Monday, February 29, 2016

     Four travellers, not very well acquainted with the cross-road they were journeying, began to look out for a finger-post.  Soon after this one of them cried out, "I think I can see one yonder, in the distance;" "and I believe that I can see it too, about half-a-mile off," rejoined another; "and I am almost certain that I can see it," added the third, "it stands up higher than the hedges."  "Well, well!" said the fourth, "you may be right, or you may be wrong, but we had better make the best of our way to it, for while we keep at such a distance, whether it be a finger-post or not, it will be of little use to us."
     Now I want you all to draw near to the Saviour of sinners, and not to be satisfied with "thinking," or "believing," or being "almost certain" that He is your Redeemer;  I want you to see Him as your Saviour, as distinctly as you can see the sun in the skies, and to break out with all the conviction and fervency of Thomas the Apostle, "My Lord and my God!" John 20:28.
                                                                                                                                               O. Mogridge

Sunday, February 28, 2016

     There was a certain nobleman who kept a fool, to whom he one day gave a staff, with a charge to keep it till he should meet with one who was a greater fool than himself:  not many years after, the nobleman fell sick, even unto death.  The fool came to see him; his sick lord said to him, "I must shortly leave you."
     "And whither are you going?" said the fool. 
     "Into another world," replied his lordship. 
     "And when will you return? within a month?" 
     "Within a year?" 
     "When then?" 
     "Never?" said the fool.  "And what provision hast thou made for thy entertainment there, whither thou goest?"      
     "None at all."
     "No!" said the fool, "none at all!  Here, then, take my staff; for with all my folly, I am not guilty of any folly such as this."
                                                                                                                                                   Bp. Hall

Saturday, February 27, 2016

    The law commands, and makes us know
    What duties to our God we owe;
    But 'tis the gospel must reveal
    Where lies our strength to do his will.

    The law discovers guilt and sin,
    And shows how vile our hearts have been;
    Only the gospel can express
    Forgiving love and cleansing grace.

    What curses doth the law denounce
    Against the man that fails but once!
    But in the gospel Christ appears
    Pardoning the guilt of numerous years.

    My soul, no more attempt to draw
    Thy life and comfort from the law,
    Fly to the hope, the gospel gives;
    The man that trusts the promise lives.
                                                    Isaac Watts

     Christ must either be a whole Saviour, or no Saviour at all.  The moment a man says, Except ye be this or that, ye cannot be saved, he totally subverts Christianity; for in Christianity I find God coming down to me, just as I am a lost, guilty, self-destroyed sinner; and coming, moreover, with a full remission of all my sins, and a full salvation from my lost estate, all perfectly wrought by Himself on the cross.
     Hence, therefore, a man who tells me, You must be so and so, in order to be saved, robs the cross of all its glory, and robs me of all my peace.  If salvation depends upon our being or doing aught, we shall inevitably be lost.  Thank God, it does not; for the great fundamental principle of the gospel is, that God is all:  man is nothing.  It is not a mixture of God and man, it is all of God.  The peace of the gospel does not repose in part on Christ's work and in part on man's work; it reposes wholly on Christ's work, because that work is perfect-perfect forever; and it renders all who put their trust in it as perfect as itself.
     Under the law, God, as it were, stood still to see what man could do; but in the gospel, God is seen acting, and as for man, he has but to "stand still and see the salvation of God".....If  man has anything to do in the matter, God is shut out; and if God is shut out, there can be no salvation, for it is impossible that man can work out a salvation by that which proves him a lost creature; and then if it be a question of grace, it must be all grace.  It cannot be half grace, half law.  The two covenants are perfectly distinct.  It cannot be half Sarah and half Hagar:  it must be either the one or the other.  If it be Hagar, God has nothing to do with it; and if it be Sarah, man has nothing to do with it..... 
                                                                                                                                    C. H. Mackintosh

Friday, February 26, 2016

Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flow'd,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow'r.

Not the labours of my hands,
Can fulfil thy laws demands:
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever flow;
All for sin could not atone,
Thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;
Naked come to thee for dress,
Helpless look to thee for grace:
Foul I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
While my eye-strings break in death;
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See thee on thy judgment throne;
Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.
                                      Augustus Toplady

.....we ought to have bright ideas of the importance of praise.  Let us think of what the sacrifice of praise in the house of the Lord is designed to do.  It prepares the way for the descent of the Holy Spirit into the heart.  Bring me a minstrel, said Elisha; and while listening to the music the Spirit of the Lord came down and he prophesied.  Very frequently, through the music of a song of praise, the Spirit of God in his glory has come down and filled the living temple of the human heart; for it not only prepares the way for the sermon to follow, but very often clinches the effect produced by the sermon.  I heard the beautiful story about Toplady's conversion.  He went into a barn in Ireland, where he heard a Primitive Methodist minister preach the gospel.  At the close, the minister gave out the hymn,  "Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched."  It seemed to him then that the whole company of the congregation took up the appeal from the minister's lips, and instead of one appeal there was that of hundreds.  Then he gave his heart to Christ, and nobly did he honor the obligation in his latter life by laying on the altar of Christ the hymn that we are so fond of:

        "Rock of ages cleft for me,
        Let me hide myself in thee."

Then, again, singing sustains the heart in trial.  Very often in this country we are in the habit of serenading our great men; but oh! no songs in the ear of God are like the serenades which go up from the hearts of God's children, in the night of trial.  He comes forth from his throne to speak words of comfort and cheer.  Then, again, it braces the heart for conflict.  After his last supper Christ sang a hymn.  The Lord Jesus sang, and sang with Gethsemane in view, to brace himself up for conflict with the prince of this world.  Who does not know, too, how Luther strung himself up for his reformation work by that noble version of the 46th psalm, termed the Marseillaise of the Reformation.
                                                                                                                                         Rev. Dr. Taylor

Thursday, February 25, 2016

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father.....Matthew 6:19

.....Observe the great condescension of Christ, that poor creatures are allowed to claim an interest in God.  If Christ had not put these words in our mouths, we never had had boldness to have gone to God, and said, 'Doubtless thou art our Father.'  But he which was in the bosom of God, and knew his secrets, hath told us it is very pleasing to God we should use this compellation to him.  This is a privilege which cannot be sufficiently valued; if we consider:—

     1.  The unworthiness of the persons which enjoy it:  poor dust and ashes, sinful creatures, that were children of the devil, that we should lay claim and title to God for our Father.  And,

     2.  If we consider the greatness of the privilege itself:  'Oh, behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called his children!' 1 John 3:1.  We think it much when we can say, This field, this house is mine; but surely this is more, to say, This God is mine.

