life of Archibald Hamilton Charteris D.D., LL.D.
by Gordon, Arthur (1912) (pdf)
HEARER of prayer! we beseech Thee favourably to hear the prayers
of Thy people, that we, who by Thy grace are called to the
course of a Christian life, may so run the race that is set
before us, as to obtain that incorruptible crown which Thou hast
promised to them that love Thee. Hold up our goings in Thy
paths, that our footsteps slip not. Teach us to wait habitually
on Thee, that, our strength being thus renewed, we may run, and
not be weary; and may walk, and not faint. As becometh those who
strive for the mastery, give us to be temperate in all things.
Grant these our prayers through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm lxxiv. 20-23.
CHRIST, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only light;
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by thee;
Joyless is the day’s return
Till thy mercy’s beams I see,
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.
Visit then this soul of mine;
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy Divine;
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.
THE words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass
in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan
the palace, 2. That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and
certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that
had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning
Jerusalem. 3. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left
of the captivity here in the province are in great affliction
and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the
gates thereof are burnt with fire. 4. And it came to pass, when
I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned
certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5. And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and
terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love
him, and observe his commandments: 6. Let thine ear now be
attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer
of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for
the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both
I and my father’s house have sinned. 7. We have dealt very
corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor
the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy
servant Moses. 8. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou
commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will
scatter you abroad among the nations: 9. But if ye turn unto me,
and keep my commandments, and do them, though there were of you
cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I
gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that
I have chosen to set my name there. 10. Now these are thy
servants, and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great
power, and by thy strong hand. 11. O Lord, I beseech thee, let
now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to
the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name; and
prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy
in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cup-bearer.
CAUSE us to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning, O Lord our
God, for in Thee do we trust; cause us to know the way wherein
we should walk, for we lift up our souls unto Thee.
We are deeply conscious of having wicked hearts, whose evil
desires are strengthened by the temptations of the world. We
have no way of resisting the evil and choosing the good, except
by our coming unto Thee to hide us, and asking Thee to save us
from the snares of sin around us, and from the deceitfulness of
our own hearts. Now, therefore, O most merciful God, we call
upon Thy name; we stir up ourselves to take hold on Thee.
We thank Thee that Thou hast not dealt with us as we dealt with
Thee, nor hast turned away Thy face from us when we turned away
with all our might from Thee. When our mountain stood strong we
forgot Thee; but yet when we had none to help us, and no hand
could save us, we cried unto the Lord, and he heard us, and
saved us out of our distresses. Yea, Thou hast followed us with
Thy mercy in all the way of our wanderings; when we fell Thou
hast lifted us up; and when we sought to return from the service
of the stranger, and from the far country, Thou hast been ready
to guide us back to the light of Thy countenance and to our own
And now, therefore, led by all Thy goodness to repentance, and
overcome by all Thy love, we come unto Thee, and beseech Thee to
accept us, to keep us and to make us Thine -- Thine now, and for
ever Thine. We seek to enter upon this day believing that all is
full of Thee; that whether we go forth or abide in the house,
whether we are with others or alone, we are evermore with Thee.
As the dew of the morning, let Thy grace be upon us; as the
light of the sun, let Thine own truth lead us in the way by
which we go. Keep us from all errors of heart and lip and life;
from all unkindly suspicions and selfish thoughts; from all
double-dealing, scheming, and untruthfulness; from all
self-righteousness, pride, and vanity; from all sullenness,
fretfulness, and evil anger. Make us humble, and gentle, and
pure; watching every word and deed lest we should sin against
thee, and should cause that holy name by which we are called to
be profaned among those that see our conduct and conversation.
Especially give us grace to seek Thee, and to find Thee, this
day in Thy house of prayer. Raise up everywhere able and
faithful ministers of Thy word, to tell their brethren, from the
fulnes of their own experience, the wonders of thy redeeming
Comfort and sustain all those who are in trouble, whether of
mind, or body, or outward estate: defend the weak, the
fatherless, and the widow; prepare for their departure those who
are drawing near to death.
Especially we pray Thee to bless those we love. Perfect Thy good
work in them and by them, and make all things to work together
for their good. May we and all those who are dear to us be
joined together by a bond which time and trouble cannot weaken,
and death itself cannot sever, but which will grow closer and
closer throughout eternity.
Be pleased to hear us for Thy Son’s sake. Amen.
THE CHURCH IN THE HOUSE.
GRACIOUS Father, deeply sensible of our own weakness we come
unto Thee for help and strength. Under all the trials and
temptations which now beset our path enable us to endure to the
end, and to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the
work of the Lord, that we may obtain the promised salvation
through Jesus Christ. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm xxxii. 5-7.
O WHY art thou cast down, my soul?
Say why distrustful still,
Thy thoughts, with vain impatience roll
O’er scenes of future ill?
Let faith suppress each rising fear,
Each anxious doubt exclude;
Thy Maker’s will hath placed thee here,
Thy Maker, wise and good.
He to thy every trial knows
Its just restraints to give,
Attentive to behold thy woes,
And faithful to relieve.
Though griefs unnumber’d throng thee round;
Still in thy God confide
Whose finger marks the seas their bound,
And curbs the headlong tide.
JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the
twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2. My
brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be
perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5. If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6. But let him
ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a
wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7. For let not
that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. 8. A
double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9. Let the
brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; 10. But the
rich, in that he is made low, &c.
“HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED.” -- Matt. x. 22.
ONE of the greatest men the world has ever seen attributed all
his success to perseverance. It may be true that all the faculty
of perseverance is just as much the Creator’s gift as any other
endowment possessed by the creature, and that it is therefore
unfair to speak of native gifts, and of this application of
them, as things essentially different. But leaving all such high
ground, it is practically true that success is usually won by
the man who keeps the end before him and does not swerve from
his own aim. The matter is so far under control, that
perseverance is the result of a strong will; and that as in the
conception of a purpose so in the working it out, a man’s
attainment is very nearly measured by his determination. It is
endurance unto the end that makes the result in life’s battle.
It is not mere power, but the purpose which directs it, that
fashions the issues of life. Take school companions as they
were, with the promise of their boyhood fresh upon them, and
take them now with the performance of their manhood, or the
fruits of their old age, and say whether either the hopes or the
fears which they excited have been realized? Who is the foremost
of them now? He to whom tasks were no trouble, and on whose
young life all seemed to shine -- he of nature’s gifting -- has
been a prodigal of nature’s bounty, wasting time and talents in
frivolity, and is now disappointed, soured, subordinate: while
another, who was of very ordinary mark, has been silently,
constantly, fighting his battle with the world, and a victor in
many an encounter, is silently, constantly, fighting it still.
We may have seen the owner of talent, the heir of opportunities,
dig for himself an early and unhonoured grave, or survive, a
mere wreck in mind, body, and outward estate: while another,
whom early need forced to work and be careful, is still rising,
with the approbation of his kind.
Who is not familiar also with proofs that this law of success to
the constant, is not only very strong, but very exacting? Who
has not seen some man climb to the very height, and then, as
though his elevation made him giddy, lose his footing, totter,
and fall into the depths again?
[Contributors note: In the
sermon, as with Charles Spurgeons from a couple of weeks prior
to this one, I found a typed in what I believe is error in what
the author intended or wrote himself. What is typed is on page
10 is: " ...look upon all as lost..." -- but it seems very clear
to me he intends "look upon all as loss...." quoting the Apostle
Paul. I think there should be a note as this is a very important
difference, if indeed what is typed is not what he wrote, but an
error in transcription. If nothing else, a note to that effect
may provide very good food for thought.]
Broad and strong as is this rule, there are many exceptions; and
causes over which a man has no control may baffle the most
honest striving. One whom health has failed, or from whom
friends have been taken away, may look up amid his
disappointment and sadly ask, Where is now the promise of
success that was to follow endurance? We cannot point such to a
certainty of brighter and better days below; but it may be, that
if they look upon all as lost, we can point them to a higher
The end is not yet. Their end may have come; but not the
rightful, the divinely-appointed end. Their ambition may have
been directed to an unworthy object, or so mixed with unworthy
motives that, for their well-being’s sake, it was baffled. Their
heart may have been increasing in imperfection, and so may have
needed the discipline of defeat. Or, God may have set His mark
upon them, and be preparing them for something better than they
desired; making them perfect through suffering. Life is not
money: souls are not honour: our spirits cannot be nursed on
fortune or on fame: and it is even well that there are failures
in the race of earthly ambition, to awaken thought of what is
higher than the earth, and more lasting than time.
For in all these things, earth is but a type; this complicated,
struggling scene is but a symbol of the spiritual world in which
we fight; the law of success in this world is general, yet
broken: that, alike in its struggle and its imperfection, it may
suggest the eternal law of Christ, that he who endureth to the
end shall be saved. That law was true of the coming doom on
Judea -- of the conflict which our Lord predicted as in store
for the young church of Christ. It is true of all times of
persecution and danger into which believers may be cast. It is
true whether they are slain or survive; true of Stephen as of
John: they are saved by their endurance; whether life or trial
first cease to be -- the end is salvation! If we look to this
higher end of our faith, the salvation of our souls, then shall
we win the prize of our high calling.
How shall our words have a bearing on every one of us? In
considering some aspects of that great spiritual struggle to
which we are called, we shall regard our Lord’s words as
encouraging us to endure to the end of,
I., Temptation. Temptation has two meanings -- a general and a
special: the former being trial or test of any kind; the latter
being direct solicitation to sin. The word has both senses in
the New Testament, and in either sense it is within the scope of
the text. But at present we use the word, as it is most commonly
used among us, to denote solicitation to sin. Well may we endure
it unto the end. We seek to be on the Lord’s side, and are sworn
to resist sin. If we are on the Lord’s side, He will not suffer
us to be tempted beyond our endurance. “He will, with every
temptation provide a way of escape, that we may be able to bear
it.” When we bear the knowledge of this truth with us, we are
armed in panopoly of proof against which no weapon of the enemy
can prosper: and Satan never tries to pierce it, but, to make us
lay it aside. If our faith be strong enough to let us realize
that we are in God’s hands, and that from Him will come
deliverance, we have a power of endurance which cannot be
For there is in the very thought an assurance that the
temptation will have an end. We are not suffering under a
perpetual trial: but under one that will terminate in God’s good
time. There is exceeding strength in the very thought. It wraps
itself round our being, that sin with which we fight -- it
almost stifles our better nature; but, strong though it be, it
must pass away. And therefore, instead of merely looking into
our trial, were it not better to look through it to the brighter
light beyond? We are weak as Samson shorn, when we forget the
faithfulness of Him who promised, and the grandeur of our
destiny, and the brief existence of that which allures us: but
we are strong in the might of heaven when we remember these
things and endure. The battle is not between the powers of sin
and us, feeble creatures; but it is between them, strong for a
moment, and us, children of eternity: between them, who are
baffled if not victorious now, and us, who are triumphant if
only we endure. If we persist in saying, Here am I, a child of
eternity, cannot be satisfied with this thing of an hour: I, to
whom the succours of heaven will come, shall stand out until
this evil day be done -- we shall wear the victor’s crown. The
sick man is upheld through his weary nights and restless days by
the hope of returning health: the captive bears up against the
despair of his dungeon, in the hope that he shall yet be free:
the shipwrecked sailor on the rock in the sea is sustained by
the hope that a sail shall come up on the horizon, bringing
deliverance: and shall not the Christian be firm -- I do not say
in the hope, but -- in the certainty of salvation!
