May PM

* 05/01/PM

"I am the rose of Sharon."
                                           --Song of Solomon 2:1

   Whatever there may be of beauty in the material world, Jesus 
Christ possesses all that in the spiritual world in a tenfold
degree. Amongst flowers the rose is deemed the sweetest, but
Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul
than the rose can in the gardens of earth. He takes the first
place as the fairest among ten thousand. He is the sun, and all
others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in
comparison with Him, _for the King in His beauty transcends
all_. "I am the rose of _Sharon_." This was the best and rarest
of roses. Jesus is not "the rose" alone, He is "the rose of
Sharon," just as He calls His righteousness "gold," and then
adds, "the gold of Ophir"--the best of the best. He is
positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest. _There is
variety in His charms_. The rose is delightful to the eye, and
its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of
the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the
sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification
in Jesus. _Even the recollection of His love is sweet_. Take the
rose of Sharon, and pull it leaf from leaf, and lay by the
leaves in the jar of memory, and you shall find each leaf
fragrant long afterwards, filling the house with perfume.
Christ _satisfies the highest taste_ of the most educated spirit
to the very full. The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite
satisfied with the rose: and when the soul has arrived at her
highest pitch of true taste, she shall still be content with
Christ, nay, she shall be the better able to appreciate Him.
Heaven itself possesses nothing which excels the rose of Sharon.
What emblem can fully set forth His beauty? Human speech and
earth-born things fail to tell of Him. Earth's choicest charms
commingled, feebly picture His abounding preciousness. Blessed
rose, bloom in my heart for ever!

* 05/02/PM

"These all died in faith."
                                                 --Hebrews 11:13

   Behold the epitaph of all those blessed saints who fell 
asleep before the coming of our Lord! It matters nothing how
else they died, whether of old age, or by violent means; this
one point, in which they all agree, is the most worthy of
record, "they all died in faith." In faith they lived--it was
their comfort, their guide, their motive and their support; and
in the same spiritual grace they died, ending their life-song in
the sweet strain in which they had so long continued. They did
not die resting in the flesh or upon their own attainments; they
made no advance from their first way of acceptance with God, but
held to the way of faith to the end. Faith is as precious to die
by as to live by.

   Dying in faith has distinct reference to _the past_. They 
believed the promises which had gone before, and were assured
that their sins were blotted out through the mercy of God.
Dying in faith has to do with _the present_. These saints were
confident of their acceptance with God, they enjoyed the beams
of His love, and rested in His faithfulness. Dying in faith
looks into _the future_. They fell asleep, affirming that the
Messiah would surely come, and that when He would in the last
days appear upon the earth, they would rise from their graves to
behold Him. To them the pains of death were but the birth-pangs
of a better state. Take courage, my soul, as thou readest this
epitaph. Thy course, through grace, is one of faith, and sight
seldom cheers thee; this has also been the pathway of the
brightest and the best. Faith was the orbit in which these stars
of the first magnitude moved all the time of their shining here;
and happy art thou that it is thine. Look anew to-night to
Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith, and thank Him for
giving thee like precious faith with souls now in glory.

* 05/03/PM

"A very present help."
                                                    --Psalm 46:1

   Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only, but to 
be appropriated. Even our Lord Jesus is given to us for our
present use. Believer, thou dost not make use of Christ as thou
oughtest to do. When thou art in trouble, why dost thou not tell
Him all thy grief? Has He not a sympathizing heart, and can He
not comfort and relieve thee? No, thou art going about to all
thy friends, save thy best Friend, and telling thy tale
everywhere except into the bosom of thy Lord. Art thou burdened
with this day's sins? Here is a fountain filled with blood: use
it, saint, use it. Has a sense of guilt returned upon thee? The
pardoning grace of Jesus may be proved again and again. Come to
Him at once for cleansing. Dost thou deplore thy weakness? He is
thy strength: why not lean upon Him? Dost thou feel naked? Come
hither, soul; put on the robe of Jesus' righteousness. Stand
not looking at it, but wear it. Strip off thine own
righteousness, and thine own fears too: put on the fair white
linen, for it was meant to _wear_. Dost thou feel thyself sick?
Pull the night-bell of prayer, and call up the Beloved
Physician! He will give the cordial that will revive thee. Thou
art poor, but then thou hast "a kinsman, a mighty man of
wealth." What! wilt thou not go to Him, and ask Him to give
thee of His abundance, when He has given thee this promise, that
thou shalt be joint heir with Him, and has made over all that He
is and all that He has to be thine? There is nothing Christ
dislikes more than for His people to make a show-thing of Him,
and not to use Him. He loves to be employed by us. The more
burdens we put on His shoulders, the more precious will He be to

              "Let us be simple with Him, then,
              Not backward, stiff, or cold,
              As though our Bethlehem could be
              What Sinai was of old."

