Dr. John Edmond
"The Children! Church
or, Family Services for the Lord's Day"
Stories in Verse with Sacred Songs and Miscellaneous Pieces
By John Edmond, D.D. (1871) (pdf)
Pulpit and Talk with the Little Folks
Edited by Rev. John Edmond, D. D.
FATHER of lights, and God of all mercies and consolations, grant
us now to receive of Thy illuminating and sustaining grace,
through Thy Spirit imparted to us, that we may serve Thee with
sincere and humble hearts, and may intelligently adore Thy
glorious majesty, and be prepared to go from the scene of
domestic worship and instruction strengthened for all the duties
of the day, through the all-sufficiency that is in Jesus Christ
Thy Son, our Lord, to whom be praise for ever. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm xxxvii. 3-7.
LORD, when we bend before thy throne,
And our confessions pour,
Teach us to feel the sins we own,
And hate what we deplore.
Our broken spirit pitying see;
True penitence impart;
Then let a kindling glance from Thee
Beam hope upon the heart.
When we disclose our wants in prayer,
May we our wills resign;
And not a thought our bosoms share,
Which is not wholly thine.
May faith each weak petition fill,
And waft it to the skies,
And teach our hearts ’tis goodness still
That grants it or denies.
JEREMIAH I. 19.
THE words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that
were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin: 2. To whom the word
of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of
Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3. It came also in
the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, unto the
end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of
Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth
month. 4. Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou
camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained
thee a prophet unto the nations. 6. Then said I, Ah, Lord God!
behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child. 7. But the Lord said
unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I
shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver
thee, saith the Lord. 9. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and
touched my mouth: and the Lord said unto me, Behold I have put
my words in thy mouth. 10. See, I have this day set thee over
the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull
down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
11. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an
almond-tree. 12. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well
seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. 13. And the word
of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest
thou? And I said, I see a seething-pot; and the face thereof is
toward the north. 14. Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the
north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the
land. 15. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms
of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they
shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of
Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah. 16. And I will
utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness,
who have forsaken me, and have burnt incense unto other gods,
and worshipped the works of their own hands. 17. Thou therefore
gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I
command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound
thee before them. 18. For, behold, I have made thee this day a
defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the
whole land; against the kings of Judah, against the princes
thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of
the land. 19. And they shall fight against thee, but they shall
not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to
O LORD of all goodness and grace, we praise Thee for the return
of morning, and the renewed sweetness of its springing light.
For what repose and refreshment Thou hast granted us in sleep,
and for every good and right thought awaked in our minds, we
give Thee hearty thanks. We come to Thee, first of all, thus
spared to enter on another sabbath, that we may go out from Thy
presence strong and cheerful, to enjoy the privileges and engage
in the duties of Thy holy day, and to perform them heartily. We
thank Thee that we have such duties to fulfil; let them not
press upon us or be regarded by us as a burden grievous to be
borne, but may the doing of them be the joy and the rejoicing of
our hearts. We commit ourselves to Thy benediction, and pray to
find that our performance of duty, as under Thine eye, serves to
keep us near Thyself. In the work and warfare of our souls may
we lean specially upon Thy help. Let us, in the trials and tests
that prove us, be kept faithful, and made victorious. Guard our
lips, guide our steps, keep our hearts. Help us, in our
intercourse with our fellow creatures, to be blameless and
useful, getting and doing good. Give us opportunity of promoting
the happiness of others, and aid us wisely and kindly to embrace
it. Restrain the adversaries of our souls, and let them not have
advantage against us. Help us to live this day, and always,
soberly, righteously, and godly, in a present evil world. May
our eyes be fixed on the great and good Master, and may we ever
strive to walk in the steps of His example, having the same mind
in us that was also in Christ Jesus. May the love of the Saviour
surround and bless our family circle to-day endearing the bonds
of affection that unite us, preventing any root of bitterness
from springing up among us, and sweetening our domestic joys.
May the same love bless all the homes of our friends. In any of
these where affliction or death has entered, be thou our God
near as the comforter and friend. Hush timid and fearing hearts,
guide perplexed and anxious spirits, lead inquirers to Jesus.
Prosper, O Lord, this Thine own work of gathering souls to
Jesus. May it advance to-day in our own and other lands; the
kingdom of light widening, and the reign of darkness retiring
before the shining of truth and love. We commend to Thee our
country, our beloved queen, and all the members of the royal
house. We pray for universal peace among the nations. We rejoice
to think of the time when the kingdoms of this world shall
become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. May it be
hastened on apace. Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in
heaven. Hear us, O Father, in these our morning supplications;
and when the day declines, let us again meet around Thy
footstool, with renewed thanksgiving for all Thy goodness to us,
and in a spirit of fervent supplication that thou who hast
hitherto been mindful of us wouldst bless us still, through
Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE CHURCH IN THE HOUSE.
