April PM

* 04/01/PM

"It is time to seek the Lord."
                                                   --Hosea 10:12

   This month of April is said to derive its name from the 
Latin verb _aperio_, which signifies _to open_, because all the
buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the
gates of the flowery year. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may
your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature,
be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns
you that _it is time to seek the Lord_; be not out of tune with
nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. Do
you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins?
then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord. It was my
unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could
fain praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless,
let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a
double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish
ere you reach your prime, "_It is time to seek the Lord_." Ye
who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that
hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must
not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord.
Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious
tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing
nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse you
to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now
advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no
longer. There is a day of grace for you now--be thankful for
that, but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time
that clock ticks. Here in this silent chamber, on this first
night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper
and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God's servant, I lay
before you this warning, "_It is time to seek the Lord_."
Slight not that work, it may be your last call from
destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.

* 04/02/PM

"He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and the
pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand."
                                                  --Isaiah 53:10

   Plead for the speedy fulfillment of this promise, all ye who 
love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and
bottomed, as to our desires, upon God's own promise. How can He
that gave the word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot
demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade
itself by neglect. God must bless His Son, His covenant binds
Him to it. That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is
that which God decrees to give Him. Whenever you are praying
for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of
the blessed day which draweth near, when the Crucified shall
receive His coronation in the place where men rejected Him.
Courage, you that prayerfully work and toil for Christ with
success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always;
better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful
future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of
your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the
coming glory. Reader, let us ask, _do you_ make this your
constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to
say, "Give us this day our daily bread," had first given us this
petition, "Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be
done in earth as it is in heaven." Let not your prayers be all
concerning your own sins, your own wants, your own
imperfections, your own trials, but let them climb the starry
ladder, and get up to Christ Himself, and then, as you draw nigh
to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer
continually, "Lord, extend the kingdom of Thy dear Son." Such a
petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all
your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer
by labouring to promote the Lord's glory.

* 04/03/PM

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to
his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us
                                                   --Isaiah 53:6

   Here a confession of sin _common_ to all the elect people of
God. They have all fallen, and therefore, in common chorus, they
all say, from the first who entered heaven to the last who shall
enter there, "All we like sheep have gone astray." The
confession, while thus unanimous, is also _special_ and
particular: "We have turned every one to his own way." There is
a peculiar sinfulness about every one of the individuals; all
are sinful, but each one with some special aggravation not found
in his fellow. It is the mark of genuine repentance that while
it naturally associates itself with other penitents, it also
takes up a position of loneliness. "We have turned every one to
his own way," is a confession that each man had sinned against
light peculiar to himself, or sinned with an aggravation which
he could not perceive in others. This confession is
_unreserved_; there is not a word to detract from its force, nor
a syllable by way of excuse. The confession is _a giving up of
all pleas of self-righteousness_. It is the declaration of men
who are consciously guilty--guilty with aggravations, guilty
without excuse: they stand with their weapons of rebellion
broken in pieces, and cry, "All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way." Yet we hear no
dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next
sentence makes it almost a song. "The Lord hath laid on Him the
iniquity of us all." It is the most grievous sentence of the
three, but it overflows with comfort. Strange is it that where
misery was concentrated mercy reigned; where sorrow reached her
climax weary souls find rest. The Saviour bruised is the healing
of bruised hearts. See how the lowliest penitence gives place
to assured confidence through simply gazing at Christ on the

* 04/04/PM

"Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord."
                                                    --Isaiah 2:3

   It is exceedingly beneficial to our souls to mount above this 
present evil world to something nobler and better. The cares of
this world and the deceitfulness of riches are apt to choke
everything good within us, and we grow fretful, desponding,
perhaps proud and carnal. It is well for us to cut down these
thorns and briers, for heavenly seed sown among them is not
likely to yield a harvest; and where shall we find a better
sickle with which to cut them down than communion with God and
the things of the kingdom? In the valleys of Switzerland many of
the inhabitants are deformed, and all wear a sickly appearance,
for the atmosphere is charged with miasma, and is close and
stagnant; but up yonder, on the mountain, you find a hardy race,
who breathe the clear fresh air as it blows from the virgin
snows of the Alpine summits. It would be well if the dwellers in
the valley could frequently leave their abodes among the marshes
and the fever mists, and inhale the bracing element upon the
hills. It is to such an exploit of climbing that I invite you
this evening. May the Spirit of God assist us to leave the mists
of fear and the fevers of anxiety, and all the ills which gather
in this valley of earth, and to ascend the mountains of
anticipated joy and blessedness. May God the Holy Spirit cut the
cords that keep us here below, and assist us to mount! We sit
too often like chained eagles fastened to the rock, only that,
unlike the eagle, we begin to love our chain, and would,
perhaps, if it came really to the test, be loath to have it
snapped. May God now grant us grace, if we cannot escape from
the chain as to our flesh, yet to do so as to our spirits; and
leaving the body, like a servant, at the foot of the hill, may
our soul, like Abraham, attain the top of the mountain, there to
indulge in communion with the Most High.

* 04/05/PM

"Before honour is humility."
                                                --Proverbs 15:33

   Humiliation of soul always _brings a positive blessing with 
it_. If we empty our hearts of self God will fill them with His
love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember
the word of the Lord, "To this man will I look, even to him that
is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word."
Stoop if you would climb to heaven. Do we not say of Jesus, "He
descended that He might ascend"? so must you. You must grow
downwards, that you may grow upwards; for the sweetest
fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them
alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven," with all its riches and treasures. The whole exchequer
of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which is
humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud
because of it. God blesses us all up to the full measure and
extremity of what it is safe for Him to do. If you do not get a
blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If
our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a
victory in His holy war, you would pilfer the crown for
yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a
victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety. When a man
is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a
grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God
will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the
God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our
fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any
garden. This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of
life, and you will find an improvement in every case. Whether it
be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering, the
genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess.