     Again, observe here that interest is a ground of audience.  So Christ would have us begin our prayers, 'Our Father.'  God's interest in us, and our interest in God.  God's interest in us:  when Christ mediates for his disciples, he saith, John 17:6, 'Thine they were, and thou gavest them me.'  And David:  Ps. 119:94, 'I am thine, save me.'  That is his argument:  the reason is, because God, by taking them for his own, binds himself to pre-serve and keep them.  Everybody is bound to look to his own:  'He that provides not for his own is worse than an infidel.'  Now what a sweet thing is it when we can go to God and say, We are thine!  So it is the same, as to our interest in God.  It is an excellent encouragement:  Ps. 42:11, 'Hope thou in God,' saith David to his soul.  Why?  For he is my God.  And elsewhere, reasoning with himself:  Ps. 23:1, 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.'  First, his covenant-interest is built, and then conclusions of hope.  So 2 Sam. 30:6, 'David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.'  It is sweet when we can go to God as our God..... Why is interest such a sweet thing?  Because by this relation to God we have a claim to God, and to all that he can and will do.  God hath made over himself, quantus quantus est, as great as great he is, for his use and comfort.  Therefore the psalmist saith, Ps. 16:5, 'The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup.'  A believer hath as sure a right and title to God, as a man hath to his patrimony to which he is born, or as any Israelite had to that share which came to him by lot; so he may lay claim to God, and live upon his power and goodness, as a man doth upon his estate.
                                                                                                                                         Thomas Manton

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    Great God, indulge my humble claim;
    Be thou my hope, my joy, my rest;
    The glories that compose thy name
    Stand all engaged to make me blest.

    Thou great and good, thou just and wise,
    Thou art my Father and my God;
    And I am thine by sacred ties,
    Thy son, thy servant bought with blood.

    With heart and eye, and lifted hands,
    For Thee I long, to thee I look,
    As travelers in thirsty lands
    Pant for the cooling water-brook.

    E'en life itself, without thy love,
    No lasting pleasure can afford;
    Yea, 'twould a tiresome burden prove,
    If I were banished from thee, Lord.

    I'll lift my hands, I'll raise my voice,
    While I have breath to pray or praise:
    This work shall make my heart rejoice,
    And fill the remnant of thy days.
                                                 Isaac Watts


    Sovereign of all the worlds on high,
    Allow my humble claim;
    Nor, while a worm would raise its head,
    Disdain a Father's name.

    My Father, God! how sweet the sound!
    How tender, and how dear!
    Not all the harmony of heaven
    Could so delight the ear.

    Come, sacred Spirit, seal the name
    On my expanding heart;
    And show that in Jehovah's grace
    I share a filial part.

    Cheer'd by a signal so divine,
    Unwavering I believe;
    And Abba, Father, humbly cry,
    Nor can the sign deceive.
                                                Philip Doddridge

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Adam, our father and our head,
    Transgress'd, and justice doom'd us dead;
    The fiery law speaks all despair,
    There's no reprieve nor pardon there.

    Call a bright council in the skies;
    Seraphs, the mighty and the wise,
    Speak; are you strong to bear the load,
    The weighty vengeance of a God?

    In vain we ask; for all around
    Stand silent through the heavenly ground;
    There's not a glorious mind above
    Has half the strength or half the love.

    But, O! unmeasurable grace!
    Th' eternal Son takes Adam's place;
    Down to our world the Saviour flies,
    Stretches his arms, and bleeds, and dies.

    Amazing work! look down, ye skies,
    Wonder-and gaze with all your eyes!
    Ye saints below, and saints above,
    All bow to this mysterious love.
                                       Isaac Watts

....."But, as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so, by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous," (Rom. 5:19).  The first Adam, through pride, dis-obeyed the most easy precept; and the last Adam obeyed the most difficult command.  The first Adam, being a man, affected to be as God:  the second Adam, being God, was found in fashion as a man.  The first Adam was assaulted by the devil in paradise, and was overcome:  the second Adam was tempted in the wilderness, by the same malicious spirit, but he was a conqueror.  The first Adam, breaking the law in one point, was guilty of all:  the last Adam, observing it in every point, did magnify and make it honourable.  The moment we became the children of Adam, by natural generation, we die for a sin which we could not personally commit:  the moment we become the children of Christ, by regeneration, we are made alive, by a righteousness which we could not actually work out.  In Adam we are condemned for one sin; but in Christ we are justified from innumerable offences.  In the first book of the Bible we have a melancholy relation, how the first Adam was so far from being able to transmit life and happiness to his posterity, or to give them to eat of the tree of life, that himself was driven out from the terrestrial paradise, and debarred from all access to that sacramental tree:  but, in the last book of the sacred oracles, we are presented with a view of the second Adam, in a far more glorious place than that happy garden, and hear him declaring from his own mouth, "To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life, that is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Rev. 2:7).
     For ever blessed be the glorious name of God, that what the first Adam could not keep, the second hath amply restored to us:  "For as in Adam sin hath reigned unto death, so grace hath reigned through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord;" (Rom. 5:21) who is not only come, that "we might have life, but that we might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10).
                                                                                                                               Rev. William McEwen

Monday, February 22, 2016

    Backward with humble shame we look
    On our original;
    How is our nature dash'd and broke
    In our first father's fall!

    To all that's good, averse and blind,
    But prone to all that's ill,
    What dreadful darkness veils our mind!
    How obstinate our will!

    [Conceiv'd in sin (O wretched state!)
    Before we draw our breath,
    The first young pulse begins to beat
    Iniquity and death.

