May AM

* 05/01/AM

"His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers."
                                          --Song of Solomon 5:13

   Lo, the flowery month is come! March winds and April showers 
have done their work, and the earth is all bedecked with beauty.
Come my soul, put on thine holiday attire and go forth to gather
garlands of heavenly thoughts. Thou knowest whither to betake
thyself, for to thee "the beds of spices" are well known, and
thou hast so often smelt the perfume of "the sweet flowers,"
that thou wilt go at once to thy well-beloved and find all
loveliness, all joy in Him. That cheek once so rudely smitten
with a rod, oft bedewed with tears of sympathy and then defiled
with spittle--that cheek as it smiles with mercy is as fragrant
aromatic to my heart. Thou didst not hide Thy face from shame
and spitting, O Lord Jesus, and therefore I will find my dearest
delight in praising Thee. Those cheeks were furrowed by the
plough of grief, and crimsoned with red lines of blood from Thy
thorn-crowned temples; such marks of love unbounded cannot but
charm my soul far more than "pillars of perfume." If I may not
see the whole of His face I would behold His cheeks, for the
least glimpse of Him is exceedingly refreshing to my spiritual
sense and yields a variety of delights. In Jesus I find not only
fragrance, but a bed of spices; not one flower, but all manner
of sweet flowers. He is to me my rose and my lily, my heart's-
ease and my cluster of camphire. When He is with me it is May
all the year round, and my soul goes forth to wash her happy
face in the morning-dew of His grace, and to solace herself with
the singing of the birds of His promises. Precious Lord Jesus,
let me in very deed know the blessedness which dwells in
abiding, unbroken fellowship with Thee. I am a poor worthless
one, whose cheek Thou hast deigned to kiss! O let me kiss Thee
in return with the kisses of my lips.

* 05/02/AM

"I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world."
                                                    --John 17:15

   It is a sweet and blessed event which will occur to all 
believers in God's own time--the going home to be with Jesus.
In a few more years the Lord's soldiers, who are now fighting
"the good fight of faith" will have done with conflict, and have
entered into the joy of their Lord. But although Christ prays
that His people may eventually be with Him where He is, He does
not ask that they may be taken at once away from this world to
heaven. He wishes them to stay here. Yet how frequently does the
wearied pilgrim put up the prayer, "O that I had wings like a
dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest;" but Christ does
not pray like that, He leaves us in His Father's hands, until,
like shocks of corn fully ripe, we shall each be gathered into
our Master's garner. Jesus does not plead for our instant
removal by death, for to abide in the flesh is needful for
others if not profitable for ourselves. He asks that we may be
kept from evil, but He never asks for us to be admitted to the
inheritance in glory till we are of full age. Christians often
want to die when they have any trouble. Ask them why, and they
tell you, "Because we would be with the Lord." We fear it is not
so much because they are longing to be with the Lord, as because
they desire to get rid of their troubles; else they would feel
the same wish to die at other times when not under the pressure
of trial. They want to go home, not so much for the Saviour's
company, as to be at rest. Now it is quite right to desire to
depart if we can do it in the same spirit that Paul did, because
to be with Christ is far better, but the wish to escape from
trouble is a selfish one. Rather let your care and wish be to
glorify God by your life here as long as He pleases, even though
it be in the midst of toil, and conflict, and suffering, and
leave Him to say when "it is enough."

* 05/03/AM

"In the world ye shall have tribulation."
                                                    --John 16:33

   Art thou asking the reason of this, believer? Look upward to
thy heavenly Father, and behold Him pure and holy. Dost thou
know that thou art one day to be like Him? Wilt thou easily be
conformed to His image? Wilt thou not require much refining in
the furnace of affliction to purify thee? Will it be an easy
thing to get rid of thy corruptions, and make thee perfect even
as thy Father which is in heaven is perfect? Next, Christian,
turn thine eye _downward_. Dost thou know what foes thou hast
beneath thy feet? Thou wast once a servant of Satan, and no king
will willingly lose his subjects. Dost thou think that Satan
will let thee alone? No, he will be always at thee, for he
"goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
Expect trouble, therefore, Christian, when thou lookest beneath
thee. Then look _around thee_. Where art thou? Thou art in an
enemy's country, a stranger and a sojourner. The world is not
thy friend. If it be, then thou art not God's friend, for he who
is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. Be assured that
thou shalt find foe-men everywhere. When thou sleepest, think
that thou art resting on the battlefield; when thou walkest,
suspect an ambush in every hedge. As mosquitoes are said to bite
strangers more than natives, so will the trials of earth be
sharpest to you. Lastly, look _within thee_, into thine own
heart and observe what is there. _Sin_ and _self_ are still
within. Ah! if thou hadst no devil to tempt thee, no enemies to
fight thee, and no world to ensnare thee, thou wouldst still
find in thyself evil enough to be a sore trouble to thee, for
"the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked." Expect trouble then, but despond not on account of it,
for God is with thee to help and to strengthen thee. He hath
said, "I will be with thee in trouble; I will deliver thee and
honour thee."