* 04/06/PM

"In the name of the Lord I will destroy them."
                                                  --Psalm 118:12

   Our Lord Jesus, by His death, did not purchase a right to a 
part of us only, but to the entire man. He contemplated in His
passion the sanctification of us wholly, spirit, soul, and body;
that in this triple kingdom He Himself might reign supreme
without a rival. It is the business of the newborn nature which
God has given to the regenerate to assert the rights of the Lord
Jesus Christ. My soul, so far as thou art a child of God, thou
must conquer all the rest of thyself which yet remains unblest;
thou must subdue all thy powers and passions to the silver
sceptre of Jesus' gracious reign, and thou must never be
satisfied till He who is King by purchase becomes also King by
gracious coronation, and reigns in thee supreme. Seeing, then,
that sin has no right to any part of us, we go about a good and
lawful warfare when we seek, in the name of God, to drive it
out. O my body, thou art a member of Christ: shall I tolerate
thy subjection to the prince of darkness? O my soul, Christ has
suffered for thy sins, and redeemed thee with His most precious
blood: shall I suffer thy memory to become a storehouse of evil,
or thy passions to be firebrands of iniquity? Shall I surrender
my judgment to be perverted by error, or my will to be led in
fetters of iniquity? No, my soul, thou art Christ's, and sin
hath no right to thee.

   Be courageous concerning this, O Christian! be not
dispirited, as though your spiritual enemies could never be
destroyed. You are able to overcome them--not in your own
strength--the weakest of them would be too much for you in that;
but you can and shall overcome them through the blood of the
Lamb. Do not ask, "How shall I dispossess them, for they are
greater and mightier than I?" but go to the strong for strength,
wait humbly upon God, and the mighty God of Jacob will surely
come to the rescue, and you shall sing of victory through His

* 04/07/PM

"Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my
salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of Thy righteousness."
                                                   --Psalm 51:14

   In this SOLEMN CONFESSION, it is pleasing to observe that 
David plainly names his sin. He does not call it manslaughter,
nor speak of it as an imprudence by which an unfortunate
accident occurred to a worthy man, but he calls it by its true
name, bloodguiltiness. He did not actually kill the husband of
Bathsheba; but still it was planned in David's heart that Uriah
should be slain, and he was before the Lord his murderer. Learn
in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to
foul sins; call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter.
What God sees them to be, that do you labour to feel them to be;
and with all openness of heart acknowledge their real character.
Observe, that David was evidently oppressed with the heinousness
of his sin. It is easy to use words, but it is difficult to feel
their meaning. The fifty-first Psalm is the photograph of a
contrite spirit. Let us seek after the like brokenness of heart;
for however excellent our words may be, if our heart is not
conscious of the hell-deservingness of sin, we cannot expect to
find forgiveness.

   Our text has in it AN EARNEST PRAYER--it is addressed to the 
God of _salvation_. It is His prerogative to forgive; it is His
very name and office to save those who seek His face. Better
still, the text calls Him the God of _my_ salvation. Yes,
blessed be His name, while I am yet going to Him through Jesus'
blood, I can rejoice in the God of _my_ salvation.

   The psalmist ends with A COMMENDABLE VOW: if God will deliver 
him he will sing--nay, more, he will "_sing aloud_." Who can
sing in any other style of such a mercy as this! But note the
subject of the song--"THY RIGHTEOUSNESS." We must sing of the
finished work of a precious Saviour; and he who knows most of
forgiving love will sing the loudest.

* 04/08/PM

"I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me."
                                                    --Psalm 23:4

   Behold, how independent of outward circumstances the Holy 
Ghost can make the Christian! What a bright light may shine
within us when it is all dark without! How firm, how happy, how
calm, how peaceful we may be, when the world shakes to and fro,
and the pillars of the earth are removed! Even death itself,
with all its terrible influences, has no power to suspend the
music of a Christian's heart, but rather makes that music become
more sweet, more clear, more heavenly, till the last kind act
which death can do is to let the earthly strain melt into the
heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal bliss! Let us
have confidence, then, in the blessed Spirit's power to comfort
us. Dear reader, are you looking forward to poverty? Fear not;
the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty
than the rich have in their abundance. You know not what joys
may be stored up for you in the cottage around which grace will
plant the roses of content. Are you conscious of a growing
failure of your bodily powers? Do you expect to suffer long
nights of languishing and days of pain? O be not sad! That bed
may become a throne to you. You little know how every pang that
shoots through your body may be a refining fire to consume your
dross--a beam of glory to light up the secret parts of your
soul. Are the eyes growing dim? Jesus will be your light. Do the
ears fail you? Jesus' name will be your soul's best music, and
His person your dear delight. Socrates used to say,
"Philosophers can be happy without music;" and Christians can be
happier than philosophers when all outward causes of rejoicing
are withdrawn. In Thee, my God, my heart shall triumph, come
what may of ills without! By thy power, O blessed Spirit, my
heart shall be exceeding glad, though all things should fail me
here below.

