July AM

* 07/01/AM

"In summer and in winter shall it be."
                                                --Zechariah 14:8

   The streams of living water which flow from Jerusalem are not 
dried up by the parching heats of sultry midsummer any more than
they were frozen by the cold winds of blustering winter.
Rejoice, O my soul, that thou art spared to testify of the
faithfulness of the Lord. The seasons change and thou changest,
but thy Lord abides evermore the same, and the streams of His
love are as deep, as broad and as full as ever. The heats of
business cares and scorching trials make me need the cooling
influences of the river of His grace; I may go at once and drink
to the full from the inexhaustible fountain, for in summer and
in winter it pours forth its flood. The upper springs are never
scanty, and blessed be the name of the Lord, the nether springs
cannot fail either. Elijah found Cherith dry up, but Jehovah was
still the same God of providence. Job said his brethren were
like deceitful brooks, but he found his God an overflowing river
of consolation. The Nile is the great confidence of Egypt, but
its floods are variable; our Lord is evermore the same. By
turning the course of the Euphrates, Cyrus took the city of
Babylon, but no power, human or infernal, can divert the current
of divine grace. The tracks of ancient rivers have been found
all dry and desolate, but the streams which take their rise on
the mountains of divine sovereignty and infinite love shall ever
be full to the brim. Generations melt away, but the course of
grace is unaltered. The river of God may sing with greater truth
than the brook in the poem---

               "Men may come, and men may go,
               But I go on for ever."

How happy art thou, my soul, to be led beside such still waters!
never wander to other streams, lest thou hear the Lord's rebuke,
"What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt to drink of the muddy

* 07/02/AM

"Our heart shall rejoice in Him."
                                                   --Psalm 33:21

   Blessed is the fact that Christians can rejoice even in the 
deepest distress; although trouble may surround them, they still
sing; and, like many birds, they sing best in their cages. The
waves may roll over them, but their souls soon rise to the
surface and see the light of God's countenance; they have a
buoyancy about them which keeps their head always above the
water, and helps them to sing amid the tempest, "God is with me
still." To whom shall the glory be given? Oh! to Jesus--it is
all by Jesus. Trouble does not necessarily bring consolation
with it to the believer, but the presence of the Son of God in
the fiery furnace with him fills his heart with joy. He is sick
and suffering, but Jesus visits him and makes his bed for him.
He is dying, and the cold chilly waters of Jordan are gathering
about him up to the neck, but Jesus puts His arms around him,
and cries, "Fear not, beloved; to die is to be blessed; the
waters of death have their fountain-head in heaven; they are not
bitter, they are sweet as nectar, for they flow from the throne
of God." As the departing saint wades through the stream, and
the billows gather around him, and heart and flesh fail him, the
same voice sounds in his ears, "Fear not; I am with thee; be not
dismayed; I am thy God." As he nears the borders of the infinite
unknown, and is almost affrighted to enter the realm of shades,
Jesus says, "Fear not, it is your Father's good pleasure to give
you the kingdom." Thus strengthened and consoled, the believer
is not afraid to die; nay, he is even willing to depart, for
since he has seen Jesus as the morning star, he longs to gaze
upon Him as the sun in his strength. Truly, the presence of
Jesus is all the heaven we desire. He is at once

               "The glory of our brightest days;
               The comfort of our nights."

* 07/03/AM

"The illfavoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven
wellfavoured and fat kine."
                                                  --Genesis 41:4

   Pharaoh's dream has too often been my waking experience. My 
days of sloth have ruinously destroyed all that I had achieved
in times of zealous industry; my seasons of coldness have frozen
all the genial glow of my periods of fervency and enthusiasm;
and my fits of worldliness have thrown me back from my advances
in the divine life. I had need to beware of lean prayers, lean
praises, lean duties, and lean experiences, for these will eat
up the fat of my comfort and peace. If I neglect prayer for
never so short a time, I lose all the spirituality to which I
had attained; if I draw no fresh supplies from heaven, the old
corn in my granary is soon consumed by the famine which rages in
my soul. When the caterpillars of indifference, the cankerworms
of worldliness, and the palmerworms of self-indulgence, lay my
heart completely desolate, and make my soul to languish, all my
former fruitfulness and growth in grace avails me nothing
whatever. How anxious should I be to have no lean-fleshed days,
no ill-favoured hours! If every day I journeyed towards the goal
of my desires I should soon reach it, but backsliding leaves me
still far off from the prize of my high calling, and robs me of
the advances which I had so laboriously made. The only way in
which all my days can be as the "fat kine," is to feed them in
the right meadow, to spend them with the Lord, in His service,
in His company, in His fear, and in His way. Why should not
every year be richer than the past, in love, and usefulness, and
joy?--I am nearer the celestial hills, I have had more
experience of my Lord, and should be more like Him. O Lord, keep
far from me the curse of leanness of soul; let me not have to
cry, "My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me!" but may I be
well-fed and nourished in Thy house, that I may praise Thy name.

