April AM

* 04/01/AM

"Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth."
                                           --Song of Solomon 1:2

   For several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour's
passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there.
In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our
Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See
how she leaps at once to _Him_; there are no prefatory words;
she does not even mention His name; she is in the heart of her
theme at once, for she speaks of _Him_ who was the only Him in
the world to her. How bold is her love! it was much
condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint His
feet with spikenard--it was rich love which allowed the gentle
Mary to sit at His feet and learn of Him--but here, love,
strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and
closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of
Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love
knows no fear. If we have received the same free spirit, we also
may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those
varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made
to enjoy the love of Jesus. The kiss of _reconciliation_ we
enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping
from the comb. The kiss of _acceptance_ is still warm on our
brow, as we know that He hath accepted our persons and our works
through rich grace. The kiss of daily, present _communion_, is
that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it
is changed into the kiss of _reception_, which removes the soul
from earth, and the kiss of _consummation_ which fills it with
the joy of heaven. Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly
felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is
the well from which the pilgrim drinks. O lover of our souls, be
not strange to us; let the lips of Thy blessing meet the lips of
our asking; let the lips of Thy fulness touch the lips of our
need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.

* 04/02/AM

"He answered him to never a word."
                                                 --Matthew 27:14

   He had never been slow of speech when He could bless the sons 
of men, but He would not say a single word for Himself. "Never
man spake like this Man," and never man was silent like Him. Was
this singular silence _the index of His perfect self-sacrifice_?
Did it show that He would not utter a word to stay the slaughter
of His sacred person, which He had dedicated as an offering for
us? Had He so entirely surrendered Himself that He would not
interfere in His own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but
be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim? Was
this silence _a type of the defenselessness of sin_? Nothing
can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and,
therefore, He who bore its whole weight stood speechless before
His judge. Is not patient silence _the best reply to a
gainsaying world_? Calm endurance answers some questions
infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence. The
best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its
martyrs. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing
their blows. Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with _a
grand example of wisdom_? Where every word was occasion for new
blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the
flame of sin. The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and
mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and
therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to
be its wisdom. Evidently our Lord, by His silence, furnished _a
remarkable fulfillment of prophecy_. A long defence of Himself
would have been contrary to Isaiah's prediction. "He is led as a
lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is
dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." By His quiet He conclusively
proved Himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute Him
this morning. Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our
heart, let us hear the voice of Thy love.

* 04/03/AM

"They took Jesus, and led Him away."
                                                    --John 19:16

   He had been all night in agony, He had spent the early
morning at the hall of Caiaphas, He had been hurried from
Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back
again to Pilate; He had, therefore, but little strength left,
and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted Him. They
were eager for His blood, and therefore led Him out to die,
loaded with the cross. O dolorous procession! Well may Salem's
daughters weep. My soul, do thou weep also.

   What learn we here as we see our blessed Lord led forth? Do
we not perceive that truth which was set forth in shadow by _the
scapegoat_? Did not the high-priest bring the scapegoat, and put
both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people,
that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat, and cease from
the people? Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the
wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that
if they were sought for they could not be found. Now we see
Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce Him
guilty; God Himself imputes our sins _to Him_, "the Lord hath
laid on Him the iniquity of us all;" "He was made sin for us;"
and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon His
shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat
led away by the appointed officers of justice. Beloved, can you
feel assured that He carried _your_ sin? As you look at the
cross upon His shoulders, does it represent _your_ sin? There is
one way by which you can tell whether He carried your sin or
not. Have you laid your hand upon His head, confessed your sin,
and trusted in Him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all
been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and He bears
it on His shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.

   Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own
deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your
iniquities were laid.

* 04/04/AM

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we
might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
                                            --2 Corinthians 5:21

   Mourning Christian! why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over 
thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember,
thou art complete in Him; thou art in God's sight as perfect as
if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our
Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, so that thou
hast more than the righteousness of man--thou hast the
righteousness of God. O Thou who art mourning by reason of
inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn
thee. Thou hast learned to hate sin; but thou hast learned also
to know that sin is not thine--it was laid upon Christ's head.
Thy standing is not in thyself--it is in Christ; thine
acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much
accepted of God to-day, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be
when thou standest before His throne, free from all corruption.
O, I beseech thee, lay hold on this precious thought,
_perfection in Christ_! For thou art "complete in Him." With thy
Saviour's garment on, thou art holy as the Holy one. "Who is he
that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is
risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also
maketh intercession for us." Christian, let thy heart rejoice,
for thou art "accepted in the beloved"--what hast thou to fear?
Let thy face ever wear a smile; live near thy Master; live in
the suburbs of the Celestial City; for soon, when thy time has
come, thou shalt rise up where thy Jesus sits, and reign at His
right hand; and all this because the divine Lord "was made to be
sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him."