There is an exceeding comfort, too, in the promise being made to
humble endurance. It meets many a poor sinner’s case who dares
not speak of victory, but may cherish this humble hope of
enduring unto the end. Some saints may go to meet the tempter
with proud and consciousness of victory written on their
foreheads and gleaming in their eye, and, in the fulness of
their union with Him who overcame, may sing by anticipation
their proud hymn of praise; but many a sinner who knows his own
weakness, may be thankful that the promise comes down to the
lower class who can barely endure. There have been noble saints
whose courage never seemed to fail, nor their arm to slacken;
but there must be many who at the best look back on their bygone
conflict with sin, not as a victory of which they can boast, but
as mere constancy sustained by grace, for which they are
thankful. There is no ground for glorying of that day of trial
when we were too willing to embrace our darling sin, and barely
restrained our quivering arms; when we were too ready to desert
God’s people for the foe, and were only held back by a power
that came from outside of our own will: when we were about to
sink in the wavs, like Peter, and, like him, just succeeded in
grasping the Redeemer’s hand: we endured and we are saved, thank
God! thank God! but we cannot glory. Temptation is too solemn a
thing to be met with light heart: it is too strong to be warned
away like a spectral phantom: it was too near to conquering us
to let us glory in a result which, after all, our own right hand
did not win. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into it; and when
it comes, stand firm in the armour of God. It will often be that
we cannot fight, but we can bear: we cannot hurl back the darts,
but we can stand firm though they pierce us: we can no more stop
the temptation than the raving blast; but, as the camel crouches
while the sand storm whirls, we can lie flat on the promises of
God till it have hurried over us; and therefore, be faithful to
the end -- endure a little longer. Moses endured, as seeing Him
who is invisible. The pleasures of sin were for a season, but he
bore suffering rather than have them; and still is it true,
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is
tried, he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord hath
promised to them that love him.”
II. But our Lord’s words are an encouragement to us to endure to
the end of trial of any kind. A picture of sorrow and suffering
is drawn, and in connection with that the promise is given. To
bear suffering is a virtue of the rarest kind, and scripture
speaks of it with a frequency that shows its importance. We are
exhorted, encouraged, and commanded to endure: precepts and
promises are accumulated to brace up believing hearts for the
trial; the illustrious of old are represented as witnessing our
race, so that we may run with patience; and we are above all
pointed to Him who endured the cross, despising the shame, and
is now set down on the right hand of God. His glory is
represented as springing from His sufferings and proportioned to
them. He humbled Himself, wherefore God exalted Him: He
suffered, and by His suffering was perfected: He died, and
therefore is the Lord of life: He was a sacrifice, and therefore
the Lamb is heaven’s crowned King. Consider Him -- Messiah,
Lord, and King -- who endured such a contradiction of sinners
against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. “My
brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations,
knowing this, that the trying of our faith worketh patience. But
let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and
entire, wanting nothing.
It is the same principle as in the endurance of temptation; it
is bearing the finite for the infinite; not flinching from the
temporal, because of the eternal. It is looking through the
trial to its close, through the cloud-rift to the stars, through
the breakers to the haven where by the breath of mercy we shall
assuredly be brought in peace at last. Thus hope uprears the
drooping head; thus for the sake of permanent health, the
patient bears for a moment the cruel knife; thus, for the sake
of honour, the soldier dares the battle; thus, to win skill,
young hearts and hands endure the tedious elements of
apprenticeship. Thus, too are Christians called to count all
trial but the discipline whereby they are perfected -- the fire
whereby their faith is refined; and are taught to regard present
sufferings as unworthy to be compared with the glory that shall
Yet let us remember for our instruction, that some anticipate
the end in their impatient hope of the victory which it will
bring. Such Christians in the time of trial are possessed by an
impatience which embitters the suffering while it does not
hasten the release. We may have seen a good and pious man
suddenly lose all self-command when the stroke of trouble falls
upon him, and become fretful, even murmur, because impatient for
the end. He makes no use of present grace, in his impatient
longing for the grace that shall set him free. He counts them
happy which are painless, but the Bible counts them blessed that
endure. He does not let patience have her perfect work, and his
very assurance of the end makes him incapable of waiting for it.