* 07/04/AM

"Sanctify them through Thy truth."
                                                    --John 17:17

   Sanctification begins in regeneration. The Spirit of God 
infuses into man that new living principle by which he becomes
"a new creature" in Christ Jesus. This work, which begins in the
new birth, is carried on in two ways--mortification, whereby the
lusts of the flesh are subdued and kept under; and vivification,
by which the life which God has put within us is made to be a
well of water springing up unto everlasting life. This is
carried on every day in what is called "perseverance," by which
the Christian is preserved and continued in a gracious state,
and is made to abound in good works unto the praise and glory of
God; and it culminates or comes to perfection, in "glory," when
the soul, being thoroughly purged, is caught up to dwell with
holy beings at the right hand of the Majesty on high. But while
the Spirit of God is thus the author of sanctification, yet
there is a visible agency employed which must not be forgotten.
"Sanctify them," said Jesus, "through thy _truth_: thy word is
truth." The passages of Scripture which prove that the
instrument of our sanctification is the Word of God are very
many. The Spirit of God brings to our minds the precepts and
doctrines of truth, and applies them with power. These are heard
in the ear, and being received in the heart, they work in us to
will and to do of God's good pleasure. The truth is the
sanctifier, and if we do not hear or read the truth, we shall
not grow in sanctification. We only progress in sound living as
we progress in sound understanding. "Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet and a light unto my path." Do not say of any error, "It is
a mere matter of opinion." No man indulges an error of judgment,
without sooner or later tolerating an error in practice. Hold
fast the truth, for by so holding the truth shall you be
sanctified by the Spirit of God.

* 07/05/AM

"Called to be saints."
                                                    --Romans 1:7

   We are very apt to regard the apostolic saints as if they 
were "saints" in a more especial manner than the other children
of God. All are "saints" whom God has called by His grace, and
sanctified by His Spirit; but we are apt to look upon the
_apostles_ as extraordinary beings, scarcely subject to the same
weaknesses and temptations as ourselves. Yet in so doing we are
forgetful of this truth, that the nearer a man lives to God the
more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart; and the
more his Master honours him in His service, the more also doth
the evil of the flesh vex and tease him day by day. The fact is,
if we had seen the apostle Paul, we should have thought him
remarkably like the rest of the chosen family: and if we had
talked with him, we should have said, "We find that his
experience and ours are much the same. He is more faithful, more
holy, and more deeply taught than we are, but he has the
selfsame trials to endure. Nay, in some respects he is more
sorely tried than ourselves." Do not, then, look upon the
ancient saints as being exempt either from infirmities or sins;
and do not regard them with that mystic reverence which will
almost make us idolators. Their holiness is attainable even by
us. We are "called to be saints" by that same voice which
constrained them to their high vocation. It is a Christian's
duty to force his way into the inner circle of saintship; and if
these saints were superior to us in their attainments, as they
certainly were, let us follow them; let us emulate their ardour
and holiness. We have the same light that they had, the same
grace is accessible to us, and why should we rest satisfied
until we have equalled them in heavenly character? They lived
_with_ Jesus, they lived _for_ Jesus, therefore they grew _like_
Jesus. Let us live by the same Spirit as they did, "looking unto
Jesus," and our saintship will soon be apparent.

* 07/06/AM

"Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet
from fear of evil."
                                                 --Proverbs 1:33

   Divine love is rendered conspicuous when it I shines in the 
midst of judgments. Fair is that lone star which smiles through
the rifts of the thunder clouds; bright is the oasis which
blooms in the wilderness of sand; so fair and so bright is love
in the midst of wrath. When the Israelites provoked the Most
High by their continued idolatry, He punished them by
withholding both dew and rain, so that their land was visited by
a sore famine; but while He did this, He took care that His own
chosen ones should be secure. If all other brooks are dry, yet
shall there be one reserved for Elijah; and when that fails, God
shall still preserve for him a place of sustenance; nay, not
only so, the Lord had not simply one "Elijah," but He had a
remnant according to the election of grace, who were hidden by
fifties in a cave, and though the whole land was subject to
famine, yet these fifties in the cave were fed, and fed from
Ahab's table too by His faithful, God-fearing steward, Obadiah.
Let us from this draw the inference, that come what may, God's
people are safe. Let convulsions shake the solid earth, let the
skies themselves be rent in twain, yet amid the wreck of worlds
the believer shall be as secure as in the calmest hour of rest.
If God cannot save His people _under_ heaven, He will save them
_in_ heaven. If the world becomes too hot to hold them, then
heaven shall be the place of their reception and their safety.
Be ye then confident, when ye hear of wars, and rumours of wars.
Let no agitation distress you, but be quiet from fear of evil.
Whatsoever cometh upon the earth, you, beneath the broad wings
of Jehovah, shall be secure. Stay yourself upon His promise;
rest in His faithfulness, and bid defiance to the blackest
future, for there is nothing in it direful for you. Your sole
concern should be to show forth to the world the blessedness of
hearkening to the voice of wisdom.

* 07/07/AM

"Brethren, pray for us."
                                          --1 Thessalonians 5:25

   This one morning in the year we reserved to refresh the
reader's memory upon the subject of prayer for ministers, and we
do most earnestly implore every Christian household to grant the
fervent request of the text first uttered by an apostle and now
repeated by us. Brethren, our work is Solemnly momentous,
involving weal or woe to thousands; we treat with souls for God
on eternal business, and our word is either a savour of life
unto life, or of death unto death. A very heavy responsibility
rests upon us, and it will be no small mercy if at the last we
be found clear of the blood of all men. As officers in Christ's
army, we are the especial mark of the enmity of men and devils;
they watch for our halting, and labour to take us by the heels.
Our sacred calling involves us in temptations from which you are
exempt, above all it too often draws us away from our personal
enjoyment of truth into a ministerial and official consideration
of it. We meet with many knotty cases, and our wits are at a non
plus; we observe very sad backslidings, and our hearts are
wounded; we see millions perishing, and our spirits sink. We
wish to profit you by our preaching; we desire to be blest to
your children; we long to be useful both to saints and sinners;
therefore, dear friends, intercede for us with our God.
Miserable men are we if we miss the aid of your prayers, but
happy are we if we live in your supplications. You do not look
to us but to our Master for spiritual blessings, and yet how
many times has He given those blessings through His ministers;
ask then, again and again, that we may be the earthen vessels
into which the Lord may put the treasure of the gospel. We, the
whole company of missionaries, ministers, city missionaries, and
students, do in the name of Jesus beseech you

                    "BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US."