* 04/05/AM

"On Him they laid the cross, that He might bear it after Jesus."
                                                    --Luke 23:26

   We see in Simon's carrying the cross a picture of the work of
the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer
after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as
to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may
escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from
sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.

   But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our
case, as in Simon's, _it is not our cross_, but Christ's cross
which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your
religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then
remember it is not _your_ cross, it is Christ's cross; and how
delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

   _You carry the cross after Him_. You have blessed company;
your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark
of His blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. 'Tis _His_
cross, and He goes before you as a shepherd goes before his
sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow Him.

   Do not forget, also, _that you bear this cross in 
partnership_. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried
one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very
possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the
transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end.
Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of
the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.

   And remember, _though Simon had to bear the cross for a very 
little while, it gave him lasting honour_. Even so the cross we
carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall
receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross,
and, instead of shrinking from it, _count it very dear_, when it
works out for us "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of

* 04/06/AM

"Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp."
                                                 --Hebrews 13:13

   Jesus, bearing His cross, went forth to suffer without the 
gate. The Christian's reason for leaving the camp of the world's
sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but
because _Jesus did so_; and the disciple must follow his Master.
Christ was "not of the world:" His life and His testimony were a
constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was
such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still
He was separate from sinners. In like manner Christ's people
must "go forth unto Him." They must take their position "without
the camp," as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be
prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have
bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and
His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond all the world.
Jesus would have His people "go forth without the camp" _for
their own sanctification_. You cannot grow in grace to any high
degree while you are conformed to the world. The life of
separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of
safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs,
and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all.
No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals
Himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that
the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than
others in their hours of rest. The highway of holiness is the
highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope _to win the
crown_ if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow
Christ "without the camp." The crown of glory will follow the
cross of separation. A moment's shame will be well recompensed
by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem
nothing when we are "for ever with the Lord."

* 04/07/AM

"O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?"
                                                     --Psalm 4:2

   An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours 
which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their
long-expected King. (1.) They gave Him _a procession of
honour_, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and
women, took a part, He Himself bearing His cross. This is the
triumph which the world awards to Him who comes to overthrow
man's direst foes. Derisive shouts are His only acclamations,
and cruel taunts His only paeans of praise. (2.) They presented
Him with _the wine of honour_. Instead of a golden cup of
generous wine they offered Him the criminal's stupefying
death-draught, which He refused because He would preserve an
uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when
He cried, "I thirst," they gave Him vinegar mixed with gall,
thrust to His mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable
inhospitality to the King's Son. (3.) He was provided with _a
guard of honour_, who showed their esteem of Him by gambling
over His garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such
was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of
brutal gamblers. (4.) _A throne of honour_ was found for Him
upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men
yield to their liege Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full
expression of the world's feeling towards Him; "There," they
seemed to say, "Thou Son of God, this is the manner in which God
Himself should be treated, could we reach Him." (5.) _The title
of honour_ was nominally "King of the Jews," but that the
blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called Him
"King of thieves," by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus
in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was
thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it
shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without

* 04/08/AM

"If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in
the dry?"
                                                    --Luke 23:31

   Among other interpretations of this suggestive question, the 
following is full of teaching: "If the innocent substitute for
sinners, suffer thus, what will be done when the sinner himself
--the dry tree--shall fall into the hands of an angry God?" When
God saw Jesus in the sinner's place, He did not spare Him; and
when He finds the unregenerate without Christ, He will not spare
them. O sinner, Jesus was led away by His enemies: so shall you
be dragged away by fiends to the place appointed for you. Jesus
was deserted of God; and if He, who was only imputedly a sinner,
was deserted, how much more shall you be? "_Eloi, Eloi, lama
sabachthani_?" what an awful shriek! But what shall be your cry
when you shall say, "O God! O God! why hast Thou forsaken me?"
and the answer shall come back, "Because ye have set at nought
all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh
at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." If God
spared not His own Son, how much less will He spare you! What
whips of burning wire will be yours when conscience shall smite
you with all its terrors. Ye richest, ye merriest, ye most
self-righteous sinners--who would stand in your place when God
shall say, "Awake, O sword, against the man that rejected Me;
smite him, and let him feel the smart for ever"? Jesus was spit
upon: sinner, what shame will be yours! We cannot sum up in one
word all the mass of sorrows which met upon the head of Jesus
who died for us, therefore it is impossible for us to tell you
what streams, what oceans of grief must roll over _your_ spirit
if you die as you now are. You may die so, you may die now. By
the agonies of Christ, by His wounds and by His blood, do not
bring upon yourselves the wrath to come! Trust in the Son of
God, and you shall never die.

