March AM

* 03/01/AM

"Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden,
that the spices thereof may flow out."
                                          --Song of Solomon 4:16

   Anything is better than the dead calm of indifference. Our 
souls may wisely desire the north wind of trouble if that alone
can be sanctified to the drawing forth of the perfume of our
graces. So long as it cannot be said, "The Lord was not in the
wind," we will not shrink from the most wintry blast that ever
blew upon plants of grace. Did not the spouse in this verse
humbly submit herself to the reproofs of her Beloved; only
entreating Him to send forth His grace in some form, and making
no stipulation as to the peculiar manner in which it should
come? Did she not, like ourselves, become so utterly weary of
deadness and unholy calm that she sighed for any visitation
which would brace her to action? Yet she desires the warm south
wind of comfort, too, the smiles of divine love, the joy of the
Redeemer's presence; these are often mightily effectual to
arouse our sluggish life. She desires either one or the other,
or both; so that she may but be able to delight her Beloved with
the spices of her garden. She cannot endure to be unprofitable,
nor can we. How cheering a thought that Jesus can find comfort
in our poor feeble graces. Can it be? It seems far too good to
be true. Well may we court trial or even death itself if we
shall thereby be aided to make glad Immanuel's heart. O that our
heart were crushed to atoms if only by such bruising our sweet
Lord Jesus could be glorified. Graces unexercised are as sweet
perfumes slumbering in the cups of the flowers: the wisdom of
the great Husbandman overrules diverse and opposite causes to
produce the one desired result, and makes both affliction and
consolation draw forth the grateful odours of faith, love,
patience, hope, resignation, joy, and the other fair flowers of
the garden. May we know by sweet experience, what this means.

* 03/02/AM

"But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen
every man his share, and his coulter, and his ax, and his
                                                --1 Samuel 13:20

   We are engaged in a great war with the Philistines of evil.
_Every weapon within our reach must be used_. Preaching,
teaching, praying, giving, all must be brought into action, and
talents which have been thought too mean for service, must now
be employed. Coulter, and axe, and mattock, may all be useful in
slaying Philistines; rough tools may deal hard blows, and
killing need not be elegantly done, so long as it is done
effectually. Each moment of time, in season or out of season;
each fragment of ability, educated or untutored; each
opportunity, favourable or unfavourable, must be used, for our
foes are many and our force but slender.

   _Most of our tools want sharpening_; we need quickness of 
perception, tact, energy, promptness, in a word, complete
adaptation for the Lord's work. Practical common sense is a very
scarce thing among the conductors of Christian enterprises. We
might learn from our enemies if we would, and so _make the
Philistines sharpen our weapons_. This morning let us note
enough to sharpen our zeal during this day by the aid of the
Holy Spirit. See the energy of the Papists, how they compass sea
and land to make one proselyte, are they to monopolize all the
earnestness? Mark the heathen devotees, what tortures they
endure in the service of their idols! are they alone to exhibit
patience and self-sacrifice? Observe the prince of darkness,
how persevering in his endeavours, how unabashed in his
attempts, how daring in his plans, how thoughtful in his plots,
how energetic in all! The devils are united as one man in their
infamous rebellion, while we believers in Jesus are divided in
our service of God, and scarcely ever work with unanimity. O
that from Satan's infernal industry we may learn to go about
like good Samaritans, seeking whom we may bless!

* 03/03/AM

"I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."
                                                  --Isaiah 48:10

   Comfort thyself, tried believer, with this thought: God 
saith, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Does
not the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the
flame? Yea, is it not an asbestos armour, against which the heat
hath no power? Let affliction come--God has chosen me. Poverty,
thou mayst stride in at my door, but God is in the house
already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayst intrude, but
I have a balsam ready--God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in
this vale of tears, I know that He has "chosen" me. If,
believer, thou requirest still greater comfort, remember _that
you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace_. In that silent
chamber of yours, there sitteth by your side One whom thou hast
not seen, but whom thou lovest; and ofttimes when thou knowest
it not, He makes all thy bed in thy affliction, and smooths thy
pillow for thee. Thou art in poverty; but in that lovely house
of thine the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor. He
loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit
thee. Thy friend sticks closely to thee. Thou canst not see Him,
but thou mayst feel the pressure of His hands. Dost thou not
hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He
says, "Fear not, I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy
God." Remember that noble speech of Caesar: "Fear not, thou
carriest Caesar and all his fortune." Fear not, Christian; Jesus
is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy
comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen
for His own. "Fear not, for I am with thee," is His sure word of
promise to His chosen ones in the "furnace of affliction." Wilt
thou not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say--

          "Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
          I'll follow where He goes."