* 07/08/AM

"Tell me I pray thee wherein thy great strength lieth."
                                                   --Judges 16:6

   Where lies the secret strength of faith? It lies in the food 
it feeds on; for faith studies what the promise is--an emanation
of divine grace, an overflowing of the great heart of God; and
faith says, "My God could not have given this promise, except
from love and grace; therefore it is quite certain His Word will
be fulfilled." Then faith thinketh, "_Who gave_ this promise?"
It considereth not so much its greatness, as, "Who is the author
of it?" She remembers that it is God who cannot lie--God
omnipotent, God immutable; and therefore concludeth that the
promise must be fulfilled; and forward she advances in this firm
conviction. She remembereth, why _the promise was given_,--
namely, for God's glory, and she feels perfectly sure that God's
glory is safe, that He will never stain His own escutcheon, nor
mar the lustre of His own crown; and therefore the promise must
and will stand. Then faith also considereth the amazing _work of
Christ_ as being a clear proof of the Father's intention to
fulfil His word. "He that spared not His own Son, but freely
delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also
freely give us all things?" Moreover faith looks back upon _the
past_, for her battles have strengthened her, and her victories
have given her courage. She remembers that God never has failed
her; nay, that He never did once fail any of His children. She
recollecteth times of great peril, when deliverance came; hours
of awful need, when as her day her strength was found, and she
cries, "No, I never will be led to think that He can change and
leave His servant now. Hitherto the Lord hath helped me, and He
will help me still." Thus faith views each promise in its
connection with the promise-giver, and, because she does so, can
with assurance say, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life!"

* 07/09/AM

"Forget not all His benefits."
                                                   --Psalm 103:2

   It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand 
of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe His
goodness in delivering them, His mercy in pardoning them, and
His faithfulness in keeping His covenant with them. But would it
not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the
hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own
history as being at least as full of God, as full of His
goodness and of His truth, as much a proof of His faithfulness
and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone
before? We do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that He
wrought all His mighty acts, and showed Himself strong for those
in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare His
arm for the saints who are now upon the earth. Let us review our
own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents,
refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had
no _deliverances_? Have you passed through no rivers, supported
by the divine presence? Have you walked through no fires
unharmed? Have you had no _manifestations_? Have you had no
choice _favours_? The God who gave Solomon the desire of his
heart, hath He never listened to you and answered your requests?
That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, "Who satisfieth
thy mouth with good things," hath He never satiated _you_ with
fatness? Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures?
Have you never been led by the still waters? Surely the goodness
of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old. Let us,
then, weave His mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold
of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into
another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls give forth
music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David's harp,
while we praise the Lord whose mercy endureth for ever.

* 07/10/AM

"Fellow citizens with the saints."
                                                --Ephesians 2:19

   What is meant by our being citizens in heaven? It means that
we are _under heaven's government_. Christ the king of heaven
reigns in our hearts; our daily prayer is, "Thy will be done on
earth as it is in heaven." The proclamations issued from the
throne of glory are freely received by us: the decrees of the
Great King we cheerfully obey. Then as citizens of the New
Jerusalem, _we share heaven's honours_. The glory which belongs
to beatified saints belongs to us, for we are already sons of
God, already princes of the blood imperial; already we wear the
spotless robe of Jesu's righteousness; already we have angels
for our servitors, saints for our companions, Christ for our
Brother, God for our Father, and a crown of immortality for our
reward. We share the honours of citizenship, for we have come to
the general assembly and Church of the first-born whose names
are written in heaven. As citizens, we have _common rights to
all the property of heaven_. Ours are its gates of pearl and
walls of chrysolite; ours the azure light of the city that needs
no candle nor light of the sun; ours the river of the water of
life, and the twelve manner of fruits which grow on the trees
planted on the banks thereof; there is nought in heaven that
belongeth not to us. "Things present, or things to come," all
are ours. Also as citizens of heaven we _enjoy its delights_. Do
they there rejoice over sinners that repent--prodigals that have
returned? So do we. Do they chant the glories of triumphant
grace? We do the same. Do they cast their crowns at Jesu's feet?
Such honours as we have we cast there too. Are they charmed with
His smile? It is not less sweet to us who dwell below. Do they
look forward, waiting for His second advent? We also look and
long for His appearing. If, then, we are thus _citizens of
heaven_, let our walk and actions be consistent with our high

* 07/11/AM

"After that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you."
                                                  --1 Peter 5:10

