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The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 50



By Dr. John Edmond
Author of
"The ChildrenChurch at Home; or, Family Services for the Lord's Day"

Scripture Stories in Verse with Sacred Songs and Miscellaneous Pieces
By John Edmond, D.D. (1871) (pdf)

Our Children's Pulpit and Talk with the Little Folks
Edited by Rev. John Edmond, D. D.

MORNING WORSHIP

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 deliver thee.

Prayer.

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.

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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.

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SERMON L.

“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 arise.”

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 morning,

“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 joy;”

“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.

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THE CHILDREN’S SERVICE.

THE ARRAIGNMENT.

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 the vile.

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.

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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 priest?
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 bitterly?
7. In what psalm is there a prophecy of false witnesses speaking against Christ?
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.

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Prayer.

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.

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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.

JOHN XXI.

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.

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Prayer.

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.

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MORNING AND EVENING MEDITATIONS.

MONDAY.

Morning.

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 supplications.
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 anointed.
Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

Prov. xxx. 5. Ps. lxxxviii. 13. Ps. xxviii. 6, 7, 8. Ps lxxxiv. 9

Evening.

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 vanity;
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 in drought.

Isa. lvi. 1. Isa. lviii. 9, 10, 11.

TUESDAY.

Morning.

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 adversity.

Eccles. vii. 1, 2, 3, 4. Prov. xvii. 17.

Evening.

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
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 pervert judgement.

Eccles. xii. 13, 14. Job. xxxiv. 10, 11, 12.

WEDNESDAY.

Morning.

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.

Evening.

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.

THURSDAY.

Morning.

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 oppressor?

Isa. li. 1, 12, 13.

Evening.

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.

FRIDAY.

Morning.

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.

Evening.

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.

SATURDAY.

Morning.

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.

Evening.

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 from Jerusalem.

Micah iv. 1, 2.

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