June AM

* 06/01/AM

"The evening and the morning were the first day."
                                                   --Genesis 1:5

   Was it so even in the beginning? Did light and darkness 
divide the realm of time in the first day? Then little wonder is
it if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine
of prosperity to the midnight of adversity. It will not always
be the blaze of noon even in my soul concerns, I must expect at
seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my
Beloved in the night. Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord's
beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and
of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight.
It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and
night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural
creation till we reach the land of which it is written, "there
is no night there." What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and

   What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do? Learn first 
_to be content_ with this divine order, and be willing, with
Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good.
Study next, to _make the outgoings of the morning and the
evening to rejoice_. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it
rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is
beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the
Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours.
_Believe that the night is as useful as the day_. The dews of
grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise
shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. _Continue thy
service_ under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be
_labour_, at night exchange it for _watch_. Every hour has its
duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord's servant
until He shall suddenly appear in His glory. My soul, thine
evening of old age and death is drawing near, dread it not, for
it is part of the day; and the Lord has said, "I will cover him
all the day long."

* 06/02/AM

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh."

                                                --Galatians 5:17

   In every believer's heart there is a constant struggle 
between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very
active, and loses no opportunity of plying all the weapons of
its deadly armoury against newborn grace; while on the other
hand, the new nature is ever on the watch to resist and destroy
its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer, and faith, and
hope, and love, to cast out the evil; it takes unto it the
"whole armour of God," and wrestles earnestly. These two
opposing natures will never cease to struggle so long as we are
in this world. The battle of "Christian" with "Apollyon" lasted
three hours, but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all
the way from the Wicket Gate in the river Jordan. The enemy is
so securely entrenched within us that he can never be driven out
while we are in this body: but although we are closely beset,
and often in sore conflict, we have an Almighty helper, even
Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who is ever with us, and
who assures us that we shall eventually come off more than
conquerors through Him. With such assistance the new-born nature
is more than a match for its foes. Are you fighting with the
adversary to-day? Are Satan, the world, and the flesh, all
against you? Be not discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God
Himself is with you; _Jehovah Nissi_ is your banner, and
_Jehovah Rophi_ is the healer of your wounds. Fear not, you
shall overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on,
"looking unto Jesus"; and though long and stern be the conflict,
sweet will be the victory, and glorious the promised reward.

             "From strength to strength go on;
             Wrestle, and fight, and pray,
             Tread all the powers of darkness down,
             And win the well-fought day."

* 06/03/AM

"These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and
hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work."
                                             --1 Chronicles 4:23

   Potters were the very highest grade of workers, but "the 
king" needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service,
although the material upon which they worked was nothing but
clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the
Lord's work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for "the
king"; and therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that,
"although we have lien among the pots, yet shall we be as the
wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with
yellow gold." The text tells us of those who _dwelt among plants
and hedges_, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to
do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life,
society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places,
for they also were doing the king's work. The place of our
habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of
whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a
blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and
gardeners had _royal company_, for they dwelt "with the king"
and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king
_there_. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean,
can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting
hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or gaols, we may go
_with the king_. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesu's
fellowship. It is when we are in His work that we may reckon
upon His smile. Ye unknown workers who are occupied for your
Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be
of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills ere
now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and
ill weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell ye
with the King for His work, and when He writes His chronicles
your name shall be recorded.

* 06/04/AM

"The kindness and love of God our Saviour."
                                                     --Titus 3:4

   How sweet it is to behold the Saviour communing with His own 
beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by
the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight.
Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the
Redeemer's love, and a thousand enchanting acts of affection
will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design
the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of
the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of
Jesus. When we meditate upon this amazing love, and behold the
all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all His
ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he that
can endure such a weight of love? That partial sense of it
which the Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford, is more
than the soul can contain; how transporting must be a complete
view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern
all the Saviour's gifts, wisdom wherewith to estimate them, and
time in which to meditate upon them, such as the world to come
will afford us, we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer
manner than at present. But who can imagine the sweetness of
such fellowship? It must be one of the things which have not
entered into the heart of man, but which God hath prepared for
them that love Him. Oh, to burst open the door of our Joseph's
granaries, and see the plenty which He hath stored up for us!
This will overwhelm us with love. By faith we see, as in a
glass darkly, the reflected image of His unbounded treasures,
but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves,
with our own eyes, how deep will be the stream of fellowship in
which our soul shall bathe itself! Till then our loudest sonnets
shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our
Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.