   You have seen the arch of heaven as it spans the plain: 
glorious are its colours, and rare its hues. It is beautiful,
but, alas, it passes away, and lo, it is not. The fair colours
give way to the fleecy clouds, and the sky is no longer
brilliant with the tints of heaven. It is not _established_. How
can it be? A glorious show made up of transitory sun-beams and
passing rain-drops, how can it abide? The graces of the
Christian character must not resemble the rainbow in its
transitory beauty, but, on the contrary, must be stablished,
settled, abiding. Seek, O believer, that every good thing you
have may be an abiding thing. May your character not be a
writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May
your faith be no "baseless fabric of a vision," but may it be
builded of material able to endure that awful fire which shall
consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite. May you be
rooted and grounded in love. May your convictions be deep, your
love real, your desires earnest. May your whole life be so
settled and established, that all the blasts of hell, and all
the storms of earth shall never be able to remove you. But
notice how this blessing of being "stablished in the faith" is
gained. The apostle's words point us to _suffering_ as the means
employed--"_After that ye have suffered awhile_." It is of no
use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass
over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and
those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many
storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of
the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the
Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials
and storms of life. Shrink not then from the tempestuous winds
of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough
discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.

* 07/12/AM

"Sanctified by God the Father."
                                                        --Jude 1
"Sanctified in Christ Jesus."
                                             --1 Corinthians 1:2
"Through sanctification of the Spirit."
                                                   --1 Peter 1:2

   Mark the union of the Three Divine Persons in all their 
gracious acts. How unwisely do those believers talk who make
preferences in the Persons of the Trinity; who think of Jesus as
if He were the embodiment of everything lovely and gracious,
while the Father they regard as severely just, but destitute of
kindness. Equally wrong are those who magnify the decree of the
Father, and the atonement of the Son, so as to depreciate the
work of the Spirit. In deeds of grace none of the Persons of the
Trinity act apart from the rest. They are as united in their
deeds as in their essence. In their love towards the chosen they
are one, and in the actions which flow from that great central
source they are still undivided. Specially notice this in the
matter of sanctification. While we may without mistake speak of
sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed
that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part
therein. It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of
the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit. Still doth Jehovah
say, "Let _us_ make man in our own image after our likeness,"
and thus we are "_his_ workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto
good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk
in them." See the value which God sets upon real holiness, since
the Three Persons in the Trinity are represented as co-working
to produce a Church without "spot, or wrinkle, or any such
thing." And you, believer, as the follower of Christ, must also
set a high value on holiness--upon purity of life and godliness
of conversation. Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of
your hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the
Spirit which is your meetness for the inheritance of the saints
in light. This day let us so live as to manifest the work of the
Triune God in us.

* 07/13/AM

"God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry?"
                                                     --Jonah 4:9

   Anger is not always or necessarily sinful, but it has such a 
tendency to run wild that whenever it displays itself, we should
be quick to question its character, with this enquiry, "Doest
thou well to be angry?" It may be that we can answer, "YES."
Very frequently anger is the madman's firebrand, but sometimes
it is Elijah's fire from heaven. We do well when we are angry
with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good
and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish
after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole
cause of anger is the evil which they do. He who is not angry at
transgression becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and
hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it. God
himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in
His Word, "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil." Far more
frequently it is to be feared that our anger is not commendable
or even justifiable, and then we must answer, "NO." Why should
we be fretful with children, passionate with servants, and
wrathful with companions? Is such anger honourable to our
Christian profession, or glorifying to God? Is it not the old
evil heart seeking to gain dominion, and should we not resist it
with all the might of our newborn nature. Many professors give
way to temper as though it were useless to attempt resistance;
but let the believer remember that he must be a conqueror in
every point, or else he cannot be crowned. If we cannot control
our tempers, what has grace done for us? Some one told Mr. Jay
that grace was often grafted on a crab-stump. "Yes," said he,
"but the fruit will not be crabs." We must not make natural
infirmity an excuse for sin, but we must fly to the cross and
pray the Lord to crucify our tempers, and renew us in gentleness
and meekness after His own image.

* 07/14/AM

"If thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it."
                                                  --Exodus 20:25

   God'S altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace 
of human skill or labour might be seen upon it. Human wisdom
delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a
system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved
tastes of fallen nature; instead, however, of improving the
gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another
gospel, and not the truth of God at all. All alterations and
amendments of the Lord's own Word are defilements and
pollutions. The proud heart of man is very anxious to have a
hand in the justification of the soul before God; preparations
for Christ are dreamed of, humblings and repentings are trusted
in, good works are cried up, natural ability is much vaunted,
and by all means the attempt is made to lift up human tools upon
the divine altar. It were well if sinners would remember that so
far from perfecting the Saviour's work, their carnal confidences
only pollute and dishonour it. The Lord alone must be exalted in
the work of atonement, and not a single mark of man's chisel or
hammer will be endured. There is an inherent blasphemy in
seeking to add to what Christ Jesus in His dying moments
declared to be finished, or to improve that in which the Lord
Jehovah finds perfect satisfaction. Trembling sinner, away with
thy tools, and fall upon thy knees in humble supplication; and
accept the Lord Jesus to be the altar of thine atonement, and
rest in Him alone.

   Many professors may take warning from this morning's text as 
to the doctrines which they believe. There is among Christians
far too much inclination to square and reconcile the truths of
revelation; this is a form of irreverence and unbelief, let us
strive against it, and receive truth as we find it; rejoicing
that the doctrines of the Word are unhewn stones, and so are all
the more fit to build an altar for the Lord.