* 05/04/AM

"Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods."
                                                --Jeremiah 16:20

   One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and 
the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same
folly. Remphan's star shines no longer, and the women weep no
more for Tammuz, but Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and
the shrines of pride are not forsaken. Self in various forms
struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion, and the
flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them.
Favourite children are often the cause of much sin in believers;
the Lord is grieved when He sees us doting upon them above
measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom
was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes
desolate. If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their
sleepless pillows, let them dote on their dear ones.

   It is truly said that "they are no gods," for the objects of 
our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the solace which
they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give
us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so
bewitched with vanities? We pity the poor heathen who adore a
god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast
superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The
principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only
that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more
light, and sin in the face of it. The heathen bows to a false
deity, but the true God he has never known; we commit two evils,
inasmuch as we forsake the living God and turn unto idols. May
the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!

              "The dearest idol I have known,
              Whate'er that idol be;
              Help me to tear it from thy throne,
              And worship only thee."

* 05/05/AM

"I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
                                            --2 Corinthians 6:16

   What a sweet title: "My people!" What a cheering revelation: 
"Their God!" How much of meaning is couched in those two words,
"My people!" Here is _speciality_. The whole world is God's; the
heaven, even the heaven of heavens is the Lord's, and He
reigneth among the children of men; but of those whom He hath
chosen, whom He hath purchased to Himself, He saith what He
saith not of others--"My people" In this word there is the idea
of _proprietorship_. In a special manner the "Lord's portion is
His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance." All the
nations upon earth are His; the whole world is in His power; yet
are His people, His chosen, more especially His possession; for
He has done more for them than others; He has bought them with
His blood; He has brought them nigh to Himself; He has set His
great heart upon them; He has loved them with an everlasting
love, a love which many waters cannot quench, and which the
revolutions of time shall never suffice in the least degree to
diminish. Dear friends, can you, by faith, see yourselves in
that number? Can you look up to heaven and say, "My Lord and my
God: mine by that sweet _relationship_ which entitles me to call
Thee Father; mine by that hallowed _fellowship_ which I delight
to hold with Thee when Thou art pleased to manifest Thyself unto
me as Thou dost not unto the world?" Canst thou read the Book of
Inspiration, and find there the indentures of thy salvation?
Canst thou read thy title writ in precious blood? Canst thou, by
humble faith, lay hold of Jesus' garments, and say, "My Christ"?
If thou canst, then God saith of thee, and of others like thee,
"My people;" for, if God be your God, and Christ your Christ,
the Lord has a special, peculiar favour to you; you are the
object of His choice, accepted in His beloved Son.

* 05/06/AM

"We dwell in Him."
                                                   --1 John 4:13

   Do you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, "What is the 
purchase?" It is something less than proud human nature will
like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you
would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do
something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it
is "without price." Will you take my Master's house on a lease
for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the
ground-rent of loving and serving Him for ever? Will you take
Jesus and "dwell in Him?" See, this house is furnished with all
you want, it is filled with riches more than you will spend as
long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with
Christ and feast on His love; here are tables well-stored with
food for you to live on for ever; in it, when weary, you can
find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see
heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are
houseless, you will say, "I should like to have the house; but
may I have it?" Yes; there is the key--the key is, "Come to
Jesus." "But," you say, "I am too shabby for such a house."
Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and
condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you,
Christ will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He
will wash you and cleanse you, and you will yet be able to sing,
"We dwell in Him." Believer: thrice happy art thou to have such
a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for thou hast a
"strong habitation" in which thou art ever safe. And "dwelling
in Him," thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but an
_everlasting_ one. When this world shall have melted like a
dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than
marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is
God Himself--"We dwell in Him."

* 05/07/AM

"Great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all."
                                                 --Matthew 12:15

   What a mass of hideous sickness must have thrust itself under 
the eye of Jesus! Yet we read not that He was disgusted, but
patiently waited on every case. What a singular variety of evils
must have met at His feet! What sickening ulcers and putrefying
sores! Yet He was ready for every new shape of the monster evil,
and was victor over it in every form. Let the arrow fly from
what quarter it might, He quenched its fiery power. The heat of
fever, or the cold of dropsy; the lethargy of palsy, or the rage
of madness; the filth of leprosy, or the darkness of
ophthalmia--all knew the power of His word, and fled at His
command. In every corner of the field He was triumphant over
evil, and received the homage of delivered captives. He came, He
saw, He conquered everywhere. It is even so this morning.
Whatever my own case may be, the beloved Physician can heal me;
and whatever may be the state of others whom I may remember at
this moment in prayer, I may have hope in Jesus that He will be
able to heal them of their sins. My child, my friend, my dearest
one, I can have hope for each, for all, when I remember the
healing power of my Lord; and on my own account, however severe
my struggle with sins and infirmities, I may yet be of good
cheer. He who on earth walked the hospitals, still dispenses His
grace, and works wonders among the sons of men: let me go to Him
at once in right earnest.

   Let me praise Him, this morning, as I remember how He wrought 
His spiritual cures, which bring Him most renown. It was by
taking upon Himself our sicknesses. "By His stripes we are
healed." The Church on earth is full of souls healed by our
beloved Physician; and the inhabitants of heaven itself confess
that "He healed them all." Come, then, my soul, publish abroad
the virtue of His grace, and let it be "to the Lord for a name,
for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off."