* 04/09/PM

"Thy gentleness hath made me great."
                                                   --Psalm 18:35

   The words are capable of being translated, "Thy _goodness_ 
hath made me great." David gratefully ascribed all his greatness
not to his own goodness, but the goodness of God. "Thy
_providence_," is another reading; and providence is nothing
more than goodness in action. Goodness is the bud of which
providence is the flower, or goodness is the seed of which
providence is the harvest. Some render it, "Thy _help_," which
is but another word for providence; providence being the firm
ally of the saints, aiding them in the service of their Lord. Or
again, "Thy _humility_ hath made me great." "Thy _condescension_"
may, perhaps, serve as a comprehensive reading, combining the
ideas mentioned, including that of _humility_. It is God's
making Himself little which is the cause of our being made
great. We are so little, that if God should manifest His
greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under His
feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see
what angels do, turns His eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly
and contrite, and makes them great. There are yet other
readings, as for instance, the Septuagint, which reads, "Thy
discipline"--Thy fatherly correction--"hath made me great;"
while the Chaldee paraphrase reads, "Thy word hath increased
me." Still the idea is the same. David ascribes all his own
greatness to the condescending goodness of his Father in heaven.
May this sentiment be echoed in our hearts this evening while we
cast our crowns at Jesus' feet, and cry, "Thy gentleness hath
made me great." How marvellous has been our experience of God's
gentleness! How gentle have been His corrections! How gentle
His forbearance! How gentle His teachings! How gentle His
drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be
awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened ere
thou fallest asleep to-night.

* 04/10/PM

"For there stood by me this night the angel of God."
                                                    --Acts 27:23

   Tempest and long darkness, coupled with imminent risk of
shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sad case;
one man alone among them remained perfectly calm, and by his
word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had
heart enough to say, "Sirs, be of good cheer." There were
veteran Roman legionaries on board, and brave old mariners, and
yet their poor Jewish prisoner had more spirit than they all. He
had a secret Friend who kept his courage up. The Lord Jesus
despatched a heavenly messenger to whisper words of consolation
in the ear of His faithful servant, therefore he wore a shining
countenance and spake like a man at ease.

   If we fear the Lord, we may look for timely interpositions 
when our case is at its worst. Angels are not kept from us by
storms, or hindered by darkness. Seraphs think it no humiliation
to visit the poorest of the heavenly family. If angel's visits
are few and far between at ordinary times, they shall be
frequent in our nights of tempest and tossing. Friends may drop
from us when we are under pressure, but our intercourse with the
inhabitants of the angelic world shall be more abundant; and in
the strength of love-words, brought to us from the throne by the
way of Jacob's ladder, we shall be strong to do exploits. Dear
reader, is this an hour of distress with you? then ask for
peculiar help. Jesus is the angel of the covenant, and if His
presence be now earnestly sought, it will not be denied. What
that presence brings in heart-cheer those remember who, like
Paul, have had the angel of God standing by them in a night of
storm, when anchors would no longer hold, and rocks were nigh.

           "O angel of my God, be near,
           Amid the darkness hush my fear;
           Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,
           Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me."

* 04/11/PM

"Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my
                                                   --Psalm 25:18

   It is well for us when prayers about our sorrows are linked
with pleas concerning our sins--when, being under God's hand, we
are not wholly taken up with our pain, but remember our offences
against God. It is well, also, to take both sorrow and sin to
the same place. It was to God that David carried his sorrow: it
was to God that David confessed his sin. Observe, then, _we must
take our sorrows to God_. Even your little sorrows you may roll
upon God, for He counteth the hairs of your head; and your great
sorrows you may commit to Him, for He holdeth the ocean in the
hollow of His hand. Go to Him, whatever your present trouble may
be, and you shall find Him able and willing to relieve you. _But
we must take our sins to God too_. We must carry them to the
cross, that the blood may fall upon them, to purge away their
guilt, and to destroy their defiling power.

   The special lesson of the text is this:--that _we are to go 
to the Lord with sorrows and with sins in the right spirit_.
Note that all David asks concerning his sorrow is, "_Look upon_
mine affliction and my pain;" but the next petition is vastly
more express, definite, decided, plain--"_Forgive_ all my sins"
Many sufferers would have put it, "Remove my affliction and my
pain, and look at my sins." But David does not say so; he cries,
"Lord, as for my affliction and my pain, I will not dictate to
Thy wisdom. Lord, look at them, I will leave them to Thee, I
should be glad to have my pain removed, but do as Thou wilt; but
as for my sins, Lord, I know what I want with them; I must have
them forgiven; I cannot endure to lie under their curse for a
moment." A Christian counts sorrow lighter in the scale than
sin; he can bear that his troubles should continue, but he
cannot support the burden of his transgressions.

* 04/12/PM

"The king's garden."
                                                 --Nehemiah 3:15

   Mention of the king's garden by Nehemiah brings to mind the
_paradise_ which the King of kings prepared for Adam. Sin has
utterly ruined that fair abode of all delights, and driven forth
the children of men to till the ground, which yields thorns and
briers unto them. My soul, remember the fall, for it was _thy_
fall. Weep much because the Lord of love was so shamefully
ill-treated by the head of the human race, of which thou art a
member, as undeserving as any. Behold how dragons and demons
dwell on this fair earth, which once was a garden of delights.

   See yonder another King's garden, which the King waters with 
His bloody sweat--_Gethsemane_, whose bitter herbs are sweeter
far to renewed souls than even Eden's luscious fruits. There the
mischief of the serpent in the first garden was undone: there
the curse was lifted from earth, and borne by the woman's
promised seed. My soul, bethink thee much of the agony and the
passion; resort to the garden of the olive-press, and view thy
great Redeemer rescuing thee from thy lost estate. This is the
garden of gardens indeed, wherein the soul may see the guilt of
sin and the power of love, two sights which surpass all others.