O LORD of life, send down on us Thy quickening and sanctifying
Spirit that being this day among the risen with Christ we may
sit with Him in heavenly places. May our worship and meditation
nurture in us the diviine life, through the operation of the
Spirit of Jesus, dwelling in us. And may the discipline of Thy
hand combine with the gifts of Thy grace to raise us higher and
higher towards Thyself, till we come to dwell in Thy presence
where there is fulness of joy for ever. Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm l. 3-6.
WHEN the last trumpet’s awful voice
This rending earth shall shake,
When op’ning graves shall yield their charge,
And dust to life awake;
These bodies, that corrupted fell,
Shall incorrupted rise;
And mortal forms shall spring to life
Immortal in the skies.
Behold, what heaven-taught prophets sung
Is now at length fulfill’d,
That death should yield his ancient reign,
And, vanquish’d, quit the field!
Let Faith exalt her joyful voice
And thus begin to sing,
O Grave, where is thy triumph now?
And where, O Death, thy sting?
JOB XIX. 8-27.
HE hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set
darkness in my paths. 9. He hath stripped me of my glory, and
taken crown from my head. 10 He hath destroyed me on every side,
and I am gone; and mine hope hath he removed like a tree. 11. He
hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto
him as one of his enemies. 12. His troops come together, and
raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my
tabernacle. 13. He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine
acquaintance are verily estranged from me. 14. My kinsfolk have
failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. 15. They that
dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am
an alien in their sight. 16. I called my servant, and he gave me
no answer; I entreated him with my mouth. 17. My breath is
strange to my wife, though I entreated for the children’s sake
of mine own body. 18. Yea, young children despised me; I arose,
and they spake against me. 19. All my inward friends abhorred
me; and they whom I loved are turned against me. 20. My bone
cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the
skin of my teeth. 21. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye
my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me. 22. Why do ye
persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? 23. Oh
that my words were now written! Oh! that they were printed in a
book! 24. That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the
rock for ever! 25. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that
he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. 26. And though
after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I
see God: 27. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall
behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
1 CORINTHIANS XV. 35-59.
BUT some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what
body do they come? 36. Thou fool, that which thou sowest, thou
sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may
chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38. But God giveth it a
body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39.
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh
of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and other of
birds. 40. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies
terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the
glory of the terrestrial is another. 41. There is one glory of
the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the
stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42. So
also is the resurrection of the dead; it is sown in corruption,
it is raised in incorruption: 43. It is sown in dishonour, it is
raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power:
44. It is sown in a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45. And
so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the
last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46. Howbeit that was not
first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and
afterward that which is spiritual. 47. The first man is of the
earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48. As is
the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the
heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49. And as we
have borne the image of the heavenly. 50. Now this I say,
brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of
God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51. Behold, I
show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, &c.
“THY DEAD MEN SHALL LIVE; TOGETHER WITH MY DEAD BODY SHALL THEY
ARISE. AWAKE AND SING, YE THAT DWELL IN DUST; FOR THY DEW IS AS
THE DEW OF HERBS, AND THE EARTH SHALL CAST OUT THE DEAD. ---
Isaiah xxvi. 19.
THESE words are often quoted as a prediction of the final
resurrection of the bodies of the saints; and as such we purpose
mainly to consider them. But it is to be noted that, in their
immediate and direct application, this is not their meaning.
They are a prophecy of the revival, restoration, and glory of
the church, in figurative language, borrowed from the
resurrection of the dead. In the previous verses the depression,
suffering, and disappointments of the church are lamented;
trouble and anguish had come upon her, and her arm had become
feeble in her warfare with evil in the earth. Her sons were like
the scattered remnant of some patriotic host hidden in caves and
dells, dispirited, out of sight; living only to to lament the
oppression of their country, while unable to turn the battle to
the gates. They were even as the dead. But now they are
comforted with the assurance that this death-like state shall be
succeeded by resuscitation and joy; the dry bones shall live,
the withered hopes of the house of Israel shall be revivified,
and the church arise as from the grave to power and honour.