* 05/08/AM

"She that was healed wist not who it was."
                                                   --1 John 5:13

   Years are short to the happy and healthy; but thirty-eight 
years of disease must have dragged a very weary length along the
life of the poor impotent man. When Jesus, therefore, healed him
by a word, while he lay at the pool of Bethesda, he was
delightfully _sensible of a change_. Even so the sinner who has
for weeks and months been paralyzed with despair, and has
wearily sighed for salvation, is very conscious of the change
when the Lord Jesus speaks the word of power, and gives joy and
peace in believing. The evil removed is too great to be removed
without our discerning it; the life imparted is too remarkable
to be possessed and remain inoperative; and the change wrought
is too marvellous not to be perceived. Yet the poor man was
_ignorant of the author_ of his cure; he knew not the sacredness
of His person, the offices which he sustained, or the errand
which brought Him among men. Much ignorance of Jesus may remain
in hearts which yet feel the power of His blood. We must not
hastily condemn men for lack of knowledge; but where we can see
the faith which saves the soul, we must believe that salvation
has been bestowed. The Holy Spirit makes men penitents long
before He makes them divines; and he who believes what he knows,
shall soon know more clearly what he believes. Ignorance is,
however, an evil; for this poor man was much _tantalized by the
Pharisees_, and was quite unable to cope with them. It is good
to be able to answer gainsayers; but we cannot do so if we know
not the Lord Jesus clearly and with understanding. The cure of
his ignorance, however, soon followed the cure of his infirmity,
for he was _visited by the Lord_ in the temple; and after that
gracious manifestation, he was _found testifying_ that "it was
Jesus who had made him whole." Lord, if Thou hast saved me, show
me Thyself, that I may declare Thee to the sons of men.

* 05/09/AM

"Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings."
                                                 --Ephesians 1:3

   All the goodness of the past, the present, and the future, 
Christ bestows upon His people. In the mysterious ages of the
past the Lord Jesus was His Father's first elect, and in His
_election_ He gave us an interest, for we were chosen in Him
from before the foundation of the world. He had from all
eternity the prerogatives of _Sonship_, as His Father's
only-begotten and well-beloved Son, and He has, in the riches of
His grace, by adoption and regeneration, elevated us to sonship
also, so that to us He has given "power to become the sons of
God." The _eternal covenant_, based upon suretiship and
confirmed by oath, is ours, for our strong consolation and
security. In the _everlasting settlements of predestinating
wisdom_ and omnipotent decree, the eye of the Lord Jesus was
ever fixed on us; and we may rest assured that in the whole roll
of destiny there is not a line which militates against the
interests of His redeemed. The _great betrothal_ of the Prince
of Glory is ours, for it is to us that He is affianced, as the
sacred nuptials shall ere long declare to an assembled universe.
The _marvellous incarnation_ of the God of heaven, with all the
amazing condescension and humiliation which attended it, is
ours. The bloody sweat, the scourge, the cross, are ours for
ever. Whatever blissful consequences flow from _perfect
obedience, finished atonement, resurrection, ascension, or
intercession_, all are ours by His own gift. Upon His
breastplate he is now bearing our names; and in His
authoritative pleadings at the throne He remembers our persons
and pleads our cause. His _dominion_ over principalities and
powers, and His absolute majesty in heaven, He employs for the
benefit of them who trust in Him. His high estate is as much at
our service as was His condition of abasement. He who gave
Himself for us in the depths of woe and death, doth not withdraw
the grant now that He is enthroned in the highest heavens.

* 05/10/AM

"But now is Christ risen from the dead."
                                           --1 Corinthians 15:20

   The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that 
"Christ is risen from the dead;" for, "If Christ be not risen,
then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: ye are
yet in your sins." The _divinity_ of Christ finds its surest
proof in His resurrection, since He was "Declared to be the Son
of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the
resurrection from the dead." It would not be unreasonable to
doubt His Deity if He had not risen. Moreover, Christ's
_sovereignty_ depends upon His resurrection, "For to this end
Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord
both of the dead and living." Again, our _justification_, that
choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ's
triumphant victory over death and the grave; for "He was
delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our
justification." Nay, more, our very _regeneration_ is connected
with His resurrection, for we are "Begotten again unto a lively
hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." And
most certainly our _ultimate resurrection_ rests here, for, "If
the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in
you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken
your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." If
Christ be not risen, then shall we not rise; but if He be risen
then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished, but in
their flesh shall surely behold their God. Thus, the silver
thread of resurrection runs through all the believer's
blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory,
and binds them together. How important then will this glorious
fact be in his estimation, and how will he rejoice that beyond a
doubt it is established, that "now is Christ risen from the

                "The promise is fulfill'd,
                Redemption's work is done,
                Justice with mercy's reconciled,
                For God has raised His Son."

* 05/11/AM

"I am with you alway."
                                                 --Matthew 28:20

   It is well there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever 
with us. It is well there is one stable rock amidst the billows
of the sea of life. O my soul, set not thine affections upon
rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures, but set thine heart
upon Him who abides for ever faithful to thee. Build not thine
house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world, but found
thy hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and
roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure. My soul, I charge
thee, lay up thy treasure in the only secure cabinet; store thy
jewels where thou canst never lose them. Put thine all in
Christ; set all thine affections on His person, all thy hope in
His merit, all thy trust in His efficacious blood, all thy joy
in His presence, and so thou mayest laugh at loss, and defy
destruction. Remember that all the flowers in the world's garden
fade by turns, and the day cometh when nothing will be left butthe black, cold earth. Death's black extinguisher must soon put
out thy candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight when the candle
is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between thee and all
thou hast; then wed thine heart to Him who will never leave
thee; trust thyself with Him who will go with thee through the
black and surging current of death's stream, and who will land
thee safely on the celestial shore, and make thee sit with Him
in heavenly places for ever. Go, sorrowing son of affliction,
tell thy secrets to the Friend who sticketh closer than a
brother. Trust all thy concerns with Him who never can be taken
from thee, who will never leave thee, and who will never let
thee leave Him, even "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and
to-day, and for ever." "Lo, I am with you alway," is enough for
my soul to live upon, let who will forsake me.

* 05/12/AM

"And will manifest myself to him."
                                                    --John 14:21

   The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of Himself to His 
people. Even if Scripture did not declare this, there are many
of the children of God who could testify the truth of it from
their own experience. They have had manifestations of their Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ in a peculiar manner, such as no mere
reading or hearing could afford. In the biographies of eminent
saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has
been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls,
and to unfold the wonders of His person; yea, so have their
souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought
themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though
they were well nigh on the threshold of it--for when Jesus
manifests Himself to His people, it is heaven on earth; it is
paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun. Especial manifestations
of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer's heart. One
effect will be _humility_. If a man says, "I have had
such-and-such spiritual communications, I am a great man," he
has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for "God hath
respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off." He
does not need to come near them to know them, and will never
give them any visits of love. Another effect will be
_happiness_; for in God's presence there are pleasures for
evermore. _Holiness_ will be sure to follow. A man who has no
holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a
great deal; but we must not believe any one unless we see that
his deeds answer to what he says. "Be not deceived; God is not
mocked." He will not bestow His favours upon the wicked: for
while He will not cast away a perfect man, neither will He
respect an evil doer. Thus there will be three effects of
nearness to Jesus--humility, happiness, and holiness. May God
give them to thee, Christian!

* 05/13/AM

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
                                                    --Psalm 30:5

   Christian! If thou art in a night of trial, think of the 
morrow; cheer up thy heart with the thought of the coming of thy
Lord. Be patient, for

            "Lo! He comes with clouds descending."

Be patient! The Husbandman waits until He reaps His harvest. Be
patient; for you know who has said, "Behold, I come quickly; and
my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work
shall be." If you are never so wretched now, remember

             "A few more rolling suns, at most,
             Will land thee on fair Canaan's coast."

Thy head may be crowned with thorny troubles now, but it shall
wear a starry crown ere long; thy hand may be filled with
cares--it shall sweep the strings of the harp of heaven soon.
Thy garments may be soiled with dust now; they shall be white
by-and-by. Wait a little longer. Ah! how despicable our troubles
and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at
them here in the prospect, they seem immense; but when we get to
heaven we shall then

                 "With transporting joys recount,
                 The labours of our feet."

Our trials will then seem light and momentary afflictions. Let
us go on boldly; if the night be never so dark, the morning
cometh, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the
darkness of hell. Do you know what it is thus to live on the
future--to live on expectation--to antedate heaven? Happy
believer, to have so sure, so comforting a hope. It may be all
dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now,
but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though
"weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the

* 05/14/AM

"Joint heirs with Christ."
                                                   --Romans 8:17

   The boundless realms of His Father's universe are Christ's by 
prescriptive right. As "heir of all things," He is the sole
proprietor of the vast creation of God, and He has admitted us
to claim the whole as ours, by virtue of that deed of
joint-heir-ship which the Lord hath ratified with His chosen
people. The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the
river of life, the transcendent bliss, and the unutterable
glory, are, by our blessed Lord, made over to us for our
everlasting possession. All that He has He shares with His
people. The crown royal He has placed upon the head of His
Church, appointing her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal
priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned
Himself that we might have a coronation of glory; He would not
sit upon His own throne until He had procured a place upon it
for all who overcome by His blood. Crown the head and the whole
body shares the honour. Behold here the reward of every
Christian conqueror! Christ's throne, crown, sceptre, palace,
treasure, robes, heritage, are yours. Far superior to the
jealousy, selfishness, and greed, which admit of no
participation of their advantages, Christ deems His happiness
completed by His people sharing it. "The glory which thou gavest
me have I given them." "These things have I spoken unto you,
that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be
full." The smiles of His Father are all the sweeter to Him,
because His people share them. The honours of His kingdom are
more pleasing, because His people appear with Him in glory. More
valuable to Him are His conquests, since they have taught His
people to overcome. He delights in His throne, because on it
there is a place for them. He rejoices in His royal robes, since
over them His skirts are spread. He delights the more in His
joy, because He calls them to enter into it.

* 05/15/AM

"All that believe are justified."
                                                    --Acts 13:39

   The believer in Christ receives a present justification. 
Faith does not produce this fruit by-and-by, but _now_. So far
as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul
in the moment when it closes with Christ, and accepts Him as its
all in all. Are they who stand before the throne of God
justified now?--so are we, as truly and as clearly justified as
they who walk in white and sing melodious praises to celestial
harps. The thief upon the cross was justified the moment that he
turned the eye of faith to Jesus; and Paul, the aged, after
years of service, was not more justified than was the thief with
no service at all. We are _to-day_ accepted in the Beloved,
_to-day_ absolved from sin, _to-day_ acquitted at the bar of
God. Oh! soul-transporting thought! There are some clusters of
Eshcol's vine which we shall not be able to gather till we enter
heaven; but this is a bough which runneth over the wall. This is
not as the corn of the land, which we can never eat till we
cross the Jordan; but this is part of the manna in the
wilderness, a portion of our daily nutriment with which God
supplies us in our journeying to and fro. We are _now_--even
_now_ pardoned; even now are our sins put away; even _now_ we
stand in the sight of God accepted, as though we had never been
guilty. "There is therefore _now_ no condemnation to them which
are in Christ Jesus." There is not a sin in the Book of God,
even now, against one of His people. Who dareth to lay anything
to their charge? There is neither speck, nor spot, nor wrinkle,
nor any such thing remaining upon any one believer in the matter
of justification in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. Let
present privilege awaken us to present duty, and now, while life
lasts, let us spend and be spent for our sweet Lord Jesus.

* 05/16/AM

"Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."
                                                --1 Timothy 6:17

   Our Lord Jesus is ever giving, and does not for a solitary 
instant withdraw His hand. As long as there is a vessel of grace
not yet full to the brim, the oil shall not be stayed. He is a
sun ever-shining; He is manna always falling round the camp; He
is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from
His smitten side; the rain of His grace is always dropping; the
river of His bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of His
love is constantly overflowing. As the King can never die, so
His grace can never fail. Daily we pluck His fruit, and daily
His branches bend down to our hand with a fresh store of mercy.
There are seven feast-days in His weeks, and as many as are the
days, so many are the banquets in His years. Who has ever
returned from His door unblessed? Who has ever risen from His
table unsatisfied, or from His bosom un-emparadised? His mercies
are new every morning and fresh every evening. Who can know the
number of His benefits, or recount the list of His bounties?
Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy
follower of a myriad of mercies. The wings of our hours are
covered with the silver of His kindness, and with the yellow
gold of His affection. The river of time bears from the
mountains of eternity the golden sands of His favour. The
countless stars are but as the standard bearers of a more
innumerable host of blessings. Who can count the dust of the
benefits which He bestows on Jacob, or tell the number of the
fourth part of His mercies towards Israel? How shall my soul
extol Him who daily loadeth us with benefits, and who crowneth
us with loving-kindness? O that my praise could be as ceaseless
as His bounty! O miserable tongue, how canst thou be silent?
Wake up, I pray thee, lest I call thee no more my glory, but my
shame. "Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right

* 05/17/AM

"So to walk even as He walked."
                                                    --1 John 2:6

   Why should Christians imitate Christ? They should do it _for 
their own sakes_. If they desire to be in a healthy state of
soul--if they would escape the sickness of sin, and enjoy the
vigour of growing grace, let Jesus be their model. For their own
happiness' sake, if they would drink wine on the lees, well
refined; if they would enjoy holy and happy communion with
Jesus; if they would be lifted up above the cares and troubles
of this world, let them walk even as He walked. There is nothing
which can so assist you to walk towards heaven with good speed,
as wearing the image of Jesus on your heart to rule all its
motions. It is when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are
enabled to walk with Jesus in His very footsteps, that you are
most happy, and most known to be the sons of God. Peter afar
off is both unsafe and uneasy. Next, for _religion's sake_,
strive to be like Jesus. Ah! poor religion, thou hast been
sorely shot at by cruel foes, but thou hast not been wounded
one-half so dangerously by thy foes as by thy friends. Who made
those wounds in the fair hand of Godliness? The professor who
used the dagger of hypocrisy. The man who with pretences,
enters the fold, being nought but a wolf in sheep's clothing,
worries the flock more than the lion outside. There is no weapon
half so deadly as a Judas-kiss. Inconsistent professors injure
the gospel more than the sneering critic or the infidel. But,
especially for _Christ's own sake_, imitate His example.
Christian, lovest thou thy Saviour? Is His name precious to
thee? Is His cause dear to thee? Wouldst thou see the kingdoms
of the world become His? Is it thy desire that He should be
glorified? Art thou longing that souls should be won to Him? If
so, _imitate_ Jesus; be an "epistle of Christ, known and read of
all men."

* 05/18/AM

"In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye
are complete in Him."
                                            --Colossians 2:9, 10

   All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our 
disposal. All the fulness of the Godhead, whatever that
marvellous term may comprehend, is ours to make us complete. He
cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but He has done
all that can be done, for He has made even His divine power and
Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence,
omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are
all combined for our defence. Arise, believer, and behold the
Lord Jesus yoking the whole of His divine Godhead to the chariot
of salvation! How vast His grace, how firm His faithfulness, how
unswerving His immutability, how infinite His power, how
limitless His knowledge! All these are by the Lord Jesus made
the pillars of the temple of salvation; and all, without
diminution of their infinity, are covenanted to us as our
perpetual inheritance. The fathomless love of the Saviour's
heart is every drop of it ours; every sinew in the arm of might,
every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine
knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours,
and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, in His
adorable character as the Son of God, is by Himself made over to
us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, His
knowledge our instruction, His power our protection, His justice
our surety, His love our comfort, His mercy our solace, and His
immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the
recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for
the hidden treasures. "All, all, all are yours," saith He, "be
ye satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord."
Oh! how sweet thus to behold Jesus, and to call upon Him with
the certain confidence that in seeking the interposition of His
love or power, we are but asking for that which He has already
faithfully promised.