* 04/09/AM

"And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women,
which also bewailed and lamented Him."
                                                    --Luke 23:27

   Amid the rabble rout which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, 
there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent
in wailing and lamentations--fit music to accompany that march
of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Saviour
bearing His cross to Calvary, she joins the godly women and
weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief--
cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They
bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love
bleeding, meekness about to die; but my heart has a deeper and
more bitter cause to mourn. My sins were the scourges which
lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorn those
bleeding brows: my sins cried "Crucify Him! crucify Him!" and
laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders. His being led forth
to die is sorrow enough for one eternity: but my having been His
murderer, is more, infinitely more, grief than one poor fountain
of tears can express.

   Why those women loved and wept it were not hard to guess: but 
they could not have had greater reasons for love and grief than
my heart has. Nain's widow saw her son restored--but I myself
have been raised to newness of life. Peter's wife's mother was
cured of the fever--but I of the greater plague of sin. Out of
Magdalene seven devils were cast--but a whole legion out of me.
Mary and Martha were favoured with visits--but He dwells with
me. His mother bare His body--but He is formed in me the hope of
glory. In nothing behind the holy women in debt, let me not be
behind them in gratitude or sorrow.

               "Love and grief my heart dividing,
               With my tears His feet I'll lave--
               Constant still in heart abiding,
               Weep for Him who died to save."

* 04/10/AM

"The place which is called Calvary."
                                                    --Luke 23:33

   The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of
consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of
heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock--riven by the
spear which pierced His side. No scene in sacred history ever
gladdens the soul like Calvary's tragedy.

        "Is it not strange, the darkest hour
        That ever dawned on sinful earth,
        Should touch the heart with softer power,
        For comfort, than an angel's mirth?
        That to the Cross the mourner's eye should turn,
        Sooner than where the stars of Bethlehem burn?"

Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every
herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once
accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace hath dug a
fountain which ever gusheth with waters pure as crystal, each
drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have
had your seasons of conflict, will confess that it was not at
Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai,
nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha have been a
means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have
often taken away the bitters of your life; the scourge of
Gabbatha has often scourged away your cares, and the groans of
Calvary yields us comfort rare and rich. We never should have
known Christ's love in all its heights and depths if He had not
died; nor could we guess the Father's deep affection if He had
not given His Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing
of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears,
whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to
hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings,
but at the transactions of the crucifixion. He who would know
love, let him retire to Calvary and see the Man of sorrows die.

* 04/11/AM

"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint."
                                                   --Psalm 22:14

   Did earth or heaven ever behold a sadder spectacle of woe! In
soul and body, our Lord felt Himself to be weak as water poured
upon the ground. The placing of the cross in its socket had
shaken Him with great violence, had strained all the ligaments,
pained every nerve, and more or less dislocated all His bones.
Burdened with His own weight, the august sufferer felt the
strain increasing every moment of those six long hours. His
sense of faintness and general weakness were overpowering; while
to His own consciousness He became nothing but a mass of misery
and swooning sickness. When Daniel saw the great vision, he thus
describes his sensations, "There remained no strength in me, for
my vigour was turned into corruption, and I retained no
strength:" how much more faint must have been our greater
Prophet when He saw the dread vision of the wrath of God, and
felt it in His own soul! To us, sensations such as our Lord
endured would have been insupportable, and kind unconsciousness
would have come to our rescue; but in His case, He was wounded,
and _felt_ the sword; He drained the cup and _tasted_ every

         "O King of Grief! (a title strange, yet true
         To Thee of all kings only due)
         O King of Wounds! how shall I grieve for Thee,
         Who in all grief preventest me!"

As we kneel before our now ascended Saviour's throne, let us
remember well the way by which He prepared it as a throne of
grace for us; let us in spirit drink of His cup, that we may be
strengthened for our hour of heaviness whenever it may come. In
His natural body every member suffered, and so must it be in the
spiritual; but as out of all His griefs and woes His body came
forth uninjured to glory and power, even so shall His mystical
body come through the furnace with not so much as the smell of
fire upon it.