* 07/15/AM

"The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never
go out."
                                                --Leviticus 6:13

   Keep the altar of _private prayer_ burning. This is the very 
life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their
fires here, there- fore let this burn well. Secret devotion is
the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and
experimental religion.

   Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons 
be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual
prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us
suggest the Church, the ministry, your own soul, your children,
your relations, your neighbours, your country, and the cause of
God and truth throughout the world. Let us examine ourselves on
this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private
devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts?
Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at
this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the
Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special
seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be
smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim
the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in
the Church and in the world.

   The text will also apply to _the altar of the heart_. This is 
a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people
glowing towards Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all
blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never
be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it
burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the
unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will
blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel
for our heart's fire, they are live coals; let us attend
sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.

* 07/16/AM

"They gathered manna every morning."
                                                  --Exodus 16:21

   _Labour to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon 
the Lord's good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy
richest enjoyments_. Never try to live on the old manna, nor
seek to find help in Egypt. All must come from Jesus, or thou
art undone for ever. Old anointings will not suffice to impart
unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured
upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease
from its glory. To-day thou mayest be upon the summit of the
mount of God, but He who has put thee there must keep thee
there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest.
Thy mountain only stands firm when He settles it in its place;
if He hide His face, thou wilt soon be troubled. If the Saviour
should see fit, there is not a window through which thou seest
the light of heaven which He could not darken in an instant.
Joshua bade the sun stand still, but Jesus can shroud it in
total darkness. He can withdraw the joy of thine heart, the
light of thine eyes, and the strength of thy life; in His hand
thy comforts lie, and at His will they can depart from thee.
This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel
and recognize, for He only permits us to pray for "daily bread,"
and only promises that "as our days our strength shall be." Is
it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often
repair to His throne, and constantly be reminded of His love?
Oh! how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and
doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude! The golden
shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore
above our habitation. O Lord Jesus, we would bow at Thy feet,
conscious of our utter inability to do anything without Thee,
and in every favour which we are privileged to receive, we would
adore Thy blessed name and acknowledge Thine unexhausted love.

* 07/17/AM

"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God."
                                           --1 Thessalonians 1:4

   Many persons want to know their election before they look to 
Christ, but they cannot learn it thus, it is only to be
discovered by "looking unto Jesus." If you desire to ascertain
your own election;--after the following manner, shall you assure
your heart before God. Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty
sinner? go straightway to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus
so, and tell Him that you have read in the Bible, "Him that
cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." Tell Him that He
has said, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all
acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners." Look to Jesus and believe on Him, and you shall make
proof of your election directly, for so surely as thou
believest, thou art elect. If you will give yourself wholly up
to Christ and trust Him, then you are one of God's chosen ones;
but if you stop and say, "I want to know first whether I am
elect," you ask you know not what. Go to Jesus, be you never so
guilty, just as you are. Leave all curious inquiry about
election alone. Go straight to Christ and hide in His wounds,
and you shall know your election. The assurance of the Holy
Spirit shall be given to you, so that you shall be able to say,
"I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I have committed to Him." Christ was at the
everlasting council: He can tell you whether you were chosen or
not; but you cannot find it out in any other way. Go and put
your trust in Him, and His answer will be--"I have loved thee
with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I
drawn thee." There will be no doubt about His having chosen
_you_, when you have chosen _Him_.

             "Sons we are through God's election,
             Who in Jesus Christ believe."

* 07/18/AM

"They shall go hindmost with their standards."
                                                  --Numbers 2:31

   The camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel
were on the march. The Danites occupied _the hindmost place_,
but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of
the host as were the foremost tribes; they followed the same
fiery cloudy pillar, they ate of the same manna, drank of the
same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance.
Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy
privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead
the van. Some one must be hindmost in honour and esteem, some
one must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I? In a
poor village, among an ignorant peasantry; or in a back street,
among degraded sinners, I will work on, and "go hindmost with my

   The Danites occupied _a very useful place_. Stragglers have 
to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be
gathered from the field. Fiery spirits may dash forward over
untrodden paths to learn fresh truth, and win more souls to
Jesus; but some of a more conservative spirit may be well
engaged in reminding the church of her ancient faith, and
restoring her fainting sons. Every position has its duties, and
the slowly moving children of God will find their peculiar state
one in which they may be eminently a blessing to the whole host.

   The rear guard is _a place of danger_. There are foes behind
us as well as before us. Attacks may come from any quarter. We
read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost
of them. The experienced Christian will find much work for his
weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering,
souls, who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy. These must
not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of
well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost.
My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.

* 07/19/AM

"The Lord our God hath shewed us His glory."
                                              --Deuteronomy 5:24

   God's great design in all His works is the manifestation of 
His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself.
But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen
creatures as we are? Man's eye is not single, he has ever a side
glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his
own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the
Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way,
that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the
reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and
difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and
weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when
He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one
even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the
Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but
little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They
who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little
of the God of tempests; but they who "do business in great
waters," these see His "wonders in the deep." Among the huge
Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and
reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the
littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a
rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of
God's greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched
you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means:
your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has
set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His
glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to
the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have
involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have
been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His
wonderful dealings with you.