* 06/05/AM

"The Lord shut him in."
                                                  --Genesis 7:16

   Noah was shut in away from all the world by the hand of 
divine love. The door of electing purpose interposes between us
and the world which lieth in the wicked one. We are not of the
world even as our Lord Jesus was not of the world. Into the sin,
the gaiety, the pursuits of the multitude we cannot enter; we
cannot play in the streets of Vanity Fair with the children of
darkness, for our heavenly Father has shut us in. Noah was shut
in _with his God_. "_Come_ thou into the ark," was the Lord's
invitation, by which He clearly showed that He Himself intended
to dwell in the ark with His servant and his family. Thus all
the chosen dwell in God and God in them. Happy people to be
enclosed in the same circle which contains God in the Trinity of
His persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. Let us never be
inattentive to that gracious call, "Come, my people, enter thou
into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee, and hide
thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be
overpast." Noah was so shut in that _no evil could reach him_.
Floods did but lift him heavenward, and winds did but waft him
on his way. Outside of the ark all was ruin, but inside all was
rest and peace. Without Christ we perish, but in Christ Jesus
there is perfect safety. Noah was so shut in that _he could not
even desire to come out_, and those who are in Christ Jesus are
in Him for ever. They shall go no more out for ever, for eternal
faithfulness has shut them in, and infernal malice cannot drag
them out. The Prince of the house of David shutteth and no man
openeth; and when once in the last days as Master of the house
He shall rise up and shut the door, it will be in vain for mere
professors to knock, and cry Lord, Lord open unto us, for that
same door which shuts in the wise virgins will shut out the
foolish for ever. Lord, shut me in by Thy grace.

* 06/06/AM

"Behold, I am vile."
                                                      --Job 40:4

   One cheering word, poor lost sinner, for thee! You think you
must not come to God because YOU are vile. Now, there is not a
saint living on earth but has been made to feel that he is vile.
If Job, and Isaiah, and Paul were all obliged to say "I am
vile," oh, poor sinner, wilt thou be ashamed to join in the same
confession? If divine grace does not eradicate all sin from the
believer, how dost thou hope to do it thyself? and if God loves
His people while they are yet vile, dost thou think thy vileness
will prevent His loving thee? Believe on Jesus, thou outcast of
the world's society! Jesus calls _thee_, and such as thou art.

            "Not the righteous, not the righteous;
            Sinners, Jesus came to call."

Even now say, "Thou hast died for sinners; I am a sinner, Lord
Jesus, sprinkle Thy blood on me"; if thou wilt confess thy sin
thou shalt find pardon. If, now, with all thy heart, thou wilt
say, "I am vile, wash me," thou shalt be washed now. If the Holy
Spirit shall enable thee from thy heart to cry

            Just as I am, without one plea
            But that Thy blood was shed for me,
            And that thou bidd'st me come to Thee,
            O Lamb of God, I come!"

thou shalt rise from reading this morning's portion with all thy
sins pardoned; and though thou didst wake this morning with
every sin that man hath ever committed on thy head, thou shalt
rest to-night accepted in the Beloved; though once degraded with
the rags of sin, thou shalt be adorned with a robe of
righteousness, and appear white as the angels are. For "now,"
mark it, "_Now_ is the accepted time." If thou "believest on Him
who justifieth the ungodly thou art saved." Oh! may the Holy
Spirit give thee saving faith in Him who receives the vilest.

* 06/07/AM

"Ye that love the Lord hate evil."
                                                   --Psalm 97:10

   Thou hast good reason to "hate evil," for only consider what 
harm it has already wrought thee. Oh, what a world of mischief
sin has brought into thy heart! Sin blinded thee so that thou
couldst not see the beauty of the Saviour; it made thee deaf so
that thou couldst not hear the Redeemer's tender invitations.
Sin turned thy feet into the way of death, and poured poison
into the very fountain of thy being; it tainted thy heart, and
made it "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."
Oh, what a creature thou wast when evil had done its utmost with
thee, before divine grace interposed! Thou wast an heir of wrath
even as others; thou didst "run with the multitude to do evil."
Such were all of us; but Paul reminds us, "but ye are washed,
but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." We have good reason,
indeed, for hating evil when we look back and trace its deadly
workings. Such mischief did evil do us, that our souls would
have been lost had not omnipotent love interfered to redeem us.
Even now it is an active enemy, ever watching to do us hurt, and
to drag us to perdition. Therefore "hate evil," O Christians,
unless you desire trouble. If you would strew your path with
thorns, and plant nettles in your death-pillow, then neglect to
"hate evil"; but if you would live a happy life, and die a
peaceful death, then walk in all the ways of holiness, hating
evil, even unto the end. If you truly love your Saviour, and
would honour Him, then "hate evil." We know of no cure for the
love of evil in a Christian like abundant intercourse with the
Lord Jesus. Dwell much with Him, and it is impossible for you to
be at peace with sin.

               "Order my footsteps by Thy Word,
               And make my heart sincere;
               Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
               But keep my conscience clear."

