
God.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that
is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to
the proportion of faith or ministry, let us wait on our
ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that
exhorteth, on exhortation.” Sympathy cannot be too deep, too
full, or too high, and it will be strong in the degree of our
love toward Jesus Christ. Where love toward Jesus Christ is
fervent, we shall feel, even when Christ is preached of envy or
strife, in harmony with him who said-- “What then?
Notwithstanding every way, whether in pretence or in truth,
Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will
rejoice.” We will all rejoice to see and to hear of those who
testify the gospel of the grace of God. They may not belong to
our church, but we will rejoice. They may not acknowledge our
church, but we will rejoice. They may not subscribe to the
letter of our particular creed, but we will rejoice. They may
have manifest errors and failings, but we will rejoice. The
gospel of the grace of God is good news by whomsoever preached.
The gospel of the grace of God is the power of God unto
salvation, although in its proclamation there be an admixture of
doubtful and evil feeling. Yes--whenever we hear that the gospel
is preached, we will say, God bless the preacher, and make the
message mighty unto salvation; while for all ministers we will
further pray that they may be like him who said, “Neither count
I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course
with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord
Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” -- SAMUEL
OF THE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS.
YOU have noticed the gap or break in your Bibles between the Old
and New testaments, as we are in the habit of calling them.
There is an end, and often the insertion of something not
belonging to Scripture, and then another title-page. But this
space between them does not mean that the two Testaments are
really two books, for the second is only the continuing and
filling up of the first. The whole Bible is but one book --
God’s book, connected in all its parts, from Genesis to
Revelation. Yet the division between the old and new volumes is
not improper or unfitting; for it marks a great step in advance,
from expecting and prayer to seeing and praise. It may be looked
on, also, as serving to note a time when there was no prophet,
like David and Isaiah and Ezekiel and Malachi, sent to Israel.
For some hundreds of years after the last of these wrote his
book, there was no seer coming to the people with messages from
God which were to have a place in the holy writings. The Jews
had their priests and their rulers, but the prophets appeared to
have passed away.
But when this period had lasted, as I have
said, for some hundreds of years, a general hope of seeing a
messenger from God again began to grow up. Two things mainly
helped to bring this about: -- Long, long before, God had said
to Moses he would raise up a prophet from among the people who
should be like Moses himself, and whom all should be bound to
hear; and good people had not forgotten the great promise. The
other thing was this: Malachi, the last inspired man who had
spoken and written divine messages, had said that the Lord would
send his messenger before him, to make his way ready for coming
suddenly to visit and cleanse his temple. Malachi had even
called this messenger by the name of Elijah the prophet so that
many looked for him to come back from heaven to see and speak to
them. From both these things it came about that there was a
strong hope among the Jews that God would soon send them
prophets once more, and that one of these would be the Messiah,
or Christ himself. The hope was wonderfully fulfilled. God sent
them his own Son, and raised a great prophet to go before him,
to say that he was coming, and to point him out when come. I am
now to tell you of this forerunner of the Saviour, whom we
usually name John the Baptist.
A very singular thing happened before John
was born. His father was a priest, and his mother was also
descended from Aaron. They were both aged people, and had no
hopes of having a little child to love and train in their old
age. But they were holy persons, living a life very pleasing to
God, and God was pleased to prepare for them a great honour and
joy. So one day when Zacharias, the priest I speak of, was
attending at the temple in the time of service appointed for the
course or set of priests to which he belonged, it came to be his
duty to go into the holy place and burn incense upon the golden
altar there. The people stayed without in the meantime, praying.
After a while they began to wonder that he was not coming out;
they were even anxious and afraid, not knowing what might have
happened to him. At last he came out, but what was their
surprise to see that he could only make signs to them with his
hand, like one that was not able to speak. The truth was that he
had become dumb. For as he went near to the altar, he saw a
bright angel standing on the right side of it, and fell a
trembling with fear. The angel, however, spoke cheeringly to
him, called him by name, and told him that his prayer was heard,
and that a son would be born to him who should grow up to be a
great man, and make many people glad. He said, further, that his
name was to be called John, which means “given by God,” and that
he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the very first, and
go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah; which was
the reason, no doubt, why Malachi called him by Elijah’s name.