* 04/12/AM

"My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."
                                                   --Psalm 22:14

   Our blessed Lord experienced a terrible sinking and melting 
of soul. "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a
wounded spirit who can bear?" Deep depression of spirit is the
most grievous of all trials; all besides is as nothing. Well
might the suffering Saviour cry to His God, "Be not far from
me," for above all other seasons a man needs his God when his
heart is melted within him because of heaviness. Believer, come
near the cross this morning, and humbly adore the King of glory
as having once been brought far lower, in mental distress and
inward anguish, than any one among us; and mark His fitness to
become a faithful High Priest, who can be touched with a feeling
of our infirmities. Especially let those of us whose sadness
springs directly from the withdrawal of a present sense of our
Father's love, enter into near and intimate communion with
Jesus. Let us not give way to despair, since through this dark
room the Master has passed before us. Our souls may sometimes
long and faint, and thirst even to anguish, to behold the light
of the Lord's countenance: at such times let us stay ourselves
with the sweet fact of the sympathy of our great High Priest.
Our drops of sorrow may well be forgotten in the ocean of His
griefs; but how high ought our love to rise! Come in, O strong
and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring
tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my
cares, lift up my earth-bound soul, and float it right up to my
Lord's feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed
up by His love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to
whisper to Him that if He will put His ear to me, He will hear
within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of His own love
which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at His
feet for ever.

* 04/13/AM

"A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me."
                                          --Song of Solomon 1:13

   Myrrh may well be chosen as the type of Jesus on account of 
its _preciousness_, its _perfume_, its _pleasantness_, _its
healing, preserving, disinfecting qualities, and its connection
with sacrifice_. But why is He compared to "a _bundle_ of
myrrh"? First, for plenty. He is not a drop of it, He is a
casket full. He is not a sprig or flower of it, but a whole
bundle. There is enough in Christ for all my necessities; let me
not be slow to avail myself of Him. Our well-beloved is compared
to a "bundle" again, for _variety_: for there is in Christ not
only the one thing needful, but in "Him dwelleth all the fulness
of the Godhead bodily," everything needful is in Him. Take Jesus
in His different characters, and you will see a marvellous
variety--Prophet, Priest, King, Husband, Friend, Shepherd.
Consider Him in His life, death, resurrection, ascension, second
advent; view Him in His virtue, gentleness, courage,
self-denial, love, faithfulness, truth, righteousness--
everywhere He is a bundle of preciousness. He is a "bundle of
myrrh" for _preservation_--not loose myrrh tied up, myrrh to be
stored in a casket. We must value Him as our best treasure; we
must prize His words and His ordinances; and we must keep our
thoughts of Him and knowledge of Him as under lock and key, lest
the devil should steal anything from us. Moreover, Jesus is a
"bundle of myrrh" _for speciality_. The emblem suggests the idea
of distinguishing, discriminating grace. From before the
foundation of the world, He was set apart for His people; and He
gives forth His perfume only to those who understand how to
enter into communion with Him, to have close dealings with Him.
Oh! blessed people whom the Lord hath admitted into His secrets,
and for whom He sets Himself apart. Oh! choice and happy who
are thus made to say, "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto

* 04/14/AM

"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip,
they shake the head."
                                                    --Psalm 22:7

   Mockery was a great ingredient in our Lord's woe. Judas 
mocked Him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed
Him to scorn; Herod set Him at nought; the servants and the
soldiers jeered at Him, and brutally insulted Him; Pilate and
his guards ridiculed His royalty; and on the tree all sorts of
horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at Him. Ridicule is
always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so
heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the
Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal
guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their
heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor
suffering victim! Surely there must have been something more in
the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great and
mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured Him with such
contempt. Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its
greatest apparent triumph, that after all it could do no more
than mock at that victorious goodness which was then reigning on
the cross? O Jesus, "despised and rejected of men," how couldst
Thou die for men who treated Thee so ill? Herein is love
amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have
despised Thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since
our new birth we have set the world on high in our hearts, and
yet Thou bleedest to heal our wounds, and diest to give us life.
O that we could set Thee on a glorious high throne in all men's
hearts! We would ring out Thy praises over land and sea till men
should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject.

       Thy creatures wrong Thee, O Thou sovereign Good!
       _Thou art not loved, because not understood_:
       This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
       Ungrateful men, regardless of Thy smile.

* 04/15/AM

"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
                                                    --Psalm 22:1

   We here behold the Saviour in the depth of His sorrows. No 
other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and
no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as that in which
His cry rends the air--"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken
me?" At this moment physical weakness was united with acute
mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which He had
to pass; and to make His grief culminate with emphasis, He
suffered spiritual agony surpassing all expression, resulting
from the departure of His Father's presence. This was the black
midnight of His horror; then it was that He descended the abyss
of suffering. No man can enter into the full meaning of these
words. Some of us think at times that _we_ could cry, "My God,
my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the
brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and
darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake
us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case
it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our
Father's love; but the real turning away of God's face from His
Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused Him?