* 05/04/PM

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of
                                                  --1 Peter 1:23

   Peter most earnestly exhorted the scattered saints to love 
each other "with a pure heart fervently" and he wisely fetched
his argument, not from the law, from nature, or from philosophy,
but from that high and divine nature which God hath implanted in
His people. Just as some judicious tutor of princes might labour
to beget and foster in them a kingly spirit and dignified
behaviour, finding arguments in their position and descent, so,
looking upon God's people as heirs of glory, princes of the
blood royal, descendants of the King of kings, earth's truest
and oldest aristocracy, Peter saith to them, "See that ye love
one another, because of your noble birth, being born of
incorruptible seed; because of your pedigree, being descended
from God, the Creator of all things; and because of your
immortal destiny, for you shall never pass away, though the
glory of the flesh shall fade, and even its existence shall
cease." It would be well if, in the spirit of humility, we
recognized the true dignity of our regenerated nature, and lived
up to it. What is a Christian? If you compare him with a king,
he adds priestly sanctity to royal dignity. The king's royalty
often lieth only in his crown, but with a Christian it is
infused into his inmost nature. He is as much above his fellows
through his new birth, as a man is above the beast that
perisheth. Surely he ought to carry himself, in all his
dealings, as one who is not of the multitude, but chosen out of
the world, distinguished by sovereign grace, written among "the
peculiar people" and who therefore cannot grovel in the dust as
others, nor live after the manner of the world's citizens. Let
the dignity of your nature, and the brightness of your
prospects, O believers in Christ, constrain you to cleave unto
holiness, and to avoid the very appearance of evil.

* 05/05/PM

"He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso
trusteth in the Lord, happy is he."
                                                --Proverbs 16:20

   Wisdom is man's true strength; and, under its guidance, he
best accomplishes the ends of his being. Wisely handling the
matter of life gives to man the richest enjoyment, and presents
the noblest occupation for his powers; hence by it he finds good
in the fullest sense. Without wisdom, man is as the wild ass's
colt, running hither and thither, wasting strength which might
be profitably employed. Wisdom is the compass by which man is to
steer across the trackless waste of life; without it he is a
derelict vessel, the sport of winds and waves. A man must be
prudent in such a world as this, or he will find no good, but be
betrayed into unnumbered ills. The pilgrim will sorely wound his
feet among the briers of the wood of life if he do not pick his
steps with the utmost caution. He who is in a wilderness
infested with robber bands must handle matters wisely if he
would journey safely. If, trained by the Great Teacher, we
follow where He leads, we shall find good, even while in this
dark abode; there are celestial fruits to be gathered this side
of Eden's bowers, and songs of paradise to be sung amid the
groves of earth. But where shall this wisdom be found? Many have
dreamed of it, but have not possessed it. Where shall we learn
it? Let us listen to the voice of the Lord, for He hath declared
the secret; He hath revealed to the sons of men wherein true
wisdom lieth, and we have it in the text, "Whoso trusteth in the
Lord, happy is he." _The true way to handle a matter wisely is
to trust in the Lord_. This is the sure clue to the most
intricate labyrinths of life, follow it and find eternal bliss.
He who trusts in the Lord has a diploma for wisdom granted by
inspiration: happy is he now, and happier shall he be above.
Lord, in this sweet eventide walk with me in the garden, and
teach me the wisdom of faith.

* 05/06/PM

"All the days of my appointed time will I wait."
                                                     --Job 14:14

   _A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly_.
Nothing makes rest so sweet as toil; nothing renders security so
pleasant as exposure to alarms. The bitter quassia cups of earth
will give a relish to the new wine which sparkles in the golden
bowls of glory. Our battered armour and scarred countenances
will render more illustrious our victory above, when we are
welcomed to the seats of those who have overcome the world. We
should not have full _fellowship with Christ_ if we did not for
awhile sojourn below, for He was baptized with a baptism of
suffering among men, and we must be baptized with the same if we
would share his kingdom. Fellowship with Christ is so honourable
that the sorest sorrow is a light price by which to procure it.
Another reason for our lingering here is _for the good of
others_. We would not wish to enter heaven till our work is
done, and it may be that we are yet ordained to minister light
to souls benighted in the wilderness of sin. Our prolonged stay
here is doubtless _for God's glory_. A tried saint, like a
well-cut diamond, glitters much in the King's crown. Nothing
reflects so much honour on a workman as a protracted and severe
trial of his work, and its triumphant endurance of the ordeal
without giving way in any part. We are God's workmanship, in
whom He will be glorified by our afflictions. It is for the
honour of Jesus that we endure the trial of our faith with
sacred joy. Let each man surrender his own longings to the
glory of Jesus, and feel, "If my lying in the dust would elevate
my Lord by so much as an inch, let me still lie among the pots
of earth. If to live on earth for ever would make my Lord more
glorious, it should be my heaven to be shut out of heaven." Our
time is fixed and settled by eternal decree. Let us not be
anxious about it, but wait with patience till the gates of pearl
shall open.

* 05/07/PM

"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."
                                                      --John 5:8

   Like many others, the impotent man had been waiting for a 
wonder to be wrought, and a sign to be given. Wearily did he
watch the I pool, but no angel came, or came not for him; yet,
thinking it to be his only chance, he waited still, and knew not
that there was One near him whose word could heal him in a
moment. Many are in the same plight: they are waiting for some
singular emotion, remarkable impression, or celestial vision;
they wait in vain and watch for nought. Even supposing that, in
a few cases, remarkable signs are seen, yet these are rare, and
no man has a right to look for them in his own case; no man
especially who feels his impotency to avail himself of the
moving of the water even if it came. It is a very sad reflection
that tens of thousands are now waiting in the use of means, and
ordinances, and vows, and resolutions, and have so waited time
out of mind, in vain, utterly in vain. Meanwhile these poor
souls forget the present Saviour, who bids them look unto Him
and be saved. He could heal them at once, but they prefer to
wait for an angel and a wonder. To trust Him is the sure way to
every blessing, and He is worthy of the most implicit
confidence; but unbelief makes them prefer the cold porches of
Bethesda to the warm bosom of His love. O that the Lord may turn
His eye upon the multitudes who are in this case to-night; may
He forgive the slights which they put upon His divine power, and
call them by that sweet constraining voice, to rise from the bed
of despair, and in the energy of faith take up their bed and
walk. O Lord, hear our prayer for all such at this calm hour of
sunset, and ere the day breaketh may they look and live.