* 03/04/AM

"My grace is sufficient for thee."
                                            --2 Corinthians 12:9

   If none of God's saints were poor and tried, we should not 
know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find
the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say,
"Still will I trust in the or, when we see the pauper starving
on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the
bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith
in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God's
grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of
believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing
that all things work together for their good, and that out of
apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring--that
their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or
most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is
pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves
the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it
is a calm night--I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the
tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it
will stand. So with the Spirit's work: if it were not on many
occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know
that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it,
we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works
of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties,
stedfast, unmoveable,--

                 "Calm mid the bewildering cry,
                 Confident of victory."

He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting
with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord
unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried
path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the
all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream
of it--hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until
now, should be trusted to the end.

* 03/05/AM

"Let us not sleep, as do others."
                                           --1 Thessalonians 5:6

   There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among 
the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together
concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they
journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, "To
prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good
discourse." Christian enquired, "Brother, where shall we begin?"
And Hopeful answered, "Where God began with us." Then Christian
sang this song--

       "When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
       And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
       Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
       Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb'ring eyes.
       Saints' fellowship, if it be managed well,
       Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell."

Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very
liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be
kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker
progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take "sweet
counsel" with others in the ways of God, take care that the
theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith
be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him;
let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the
cross, and thou wilt not sleep. _Labour to impress thyself with
a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art
going_. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou
wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind
thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would
the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and
the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst
the pearly gates are open--the songs of angels waiting for thee
to join them--a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in
holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not
into temptation.

* 03/06/AM

"Ye must be born again."
                                                      --John 3:7

   Regeneration is a subject which lies at the very basis of 
salvation, and we should be very diligent to take heed that we
really are "born again," for there are many who fancy they are,
who are not. Be assured that the name of a Christian is not the
nature of a Christian; and that being born in a Christian land,
and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of
no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to
it--the being "born again," is a matter so _mysterious_, that
human words cannot describe it. "The wind bloweth where it
listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is
born of the Spirit." Nevertheless, it is a change which is
_known and felt_: known by works of holiness, and felt by a
gracious experience. This great work is _supernatural_. It is
not an operation which a man performs for himself: a new
principle is infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul,
and affects the entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a
renewal of my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but
a new man in Christ Jesus. To wash and dress a corpse is a far
different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God
alone can do the other. If you have then, been "born again,"
your acknowledgment will be, "O Lord Jesus, the everlasting
Father, Thou art my spiritual Parent; unless Thy Spirit had
breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual life,
I had been to this day 'dead in trespasses and sins.' My
heavenly life is wholly derived from Thee, to Thee I ascribe it.
'My life is hid with Christ in God.' It is no longer I who live,
but Christ who liveth in me." May the Lord enable us to be well
assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be
unsaved, unpardoned, without God, and without hope.

* 03/07/AM

"Have faith in God."
                                                    --Mark 11:22

   Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the 
road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more
swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is
the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest
piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from
the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all
things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor
the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would
find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men
of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little
faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could
not have fought "Apollyon;" it needed "Christian" to do that.
Poor Little-faith could not have slain "Giant Despair;" it
required "Great-heart's" arm to knock that monster down. Little
faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide
itself in a nut-shell, and it frequently loses all but its
jewels. Little-faith says, "It is a rough road, beset with sharp
thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;" but Great-faith
remembers the promise, "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as
thy days, so shall thy strength be:" and so she boldly ventures.
Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the
flood; but Great-faith sings, "When thou passest through the
waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall
not overflow thee:" and she fords the stream at once. Would you
be comfortable and happy? Would you enjoy religion? Would you
have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom? Then
"have faith in God." If you love darkness, and are satisfied to
dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith;
but if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing,
covet earnestly this best gift, "great faith."

* 03/08/AM

"We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of
                                                    --Acts 14:22

   God's people have their trials. It was never designed by God, 
when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people.
They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never
chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness
and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when
their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, He included
chastisements amongst the things to which they should inevitably
be heirs. Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated
for us in Christ's last legacy. So surely as the stars are
fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely
are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and
their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon
us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do,
they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have
been without them. Mark the patience of Job; remember Abraham,
for he had his trials, and by his faith under them, he became
the "Father of the faithful." Note well the biographies of all
the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you shall
discover none of those whom God made vessels of mercy, who were
not made to pass through the fire of affliction. It is ordained
of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every
vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King's vessels of
honour are distinguished. But although tribulation is thus the
path of God's children, they have the comfort of knowing that
their Master has traversed it before them; they have His
presence and sympathy to cheer them, His grace to support them,
and His example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach
"the kingdom," it will more than make amends for the "much
tribulation" through which they passed to enter it.