   Is there no other King's garden? Yes, _my heart_, thou art, 
or shouldst be such. How do the flowers flourish? Do any choice
fruits appear? Does the King walk within, and rest in the bowers
of my spirit? Let me see that the plants are trimmed and
watered, and the mischievous foxes hunted out. Come, Lord, and
let the heavenly wind blow at Thy coming, that the spices of Thy
garden may flow abroad. Nor must I forget the King's garden of
_the church_. O Lord, send prosperity unto it. Rebuild her
walls, nourish her plants, ripen her fruits, and from the huge
wilderness, reclaim the barren waste, and make thereof "a King's

* 04/13/PM

"And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering;
and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him."
                                                 --Leviticus 1:4

   Our Lord's being made "sin for us" is set forth here by the 
very significant transfer of sin to the bullock, which was made
by the elders of the people. The laying of the hand was not a
mere touch of contact, for in some other places of Scripture the
original word has the meaning of leaning heavily, as in the
expression, "Thy wrath lieth hard upon me" (Psalm 88:7). Surely
this is the very essence and nature of faith, which doth not
only bring us into contact with the great Substitute, but
teaches us to lean upon Him with all the burden of our guilt.
Jehovah made to meet upon the head of the Substitute all the
offences of His covenant people, but each one of the chosen is
brought personally to ratify this solemn covenant act, when by
grace he is enabled by faith to lay his hand upon the head of
the "Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world."
Believer, do you remember that rapturous day when you first
realized pardon through Jesus the sin-bearer? Can you not make
glad confession, and join with the writer in saying, "My soul
recalls her day of deliverance with delight. Laden with guilt
and full of fears, I saw my Saviour as my Substitute, and I laid
my hand upon Him; oh! how timidly at first, but courage grew and
confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon
Him; and now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no
longer imputed to me, but laid on Him, and like the debts of the
wounded traveller, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of
all my future sinfulness, 'Set that to My account.'" Blessed
discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart!

            "My numerous sins transferr'd to Him,
            Shall never more be found,
            Lost in His blood's atoning stream,
            Where every crime is drown'd!"

* 04/14/PM

"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him."
                                                   --Isaiah 3:10

   It _is well with the righteous_ ALWAYS. If it had said, "Say 
ye to the righteous, that it is well with him in his
prosperity," we must have been thankful for so great a boon, for
prosperity is an hour of peril, and it is a gift from heaven to
be secured from its snares: or if it had been written, "It is
well with him when under persecution," we must have been
thankful for so sustaining an assurance, for persecution is hard
to bear; but when no time is mentioned, all time is included.
God's "shalls" must be understood always in their largest sense.
From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from the
first gathering of evening shadows until the day-star shines, in
all conditions and under all circumstances, it shall be well
with the righteous. It is so well with him that we could not
imagine it to be better, for he is _well fed_, he feeds upon the
flesh and blood of Jesus; he is _well clothed_, he wears the
imputed righteousness of Christ; he is _well housed_, he dwells
in God; he is _well married_, his soul is knit in bonds of
marriage union to Christ; he is _well provided for_, for the
Lord is his Shepherd; he is well endowed, for heaven is his
inheritance. It is well with the righteous--__well upon divine
authority_; the mouth of God speaks the comforting assurance. O
beloved, if God declares that all is well, ten thousand devils
may declare it to be ill, but we laugh them all to scorn.
Blessed be God for a faith which enables us to believe God when
the creatures contradict Him. It is, says the Word, at all times
well with thee, thou righteous one; then, beloved, if thou canst
not see it, let God's word stand thee in stead of sight; yea,
believe it on divine authority more confidently than if thine
eyes and thy feelings told it to thee. Whom God blesses is blest
indeed, and what His lip declares is truth most sure and

* 04/15/PM

"Lift them up for ever."
                                                    --Psalm 28:9

   _God's people need lifting up_. They are very heavy by 
nature. They have no wings, or, if they have, they are like the
dove of old which lay among the pots; and they need divine grace
to make them mount on wings covered with silver, and with
feathers of yellow gold. By nature sparks fly upward, but the
sinful souls of men fall downward. O Lord, "lift them up for
ever!" David himself said, "Unto Thee, O God, do I lift up my
soul," and he here feels the necessity that other men's souls
should be lifted up as well as his own. When you ask this
blessing for yourself, forget not to seek it for others also.
There are three ways in which God's people require to be lifted
up. _They require to be elevated in character_. Lift them up, O
Lord; do not suffer Thy people to be like the world's people!
The world lieth in the wicked one; lift them out of it! The
world's people are looking after silver and gold, seeking their
own pleasures, and the gratification of their lusts; but, Lord,
lift Thy people up above all this; keep them from being
"muck-rakers," as John Bunyan calls the man who was always
scraping after gold! Set thou their hearts upon their risen Lord
and the heavenly heritage! Moreover, _believers need to be
prospered in conflict_. In the battle, if they seem to fall, O
Lord, be pleased to give them the victory. If the foot of the
foe be upon their necks for a moment, help them to grasp the
sword of the Spirit, and eventually to win the battle. Lord,
lift up Thy children's spirits in the day of conflict; let them
not sit in the dust, mourning for ever. Suffer not the adversary
to vex them sore, and make them fret; but if they have been,
like Hannah, persecuted, let them sing of the mercy of a
delivering God.

   We may also ask our Lord to lift them up at the last! Lift 
them up by taking them home, lift their bodies from the tomb,
and raise their souls to Thine eternal kingdom in glory.