Now, when Zacharias heard this message he should have believed
it at once, because it had come from God; but instead of that,
remembering that he and his wife Elizabeth were so old, he did
not think the thing could be possible, and made objection to it,
as if it were beyond the power of God. The angel then told him
that he was Gabriel, who had the honour of standing in God’s
presence, and that he had been expressly sent to him to carry
these glad news. But since he had been slow to believe them, he
said that God would give him a painful sign to correct his
fault, and till the promised child should be born he should
continue dumb, and not able to speak at all. No sooner was the
angels word spoken than it came to pass as he said; and so when
Zacharias came out, the people saw that he had met with some
wonderful vision in the temple, for he could only wave his hand
to them, without saying a word.
A number of months afterwards his unbelief
was put altogether to shame, and changed to joy and praise. A
little son was born in his house, and when the friends and
neighbours came to see the child, and to wish his father and
mother joy over him, and to have him dedicated to the Lord, as
is done now when infants are baptized, they said his name they
supposed would be the same as his father’s. But Zacharias had
told his wife Elizabeth what the angel Gabriel had said his name
was to be, and she told her friends that he was to called John.
The friends said that was a name which none of his relations
bore, but the mother kept firm to her statement. Then they
turned to his father and asked him what he would like his
child’s name to be. Now Zacharias was still unable to speak, and
as you may have seen dumb boys and girls do, he had to write his
answer, and it was this--His name is John. But so soon as he had
done this, showing that he was now obedient to what God had said
to him by Gabriel, he was no longer dumb, but broke out into a
beautiful song of praise to God, to the wonder and delight of
all that heard him. You may be sure, too, that there was great
talk about what had taken place, and that people said John would
certainly grow up an extraordinary child.
So he did. The grace of God was on him from
his very earliest childhood, and he grew up good and wise and
brave. His parents lived in the hill country of Judea, south
from Jerusalem, and not far from the wilderness. While he was
young he stayed in his father’s house; and no doubt his mother
was careful to teach him out of the scriptures. I wonder if he
was specially fond of hearing about Elijah the prophet, whom he
himself was to be like. I think he would much like to hear the
story of Moses, also. We know from what he himself said
afterwards, that he came to learn what Isaiah wrote about his
coming and his work. When he grew older he went away a great
deal by himself into the deserts, and was not much seen. God was
teaching him in his own great school, and making him ready for
the task he had to do. Many years of prayer and meditation were
thus spent by him in the lonely wilderness.
When he was about thirty years old, the time
had come for his appearing before the people. So he began to
preach in the country bordering on the Jordan, and the people
who heard him said that never since far back times had such a
preacher been heard. He spoke solemnly and awfully about sin,
and called upon the people to repent. He told them that now was
the time to turn from their evil ways; for God was about to set
up the reign of heaven upon the earth, and they ought to get
ready for his coming. Many who heard him were pierced to the
heart, and confessed to him that they had been all wrong and
guilty, and were baptized by him in Jordan, and told to go and
do that which was right and good, to show that their repentance
was true. The news of his appearing spread far and wide through
the land, and great crowds flocked to see and hear him. When
they came and saw a singular person as to his dress and way of
life, for he was content with locusts and wild honey for his
food; he had long hair like the Nazarites; and a rough long
garment of camel’s hair, bound round him with a girdle of skin,
was the dress he wore. But his preaching stirred the hearts of
his hearers, “as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.”
The very Pharisees, who were so proud and righteous in their own
eyes, and the Sadducees, who were so cold and unbelieving, could
not help coming to hear a man of whom every one was talking.
Then people began to think he might be the Messiah himself, that
was to be their great king; but when John was asked about it, he
said, “No, no; I am not the Christ. I am the voice of one crying
in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord.” He meant he
was the person prophesied of by Isaiah to come before the Divine
Saviour, and tell people to get ready for him, for he would soon
appear. Another John said of him, “He was not
that Light, but was sent to bear witness of
that Light.” How he did so, when Jesus Christ appeared, and what
became of him afterwards, so that the voice in the wilderness
ceased to cry, must be told in another story.