* 03/09/AM

"Yea, He is altogether lovely."
                                          --Song of Solomon 5:16

   The superlative beauty of Jesus is all-attracting; it is not
so much to be admired as to be loved. He is more than pleasant
and fair, He is lovely. Surely the people of God can fully
justify the use of this golden word, for He is the object of
their warmest love, a love founded on the intrinsic excellence
of His person, the complete perfection of His charms. Look, O
disciples of Jesus, to your Master's lips, and say, "Are they
not most sweet?" Do not His words cause your hearts to burn
within you as He talks with you by the way? Ye worshippers of
Immanuel, look up to His head of much fine gold, and tell me,
are not His thoughts precious unto you? Is not your adoration
sweetened with affection as ye humbly bow before that
countenance which is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars? Is
there not a charm in His every feature, and is not His whole
person fragrant with such a savour of His good ointments, that
therefore the virgins love Him? Is there one member of His
glorious body which is not attractive?--one portion of His
person which is not a fresh loadstone to our souls?--one office
which is not a strong cord to bind your heart? Our love is not
as a seal set upon His heart of love alone; it is fastened upon
His arm of power also; nor is there a single part of Him upon
which it does not fix itself. We anoint His whole person with
the sweet spikenard of our fervent love. His whole life we would
imitate; His whole character we would transcribe. In all other
beings we see some lack, in Him there is all perfection. The
best even of His favoured saints have had blots upon their
garments and wrinkles upon their brows; He is nothing but
loveliness. All earthly suns have their spots: the fair world
itself hath its wilderness; we cannot love the whole of the most
lovely thing; but Christ Jesus is gold without alloy-light
without darkness--glory without cloud--"Yea, He is _altogether_

* 03/10/AM

"In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved."
                                                    --Psalm 30:6

   "Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from 
vessel to vessel." Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home
continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be
his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty
deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be
propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him;
let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy
continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye
to march through the world, and live happily; give him the
buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips;
let his eye be ever sparkling with joy--and the natural
consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the
best Christian who ever breathed, will be _presumption_; even
David said, "I shall never be moved;" and we are not better than
David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of
the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank
God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of
prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune;
if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were
not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in
the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with
pleasure, we should dream "we stand;" and stand we should, but
it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast,
each moment we should be in jeopardy.

   We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our
changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel
that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too
secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

             "Afflictions, though they seem severe,
             In mercy oft are sent."

* 03/11/AM

"Sin . . . exceeding sinful."
                                                   --Romans 7:13

   Beware of light thoughts of sin. At the time of conversion, 
the conscience is so tender, that we are afraid of the slightest
sin. Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear lest they
should offend against God. But alas! very soon the fine bloom
upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of
the surrounding world: the sensitive plant of young piety turns
into a willow in after life, too pliant, too easily yielding. It
is sadly true, that even a Christian may grow by degrees so
callous, that the sin which once startled him does not alarm him
in the least. By degrees men get familiar with sin. The ear in
which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds.
At first a little sin startles us; but soon we say, "Is it not a
little one?" Then there comes another, larger, and then another,
until by degrees we begin to regard sin as but a little ill; and
then follows an unholy presumption: "We have not fallen intoopen sin. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright in the
main. We may have uttered one unholy word, but as for the most
of our conversation, it has been consistent." So we palliate
sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names.
Christian, beware how thou thinkest lightly of sin. Take heed
lest thou fall by little and little. Sin, a _little_ thing? Is
it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing?
Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doth not the tiny
coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy? Do not little
strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away
stones? Sin, a little thing? It girded the Redeemer's head with
thorns, and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish,
bitterness, and woe. Could you weigh the least sin in the scales
of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor
the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which
crucified the Saviour, and you will see it to be "exceeding

* 03/12/AM

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour."
                                                  --Matthew 5:43

   "Love thy neighbour." Perhaps he rolls in riches, and thou 
art poor, and living in thy little cot side-by-side with his
lordly mansion; thou seest every day his estates, his fine
linen, and his sumptuous banquets; God has given him these
gifts, covet not his wealth, and think no hard thoughts
concerning him. Be content with thine own lot, if thou canst not
better it, but do not look upon thy neighbour, and wish that he
were as thyself. Love him, and then thou wilt not envy him.

   Mayhap, on the other hand, thou art rich, and near thee 
reside the poor. Do not scorn to call them neighbour. Own that
thou art bound to love them. The world calls them thy inferiors.
In what are they inferior? They are far more thine equals than
thine inferiors, for "God hath made of one blood all people that
dwell upon the face of the earth." It is thy coat which is
better than theirs, but thou art by no means better than they.
They are men, and what art thou more than that? Take heed that
thou love thy neighbour even though he be in rags, or sunken in
the depths of poverty.

   But, perhaps, you say, "I cannot love my neighbours, because 
for all I do they return ingratitude and contempt." So much the
more room for the heroism of love. Wouldst thou be a feather-bed
warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love? He who
dares the most, shall win the most; and if rough be thy path of
love, tread it boldly, still loving thy neighbours through thick
and thin. Heap coals of fire on their heads, and if they be hard
to please, seek not to please _them_, but to please _thy
Master_; and remember if _they_ spurn thy love, thy Master hath
not spurned it, and thy deed is as acceptable to Him as if it
had been acceptable to them. Love thy neighbour, for in so doing
thou art following the footsteps of Christ.