* 05/19/AM

"I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as
servants upon the earth."
                                             --Ecclesiastes 10:7

   Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly 
great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose
solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it
is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should
fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth, although He
is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet He walked the
footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants:
what wonder is it if His followers, who are princes of the
blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and
contemptible persons? The world is upside down, and therefore,
the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons
of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How
they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while
Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while
Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while
Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take
the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand,
might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those
who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then,
believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.

   Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and 
carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk
in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members
of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves
order, and He therefore sets our powers and faculties in due
rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual
faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb
the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under
our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created
to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings,
may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit,
soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.

* 05/20/AM

"Marvellous lovingkindness."
                                                    --Psalm 17:7

   When we give our hearts with our alms, we give well, but we 
must often plead to a failure in this respect. Not so our Master
and our Lord. His favours are always performed with the love of
His heart. He does not send to us the cold meat and the broken
pieces from the table of His luxury, but He dips our morsel in
His own dish, and seasons our provisions with the spices of His
fragrant affections. When He puts the golden tokens of His grace
into our palms, He accompanies the gift with such a warm
pressure of our hand, that the manner of His giving is as
precious as the boon itself. He will come into our houses upon
His errands of kindness, and He will not act as some austere
visitors do in the poor man's cottage, but He sits by our side,
not despising our poverty, nor blaming our weakness. Beloved,
with what smiles does He speak! What golden sentences drop from
His gracious lips! What embraces of affection does He bestow
upon us! If He had but given us farthings, the way of His giving
would have gilded them; but as it is, the costly alms are set in
a golden basket by His pleasant carriage. It is impossible to
doubt the sincerity of His charity, for there is a bleeding
heart stamped upon the face of all His benefactions. He giveth
liberally and upbraideth not. Not one hint that we are
burdensome to Him; not one cold look for His poor pensioners;
but He rejoices in His mercy, and presses us to His bosom while
He is pouring out His life for us. There is a fragrance in His
spikenard which nothing but His heart could produce; there is a
sweetness in His honey-comb which could not be in it unless the
very essence of His soul's affection had been mingled with it.
Oh! the rare communion which such singular heartiness effecteth!
May we continually taste and know the blessedness of it!

* 05/21/AM

"If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
                                                   --1 Peter 2:3

   If:--then, this is not a matter to be taken for granted
concerning every one of the human race. "If:"--then there is a
possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that
the Lord is gracious. "If:"--then this is not a general but a
special mercy; and it is needful to enquire whether we know the
grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favour
which may not be a matter for heart-searching.

   But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful 
inquiry, no one ought to be content whilst there is any such
thing as an "if" about his having tasted that the Lord is
gracious. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to
the question even in the believer's heart, but the _continuance_
of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest
without a desperate struggle to clasp the Saviour in the arms of
faith, and say, "I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded
that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him."
Do not rest, O believer, till thou hast a full assurance of
thine interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy thee till, by the
infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with thy
spirit, thou art certified that thou art a child of God. Oh,
trifle not here; let no "perhaps" and "peradventure" and "if"
and "maybe" satisfy thy soul. Build on eternal verities, and
verily build upon them. Get the sure mercies of David, and
surely get them. Let thine anchor be cast into that which is
within the veil, and see to it that thy soul be linked to the
anchor by a cable that will not break. Advance beyond these
dreary "ifs;" abide no more in the wilderness of doubts and
fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the Canaan of
peace, where the Canaanite still lingers, but where the land
ceaseth not to flow with milk and honey.

* 05/22/AM

"He led them forth by the right way."
                                                   --Psalm 107:7

   Changeful experience often leads the anxious believer to 
enquire "Why is it thus with me?" I looked for light, but lo,
darkness came; for peace, but behold trouble. I said in my
heart, my mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved. Lord,
thou dost hide Thy face, and I am troubled. It was but yesterday
that I could read my title clear; to-day my evidences are
bedimmed, and my hopes are clouded. Yesterday I could climb to
Pisgah's top, and view the landscape o'er, and rejoice with
confidence in my future inheritance; to-day, my spirit has no
hopes, but many fears; no joys, but much distress. Is this part
of God's plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would
bring me to heaven? Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your
faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope, all
these things are but parts of God's method of making you ripe
for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter. These
trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith--they
are waves that wash you further upon the rock--they are winds
which waft your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven.
According to David's words, so it might be said of you, "so He
bringeth them to their desired haven." By honour and dishonour,
by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by
joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these
things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of
these are you helped on your way. Oh, think not, believer, that
your sorrows are out of God's plan; they are necessary parts of
it. "We must, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom."
Learn, then, even to "count it all joy when ye fall into divers

             "O let my trembling soul be still,
             And wait Thy wise, Thy holy will!
             I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,
             Yet all is well since ruled by Thee."