* 06/08/AM

"There fell down many slain, because the war was of God."
                                             --1 Chronicles 5:22

   Warrior, fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, observe 
this verse with holy joy, for as it was in the days of old so is
it now, if the war be of God the victory is sure. The sons of
Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh could
barely muster five and forty thousand fighting men, and yet in
their war with the Hagarites, they slew "men, an hundred
thousand," "for they cried to God in the battle, and He was
entreated of them, because they put their trust in Him." The
Lord saveth not by many nor by few; it is ours to go forth in
Jehovah's name if we be but a handful of men, for the Lord of
Hosts is with us for our Captain. They did not neglect buckler,
and sword, and bow, neither did they place their trust in these
weapons; we must use all fitting means, but our confidence must
rest in the Lord alone, for He is the sword and the shield of
His people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay
in the fact that "the war was of God." Beloved, in fighting with
sin without and within, with error doctrinal or practical, with
spiritual wickedness in high places or low places, with devils
and the devil's allies, you are waging Jehovah's war, and unless
He himself can be worsted, you need not fear defeat. Quail not
before superior numbers, shrink not from difficulties or
impossibilities, flinch not at wounds or death, smite with the
two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps.
The battle is the Lord's and He will deliver His enemies into
our hands. With steadfast foot, strong hand, dauntless heart,
and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the hosts of evil
shall fly like chaff before the gale.

Stand up! stand up for Jesus!      To him that overcometh,
The strife will not be long;       A crown of life shall be;
This day the noise of battle,      He with the King of glory
The next the victor's song:        Shall reign eternally.

* 06/09/AM

"The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."
                                                   --Psalm 126:3

   Some Christians are sadly prone to _look_ on the _dark_ side 
of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone
through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their
impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their
continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad
adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with
scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has
vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a _healthy_
state, will come forward joyously, and say, "I will speak, not
about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up
out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my
feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and He hath put a
new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath
done great things for me, whereof I am glad." Such an abstract
of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can
present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as
true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have
our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite
as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes
these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In
looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the
Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of
Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we
have been _through_ them safely and profitably; we have not
remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who
has brought us "out into a wealthy place." The deeper our
troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through
all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the
melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our
life's song, "He hath done great things for us, whereof we are

* 06/10/AM

"We live unto the Lord."
                                                   --Romans 14:8

   If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at 
the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for
our preparation for immortality that we should tarry here. It is
possible for a man to be taken to heaven, and to be found meet
to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light,
though he has but just believed in Jesus. It is true that our
sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall not
be perfected till we lay aside our bodies and enter within the
veil; but nevertheless, had the Lord so willed it, He might have
changed us from imperfection to perfection, and have taken us to
heaven at once. Why then are we here? Would God keep His
children out of paradise a single moment longer than was
necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the
battle-field when one charge might give them the victory? Why
are His children still wandering hither and thither through a
maze, when a solitary word from His lips would bring them into
the centre of their hopes in heaven? The answer is--they are
here that they may "_live unto the Lord_," and may bring others
to know His love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good
seed; as ploughmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds
publishing salvation. We are here as the "salt of the earth," to
be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our
daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as "workers
together with Him." Let us see that our life answereth its end.
Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to "the praise of the
glory of His grace." Meanwhile we long to be with Him, and daily

              "My heart is with Him on His throne,
              And ill can brook delay;
              Each moment listening for the voice,
              'Rise up, and come away.'"

* 06/11/AM

"We love Him because He first loved us."
                                                   --1 John 4:19

   There is no light in the planet but that which proceedeth 
from the sun; and there is no true love to Jesus in the heart
but that which cometh from the Lord Jesus himself. From this
overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God, all our love
to God must spring. This must ever be a great and certain truth,
that we love Him for no other reason than because He first loved
us. Our love to Him is _the fair offspring_ of His love to us.
Cold admiration, when studying the works of God, anyone may
have, but the warmth of love can only be kindled in the heart by
God's Spirit. How great the wonder that such as we should ever
have been brought to love Jesus at all! How marvellous that when
we had rebelled against Him, He should, by a display of such
amazing love, seek to draw us back. No! never should we have had
a grain of love towards God unless it had been sown in us by the
sweet seed of His love to us. Love, then, has for its parent the
love of God shed abroad in the heart: but after it is thus
divinely born, it must _be divinely nourished_. Love is an
exotic; it is not a plant which will flourish naturally in human
soil, it must be watered from above. Love to Jesus is a flower
of a delicate nature, and if it received no nourishment but that
which could be drawn from the rock of our hearts it would soon
wither. As love comes from heaven, so it must feed on heavenly
bread. It cannot exist in the wilderness unless it be fed by
manna from on high. Love must feed on love. The very soul and
life of our love to God is His love to us.