    How strong in our degenerate blood,
    The old corruption reigns,
    And, mingling with the crooked flood,
    Wanders through all our veins!]

    [Wild and unwholesome as the root
    Will all the branches be;
    How can we hope for living fruit
    From such a deadly tree?

    What mortal power from things unclean
    Can pure productions bring?
    Who can command a vital stream
    From an infected spring?]

    Yet, mighty God, thy wondrous love
    Can make our nature clean,
    While Christ and grace prevail above
    The tempter, death, and sin.

    The second Adam shall restore
    The ruins of the first,
    Hosanna to that sovereign power
    That new-creates our dust.
                                                   Isaac Watts

Sunday, February 21, 2016

How do Thy mercies lose me round!
Forever be Thy name adored;
I blush in all things to abound;
The servant is above his Lord.

Inured to poverty and pain,
A suffering life my Master led;
The Son of God, the Son of man,
He had not where to lay His head.

But lo! a place He hath prepared
For me, whom watchful angels keep;
Yea, He Himself becomes my guard;
He smooths my bed, and gives me sleep.

Jesus protects; my fears, be gone;
What can the Rock of ages move?
Safe in thy arms I lay me down,
Thine everlasting arms of love.

While Thou art intimately nigh,
Who, who shall violate my rest?
Sin, earth, and hell I now defy:
I lean upon my Saviour’s breast.

I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade;
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.
                Charles Wesley

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  1 John 3:1

.....think ye this nothing, that he hath brought you out of the kingdom of darkness, and called you to a marvellous light?  And think ye this nothing, that he has given you all things, that he hath adopted thee freely, that he justifies and sanctifies thee freely?  Think ye these things nothing?  Yea, whether believe ye is justification or the kingdom of heaven greater?  Whether is it a greater matter to glorify a just man or to justify a sinner?  Or, whether is it a greater wonder to bring a sinner to heaven, or to bring the Son of God from heaven?  But I leave this.
     In how many troubles have ye called upon him, and he hath heard you?  How many times has there been weeping in the evening but joy has come in the morning?.....
.....Consider, that the Father had not a greater love token to give thee than his own Son, whom he sent from heaven to take thy flesh and thy blood, and to be clad with the sackcloth of thy human nature, and to be subject to all thy infirmities, except sin, and to expose himself to all sorts of shame and ignominy, and to die the cursed death of the cross for thee that thou mightest live with him eternally; so what greater token of love could be given to thee, he has given to thee his only begotten Son, and in his Son he gives himself to thee; and the Son, by the mediation of his blood, he has bought the Holy Spirit to thee:  what wantest thou then that is either in heaven or earth?  Thou hast the whole Trinity to be thine, thou hast the angels to be thy servants, thou hast heaven for thy heritage.....Again, is not this great mercy, that God calls some of you sweetly, and opens your heart at one instant, as he did to Lydia; other some he calls more violently, as he did Paul, because he knows every man's disposition, and what is best for him; some have need to be far cast down, and other some have not need; and therefore he deals with every man as he thinks expedient; some he handles gently, and other some more roughly, and all because he would not let them perish; for he will set them at his own table, and he will feed them with his own flesh and with his own blood, and he will give them to eat the dainties of his own house, and clothe them with the long white robe of his own righteousness; he will give them to drink of the water of life, that is with him in abundance:  how then should ye love him?.....
                                                                                                                                         John Welch

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Not now, my child, - a little more rough tossing,
A little longer on the billows’ foam;
A few more journeyings in the desert darkness,
And then, the sunshine of thy Father’s Home!

Not now; for I have wanderers in the distance,
And thou must call them in with patient love;
Not now, for I have sheep upon the mountains,
And thou must follow them where’er they rove.

Not now; for I have loved ones sad and weary;
Wilt thou not cheer them with a kindly smile?
Sick ones, who need thee in their lonely sorrow;
Wilt thou not tend them yet a little while?

Not now; for wounded hearts are sorely bleeding,
And thou must teach those widowed hearts to sing:
Not now; for orphans’ tears are quickly falling,
They must be gathered ‘neath some sheltering wing.

Go, with the name of Jesus, to the dying,
And speak that Name in all its living power;
Why should thy fainting heart grow chill and weary?
Canst thou not watch with Me one little hour?

One little hour! and then the glorious crowning,
The golden harp strings, and the victor’s palm;
One little hour! and then the hallelujah!
Eternity’s long, deep, thanksgiving psalm!
                                         Mrs. Catherine Pennefather

Friday, February 19, 2016

     It is said of the saintly George Herbert, the quaint old English church poet, that once in a walk to Salisbury, to join a musical party, he saw a poor man with a poorer horse that was fallen under his load.  They were both in distress and needed present help, which Mr. Herbert perceiving, put off his canonical coat, and helped the poor man to unload, and afterwards load his horse.  The poor man blessed him for it and he blessed the poor man, and was so like the good Samaritan, that he gave him money to refresh both himself and his horse. Thus he left the poor man; and at his coming to his musical friends at Salisbury, they began to wonder that Mr. Herbert, who used to be trim and clean, so soiled and discomposed.  But he told them the occasion; and when one of the company told him "he had disparaged himself by so dirty an employment," his answer was, "that the thought of what he had done would prove music to him at midnight, and that the omission of it would have upbraided and made discord in his conscience whensoever he should pass by that place; for if I be bound to pray for all that be in distress, I am sure that I am bound, so far as it is in my power, to practice what I pray for; and let me tell you, I would not willingly pass one day of my life without comforting a sad soul, or showing mercy, and bless God for this occasion."  Oh, how many might have anxious thoughts which often infest their midnight hours changed into sweet music, if they would only be more frequently seen with full hands and friendly words in the abodes of poverty and suffering!  These are the places in which to attune one's conscience to midnight harmonies.      
                                                                                                                                              Leisure Hour