   In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in His 
case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had
really turned away from Him for a season. O thou poor,
distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God's face,
but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really
forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He
shines forth in all the lustre of His grace; but since even the
_thought_ that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the
woe of the Saviour have been when He exclaimed, "My God, my God,
why hast Thou forsaken me?"

* 04/16/AM

"The precious blood of Christ."
                                                  --1 Peter 1:19

   Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, 
and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It
is "precious" because of its _redeeming_ and _atoning efficacy_.
By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are
redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made
one with Him. Christ's blood is also "precious" in its
_cleansing power_; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through
Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no
wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which
makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and
permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding
the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The
blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its _preserving
power_. We are safe from the destroying angel under the
sprinkled blood. Remember it is _God's seeing_ the blood which
is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us
when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same.
The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its _sanctifying
influence_. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin,
does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it
onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God.
There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams
from the veins of Jesus. And "precious," unspeakably precious,
is this blood, because it has an _overcoming power_. It is
written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How
could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood
of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The
blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be
death: heaven's gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall
march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its

* 04/17/AM

"We are come to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better
things than that of Abel."
                                                 --Hebrews 12:24

   Reader, have _you_ come to the blood of sprinkling? The 
question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of
doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form
of experience, but _have you come to the blood of Jesus_? The
blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness. If you have
truly come to Jesus, we know how you came--the Holy Spirit
sweetly brought you there. You came to the blood of sprinkling
with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came
to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting
hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an
aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to
hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! The dropping of His blood
is as the music of heaven to the penitent sons of earth. We are
full of sin, but the Saviour bids us lift our eyes to Him, and
as we gaze upon His streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it
falls, cries, "It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have
brought in everlasting righteousness." Oh! sweet language of
the precious blood of Jesus! If you have come to that blood
once, you will come to it constantly. Your life will be "Looking
unto Jesus." Your whole conduct will be epitomized in this--"To
whom coming." Not to whom I _have_ come, but to whom I am
_always coming_. If thou hast ever come to the blood of
sprinkling, thou wilt feel thy need of coming to it every day.
He who does not desire to wash in it _every day_, has never
washed in it at all. The believer ever feels it to be his joy
and privilege that there is still a fountain opened. Past
experiences are doubtful food for Christians; a present coming
to Christ alone can give us joy and comfort. This morning let us
sprinkle our door-post fresh with blood, and then feast upon the
Lamb, assured that the destroying angel must pass us by.

* 04/18/AM

"She bound the scarlet line in the window."
                                                   --Joshua 2:21

   Rahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the 
spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of
Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient.
To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in
itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my
soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been
attentive to all thy Lord's will, even though some of His
commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his
own way the two ordinances of believers' baptism and the Lord's
Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy
heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying
of a thread, if that be matter of command.

   This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have
I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I
tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my window, so
that my trust can never be removed? Or can I look out towards
the Dead Sea of my sins, or the Jerusalem of my hopes, without
seeing the blood, and seeing all things in connection with its
blessed power? The passer-by can see a cord of so conspicuous a
colour, if it hangs from the window: it will be well for me if
my life makes the efficacy of the atonement conspicuous to all
onlookers. What is there to be ashamed of? Let men or devils
gaze if they will, the blood is my boast and my song. My soul,
there is One who will see that scarlet line, even when from
weakness of faith thou canst not see it thyself; Jehovah, the
Avenger, will see it and pass over thee. Jericho's walls fell
flat: Rahab's house was on the wall, and yet it stood unmoved;
my nature is built into the wall of humanity, and yet when
destruction smites the race, I shall be secure. My soul, tie the
scarlet thread in the window afresh, and rest in peace.

* 04/19/AM

"Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top
to the bottom."
                                                 --Matthew 27:51

   No mean miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and 
thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of
power--many lessons were herein taught us. _The old law of
ordinances_ was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and
laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished,
because all fulfilled in Him, and therefore the place of their
presentation was marked with an evident token of decay. That
rent also _revealed all the hidden things of the old
dispensation_: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory
of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we
have a clear revelation of God, for He was "not as Moses, who
put a veil over his face." Life and immortality are now brought
to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation
of the world are manifest in Him. _The annual ceremony of
atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood_ which was once
every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for
all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the
symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs
is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his
own blood. Hence _access to God is now permitted_, and is the
privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. There is no small
space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but
the rent reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with
boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace. Shall we err if we
say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvellous
manner by our Lord's expiring cry was _the type of the opening
of the gates of paradise_ to all the saints by virtue of the
Passion? Our bleeding Lord hath the key of heaven; He openeth
and no man shutteth; let us enter in with Him into the heavenly
places, and sit with Him there till our common enemies shall be
made His footstool.