          "I love thee, Lord, but with no love of mine,
          For I have none to give;
          I love thee, Lord; but all the love is thine,
          For by thy love I live.
          I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
          Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in thee."

* 06/12/AM

"Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting."
                                                   --Daniel 5:27

   It is well frequently to weigh ourselves in the scale of 
God's Word. You will find it a holy exercise to read some psalm
of David, and, as you meditate upon each verse, to ask yourself,
"Can I say this? Have I felt as David felt? Has my heart ever
been broken on account of sin, as his was when he penned his
penitential psalms? Has my soul been full of true confidence in
the hour of difficulty as his was when he sang of God's mercies
in the cave of Adullam, or in the holds of Engedi? Do I take the
cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord?" Then turn
to the life of Christ, and as you read, ask yourselves how far
you are conformed to His likeness. Endeavour to discover whether
you have the meekness, the humility, the lovely spirit which He
constantly inculcated and displayed. Take, then, the epistles,
and see whether you can go with the apostle in what he said of
his experience. Have you ever cried out as he did--"O wretched
man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this
death"? Have you ever felt his self-abasement? Have you seemed
to yourself the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all
saints? Have you known anything of his devotion? Could you join
with him and say, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is
gain"? If we thus read God's Word as a test of our spiritual
condition, we shall have good reason to stop many a time and
say, "Lord, I feel I have never yet been here, O bring me here!
give me true penitence, such as this I read of. Give me real
faith; give me warmer zeal; inflame me with more fervent love;
grant me the grace of meekness; make me more like Jesus. Let me
no longer be 'found wanting,' when weighed in the balances of
the sanctuary, lest I be found wanting in the scales of
judgment." "Judge yourselves that ye be not judged."

* 06/13/AM

"Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
                                              --Revelation 22:17

   Jesus says, "take freely." He wants no payment or 
preparation. He seeks no recommendation from our virtuous
emotions. If you have no good feelings, if you be but willing,
you are invited; therefore come! You have no belief and no
repentance,--come to Him, and He will give them to you. Come
just as you are, and take "Freely," without money and without
price. He gives Himself to needy ones. The drinking fountains at
the corners of our streets are valuable institutions; and we can
hardly imagine any one so foolish as to feel for his purse, when
he stands before one of them, and to cry, "I cannot drink
because I have not five pounds in my pocket." However poor the
man is, there is the fountain, and just as he is he may drink of
it. Thirsty passengers, as they go by, whether they are dressed
in fustian or in broadcloth, do not look for any warrant for
drinking; its being there is their warrant for taking its water
freely. The liberality of some good friends has put the
refreshing crystal there and we take it, and ask no questions.
Perhaps the only persons who need go thirsty through the street
where there is a drinking fountain, are the fine ladies and
gentlemen who are in their carriages. They are very thirsty, but
cannot think of being so vulgar as to get out to drink. It would
demean them, they think, to drink at a common drinking fountain:
so they ride by with parched lips. Oh, how many there are who
are rich in their own good works and cannot therefore come to
Christ! "I will not be saved," they say, "in the same way as the
harlot or the swearer." What! go to heaven in the same way as a
chimney sweep. Is there no pathway to glory but the path which
led the thief there? I will not be saved that way. Such proud
boasters must remain without the living water; but, "WHOSOEVER

* 06/14/AM

"Delight thyself also in the Lord."
                                                    --Psalm 37:4

   The teaching of these words must seem very surprising to 
those who are strangers to vital godliness, but to the sincere
believer it is only the inculcation of a recognized truth. The
life of the believer is here described as a _delight_ in God,
and we are thus certified of the great fact that true religion
overflows with happiness and joy. Ungodly persons and mere
professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them
it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or
delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either that
they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not do
otherwise. The thought of _delight_ in religion is so strange to
most men, that no two words in their language stand further
apart than "holiness" and "delight." But believers who know
Christ, understand that delight and faith are so blessedly
united, that the gates of hell cannot prevail to separate them.
They who love God with all their hearts, find that His ways are
ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace. Such joys,
such brimful delights, such overflowing blessednesses, do the
saints discover in their Lord, that so far from serving Him from
custom, they would follow Him though all the world cast out His
name as evil. We fear not God because of any compulsion; our
faith is no fetter, our profession is no bondage, we are not
dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, our piety is our
pleasure, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight.

   Delight and true religion are as allied as root and flower;
as indivisible as truth and certainty; they are, in fact, two
precious jewels glittering side by side in a setting of gold.

                  "'Tis when we taste Thy love,
                  Our joys divinely grow,
                  Unspeakable like those above,
                  And heaven begins below."