Thursday, February 18, 2016

They shall go hindmost with their standards.  Numbers 2:31

The camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel were on the march.  The Danites occupied the hindmost place; but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of the host as were the foremost tribes?  They followed the same fiery cloudy pillar; they ate of the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance.  Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead the van.  Some one must be hindmost in honor and esteem; some one must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I?  In a poor village, among an ignorant peasantry, or in a back street among degraded sinners, I will work on, and "go hindmost with my standard."  The Danites occupied a very useful place.  Stragglers have to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be gathered from the field.  Fiery spirits may dash forward over untrodden paths to learn fresh truth, and win more souls to Jesus; but some of a more conservative spirit may be well engaged in reminding the Church of her ancient faith, and restoring her fainting sons.  Every position has its duties, and the slowly moving children of God will find their peculiar state, one in which they may be eminently a blessing to the whole host.  The rear guard is a place of danger.  There are foes behind us as well as before us.  Attacks may come from any quarter.  We read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost of them.  The experienced Christian will find much work for his weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering souls, who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy.  These must not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost.  My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.
                                                                                                                                         C. H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Comfort ye, comfort ye  my people, saith your God.  Isaiah 40:1

....."Ye that are stronger ought to bear the infirmities of the weak;" and if that is too much to expect of you, the least that I can ask is that you will bear with them.  I do beseech you by the gentleness of Christ that ye tread lightly the sick chamber, and speak softly to such as are crushed by adversity.....Do learn to make another's case thine own.  Be kind.  Let every tone of your voice, every gesture of your limbs, every look of your face show the kindness of your heart.  God will surely requite it.  Are his children in the furnace, he watches them.  If you aggrieve them in their trouble, he will vex you in his sore displeasure.  And there are spiritual ailments which, like bodily ones, require tender care and gentle treatment.  Do not aggravate the sorrows of those who are harassed with doubts, tempted with evils, and distracted with anxious cares.  Their tale may appear simple enough to you, but it is very serious to them.  What troubles them might not give you an instant's concern.  Pass it not over, therefore, as nonsense.  Your Lord and Master knew how to condescend to men of low estate; and his condescension was always pure, never arrogant.  He is far more gentle than the tenderest among us.  Oh, how desirable to learn his way!
.....Lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.  Cheer the hearts when the limbs are weak.  Tell the doubting that God is faithful.  Tell those that feel the burden of sin that it was for sinners Christ died.  Tell the backsliders that God never does cast away his people.  Tell the desponding that the Lord delighteth in mercy.  Tell the distracted the Lord doth devise means to bring back his banished.  Covet the character of Barnabas.  He was a son of consolation.  Study the sacred art of speaking a word in season.  Apprentice yourself to the Great Master.  Learn the secrets of the trade. Acquaint yourself with the mystery of the guild.  Let your own troubles and trials qualify you to sympathise and succour.  You will be of great value in the church of God if you acquire the art of compassion, and are able to help those that are bowed down.
    But will you please give heed to the special instruction.  We are to make straight paths because of lame people.  You cannot heal the man's bad foot, but you can pick all the stones out of the path that he has to pass over.  You cannot give him a new leg, but you can make the road as smooth as possible.  Let there be no unnecessary stumbling-blocks to cause him pain.          
                                                                                                                                         C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.  Heb. 12:13

     We sometimes meet with those who are fleet of foot and joyous of spirit.  Would to God that all were so!  But as they are not, the lame must be considered. 
     The road should be cleared for tottering steps. 
     Our desire is that the whole band may reach the journey's end in safety.

IIn all flocks there are lame sheep.

1.  Some are so from their very nature and birth.
    Ready to despond and doubt.
    Ready to disbelieve and fall into error.
    Ready to yield to temptation, and so to prove unstable.
    Unready and feeble in all practical duties.

2.  Some have been ill-fed.  This brings on a footrot and lameness.
    Many are taught false doctrine.
    Many more receive indefinite, hazy doctrine.
    Many others hear light, unsubstantial, chaffy doctrine.

3.  Some have been worried, and so driven to lameness.
    By Satan, with his insinuations and temptations.
    By persecutors, with their slander, taunting, ridicule, etc.
    By proud professors, unkindly pious, severely critical, etc.
    By a morbid conscience, seeing evil where there is none

4.  Some have grown weary through the roughness of the road.
    Exceeding much ignorance has enfeebled them.
    Exceeding much worldly trouble has depressed them.
    Exceeding much inward conflict has grieved them.
    Exceeding much controversy has worried them.

5.  Some have gradually become weak.
    Backsliding by neglect of the means of grace.
    Backsliding through the evil influence of others.
    Backsliding through pride of heart and self-satisfaction.
    Backsliding through general coldness of heart.

6.  Some have had a terrible fall.
    This has broken their bones so as to prevent progress.
    This has snapped the sinew of their usefulness.
    This has crippled them as to holy joy.

IIThe rest of the flock must seek their healing.
1.  By seeking their company, and not leaving them to perish by the way through neglect, contempt and despair.

2.  By endeavoring to comfort them and to restore them.  This can be done by the more experienced among us; and those who are unfit for such difficult work, can try the next plan, which is so plainly mentioned in our text.

3.  By making straight paths for our own feet.
    By unquestionable holiness of life.
    By plain gospel teaching in our own simple way.
    By manifest joy in the Lord.
    By avoiding all crooked customs which might perplex them.
    By thus showing them that Jesus is to us 'The way, the truth, and the life."  No path can be more straight than that of simple faith in Jesus.

IIIThe Shepherd of the flock cares for such.

1.  Their fears:  they conclude that he will leave them.

2.  The reason:  to do so would be by far the easier plan for him.

3.  Their dread:  if he did so, they must inevitably perish.

4.  Their comfort:  he has provided all the means of healing the lame.

5.  Their hope:  he is very gentle and tender, and wills not that any one of them should wander and perish.

6.  Their confidence:  healing will win him much honor and grateful affection:  wherefore we conclude that he will keep them.

     Let us be careful to cause no offence or injury to the weakest.
     Let us endeavor to restore such as are out of the way, and comfort those who are sorely afflicted.
                                                                                                                                      C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, February 15, 2016

One there is, above all others,
Well deserves the name of Friend;
His is love beyond a brother's,
Costly, free, and knows no end:
They who once his kindness prove
Find it everlasting love.