* 04/16/PM

"And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."
                                                  --Exodus 17:12

   So mighty was the prayer of Moses, that all depended upon it.
The petitions of Moses discomfited the enemy more than the
fighting of Joshua. Yet both were needed. No, in the soul's
conflict, force and fervour, decision and devotion, valour and
vehemence, must join their forces, and all will be well. You
must wrestle with your sin, but the major part of the wrestling
must be done alone in private with God. Prayer, like Moses',
holds up the token of the covenant before the Lord. The rod was
the emblem of God's working with Moses, the symbol of God's
government in Israel. Learn, O pleading saint, to hold up the
promise and the oath of God before Him. The Lord cannot deny His
own declarations. Hold up the rod of promise, and have what you

   Moses grew weary, and then his friends assisted him. When at 
any time your prayer flags, let faith support one hand, and let
holy hope uplift the other, and prayer seating itself upon the
stone of Israel, the rock of our salvation, will persevere and
prevail. Beware of faintness in devotion; if Moses felt it, who
can escape? It is far easier to fight with sin in public, than
to pray against it in private. It is remarked that Joshua never
grew weary in the fighting, but Moses did grow weary in the
praying; the more spiritual an exercise, the more difficult it
is for flesh and blood to maintain it. Let us cry, then, for
special strength, and may the Spirit of God, who helpeth our
infirmities, as He allowed help to Moses, enable us like him to
continue with our hands steady "_until the going down of the
sun_;" till the evening of life is over; till we shall come to
the rising of a better sun in the land where prayer is swallowed
up in praise.

* 04/17/PM

"We would see Jesus."
                                                    --John 12:21

   Evermore the worldling's cry is, Who will show us any good?" 
He seeks satisfaction in earthly comforts, enjoyments, and
riches. But the quickened sinner knows of only one good. "O
that I knew where I might find HIM!" When he is truly awakened
to feel his guilt, if you could pour the gold of India at his
feet, he would say, "Take it away: I want to find HIM." It is a
blessed thing for a man, when he has brought his desires into a
focus, so that they all centre in one object. When he has fifty
different desires, his heart resembles a mere of stagnant water,
spread out into a marsh, breeding miasma and pestilence; but
when all his desires are brought into one channel, his heart
becomes like a river of pure water, running swiftly to fertilize
the fields. Happy is he who hath one desire, if that one desire
be set on Christ, though it may not yet have been realized. If
Jesus be a soul's desire, it is a blessed sign of divine work
within. Such a man will never be content with mere ordinances.
He will say, "I want Christ; I _must_ have Him--mere ordinances
are of no use to me; I want _Himself_; do not offer me these;
you offer me the empty pitcher, while I am dying of thirst; give
me water, or I die. Jesus is my soul's desire. I would see

   Is this thy condition, my reader, at this moment? Hast thou 
but one desire, and is that after Christ? Then thou art not far
from the kingdom of heaven. Hast thou but one wish in thy heart,
and that one wish that thou mayst be washed from all thy sins in
Jesus' blood? Canst thou really say, "I would give all I have to
be a Christian; I would give up everything I have and hope for,
if I might but feel that I have an interest in Christ"? Then,
despite all thy fears, be of good cheer, the Lord loveth thee,
and thou shalt come out into daylight soon, and rejoice in the
liberty wherewith Christ makes men free.

* 04/18/PM

"And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good."
                                                 --Genesis 32:12

   When Jacob was on the other side of the brook Jabbok, and 
Esau was coming with armed men, he earnestly sought God's
protection, and as a master reason he pleaded, "And Thou saidst,
I will surely do thee good." Oh, the force of that plea! He was
holding God to His word--"Thou saidst." The attribute of God's
faithfulness is a splendid horn of the altar to lay hold upon;
but the promise, which has in it the attribute and something
more, is a yet mightier holdfast--"Thou saidst, I will surely do
thee good." And has _He_ said, and shall He not do it? "Let God
be true, and every man a liar." Shall not _He_ be true? Shall
_He_ not keep His word? Shall not every word that cometh out of
His lips stand fast and be fulfilled? Solomon, at the opening
of the temple, used this same mighty plea. He pleaded with God
to remember the word which He had spoken to his father David,
and to bless that place. When a man gives a promissory note, his
honour is engaged; he signs his hand, and he must discharge it
when the due time comes, or else he loses credit. It shall never
be said that God dishonours His bills. The credit of the Most
High never was impeached, and never shall be. He is punctual to
the moment: He never is before His time, but He never is behind
it. Search God's word through, and compare it with the
experience of God's people, and you shall find the two tally
from the first to the last. Many a hoary patriarch has said with
Joshua, "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which
the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass."
If you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an
"if," you may urge it with certainty. The Lord meant to fulfil
the promise, or He would not have given it. God does not give
His words merely to quiet us, and to keep us hopeful for awhile
with the intention of putting us off at last; but when He
speaks, it is because He means to do as He has said.

* 04/19/PM

"The Amen."
                                               --Revelation 3:14

   The word AMEN solemnly confirms that which went before; and 
Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, for ever is "the Amen"
in all _His promises. Sinner_, I would comfort thee with this
reflection. Jesus Christ said, "Come unto me all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." If you come to
Him, He will say "Amen" in your soul; His promise shall be true
_to you_. He said in the days of His flesh, "The bruised reed I
will not break." O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou
comest to Him, He will say "Amen" to thee, and that shall be
true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years.
_Christian_, is not this very comforting to thee also, that
there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour's lips
which He has ever retracted? The words of Jesus shall stand when
heaven and earth shall pass away. If thou gettest a hold of but
half a promise, thou shalt find it true. Beware of him who is
called "Clip-promise," who will destroy much of the comfort of
God's word.