* 06/15/AM

"And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that
hear will laugh with me."
                                                  --Genesis 21:6

   It was far above the power of nature, and even contrary to 
its laws, that the aged Sarah should be honoured with a son; and
even so it is beyond all ordinary rules that I, a poor,
helpless, undone sinner, should find grace to bear about in my
soul the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus. I, who once
despaired, as well I might, for my nature was as dry, and
withered, and barren, and accursed as a howling wilderness, even
I have been made to bring forth fruit unto holiness. Well may my
mouth be filled with joyous laughter, because of the singular,
surprising grace which I have received of the Lord, for I have
found Jesus, the promised seed, and He is mine for ever. This
day will I lift up psalms of triumph unto the Lord who has
remembered my low estate, for "my heart rejoiceth in the Lord;
mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine
enemies, because I rejoice in Thy salvation."

   I would have all those that hear of my great deliverance from 
hell, and my most blessed visitation from on high, laugh for joy
with me. I would surprise my family with my abundant peace; I
would delight my friends with my ever-increasing happiness; I
would edify the Church with my grateful confessions; and even
impress the world with the cheerfulness of my daily
conversation. Bunyan tells us that Mercy laughed in her sleep,
and no wonder when she dreamed of Jesus; my joy shall not stop
short of hers while my Beloved is the theme of my daily
thoughts. The Lord Jesus is a deep sea of joy: my soul shall
dive therein, shall be swallowed up in the delights of His
society. Sarah looked on her Isaac, and laughed with excess of
rapture, and all her friends laughed with her; and thou, my
soul, look on thy Jesus, and bid heaven and earth unite in thy
joy unspeakable.

* 06/16/AM

"And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never
                                                    --John 10:28

   The Christian should never think or speak lightly of 
unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust His love, His truth,
His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we
ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it
is contrary to every promise of God's precious Word that thou
shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so,
how could He be true who has said, "Can a woman forget her
sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of
her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee."
What were the value of that promise--"The mountains shall
depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not
depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be
removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Where were the
truth of Christ's words--"I give unto My sheep eternal life; and
they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of
My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and
no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." Where
were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one
child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, His
honour, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of
those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in
Him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving
fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the
dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful
to doubt His Word wherein He has promised thee that thou shalt
never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in
confident rejoicing.

              "The gospel bears my spirit up:
              A faithful and unchanging God
              Lays the foundation for my hope,
              In oaths, and promises, and blood."

* 06/17/AM

"Help, Lord."
                                                    --Psalm 12:1

   _The prayer itself is remarkable_, for it is _short_, but 
_seasonable, sententious_, and _suggestive_. David mourned the
fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in
supplication--when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator.
He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried
for help; but at the same time he intended honestly to exert
himself for the cause of truth, for the word "help" is
inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of
_directness, clearness of perception_, and _distinctness of
utterance_ in this petition of two words; much more, indeed,
than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The
Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a
well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where
to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

   _The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent_. In 
providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers
who find all helpers failing them. Students, in _doctrinal
difficulties_, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of
"Help, Lord," to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual
warriors in _inward conflicts_ may send to the throne for
reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request.
Workers in _heavenly labour_ may thus obtain grace in time of
need. Seeking sinners, in _doubts and alarms_, may offer up the
same weighty supplication; in fact, in all these cases, times,
and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. "Help,
Lord," will suit us living and dying, suffering or labouring,
rejoicing or sorrowing. In Him our help is found, let us not be
slack to cry to Him.

   _The answer to the prayer is certain_, if it be sincerely
offered through Jesus. The Lord's character assures us that He
will not leave His people; His relationship as Father and
Husband guarantee us His aid; His gift of Jesus is a pledge of
every good thing; and His sure promise stands, "Fear not, I WILL

* 06/18/AM

"Thy Redeemer."
                                                   --Isaiah 54:5

   Jesus, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. 
All the _offices_ of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king
for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a
new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under
that name as much as under any other. The shepherd's staff, the
father's rod, the captain's sword, the priest's mitre, the
prince's sceptre, the prophet's mantle, all are ours. Jesus hath
no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no
prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His
fulness of _Godhead_ is our unfailing, inexhaustible

   His _manhood_ also, which he took upon him for us, is ours in 
all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the
spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the
meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the
reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He
makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the
glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels;
and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He
bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down
to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All
His thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and
intercessions, were for us. He trod the road of sorrow on our
behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full
results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours
as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself "_our_
Lord Jesus Christ," though he is the blessed and only Potentate,
the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and
every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy.
O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit! call him this
morning, "thy Redeemer."