   Courteous reader, is there anything in this portion for you?

* 05/08/PM

"Acquaint now thyself with Him."
                                                     --Job 22:21

   If we would rightly "acquaint ourselves with God, and be at 
peace," we must know Him as He has revealed Himself, not only in
_the unity of His essence and subsistence_, but also in _the
plurality of His persons_. God said, "Let us make man in our own
image"--let not man be content until he knows something of the
"us" from whom his being was derived. Endeavour to know the
Father; bury your head in His bosom in deep repentance, and
confess that you are not worthy to be called His son; receive
the kiss of His love; let the ring which is the token of His
eternal faithfulness be on your finger; sit at His table and let
your heart make merry in His grace. Then press forward and seek
to know much of _the Son of God_ who is the brightness of His
Father's glory, and yet in unspeakable condescension of grace
became man for our sakes; know Him in the singular complexity of
His nature: eternal God, and yet suffering, finite man; follow
Him as He walks the waters with the tread of deity, and as He
sits upon the well in the weariness of humanity. Be not
satisfied unless you know much of Jesus Christ as your Friend,
your Brother, your Husband, your all. Forget not _the Holy
Spirit_; endeavour to obtain a clear view of His nature and
character, His attributes, and His works. Behold that Spirit of
the Lord, who first of all moved upon chaos, and brought forth
order; who now visits the chaos of your soul, and creates the
order of holiness. Behold Him as the Lord and giver of spiritual
life, the Illuminator, the Instructor, the Comforter, and the
Sanctifier. Behold Him as, like holy unction, He descends upon
the head of Jesus, and then afterwards rests upon _you_ who are
as the skirts of His garments. Such an intelligent, scriptural,
and experimental belief in the Trinity in Unity is yours if you
truly know God; and such knowledge _brings peace indeed_.

* 05/09/PM

"Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field . . . let us
see if the vine flourish."
                                       --Song of Solomon 7:11,12

   The church was about to engage in earnest labour, and desired 
her Lord's company in it. She does not say, "I will go," but
"let us go." It is blessed working when Jesus is at our side! It
is the business of God's people to be trimmers of God's vines.
Like our first parents, we are put into the garden of the Lord
for usefulness; let us therefore go forth into the field.
Observe that the church, when she is in her right mind, in all
her many labours desires to enjoy communion with Christ. Some
imagine that they cannot serve Christ actively, and yet have
fellowship with Him: they are mistaken. Doubtless it is very
easy to fritter away our inward life in outward exercises, and
come to complain with the spouse, "They made me keeper of the
vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept:" but there is
no reason why this should be the case except our own folly and
neglect. Certain is it that a professor may do nothing, and yet
grow quite as lifeless in spiritual things as those who are most
busy. Mary was not praised for sitting still; but for her
_sitting at Jesus' feet_. Even so, Christians are not to be
praised for neglecting duties under the pretence of having
secret fellowship with Jesus: it is not sitting, but sitting at
Jesus' feet which is commendable. Do not think that activity is
in itself an evil: it is a great blessing, and a means of grace
to us. Paul called it a grace given to him to be allowed to
preach; and every form of Christian service may become a
personal blessing to those engaged in it. Those who have most
fellowship with Christ are not recluses or hermits, who have
much time to spare, but indefatigable labourers who are toiling
for Jesus, and who, in their toil, have Him side by side with
them, so that they are workers together with God. Let us
remember then, in anything we have to do for Jesus, that we can
do it, and should do it in close communion with Him.

* 05/10/PM

"The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
                                                     --John 1:14

   Believer, YOU can bear your testimony that Christ is _the 
only begotten of the Father_, as well as the first begotten from
the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if He be human to
all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a
God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of
adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He
hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation
into joy; He hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart
rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think
as they will of Him, to me He must be the only begotten of the
Father: blessed be His name. And He is _full of grace_. Ah! had
He not been I should never have been saved. He drew me when I
struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all
trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said,
'Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good
cheer.' And He is _full of truth_. True have His promises been,
not one has failed. I bear witness that never servant had such a
master as I have; never brother such a kinsman as He has been to
me; never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul;
never sinner a better Saviour; never mourner a better comforter
than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want none beside Him. In
life He is my life, and in death He shall be the death of death;
in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness He makes my bed; in
darkness He is my star, and in brightness He is my sun; He is
the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and He shall be the new
corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all
grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and
grace He is _full_, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless
with all thy might 'the only Begotten.'"

* 05/11/PM

"Only be thou strong and very courageous."
                                                    --Joshua 1:7

   Our God's tender love for His servants makes Him concerned 
for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of
good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be
vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this
text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled
with fears. He would have us without carefulness, without
doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly
of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject
to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with, but to be carried
at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord loveth not to see our
countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should
come into the king's court dressed in mourning: this is not the
law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are;
but still He would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and
put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to
rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit,
in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an
heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, _it will
dishonour his God_. Besides, _what a bad example it is_. This
disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which
soon spreads amongst the Lord's flock. One downcast believer
makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up
_Satan will be too much for you_. Let your spirit be joyful in
God your Saviour, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength,
and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you: but
cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, _labour is light_ to
a man of cheerful spirit; and _success waits upon cheerfulness_.
The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his
heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in
joy; therefore, dear reader, "be thou strong, and very

* 05/12/PM

"Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a
great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will
also surely bring thee up again."
                                                --Genesis 46:3,4

   Jacob must have shuddered at the thought of leaving the land 
of his father's sojourning, and dwelling among heathen
strangers. It was _a new scene, and likely to be a trying one_:
who shall venture among couriers of a foreign monarch without
anxiety? Yet the way was _evidently appointed_ for him, and
therefore he resolved to go. This is frequently the position of
believers now--they are called to perils and temptations
altogether untried: at such seasons _let them imitate Jacob's
example_ by offering sacrifices of prayer unto God, and seeking
His direction; let them not take a step until they have waited
upon the Lord for His blessing: then they _will have Jacob's
companion_ to be their friend and helper. How blessed to feel
assured that the Lord is with us in all our ways, and
condescends to go down into our humiliations and banishments
with us! Even beyond the ocean our Father's love beams like the
sun in its strength. We cannot hesitate to go where Jehovah
promises His presence; even the valley of deathshade grows
bright with the radiance of this assurance. Marching onwards
with faith in their God, believers _shall have Jacob's promise_.
They shall be brought up again, whether it be from the troubles
of life or the chambers of death. Jacob's seed came out of
Egypt in due time, and so shall all the faithful pass unscathed
through the tribulation of life, and the terror of death. Let us
_exercise Jacob's confidence. "Fear not_," is the Lord's command
and His divine encouragement to those who at His bidding are
launching upon new seas; the divine presence and preservation
forbid so much as one unbelieving fear. Without our God we
should fear to move; but when He bids us to, it would be
dangerous to tarry. Reader, go forward, and fear not.

* 05/13/PM

"Thou art my portion, O Lord."
                                                  --Psalm 119:57

   Look at thy possessions, O believer, and compare thy portion 
with the lot of thy fellowmen. Some of them have their portion
in the field; they are rich, and their harvests yield them a
golden increase; but what are harvests compared with thy God,
who is the God of harvests? What are bursting granaries compared
with Him, who is the Husbandman, and feeds thee with the bread
of heaven? Some have their portion in the city; their wealth is
abundant, and flows to them in constant streams, until they
become a very reservoir of gold; but what is gold compared with
thy God? Thou couldst not live on it; thy spiritual life could
not be sustained by it. Put it on a troubled conscience, and
could it allay its pangs? Apply it to a desponding heart, and
see if it could stay a solitary groan, or give one grief the
less? But thou hast God, and in Him thou hast more than gold or
riches ever could buy. Some have their portion in that which
most men love--applause and fame; but ask thyself, is not thy
God more to thee than that? What if a myriad clarions should be
loud in thine applause, would this prepare thee to pass the
Jordan, or cheer thee in prospect of judgment? No, there are
griefs in life which wealth cannot alleviate; and there is the
deep need of a dying hour, for which no riches can provide. But
when thou hast _God_ for thy portion, thou hast more than all
else put together. In Him every want is met, whether in life or
in death. With God for thy portion thou art rich indeed, for He
will supply thy need, comfort thy heart, assuage thy grief,
guide thy steps, be with thee in the dark valley, and then take
thee home, to enjoy Him as thy portion for ever. "I have
enough," said Esau; this is the best thing a worldly man can
say, but Jacob replies, "I have all things," which is a note too
high for carnal minds.

* 05/14/PM

"He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His
                                                  --Isaiah 40:11

   Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is THE
GOOD SHEPHERD. Why doth He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because
_He hath a tender heart, and any weakness at once melts His
heart_. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little
ones of His flock draw forth His compassion. _It is His office_,
as a faithful High Priest, to consider the weak. Besides, _He
purchased them with blood, they are His property_: He must and
will care for that which cost Him so dear. Then He is
_responsible for each lamb_, bound by covenant engagements not
to lose one. Moreover, _they are all a part of His glory and

   But how may we understand the expression, "He will _carry_ 
them"? Sometimes He carries them by _not permitting them to
endure much trial_. Providence deals tenderly with them. Often
they are "carried" by being filled with _an unusual degree of
love_, so that they bear up and stand fast. Though their
knowledge may not be deep, they have great sweetness in what
they do know. Frequently He "carries" them by giving them _a
very simple faith_, which takes the promise just as it stands,
and believingly runs with every trouble straight to Jesus. The
simplicity of their faith gives them an unusual degree of
confidence, which carries them above the world.

   "He carries the lambs _in His bosom_." Here is _boundless 
affection_. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love
them much? Here is _tender nearness_: so near are they, that
they could not possibly be nearer. Here is _hallowed
familiarity_: there are precious love-passages between Christ
and His weak ones. Here is _perfect safety_: in His bosom who
can hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first. Here is
_perfect rest and sweetest comfort_. Surely we are not
sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!

* 05/15/PM

"Made perfect."
                                                 --Hebrews 12:23

   Recollect that there are two kinds of perfection which the 
Christian needs--the perfection of justification in the person
of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification wrought in him by
the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption yet remains even in the
breasts of the regenerate--experience soon teaches us this.
Within us are still lusts and evil imaginations. But I rejoice
to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work
which He has begun; and He shall present my soul, not only
perfect in Christ, but perfect through the Spirit, without spot
or blemish, or any such thing. Can it be true that this poor
sinful heart of mine is to become holy even as God is holy? Can
it be that this spirit, which often cries, "O wretched man that
I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this sin and death?"
shall get rid of sin and death--that I shall have no evil things
to vex my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace? Oh,
happy hour! may it be hastened! When I cross the Jordan, the
work of sanctification will be finished; but not till that
moment shall I even claim perfection in myself. Then my spirit
shall have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit's fire. Methinks
I long to die to receive that last and final purification which
shall usher me into heaven. Not an angel more pure than I shall
be, for I shall be able to say, in a double sense, "I am clean,"
through Jesus' blood, and through the Spirit's work. Oh, how
should we extol the power of the Holy Ghost in thus making us
fit to stand before our Father in heaven! Yet let not the hope
of perfection hereafter make us content with imperfection now.
If it does this, our hope cannot be genuine; for a good hope is
a purifying thing, even now. The work of grace must be _abiding
in us now_ or it cannot be _perfected then_. Let us pray to "be
filled with the Spirit," that we may bring forth _increasingly_
the fruits of righteousness.

* 05/16/PM

"And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of
ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither
shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water,
that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle, and your beasts."
                                               --2 Kings 3:16,17

   The armies of the three kings were famishing for want of 
water: God was about to send it, and in these words the prophet
announced the coming blessing. Here was a case of _human
helplessness_: not a drop of water could all the valiant men
procure from the skies or find in the wells of earth. Thus often
the people of the Lord are at their wits' end; they see the
vanity of the creature, and learn experimentally where their
help is to be found. Still the people were to make _a believing
preparation for the divine blessing_; they were to dig the
trenches in which the precious liquid would be held. The church
must by her varied agencies, efforts, and prayers, make herself
ready to be blessed; she must make the pools, and the Lord will
fill them. This must be done in faith, in the full assurance
that the blessing is about to descend. By-and-by there was _a
singular bestowal of the needed boon_. Not as in Elijah's case
did the shower pour from the clouds, but in a silent and
mysterious manner the pools were filled. The Lord has His own
sovereign modes of action: He is not tied to manner and time as
we are, but doeth as He pleases among the sons of men. It is
ours thankfully to receive from Him, and not to dictate to Him.
We must also notice _the remarkable abundance of the supply_
--there was enough for the need of all. And so it is in the
gospel blessing; all the wants of the congregation and of the
entire church shall be met by the divine power in answer to
prayer; and above all this, victory shall be speedily given to
the armies of the Lord.

   What am I doing for Jesus? What trenches am I digging? O 
Lord, make me ready to receive the blessing which Thou art so
willing to bestow.

* 05/17/PM

"Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee."
                                                   --Isaiah 41:9

   If we have received the grace of God in our hearts, its 
practical effect has been to make us God's _servants_. We may be
unfaithful servants, we certainly are unprofitable ones, but
yet, blessed be His name, we are His servants, wearing His
livery, feeding at His table, and obeying His commands. We were
once the servants of sin, but He who made us free has now taken
us into His family and taught us obedience to His will. We do
not serve our Master perfectly, but we would if we could. As we
hear God's voice saying unto us, "Thou art My servant," we can
answer with David, "I am thy servant; Thou hast loosed my
bonds." But the Lord calls us not only His _servants_, but His
_chosen_ ones--"I have chosen thee." We have not chosen Him
first, but He hath chosen us. If we be God's servants, we were
not always so; to sovereign grace the change must be ascribed.
The eye of sovereignty singled us out, and the voice of
unchanging grace declared, "I have loved thee with an
everlasting love." Long ere time began or space was created God
had written upon His heart the names of His elect people, had
predestinated them to be conformed unto the image of His Son,
and ordained them heirs of all the fulness of His love, His
grace, and His glory. What comfort is here! Has the Lord loved
us so long, and will He yet cast us away? He knew how
stiffnecked we should be, He understood that our hearts were
evil, and yet He made the choice. Ah! our Saviour is no fickle
lover. He doth not feel enchanted for awhile with some gleams
of beauty from His church's eye, and then afterwards cast her
off because of her unfaithfulness. Nay, He married her in old
eternity; and it is written of Jehovah, "He hateth putting
away." The eternal choice is a bond upon _our_ gratitude and
upon _His_ faithfulness which neither can disown.

* 05/18/PM

                                                 --Hebrews 12:11

   How happy are tried Christians, _afterwards_. No calm more 
deep than that which succeeds a storm. Who has not rejoiced in
clear shinings after rain? Victorious banquets are for
well-exercised soldiers. After killing the lion we eat the
honey; after climbing the Hill Difficulty, we sit down in the
arbour to rest; after traversing the Valley of Humiliation,
after fighting with Apollyon, the shining one appears, with the
healing branch from the tree of life. Our sorrows, like the
passing keels of the vessels upon the sea, leave a silver line
of holy light behind them "afterwards." It is peace, sweet, deep
peace, which follows the horrible turmoil which once reigned in
our tormented, guilty souls. See, then, the happy estate of a
Christian! He has his best things last, and he therefore in this
world receives his worst things first. But even his worst things
are "afterward" good things, harsh ploughings yielding joyful
harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his
falls, he lives by dying, and becomes full by being emptied; if,
then, his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit
in this life, what shall be the full vintage of joy "afterwards"
in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world's days,
what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid
than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can sing in a
dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven! If he can praise
the Lord in the fires, how will he extol Him before the eternal
throne! If evil be good to him _now_, what will the overflowing
goodness of God be to him _then_? Oh, blessed "afterward!" Who
would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross
for the crown which cometh afterwards? But herein is work for
patience, for the rest is not for to-day, nor the triumph for
the present, but "afterward." Wait, O soul, and let patience
have her perfect work.

* 05/19/PM

"And he requested for himself that he might die."
                                                  --1 Kings 19:4

   It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, 
for whom God had ordained an infinitely better lot, the man who
should be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and be
translated, that he should not see death--should thus pray, "Let
me die, I am no better than my fathers." We have here a
memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind,
though He always does in effect. He gave Elias something better
than that which he asked for, and thus really heard and answered
him. Strange was it that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so
depressed by Jezebel's threat as to ask to die, and blessedly
kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father that He did not
take His desponding servant at his word. There is a limit to the
doctrine of the prayer of faith. We are not to expect that God
will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we
sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss. If we
ask for that which is not promised--if we run counter to the
spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate--if we ask
contrary to His will, or to the decrees of His providence--if we
ask merely for the gratification of our own ease, and without an
eye to His glory, we must not expect that we shall receive. Yet,
when we ask in faith, nothing doubting, if we receive not the
precise thing asked for, we shall receive an equivalent, and
more than an equivalent, for it. As one remarks, "If the Lord
does not pay in silver, He will in gold; and if He does not pay
in gold, He will in diamonds." If He does not give you precisely
what you ask for, He will give you that which is tantamount to
it, and that which you will greatly rejoice to receive in lieu
thereof. Be then, dear reader, much in prayer, and make this
evening a season of earnest intercession, but take heed what you

* 05/20/PM

"I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love."
                                                    --Hosea 11:4

   Our heavenly Father often draws us with the cords of love; 
but ah! how backward we are to run towards Him! How slowly do we
respond to His gentle impulses! _He draws us to exercise a more
simple faith in Him_; but we have not yet attained to Abraham's
confidence; we do not leave our worldly cares with God, but,
like Martha, we cumber ourselves with much serving. Our meagre
faith brings leanness into our souls; we do not open our mouths
wide, though God has promised to fill them. Does He not this
evening draw us to trust Him? Can we not hear Him say, "Come, My
child, and trust Me. The veil is rent; enter into My presence,
and approach boldly to the throne of My grace. I am worthy of
thy fullest confidence, cast thy cares on Me. Shake thyself from
the dust of thy cares, and put on thy beautiful garments of
joy." But, alas! though called with tones of love to the blessed
exercise of this comforting grace, we will not come. At another
time _He draws us to closer communion with Himself_. We have
been sitting on the doorstep of God's house, and He bids us
advance into the banqueting hall and sup with Him, but we
decline the honour. There are secret rooms not yet opened to us;
Jesus invites us to enter them, but we hold back. Shame on our
cold hearts! We are but poor lovers of our sweet Lord Jesus, not
fit to be His servants, much less to be His brides, and yet He
hath exalted us to be bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh,
married to Him by a glorious marriage-covenant. Herein is love!
But it is love which _takes no denial_. If we obey not the
gentle drawings of His love, He will send affliction to drive us
into closer intimacy with Himself. Have us nearer He will. What
foolish children we are to refuse those bands of love, and so
bring upon our backs that scourge of small cords, which Jesus
knows how to use!

* 05/21/PM

"There is corn in Egypt."
                                                  --Genesis 42:2

   Famine pinched all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that 
Jacob and his family should suffer great want; but the God of
providence, who never forgets the objects of electing love, had
stored a granary for His people by giving the Egyptians warning
of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of
the years of plenty. Little did Jacob expect deliverance from
Egypt, but there was the corn in store for him. Believer, though
all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God
has made a reservation on thy behalf; in the roll of thy griefs
there is a saving clause. Somehow He will deliver thee, and
somewhere He will provide for thee. The quarter from which thy
rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will
assuredly come in thine extremity, and thou shalt magnify the
name of the Lord. If men do not feed thee, ravens shall; and if
earth yield not wheat, heaven shall drop with manna. Therefore
be of good courage, and rest quietly in the Lord. God can make
the sun rise in the west if He pleases, and make the source of
distress the channel of delight. The corn in Egypt was all in
the hands of the beloved Joseph; he opened or closed the
granaries at will. And so the riches of providence are all in
the absolute power of our Lord Jesus, who will dispense them
liberally to His people. Joseph was abundantly ready to succour
his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in His faithful care for
His brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is
provided for us: we must not sit still in despondency, but
bestir ourselves. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence of
our royal Brother: once before His throne we have only to ask
and have: His stores are not exhausted; there is corn still: His
heart is not hard, He will give the corn to us. Lord, forgive
our unbelief, and this evening constrain us to draw largely from
Thy fulness and receive grace for grace.

* 05/22/PM

"Behold, Thou art fair, my Beloved."
                                          --Song of Solomon 1:16

   From every point our Well-beloved is most fair. Our various 
experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh
standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus; how
amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may
gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us!
We have seen Him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir
and Hermon, and He has shone upon us as the sun in his strength;
but we have seen Him also "from the lions' dens, from the
mountains of the leopards," and He has lost none of His
loveliness. From the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders
of the grave, have we turned our eyes to our soul's spouse, and
He has never been otherwise than "all fair." Many of His saints
have looked upon Him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the
red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word
of Him, but have died extolling His surpassing charms. Oh, noble
and pleasant employment to be for ever gazing at our sweet Lord
Jesus! Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Saviour in
all His offices, and to perceive Him matchless in each?--to
shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh
combinations of peerless graces? In the manger and in eternity,
on the cross and on His throne, in the garden and in His
kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, He is
everywhere "altogether lovely." Examine carefully every little
act of His life, and every trait of His character, and He is as
lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge Him as you will,
you cannot censure; weigh Him as you please, and He will not be
found wanting. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot
in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, His hidden glories
shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendour, and His
unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial

* 05/23/PM

"Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money."
                                                  --Isaiah 43:24