* 04/20/AM

"That through death He might destroy him that had the power of
                                                  --Hebrews 2:14

   O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the 
devil's power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying.
Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge
and a firm belief of thy Redeemer's death, thou mayst be
strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of
Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it
when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the
Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no
longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to
the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The
distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints
on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from
home--a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul
is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many
wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in
the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the
waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen
to the answer, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord."
Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It
did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old,
upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said,
"Peace, be still," and _immediately_ it came to land. Think not
that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and
the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in
heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then,
O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing
that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are
destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob's ladder whose foot is in
the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.

* 04/21/AM

"I know that my Redeemer liveth."
                                                     --Job 19:25

   The marrow of Job's comfort lies in that little word 
"My"--"My Redeemer," and in the fact that the Redeemer lives.
Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in
Him before we can enjoy Him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men
are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is
gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by
purchasing the bread I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem
_me_, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what
avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can say
"Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine." It may
be you hold Him with a feeble hand; you half think it
presumption to say, "He lives as _my_ Redeemer;" yet, remember
if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little
faith _entitles_ you to say it. But there is also another word
here, expressive of Job's strong confidence, "_I know_." To say,
"I hope so, I trust so" is comfortable; and there are thousands
in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to
reach the essence of consolation you must say, "I know." Ifs,
buts, and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort.
Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they
sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine,
then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I
know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even
the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before
the coming and advent of Christ, could say, "I know," _we_
should not speak less positively. God forbid that our
positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our
evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and
then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is
from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living
Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.

* 04/22/AM

"Him hath God exalted."
                                                     --Acts 5:31

   Jesus, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits 
upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords
is His by undisputed right. It is sweet to remember that the
exaltation of Christ in heaven is a _representative exaltation_.
He is exalted at the Father's right hand, and though as Jehovah
He had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share,
yet as the Mediator, the honours which Jesus wears in heaven are
the heritage of all the saints. It is delightful to reflect how
close is Christ's union with His people. We are actually one
with Him; we are members of His body; and His exaltation is our
exaltation. He will give us to sit upon His throne, even as He
has overcome, and is set down with His Father on His throne; He
has a crown, and He gives us crowns too; He has a throne, but He
is not content with having a throne to Himself, on His right
hand there must be His queen, arrayed in "gold of Ophir." He
cannot be glorified without His bride. Look up, believer, to
Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold Him with many crowns
upon His head; and remember that you will one day be like Him,
when you shall see Him as He is; you shall not be so great as He
is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a
measure, share the same honours, and enjoy the same happiness
and the same dignity which He possesses. Be content to live
unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through
the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for
by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for He has "made us kings
and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever."
Oh!, wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ
for our glorious representative in heaven's _courts_ now, and
soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him
there, to behold His glory, and to share His joy.

* 04/23/AM

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
Him that loved us."
                                                   --Romans 8:37

   We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to 
the law for power to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, "O
foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not
obey the truth? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the
Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? are
ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made
perfect by the flesh?" Take your sins to Christ's cross, for the
old man can only be crucified there: we are crucified _with
Him_. The only weapon to fight sin with is the spear which
pierced the side of Jesus. To give an illustration--you want to
overcome an angry temper, how do you go to work? It is very
possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus
with it. How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was,
and I trusted Him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the
same way? It is the only way in which I can ever kill it. I must
go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, "Lord, I trust Thee
to deliver me from it." This is the only way to give it a
death-blow. Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle
you? You may struggle against this evil so long as you please,
but if it be your besetting sin, you will never be delivered
from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus. Take it to Christ.
Tell Him, "Lord, I have trusted Thee, and Thy name is Jesus, for
Thou dost save Thy people from their sins; Lord, this is one of
my sins; save me from it!" Ordinances are nothing without Christ
as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances,
and your tears--the whole of them put together--are worth
nothing apart from Him. "None but Jesus can do helpless sinners
good;" or helpless saints either. You must be conquerors through
Him who hath loved you, if conquerors at all. Our laurels must
grow among His olives in Gethsemane.