But though this is the immediate application of the words, they
are by no means referred to the literal resurrection inaptly;
nor, in considering them as so applied, are we guilty of using a
test by way of mere accommodation. For two reasons: First,
because as in every case of figure, the reality of the object
from which the figure is taken is necessarily understood, and
underlies the metaphor. If there were no sun in the skies, Jesus
could with no propriety be called the Sun of Righteousness; if
there were no dew of herbs, the word would convey no meaning, as
applied to the Spirit of God. So, if there were no literal
resurrection, we might say to an unconverted man, or a decayed
church, Awake thou that sleepest; but we could not add, with
Paul, Arise from the dead. Nor could the prophet have been
understood -- at least his language would have been inapt as a
prophecy of returning prosperity to the church - if the living
of dead men were an impossibility, or, we may add, a thing
unlooked for, unhoped for, unknown to faith. But there is a
deeper reason than this by which the use we mean to make of the
text to-day is to be vindicated. Not only is the resurrection
here presumed in the figure employed but that figure has its
great force from this circumstance, that all previous
communications of life to the church are foreshowings of, steps
towards, nay, quickenings included in, the ultimate outbursting
of perfect life in the world to come. They are not completed
till they are all carried forward and gathered up into
resurrection glory. The plant has not lived till the blade and
ear are educated into the full corn. The prophecy of revival
here stands to the final redemption of the body, as the hill
top, illumed at dawn, does to the sun -- it shines in the sun’s
light, and it shows his coming. So this prediction borrow its
gladness for the near relief, from the advancing joy of the
final release. Nay, the connection is closer; it is a part of
the one grand release of which the resurrection that supplies
words to describe it is the consummation. “Thy dead men shall
live” are the words having a current fulfilment in the whole
history of salvation. As when from some lofty height you survey
a wide landscape, and see first at your feet a little bend of
water sparkling in the sun, then further off a broader belt
flashing out into the light, then remoter still a wider sheet
gleaming and glittering afar, till on the very horizon the great
sea comes in to meet the gaze; and are told that all these views
are but different parts of the same noble river, losing itself
at length in the ocean: so with Isaiah we stand on this height
of prophecy, and see at our feet the captivity of Babylon
brought back -- the introduction of the gospel age -- the coming
in of millennial prosperity, and the creation of a new heavens
and a new earth for the eternal abode of righteousness -- and
say of all “Thy dead shall live.” They are all but conspicuous
turnings in the one great river of life, whose close is
resurrection and immortality. That close out there on the
horizon of Christian hope, far out in the ocean of eternity, we
shall to-day begin with, though ere we close we shall show how
the outflow of the river into the sea implies its living
progress at every point of its course.
A sentence of two must be premised about the structure and
phraseology of the text. To whom are the words addressed? To God
or to the people of God? I confess I have found difficulty in
reaching grounds for a settled conclusion. Most interpreters, I
think, regard them as spoken to God -- and very beautiful are
the thoughts which so viewed the words suggest. For example,
what an affecting and delightful vista to meditation is opened
up by the expression, God’s dead! Not the dead, nor our dead,
but God’s dead. But perhaps God, the Saviour-God, may be viewed
rather as the speaker here, comforting the weeping church with
word of promise -- even as the sun breaks through the dark
rain-clouds, and spans the falling shower with God’s bow. I can
more easily in this way explain the expression, “my dead body.”
Moreover, the phrase, “thy dew,” is more naturally referred to
the church than to God, especially as compared with the dew of
herbs; that is, “thy dew,” in the connection, is better
understood as the dew thou hast, than as the dew thou givest.
And finally, if we so view the text, there is no change of
person in the verse following, where the people of God are
expressly addressed. I shall therefore regard the words as
Emmanuel’s, without very positively affirming the certainty of
the interpretation; but adding this consideration, that the
undoubted settlement of the reference is of the less moment,
that preference of either view simply affects the mode of
bringing out the truth, not the truths brought out.
Thus premised, I proceed to ask your attention to two things
regarding the resurrection of the saints -- First, Its
certainty; and secondly, Its glory.
I. Its certainty. -- And here the first thought is, that it is
predicted. The Lord of life, who gave being at first to all, has
said, “Thy dead men shall live.” That is enough. It settles all
objections -- silences all unbelieving cavils. He has said it,
and shall he not bring it to pass? “Is there anything too hard
for the Lord,” that this should exceed his power? Is he a man
that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent,”
and so fail in his promise? However unlikely seems the
resurrection of the dead, however great and strange a work it
seems, it is sure. “Why should it be deemed a thing incredible
with you that God should raise the dead?”
Some glimpse of this must have been shown to Adam himself when,
in connection with the promise of her conquering seed, he named
his wife Eve (the living); some notion, at least of life, in
spite of the return to dust he knew to be before him, and saw
first in his martyred Abel. Later saints must have seen it also
afar off, when they gave commandment concerning their bones, and
hoped in death to be gathered to their people. Job anticipated
it with remarkable clearness of faith and hope. David foresaw it
in the person of the Messiah. Isaiah here accepts and applies
it. Daniel declares it in express terms. But while these
revelations of the doctrine in ancient times were sufficient, as
appears from the gospel narratives, to produce a general belief
of the doctrine among the Jews, it is in the New Testament that
the fullest, most express, and clearest predictions of the
resurrection occur. I need not cite our Lord’s own words, nor
Paul’s nor John’s. If there be anything plainly taught in the
New Testament, it is the doctrine of the resurrection of the
dead. Here, then, we may rest. It is promised. It is sure. If,
when Adam first beheld sunset, there came over his heart a
momentary misgiving that he had seen the last of the great
luminary now sunk from sight, God’s promise of a morrow would be
enough to reassure him, though he was not told how the sun could
reach the east again; and when he first sowed seed in his field,
he must have rested on God’s word that it would grow. So may we
rest in hope concerning our dead.
The New Testament, however, not only gives us the plainest words
of promise, but the additional assurance of accomplished fact.
The promise is certified and sealed. The second clause of the
text suggests this thought -- “My dead body they shall arise.”