QUESTIONS ON THE BIBLE STORY.
1. What other word, found in scripture, might
be used in the title pages of the Bible, instead of Testament?
2. Can you find the passage where God promised to raise up a
prophet like Moses, whom all the people should be bound to hear?
3. Do you remember when and where God the Father commanded men
to hear Jesus Christ?
4. Do you know a passage
in which Jesus Christ expressly says that John the Baptist was
the Elijah that was to come?
5. Can you name
two people well known in the Old Testament, who had a son in
their old age?
6. What was the furniture of the holy place?
And what was in the holiest of all?
7. Do we read anywhere about the angel
Gabriel appearing to some one else than Zacharias?
8. Do you remember any other persons besides Zacharias that were
reproved by God for not believing his word?
Do you recollect the name of a child that was taught to know the
holy scriptures by his pious mother?
10. Can you find the passage where the law of
the Nazarites is recorded?
ANSWERS to the foregoing questions may
be found by consulting Heb. viii.; Deut. xviii.; Matt., xvii.;
Matt. xi.; Gen. xxi.; Heb. ix.; Dan. ix.; Gen. xviii.; Numb.
xx.; 1 Tim. i.; Num. vi.
OUR Father, Thou hast promised by the word of
Jesus Christ our Lord to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask
Him. Thou art able to give the Spirit to even little children,
so that they shall bear those sweet fruits of grace which come
from Him. We beseech Thee to grant us Thy Holy Spirit, to make
our hearts new, and to dwell in them, and teach us to be meek
and gentle, and loving and true, and like Jesus. We ask Thee to
pour out Thy Spirit on the church, and upon all flesh. Raise up
by Thy wisdom men filled with the Holy Ghost, to do the work
needing to be done at home and abroad, in order to the full
coming of Christ’s kingdom. Bless all ministers of the gospel;
all teachers of the young; all missionaries, in our own and
other lands. Turn sinners from the error of their ways, and
cause thine own children to grow in grace. Bless our fathers and
mothers, and make us attentive to what they tell us of Thy holy
word. May every child in the world have a Bible soon, and love
it. All we ask is for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
GOD of love, who willeth not the
death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from the
wickedness which he hath committed and live, grant unto us ever
a true sense of sin from seeing Thy holiness and love in the
life and atoning death of Christ, that we may heartily repent of
the same, and turning from it to Thyself, our God and Father,
with a hearty repentance, may henceforth constantly serve Thee
with the peace, liberty, and constancy of Thy reconciled
HYMN, or Psalm xviii. 46-50.
“I KNOW that my Redeemer lives;”
What rich delight this sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead,
He lives my everlasting head!
He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives all glorious in the sky,
He lives, and fills the throne on high!
lives to bless me with his love,
He lives to plead for me above;
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives, to help in time of need.
He lives to grant me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with his eye;
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears,
He lives to stop and wipe my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
He lives all blessings to impart.
He lives my kind and faithful friend,
He lives, and loves me to the end;
He lives, and, while He lives, I’ll sing.
He lives my prophet, priest and king.
He lives, and grants me daily breath,
He lives, and I shall conquer death;
He lives my mansion to prepare,
He lives to bring me safely there.
He lives, all glory to his name!
He lives my Saviour still the same:
O the rich joy this sentence gives,
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
THEN drew near unto him all the publicans and
sinners for to hear him. 2. And the Pharisees and scribes
murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with
them. 3. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4. What
man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them,
doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go
after that which is lost, until he find it? 5. And when he hath
found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6. And when
he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours,
saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep
which was lost. 7. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in
heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and
nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8. Either what
woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth
not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently
till she find it? 9. And when she hath found it, she calleth her
friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me;
for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10. Likewise, I say
unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over
one sinner that repenteth. 11. And he said, A certain man had
two sons; 12. And the younger of them said to his father,
Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he
divided unto them his living. 13. And not many days after the
younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a
far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in
that land; and he began to be in want. 15. And he went and
joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him
into the fields to feed swine. 16. And he would fain have filled
his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave
unto him. 17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many
hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare,
and I perish with hunger! 18. I will arise and go to my father,
and will say unto him, Father I have sinned against Heaven, and
before thee, &c.