* 04/24/AM

"And because of all this we make a sure covenant."
                                                 --Nehemiah 9:38

   There are many occasions in our experience when we may very 
rightly, and with benefit, renew our covenant with God. After
_recovery from sickness_ when, like Hezekiah, we have had a new
term of years added to our life, we may fitly do it. After any
_deliverance from trouble_, when our joys bud forth anew, let us
again visit the foot of the cross, and renew our consecration.
Especially, let us do this after any _sin which has grieved the
Holy Spirit_, or brought dishonour upon the cause of God; let us
then look to that blood which can make us whiter than snow, and
again offer ourselves unto the Lord. We should not only let our
troubles confirm our dedication to God, but _our prosperity_
should do the same. If we ever meet with occasions which deserve
to be called "crowning mercies" then, surely, if He hath crowned
us, we ought also to crown our God; let us bring forth anew all
the jewels of the divine regalia which have been stored in the
jewel-closet of our heart, and let our God sit upon the throne
of our love, arrayed in royal apparel. If we would learn to
profit by our prosperity, we should not need so much adversity.
If we would gather from a kiss all the good it might confer upon
us, we should not so often smart under the rod. Have we lately
received some blessing which we little expected? Has the Lord
put our feet in a large room? Can we sing of mercies multiplied?
Then this is the day to put our hand upon the horns of the
altar, and say, "Bind me here, my God; bind me here with cords,
even for ever." Inasmuch as we need the fulfillment of new
promises from God, let us offer renewed prayers that our old
vows may not be dishonoured. Let us this morning make with Him
a sure covenant, because of the pains of Jesus which for the
last month we have been considering with gratitude.

* 04/25/AM

"Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away."
                                          --Song of Solomon 2:10

   Lo, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to _me_! Fair 
weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He would not
have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking
from her winter's rest. He bids me "Rise up," and well He may,
for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness.
He is risen, I am risen in Him, why then should I cleave unto
the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations,
I would rise towards Him. He calls me by the sweet title of "My
love," and counts me fair; this is a good argument for my
rising. If He has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus comely,
how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial
associates among the sons of men? He bids me "Come away."
Further and further from everything selfish, grovelling,
worldly, sinful, He calls me; yea, from the outwardly religious
world which knows Him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery
of the higher life, He calls me. "Come away" has no harsh sound
in it to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness
of vanity and sin? O my Lord, would that I could come away, but
I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I
would. I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor
ears, nor heart for sin. Thou callest me to Thyself by saying
"Come away," and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to
Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the
raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the
goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes. But Lord, how
can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the
horrible pit? O raise me, draw me. Thy grace can do it. Send
forth Thy Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my
heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time
behind me, and indeed come away.

* 04/26/AM

"This do in remembrance of Me."
                                           --1 Corinthians 11:24

   It seems then, that Christians may forget Christ! There could 
be no need for this loving exhortation, if there were not a
fearful supposition that our memories might prove treacherous.
Nor is this a bare supposition: it is, alas! too well confirmed
in our experience, not as a possibility, but as a lamentable
fact. It appears almost impossible that those who have been
redeemed by the blood of the dying Lamb, and loved with an
everlasting love by the eternal Son of God, should forget that
gracious Saviour; but, if startling to the ear, it is, alas! too
apparent to the eye to allow us to deny the crime. Forget Him
who never forgot us! Forget Him who poured His blood forth for
our sins! Forget Him who loved us even to the death! Can it be
possible? Yes, it is not only possible, but conscience confesses
that it is too sadly a fault with all of us, that we suffer Him
to be as a wayfaring man tarrying but for a night. He whom we
should make the abiding tenant of our memories is but a visitor
therein. The cross where one would think that memory would
linger, and unmindfulness would be an unknown intruder, is
desecrated by the feet of forgetfulness. Does not your
conscience say that this is true? Do you not find yourselves
forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and
you are unmindful of Him upon whom your affection ought to be
set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you
should fix your eye steadily upon the cross. It is the incessant
turmoil of the world, the constant attraction of earthly things
which takes away the soul from Christ. While memory too well
preserves a poisonous weed, it suffereth the rose of Sharon to
wither. Let us charge ourselves to bind a heavenly forget-me-not
about our hearts for Jesus our Beloved, and, whatever else we
let slip, let us hold fast to Him.