   Jesus is Yea and Amen in all _His offices_. He was a Priest 
to pardon and cleanse once, He is Amen as Priest still. He was a
King to rule and reign for His people, and to defend them with
His mighty arm, He is an Amen King, the same still. He was a
Prophet of old, to foretell good things to come, His lips are
most sweet, and drop with honey still--He is an Amen Prophet.
He is Amen as to the merit of His blood; He is Amen as to His
righteousness. That sacred robe shall remain most fair and
glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single
title which He bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce;
your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with
you in death's dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your
Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your strength, your
confidence, your joy, your all in all, and your Yea and Amen in

* 04/20/PM

"Fight the Lord's battles."
                                                --1 Samuel 18:17

   The sacramental host of God's elect is warring still on 
earth, Jesus Christ being the Captain of their salvation. He has
said, "Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
Hark to the shouts of war! Now let the people of God stand fast
in their ranks, and let no man's heart fail him. It is true that
just now in England the battle is turned against us, and unless
the Lord Jesus shall lift His sword, we know not what may become
of the church of God in this land; but let us be of good
courage, and play the man. There never was a day when
Protestantism seemed to tremble more in the scales than now that
a fierce effort is making to restore the Romish antichrist to
his ancient seat. We greatly want a bold voice and a strong hand
to preach and publish the old gospel for which martyrs bled and
confessors died. The Saviour is, by His Spirit, still on earth;
let this cheer us. He is ever in the midst of the fight, and
therefore the battle is not doubtful. And as the conflict rages,
what a sweet satisfaction it is to know that the Lord Jesus, in
His office as our great Intercessor, is prevalently pleading for
His people! O anxious gazer, look not so much at the battle
below, for there thou shalt be enshrouded in smoke, and amazed
with garments rolled in blood; but lift thine eyes yonder where
the Saviour lives and pleads, for while He intercedes, the cause
of God is safe. Let us fight as if it all depended upon us, but
let us look up and know that all depends upon Him.

   Now, by the lilies of Christian purity, and by the roses of 
the Saviour's atonement, by the roes and by the hinds of the
field, we charge you who are lovers of Jesus, to do valiantly in
the Holy War, for truth and righteousness, for the kingdom and
crown jewels of your Master. Onward! "for the battle is not
yours but God's."

* 04/21/PM

"Who is even at the right hand of God."
                                                   --Romans 8:34

   He who was once despised and rejected of men, now occupies 
the honourable position of a beloved and honoured Son. The right
hand of God is _the place of majesty and favour_. Our Lord Jesus
is His people's representative. When He died for them they had
rest; He rose again for them, they had liberty; when He sat down
at His Father's right hand, they had favour, and honour, and
dignity. The raising and elevation of Christ is the elevation,
the acceptance, and enshrinement, the glorifying of all His
people, for He is their head and representative. This sitting at
the right hand of God, then, is to be viewed as the acceptance
of the person of the Surety, the reception of the Representative,
and therefore, the acceptance of _our_ souls. O saint, see in
this thy sure freedom from condemnation. "Who is he that
condemneth?" Who shall condemn the men who are in Jesus at the
right hand of God?

   The right hand is _the place of power_. Christ at the right 
hand of God hath all power in heaven and in earth. Who shall
fight against the people who have such power vested in their
Captain? O my soul, what can destroy thee if Omnipotence be thy
helper? If the aegis of the Almighty cover thee, what sword can
smite thee? Rest thou secure. If Jesus is thine all-prevailing
King, and hath trodden thine enemies beneath His feet; if sin,
death, and hell are all vanquished by Him, and thou art
represented in Him, by no possibility canst thou be destroyed.

           "Jesu's tremendous name
           Puts all our foes to flight:
           Jesus, the meek, the angry Lamb,
           A Lion is in fight.

           "By all hell's host withstood;
           We all hell's host o'erthrow;
           And conquering them, through Jesu's blood
           We still to conquer go."

* 04/22/PM

"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night."
                                                    --Psalm 91:5

   What is this terror? It may be the cry of fire, or the noise 
of thieves, or fancied appearances, or the shriek of sudden
sickness or death. We live in the world of death and sorrow, we
may therefore look for ills as well in the night-watches as
beneath the glare of he broiling sun. Nor should this alarm us,
for be the terror what it may, the promise is that the believer
shall not be afraid. Why should he? Let us put it more closely,
why should we? God our Father is here, and will be here all
through the lonely hours; He is an almighty Watcher, a sleepless
Guardian, a faithful Friend. Nothing can happen without His
direction, for even hell itself is under His control. Darkness
is not dark to Him. He has promised to be a wall of fire around
His people--and who can break through such a barrier? Worldlings
may well be afraid, for they have an angry God above them, a
guilty conscience within them, and a yawning hell beneath them;
but we who rest in Jesus are saved from all these through rich
mercy. If we give way to foolish fear we shall dishonour our
profession, and lead others to doubt the reality of godliness.
We ought to be afraid of being afraid, lest we should vex the
Holy Spirit by foolish distrust. Down, then, ye dismal
forebodings and groundless apprehensions, God has not forgotten
to be gracious, nor shut up His tender mercies, it may be night
in the soul, but there need be no terror, for the God of love
changes not. Children of light may walk in darkness, but they
are not therefore cast away, nay, they are now enabled to prove
their adoption by trusting in their heavenly Father as
hypocrites cannot do.

             "Though the night be dark and dreary,
             Darkness cannot hide from Thee;
             Thou art He, who, never weary,
             Watchest where Thy people be."

* 04/23/PM

"Lo, in the midst of the throne . . . stood a Lamb as it had
been slain."
                                                --Revelation 5:6

   Why should our exalted Lord appear in His wounds in glory? 
The wounds of Jesus are His glories, His jewels, His sacred
ornaments. To the eye of the believer, Jesus is passing fair
because He is "white and ruddy" white with innocence, and ruddy
with His own blood. We see Him as the lily of matchless purity,
and as the rose crimsoned with His own gore. Christ is lovely
upon Olivet and Tabor, and by the sea, but oh! there never was
such a matchless Christ as He that did hang upon the cross.
There we beheld all His beauties in perfection, all His
attributes developed, all His love drawn out, all His character
expressed. Beloved, the wounds of Jesus are far more fair in our
eyes than all the splendour and pomp of kings. The thorny crown
is more than an imperial diadem. It is true that He bears not
now the sceptre of reed, but there was a glory in it that never
flashed from sceptre of gold. Jesus wears the appearance of a
slain Lamb as His court dress in which He wooed our souls, and
redeemed them by His complete atonement. Nor are these only the
ornaments of Christ: they are the _trophies_ of His love and of
His victory. He has divided the spoil with the strong. He has
redeemed for Himself a great multitude whom no man can number,
and these scars are the memorials of the fight. Ah! if Christ
thus loves to retain the thought of His sufferings for His
people, _how precious should his wounds be to us_!