* 07/20/AM

"The earnest of our inheritance."
                                                --Ephesians 1:14

   Oh! what enlightenment, what joys, what consolation, what 
delight of heart is experienced by that man who has learned to
feed on Jesus, and on Jesus alone. Yet the realization which we
have of Christ's preciousness is, in this life, imperfect at the
best. As an old writer says, "'Tis but a taste!" We have tasted
"that the Lord is gracious," but we do not yet know _how_ good
and gracious He is, although what we know of His sweetness makes
us long for more. We have enjoyed the firstfruits of the Spirit,
and they have set us hungering and thirsting for the fulness of
the heavenly vintage. We groan within ourselves, waiting for the
adoption. _Here_ we are like Israel in the wilderness, who had
but one cluster from Eshcol, _there_ we shall be in the
vineyard. Here we see the manna falling small, like coriander
seed, but there shall we eat the bread of heaven and the old
corn of the kingdom. We are but beginners now in spiritual
education; for although we have learned the first letters of the
alphabet, we cannot read words yet, much less can we put
sentences together; but as one says, "He that has been in heaven
but five minutes, knows more than the general assembly of
divines on earth." We have many ungratified desires at present,
but soon every wish shall be satisfied; and all our powers shall
find the sweetest employment in that eternal world of joy. O
Christian, antedate heaven for a few years. Within a very little
time thou shalt be rid of all thy trials and thy troubles.
Thine eyes now suffused with tears shall weep no longer. Thou
shalt gaze in ineffable rapture upon the splendour of Him who
sits upon the throne. Nay, more, upon His throne shalt thou sit.
The triumph of His glory shall be shared by thee; His crown, His
joy, His paradise, these shall be thine, and thou shalt be
co-heir with Him who is the heir of all things.

* 07/21/AM

"The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee."
                                                  --Isaiah 37:22

   Reassured by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling
citizens of Zion grew bold, and shook their heads at
Sennacherib's boastful threats. Strong faith enables the
servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most
haughty foes. _We know that our enemies are attempting
impossibilities_. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which
cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against
which the gates of hell shall not prevail. They kick against
the pricks to their own wounding, and rush upon the bosses of
Jehovah's buckler to their own hurt.

   _We know their weakness_. What are they but men? And what is 
man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea,
foaming out their own shame. When the Lord ariseth, they shall
fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling
thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of
God and His truth, may make the weakest soldiers in Zion's ranks
laugh them to scorn.

   Above all, _we know that the Most High is with us_, and when 
He dresses Himself in arms, where are His enemies? If He cometh
forth from His place, the potsherds of the earth will not long
contend with their Maker. His rod of iron shall dash them in
pieces like a potter's vessel, and their very remembrance shall
perish from the earth. Away, then, all fears, the kingdom is
safe in the King's hands. Let us shout for joy, for the Lord
reigneth, and His foes shall be as straw for the dunghill.

           "As true as God's own word is true;
           Nor earth, nor hell, with all their crew,
           Against us shall prevail.
           A jest, and by-word, are they grown;
           God is with us, we are his own,
           Our victory cannot fail."

* 07/22/AM

"I am married unto you."
                                                 --Jeremiah 3:14

   Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In 
love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she
fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He
toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her
purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His
Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the
glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at
the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious
Bridegroom presented His betrothed, perfected and complete,
before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered
upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen: she
is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents
of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus,
dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands,
and united with His person. On earth He exercises towards her
all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision
for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His
name, and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act
otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for
"He hateth putting away." Death must sever the conjugal tie
between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links
of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not, but are as
the angels of God; yet there is this one marvellous exception to
the rule, for in Heaven Christ and His Church shall celebrate
their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so
is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be
never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the
flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union
is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left
His Father, and became one flesh with her.

* 07/23/AM

"Even thou wast as one of them."
                                                  --Obadiah 1:11

   Brotherly kindness was due from Edom to Israel in the time of 
need, but instead thereof, the men of Esau made common cause
with Israel's foes. Special stress in the sentence before us is
laid upon the word _thou_; as when Caesar cried to Brutus, "and
_thou_ Brutus"; a bad action may be all the worse, because of
the person who has committed it. When _we_ sin, who are the
chosen favorites of heaven, we sin with an emphasis; ours is a
crying offence, because we are so peculiarly indulged. If an
angel should lay his hand upon us when we are doing evil, he
need not use any other rebuke than the question, "What _thou_?
What dost _thou_ here?" Much forgiven, much delivered, much
instructed, much enriched, much blessed, shall we dare to put
forth our hand unto evil? God forbid!

   A few minutes of confession may be beneficial to thee, gentle 
reader, this morning. Hast thou never been as the wicked? At an
evening party certain men laughed at uncleanness, and the joke
was not altogether offensive to thine ear, _even thou wast as
one of them_. When hard things were spoken concerning the ways
of God, thou wast bashfully silent; and so, to on-lookers, _thou
wast as one of them_. When worldlings were bartering in the
market, and driving hard bargains, wast thou not as one of them?
When they were pursuing vanity with a hunter's foot, wert thou
not as greedy for gain as they were? Could any difference be
discerned between thee and them? _Is there any difference_? Here
we come to close quarters. Be honest with thine own soul, and
make sure that thou art a new creature in Christ Jesus; but when
this is sure, walk jealously, lest any should again be able to
say, "Even thou wast as one of them." Thou wouldst not desire to
share their eternal doom, why then be like them here? Come not
thou into their secret, lest thou come into their ruin. Side
with the afflicted people of God, and not with the world.