OUR Father which art in heaven! Let our
prayers come before Thee as incense, and the lifting up of our
hands as the evening sacrifice; and that the worship we offer
may be acceptable, cleanse the thought of our hearts by the
ministry of Thy Holy Spirit, and connect our devotions with the
Mediator, Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Pardon, we pray,
all our transgressions of Thy holy law during this day. Even in
worship we not only fall short of that which is perfect, but we
do that which is positively wrong. Cast all our sins behind Thy
back; and hear us when we thank Thee for all the good gifts with
which Thou hast favoured us to-day and for all the good works
Thou hast wrought on our behalf. Thou, O merciful God, art
always doing us good, and we thank Thee. We would extol Thee, O
God our king, and we would bless Thy name for ever and ever.
Every day would we bless Thee and praise Thy name for ever.
Enable us in everything to give Thee thanks, and to present to
Thee our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable.
O Lord our God, Thou hast made a gracious
provision for rest, and Thou hast also called us to labour. From
slothfulness and indolence, good Lord, deliver us. If we be
naturally disinclined to work or have infirmities of body which
render labour difficult, we ask for grace to conquer such
disinclination, and to bear bravely such infirmities. If we have
formed habits of idleness, we ask Thee to break this chain, and
to set us free. Awaken in our hearts a satisfaction, and even
delight, in all true and honest labour. May we all know the work
Thou hast given us to do, and be found in that work diligent and
persevering. Cause this to be the case with the youngest in the
family so that whatever our present duty may be, we may with all
our might and with all patience perform it. We pray Thee also to
bless to us our daily occupations. May our daily work aid our
religious life, and our religion include our common employment.
Father of our spirits, we beseech Thee to grant that everyone in
this house may be moved to strive to serve and to please Thee in
all things, so that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do,
we may do all to the glory of God. Assist us also to aid each
other in our several duties by having the same care one of
another, and by affording mutual encouragement in our daily
tasks. Help us to bear each other’s burdens; and so to fulfil
the law of Christ. And seeing that our Saviour pleased not
Himself, move us to strive to please one another for our common
good. May the true welfare and happiness of this family be our
individual concern, and may we be found striving to promote this
day by day. Check all manifestations of selfishness, and
entirely uproot this accursed and most bitter plant. May true
love be ever strong and ever fruitful in this house, springing
up and bearing fruit as a plant of Thine own right-hand
planting. May all the great and glorious objects for which thou
hast planted families be secured by ourselves, through Thy grace
assisting us, and Thy providence watching over us. Be Thou in
all respects the Father of this family. And we beseech Thee, O
Lord our God, to bless all the families throughout the earth
which call upon Thy name. Bless parents and children, masters
and servants, and may true piety prevail in all households
professing to serve Thee. And wilt Thou have mercy upon the
families which do not acknowledge and serve Thee? Thou seest
such in our land and near our own doors. Have mercy, we pray
Thee, upon them, and grant them the knowledge of Thyself, and of
Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. Also sustain all solitary
Christians in such homes, that they may be strong to bear their
quiet and effective testimony against ungodliness, never loving
even father or mother more than their Saviour.
Father of mercies, we ask Thee to bless all
the sons of labour. Preserve those who are working in coal
mines, and in other dangerous places. Watch over those who build
our houses, and reap down our fields. Protect all who do
business on our lakes and rivers, and in the seas which surround
our native land. Bless all sorts and conditions of men in our
country. Remove from labour all that is hard and unjust on the
part of masters, and all that is unfaithful on the side of those
who labour for others. Bless the commerce and trade, the
agriculture and manufactures, of our country; and may the
sabbath-day work together with our labour-days for the good of
the whole nation. And wilt Thou suffer us to commend to Thee all
religious and benevolent labour? Thine eye has rested this day
upon work of this character. O Lord prosper it all. Many have
been striving to instruct and comfort and relieve others.
