Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 21


By Samuel Martin

Morning Worship

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.

PSALM XXXII.

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.

HOSEA XIV.

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.

----------------

Prayer.

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 earth.

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 heaven.”

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 church.

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 unrighteousness.

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. Amen.

----------------

THE 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.

PSALM XIX.

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 the atonement.

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 approaching.

----------------

SERMON XXI.

“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 MARTIN.

----------------

THE CHILDREN’S SERVICE.

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?

9. 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.

----------------

Prayer.

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.

----------------

EVENING WORSHIP.

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 children. Amen.

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!

He 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!”

LUKE XV.

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.

----------------

Prayer.

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.

----------------

MORNING AND EVENING MEDITATIONS.

MONDAY.

Morning.

I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.

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.

Evening.

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 about him.

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.

TUESDAY.

Morning.

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

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 repentance.

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.

Evening.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whosoever confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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 unrighteousness.

Prov. xxviii. 13. Ps. xxxii. 5, 6. 1 John i. 8, 9.

WEDNESDAY.

Morning.

And 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 father David.

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 us.

1 Tim. iii. 16. Luke i. 31, 32. Luke ii. 6, 7. John i. 14.

Evening.

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 thy possession.

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

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.

THURSDAY.

Morning.

Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.

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: and he

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.

Evening.

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 all things?

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.

FRIDAY.

Morning.

And as 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 Christ.

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.

Evening.

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 see God.

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.

SATURDAY.

Morning.

My soul 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 works.

Thou art my hiding-place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

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.

Evening.

The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.

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.

You can download Week 21 in pdf format


Return to Book Index page


 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast