July PM

* 07/01/PM

"The voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of
the day."
                                                   --Genesis 3:8

   My soul, now that the cool of the day has come, retire awhile 
and hearken to the voice of thy God. He is always ready to speak
with thee when thou art prepared to hear. If there be any
slowness to commune it is not on His part, but altogether on
thine own, for He stands at the door and knocks, and if His
people will but open He rejoices to enter. But in what state is
my heart, which is my Lord's garden? May I venture to hope that
it is well trimmed and watered, and is bringing forth fruit fit
for Him? If not, He will have much to reprove, but still I pray
Him to come unto me, for nothing can so certainly bring my heart
into a right condition as the presence of the Sun of
Righteousness, who brings healing in His wings. Come,
therefore, O Lord, my God, my soul invites Thee earnestly, and
waits for Thee eagerly. Come to me, O Jesus, my well-beloved,
and plant fresh flowers in my garden, such as I see blooming in
such perfection in Thy matchless character! Come, O my Father,
who art the Husbandman, and deal with me in Thy tenderness and
prudence! Come, O Holy Spirit, and bedew my whole nature, as the
herbs are now moistened with the evening dews. O that God would
speak to me. Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth! O that He
would walk with me; I am ready to give up my whole heart and
mind to Him, and every other thought is hushed. I am only
asking what He delights to give. I am sure that He will
condescend to have fellowship with me, for He has given me His
Holy Spirit to abide with me for ever. Sweet is the cool
twilight, when every star seems like the eye of heaven, and the
cool wind is as the breath of celestial love. My Father, my
elder Brother, my sweet Comforter, speak now in lovingkindness,
for Thou hast opened mine ear and I am not rebellious.

* 07/02/PM

"Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me:
lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down
into the pit."
                                                    --Psalm 28:1

   A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable 
utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry
must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to
waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the
readiness of the Lord to hear, and His ability to aid, we shall
see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God
of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the
day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.

   "_Be not silent to me_." Mere formalists may be content 
without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot;
they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in
calming the mind and subduing the will--they must go further,
and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and
those replies they long to receive at once, they dread even a
little of God's silence. God's voice is often so terrible that
it shakes the wilderness; but His silence is equally full of awe
to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close His ear, we must
not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more
earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and
grief, He will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case
should we be in if the Lord should become for ever silent to our
prayers? "_Lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them
that go down into the pit_." Deprived of the God who answers
prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in
the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in
hell. We _must_ have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case
of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our
agitated minds, for He never can find it in His heart to permit
His own elect to perish.

* 07/03/PM

"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him."
                                                --2 Timothy 2:12

   We _must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ, and 
with Christ, if we are not in Christ_. Beloved friend, are you
trusting to Jesus only? If not, whatever you may have to mourn
over on earth, you are not "suffering with Christ," land have no
hope of reigning with Him in heaven. Neither are we to conclude
that all a Christian's sufferings are sufferings with Christ,
for _it is essential that he be called by God to suffer_. If we
are rash and imprudent, and run into positions for which neither
providence nor grace has fitted us, we ought to question whether
we are not rather sinning than communing with Jesus. If we let
passion take the place of judgment, and self-will reign instead
of Scriptural authority, we shall fight the Lord's battles with
the devil's weapons, and if we cut our own fingers we must not
be surprised. Again, _in troubles which come upon us as the
result of sin, we must not dream that we are suffering with
Christ_. When Miriam spoke evil of Moses, and the leprosy
polluted her, she was not suffering for God. Moreover, suffering
which God accepts _must have God's glory as its end_. If I
suffer that I may earn a name, or win applause, I shall get no
other reward than that of the Pharisee. It is requisite also
_that love to Jesus, and love to His elect, be ever the
mainspring of all our patience. We must manifest the Spirit of
Christ_ in meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness. Let us search
and see if we truly _suffer with Jesus_. And if we do thus
suffer, what is our "light affliction" compared with _reigning
with Him_? Oh it is so blessed to be in the furnace with Christ,
and such an honour to stand in the pillory with Him, that if
there were no future reward, we might count ourselves happy in
present honour; but when the recompense is so eternal, so
infinitely more than we had any right to expect, shall we not
take up the cross with alacrity, and go on our way rejoicing?