* 03/13/AM

"Why sit we here until we die?"
                                                   --2 Kings 7:3

   Dear reader, this little book was mainly intended for the 
edification of believers, but if you are yet unsaved, our heart
yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be
blessed to you. Open your Bible, and read the story of the
lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as
yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to
Jesus you can but die. "Nothing venture, nothing win," is the
old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one. If
you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your
ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing
were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy.
None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at
any rate, some are saved who believe in Him, for certain of your
own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you? The
Ninevites said, "Who can tell?" Act upon the same hope, and try
the Lord's mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but
a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should
lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to
you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as
from the Lord, that if you seek Him He will be found of you.
Jesus casts out none who come unto Him. You shall not perish if
you trust Him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far
richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria's deserted camp.
May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall
not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the
good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King's
household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the
porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery,
and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save
thee ere the sun goes down this day.

* 03/14/AM

"Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
                                           --1 Corinthians 10:12

   It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being 
proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith, I shall not
fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." "I have fervent
love," says another, "I can stand, there is no danger of my
going astray." He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast
of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them,
knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the
fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a
continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn
brightly to-day, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be
its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but
let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and His
strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much
more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the
Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more
carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your
pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your
hearts be perfumed with affection for men's souls. So live that
men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and
have learned of Him; and when that happy day shall come, when He
whom you love shall say, "Come up higher," may it be your
happiness to hear Him say, "Thou hast fought a good fight, thou
hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for
thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away." On,
Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and
trembling!  On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and
let your constant petition be, "Uphold me according to Thy
word." He is able, and He alone, "To keep you from falling, and
to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with
exceeding joy."

* 03/15/AM

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
                                                 --2 Timothy 2:1

   Christ has grace without measure in Himself, but He hath not 
retained it for Himself. As the reservoir empties itself into
the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out His grace for His people.
"Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." He
seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like
the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to
supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh
unto it. Like a tree, He bears sweet fruit, not to hang on
boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its
work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to
enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from Him
freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of
grace which He has not bestowed upon His people. As the blood of
the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to
every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of
every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet
communion between Christ and His Church, inasmuch as they both
receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is
first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the
garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same
costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true
communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the
branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is
sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we
day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly
recognize it as coming from Him, we shall behold Him in
communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with Him.
Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to Him as
to our own Lord in covenant, taking from Him the supply of all
we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own

* 03/16/AM

"I am a stranger with thee."
                                                   --Psalm 39:12

   Yes, O Lord, _with_ Thee, but not _to_ Thee. All my natural 
alienation from Thee, Thy grace has effectually removed; and
now, in fellowship with Thyself, I walk through this sinful
world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. _Thou_ art a stranger
in Thine own world. Man forgets Thee, dishonours Thee, sets up
new laws and alien customs, and knows Thee not. When Thy dear
Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the
world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him
not. Never was foreigner so speckled a bird among the denizens
of any land as Thy beloved Son among His mother's brethren. It
is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be
unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a
citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened
the cords which once bound my soul to earth, and now I find
myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these
Babylonians among whom I dwell an outlandish tongue, my manners
are singular, and my actions are strange. A Tartar would be more
at home in Cheapside than I could ever be in the haunts of
sinners. But here is the sweetness of my lot: I am a stranger
_with Thee_. Thou art my fellow-sufferer, my fellow-pilgrim. Oh,
what joy to wander in such blessed society!  My heart burns
within me by the way when thou dost speak to me, and though I be
a sojourner, I am far more blest than those who sit on thrones,
and far more at home than those who dwell in their ceiled

             "To me remains nor place, nor time:
             My country is in every clime;
             I can be calm and free from care
             On any shore, since God is there.

             While place we seek, or place we shun,
             The soul finds happiness in none:
             But with a God to guide our way,
             'Tis equal joy to go or stay."

* 03/17/AM

"Remember the poor."
                                                --Galatians 2:10

   Why does God allow so many of His children to be poor? He 
could make them all rich if He pleased; He could lay bags of
gold at their doors; He could send them a large annual income;
or He could scatter round their houses abundance of provisions,
as once he made the quails lie in heaps round the camp of
Israel, and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no
necessity that they should be poor, except that He sees it to be
best. "The cattle upon a thousand hills are His"--He could
supply them; He could make the richest, the greatest, and the
mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of His
children, for the hearts of all men are in His control. But He
does not choose to do so; He allows them to suffer want, He
allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this? There
are many reasons: one is, _to give us, who are favoured with
enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus_. We show
our love to Christ when we sing of Him and when we pray to Him;
but if there were no sons of need in the world we should lose
the sweet privilege of evidencing our love, by ministering in
alms-giving to His poorer brethren; He has ordained that thus we
should prove that our love standeth not in word only, but in
deed and in truth. If we truly love Christ, we shall care for
those who are loved by Him. Those who are dear to Him will be
dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a
privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord's flock--remembering
the words of the Lord Jesus, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto
one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong
enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a
loving heart--recollecting that all we do for His people is
graciously accepted by Christ as done to Himself.