        "Behold how every wound of His
        A precious balm distils,
        Which heals the scars that sin had made,
        And cures all mortal ills.

        "Those wounds are mouths that preach His grace;
        The ensigns of His love;
        The seals of our expected bliss
        In paradise above."

* 04/24/PM

"The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of
birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our
                                          --Song of Solomon 2:12

   Sweet is the season of spring: the long and dreary winter 
helps us to appreciate its genial warmth, and its promise of
summer enhances its present delights. After periods of
depression of spirit, it is delightful to behold again the light
of the Sun of Righteousness; then our slumbering graces rise
from their lethargy, like the crocus and the daffodil from their
beds of earth; then is our heart made merry with delicious notes
of gratitude, far more melodious than the warbling of birds--and
the comforting assurance of peace, infinitely more delightful
than the turtle's note, is heard within the soul. Now is the
time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must
she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old
associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is
favourable, we shall be blameworthy: times of refreshing ought
not to pass over us unimproved. When Jesus Himself visits us in
tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to
refuse His request? He has Himself risen that He may draw us
after Him: He now by His Holy Spirit has revived us, that we
may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold
communion with Himself. Let our wintry state suffice us for
coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring
within, let our sap flow with vigour, and our branch blossom
with high resolve. O Lord, if it be not spring time in my chilly
heart, I pray Thee make it so, for I am heartily weary of living
at a distance from Thee. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when
wilt Thou bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my
soul! quicken Thou me! restore me, and have mercy on me! This
very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon
His servant, and send me a happy revival of spiritual life!

* 04/25/PM

"If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to
                                               --Revelation 3:20

   What is your desire this evening? Is it set upon heavenly 
things? Do you long to enjoy the high doctrine of eternal love?
Do you desire liberty in very close communion with God? Do you
aspire to know the heights, and depths, and lengths, and
breadths? Then you must draw near to Jesus; you must get a clear
sight of Him in His preciousness and completeness: you must view
Him in His work, in His offices, in His person. He who
understands Christ, receives an anointing from the Holy One, by
which He knows all things. Christ is the great master-key of all
the chambers of God: there is no treasure-house of God which
will not open and yield up all its wealth to the soul that lives
near to Jesus. Are you saying, "O that He would dwell in my
bosom"? "Would that He would make my heart His dwelling-place
for ever"? Open the door, beloved, and He will come into your
souls. He has long been knocking, and all with this object, that
He may sup with you, and you with Him. _He sups with you_
because you find the house or the heart, and _you with Him_
because He brings the provision. He could not sup with you if it
were not in your heart, you finding the house; nor could you sup
with Him, for you have a bare cupboard, if He did not bring
provision with Him. Fling wide, then, the portals of your soul.
He will come with that love which you long to feel; He will come
with that joy into which you cannot work your poor depressed
spirit; He will bring the peace which now you have not; He will
come with His flagons of wine and sweet apples of love, and
cheer you till you have no other sickness but that of "love
o'erpowering, love divine." Only open the door to Him, drive out
His enemies, give Him the keys of your heart, and He will dwell
there for ever. Oh, wondrous love, that brings such a guest to
dwell in such a heart!

* 04/26/PM

"Blessed is he that watcheth."
                                              --Revelation 16:15

   "We die daily," said the apostle. This was the life of the 
early Christians; they went everywhere with their lives in their
hands. We are not in this day called to pass through the same
fearful persecutions: if we were, the Lord would give us grace
to bear the test; but the tests of Christian life, at the
present moment, though outwardly not so terrible, are yet more
likely to overcome us than even those of the fiery age. We have
to bear the sneer of the world--that is little; its
blandishments, its soft words, its oily speeches, its fawning,
its hypocrisy, are far worse. Our danger is lest we grow rich
and become proud, lest we give ourselves up to the fashions of
this present evil world, and lose our faith. Or if wealth be not
the trial, worldly care is quite as mischievous. If we cannot be
torn in pieces by the roaring lion, if we may be hugged to death
by the bear, the devil little cares which it is, so long as he
destroys our love to Christ, and our confidence in Him. I fear
me that the Christian church is far more likely to lose her
integrity in these soft and silken days than in those rougher
times. We must be awake now, for we traverse the enchanted
ground, and are most likely to fall asleep to our own undoing,
unless our faith in Jesus be a reality, and our love to Jesus a
vehement flame. Many in these days of easy profession are likely
to prove tares, and not wheat; hypocrites with fair masks on
their faces, but not the true-born children of the living God.
Christian, do not think that these are times in which you can
dispense with watchfulness or with holy ardour; you need these
things more than ever, and may God the eternal Spirit display
His omnipotence in you, that you may be able to say, in all
these softer things, as well as in the rougher, "We are more
than conquerors through Him that loved us."