Which of all our friends to save us,
Could or would have shed their blood!
But our Jesus died to have us
Reconcil'd to him in God:
This was boundless love indeed!
Jesus is a friend in need.

Men, when rais'd to lofty stations,
Often know their friends no more;
Slight and scorn their poor relations,
Though they valued them before;
But our Saviour always owns
Those whom he redeem'd with groans.

When he liv'd on earth abased,
Friend of sinners was his name;
Now above all glory raised,
He rejoices in the same:
Still he calls them brethren, friends,
And to all their wants attends.

Could we bear from one another
What he daily bears from us;
Yet this glorious Friend and Brother
Loves us though we treat him thus:
Though for good we render ill,
He accounts us brethren still.

O for grace our hearts to soften!
Teach us, Lord, at length to love;
We, alas! forget too often,
What a friend we have above:
But when home our souls are brought,
We will love thee as we ought.
                      John Newton

.....That justice might be satisfied, truth vindicated, and sinners saved, God so loved a lost world, that, when no inferior means could avail, when none in heaven or earth were willing, or worthy, or able, to interpose, "he gave his only-begotten Son," John 3.  Jesus Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, "so loved the world," that he assumed our nature, undertook our cause, bore our sins, sustained our deserved punishment; and having done all that the case required, he is now gone before, "to prepare a place" (John 14.) for all that believe in him and obey him.  Man lay under a double incapacity for happiness; he could neither keep the law of God in future, nor satisfy for his past breach and contempt of it.  To obviate the former, Jesus Christ performed a perfect, unsinning obedience in our stead.  To remove the latter he became "the propitiation for our sins;" yielded up his life, as a prey, into the hands of murderers, and poured forth his precious blood, in drops of sweat in the garden, in streams from his side upon the cross.  For this he endured the fiercest temptations of the devil, the scorn, rage, and malice of men, and drank the bitter cup of the wrath of God, when it pleased the Father to bruise him, and make his soul an offering for sin.  His love carried him through all; and when he had finally overcome the sharpness of death, he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.  In few words, he lived and died for us when upon earth; nor is he unmindful of us in heaven, but lives and intercedes on our behalf.  He continually executes the offices of prophet, priest, and king, to his people; instructing them by his word and Spirit; presenting their persons and prayers, acceptable to God through his merits; defending them by his power, from all their enemies, ghostly and bodily; and ordering, by his providence, all things to work together for their good, till at length they are brought home, to be with him where he is, and to behold his glory.....
                                                                                                                                        John Newton

Sunday, February 14, 2016

         Be still, O heart! why fear and tremble?
         What evil can thy steps betide?
         Though foes, a mighty host, assemble,
         Fear not, for God is on thy side.

         Be still, O heart! the Lord of glory
         Was once a man acquaint with grief;
         He stoops to hear—tell all thy story—
         He loves, He cares, He'll send relief.

         Be still, O heart! cease fearing, fretting
         About the future, all unknown;
         Ne'er think the Master is forgetting
         About His child—His loved and own.

         Be still, O heart! thy Lord will send thee
         The clouds or sunshine as is best;
         His own right hand shall e'er defend thee;
         Then trust His love, and be at rest.

         Be still, O heart!
         What evil can betide thee?
         Fear not, fear not,
         With God to walk beside thee.
                                                                J. H. Watson, arranged

.....Come home to Christ, who will, albeit all the world should speak ill of them, yet He will take their defense, and speak on their part.  When that poor woman poured the ointment on Christ's feet, and the disciples began to mur-mur, and say, "It might [have] been sold for much money and given to the poor," Christ took her defense, and says, "Let her alone, she has wrought a good work on Me, for she did it for My burial; and wheresoever this gospel is preached throughout the world, this also that she has done shall be preached for a memorial of her."  And Acts 9, when Ananias is bidden, "Go, preach to Saul," Ananias says:  "This man has done much ill, and he has presently authority to bind all that call on Thy name, and carry them to Jerusalem;" but in ver. 15 Christ says, "Go thy way for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel."  And—
    O, but that is a sweet thing, that albeit all the world should say against you, yet if thou wilt come to Christ, He will take thy part.  Let them call you what they will, never so ill.  He will call you His love.  His dove.  His undefiled, etc.  And well is the soul that has Christ's commendation and high song of praise.  It is better nor (what matters it) the commendation of all the world.  What's the matter - what men speak of you if God commend you.  What is the matter - albeit wicked men speak ill of you, if God speak good of you, for what He says all the world shall not get undone.  Seek ye the Lord's commendation, and to be approven of Him, and it makes (does not signify) not then what men say against you.
                                                                                                                                   Samuel Rutherford

Saturday, February 13, 2016

          Ye little flock whom Jesus feeds,
          Dismiss your anxious cares;
          Look to the Shepherd of your souls,
          And smile away your fears.

          Though wolves and lions prowl around,
          His staff is your defense:
          Midst sands and rocks, your Shepherd's voice
          Calls streams and pastures thence.

          Your Father will a kingdom give,
          And give it with delight;
          His feeblest child his love shall call
          To triumph in his sight.

          (Ten thousand praises, Lord, we bring
          For sure supports like these:
          And o'er the pious dead we sing
          Thy living promises.

          For all we hope, and they enjoy,
          We bless the Saviour's name:
          Nor shall that stroke disturb the song
          Which breaks this mortal frame.)
                                                     Dr. Doddridge

What can be more blessed than to be sustained and kept from falling by the staff and strength of the Most High?.....Notwithstanding, while we are here in this life, he feeds us with the sweet pastures of the wholesome herbs of his holy word, until we come to eternal life; and when we put off these bodies, and come into heaven, and know the blessed fruition and riches of his kingdom, then shall we not only be his sheep, but also the guests of his everlasting banquet; which, Lord, thou settest before all them that love thee in this world, and dost so anoint and make glad our minds with thine Holy Spirit, that no adversities nor troubles can make us sorry.....the Lord turned his soul, and led him into the pleasant pastures, where virtue and justice reigned, for his name’s sake, and not for any righteousness of his own; so saith he now, that being brought into the pastures of truth, and into the favour of the Almighty, and accounted and taken for one of his sheep, it is only God that keeps and maintains him, in the same state, condition, and grace.  For he could not pass through the troubles and shadow of death..... but only by the assistance of God, and, therefore, he saith, he passes through all peril because he was with him.              
                                                                                                       John Hooper (martyr), 1495-1555

Friday, February 12, 2016

Let not the strong, the rich, the wise,
Of knowledge, wealth, or power be vain,
What mortals covet most, most prize.
When won, how few can long retain!
Heaven's noblest gift may prove a snare,
Unsanctified by faith and prayer.