* 07/04/PM

"He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted
up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully."
                                                    --Psalm 24:4

   Outward practical holiness is a very precious mark of grace. 
It is to be feared that many professors have perverted the
doctrine of justification by faith in such a way as to treat
good works with contempt; if so, they will receive everlasting
contempt at the last great day. If our hands are not clean, let
us wash them in Jesus' precious blood, and so let us lift up
pure hands unto God. But "_clean hands_"will not suffice,
unless they are connected with "_a pure heart_." True religion
is heart-work. We may wash the outside of the cup and the
platter as long as we please, but if the inward parts be filthy,
we are filthy altogether in the sight of God, for our hearts are
more truly ourselves than our hands are; the very life of our
being lies in the inner nature, and hence the imperative need of
purity within. The pure in heart shall see God, all others are
but blind bats.

   The man who is born for heaven "_hath not lifted up his soul 
unto vanity_." All men have their joys, by which their souls are
lifted up; the worldling lifts up his soul in carnal delights,
which are mere empty vanities; but the saint loves more
substantial things; like Jehoshaphat, he is lifted up in the
ways of the Lord. He who is content with husks, will be reckoned
with the swine. Does the world satisfy thee? Then thou hast thy
reward and portion in this life; make much of it, for thou shalt
know no other joy.

   "_Nor sworn deceitfully_." The saints are men of honour 
still. The Christian man's word is his only oath; but that is as
good as twenty oaths of other men. False speaking will shut any
man out of heaven, for a liar shall not enter into God's house,
whatever may be his professions or doings. Reader, does the text
before us condemn thee, or dost thou hope to ascend into the
hill of the Lord?

* 07/05/PM

"Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is
everlasting strength."
                                                   --Isaiah 26:4

   Seeing that we have such a God to trust to, let us rest upon 
Him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all
unbelief, and endeavour to get rid of doubts and fears, which so
much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where
God is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be
sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how
ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little
confidence in our heavenly Father who has never failed us, and
who never will. It were well if doubting were banished from the
household of God; but it is to be feared that old Unbelief is as
nimble nowadays as when the psalmist asked, "Is His mercy clean
gone for ever? Will He be favourable no more?" David had not
made any very lengthy trial of the mighty sword of the giant
Goliath, and yet he said, "There is none like it." He had tried
it once in the hour of his youthful victory, and it had proved
itself to be of the right metal, and therefore he praised it
ever afterwards; even so should we speak well of our God, there
is none like unto Him in the heaven above or the earth beneath;
"To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the
Holy One." There is no rock like unto the rock of Jacob, our
enemies themselves being judges. So far from suffering doubts to
live in our hearts, we will take the whole detestable crew, as
Elijah did the prophets of Baal, and slay them over the brook;
and for a stream to kill them at, we will select the sacred
torrent which wells forth from our Saviour's wounded side. We
have been in many trials, but we have never yet been cast where
we could not find in our God all that we needed. Let us then be
encouraged to trust in the Lord for ever, assured that His ever
lasting strength will be, as it has been, our succour and stay.

* 07/06/PM

"How many are mine iniquities and sins?"
                                                     --Job 13:23