* 03/18/AM

"Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
                                                --Galatians 3:26

   The _fatherhood of God is common to all his children_. Ah!
Little-faith, you have often said, "Oh that I had the courage of
Great-heart, that I could wield his sword and be as valiant as
he! But, alas, I stumble at every straw, and a shadow makes me
afraid." List thee, Little-faith. Great-heart is God's child,
and you are God's child too; and Great-heart is not one whit
more God's child than you are. Peter and Paul, the highly-
favoured apostles, were of the family of the Most High; and so
are you also; the weak Christian is as much a child of God as
the strong one.

             "This cov'nant stands secure,
             Though earth's old pillars bow;
             The strong, the feeble, and the weak,
             Are one in Jesus now."

All the names are in the same family register. One may have more
grace than another, but God our heavenly Father has the same
tender heart towards all. One may do more mighty works, and may
bring more glory to his Father, but he whose name is the least
in the kingdom of heaven is as much the child of God as he who
stands among the King's mighty men. Let this cheer and comfort
us, when we draw near to God and say, "Our Father."

   Yet, while we are comforted by knowing this, let us not rest 
contented with weak faith, but ask, like the Apostles, to have
it increased. However feeble our faith may be, if it be real
faith in Christ, we shall reach heaven at last, but we shall not
honour our Master much on our pilgrimage, neither shall we
abound in joy and peace. If then you would live to Christ's
glory, and be happy in His service, seek to be filled with the
spirit of adoption more and more completely, till perfect love
shall cast out fear.

* 03/19/AM

"Strong in faith."
                                                   --Romans 4:20

   Christian, take good care of thy faith; for recollect _faith 
is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings_. If we want
blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith.
Prayer cannot draw down answers, from God's throne except it be
the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the angelic
messenger between the soul and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that
angel be withdrawn, we can neither send up prayer, nor receive
the answers. Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and
heaven--on which God's messages of love fly so fast, that before
we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us.
But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we
receive the promise? Am I in trouble?--I can obtain help for
trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy?--my soul on
her dear Refuge leans by faith. But take faith away--in vain I
call to God. There is no road betwixt my soul and heaven. In
the deepest wintertime faith is a road on which the horses of
prayer may travel--ay, and all the better for the biting frost;
but blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great
King? Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the
power of God. Faith engages on my side the omnipotence of
Jehovah. Faith ensures every attribute of God in my defence. It
helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant
over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I
receive anything of the Lord? Let not him that wavereth--who is
like a wave of the Sea--expect that he will receive anything of
God! O, then, Christian, watch well thy faith; for with it thou
canst win all things, however poor thou art, but without it thou
canst obtain nothing. "If thou canst believe, all things are
possible to him that believeth."

* 03/20/AM

"My beloved."
                                           --Song of Solomon 2:8

   This was a golden name which the ancient Church in her most 
joyous moments was wont to give to the Anointed of the Lord.
When the time of the singing of birds was come, and the voice of
the turtle was heard in her land, _her_ love-note was sweeter
than either, as she sang, "_My beloved_ is mine and I am His: He
feedeth among the lilies." Ever in her song of songs doth she
call Him by that delightful name, "My beloved!" Even in the long
winter, when idolatry had withered the garden of the Lord, her
prophets found space to lay aside the burden of the Lord for a
little season, and to say, as Esaias did, "Now will I sing to my
well-beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard." Though
the saints had never seen His face, though as yet He was not
made flesh, nor had dwelt among us, nor had man beheld His
glory, yet He was the consolation of Israel, the hope and joy of
all the chosen, the "beloved" of all those who were upright
before the Most High. We, in the summer days of the Church, are
also wont to speak of Christ as the best beloved of our soul,
and to feel that He is very precious, the "chiefest among ten
thousand, and the altogether lovely." So true is it that the
Church loves Jesus, and claims Him as her beloved, that the
apostle dares to defy the whole universe to separate her from
the love of Christ, and declares that neither persecutions,
distress, affliction, peril, or the sword have been able to do
it; nay, he joyously boasts, "In all these things we are more
than conquerors through Him that loved us."

   O that we knew more of Thee, Thou ever precious one!

              My sole possession is Thy love;
              In earth beneath, or heaven above,
              I have no other store;
              And though with fervent suit I pray,
              And importune Thee day by day,
              I ask Thee nothing more.