* 06/19/AM

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost."
                                                      --Acts 2:4

   Rich were the blessings of this day if all of us were filled
with the Holy Ghost. The consequences of this sacred filling of
the soul it would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort,
light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings
are inseparable from the Spirit's benign presence. As sacred
_oil_, He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to
the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his
office aright. As the only truly purifying _water_ He cleanses
us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness,
working in us to will and to do of the Lord's good pleasure. As
the _light_, He manifested to us at first our lost estate, and
now He reveals the Lord Jesus to us and in us, and guides us in
the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray,
we are no more darkness but light in the Lord. _As fire_, He
both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature on a
blaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to
offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God. As
heavenly _dew_, He removes our barrenness and fertilizes our
lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early
hour! Such morning dew would be a sweet commencement for the
day. As the _dove_, with wings of peaceful love He broods over
His Church and over the souls of believers, and as a Comforter
He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His
beloved. He descends upon the chosen as upon the Lord in Jordan,
and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial
spirit by which they cry Abba, Father. As the _wind_, He brings
the breath of life to men; blowing where He listeth He performs
the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is
animated and sustained. Would to God, that we might feel His
presence this day and every day.

* 06/20/AM

"For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel
among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall
not the least grain fall upon the earth."
                                                      --Amos 9:9

   Every sifting comes by _divine command and permission_. Satan 
must ask leave before he can lay a finger upon Job. Nay, more,
in some sense our siftings are _directly the work of heaven_,
for the text says, "I will sift the house of Israel." Satan,
like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn;
but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the
purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended
to be destructive. Precious, but much sifted corn of the Lord's
floor, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directeth
both flail and sieve to His own glory, and to thine eternal

   The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in His hand, 
and will _divide the precious from the vile_. All are not Israel
that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean
provender, and hence the winnowing process must be performed. In
the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff being
devoid of substance must fly before the wind, and only solid
corn will remain.

   Observe the _complete safety of the Lord's wheat_; even the
least grain has a promise of preservation. God Himself sifts,
and therefore it is stern and terrible work; He sifts them in
all places, "among all nations"; He sifts them in the most
effectual manner, "like as corn is sifted in a sieve"; and yet
for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shrivelled
grain, is permitted to fall to the ground. Every individual
believer is precious in the sight of the Lord, a shepherd would
not lose one sheep, nor a jeweller one diamond, nor a mother one
child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose
one of His redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are
the Lord's, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ

* 06/21/AM

"Thou art fairer than the children of men."
                                                    --Psalm 45:2

   The entire person of Jesus is but as one gem, and His life is 
all along but one impression of the seal. He is altogether
complete; not only in His several parts, but as a gracious
all-glorious whole. His character is not a mass of fair colours
mixed confusedly, nor a heap of precious stones laid carelessly
one upon another; He is a picture of beauty and a breastplate of
glory. In Him, all the "things of good repute" are in their
proper places, and assist in adorning each other. Not one
feature in His glorious person attracts attention at the expense
of others; but He is perfectly and altogether lovely.

   Oh, Jesus! Thy power, Thy grace, Thy justice, Thy tenderness, 
Thy truth, Thy majesty, and Thine immutability make up such a
man, or rather such a God-man, as neither heaven nor earth hath
seen elsewhere. Thy infancy, Thy eternity, Thy sufferings, Thy
triumphs, Thy death, and Thine immortality, are all woven in one
gorgeous tapestry, without seam or rent. Thou art music without
discord; Thou art many, and yet not divided; Thou art all
things, and yet not diverse. As all the colours blend into one
resplendent rainbow, so all the glories of heaven and earth meet
in Thee, and unite so wondrously, that there is none like Thee
in all things; nay, if all the virtues of the most excellent
were bound in one bundle, they could not rival Thee, Thou mirror
of all perfection. Thou hast been anointed with the holy oil of
myrrh and cassia, which Thy God hath reserved for Thee alone;
and as for Thy fragrance, it is as the holy perfume, the like of
which none other can ever mingle, even with the art of the
apothecary; each spice is fragrant, but the compound is divine.

        "Oh, sacred symmetry! oh, rare connection
        Of many perfects, to make one perfection!
        Oh, heavenly music, where all parts do meet
        In one sweet strain, to make one perfect sweet!"

* 06/22/AM

"He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the
                                                --Zechariah 6:13

   Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He
has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His
omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was
in Solomon's temple, so in this; the materials need making
ready. There are the "Cedars of Lebanon," but they are not
framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and
made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall
make glad the courts of the Lord's house in Paradise. There are
also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn
thence, and squared. All this is Christ's own work. Each
individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made
ready for his place in the temple; but Christ's own hand
performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify,
excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and
efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of
Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright.

   As in the building of Solomon's temple, "there was neither 
hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,"
because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it
was to occupy--so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the
making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there
will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction,
no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet
here--all _that_ Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done
it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of
death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as
eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.

                   "Beneath His eye and care,
                   The edifice shall rise,
                   Majestic, strong, and fair,
                   And shine above the skies."