   Have you ever really weighed and considered how great the sin 
of God's people is? Think how heinous is your own transgression,
and you will find that not only does a sin here and there tower
up like an alp, but that your iniquities are heaped upon each
other, as in the old fable of the giants who piled Pelian upon
Ossa, mountain upon mountain. What an aggregate of sin there is
in the life of one of the most sanctified of God's children!
Attempt to multiply this, the sin of one only, by the multitude
of the redeemed, "a number which no man can number," and you
will have some conception of the great mass of the guilt of the
people for whom Jesus shed His blood. But we arrive at a more
adequate idea of the magnitude of sin by the greatness of the
remedy provided. It is the blood of Jesus Christ, God's only and
well-beloved Son. God's Son! Angels cast their crowns before
Him! All the choral symphonies of heaven surround His glorious
throne. "God over all, blessed for ever. Amen." And yet He
takes upon Himself the form of a servant, and is scourged and
pierced, bruised and torn, and at last slain; since nothing but
the blood of the incarnate Son of God could make atonement for
our offences. No human mind can adequately estimate the infinite
value of the divine sacrifice, for great as is the sin of God's
people, the atonement which takes it away is immeasurably
greater. Therefore, the believer, even when sin rolls like a
black flood, and the remembrance of the past is bitter, can yet
stand before the blazing throne of the great and holy God, and
cry, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea
rather, that hath risen again." While the recollection of his
sin fills him with shame and sorrow, he at the same time makes
it a foil to show the brightness of mercy--guilt is the dark
night in which the fair star of divine love shines with serene

* 07/07/PM

"When I passed by thee, I said unto thee, Live."
                                                  --Ezekiel 16:6

   Saved one, consider gratefully this mandate (of mercy. Note 
that this fiat of God is _majestic_. In our text, we perceive a
sinner with nothing in him but sin, expecting nothing but wrath;
but the eternal Lord passes by in His glory; l He looks. He
pauses, and He pronounces the solitary but royal word, "Live."
There speaks a God. Who but He could venture thus to deal with
life and dispense it with a single syllable? Again, this fiat is
_manifold_. When He saith "Live," it includes many things. Here
is judicial life. The sinner is ready to be condemned, but the
mighty One saith, "Live," and he rises pardoned and absolved. It
is spiritual life. We knew not Jesus--our eyes could not see
Christ, our ears could not hear His voice--Jehovah said "Live,"
and we were quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.
Moreover, it includes glory-life, which is the perfection of
spiritual life. "I said unto thee, Live:" and that word rolls on
through all the years of time till death comes, and in the midst
of the shadows of death, the Lord's voice is still heard,
"Live!" In the morning of the resurrection it is that self-same
voice which is echoed by the arch-angel, "Live," and as holy
spirits rise to heaven to be blest for ever in the glory of
their God, it is in the power of this same word, "Live." Note
again, that it is an _irresistible_ mandate. Saul of Tarsus is
on the road to Damascus to arrest the saints of the living God.
A voice is heard from heaven and a light is seen above the
brightness of the sun, and Saul is crying out, "Lord, what wilt
thou have me to do?" This mandate is a mandate of _free grace_.
When sinners are saved, it is only and solely because God _will_
do it to magnify His free, unpurchased, unsought grace.
Christians, see your position, debtors to grace; show your
gratitude by earnest, Christlike lives, and as God has bidden
you live, see to it that you live in earnest.

* 07/08/PM

"Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my
salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day."
                                                    --Psalm 25:5

   When the believer has begun with trembling feet to walk in 
the way of the Lord, he asks to be still led onward like a
little child upheld by its parent's helping hand, and he craves
to be further instructed in the alphabet of truth. Experimental
teaching is the burden of this prayer. David knew much, but he
felt his ignorance, and desired to be still in the Lord's
school: four times over in two verses he applies for a
scholarship in the college of grace. It were well for many
professors if instead of following their own devices, and
cutting out new paths of thought for themselves, they would
enquire for the good old ways of God's own truth, and beseech
the Holy Ghost to give them sanctified understandings and
teachable spirits. "_For thou art the God of my salvation_." The
Three-One Jehovah is the Author and Perfecter of salvation to
His people. Reader, is He the God of _your_ salvation? Do you
find in the Father's election, in the Son's atonement, and in
the Spirit's quickening, all the grounds of your eternal hopes?
If so, you may use this as an argument for obtaining further
blessings; if the Lord has ordained to save you, surely He will
not refuse to instruct you in His ways. It is a happy thing when
we can address the Lord with the confidence which David here
manifests, it gives us great power in prayer, and comfort in
trial. "_On Thee do I wait all the day_." Patience is the fair
handmaid and daughter of faith; we cheerfully wait when we are
certain that we shall not wait in vain. It is our duty and our
privilege to wait upon the Lord in service, in worship, in
expectancy, in trust all the days of our life. Our faith will be
tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear
continued trial without yielding. We shall not grow weary of
waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He
once waited for us.