Others anticipate the end in their despairing helpless idea that
it has already come, when they have known only the beginning.
They think all is over with them at the first attack. They
surrender to one assault. The heart is overwhelmed, and faith
becomes imbecile. The spring of their vitality seems to be
broken. They bear as a lifeless thing would, but they do not
endure as a child of God might. To the disconsolate mourner, to
the perplexed disciple, to the weary prostate sufferer, would
God these words of Paul were imparted: “We are troubled on every
side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,
that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body.”
Let us remember this truth also in a time of falling away. Such
times have come in the Christian church, and will come again
even to the end, for they are always needed. Of such a time our
Lord warned his disciples -- a time of unbelief and prevailing
iniquity, when the Lord’s arm should seem shortened, that it
could not save. The Christian church has always grown wanton or
cold, has always ceased to do the Master’s work, when all things
were too pleasant and fair. Form has been confounded with faith,
and profession with the renewed heart; and so the sifting, the
trial, was indispensable to the severance of the false from the
true. Even now, prone as men are to overestimate the importance
of the times in which they live, we surely do not err in saying
that trials are besetting our Redeemer’s church. We need not
fear the issue, but the time is momentous. Our religion has
stood too long to be overthrown. It has been proved in
deathbeds, and martyrdoms, and holy lives, to be a living thing;
and it has above all in the life of its Author and Finisher --
so divinely human, so spotless, yet so sympathizing -- an
evidence for its truth which cannot be weakened. We cannot tell
what the “end will be” -- perhaps a closer union of Christians,
a subordination of things subordinate for the sake of the higher
verities of faith and life: but let us endure to the end, and we
shall be saved, and shall also strengthen many brethren. There
are times when one is ready to despair: for are there not
hundreds of thousands living and dying among us, as though the
gospel had never been preached; and then, is there not closing
around us from without, infidelity, heathenism, and all false
doctrine. Where, oh where, is the promise of His coming? Where
is the church earnest without bigotry, strong without arrogance,
sound in faith without being inert in work? As we thus think and
question the Lord says to us, Hope on; I am King; endure to the
III. But we must never forget that there are some whose troubles
only end with their life, and therefore we are glad to find in
these words of our blessed Lord ample encouragement to endure to
the end of life. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give
thee a crown of life.” A few more years and it will all be over,
all our present difficulties, fears, and pains: can we not bear
up to the end? Were we children, the term of this endurance
would not be more than threescore and ten years; to those who
have already live a great part of their life it must be much
less. We persevere in seeking some temporal gain, and why should
we be daunted when we strive for an incorruptible crown? How
comes it that we ever look back on broken hopes and violated
vows and good intentions foully cast away? How comes it that
many a life is blighted almost at the last by an awful and
disgraceful sin? How, but because the Chrsian forgot to endure
unto the end!
Yet it needs not that we prove all endurance vain which is ended
before the end. As the tree falleth, so must it lie. The crash
has broken its boughs, and marred its symmetry, and it will
never be spread in it beauteous pride again. Will it avail a
hoary reprobate in his dying hour, that he had a loving
childhood and an honourable youth? Will it avail any hardened
sinner that he once had a tender conscience, and offered many a
prayer? He may plead that he resisted many a temptation, avoided
many a snare, before he was overcome, and sank deeper and deeper
into ruin. But, as a tried and conquering saint, he had won
fresh strength with every victory, and it was tenfold shame in
him to cast away his dented shield, and tread in the dust the
glory which it had cost him so much toil to win!
Therefore, let us pass the time of our sojourning here in fear;
for to us this injunction comes with an infinite depth of
meaning. Like a voice from eternity, it solemnly calls us to be
constant and consistent to the end. Many a prayer we may have
offered, have fought many a hard fight; and now, by all our
struggles, by all our hard-won victories, let us be adjured not
to throw away the pains of that earnest past, but be steadfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We are
often doubtless tempted to abandon the long struggle, to let our
hopes of religion go, and to enjoy the pleasures of sin. We are
tempted by the thousand powers and passions of our being to
indulge them for a little while, and then to retrieve and
retrace and come back to God. Youth cries, “I will rejoice in my
gladness, but be sure that ere I die I shall reform.” Health
cries, “I will enjoy my days while life is strong, but when
feebleness comes, I shall amend my ways;” and so they will
endure at the end. Ay, at the end, when the power of endurance
is gone, when the Spirit has ceased to strive and strengthen,
when conscience has been long dead, and faith knows not how to
begin; then will they endure? Away, away, with this bootless
hoping; let us have our eye forecast to the blessed inheritance;
call its glorious grandeur into view, and we shall find how all
temptations lose their charm, as the sickly lamp grows dim in
Think of the glorious promises. If we overcome, we shall not be
“hurt by the second death;” we shall “eat of the hidden manna;”
a perpetual dawn of increasing gladness shall be ours, for we
shall “receive the morning star.” Higher still rises the
prophetic vision: we shall be “clothed in white raiment,” we
shall be “made a pillar in the temple of my God,” we shall sit
with Christ upon his throne.” Therefore, when our faith falters
and our courage fails, let us look up, look onwards, to those
rewards -- to the white robe and the throne of glory. We cannot
tell what those wants and weaknesses are which most beset others
-- they are between God and their own hearts; but this applies
to all, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall
strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.”