* 04/27/AM

"God, even our own God."
                                                    --Psalm 67:6

   It is strange how little use we make of the spiritual 
blessings which God gives us, but it is stranger still how
little use we make of God Himself. Though He is "our own God,"
we apply ourselves but little to Him, and ask but little of Him.
How seldom do we ask counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often
do we go about our business, without seeking His guidance! In
our troubles how constantly do we strive to bear our burdens
ourselves, instead of casting them upon the Lord, that He may
sustain us! This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems
to say, "I am thine, soul, come and make use of me as thou wilt;
thou mayst freely come to my store, and the oftener the more
welcome." It is our own fault if we make not free with the
riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such a friend, and He
invites thee, draw from Him daily. Never want whilst thou hast a
God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to help
thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest--there
is all that thou canst want. Learn the divine skill of making
God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better
still, He can be to thee instead of all. Let me urge thee, then,
to make use of thy God. Make use of Him _in prayer_. Go to Him
often, because He is _thy_ God. O, wilt thou fail to use so
great a privilege? Fly to Him, tell Him all thy wants. Use Him
constantly _by faith_ at all times. If some dark providence has
beclouded thee, use thy God as a "sun;" if some strong enemy has
beset thee, find in Jehovah a "shield," for He is a sun and
shield to His people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of
life, use Him as a "guide," for He will direct thee. Whatever
thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just _what_
thou wantest, and just _where_ thou wantest, and that He can do
all thou wantest.

* 04/28/AM

"Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused
me to hope."
                                                  --Psalm 119:49

   Whatever your especial need may be, you may readily find some 
promise in the Bible suited to it. Are you faint and feeble
because your way is rough and you are weary? Here is the
promise--"He giveth power to the faint." When you read such a
promise, take it back to the great Promiser, and ask Him to
fulfil His own word. Are you seeking after Christ, and thirsting
for closer communion with Him? This promise shines like a star
upon you--"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after
righteousness, for they shall be filled." Take that promise to
the throne continually; do not plead anything else, but go to
God over and over again with this--"Lord, Thou hast said it, do
as Thou hast said." Are you distressed because of sin, and
burdened with the heavy load of your iniquities? Listen to
these words--"I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy
transgressions, and will no more remember thy sins." You have no
merit of your own to plead why He should pardon you, but plead
His written engagements and He will perform them. Are you afraid
lest you should not be able to hold on to the end, lest, after
having thought yourself a child of God, you should prove a
castaway? If that is your state, take this word of grace to the
throne and plead it: "The mountains may depart, and the hills
may be removed, but the covenant of My love shall not depart
from thee." If you have lost the sweet sense of the Saviour's
presence, and are seeking Him with a sorrowful heart, remember
the promises: "Return unto Me, and I will return unto you;" "For
a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will
I gather thee." Banquet your faith upon God's own word, and
whatever your fears or wants, repair to the Bank of Faith with
your Father's note of hand, saying, "Remember the word unto Thy
servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope."

* 04/29/AM

"Thou art my hope in the day of evil."
                                                --Jeremiah 17:17

   The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; 
he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written
in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her
paths are peace;" and it is a great truth, that religion is
calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above;
but experience tells us that if the course of the just be "As
the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect
day," yet sometimes _that_ light is eclipsed. At certain periods
clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and
sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence
of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the
earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along
the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters," but
suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the
Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place
of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their
taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this
would not happen." Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in
darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood; the
dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has
enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his
harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a
smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He
tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are
stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper
and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need
winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten
bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ.
The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

* 04/30/AM

"And all the children of Israel murmured."
                                                  --Numbers 14:2

   There are murmurers amongst Christians now, as there were in 
the camp of Israel of old. There are those who, when the rod
falls, cry out against the afflictive dispensation. They ask,
"Why am I thus afflicted? What have I done to be chastened in
this manner?" A word with thee, O murmurer! Why shouldst thou
murmur against the dispensations of thy heavenly Father? Can He
treat thee more hardly than thou deservest? Consider what a
rebel thou wast once, but He has pardoned thee! Surely, if He
in His wisdom sees fit now to chasten thee, thou shouldst not
complain. After all, art thou smitten as hardly as thy sins
deserve? Consider the corruption which is in thy breast, and
then wilt thou wonder that there needs so much of the rod to
fetch it out? Weigh thyself, and discern how much dross is
mingled with thy gold; and dost thou think the fire too hot to
purge away so much dross as thou hast? Does not that proud
rebellious spirit of thine prove that thy heart is not
thoroughly sanctified? Are not those murmuring words contrary to
the holy submissive nature of God's children? Is not the
correction needed? But if thou _wilt_ murmur against the
chastening, take heed, for it will go hard with murmurers. God
always chastises His children twice, if they do not bear the
first stroke patiently. But know one thing--"He doth not
afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." All His
corrections are sent in love, to purify thee, and to draw thee
nearer to Himself. Surely it must help thee to bear the
chastening with resignation if thou art able to recognize thy
_Father's_ hand. For "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening,
God dealeth with you as with sons." "Murmur not as some of them
also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer."

This document (last modified September 30, 1995) from Believerscafe.com