* 07/24/AM

"Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord."
                                                  --Exodus 14:13

   These words contain God's command to the believer when he is 
reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary
difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is
shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do?
The Master's word to him is, "Stand still." It will be well for
him if at such times he listens only to his Master's word, for
other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. _Despair_
whispers, "Lie down and die; give it all up." But God would have
us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times,
rejoice in His love and faithfulness. _Cowardice_ says,
"Retreat; go back to the worldling's way of action; you cannot
play the Christian's part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your
principles." But, however much Satan may urge this course upon
you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine
fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou
shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy
course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet
this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in
due time. _Precipitancy_ cries, "do something. Stir yourself; to
stand still and wait, is sheer idleness." We _must_ be doing
something at once--we must do it so we think--instead of looking
to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do
everything. _Presumption_ boasts, "If the sea be before you,
march into it and expect a miracle." But Faith listens neither
to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to
Precipitancy, but it hears God say, "Stand still," and immovable
as a rock it stands. "_Stand still_";--keep the posture of an
upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders,
cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it
will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as
Moses said it to the people of Israel, "Go forward."

* 07/25/AM

"He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out."
                                                 --Genesis 39:12

   In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of 
victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of
basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them
easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn
danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away
from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not
even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only
need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant.
Who would wantonly enter the leper's prison and sleep amid its
horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself
would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a
storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of
weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near
the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock
without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as
possible in the midst of a safe channel.

   This day I may be exposed to great peril, let me have the 
serpent's wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a
dove may be of more use to me to-day than the jaws of a lion. It
is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company,
but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is
not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative upon me
to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no
flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the
wise resolve to flee from sin. The devil I am to resist and he
will flee from me, but the lusts of the flesh, _I_ must flee, or
they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness preserve thy
Josephs, that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile
suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh,
and the devil, never overcome us!

* 07/26/AM

"Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue
knowledge, etc."
                                                --2 Peter 1:5, 6

   If thou wouldest enjoy the eminent grace of the full
assurance of faith, under the blessed Spirit's influence, and
assistance, do what the Scripture tells thee, "_Give
diligence_." Take care that thy _faith_ is of the right
kind--that it is not a mere belief of doctrine, but a simple
faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone. Give diligent
heed to thy _courage_. Plead with God that He would give thee
the face of a lion, that thou mayest, with a consciousness of
right, go on boldly. Study well the Scriptures, and get
_knowledge_; for a knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to
confirm faith. Try to understand God's Word; let it dwell in thy
heart richly.

   When thou hast done this, "Add to thy knowledge 
_temperance_." Take heed to thy body: be temperate without. Take
heed to thy soul: be temperate within. Get temperance of lip,
life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God's Holy Spirit,
_patience_; ask Him to give thee that patience which endureth
affliction, which, when it is tried, shall come forth as gold.
Array yourself with patience, that you may not murmur nor be
depressed in your afflictions. When that grace is won look to
_godliness_. Godliness is something more than religion. Make
God's glory your object in life; live in His sight; dwell close
to Him; seek for fellowship with Him; and thou hast "godliness";
and to that add _brotherly love_. Have a love to all the
saints: and add to that a _charity_, which openeth its arms to
all men, and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these
jewels, and just in proportion as you practise these heavenly
virtues, will you come to know by clearest evidence "your
calling and election." "Give diligence," if you would get
assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand
in hand.

* 07/27/AM

"Exceeding great and precious promises."
                                                   --2 Peter 1:4

   If you would know experimentally the preciousness of the
promises, and enjoy them in your own heart, _meditate much upon
them_. There are promises which are like grapes in the
wine-press; if you will tread them the juice will flow. Thinking
over the hallowed words will often be the prelude to their
fulfillment. While you are musing upon them, the boon which you
are seeking will insensibly come to you. Many a Christian who
has thirsted for the promise has found the favour which it
ensured gently distilling into his soul even while he has been
considering the divine record; and he has rejoiced that ever he
was led to lay the promise near his heart.

   But besides _meditating_ upon the promises, _seek in thy soul 
to receive them as being the very words of God_. Speak to thy
soul thus, "If I were dealing with a man's promise, I should
carefully consider the ability and the character of the man who
had covenanted with me. So with the promise of God; my eye must
not be so much fixed upon the greatness of the mercy--that may
stagger me; as upon the greatness of the promiser--that will
cheer me. My soul, it is God, even thy God, God that cannot lie,
who speaks to thee. This word of His which thou art now
considering is as true as His own existence. He is a God
unchangeable. He has not altered the thing which has gone out of
His mouth, nor called back one single consolatory sentence. Nor
doth He lack any power; it is the God that made the heavens and
the earth who has spoken thus. Nor can He fail in wisdom as to
the time when He will bestow the favours, for He knoweth when it
is best to give and when better to withhold. Therefore, seeing
that it is the word of a God so true, so immutable, so powerful,
so wise, I will and must believe the promise." If we thus
meditate upon the promises, and consider the Promiser, we shall
experience their sweetness, and obtain their fulfillment.