Our version says, “together with;” a simpler supplement would be
“like” or “as,” just as in a subsequent clause, “as the dew of
herbs.” Read thus we have the attestation of Christ’s
resurrection superadded to the assurance of promise. We see life
restored, the slain revived. When the dead body of our Lord lay
in the grave, the disciples sorrowed with no common grief.
Mournfully reverting to the fact that they had trusted this had
been he who should have redeemed Israel, they might express
their plaint in the words of the prophet, “We have, as it were,
brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the
earth, neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.” But
when he appeared to them risen -- his dead body alive again, as
he said -- all despair as to the resuscitation of the church in
her lowest states was chased away. Foreseen, this fact forbade
despondency; remembered, still more. Go see the place where the
Lord lay, and despair no more, not even of the dust in the
grave. Look where his dead body was, and say, “They shall
If, however, Christ’s resurrection were but an illustrious
example of the dead quickened, it would not stand single as an
encouragement -- those he raised from death were examples too;
nor would it avail to meet such desponding thoughts as might
rest on the consideration that our dead are not only lifeless,
but turned into corruption and dust. But Christ was a
representative, a head man. If he got life, he got it for all
his people too. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall
all be made alive.” The dead bodies of believers are in fact his
dead, his property, his purchased recompense. He cannot leave
them in the grave. Nay, they are not only his purchase, but a
part of his mystical self. The church is his body. He then,
himself glorified, can no more rest satisfied with this, nor
with the spirits of his just ones around him than his soul
entered into paradise could rest satisfied while its partner
body lay in the tomb of Joseph. Does the church ask, can my dead
live? Yea, saith the Spirit for they are Christ’s dead --
Christ’s corse, shall we say? Look at them; hear him say, “My
dead body,” and add rejoicing, “They shall arise.”
Thus is the resurrection of the saints certified as Christ’s
body, with Christ’s body, being Christ’s body.
The text gives us still another view of the certainty of the
resurrection, not perhaps, adding to the assurance produced by
promise and seal, but aiding the mind in the reception of the
truth, by suggesting analogies, and indicating the power by
which the great quickening is to be accomplished. This may we
fix in our memory by saying, we have, thirdly, here the
resurrection illustrated. “Thy dew is as the dew of herbs.” The
words direct the eye to a pleasing picture. See that fallen
plant, flaccid and withering, how dead and hopeless it seems;
but insert its root in the earth, water it with soft showers, or
with the night’s dews bathing it again. Or see that corn of
wheat cast into the ground, and covered with the soil; what hope
is there of its becoming a living thing? Yet wait, and lo, the
earth is casting it up from its dark womb, green, vital,
beautiful. But ah! you say, is there any dew that can vivify the
dust of the buried, or any power that can make the grave yield
life from its bosom? There is. Thy dew, dead saint, is as
adapted to revive thee as rains to refresh the dried herb -- it
is the dew of the Spirit of God. “If the Spirit of Him that
raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you he that raised up
Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by
his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The buried are dead bodies;
but a living Spirit, omnipotent, omniscient, holds them in his
vital embrace: and as certainly as at the word of God there came
up from the dry land, on the third creation-day, millions of
living plants, so, by the same power, the graveyards and tombs
where Christ’s people lie shall burst into a harvest of immortal
men. The seed is but sown in winter, and covered with the clod,
to come up fresh and fair in the spring of the eternal year.
We are thus naturally brought to consider --
II. The glory of the resurrection.
This is intimated by the call to awake and sing. The change is
such as fitly to evoke praise and triumph. The resurrection may
well be followed by a concert of the blessed. If it were only a
revival, bringing up the saint to the life he had before, with
all the shadows which chequer it, how could lips again opened
refrain from singing? But it is something else and more than
this. The saint is revived to enter on a new style of life. He
leaves infirmity, sorrow, sin, corruptibility, behind him in the
grave, like dead-clothes cast aside. He is raised in honour,
glory, and power He is like one risen from sleep, whose fatigues
are forgotten, and who bounds forth to the day’s enjoyments and
duties in the elasticity of reinvigorated strength. Only, never
was the deep sleep of healthy youth so refreshing as shall prove
the saint’s sleep in death. How wearily he lay down in that bed
of dust! How impossible to conceive the jubilant swell of that
“Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
As from blest voices, uttering joy,”
with which the risen saints will first wake the echoes of
eternity; filling with new hosannas the ethereal regions. Many
glad songs there have been, sung by heavenly and by terrestrial
choristers; but never aught like this. It was a glorious burst
of harmony which broke on the ear of a young creation “when the
morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for
“When heaven and all the constellations rang,
And planets in their station listening stood.”