* 07/09/PM

"And God divided the light from the darkness."
                                                   --Genesis 1:4

   A believer has two principles at work within him. In his 
natural estate he was subject to one principle only, which was
darkness; now light has entered, and the two principles
disagree. Mark the apostle Paul's words in the seventh chapter
of Romans: "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil
is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the
inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against
the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of
sin, which is in my members." How is this state of things
occasioned? "The Lord divided the light from the darkness."
Darkness, by itself, is quiet and undisturbed, but when the Lord
sends in light, there is a conflict, for the one is in
opposition to the other: a conflict which will never cease till
the believer is altogether light in the Lord. If there be a
division _within_ the individual Christian, there is certain to
be _a division without_. So soon as the Lord gives to any man
light, he proceeds to separate himself from the darkness around;
he secedes from a merely worldly religion of outward ceremonial,
for nothing short of the gospel of Christ will now satisfy him,
and he withdraws himself from worldly society and frivolous
amusements, and seeks the company of the saints, for "We know we
have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren."
The light gathers to itself, and the darkness to itself. What
God has divided, let us never try to unite, but as Christ went
without the camp, bearing His reproach, so let us come out from
the ungodly, and be a peculiar people. He was holy, harmless,
undefiled, separate from sinners; and, as He was, so we are to
be nonconformists to the world, dissenting from all sin, and
distinguished from the rest of mankind by our likeness to our

* 07/10/PM

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

   The evening was "darkness" and the morning was "light," and 
yet _the two together are called by the name that is given to
the light alone_! This is somewhat remarkable, but it has an
exact analogy in spiritual experience. In every believer there
is darkness and light, and yet he is not to be named a sinner
because there is sin in him, but he is to be named a saint
because he possesses some degree of holiness. This will be a
most comforting thought to those who are mourning their
infirmities, and who ask, "Can I be a child of God while there
is so much darkness in me?" Yes; for you, like the day, take not
your name from the evening, but from the morning; and you are
spoken of in the word of God as if you were even now perfectly
holy as you will be soon. You are called the child of light,
though there is darkness in you still. You are named after what
is the predominating quality in the sight of God, which will one
day be the only principle remaining. Observe that _the evening
comes first_. Naturally we are darkness first in order of time,
and the gloom is often first in our mournful apprehension,
driving us to cry out in deep humiliation, "God be merciful to
me, a sinner." The place of the morning is second, it dawns when
grace overcomes nature. It is a blessed aphorism of John Bunyan,
"That which is last, lasts for ever." That which is first,
yields in due season to the last; but nothing comes after the
last. So that though you are naturally darkness, when once you
become light in the Lord, there is no evening to follow; "thy
sun shall no more go down." The first day in this life is an
evening and a morning; but the second day, when we shall be with
God, for ever, shall be a day with no evening, but one, sacred,
high, eternal noon.

* 07/11/PM

"Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their
children, and their children another generation."
                                                      --Joel 1:3

   In this simple way, by God's grace, a living testimony for 
truth is always to be kept alive in the land--the beloved of the
Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the
covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next
descendants. This is our _first_ duty, we are to begin at the
family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his
ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and
the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior
claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord's
arrangements. To teach our children is a _personal_ duty; we
cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or other friendly
aids, these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred
obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this
case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their
households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring
concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental
teaching is a _natural_ duty--who so fit to look to the child's
well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To
neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish.
Family religion is _necessary_ for the nation, for the family
itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots Popery is
covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual
means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected,
namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that
parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this
matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and
daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an
_accepted_ work, for God has saved the children through the
parents' prayers and admonitions. May every house into which
this volume shall come honour the Lord and receive His smile.