* 03/21/AM

"Ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me
                                                    --John 16:32

   Few had fellowship with the sorrows of Gethsemane. The 
majority of the disciples were not sufficiently advanced in
grace to be admitted to behold the mysteries of "the agony."
Occupied with the passover feast at their own houses, they
represent the many who live upon the letter, but are mere babes
as to the spirit of the gospel. To twelve, nay, to eleven only
was the privilege given to enter Gethsemane and see "this great
sight." Out of the eleven, eight were left at a distance; they
had fellowship, but not of that intimate sort to which men
greatly beloved are admitted. Only three highly favoured ones
could approach the veil of our Lord's mysterious sorrow: within
that veil even these must not intrude; a stone's-cast distance
must be left between. He must tread the wine-press _alone_, and
of the people there must be none with Him. Peter and the two
sons of Zebedee, represent the few eminent, experienced saints,
who may be written down as "Fathers;" these having done business
on great waters, can in some degree measure the huge Atlantic
waves of their Redeemer's passion. To some selected spirits it
is given, for the good of others, and to strengthen them for
future, special, and tremendous conflict, to enter the inner
circle and hear the pleadings of the suffering High Priest; they
have fellowship with Him in his sufferings, and are made
conformable unto His death. Yet even these cannot penetrate the
secret places of the Saviour's woe. "Thine unknown sufferings"
is the remarkable expression of the Greek liturgy: there was an
inner chamber in our Master's grief, shut out from human
knowledge and fellowship. There Jesus is "_left alone_." Here
Jesus was more than ever an "Unspeakable gift!" Is not Watts
right when he sings--

               "And all the unknown joys he gives,
               Were bought with agonies unknown."

* 03/22/AM

"And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and
                                                 --Matthew 26:39

   There are several instructive features in our Saviour's 
prayer in His hour of trial. It was _lonely prayer_. He withdrew
even from His three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in
solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer,
social prayer, prayer in the Church, will not suffice, these are
very precious, but the best beaten spice will smoke in your
censer in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God's.

   It was _humble prayer_. Luke says He knelt, but another
evangelist says He "fell on His face." Where, then, must be THY
place, thou humble servant of the great Master? What dust and
ashes should cover _thy_ head! Humility gives us good foot-hold
in prayer. There is no hope of prevalence with God unless we
abase ourselves that He may exalt us in due time.

   It was _filial prayer_. "Abba, Father." You will find it a
stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have
no rights as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason;
but nothing can forfeit a child's right to a father's
protection. Be not afraid to say, "My Father, hear my cry."

   Observe that it was _persevering prayer_. He prayed three 
times. Cease not until you prevail. Be as the importunate widow,
whose continual coming earned what her first supplication could
not win. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with

   Lastly, _it was the prayer of resignation_. "Nevertheless, 
not as I will, but as thou wilt." Yield, and God yields. Let it
be as God wills, and God will determine for the best. Be thou
content to leave thy prayer in his hands, who knows when to
give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold.
So pleading, earnestly, importunately, yet with humility and
resignation, thou shalt surely prevail.

* 03/23/AM

"His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling
down to the ground."
                                                    --Luke 22:44

   The mental pressure arising from our Lord's struggle with 
temptation, so forced his frame to an unnatural excitement, that
his pores sent forth great drops of blood which fell down to the
ground. This proves _how tremendous must have been the weight of
sin_ when it was able to crush the Saviour so that he distilled
great drops of blood! This demonstrates _the mighty power of his
love_. It is a very pretty observation of old Isaac Ambrose
that the gum which exudes from the tree without cutting is
always the best. This precious camphire-tree yielded most sweet
spices when it was wounded under the knotty whips, and when it
was pierced by the nails on the cross; but see, it giveth forth
its best spice when there is no whip, no nail, no wound. This
sets forth the _voluntariness of Christ's sufferings_, since
without a lance the blood flowed freely. No need to put on the
leech, or apply the knife; it flows spontaneously. No need for
the rulers to cry, "Spring up, O well;" of itself it flows in
crimson torrents. If men suffer great pain of mind apparently
the blood rushes to the heart. The cheeks are pale; a fainting
fit comes on; the blood has gone inward as if to nourish the
inner man while passing through its trial. But see our Saviour
in His agony; he is so utterly oblivious of self, that instead
of his agony driving his blood to the heart to nourish himself,
it drives it outward to bedew the earth. The agony of Christ,
inasmuch as it pours him out upon the ground, pictures the
fulness of the offering which he made for men.

   Do we not perceive how intense must have been the wrestling 
through which he passed, and will we not hear its voice _to us_?
"Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
Behold the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, and
sweat even to blood rather than yield to the great tempter of
your souls.