How needful to have an aim in life, whereof the end in death
shall be reward! Some lives death digs across; to some it
continues the path through a new portal. It is terrible to think
that, in some men’s life, death means horror and woe. There is
comfort in my text for the single-minded faithful Christian, of
whose enemies death is the last, and for whom beyond death is
rest and rich reward: but there is warning for those whose
schemes death can only thwart and ruin and destroy. Behold an
immortal being striving for riches, heaping them up, enduring
labour and care, enduring to the end; but “the end” will strip
him of all, and send him naked to the earth. There is another,
toiling for influence and power, making himself useful, sparing
no pains, enduring to the end; and “the end” will spoil him of
his winnings, and summon him to another bar, where the earthly
name has no power to charm. There is another indulging self --
happy and careless; and “the end” comes as winter to the
chirping grasshopper, as ice on the flowerets bloom -- the end
is ruin. Oh! when life, death, and eternity, are but links in
one chain, to have such a life that death, the great destroyer,
shall complete it, and eternity continue its power! We may well
call death the end, because of the final results which it
begins; but if we are Christ’s it is at once a continuation and
a better beginning of our life and work. Be ours such aims as
shall be attained in the brighter world beyond the grave. Be
ours such projects that the broken threads shall be taken up,
and the baffled string led on to glorious consummation, and the
dear desires made radiant with immortality of satisfaction!
“The end!” yes, thank God! there is an end to all this
feebleness and error, and sin and shortcoming, and doubt and
fear. Thank God we can believe that death is the end of all
temptation and fall and remorse; that it is the end of the
darkness which cripples even our faith and hope; that it is
sight and knowledge ; that we shall “see Him as He is,” and
“know as we are known.” Which of us has not times of eager
questioning, when we find it harder to know the path of duty
than even to follow it when known; or when we look back on some
important step in life, and wonder whether it were right,
whether present difficulties be not God’s teaching by
consequences that we then did wrong; and who does not thank God
for the end that shall come, the end of error and discipline,
and uncertain seeking for light -- the fulness of rest, and
peace, and joy, in the redeeming Lord?
How and when that end will come to us, we do not know. “Of that
day and that hour knoweth no man.” yea, we scarcely know from
what, to what, we shall go. We shall be “saved,” but we have not
been told many things we should have liked to know regarding our
future state. We know not much more than this, that we shall be
“with Christ.” More He has not told us meanwhile; but He came,
the blessed One, among us that we might know Him and trust Him;
and we know that our future is the end for which He lived and
died, and which He secured. It is to die in ourselves, to live
in Him; it is to be with Him where He is; that is almost all we
know, but it is enough. As for the early Christians, so for us
-- the end is the “coming of the Lord,” and we may be glad.
Shall I accomplish anything before I die? Shall I do any good to
others for God’s good cause? If there be in us the living seed
it must grow, it will grow, though we should never see it; for
no good thought, word, or deed, can be lost -- can drop out from
the web of God’s purposes.
To you, O young men, I call the most, just because the end to
you seems so far off. It is worth the pains and peril and toil,
this glorious end. Come ye over to the Lord’s side. You are the
hopes of the future, the “trustees of posterity;” if ye be true
to Him who calls you, to your own souls, words cannot tell the
glory which is in store for you, for the country, for the church
of Christ. We ask you in His great name to make your solemn
covenant, to come to Him in His house and among His people, to
be His in your daily walk and work, and be assured that in the
end ye shall reap if ye faint not. To a life of self-denial and
self-conquest -- to willing, strong work in the service of the
Lord -- we call you. Consider Him, and be not wearied nor faint
in your minds. Consider Him in the mountain, on the roads, in
the garden, on the cross. Consider Him on the throne, with the
crown and the glory; and be on His side against a world if need
be -- “enduring to the end, that ye may be saved.”
-- A. H. CHARTERIS, D. D.
THE CHILDREN’S SERVICE.
WHEN Jesus said at the supper table, Rise, let us go from this
place, I think that he left the upper room, along with his
disciples, and went outside of the city on his way to the garden
of Gethsemane. But if so, he must have spoken a somewhat long
discourse to his disciples under the open sky, and also must
have prayed the wonderful prayer to his Father which John has
written down. Many think, therefore, that Jesus and his
disciples did not leave at once when he said, Let us go, but
only rose from the table, and began to get ready. It is a thing
we cannot be sure about; but I like rather to think of that
sweet talk about the vine and it branches, and about the coming
of the Comforter, and what He would do, as held in the open air,
while the Lord, and his disciples along with him, took road that
led down to the brook Cedron, in the bottom of the valley of
Jehoshaphat. It seems to me as if the words at the beginning of
the seventeenth of John’s Gospel are more natural, if we suppose
that the prayer which they introduce was sent up to the Father
under no roof but the skies. They read thus, “these words spake
Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father;” and
I think I see the Blessed One, with his disciples round, looking
up through the clear blue of night as if to see his Father’s
throne beyond. I think he would not kneel, but stand; just as
John saw the Lamb stand in the midst of the throne: for the
prayer is like one up in heaven, and quite different from that
in the garden which he offered soon after, when he fell upon the
earth, and cried, and wept. But some suppose that the beginning
of the eighteenth chapter, which says, “When Jesus had spoken
these words he went forth with his disciples over the brook
Cedron,” must mean that he then left the house; and by
themselves the words seem to say so. We must allow the question
to be a thing which we cannot certainly settle. But whether it
was spoken in the house or on the road, very beautiful was the
discourse of Jesus to his followers about the vine, and on the
duty of loving one another, and concerning the coming of the
Holy Ghost. And there is no such other prayer written anywhere
as His intercessory prayer, recorded by John.