* 07/12/PM

"His heavenly kingdom."
                                                --2 Timothy 4:18

   Yonder city of the great King is a place of _active service_. 
Ransomed spirits serve Him day and night in His temple. They
never cease to fulfil the good pleasure of their King. They
always "rest," so far as ease and freedom from care is
concerned; and never "rest," in the sense of indolence or
inactivity. Jerusalem the golden is the place of _communion_
with all the people of God. We shall sit with Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, in eternal fellowship. We shall hold high converse
with the noble host of the elect, all reigning with Him who by
His love and His potent arm has brought them safely home. We
shall not sing solos, but in chorus shall we praise our King.
Heaven is a place of _victory realized_. Whenever, Christian,
thou hast achieved a victory over thy lusts--whenever after hard
struggling, thou hast laid a temptation dead at thy feet--thou
hast in that hour a foretaste of the joy that awaits thee when
the Lord shall shortly tread Satan under thy feet, and thou
shalt find thyself more than conqueror through Him who hath
loved thee. Paradise is a place of _security_. When you enjoy
the full assurance of faith, you have the pledge of that
glorious security which shall be yours when you are a perfect
citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem. O my sweet home, Jerusalem,
thou happy harbour of my soul! Thanks, even now, to Him whose
love hath taught me to long for Thee; but louder thanks in
eternity, when I shall possess thee.

             "My soul has tasted of the grapes,
             And now it longs to go
             Where my dear Lord His vineyard keeps
             And all the clusters grow.

             "Upon the true and living vine,
             My famish'd soul would feast,
             And banquet on the fruit divine,
             An everlasting guest."

* 07/13/PM

"When I cry unto Thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this
I know; for God is for me."
                                                    --Psalm 56:9

   It is impossible for any human speech to express the full
meaning of this delightful phrase, "_God is for me_." He was
"for us" before the worlds were made; He was "for us," or He
would not have given His well-beloved son; He was "for us" when
He smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of His
wrath upon Him--He was "for _us_," though He was against _Him_;
He was "for us," when we were ruined in the fall--He loved us
notwithstanding all; He was "for us," when we were rebels
against Him, and with a high hand were bidding Him defiance; He
was "for us," or He would not have brought us humbly to seek His
face. He has been "for us" in many struggles; we have been
summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by
temptations from without and within--how could we have remained
unharmed to this hour if He had not been "for us"? He is "for
us," with all the infinity of His being; with all the
omnipotence of His love; with all the infallibility of His
wisdom; arrayed in all His divine attributes, He is "for
us,"--eternally and immutably "for us"; "for us" when yon blue
skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; "for us"
throughout eternity. And because He is "for us," the voice of
prayer will always ensure His help. "_When I cry unto Thee, then
shall mine enemies be turned back_." This is no uncertain hope,
but a well grounded assurance--"_this I know_." I will direct my
prayer unto Thee, and will look up for the answer, assured that
it will come, and that mine enemies shall be defeated, "for God
is for me." O believer, how happy art thou with the King of
kings on thy side! How safe with such a Protector! How sure thy
cause pleaded by such an Advocate! If God be for thee, who can
be against thee?