* 04/27/PM

"The Lord is King for ever and ever."
                                                   --Psalm 10:16

   Jesus Christ is no despotic claimant of _divine right_, but 
He is really and truly the Lord's anointed! "It hath pleased the
Father that in Him should all fulness dwell." God hath given to
Him all power and all authority. As the Son of man, He is now
head over all things to His church, and He reigns over heaven,
and earth, and hell, with the keys of life and death at His
girdle. Certain princes have delighted to call themselves kings
by the _popular will_, and certainly our Lord Jesus Christ is
such in His church. If it could be put to the vote whether He
should be King in the church, every believing heart would crown
Him. O that we could crown Him more gloriously than we do! We
would count no expense to be wasted that could glorify Christ.
Suffering would be pleasure, and loss would be gain, if thereby
we could surround His brow with brighter crowns, and make Him
more glorious in the eyes of men and angels. Yes, He shall
reign. Long live the King! All hail to Thee, King Jesus! Go
forth, ye virgin souls who love your Lord, bow at His feet,
strew His way with the lilies of your love, and the roses of
your gratitude: "Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him
Lord of all." Moreover, our Lord Jesus is King in Zion by _right
of conquest_: He has taken and carried by storm the hearts of
His people, and has slain their enemies who held them in cruel
bondage. In the Red Sea of His own blood, our Redeemer has
drowned the Pharaoh of our sins: shall He not be King in
Jeshurun? He has delivered us from the iron yoke and heavy curse
of the law: shall not the Liberator be crowned? We are His
portion, whom He has taken out of the hand of the Amorite with
His sword and with His bow: who shall snatch His conquest from
His hand? All hail, King Jesus! we gladly own Thy gentle sway!
Rule in our hearts for ever, Thou lovely Prince of Peace.

* 04/28/PM

"All the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted."
                                                   --Ezekiel 3:7

   Are there no exceptions? No, not one. Even the favoured race 
are thus described. Are the best so bad?--then what must the
worst be? Come, my heart, consider how far thou hast a share in
this universal accusation, and while considering, be ready to
take shame unto thyself herein thou mayst have been guilty. The
first charge is _impudence_, or hardness of forehead, a want of
holy shame, an unhallowed boldness in evil. Before my
conversion, I could sin and feel no compunction, hear of my
guilt and yet remain unhumbled, and even confess my iniquity and
manifest no inward humiliation on account of it. For a sinner to
go to God's house and pretend to pray to Him and praise Him
argues a brazen-facedness of the worst kind! Alas! since the
day of my new birth I have doubted my Lord to His face, murmured
unblushingly in His presence, worshipped before Him in a
slovenly manner, and sinned without bewailing myself concerning
it. If my forehead were not as an adamant, harder than flint, I
should have far more holy fear, and a far deeper contrition of
spirit. Woe is me, I am one of the impudent house of Israel. The
second charge is _hardheartedness_, and I must not venture to
plead innocent here. Once I had nothing but a heart of stone,
and although through grace I now have a new and fleshy heart,
much of my former obduracy remains. I am not affected by the
death of Jesus as I ought to be; neither am I moved by the ruin
of my fellow men, the wickedness of the times, the chastisement
of my heavenly Father, and my own failures, as I should be. O
that my heart would melt at the recital of my Saviour's
sufferings and death. Would to God I were rid of this nether
millstone within me, this hateful body of death. Blessed be the
name of the Lord, the disease is not incurable, the Saviour's
precious blood is the universal solvent, and me, even me, it
will effectually soften, till my heart melts as wax before the

* 04/29/PM

"The Lord taketh pleasure in His people."
                                                   --Psalm 149:4

   How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of 
His people's interests which He does not consider, and there is
nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to
Him. Not merely does He think of you, believer, as an immortal
being, but as a mortal being too. Do not deny it or doubt it:
"The very hairs of your head are all numbered." "The steps of a
good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way"
It were a sad thing for us if this mantle of love did not cover
all our concerns, for what mischief might be wrought to us in
that part of our business which did not come under our gracious
Lord's inspection! Believer, rest assured that the heart of
Jesus cares about your meaner affairs. The breadth of His tender
love is such that you may resort to Him in all matters; for in
all your afflictions He is afflicted, and like as a father
pitieth his children, so doth He pity you. The meanest interests
of all His saints are all borne upon the broad bosom of the Son
of God. Oh, what a heart is His, that doth not merely comprehend
the persons of His people, but comprehends also the diverse and
innumerable concerns of all those persons! Dost thou think, O
Christian, that thou canst measure the love of Christ? Think of
what His love has brought thee--justification, adoption,
sanctification, eternal life! The riches of His goodness are
unsearchable; thou shalt never be able to tell them out or even
conceive them. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ! Shall such
a love as this have half our hearts? Shall it have a cold love
in return? Shall Jesus' marvellous lovingkindness and tender
care meet with but faint response and tardy acknowledgment? O my
soul, tune thy harp to a glad song of thanksgiving! Go to thy
rest rejoicing, for thou art no desolate wanderer, but a beloved
child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by thy

* 04/30/PM

"How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God."
                                                  --Psalm 139:17

   Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, 
but to the child of God it overflows with consolation. God is
always thinking upon us, never turns aside His mind from us, has
us always before His eyes; and this is precisely as we would
have it, for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment beyond
the observation of our heavenly Father. His thoughts are always
tender, loving, wise, prudent, far-reaching, and they bring to
us countless benefits: hence it is a choice delight to remember
them. The Lord always did think upon His people: hence their
election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is
secured; He always will think upon them: hence their final
perseverance by which they shall be brought safely to their
final rest. In all our wanderings the watchful glance of the
Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us--we never roam beyond
the Shepherd's eye. In our sorrows He observes us incessantly,
and not a pang escapes Him; in our toils He marks all our
weariness, and writes in His book all the struggles of His
faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all
our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not
a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization
is uncared for; all the littles of our little world are thought
upon by the great God.

   Dear reader, is this precious to you? then hold to it. Never
be led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an
impersonal God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing
matter. The Lord liveth and thinketh upon us, this is a truth
far too precious for us to be lightly robbed of it. The notice
of a nobleman is valued so highly that he who has it counts his
fortune made; but what is it to be thought of by the King of
kings! If the Lord thinketh upon us, all is well, and we may
rejoice evermore.

This document (last modified April 25, 1996) from Believerscafe.com