Glorious by the sea was the song of Moses, when Miriam and her
maidens chanted response, and all the ransomed nation lifted
their voice, saying, “Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed
gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the
sea.” Glorious was that other angelic song which startled
midnight with celestial symphonies, when Jesus was born in the
city of David. And magnificent will be the chorus that, filling
all heaven with melody, shall welcome the sunrise of millennial
day, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms
of our Lord and of His Christ. But these are all mere preludes
to the full song of jubilee, which hails the Lord’s return, and
the resurrection of his church. To this all previous joys were
but as tributary streams; every anticipatory psalm stretches
forward to this final strain of victory. The resurrection- song,
gathering into itself all former sons of gladness -- the psalm
of life, now first complete -- shall, like a sea into which ten
thousand rivers have flowed, swell up a mighty flood of glory
and gladness to the throne of God. And O! to what a feast of
immortal joy shall the Eternal Father invite his household, when
first, in the full sense, he can say of his poor child Man, now
restored in his Divine Head -- “This my son was dead, and is
alive again; was lost, and is found.”
Thus far we find the glory of the resurrection in the very call
to sing a morning song. But it is hinted also in what precedes.
Revert again to the expression, “My dead body.” What will not
the Head do for his own body raised? If he has clad the worlds
he made with light and beauty, what shall be the investing robe
of those who are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his
bones? Or say, as his own body, and you are reminded of the
doctrine that he shall change this vile body, and fashion it, by
all-subduing power, like his own body of glory. Inhabited, then,
first of all, by purified spirits must the raised bodies of
believers be; for a soul with sin-taints in it could not dwell
in a body like that of Jesus -- just as a soul pure as Christ’s
is pure must not inhabit a corruptible frame. We shall be like
Christ, seeing him as he is. All conceivable glory for man is
here. That which is nearest to God of all created things is the
human nature of Emmanuel, and that is the model after which his
saints are to be fashioned. No wonder then the Apostle, with his
eye on all this, should write -- “It is sown in dishonour, it is
raised in glory. So when this corruptible shall have put on
incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death
is swallowed up in victory.”
The language of the text solemnly calls us to weigh the fact
that there are two classes of dead, and that both in the graves
and above them. There are God’s dead, and the dead simply. Mark
the express contrast between the text and a previous verse --
“They shall not rise.” Not that the mere revivification of the
dust of the wicked is denied; but they shall not wake from
sleep, nor to song. In the graves are those who are not, and
those who are, of Christ’s body, united to him by the living
Spirit. For those who are not Christ’s there is no morning dew;
if the earth casts forth these her dead, it is not in the form
of living plants, but the dead seed it got, corrupt as it fell.
The Germans call the churchyard God’s acre. O! Happy those who,
burying their dead there, know them to be God’s dead. But in the
world of air and light there are also in God’s sight the dead
only, divided into two classes. There are those who are dead
while they live, who are dead in life: “She that liveth in
pleasure is dead while she liveth.” There are also those who are
living in death: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with
Christ in God.” Dead to the law, dead to sin, dead to the world,
but in all this God’s dead; and such shall live. Their whole
course is now a path of life; it is the progress of the
life-shoot underground, to break into heavenly air and light on
the resurrection-day. In one or other of these senses we are all
dead: in which -- are we God’s dead, or the world’s? In the one
case, we are like a winter’s bud, with life folded within, and
waiting for the spring. In the other, we are like a dead tree
covered with creeping ivy -- killed by the very greenness that
gives a semblance of life. But there is this difference between
the dead above ground and the dead below. The dividing line is
fixed in the grave. It is changing above it. God is gathering
his own quickened dead from among the world's dead daily. Where
he saith -- “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall give thee light.”
And this leads me, in conclusion, back to the point from which
we set out -- the application of the final resurrection to the
comfort of the church and the soul under trouble. Here is what
answers all complaints, such as we find in the verses preceding.
Is it the mournful burden of a convinced, distressed, desponding
soul, wearing with self-pains that have brought no peace? Does
such a one cry out, “It is of no use; there is no hope; my
agony, my weeping, my running to and fro, bring no rest; I am as
a dead man?” Then be as the dead; lie at Christ’s feet -- all
self-hopes slain, all self-help foregone. Your hope is this,
“Thy dead men shall live.” From his dead body get life. Be
crucified with him. Become one with him by faith in his death.
You shall arise. Is it the complaint of a saint, in his
mortification of sin, that all his wrestling, watching, toiling,
come to nothing! “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me
from this body of death.” Ah! thy dead men shall live. Happy are
they who feel sin to be a body of death. They are crucified with
Christ. Christ liveth in them. Is it, finally, the complaint of
the church, looking at a still unconquered world? It is a great
field of the dead. But God’s dead are there; Christ’s body is
there. The dew of the Spirit shall fall there; and plants of
grace shall spring to clothe the desert. A living breath, like
air of spring, shall pass over the world, and a voice of life
shall pierce the ear of the dead, saying -- “Rise up, my love,
my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past; the rain
is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of
the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is
heard in our land.” “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to
spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness to spring
forth before all the nations.” -- JOHN EDMOND, D. D.
THE CHILDREN’S SERVICE.