* 07/28/AM

"So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee."
                                                   --Psalm 73:22

   Remember this is the confession of the man after God's own 
heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, "So foolish
was I, and ignorant." The word "_foolish_," here, means more
than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former
verse of the Psalm, writes, "I was envious at _the foolish_ when
I saw the prosperity of the wicked," which shows that the folly
he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus
"foolish," and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; "so
foolish was I." _How foolish_ he could not tell. It was a sinful
folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be
condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for
he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly,
forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we
better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we
profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so
chastened that the rod has taken all our wilfulness out of us?
Ah, this were pride indeed! If _David_ was foolish, how foolish
should _we_ be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves!
Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when He has been
so faithful to you--think of your foolish outcry of "Not so, my
Father," when He crossed His hands in affliction to give you the
larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read His
providences in the dark, misinterpreted His dispensations, and
groaned out, "All these things are against me," when they are
all working together for your good! Think how often you have
chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure
was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart
we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and
conscious of this "foolishness," we must make David's consequent
resolve our own--"_Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel_."

* 07/29/AM

"Nevertheless I am continually with Thee."
                                                   --Psalm 73:23

   "_Nevertheless_,"--As if, notwithstanding all the foolishness
and ignorance which David had just been confessing to God, not
one atom the less was it true and certain that David was saved
and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God's
presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost
estate, and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature,
yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings "nevertheless I
am continually with Thee." Believer, you are forced to enter
into Asaph's confession and acknowledgment, endeavour in like
spirit to say "nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am
continually with God!" By this is meant continually upon His
_mind_, He is always thinking of me for my good. Continually
before His _eye_;--the eye of the Lord never sleepeth, but is
perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in His _hand_,
so that none shall be able to pluck me thence. Continually on
His _heart_, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest
bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart for ever.
Thou always thinkest of me, O God. The bowels of Thy love
continually yearn towards me. Thou art always making providence
work for my good. Thou hast set me as a signet upon thine arm;
thy love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench it;
neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! Thou seest me
in Christ, and though in myself abhorred, Thou beholdest me as
wearing Christ's garments, and washed in His blood, and thus I
stand accepted in Thy presence. I am thus continually in Thy
favour--"continually with Thee." Here is comfort for the tried
and afflicted soul; vexed with the tempest within--look at the
calm without. "_Nevertheless_"--O say it in thy heart, and take
the peace it gives. "Nevertheless I am continually with Thee."

* 07/30/AM

"And when he thought thereon, he wept."
                                                    --Mark 14:72

   It has been thought by some that as long as Peter lived, the 
fountain of his tears began to flow whenever he remembered his
denying his Lord. It is not unlikely that it was so, (for his
sin was very great, and grace in him had afterwards a perfect
work. This same experience is common to all the redeemed family
according to the degree in which the Spirit of God has removed
the natural heart of stone. We, like Peter, remember _our
boastful promise_: "Though all men shall forsake Thee, yet will
not I." We eat our own words with the bitter herbs of
repentance. When we think of what we vowed we would be, and of
what we have been, we may weep whole showers of grief. He
thought on _his denying his Lord_. The place in which he did it,
the little cause which led him into such heinous sin, the oaths
and blasphemies with which he sought to confirm his falsehood,
and the dreadful hardness of heart which drove him to do so
again and yet again. Can we, when we are reminded of our sins,
and their exceeding sinfulness, remain stolid and stubborn? Will
we not make our house a Bochim, and cry unto the Lord for
renewed assurances of pardoning love? May we never take a
dry-eyed look at sin, lest ere long we have a tongue parched in
the flames of hell. Peter also thought upon _his Master's look
of love_. The Lord followed up the cock's warning voice with an
admonitory look of sorrow, pity, and love. That glance was
never out of Peter's mind so long as he lived. It was far more
effectual than ten thousand sermons would have been without the
Spirit. The penitent apostle would be sure to weep when he
recollected the _Saviour's full forgiveness_, which restored him
to his former place. To think that we have offended so kind and
good a Lord is more than sufficient reason for being constant
weepers. Lord, smite our rocky hearts, and make the waters flow.

* 07/31/AM

"I in them."
                                                    --John 17:23

   If such be the union which subsists between our souls and the
person of our Lord, how deep and broad is the channel of our
communion! This is no narrow pipe through which a thread-like
stream may wind its way, it is a channel of amazing depth and
breadth, along whose glorious length a ponderous volume of
living water may roll its floods. Behold He hath set before us
an open door, let us not be slow to enter. This city of
communion hath many pearly gates, every several gate is of one
pearl, and each gate is thrown open to the uttermost that we may
enter, assured of welcome. If there were but one small loophole
through which to talk with Jesus, it would be a high privilege
to thrust a word of fellowship through the narrow door; how much
we are blessed in having so large an entrance! Had the Lord
Jesus been far away from us, with many a stormy sea between, we
should have longed to send a messenger to Him to carry Him our
loves, and bring us tidings from His Father's house; but see His
kindness, He has built His house next door to ours, nay, more,
He takes lodging with us, and tabernacles in poor humble hearts,
that so He may have perpetual intercourse with us. O how
foolish must we be, if we do not live in habitual communion with
Him. When the road is long, and dangerous, and difficult, we
need not wonder that friends seldom meet each other, but when
they live together, shall Jonathan forget his David? A wife may
when her husband is upon a journey, abide many days without
holding converse with him, but she could never endure to be
separated from him if she knew him to be in one of the chambers
of her own house. Why, believer, dost not thou sit at His
banquet of wine? Seek thy Lord, for He is near; embrace Him, for
He is thy Brother. Hold Him fast, for He is thine Husband; and
press Him to thine heart, for He is of thine own flesh.

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