* 06/23/AM

"Ephraim is a cake not turned."
                                                     --Hosea 7:8

   A cake not turned is _uncooked on one side_; and so Ephraim
was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: though there
was some partial obedience, there was very much rebellion left.
My soul, I charge thee, see whether this be thy case. Art thou
thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone through the very
centre of thy being so as to be felt in its divine operations in
all thy powers, thy actions, thy words, and thy thoughts? To be
sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be thine aim and
prayer; and although sanctification may not be perfect in thee
anywhere in degree, yet it must be universal in its action;
there must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and
reigning sin in another, else thou, too, wilt be a cake not

   A cake not turned is _soon burnt on the side nearest the 
fire_, and although no man can have too much religion, there are
some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of
truth which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with
a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious
performances which suit their humour. The assumed appearance of
superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all
vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He
deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is
burned on one side, is dough on the other.

   _If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me_! Turn my unsanctified 
nature to the fire of Thy love and let it feel the sacred glow,
and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own
weakness and want of heat when I am removed from Thy heavenly
flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely
under the powerful influence of reigning grace; for well I know
if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the
subject of Thy grace, I must be consumed for ever amid
everlasting burnings.

* 06/24/AM

"A certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said
unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which
thou hast sucked. But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that
hear the word of God, and keep it."
                                                --Luke 11:27, 28

   It is fondly imagined by some that it must have involved very 
special privileges to have been the mother of our Lord, because
they supposed that she had the benefit of looking into His very
heart in a way in which we cannot hope to do. There may be an
appearance of plausibility in the supposition, but not much. We
do not know that Mary knew more than others; what she did know
she did well to lay up in her heart; but she does not appear
from anything we read in the Evangelists to have been a
better-instructed believer than any other of Christ's disciples.
All that she knew we also may discover. Do you wonder that we
should say so? Here is a text to prove it: "The secret of the
Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His
covenant." Remember the Master's words--"Henceforth I call you
not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth:
but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard
of my Father I have made known unto you." So blessedly does this
Divine Revealer of secrets tell us His heart, that He keepeth
back nothing which is profitable to us; His own assurance is,
"If it were not so, I would have told you." Doth He not this day
manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world? It is
even so; and therefore we will not ignorantly cry out, "Blessed
is the womb that bare thee," but we will intelligently bless God
that, having heard the Word and kept it, we have first of all as
true a communion with the Saviour as the Virgin had, and in the
second place as true an acquaintance with the secrets of His
heart as she can be supposed to have obtained. Happy soul to be
thus privileged!

* 06/25/AM

"Get thee up into the high mountain."
                                                   --Isaiah 40:9

   Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our 
Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little:
the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it
really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely
anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream
at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and
the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher,
and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you
are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the
scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and
look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England
lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county,
perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a
shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town,
or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things
please and delight you, and you say, "I could not have imagined
that so much could be seen at this elevation." Now, the
Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in
Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we
discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit?
Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ
which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting
grey-haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with
greater emphasis than we can, "I know whom I have believed," for
each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial
had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed
like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see
the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had
committed his soul. Get thee up, dear friend, into the high

* 06/26/AM

"Art thou become like unto us?"
                                                  --Isaiah 14:10

   What must be the apostate professor's doom when his naked 
soul appears before God? How will he bear that voice, "Depart,
ye cursed; thou hast rejected me, and I reject thee; thou hast
played the harlot, and departed from Me: I also have banished
thee for ever from my presence, and will not have mercy upon
thee." What will be this wretch's shame at the last great day
when, before assembled multitudes, the apostate shall be
unmasked? See the profane, and sinners who never professed
religion, lifting themselves up from their beds of fire to point
at him. "There he is," says one, "will he preach the gospel in
hell?" "There he is," says another, "he rebuked me for cursing,
and was a hypocrite himself!" "Aha!" says another, "here comes a
psalm-singing Methodist--one who was always at his meeting; he
is the man who boasted of his being sure of everlasting life;
and here he is!" No greater eagerness will ever be seen among
Satanic tormentors, than in that day when devils drag the
hypocrite's soul down to perdition. Bunyan pictures this with
massive but awful grandeur of poetry when he speaks of the
back-way to hell. Seven devils bound the wretch with nine cords,
and dragged him from the road to heaven, in which he had
professed to walk, and thrust him through the back-door into
hell. Mind that back-way to hell, professors! "Examine
yourselves, whether ye be in the faith." Look well to your
state; see whether you be in Christ or not. It is the easiest
thing in the world to give a lenient verdict when oneself is to
be tried; but O, be just and true here. Be just to all, but be
rigorous to yourself. Remember if it be not a rock on which you
build, when the house shall fall, great will be the fall of it.
O may the Lord give you sincerity, constancy, and firmness; and
in no day, however evil, may you be led to turn aside.