THE men that took the Lord Jesus in the garden when he gave
himself up to their power, led him away to the house of the high
priest. He was first of all, indeed, taken to the father-in-law
of the high priest, but after that he was brought to Caiaphas
himself. This Caiaphas had some time before given his advice, in
the council of the Jews, that Jesus should be killed; and now
the meek blessed Saviour was placed before him to be examined
and condemned. So the high priest asked him about his disciples
and his teaching, and Jesus said, Why do you ask at me? ask
those who heard me; for I taught openly, in synagogues, and in
the temple. The people know what I said. At this point one of
the officers struck Christ on the face with his open hand, and
said, Is that the way you speak to the high priest? But the Lord
meekly answered, If I have said anything that is wrong, tell me
what it is; but if I have said what is true, why do you strike
me? How wonderful to think that Jesus should thus yield himself
to be smitten by one of his own creatures? How blind was that
creature to smite his Saviour-God!
While this was going on in a room of the high priest’s palace,
something else was happening in the court without. Houses in the
East were often built round a square court, or yard, which had
no roof; and the rooms, though walled on the outside and covered
above, were often open to the courtyard. You may think of Jesus
as being before the high priest, bound as a prisoner, in such a
room; while the servants and attendants were outside in the open
square. It was a cold night, and they had kindled a fire in the
middle of the court, and stood round it to warm themselves. As
they were doing this, Peter stepped in among them to warm
himself also. It was then that a servant maid saw him, and said
to the bystanders, This is one of the followers of Jesus of
Nazareth. Peter hearing this, and being afraid, hastened to tell
a sad lie: for he said before the whole party, I do not know
what you say; I do not know this Jesus you speak about. Having
said that, he went away from the fire, out into the passage that
led from the street into the house. A number of servants and
others shortly gathered there -- among them the maid that had
seen him at the fire; and several of them remarked that he
surely was one of Christ’s disciples. But he denied again that
he was a follower of Jesus, and said with an oath, I do not know
the man. About an hour after that, when Peter was again in the
court, where he must have been able to see Jesus before his
wicked judge, several persons came round about him, and made the
remark that he must certainly be one of them; his very speech
(for he spoke like a Galilean) proving him to belong to the
company of the followers of Jesus. But Peter, getting more and
more alarmed, began to curse and swear, and said, I tell you I
do not know the man. Thus three distinct times Peter denied his
Lord. Just as he did so the third time, the cock was heard to
crow; and Jesus, whose face had been looking away from Peter,
turned and looked on him. That showed that he knew all that
Peter had been doing; and, oh, what a look it must have been
which he gave him! Peter could not stand it. His heart smote
him. He rushed out of the house, thinking on the warning that
Jesus had given him, and of his sin and folly. Outside the
house, he sobbed and wept bitterly.
By and by the morning began to dawn, and the whole council
gathered themselves together to put Jesus on trial. Witnesses
had been sought out to speak against him. They were false
witnesses; they perverted words he had spoken, and gave them a
wrong meaning, trying to show that he had set himself against
what the Jews held sacred. But they did not agree with each
other in their accounts. At last two came and said, they had
heard him say that he was able to destroy the temple, and build
it in three days. Even then, however, they did not quite agree.
The high priest observing this, and trying in vain to get Jesus
to answer his accusers, put a question to Christ himself. He put
it as asking him to answer on oath; he said, I call on you in
the name of the living God to tell us whether you really are the
Messiah. Jesus, on this, answered, I am; and after this you will
see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and
coming in the clouds of heaven. Hearing that, up rose Caiaphas
and rent his clothes, to show how much he was shocked, and
cried, There is no need for any more witnesses; we have heard
him blaspheme with our own ears. Then all of them said, Let him
die. When the judges said that, it seemed the signal for all
around to insult and mock the blessed Lord. Some actually spat
in his face. Some struck him with their fists. Some covered his
face so as to blindfold him, and then striking him, said,
Prophesy to us, and tell us who struck you. The very servants
thought themselves free to smite him with the palms of their
hands, and cry out against him, as if he had been the vilest of
After this, when the morning had quite come, the whole crowd of
priests and scribes, and elders and attendants, with Jesus bound
anew in their midst, went on to the house of the Roman governor,
to have him judged, and sentenced to die. The name of the
governor was Pontius Pilate. They would not, however, go into
the house themselves: for they thought to go into a heathen’s
house would make them unclean, and prevent their keeping the
passover-feast. So they staid outside, and sent Jesus in to the
judgment hall. Pilate came out to them, and said, What charge do
you bring against this man? They said, We would not have brought
him to you, if he had not been a criminal. They wanted Pilate
just to take their word for it, and condemn him to die. The
Roman governor said, Well, take him and judge him by your own
law. But they said, Our law says he ought to die, and we have
not authority to put any man to death; you must do that It was
in this way that Christ’s prophecy of what kind of death he
should die came to be made good: for if the Jews could have
condemned him to death, and carried out the sentence, he would
have been stoned, as Stephen afterwards was in a tumult; but the
Roman punishment for great malefactors was crucifixion. So you
see that a great many things had to be brought about, to make
the prophecies true that Jesus should be born in Bethlehem and
die upon a tree.