* 03/24/AM

"He was heard in that he feared."
                                                   --Hebrews 5:7

   Did this fear arise from the infernal suggestion _that He was 
utterly forsaken_. There may be sterner trials than this, but
surely it is _one_ of the worst to be utterly forsaken? "See,"
said Satan, "thou hast a friend nowhere! Thy Father hath shut up
the bowels of His compassion against thee. Not an angel in His
courts will stretch out his hand to help thee. All heaven is
alienated from Thee; Thou art left alone. See the companions
with whom Thou hast taken sweet counsel, what are they worth?
Son of Mary, see there Thy brother James, see there Thy loved
disciple John, and Thy bold apostle Peter, how the cowards sleep
when Thou art in Thy sufferings! Lo! Thou hast no friend left in
heaven or earth. All hell is against Thee. I have stirred up
mine infernal den. I have sent my missives throughout all
regions summoning every prince of darkness to set upon Thee this
night, and we will spare no arrows, we will use all our infernal
might to overwhelm Thee: and what wilt Thou do, Thou solitary
one?" It may be, this was the temptation; we think it was,
because the appearance of an angel unto Him strengthening Him
removed that fear. He was heard in that He feared; He was no
more alone, but heaven was with Him. It may be that this is the
reason of His coming three times to His disciples--as Hart puts

           "Backwards and forwards thrice He ran,
           As if He sought some help from man."

He would see for Himself whether it were really true that all
men had forsaken Him; He found them all asleep; but perhaps He
gained some faint comfort from the thought that they were
sleeping, not from treachery, but from sorrow, the spirit indeed
was willing, but the flesh was weak. At any rate, He was heard
in that He feared. Jesus was heard in His deepest woe; my soul,
thou shalt be heard also.

* 03/25/AM

"Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?"
                                                    --Luke 22:48

   The kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Let me be on my guard 
when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible,
betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss. Whenever a man is
about to stab religion, he usually professes very great
reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy
which is armour-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the
deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent
to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy. The young man,
void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the strange
woman: may my soul be so graciously instructed all this day,
that "the much fair speech" of the world may have no effect upon
me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be
betrayed with a kiss!

   But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as 
Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name
of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of His visible Church; I sit at
the communion table: all these are so many kisses of my lips. Am
I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the
world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of
being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to
ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I
am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently I am a Judas, and
it were better for me that I had never been born. Dare I hope
that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O
Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false
way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love Thee, Jesus, and
though I often grieve Thee, yet I would desire to abide faithful
even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring
professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because
I betrayed my Master with a kiss.

* 03/26/AM

"Jesus said unto them, If ye seek Me, let these go their way."
                                                     --John 18:8

   Mark, my soul, the care which Jesus manifested even in His 
hour of trial, towards the sheep of His hand! The ruling passion
is strong in death. He resigns Himself to the enemy, but He
interposes a word of power to set His disciples free. As to
Himself, like a sheep before her shearers He is dumb and opened
not His mouth, but for His disciples' sake He speaks with
Almighty energy. Herein is love, constant, self-forgetting,
faithful love. But is there not far more here than is to be
found upon the surface? Have we not the very soul and spirit of
the atonement in these words? The Good Shepherd lays down His
life for the sheep, and pleads that they must therefore go free.
The Surety is bound, and justice demands that those for whom He
stands a substitute should go their way. In the midst of Egypt's
bondage, that voice rings as a word of power, "_Let these go
their way_." Out of slavery of sin and Satan the redeemed must
come. In every cell of the dungeons of Despair, the sound is
echoed, "_Let these go their way_," and forth come Despondency
and Much-afraid. Satan hears the well-known voice, and lifts his
foot from the neck of the fallen; and Death hears it, and the
grave opens her gates to let the dead arise. _Their way_ is one
of progress, holiness, triumph, glory, and none shall dare to
stay them in it. No lion shall be on their way, neither shall
any ravenous beast go up thereon. "The hind of the morning" has
drawn the cruel hunters upon himself, and now the most timid
roes and hinds of the field may graze at perfect peace among the
lilies of his loves. The thunder-cloud has burst over the Cross
of Calvary, and the pilgrims of Zion shall never be smitten by
the bolts of vengeance. Come, my heart, rejoice in the immunity
which thy Redeemer has secured thee, and bless His name all the
day, and every day.

* 03/27/AM

"Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled."
                                                 --Matthew 26:56

   He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their 
lives, fled from Him in the very beginning of His sufferings.
This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all
believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best,
and they flee when the wolf cometh. They had all been warned of
the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their
Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to
their heels. It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have
braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord's sake, and I
imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but
let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil
heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles
did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform.
It would have been to their eternal honour to have stood at
Jesus' side right manfully; they fled from honour; may I be kept
from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as
near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions
of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not
play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The
smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the
Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew
to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them,
and even so the Holy Spirit can make my recreant spirit brave to
confess my Lord and witness for His truth.