Saying, however, no more of this, let us go with Jesus in our
thoughts out beyond the walls of Jerusalem, and down into the
valley which lies between the city and the mount of Olives. He
and his eleven disciples came at length to the brook in the
bottom, and passed over it. For lying beyond it, on the skirt of
the mount, there was a garden to which Jesus had often gone
before, and the place was well known to Judas who was to betray
him. When they had come to this spot, and had entered the
garden, Jesus said to his disciples, Sit down here, while I go
further on to pray. He took three of them, however, with him;
the same three -- Peter, James, and John -- that had been with
him on the mountain of transfiguration. When they had gone on a
little way, he said to them, My soul is very sad; I feel as if
ready to die; stay here and watch with me. When he said this
there was a dreadful weight of grief and woe on his heart, all
on account of our sins. The three disciples, on his bidding them
to watch, sat down on the ground, very sorely grieved to see
their beloved Master so heavily distressed. Jesus left them, and
went forward about as far as a man could throw a stone, and fell
on his face on the ground, and “with strong crying and tears”
prayed to his Father, saying, O Father, if it be possible, let
this cup pass from me; yet not my will, but thine be done. Then
he rose up from the ground, and came back to where the three
disciples had been left sitting, and instead of watching he
found them asleep. Grief and astonishment had made them drowsy.
Jesus woke them up, and said, O could you not watch with me one
hour? He spoke particularly to Peter, who had been so bold in
saying he would go with Christ even to the death. He said,
Simon, sleepest thou? Then he bade them all rise and pray, and
watch against entering into temptation. He told them it was a
fearful battle that temptation brings; for however willing the
spirit might be, the body was weak. At that time he was himself
made to know how dreadful temptation is; for Satan was doing all
he could to get him to sin, and he had to fight like one in an
agony. So he went away again, and prayed yet more earnestly to
his Father. He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible to
thee; take this cup from me: but if it may not pass from me,
except I drink it, thy will be done. When he came back to his
disciples, he found them sleeping again, and woke them, and
spoke to them, and they did not know what to say for themselves.
So, still full of woe, he went a third time to the place where
he had prayer, and once more cried unto his Father, using the
same words. All this while his anguish was so terrible, that his
sweat drops were like great clots of blood falling to the
ground. You wonder, perhaps, that God the Father did not take
the cup away. Ah! that was because of his love to sinners, and
his desire to save them. But though the cup was not to pass, the
Father was not shutting his ear against the Sufferer’s prayer.
He sent an angel down to relieve and strengthen him. At length
the agony was over, and Jesus came back to where he left Peter
and James and John, to find them once more asleep. This time, as
he woke them, he said he would not need their watch any more.
His awful sorrow was lightened, and, so far as that went, they
might now sleep on, and take their rest. But he went on to tell
them that the traitor was at hand, and asked them to rise and go
with him to meet him.
Immediately on Jesus saying this, there appeared a great band of
persons led by Judas, and about to enter the garden. They
carried lanterns and torches, and were armed with staves and
swords. The chief priests had sent them out to take Jesus
prisoner. The Lord knew well what they had come for; and going
forward to meet them, he said, Whom are you seeking? And when
they answered, Jesus of Nazareth, he said, I am he. No sooner
had he uttered the words, than they all went backwards and fell
to the ground, showing how powerless they were against Christ,
and how impossible it would have been for them to take him
unless he pleased. When they had recovered themselves, he asked
them again whom they were seeking, and said, If you want me, let
my disciples go their way. Their own plan for finding out who
was Jesus was not now at all needed, seeing he was thus ready to
tell them who he was. But they went on with it, and it showed
how wicked Judas was; for he had given them a sign, and had
said, The person whom I shall kiss is the man you want; take him
and hold him fast. So the false and cruel disciple stept up to
Jesus, and kissed him as a friend, and said, Hail, master? Jesus
said to him, Friend, why are you come? Are you betraying the Son
of man with a kiss? On that Peter drew a sword that he had
(there were two swords in all the disciple’s hands), and rushed
on, and struck a blow at one of the party, who happened to be
the high priest’s servant. Perhaps he was the most forward to
lay hands on Jesus, and therefore Peter struck at him. The blow
was not useless; it cut off the man’s right ear. But Jesus would
not let his followers fight for him. He said to Peter, Put your
sword into its sheath. Do you think I need it? I have only to
ask my Father, and he would send me in a moment legions of
angels. But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled, which
say that I must suffer? The cup that my Father hath given me,
shall I not drink it? Do not interfere. Then he touched the
wounded ear of the high priest’s servant, and healed it in a
moment. He then allowed the men to take and bind him, saying to
them, however, What need was there to come in this way to take
me like a thief? I was every day with you teaching in the
temple; might you not have taken me there? yet ye did not lay
hands on me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
One wonders how with all this being done and said, they could go
on arresting him; but the heart of man is very blind and hard.