The Jews, seeing that Pilate did not care for offences against
their law, tried another plan. They said Jesus was a seditious
person, and a rebel against the Roman government; they accused
him of calling himself a king, and telling the people not to
give tribute to Caesar. Pilate, hearing this, went to Jesus, and
said, Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus told him that he was,
but went on to show him that he was not a king like the Roman
emperors; that he was a king of hearts that loved the truth, and
that he had come into the world to rule men by the truth.
Pilate, either perplexed or sneering, said, What is truth? but
he went out to the chief priests and people, and said, I find no
fault in this man. On that they became more vehement and said,
He is exciting the whole of the people, stirring them up by his
teaching all the way from Galilee to this. Is he a Galilean?
said Pilate; and having learned that he was, and therefore
belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he resolved to send him to
Herod, he happening to be then in Jerusalem.
When Jesus was brought before Herod, that prince was extremely
glad. He had heard a great deal about Jesus and was anxious to
see him. He thought, too, he might get him to work some miracle
in his presence. So he put a great many questions to him, but
Jesus did not answer him one word. He was not a humble inquirer
wishing to learn, or Jesus would have taught him. All this time,
the priests and scribes were making bitter charges against him
When Herod found that Jesus would not answer him, he, with all
his officers and soldiers, mocked him. They put a gorgeous robe
on him as if he were a king, and sent him again to Pilate.
When Jesus was sent back to Pilate, the Roman governor,
persuaded that he was innocent of any crime deserving death,
tried hard to get the Jews to consent to let him go free. He did
this the more that his wife had sent to him, warning him to have
nothing to do with that just man, for she had had a very painful
dream about him How he tried to deliver him, but at last gave
him up to death, will be told in the next story.
QUESTIONS FROM THE BIBLE STORY.
1. Where do we find the advice of Caiaphas given to the council
to put Jesus to death?
2. What disciple of Jesus was found fault with by those that
were near for speaking improperly, as they said, to the high
3. Where do we read of a fire in a winter day, into which a part
of sacred scripture was cast?
4. Who was it that told a lie to his father, and brought in
God’s name profanely in connection with it?
5. Where do we read of Jesus questioning Peter about his love,
as many times as Peter denied him?
6. Where is a look at Christ represented as making people weep
7. In what psalm is there a prophecy of false witnesses speaking
8. What temple did Jesus mean when he spoke of raising it in
three days, when the Jews had destroyed it?
9. Who is it that is called the accuser, by way of eminence? Do
you know a name he has that means this?
10. Do you remember beautiful words in which Jesus told
beforehand what death he would die?
11. Can you find a verse that describes Christ’s faultlessness,
by using four different words and phrases?
ANSWERS to these questions may be found by turning to the
following chapters: -- John xi.; Acts xxiii.; Jer. xxxvi.; Gen.
xxvii. John xxi.; Zech. xii.; Psalm xxxv.; John ii.; Rev. xii.;
John xii.; Heb. vii.
O LORD God, by whom kings rule, and princes decree justice, help
all judges and rulers to do righteously. Help all who may suffer
for no fault to forgive those who wrong them, and to put their
trust in Thee. Prepare us for that great day when Jesus shall be
judge, and all the world shall stand before Him. May he accept
and bless us then, for His own name’s sake. Amen.
THE EVENING SERVICE
O GOD, who hast prepared the light and the sun, and made him to
know his time of going down, now that we are gathered together
after the public duties of the day, let thy blessing come down
upon us, like soft dews, and fill our hearts with the peace
which passeth understanding, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to
whom be glory for evermore Amen.
HYMN, or Psalm cxxi.
BLEST Creator of the light,
Making day with radiance bright
Thou didst o’er the forming earth
Give the golden light its birth.
Shade of eve with morning ray
Took from Thee the name of day;
Now again the shades are nigh,
Listen to our humble cry.
May we ne’er by guilt depressed
Lose the way to endless rest;
Nor with idle thoughts and vain
Bind our souls to earth again.
Rather may we heavenward rise,
Where eternal treasure lies;
Purified by grace within,
Hating every deed of sin.
Holy Father, hear our cry
Through thy Son, our Lord most High;
Whom our thankful hearts adore
With the Spirit evermore.
AFTER these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples
at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2.
There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and
Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two
other of his disciples. 3. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a
fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went
forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they
caught nothing. 4. But when the morning was now come, Jesus
stood on the shore; but the disciples knew not that it was
Jesus. 5. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any
meat? They answered him, No. 6. And he said unto them, Cast the
net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast
therefore; and now they were not able to draw it for the
multitudes of fishes. 7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus
loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter
heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him
(for he was naked), and did not cast himself into the sea. 8.
And the other disciples came in a little ship (for they were not
far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits), dragging the
net with fishes. 9. As soon than as they were come to land, they
saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10.
Jesus saith unto them, bring of the fish which ye have now
caught. 11. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to the land
full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three; and for
all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12. Jesus
saith unto them, come and dine. And none of the disciples durst
ask him, Who art thou? knowing it was the Lord. 13. Jesus then
cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
14. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his
disciples after that he was risen from the dead. 15. So, when
they had dined Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas,
lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas
lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that
I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17. He saith unto
him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter
was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou
me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou
knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou
girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when
thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and
another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldst not.
19. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify
God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
20. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus
loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and
said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21. Peter, seeing
him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22. And
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what
is that to thee? Follow thou me. 23. Then went this saying
abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die:
yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will
that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24. This is the
disciple which testifieth of these things and wrote these
things; and we know that his testimony is true. 25. And there
are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they
should be written every one, I suppose that even the world
itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
O HEAVENLY Father, we thy human children, still sojourners on
earth, would at the close of another day gather ourselves
together around Thy throne of grace, bringing to Thee the
offerings of devotion, and making known to Thee our desires and
requests. We adore Thee for Thy greatness, O Lord God, and think
of Thee with lowliest reverence, as the First and the Last, the
Author of all created being, our own Maker, Former of our
bodies, and Father of our spirits. We do homage to Thy majesty
and glory, King of kings, and Lord of lords. We magnify thy
works which men behold in heaven above and earth below, in the
circuit of the seasons, in the grateful interchange of day and
night. We bless Thy goodness in all these things. We thank Thee
for the watchful care which has today kept us in going out and
coming in, and for all the gracious help.
Thou hast given us in warding off temptation, or enabling us to
rise and conquer it. Wherein our weak and stumbling steps have
this day erred from Thy holy ways, we beseech Thee for Jesus’
sake to grant us Thy pardon, renewing Thy forgiving grace to us
with assurance of thy peace. Let us rest safely beneath Thy
keeping during the night watches; let sleep from Thee soothe and
refresh us, and in waking moments let our souls be fed and
strengthened by profitable thoughts. Thou art afresh reminding
us by the return of evening shadows how there is here on earth
for us no abiding. Our years are gliding away with unpausing
flow, and yet a little while, and the place which now knows
shall know us no more. Lord, who seest the line of all our
future days, and hast fixed their number in Thine own
faithfulness and wisdom, lead us securely during what yet
remains of our earthly pilgrimage, educating us still by Thy
word and the discipline of Thy hand, so as to prepare us for the
joys and services of a higher state. May our end be in peaceful
hope of seeing Jesus as he is, in the world where Thy presence
diffuses everlasting joy. May all our earthly mornings, hailed
by us still as they come with gratitude and praise, be earnests
of the final morning which shall break on the grave’s sleep. For
every one in this home, for all in houses of our friends, for
all whom it is our duty to remember before Thy mercy-seat, we
seek these blessings, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and for His
name’s sake. Amen.
MORNING AND EVENING MEDITATIONS.
God is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my
prayer prevent thee.
Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him,
and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth and with
my song will I praise him.
The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his
Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine
Prov. xxx. 5. Ps. lxxxviii. 13. Ps. xxviii. 6, 7, 8. Ps lxxxiv.
Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my
salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry,
and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of
thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the
afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy
darkness as the noon day;
And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul
Isa. lvi. 1. Isa. lviii. 9, 10, 11.
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of
death than the day of one’s birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the
house of feasting; for that is the end of all men; and the
living will lay it to his heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the
countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning: but the heart
of fools is in the house of mirth.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for
Eccles. vii. 1, 2, 3, 4. Prov. xvii. 17.
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret
thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding; Far be it
from God, that he should do wickedness: and from the Almighty,
that he should commit iniquity.
For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every
man to find according to his ways.
Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty
Eccles. xii. 13, 14. Job. xxxiv. 10, 11, 12.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the
daughters of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor
people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel: be glad and rejoice
with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine
enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of
thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to
Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
Zeph. iii. 10, 12, 14, 15, 16.
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord;
mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine
enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee;
neither is there any rock like our God.
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of
your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him
actions are weighed,
The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled
are girded with strength.
He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be
silent in darkness.
1 Sam. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 9.
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek
the Lord; look unto the rock whence ye are hewn and to the hole
of the pit whence ye are digged.
Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall
die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
And forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the
heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared
continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as
if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the
Isa. li. 1, 12, 13.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that
good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and
to the house of Judah.
In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of
righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute
judgement and righteousness in the land.
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell
safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The
Lord of our Righteousness.
Jer. xxxiii. 14, 15, 16.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection
of the dead.
Wherefore, as by one man sin came into the world, and death by
sin, so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through
the offence of one many be dead; much more the grace of God, and
the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath
abounded unto many.
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of
many offences unto justification.
1 Cor. xv. 21. Rom. v. 12, 15, 16.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in
their hearts of John whether he were the Christ, or not:
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with
water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose
shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the
Holy Ghost, and with fire;
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor,
and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will
burn with fire unquenchable.
Luke iii. 15, 16, 17.
I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly,
who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into
singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst no travail with child;
for more are the children of the desolate than the children of
the married wife, saith the Lord.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou
confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt
forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the
reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Zeph. iii. 18. Isa. liv. 1, 4.
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of
the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the
mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people
shall flow unto it.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to
the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will each us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths,
for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord
Micah iv. 1, 2.
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