   Worshippers at the temple were wont to bring presents of 
sweet perfumes to be burned upon the altar of God: but Israel,
in the time of her backsliding, became ungenerous, and made but
few votive offerings to her Lord: this was an evidence of
coldness of heart towards God and His house. Reader, does this
never occur with you? Might not the complaint of the text be
occasionally, if not frequently, brought against you? Those who
are poor in pocket, if rich in faith, will be accepted none the
less because their gifts are small; but, poor reader, do you
give in fair proportion to the Lord, or is the widow's mite kept
back from the sacred treasury? The rich believer should be
thankful for the talent entrusted to him, but should not forget
his large responsibility, for where much is given much will be
required; but, rich reader, are you mindful of your obligations,
and rendering to the Lord according to the benefit received?
Jesus gave His blood for us, what shall we give to Him? We are
His, and all that we have, for He has purchased us unto Himself
--can we act as if we were our own? O for more consecration! and
to this end, O for more love! Blessed Jesus, how good it is of
Thee to accept our sweet cane bought with money! nothing is too
costly as a tribute to Thine unrivalled love, and yet Thou dost
receive with favour the smallest sincere token of affection!
Thou dost receive our poor forget-me-nots and love-tokens as
though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are
but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its
mother. Never may we grow niggardly towards Thee, and from this
hour never may we hear Thee complain of us again for withholding
the gifts of our love. We will give Thee the first fruits of our
increase, and pay Thee tithes of all, and then we will confess
"of Thine own have we given Thee."

* 05/24/PM

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of
                                              --Philippians 1:27

   The word "conversation" does not merely mean our talk and 
converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and
behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and
the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let
our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as
becometh the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is
this? In the first place, _the gospel is very simple_. So
Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There
should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole
behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty. The
gospel is _pre-eminently true_, it is gold without dross; and
the Christian's life will be lustreless and valueless without
the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very _fearless gospel_, it
boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must
be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also
_very gentle_. Mark this spirit in its Founder: "a bruised reed
He will not break." Some professors are sharper than a
thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win
others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is
_very loving_. It is the message of the God of love to a lost
and fallen race. Christ's last command to His disciples was,
"Love one another." O for more real, hearty union and love to
all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of
the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel
of Christ is _holy_. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but
only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the
gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but
everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ.
For His sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we
must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in
accordance with His gospel.

* 05/25/PM

"And they rose up the same hour, and returned Jerusalem . . .
and they told what things were done in the way, and how He was
known of them."
                                                 --Luke 24:33,35

   When the two disciples had reached Emmaus, and were 
refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious
stranger who had so enchanted them upon the road, took bread and
brake it, made Himself known to them, and then vanished out of
their sight. They had constrained Him to abide with them,
because the day was far spent; but now, although it was much
later, their love was a lamp to their feet, yea, wings also;
they forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and
forthwith they journeyed back the threescore furlongs to tell
the gladsome news of a risen Lord, who had appeared to them by
the way. They reached the Christians in Jerusalem, and were
received by a burst of joyful news before they could tell their
own tale. These early Christians were all on fire to speak of
Christ's resurrection, and to proclaim what they knew of the
Lord; they made common property of their experiences. This
evening let their example impress us deeply. We too must bear
our witness concerning Jesus. John's account of the sepulchre
needed to be supplemented by Peter; and Mary could speak of
something further still; combined, we have a full testimony from
which nothing can be spared. We have each of us peculiar gifts
and special manifestations; but the one object God has in view
is the perfecting of the whole body of Christ. We must,
therefore, bring our spiritual possessions and lay them at the
apostle's feet, and make distribution unto all of what God has
given to us. Keep back no part of the precious truth, but speak
what you know, and testify what you have seen. Let not the toil
or darkness, or possible unbelief of your friends, weigh one
moment in the scale. Up, and be marching to the place of duty,
and there tell what great things God has shown to your soul.

* 05/26/PM

"Continue in the faith."
                                                    --Acts 14:22

   Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life 
is not a _beginning_ only in the ways of God, but also a
_continuance_ in the same as long as life lasts. It is with a
Christian as it was with the great Napoleon: he said, "Conquest
has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me." So, under
God, dear brother in the Lord, conquest has made you what you
are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be,
"Excelsior." He only is a true conqueror, and shall be crowned
at the last, who continueth till war's trumpet is blown no more.
Perseverance is, therefore, the target of all our spiritual
enemies. The _world_ does not object to your being a Christian
for a time, if she can but tempt you to cease your pilgrimage,
and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity Fair. The
_flesh_ will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing
on to glory. "It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it
up. Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give
me at least a furlough from this constant warfare." _Satan_ will
make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the
mark for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you _in
service_: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and that
you want rest. He will endeavour to make you weary of
_suffering_, he will whisper, "Curse God, and die." Or he will
attack your _steadfastness_: "What is the good of being so
zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do others, and let
your lamp go out as the other virgins do." Or he will assail
your _doctrinal sentiments_: "Why do you hold to these
denominational creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal;
they are removing the old landmarks: fall in with the times."
Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon your armour,
and cry mightily unto God, that by His Spirit you may endure to
the end.

* 05/27/PM

"What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead
dog as I am?"
                                                  --2 Samuel 9:8

   If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David's kindness, what 
shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace
we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like
light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known
to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has
been so clear and keen. "I am," says holy Rutherford, "a dry and
withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not
able to step over a straw." In another place he writes, "Except
as to open outbreakings, I want nothing of what Judas and Cain
had." The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind
to have a preference above itself, because they have never
contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it
has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog
may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is
soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we
forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at His call.
The term "dead dog" is the most expressive of all terms of
contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self-
abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock
modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves
in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of
their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere
walking hillocks; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed.
Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus
should set His heart's love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes
though we be, we must and will "magnify the exceeding greatness
of His grace." Could not His heart find rest in heaven? Must He
needs come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a
bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break
forth into a song, and give all glory to our sweet Lord Jesus.