He slept on pleasure’s lap, and woke
Shorn of his strength!  Poor Samson found
The Lord had left him, when he broke
The vow with which his life was bound;
Blind, chained, enslaved, returning strength
Brought death with his revenge at length.

The wily traitor was betray'd
In his own craft; though woven well,
The net which for his king he laid
Entangled wise Achitophel;
Folly o'erruled what wisdom plann'd.
He perished by his own false hand.

"Soul, take thine ease; eat, drink, rejoice,
Through length of years," the rich man said;
"Thou fool! this night," replied the voice
That calls the living to the dead,
"Thy soul shall be required of thee.
Whose then shall all thy treasures be?"

Wise to salvation through His Word,
And rich in faith His kingdom's heir,
Strong in the strength of Christ my Lord;
Be this my portion! 'tis my prayer:
For this would I count all things loss,
And glory only in the cross.
               James Montgomery

.....Man would not be without religion: it would not be respectable; and therefore he is content to devote one-seventh of his time to religion, or, as he thinks and professes, to his eternal interests, and then he has six-sevenths to devote to his temporal interests; but whether he works for time or eternity, it is for himself, in reality.  Such is "the way of Cain....."
.....How different the way of the man of faith!  Abel felt and owned the curse; he saw the stain of sin, and, in the holy energy of faith, offered that which met it, and met it thoroughly---met it divinely.  He sought and found a refuge in God Himself; and instead of building a city on the earth, he found but a grave in its bosom.  The earth, which on its surface displayed the genius and energy of Cain and his family, was stained underneath with the blood of a righteous man.  Let the man of the world remember this; let the man of God remember it; let the worldly-minded Christian remember it.  The earth which we tread upon is stained by the blood of the Son of God.  The very blood which justifies the Church condemns the world.  The dark shadow of the cross of Jesus may be seen by the eye of faith, looming over all the glitter and glare of this evanescent world.  "The fashion of this world passeth away....."  It will soon all be over, so far as the present scene is concerned.....
                                                                                                                                      C. H. Mackintosh  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

     I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
     And it told Thy love to me;
     But I long to rise in the arms of faith
     And be closer drawn to Thee.

     Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
     By the power of grace divine;
     Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
     And my will be lost in Thine.

     O the pure delight of a single hour
     That before Thy throne I spend,
     When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,
     I commune as friend with friend!

     There are depths of love that I cannot know
     Till I cross the narrow sea;
     There are heights of joy that I may not reach
     Till I rest in peace with Thee.

     Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
     To the cross where Thou hast died.
     Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
     To Thy precious, bleeding side.
                                         Fanny Crosby

And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.  1 Corinthians 3:23

Ye are Christ's.  You are His by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; His by His bloody purchase, for He counted down the price for your redemption; His by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to Him; His by relation, for you are named by His name, and made one of His brethren and joint-heirs.  Labor practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus.  When tempted to sin, reply, "I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ's."  Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin.  When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ's, and touch it not.  Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers?  Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ's.  Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing?  Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, "No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's.  If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, couching between two burdens; but I am Christ's, and cannot loiter."  When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, "Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ's."  When the cause of God invites thee, give thyself to it; when the poor require thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ's.  Never belie thy profession.  Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Saviour's, recognizing in you His features of love and His countenance of holiness.  "I am a Roman!" was of old  a reason for integrity; far more, then, let it be your argument for holiness, "I am Christ's."
                                                                                                                                     C. H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The law of his God is in his heart.....Psalms 37:31

     He hath a Bible in his head, and another in his heart; he hath a good treasure within, and there hence bringeth good things.
                                                                                                                              John Trapp


And the LORD shall help them.....Psalms 37:40

     He shall, he shall, he shall.  Oh, the rhetoric of God! the safety of the saints! the certainty of the promises!
                                                                                                                                             John Trapp


And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.  Psalms 37:40

     He delivereth them; because they, trust in him.  The whole lesson of the  Psalm lies in these words.
                                                                                                                     J. J. Stewart Perowne, D. D.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.  Psalms 37:16

.....'Tis always better to have scraps with a blessing, than to have manna and quails with a curse; a thin table with a blessing is always better than a full table with a snare; a threadbare coat with a blessing is better than a purple robe curst; a hole, a cave, a den, a barn, a chimney-corner with a blessing, is better than stately palaces with a curse; a woollen cap blest is better than a golden crown curst; and it may be that emperor understood as much, that said of his crown, when he looked on it with tears:  "If you knew the cares that are under this crown you would never stoop to take it, up."  And therefore, why should not a Christian be contented with a little, seeing his little shall be blest unto him?  Isaac tills the ground and sows his seed, and God blesses him with an hundredfold; and Cain tills the ground and sows his seed, but the earth is cursed to him and commanded not to yield to him his strength.  Oh, therefore never let a Christian murmur because he hath but little, but rather let him be still a blessing of that God that hath blest his little, and doth bless his little, and that will bless his little to him.
                                                                                                                                       Thomas Brooks


The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.....Psalms 37:23

     When this Pilot undertakes to steer their course, their vessel shall never split upon the rock, run upon the sands, or spring a leak, so as to sink in the seas.  To be sure he will see them safe in their harbour.  He was no Christian, yet I suppose none will deny but he spake good divinity, who said, "If a man will choose God for his Friend, he shall travel securely through a wilderness that hath many beasts of prey in it; he shall pass safely through this world; for he only is safe that hath God for his guide."  (Ar. Epist. xxvii.)   Doth he not speak a little like David himself (Psalm 37:23) who never expected to come to glory except he were guided by his counsel?  Now, if a poor heathen could say thus, and see good reason to trust God, and admire his faithfulness as he doth frequently (and so doth Seneca, justifying God's faithfulness in all his dealings with the best men in all their sufferings, and the prosperity of the wicked); what then shall the heavenly Christian say, who hath experienced so much of God's faithfulness in answering his prayers, in fulfilling his promises, and supplying all his exigencies?
                                                                                                                                    James Janeway


Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.  Psalms 37:24

     Thus the Spirit comforts and answers the secret thoughts which everyone might have, saying with himself, I have, how-ever, seen it happen, that the righteous is oppressed, and his cause is trodden in the dust by the wicked.  Nay, he replies, dear child, let it be so, that he falls; he still cannot remain lying thus and be cast away; he must be up again, although all the world doubts of it.  For God catches him by the hand, and raises him again.
                                                                                                                                          Martin Luther


Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.  Psalms 37:24

     A man pardoned, and justified by faith in Christ, though he may, and sometimes doth, fall into foul sins, yet they never prevail so far as to reverse pardon, and reduce to a state of non-justification.  "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand!"  He speaks of a good man pardoned, justified; he may fall; but how far? from pardon, from justification?  No, then he should utterly fall, be cast down beneath God's hand; but the text saith, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand; or, as Montanus renders the words, the Lord upholdeth his hands, and he will not let him sink into such a condition.  If it were so, then sin should have dominion over him, but, Rom. 6:14.  "Sin shall not have dominion over you;" and chap. 8:2, justified ones are freed from the law of sin and death; and verse 30, the predestinated, called, justified, and glorified ones, are so linked together, that there is no breaking their chain; if they do sin, they have an "Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:1-2.
                                                                                                                                      William Greenhill  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  Psalms 37:1

     Would it not be accounted folly in a man that is heir to many thousands per annum that he should envy a stage-player, clothed in the habit of a king, and yet not heir to one foot of land? who, though he have the form, respect, and apparel of a king or nobleman, yet he is, at the same time, a very beggar, and worth nothing?  Thus, wicked men, though they are arrayed gorgeously, and fare deliciously, wanting nothing,
and having more than heart can wish, yet they are but only possessors:  the godly Christian is the heir..... 
                                                                                             Ludovic de Carbone, quoted by John Spencer


Commit thy way unto the LORD.....Psalms 37:5

     When we bear the burden of our own affairs ourselves, and are chastised with anxiety and want of success, and with envying the ungodly who prosper better than we do, the best remedy is first to do our duty, as we are enabled in the use of the means, then cast the care of the success over on God, as
the ploughman doth when he hath harrowed his land; and let the burden of it rest on God, and let us not take it off him again, but put our mind to rest, resolved to take the harvest in good part, as he shall send it.  
                                                                                                                                        David Dickson


Rest in the LORD.....Psalms 37:7

I.  Rest in the will of God, for whatever he wills is for your good, your highest good.

II.  Rest in the love of God, and often meditate on the words of Jesus on this point, "Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me."

III.  Rest in the mercy of God.

IV.  Rest in the word of God.

V.  Rest in the relation thy God fills to thee; he is the Father.

VI.  Rest in the Lord as he is manifested in Jesus, thy God in covenant.
                                                                James Smith


But the meek shall inherit the earth.....Psalms 37:11

.....The earth is the Lord's; these are the children of the Lord, and they shall inherit his earth.  When the Lord taketh it into his own possession and enjoyment, they shall succeed him in the possession and enjoyment of it.  It is their right, and shall descend unto them by right, by inheritance.  It is the Lord's  right, and by the Lord shall descend to them as their right.  They cannot yet have it for the Lord hath it not yet; but when
the Lord hath it, it shall fairly descend to them.  This accursed earth they shall never have, but when it is taken into the hands of the Lord, and blessed by the Lord, then it shall be theirs, then it shall be inherited by the children of blessing.
                                                                                                                                        John Pennington

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Psalms 37
1    Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2    For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3    Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4    Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5    Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6    And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7    Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8    Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9    For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10    For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11    But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12    The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13    The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14    The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15    Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16    A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17    For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
18    The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19    They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20    But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21    The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22    For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23    The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24    Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
25    I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26    He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27    Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28    For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29    The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30    The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31    The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32    The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33    The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34    Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35    I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36    Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37    Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38    But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39    But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40    And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

The following was written by Nicholas Byfield regarding Psalms 37.

     Whole Psalm.  The righteous are preserved in Christ with a special preservation and in a peculiar safety.  In the 37th Psalm this point is excellently and at large handled, both by direct proof, and by answer to all the usual objections against their safety.  That they shall be preserved is affirmed, verses 3, 17, 23, 25, 32.  The objections answered are many.

     Objection 1.  Wicked men flourish.
     Solution. - A righteous man should never grieve at that, for “they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” Verse 2.

     Objection 2.  Righteous men are in distress.
     Solution. - Verse 6.  The night of their adversity will be turned into the light of prosperity; and as surely as they can believe when it is night that it shall be day, so surely may they be persuaded when crosses are upon them, that comfort and deliverance shall come.

     Objection 3.  But there are great plots laid against the righteous, and they are pursued with great malice, and their intended ruin is come almost to the very issue.
     Solution. - Verses 12-15.  The Lord sees all the plots of wicked men, and laughs at their spiteful and foolish malice; while they are busy to destroy the righteous, and hope to have a day against them, “The Lord seeth that their own day is coming upon them, even a day of destruction, a day of great judgment and eternal misery;” their bow shall be broken, and the sword that they have drawn shall enter into their own heart.

     Objection 4.  But the just have but small means.
     Solution. - Verses 16-17.  “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken:  but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.”

     Objection 5.  Heavy times are like to befall them.
     Solution. - Verse 19.  “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall have enough.”

     Objection 6.  But the wicked wax fatter and fatter, and they prevail in vexing the righteous.
     Solution. - Verse 20.  Indeed the wicked are fat, but it is but “the fat of lambs,” their prosperity shall soon melt; and as they be like smoke in vexing the godly, so shall they be like smoke in vanishing away.