Graciously prosper the work of their hearts. And wilt thou urge
to undertake such service the many who stand all the day in the
vineyard idle? The harvest is plenteous, and the labourers are
few; send forth, we pray Thee, labourers into the harvest. May
the Spirit of all grace and might attend all Christian work with
the operations of His mighty power. We know that in all such
service there is a sad admixture of bad motive and of evil
spirit, rendering needful the blood of Jesus Christ Thy Son,
which cleanseth from all sin. Pardon all the sins of Christian
work, and prosper it with Thy benediction. Let Thy work appear
unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children. And let
the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou
the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands
establish thou it. Hear us, O God our Father, in these our
confessions of sin, our thanksgivings, and our supplications,
for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
AND EVENING MEDITATIONS.
I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in
Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may
live, and keep thy word.
Thy testimonies also are my delight and my
For I delight in the law of God after the
Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the
word of thy righteousness
Deal with thy servant according unto thy
mercy, and teach me thy statutes.
Ps. cxix. 14,
17, 24. Rom vii. 22. Ps. cxix. 123, 124.
Know thou the God of thy father, and serve
him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly
of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are
Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the
knowledge of God.
Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he
understandeth and knoweth me.
1 Chron. xxviii. 9. Ps. lxxix. 7. Col. i. 10.
Jer. ix. 24.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They
that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are
sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
For this is good and acceptable in the sight
of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to
come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Be it known unto you therefore, men and
brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the
forgiveness of sins:
And by him all that believe are justified.
1 Tim. i. 15. Mark ii. 17. 1 Tim. ii. 3, 4.
Acts xiii. 38, 39.
He that covereth his sins shall not
prosper: but whosoever confesseth and forsaketh them shall have
I acknowledged my sin unto thee and
mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my
transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of
my sin. Selah.
For this shall every one that is godly pray
unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the
floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and
just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all
Prov. xxviii. 13. Ps. xxxii.
5, 6. 1 John i. 8, 9.
without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was
manifest in the flesh.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb,
and bring forth a son, and shall give unto him the throne of his
And so it was, that while they were there,
the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her first-born son, and
wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manager;
because there was no room for them in the inn.
And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among
1 Tim. iii. 16. Luke i. 31, 32. Luke ii. 6, 7.
John i. 14.
I will declare the decree: the Lord hath
said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen
for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for
Thou shalt break them with a
rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be
instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish
from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed
are all they that put their trust in him.
Ps. ii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be
My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very
And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones
thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a
tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein:
looked that it should bring forth
grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
What could have been done more to my vineyard
that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it
should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that
abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.
John xv. 8. Isa. v. 1, 2, 4. John xv. 5.
The world, or life, or things present, or
things to come; all are yours.
He that spared not his own son, but delivered
him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our
spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with him,
that we may be also glorified together.
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good
pleasure of his will.
1 Cor. iii. 22. Rom. viii. 32. Rom. viii. 16,
17. Eph. i. 5.
Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew,
sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow
me. And he arose, and followed him.
Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and
they follow me.
And other sheep I have, which are not of this
fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and
there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Mark ix. 9. 1 Cor. iv. 16. 1 Cor. xi. 1. John
x. 27. John x.16.
Ye are all the children of light, and the
children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and
be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they
speak evil of you as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that
falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service.
1 Thess. v. 5. Matt. 8. 1 Pet. iii. 15, 16.
Rom. xii. 1.
followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I
have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy
Thou art my hiding-place; thou shalt preserve
me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of
I am continually with thee; thou hast holden
me by my right hand.
For he clave to the Lord, and departed not
from following him, but kept his commandments.
Ps. lxiii. 8. Ps. lxxiii. 28. Ps. xxxii. 7. Ps. lxxiii. 23. 2
Kings xviii. 6.
The goodness of God leadeth thee to
Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the
Lord, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am
merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which
have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and
bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a
beast before thee.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he
that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.
Rom. ii. 4. Jer. iii. 12. Ps xxxii. 9. Ps.
lxxiii. 22. Ps. xxvii. 10.
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