* 05/28/PM

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope."
                                             --Lamentations 3:21

   Memory is frequently the bondslave of despondency. Despairing 
minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and
dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory,
clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall
and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom
can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same
recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens,
may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs.
She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow
with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in
Jeremiah's experience: in the previous verse memory had brought
him to deep humiliation of soul: "My soul hath them still in
remembrance, and is humbled in me"; and now this same memory
restored him to life and comfort. "This I recall to my mind,
therefore have I hope." Like a two-edged sword, his memory first
killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with
the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our
memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress,
strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of
comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the
earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would
prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light
for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and
the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime.
Be it ours to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to
rehearse His deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of
recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of
mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as
Coleridge calls it, "the bosom-spring of joy," and when the
Divine Comforter bends it to His service, it may be chief among
earthly comforters.

* 05/29/PM

"Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and
buildeth this city Jericho."
                                                   --Joshua 6:26

   Since he was cursed who rebuilt Jericho, I much more the man 
who labours to restore Popery among us. In our fathers' days the
gigantic walls of Popery fell by the power of their faith, the
perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel
trumpets; and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed
system upon its old foundation. O Lord, be pleased to thwart
their unrighteous endeavours, and pull down every stone which
they build. It should be a serious business with us to be
thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to
foster the spirit of Popery, and when we have made a clean sweep
at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid
spread abroad in the church and in the world. This last can be
done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by decided
testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are
inclined towards the errors of Rome; we must instruct the young
in gospel truth, and tell them of the black doings of Popery in
the olden times. We must aid in spreading the light more
thoroughly through the land, for priests, like owls, hate
daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the gospel? If
not, our negligence plays into the hands of the priestcraft.
What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the Pope's bane
and poison? Are we casting abroad good, sound gospel writings?
Luther once said, "The devil hates goose quills" and, doubtless,
he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit's
blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands
who will read this short word this night will do all they can to
hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord's glory
shall speed among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What
will you do?

* 05/30/PM

"That henceforth we should not serve sin."
                                                    --Romans 6:6

   Christian, what hast thou to do with sin? _Hath it not cost 
thee enough already_? Burnt child, wilt thou play with the fire?
What! when thou hast already been between the jaws of the lion,
wilt thou step a second time into his den? Hast thou not had
enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all thy veins once,
and wilt thou play upon the hole of the asp, and put thy hand
upon the cockatrice's den a second time? Oh, be not so mad! so
foolish! Did sin ever yield thee real pleasure? Didst thou find
solid satisfaction in it? If so, go back to thine old drudgery,
and wear the chain again, if it delight thee. But inasmuch as
sin did never give thee what it promised to bestow, but deluded
thee with lies, be not a second time snared by the old fowler--
be free, and let the remembrance of thy ancient bondage forbid
thee to enter the net again! _It is contrary to the designs of
eternal love_, which all have an eye to thy purity and holiness;
therefore run not counter to the purposes of thy Lord. Another
thought should restrain thee from sin. _Christians can never sin
cheaply_; they pay a heavy price for iniquity. Transgression
destroys peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders
prayer, brings darkness over the soul; therefore be not the serf
and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time
you "serve sin" you have "_Crucified the Lord afresh, and put
Him to an open shame_." Can you bear that thought? Oh! if you
have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be my
Master has sent this admonition this evening, to bring you back
before you have backslidden very far. Turn thee to Jesus anew;
He has not forgotten His love to thee; His grace is still the
same. With weeping and repentance, come thou to His footstool,
and thou shalt be once more received into His heart; thou shalt
be set upon a rock again, and thy goings shall be established.

* 05/31/PM

"Who healeth all thy diseases."
                                                   --Psalm 103:3

   Humbling as is the statement, yet the fact is certain, that 
we are all more or less suffering under the disease of sin. What
a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both
able and willing to heal us! Let us think of Him awhile
to-night. His cures are very _speedy_--there is life in a look
at Him; His cures are _radical_--He strikes at the centre of the
disease; and hence, His cures are sure and certain. He never
fails, and _the disease never returns_. There is no relapse
where Christ heals; no fear that His patients should be merely
patched up for a season, He makes new men of them: a new heart
also does He give them, and a right spirit does He put with
them. He is well skilled in _all_ diseases. Physicians generally
have some _specialite_. Although they may know a little about
almost all our pains and ills, there is usually one disease
which they have studied above all others; but Jesus Christ is
thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as
much at home with one sinner as with another, and never yet did
He meet with an out-of-the-way case that was difficult to Him.
He has had extraordinary complications of strange diseases to
deal with, but He has known exactly with one glance of His eye
how to treat the patient. He is the only universal doctor; and
the medicine He gives is the only true catholicon, healing in
every instance. Whatever our spiritual malady may be, we should
apply at once to this Divine Physician. There is no brokenness
of heart which Jesus cannot bind up. "His blood cleanseth from
all sin." We have but to think of the myriads who have been
delivered from all sorts of diseases through the power and
virtue of His touch, and we shall joyfully put ourselves in His
hands. We trust Him, and sin dies; we love Him, and grace lives;
we wait for Him and grace is strengthened; we see Him as he is,
and grace is perfected for ever.

This document (last modified September 30, 1995) from