     Objection 7.  But the righteous do fall.
     Solution. - Verse 24.  Though he do fall, yet he falls not finally, nor totally, for he “is not utterly cast down;” and besides, there is an upholding providence of God in all the falls of the righteous.

     Objection 8.  We see some wicked men that do not so fall into adversity, but rather are in prosperity to their dying days.
     Solution. - Verse 28.  Though they do, yet “their seed shall be cut off.”

     Objection 9.  But some wicked men are strong yet, and in their seed spread also.
     Solution. - Verses 35-36.  Note also that these “spreading bay-trees” many times “soon pass away;” and they and their houses are sometimes “utterly cut off.”

     Objection 10.  But upright men are under many and long crosses.
     Solution. - Verse 37.  Yet, “his end is peace.”

     Objection 11.  But nobody stands for the godly when they come into question.
     Solution. - Verses 39-40.  “Their salvation is of the Lord;” he is their strength, he will help them and deliver them, etc.

     But if we would be thus delivered, observe: 
     1.  That we must not unthankfully fret at God’s providence (verse 1). 
     2.  We must “trust in the Lord and do good” (verse 3).  
     3.  We must “delight ourselves in the Lord,” and not place our contentment on earthly things (verse 4). 
     4.  We must “commit our ways to God” (verse 5). 
     5.  We must get patience and humble affections (verses 7-11).
     6.  We must be of upright conversation (verse 14). 
     7.  We must be merciful (verses 25-26). 
     8.  We must “speak righteous things,” and get “the law into our hearts” (verses 30-31). 
     9.  We must “keep our way,”and “wait on God,” and not use ill means. 
                                                                                                                                      Nicholas Byfield 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

         Blessed Saviour, Thee I love,
         All my other joys above,
         All my hopes in Thee abide,
         Thou my hope, and naught beside:
         Ever let my glory be,
         Only, only, only thee.

         Once again beside the cross,
         All my gain I count but loss,
         Earthly pleasures fade away,
         Clouds they are that hide my day;
         Hence, vain shadows, let me see
         Jesus, crucified for me.

         Blessed Saviour, Thine am I,
         Thine to live, and Thine to die;
         Height or depth, or earthly power,
         Ne’er shall hide my Saviour more:
         Ever shall my glory be,
         Only, only, only Thee.
                              G. Duffield 

     Not only is our hope in him, but he himself is our hope.  “God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ,” saith St. Paul, “our hope.” 1 Tim. 1:1.  Yea, there is a deeper, nearer depth:  “The glory of the mystery of the gospel,” says St. Paul, “is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Christ himself is our hope, as the only Author of it; Christ is our hope, as the End of it; and Christ, who is the Beginning and the End, is our hope also by the way; for he saith, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27.  Each yearning of our hearts, each ray of hope which gleams upon us, each touch which thrills through us, each voice which whispers in our inmost hearts of the good things laid up in store for us, if we will love God, are the light of Christ enlightening us, the touch of Christ raising us to new life, the voice of Christ, “Whoso cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out;” it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory,” drawing us up by his Spirit who dwelleth in us, unto himself our hope.  For our hope is not the glory of heaven, not joy, not peace, not rest from labour, not fulness of our wishes, nor sweet contentment of the whole soul, nor understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge, not only a torrent of delight; it is “Christ our God,” “the hope of glory.”  Nothing which God could create is what we hope for; nothing which God could give us out of himself, no created glory, or bliss, or beauty, or majesty, or riches.  What we hope for is our Redeeming God himself, his love, his bliss, the joy of our Lord himself who hath so loved us, to be our joy and our portion for ever.
                                                                                                                                                E. B. Pusey

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Holy Ghost is here,
Where saints in pray’r agree;
As Jesus’ parting gift-is near
Each pleading company.

Not far away is he,
To be by prayer brought nigh,
But here in present majesty
As in his courts on high.

He dwells within our soul,
An ever welcome guest;
He reigns with absolute control,
As monarch in the breast.

Our bodies are his shrine,
And he the indwelling Lord;
All hail, thou Comforter divine,
Be evermore adored!

Obedient to thy will,
We wait to feel thy power,
O Lord of life, our hopes fulfill,
And bless this hallowed hour.


To Thee, O Comforter divine,
For all Thy grace and pow’r benign,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful love had place
In God’s great covenant of grace,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful voice doth win
The wandering from the ways of sin,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful pow’r doth heal,
Enlighten, sanctify, and seal,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, whose faithful truth is shown,
By every promise made our own,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, our teacher, and our friend,
Our faithful leader to the end,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, by Jesus Christ sent down,
Of all His gifts the sum and crown,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, who art with God the Son
And God the Father ever One,
Sing we Alleluia!
                         F. R. Havergal 

     No sooner is Christ inaugurated in his throne, but he scat-ters his coin, and gives gifts.  He gives gifts, or the gift of gifts, the gift of the Holy Ghost.  “If thou knewest the gift of God,” said Christ to the Samaritan woman (John 4:10):  that gift was the water of life, and that water of life was the Spirit, as John, who knew best his mind, gave the interpretation, “This spake he of the Spirit.” John 7:39.  O my soul, consider of this princely gift of Christ!  Such a gift was never before, but when God gave his Son.  “God so loved the world, that he gave his Son;” and Christ so loved the world, that he gave his Spirit.  But, O my soul, consider especially to whom this Spirit was given; the application of the gift is the very soul of thy meditation; “unto us a Son is given,” said the prophet (Isa. 9:6); and “unto us the Holy Ghost is given,” saith the apostle (Rom. 5:5); and yet above all consider the reasons of this gift in reference to thyself.  Was it not to make thee a temple and receptacle of the Holy Ghost?  Stand a while on this!  Admire, O my soul, at the condescending, glorious, and unspeakable love of Christ in this!  It was infinite love to come down into our nature when he was incarnate; but this is more, to come down into thy heart by his Holy Spirit:  he came near to us then, but as if that were not near enough, he comes nearer now, for now he unites himself unto thy person, now he comes and dwells in thy soul by his Holy Spirit.
                                                                                                                     Isaac Ambrose, 1592-1674