* 05/23/AM

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."
                                                   --Psalm 138:8

  Most manifestly the confidence which the Psalmist here 
expressed was a _divine confidence_. He did not say, "_I_ have
grace enough to perfect that which concerneth me--my faith is so
steady that it will not stagger--my love is so warm that it will
never grow cold--my resolution is so firm that nothing can move
it; no, his dependence was on the Lord alone. If we indulge in
any confidence which is not grounded on the Rock of ages, our
confidence is worse than a dream, it will fall upon us, and
cover us with its ruins, to our sorrow and confusion. All that
Nature spins time will unravel, to the eternal confusion of all
who are clothed therein. The Psalmist was wise, he rested upon
nothing short of the _Lord's_ work. It is the Lord who has begun
the good work within us; it is He who has carried it on; and if
he does not finish it, it never will be complete. If there be
one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which
we are to insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our
confidence, the Lord who began will perfect. He _has_ done it
all, _must_ do it all, and _will_ do it all. Our confidence must
not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do,
but entirely in what _the Lord_ will do. Unbelief insinuates--
"You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil of your
heart, you can never conquer sin; remember the sinful pleasures
and temptations of the world that beset you, you will be
certainly allured by them and led astray." Ah! yes, we should
indeed perish if left to our own strength. If we had alone to
navigate our frail vessels over so rough a sea, we might well
give up the voyage in despair; but, thanks be to God, He will
perfect that which concerneth us, and bring us to the desired
haven. We can never be too confident when we confide in Him
alone, and never too much concerned to _have such_ a trust.

* 05/24/AM

"Blessed be God, which hath nor turned away my prayer."
                                                   --Psalm 66:20

   In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do 
it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever
answered them. There may be some who think their prayers
worthy of acceptance--as the Pharisee did; but the true
Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his
prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to
pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how _cold_ thy
prayers have been. When in thy closet thou shouldst have
wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have
been faint and few--far removed from that humble, believing,
persevering faith, which cries, "I will not let Thee go except
Thou bless me." Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold
prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them.
Reflect also, how _infrequent_ have been thy prayers, unless
thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the
mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy
constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to
pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou
hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the
bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the
wings of the cherubim. Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should
regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and
go with our necessities. What a God is He thus to hear the
prayers of those who come to Him when they have pressing wants,
but neglect Him when they have received a mercy; who approach
Him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to
address Him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let
His gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts,
so that we may henceforth be found "Praying always with all
prayer and supplication in the Spirit."

* 05/25/AM

"Forsake me not, O Lord."
                                                   --Psalm 38:21

   Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour 
of trial and temptation, but we too much forget that we have
need to use this prayer at _all times_. There is no moment of
our life, however holy, in which we can do without His constant
upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in
temptation, we alike need the prayer, "Forsake me not, O Lord."
"Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe." A little child, while
learning to walk, always needs the nurse's aid. The ship left by
the pilot drifts at once from her course. We cannot do without
continued aid from above; let it then be your prayer to-day,
"Forsake me not. Father, forsake not Thy child, lest he fall by
the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, forsake not Thy lamb, lest he
wander from the safety of the fold. Great Husbandman, forsake
not Thy plant, lest it wither and die. 'Forsake me not, O Lord,'
now; and forsake me not at any moment of my life. Forsake me not
in my joys, lest they absorb my heart. Forsake me not in my
sorrows, lest I murmur against Thee. Forsake me not in the day
of my repentance, lest I lose the hope of pardon, and fall into
despair; and forsake me not in the day of my strongest faith,
lest faith degenerate into presumption. Forsake me not, for
without Thee I am weak, but with Thee I am strong. Forsake me
not, for my path is dangerous, and full of snares, and I cannot
do without Thy guidance. The hen forsakes not her brood, do
Thou then evermore cover me with Thy feathers, and permit me
under Thy wings to find my refuge. 'Be not far from me, O Lord,
for trouble is near, for there is none to help.' 'Leave me not,
neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!'"

              "O ever in our cleansed breast,
              Bid Thine Eternal Spirit rest;
              And make our secret soul to be
              A temple pure and worthy Thee."

* 05/26/AM

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee."
                                                   --Psalm 55:22

   Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if 
carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to
avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again
and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which
cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the
very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser
than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for
Him that which He has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to
think of that which we fancy He will forget; we labour to take
upon ourselves our weary burden, as if He were unable or
unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to His plain
precept, this unbelief in His Word, this presumption in
intruding upon His province, is all sinful. Yet more than this,
anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly
leave his affairs in God's hand, but will carry his own burden,
is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself.
This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and
resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the "broken
cistern" instead of to the "fountain;" a sin which was laid
against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God's
lovingkindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold; we feel
mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers
become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one
of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to
wander far from Him; but if through simple faith in His promise,
we cast each burden as it comes upon Him, and are "careful for
nothing" because He undertakes to care for us, it will keep us
close to Him, and strengthen us against much temptation. "Thou
wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee,
because he trusteth in Thee."