   What anguish must have filled the Saviour as He saw His 
friends so faithless! This was one bitter ingredient in His cup;
but that cup is drained dry; let me not put another drop in it.
If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify Him afresh, and put Him to
an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so

* 03/28/AM

"The love of Christ which passeth knowledge."
                                                --Ephesians 3:19

   The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fulness, its 
greatness, its faithfulness, passeth all human comprehension.
Where shall language be found which shall describe His
matchless, His unparalleled love towards the children of men? It
is so vast and boundless that, as the swallow but skimmeth the
water, and diveth not into its depths, so all descriptive words
but touch the surface, while depths immeasurable lie beneath.
Well might the poet say,

               "O love, thou fathomless abyss!"

for this love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless;
none can attain unto it. Before we can have any right idea of
the love of Jesus, we must understand His previous glory in its
height of majesty, and His incarnation upon the earth in all its
depths of shame. But who can tell us the majesty of Christ? When
He was enthroned in the highest heavens He was very God of very
God; by Him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof.
His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim
and seraphim perpetually surrounded Him; the full chorus of the
hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of
his throne: He reigned supreme above all His creatures, God over
all, blessed for ever. Who can tell His height of glory then?
And who, on the other hand, can tell how low He descended? To be
a man was something, to be a man of sorrows was far more; to
bleed, and die, and suffer, these were much for Him who was the
Son of God; but to suffer such unparalleled agony--to endure a
death of shame and desertion by His Father, this is a depth of
condescending love which the most inspired mind must utterly
fail to fathom. Herein is love! and truly it is love that
"passeth knowledge." O let this love fill our hearts with
adoring gratitude, and lead us to practical manifestations of
its power.

* 03/29/AM

"Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things
which He suffered."
                                                   --Hebrews 5:8

   We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made 
perfect through suffering, therefore we who are sinful, and who
are far from being perfect, must not wonder if we are called to
pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with
thorns, and shall the other members of the body be rocked upon
the dainty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own
blood to win the crown, and are we to walk to heaven dryshod in
silver slippers? No, our Master's experience teaches us that
suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not,
would not, escape it if he might. But there is one very
comforting thought in the fact of Christ's "being made perfect
through suffering"--it is, that He can have complete sympathy
with us. "He is not an high priest that cannot be touched with
the feeling of our infirmities." In this sympathy of Christ we
find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, "I can
bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now; He
sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong." Believer, lay
hold of this thought in all times of agony. Let the thought of
Jesus strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find a sweet
support in His sympathy; and remember that, to suffer is an
honourable thing--to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles
rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. Just so far
as the Lord shall give us grace to suffer _for_ Christ, to
suffer _with_ Christ, just so far does He honour us. The jewels
of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings
whom God hath anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and
their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honoured. Let us
not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles
lift us up. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him."

* 03/30/AM

"He was numbered with the transgressors."
                                                  --Isaiah 53:12

   Why did Jesus suffer Himself to be enrolled amongst sinners? 
This wonderful condescension was justified by many powerful
reasons. _In such a character He could the better become their
advocate_. In some trials there is an identification of the
counsellor with the client, nor can they be looked upon in the
eye of the law as apart from one another. Now, when the sinner
is brought to the bar, Jesus appears there Himself. _He_ stands
to answer the accusation. He points to His side, His hands, His
feet, and challenges Justice to bring anything against the
sinners whom He represents; He pleads His blood, and pleads so
triumphantly, being numbered with them and having a part with
them, that the Judge proclaims, "Let them go their way; deliver
them from going down into the pit, for He hath found a ransom."
Our Lord Jesus was numbered with the transgressors in order that
they might _feel their hearts drawn towards Him_. Who can be
afraid of one who is written in the same list with us? Surely we
may come boldly to Him, and confess our guilt. He who is
numbered with us cannot condemn us. Was He not put down in the
transgressor's list _that we might be written in the red roll of
the saints_? He was holy, and written among the holy; we were
guilty, and numbered among the guilty; He transfers His name
from yonder list to this black indictment, and our names are
taken from the indictment and written in the roll of acceptance,
for there is a complete transfer made between Jesus and His
people. All our estate of misery and sin Jesus has taken; and
all that Jesus has comes to us. His righteousness, His blood,
and everything that He hath He gives us as our dowry. Rejoice,
believer, in your union to Him who was numbered among the
transgressors; and prove that you are truly saved by being
manifestly numbered with those who are new creatures in Him.

* 03/31/AM

"With His stripes we are healed."
                                                   --Isaiah 53:5

   Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The 
Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was
made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted
every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the
lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful
laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour
was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been
beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the
most severe of His flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep
over His poor stricken body.

   Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon Him without tears, as He 
stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once
fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the
crimson of His own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed
healing which His stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart
melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord
Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our

            "See how the patient Jesus stands,
            Insulted in His lowest case!
            Sinners have bound the Almighty's hands,
            And spit in their Creator's face.

            With thorns His temples gor'd and gash'd
            Send streams of blood from every part;
            His back's with knotted scourges lash'd.
            But sharper scourges tear His heart."

We would fain go to our chambers and weep; but since our
business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print
the image of His bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts
all the day, and at nightfall we will return to commune with
Him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost Him so dear.

This document (last modified September 30, 1995) from