When the disciples saw Jesus yielding himself up to his enemies,
and being led away bound to the high priest’s house, they were
seized with fear, and all fled as for their lives. The Shepherd
was taken, and the sheep were scattered. John and Peter,
however, after a time followed him, and John being known to the
high priest, was allowed to go into the house, and took in Peter
also. There it was that this bold apostle was to deny his Lord.
QUESTIONS FROM THE BIBLE STORY.
1. What well-known and long discourse did Jesus speak to a crowd
in the open air, and in sight of many things to which he
2. In what psalm is the church spoken of under the figure of a
3. Where do we read of Jesus praying beside a river, and under
the open sky?
4. What is the name of a brook mentioned in the Old Testament,
by the bank of which there was a wrestling prayer offered by one
who was in distress?
5. What passage in one of the Epistles appears to refer to
Christ's agony in the garden?
6. How long was the battle of temptation which Jesus fought with
Satan at the beginning of his public life?
7. When was Jesus waked from his sleep by his disciples?
8. What prophet was waked from sleep with words of reproof?
9. What apostle prayed three times to the Lord about an
affliction he had?
10. When did an angel wake a sleeping prophet to refresh and
11. When did Christ show his power over his enemies by walking
unhurt through the midst of them as they were going to cast him
down from a high rock?
12. Can you find a prophecy in the Old Testament about smiting
the Shepherd and scattering the sheep?
13. In what psalms have we prophecies about Judas the traitor?
ANSWERS to the questions may be found by turning to the
following chapters. -- Matt. v., vi., vii.; Ps. lxxx.; Luke
iii.; Gen. xxxii.; Heb. v.; Matt. iv.; Matt. viii.; Jonah i; 2
Cor. xii.; 1 Kings xix.; Luke iv.; Zech. xiii.; Ps. xli.; lv.,
O GOD, give us thy Spirit that we may be led to wonder and
praise, when we think of all that Jesus suffered for us poor
lost sinners. Help us to learn the lessons which the sorrows and
tears of Jesus teach us. Help us to thank Thee for His knowledge
of what it is to suffer, and for His sympathy with us in our
sufferings. We rejoice that we have a High Priest who is touched
with a feeling of our infirmities. May we be inclined to carry
all our burdens to Him, to tell Him all our griefs. O help us to
watch against temptation. Keep us from being overcome by it. Do
not let us be found sleeping when the Lord shall come. Suffer us
not to incur the guilt of denying the Lord who bought us.
Preserve us from falling away when following after Him. May His
Spirit stablish, strengthen, and settle us, that we may be
steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
And when our time on earth is done, may we, with those who have
waited and wrought for Jesus, receive that crown of glory which
fadeth not away. To Thee, Father, be glory for ever, through
Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
THE EVENING SERVICE.
O LORD, whose eyes are over the righteous, and Thine ears open
to their prayers, we most humbly beseech Thee to make us all of
one mind, having compassion one of another, loving as brethren,
being pitiful and courteous, eschewing all evil in word and
deed, doing good, and seeking peace with all men, so that we may
attain that peace which passeth all understanding through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm lxxiii. 23-26.
GREAT God, who, hid from mortal sight,
Dost dwell in unapproached light,
Before whose presence angels bow
With faces veiled, in homage low;
Awhile in darkness we remain,
And round us yet are sin and pain;
But soon the everlasting day
Shall chase our shades of night away.
For thou hast promised, gracious Lord,
A day of gladness and reward;
A day but faintly imaged here
By brightest sun at noontide clear.
Great Trinity, our hearts prepare,
The fulness of thy joy to share;
Life’s transient light may we improve,
And gain eternal light above.
LUKE XXIV. 13-53.
AND, behold, two of them went the same day to a village called
Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14.
And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together, and
reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16. But
their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17. And he
said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye
have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18. And the one of
them, whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, Art thou
only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things
which are come to pass there in these days? 19. And he said unto
them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of
Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God
and all the people; 20. And how the chief priest and our rulers
delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have
redeemed Israel: and besides all this, to-day is the third day
since these things were done. 22. Yea, and certain women also of
our company made us astonished, which were early at the
sepulchre; 23. And when they found not his body, they came,
saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said
he was alive. 24. And certain of them which were with us went to
the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said; but
him they saw not. 25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow
of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not
Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his
glory? 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he
expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning
himself. 28. And they drew nigh unto the village whither they
went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29. But
they constrained him, saying, Abide with us, for it is toward
evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with
them. 30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he
took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31. And
their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out
of their sight. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our
heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and
while he opened to us the scriptures? 33. And they rose up the
same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven
gathered together, and them that were there with them, 34.
Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he
was known of them in breaking of bread, &c.
O LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, Thou art God, even Thou alone;
Thou hast made the heavens and earth. Incline Thine ear, O God
and hear; open Thine eyes, O God, and see.
We worship and we bow down, we kneel before the Lord our Maker.
There is nothing hid from Him with whom we have to do, and we
seek to come before Thee as we are. This day have we been
privileged to look upon Thy glory in Thy word, and in Thy Son
the Word made flesh: and as we think of all Thy majesty of
holiness, and remember all the shamefulness of our sin; as we
think of the wonders of Thy love, and remember the blackness of
our ingratitude -- the cry of our hearts is, Woe unto us for we
are undone; God be merciful unto us sinners! We render Thee
thanks for all Thy tender mercies to us-ward. For life and
health, for food and raiment, for our reason which Thou hast
given to guide our bodies, for our conscience which has been
appointed to testify of Thee in our souls, for our hope, that
riseth above all things seen and temporal , for our friendships
and our social intercourse, for our employments and their
rewards for the days of work and sabbath days, for the
sanctuaries of thy worship and the sacraments of our most holy
faith; we render Thee thanks, O Lord most merciful.