* 06/27/AM

"Only ye shall not go very far away."
                                                   --Exodus 8:28

   This is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant 
Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of
Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far
away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and
the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world
loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence
of dissent, it would have us be more charitable and not carry
matters with too severe a hand. Death to the world, and burial
with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with
ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is
almost universally neglected, and even contemned. Worldly wisdom
recommends the path of compromise, and talks of "moderation."
According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very
desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is
of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely
denounced. "Yes," says the world, "be spiritually minded by all
means, but do not deny yourself a little gay society, an
occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What's the
good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and
everybody does it?" Multitudes of professors yield to this
cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin. If we would follow
the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of
separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us.
We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too,
and go far away to the place where the Lord calls His sanctified
ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from
the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far
from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the
further from worldly conformity the better. To all true
believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, "Come ye out from
among them, be ye separate."

* 06/28/AM

"Looking unto Jesus."
                                                  --Hebrews 12:2

   It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from 
self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this,
for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead
of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon;
you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be
able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His
children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are
thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or
assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes
entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but
that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not _thy
hold_ of Christ that saves thee--it is Christ; it is not _thy
joy_ in Christ that saves thee--it is Christ; it is not even
faith in Christ, though that be the instrument--it is Christ's
blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with
which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy
hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy
faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We
shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our
doings, or our feelings; it is what _Jesus_ is, not what we are,
that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan
and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus."
Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His
merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind;
when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest
down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come
between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never
fail thee.

              "My hope is built on nothing less
              Than Jesu's blood and righteousness:
              I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
              But wholly lean on Jesu's name."

* 06/29/AM

"Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him."
                                          --1 Thessalonians 4:14

   Let us not imagine that _the soul_ sleeps in insensibility. 
"Today shalt thou be with me in paradise," is the whisper of
Christ to every dying saint. They "sleep in Jesus," but their
souls are before the throne of God, praising Him day and night
in His temple, singing hallelujahs to Him who washed them from
their sins in His blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of
earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. But what is this sleep?
The idea connected with sleep is "_rest_," and that is the
thought which the Spirit of God would convey to us. Sleep makes
each night a Sabbath for the day. Sleep shuts fast the door of
the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, that the
life within may enter its summer garden of ease. The toil-worn
believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child when it
slumbers on its mother's breast. Oh! happy they who die in the
Lord; they rest from their labours, and their works do follow
them. Their quiet repose shall never be broken until God shall
rouse them to give them their full reward. Guarded by angel
watchers, curtained by eternal mysteries, they sleep on, the
heritors of glory, till the fulness of time shall bring the
fulness of redemption. What an awaking shall be theirs! They
were laid in their last resting place, weary and worn, but such
they shall not rise. They went to their rest with the furrowed
brow, and the wasted features, but they wake up in beauty and
glory. The shrivelled seed, so destitute of form and comeliness,
rises from the dust a beauteous flower. The winter of the grave
gives way to the spring of redemption and the summer of glory.
Blessed is death, since it, through the divine power, disrobes
us of this work-day garment, to clothe us with the wedding
garment of incorruption. Blessed are those who "sleep in Jesus."

* 06/30/AM

"And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given them."
                                                    --John 17:22

   Behold the superlative liberality of the Lord Jesus, for He 
hath given us His all. Although a tithe of His possessions would
have made a universe of angels rich beyond all thought, yet was
He not content until He had given us all that He had. It would
have been surprising grace if He had allowed us to eat the
crumbs of His bounty beneath the table of His mercy; but He will
do nothing by halves, He makes us sit with Him and share the
feast. Had He given us some small pension from His royal
coffers, we should have had cause to love Him eternally; but no,
He will have His bride as rich as Himself, and He will not have
a glory or a grace in which she shall not share. He has not been
content with less than making us joint-heirs with Himself, so
that we might have equal possessions. He has emptied all His
estate into the coffers of the Church, and hath all things
common with His redeemed. There is not one room in His house the
key of which He will withhold from His people. He gives them
full liberty to take all that He hath to be their own; He loves
them to make free with His treasure, and appropriate as much as
they can possibly carry. The boundless fulness of His
all-sufficiency is as free to the believer as the air he
breathes. Christ hath put the flagon of His love and grace to
the believer's lip, and bidden him drink on for ever; for could
he drain it, he is welcome to do so, and as he cannot exhaust
it, he is bidden to drink abundantly, for it is all his own.
What truer proof of fellowship can heaven or earth afford?

                "When I stand before the throne
                Dressed in beauty not my own;
                When I see Thee as Thou art,
                Love Thee with unsinning heart;
                Then, Lord, shall I fully know--
                Not till then--how much I owe."

This document (last modified June 09, 1997) from Believerscafe.com