* 05/27/AM

"So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually
at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet."
                                                 --2 Samuel 9:13

   Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he 
had a continual place at David's board, because the king could
see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like
Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, "What is Thy
servant, that Thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?"
but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar intercourse
with Himself, because He sees in our countenances the
remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord's people are
_dear for another's sake_. Such is the love which the Father
bears to His only begotten, that for His sake He raises His
lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly
companionship, noble rank, and royal provision. Their _deformity
shall not rob them of their privileges_. Lameness is no bar to
sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like
Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king's
table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel
feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of
Christ resteth upon us. Yet grievous _disability may mar the
persons of the best-loved saints_. Here is one feasted by David,
and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with
the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned
and injured by his servant Ziba. Saints whose faith is weak, and
whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed
to many enemies, and cannot follow the king whithersoever he
goeth. This _disease frequently arises from falls_. Bad nursing
in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a
despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other
cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like an
hart, and satisfy all Thy people with the bread of Thy table!

* 05/28/AM

"Whom He justified, them He also glorified."
                                                  --Romans 8:30

   Here is a precious truth for thee, believer. Thou mayest be
poor, or in suffering, or unknown, but for thine encouragement
take a review of thy "calling" and the consequences that flow
from it, and especially that blessed result here spoken of. As
surely as thou art God's child today, so surely shall all thy
trials soon be at an end, and thou shalt be rich to all the
intents of bliss. Wait awhile, and that weary head shall wear
the crown of glory, and that hand of labour shall grasp the
palm-branch of victory. Lament not thy troubles, but rather
rejoice that ere long thou wilt be where "there shall be neither
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." The
chariots of fire are at thy door, and a moment will suffice to
bear thee to the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on
thy lip. The portals of heaven stand open for thee. Think not
that thou canst fail of entering into rest. If He hath called
thee, nothing can divide thee from His love. Distress cannot
sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link;
the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. Thou art secure; that
voice which called thee at first, shall call thee yet again from
earth to heaven, from death's dark gloom to immortality's
unuttered splendours. Rest assured, the heart of Him who has
justified thee beats with infinite love towards thee. Thou shalt
soon be with the glorified, where thy portion is; thou art only
waiting here to be made meet for the inheritance, and that done,
the wings of angels shall waft thee far away, to the mount of
peace, and joy, and blessedness, where,

              "Far from a world of grief and sin,
              With God eternally shut in,"

thou shalt rest for ever and ever.

* 05/29/AM

"Thou hatest wickedness."
                                                   --Psalm 45:7

   "Be ye angry, and sin not." There can hardly be goodness in a 
man if he be not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate
every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation
came! Thrice it assailed Him in different forms, but ever He met
it with, "Get thee behind me, Satan." He hated it in others;
none the less fervently because He showed His hate oftener in
tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could
be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, "Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses,
and for a pretence make long prayer." He hated wickedness, so
much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it
might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and
He rose that He might for ever trample it beneath His feet.
Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to
wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fair
garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the
precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase
it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church.
So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what war there is
between Christ and Belial! And when our Redeemer shall come to
be our Judge, those thundering words, "Depart, ye cursed" which
are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning
sin, shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as is
His love to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as
is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of
every form of wickedness. O thou glorious champion of right, and
destroyer of wrong, for this cause hath God, even Thy God,
anointed thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.

* 05/30/AM

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines."
                                         --Song of Solomon 2:15

   A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may
hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do
mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the
soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ,
that He will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with
us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can
make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with His people unless
they drive out every known sin. He says, "If ye keep My
commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My
Father's commandments and abide in His love." Some Christians
very seldom enjoy their Saviour's presence. How is this? Surely
it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from
his father. Art thou a child of God, and yet satisfied to go on
without seeing thy Father's face? What! thou the spouse of
Christ, and yet content without His company! Surely, thou hast
fallen into a sad state, for the chaste spouse of Christ mourns
like a dove without her mate, when he has left her. Ask, then,
the question, what has driven Christ from thee? He hides His
face behind the wall of thy sins. That wall may be built up of
_little_ pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made
of drops; the rocks are made of grains: and the sea which
divides thee from Christ may be filled with the drops of thy
little sins; and the rock which has well nigh wrecked thy
barque, may have been made by the daily working of the coral
insects of thy little sins. If thou wouldst live with Christ,
and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with
Christ, take heed of "the little foxes that spoil the vines, for
our vines have tender grapes." Jesus invites you to go _with
Him_ and take them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes
at once and easily. Go with Him to the hunting.

* 05/31/AM

"The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron."
                                               --2 Samuel 15:23

   David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning
company from his traitor son. The man after God's own heart was
not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was
both the Lord's Anointed, and the Lord's Afflicted. Why then
should we expect to escape? At sorrow's gates the noblest of our
race have waited with ashes on their heads, wherefore then
should we complain as though some strange thing had happened
unto us?

   The KING of kings himself was not favoured with a more 
cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of
Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had
one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It
is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all
points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a
faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a
dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it
bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of
these Kidrons the King has gone before us. "In all our
afflictions He was afflicted." The idea of strangeness in our
trials must be banished at once and for ever, for He who is the
Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think
so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the
Honourable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is
Head and Captain.

   Notwithstanding the abasement of David, he yet returned in 
triumph to his city, and David's Lord arose victorious from the
grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the
day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of
salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the
noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the
Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and
so shall you.

This document (last modified May 24, 1996) from