We thank Thee especially for the unspeakable gift of Thy Son,
our Saviour; in whom we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins. Give us grace to use the means of grace,
and to hold the hope of glory as we ought. Lead Thou our
captivity captive, and give us of Thy gifts received for men,
that we may walk in light as children of light, and bear no
longer the bondage of our sins.
May the rest and worship of this day be abundantly blessed unto
us, and unto all men. May all penitence that has been awakened,
and all vows of amendment that have been made, be strengthened
and bear good fruit in the days that are to come. Save thy
listening people from the sin of selfish enjoyment of Thy
gospel, and from unconcern as to the souls of others. Strengthen
our fearful hearts; guide all who are in bewilderment to the
cross of Thy Son; and those who are sunk in despair be pleased
to lift up to the peace of Thine own love. In the house and in
the field, in the church and in their daily life, may Thy
professing people show that they have their conversation heaven.
Greatly prosper everywhere the cause which is Thine own: extend
the church of Thy Son throughout the whole world: and be pleased
to reform more and more the churches of the Reformation. We
beseech thee to make our native land a habitation of
righteousness and charity and true liberty, and greatly to bless
and long to preserve Thy servant our Queen. Let the people
praise Thee, O Lord; let all the people praise Thee, O Lord.
These our prayers we offer through Him who has taught us to say,
Our Father, &c. Amen.
MORNING AND EVENING MEDITATIONS.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in
remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be
established in the present truth.
Heb. xiii. 13. Tit. ii. 14. 2 Pet. i. 11, 12.
O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped
not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we
have escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven;
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised,
saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also
And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those
things that are shaken, as of things that are made that those
things that are shaken, as of things that are made that those
things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Jer. xxii. 29. Heb. xii. 25, 26, 27.
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we
should be a kind of first-fruit of his creatures.
The first-born of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.
And ye shall be holy men unto me.
For if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if
the root be holy, so are the branches.
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a
wild olive tree, yet grafted in among them, and with them
partest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Boast not against the branches; but if thou boast, thou bearest
not the root, but the root thee.
James i. 18. Exod. xxii. 29, 31. Rom. xi. 16, 17.18.
Return, O Lord, how long? And let it repent thee concerning thy
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall
arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto
I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned
against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for
me; he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift
thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord,
makest me to dwell in safety.
Ps. xc. 13. Micah vii. 8, 9. Ps. iv. 6, 8.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save,
he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he
will joy over thee with singing.
Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; and I
will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out;
and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they
have been put to shame.
At that time I will bring you again, even in the time that I
gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise
among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity
before your eyes, saith the Lord.
Zeph. iii. 17, 19, 20.
In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of
Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together,
going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward,
saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a
perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
My people hath been lost sheep; their shepherds have caused them
to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains; they
have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their
And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a
city of habitation.
Jer. l. 4, 5, 6. Ps. cvii. 7.
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest
him out of thy law;
That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until
the pit be digged for the wicked.
For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he
forsake his inheritance:
But judgment shall return unto righteousness; and all the
upright in heart shall follow it.
My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary
of his correction:
For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son
in whom he delighteth.
Ps. xciv. 12, 13, 14, 15. Prov. iii. 11, 12.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a
flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
Before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up thy
strength, and come and save us.
Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall
The Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the
prayer of thy people?
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears
to drink in great measure.
Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and
we shall be saved.
Ps. lxxx. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.
O Lord to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our
princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we
have rebelled against him.
O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and
behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy
name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for
our righteousnesses but for thy great mercies.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer
not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people
are called by thy name.
Dan. ix. 8, 9, 18, 19.
Save me, O God; for the waters are come unto my soul.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I am come unto
deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying; my throat is dried; mine eyes fail
while I wait for my God.
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable
time; O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth
of thy salvation.
Let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep
swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Hear me, O Lord; for thy loving-kindness is good: turn unto me
according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
Ps. lxix. 1, 2, 3, 13, 15, 16.
I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou will not hold me
If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?
If I wash myself with snow-water, and make my hands never so
Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes
shall abhor me.
Neither is there any day’s-man betwixt us, that might lay his
hand upon us both.
I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of
Job ix. 28, 29, 30, 31, 33. Isa. xlix. 28.
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen
thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Be strong, and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of
them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he
will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this
One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he
it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Ps. xxvii. 14. Deut. xxxi. 6. Josh. xxiii. 8, 10.
You can download Week 49 in pdf
1. Wamphray: Pages from the History
and Traditions of a Famous Parish in Upper Annandale (1906): by
Paterson, Professor of Law John. Reading the Life of this
Minister I found an excellent description of the life of the
school he ran and for educators I would suggest you get this
book as it is described as being a one room school with over 100
pupils and yet it looks like all pupils went on to become very
successful which thus suggests that small school sizes are not
Life and Work is the magazine of the Church of Scotland.