* 07/14/PM

"As it began to dawn, came Magdalene, to see the sepulchre."
                                                  --Matthew 28:1

   Let us learn from Mary Magdalene how to obtain fellowship 
with the Lord Jesus. Notice how she sought. She sought the
Saviour _very early_ in the morning. If thou canst wait for
Christ, and be patient in the hope of having fellowship with Him
at some distant season, thou wilt never have fellowship at all;
for the heart that is fitted for communion is a hungering and a
thirsting heart. She sought Him also with _very great boldness_.
Other disciples fled from the sepulchre, for they trembled and
were amazed; but Mary, it is said, "stood" at the sepulchre. If
you would have Christ with you, seek Him boldly. Let nothing
hold you back. Defy the world. Press on where others flee. She
sought Christ _faithfully_--she stood _at the sepulchre_. Some
find it hard to stand by a living Saviour, but she stood by a
dead one. Let us seek Christ after this mode, cleaving to the
very least thing that has to do with Him, remaining faithful
though all others should forsake Him. Note further, she sought
Jesus _earnestly_--she stood "_weeping_." Those tear-droppings
were as spells that led the Saviour captive, and made Him come
forth and show Himself to her. If you desire Jesus' presence,
weep after it! If you cannot be happy unless He come and say to
you, "Thou art My beloved," you will soon hear His voice.
Lastly, she sought the Saviour _only_. What cared she for
angels, she turned herself back from them; her search was only
for her Lord. If Christ be your one and only love, if your heart
has cast out all rivals, you will not long lack the comfort of
His presence. Mary Magdalene sought thus _because she loved
much_. Let us arouse ourselves to the same intensity of
affection; let our heart, like Mary's, be full of Christ, and
our love, like hers, will be satisfied with nothing short of
Himself. O Lord, reveal Thyself to us this evening!

* 07/15/PM

"He appeared first to Mary Magdalene."
                                                     --Mark 16:9

   Jesus "appeared first to Mary Magdalene," probably not only 
on account of her great love and persevering seeking, but
because, as the context intimates, she had been _a special
trophy of Christ's delivering power_. Learn from this, that the
greatness of our sin before conversion should not make us
imagine that we may not be specially favoured with the very
highest grade of fellowship. She was one who had left all to
become _a constant attendant on the Saviour_. He was her first,
her chief object. Many who were on Christ's side did not take up
Christ's cross; _she_ did. _She spent her substance in relieving
His wants_. If we would see much of Christ, let us _serve_ Him.
Tell me who they are that sit oftenest under the banner of His
love, and drink deepest draughts from the cup of communion, and
I am sure they will be those who give most, who serve best, and
who abide closest to the bleeding heart of their dear Lord. But
notice _how_ Christ revealed Himself to this sorrowing one--by a
_word_, "Mary." It needed but one word _in His voice_, and at
once she knew Him, and _her heart owned allegiance by another
word_, her heart was too full to say more. That one word would
naturally be the most fitting for the occasion. It implies
obedience. She said, "_Master_." There is no state of mind in
which this confession of allegiance will be too cold. No, when
your spirit glows most with the heavenly fire, then you will
say, "I am Thy servant, Thou hast loosed my bonds." If you can
say, "Master," if you feel that His will is your will, then you
stand in a happy, holy place. He must have said, "Mary," or else
you could not have said, "Rabboni." See, then, from all this,
how Christ honours those who honour Him, how love draws our
Beloved, how it needs but one word of His to turn our weeping to
rejoicing, how His presence makes the heart's sunshine.

* 07/16/PM

"Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to
favour her, yea, the set time is come. For Thy servants rake
pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof."
                                              --Psalm 102:13, 14

   A selfish man in trouble is exceedingly hard to comfort, 
because the springs of his comfort entirely within himself, and
when he is sad all his springs are dry. But a large-hearted man
full of Christian philanthropy, has other springs from which to
supply himself with comfort beside those which lie within. He
can go to his God first of all, and there find abundant help;
and he can discover arguments for consolation in things relating
to the world at large, to his country, and, above all, to the
church. David in this Psalm was exceedingly sorrowful; he wrote,
"I am like an owl of the desert, I watch, and am as a sparrow
alone upon the house top." The only way in which he could
comfort himself, was in the reflection that God would arise, and
have mercy upon Zion: though _he_ was sad, yet Zion should
prosper; however low his own estate, yet Zion should arise.
Christian man! learn to comfort thyself in God's gracious
dealing towards the church. That which is so dear to thy Master,
should it not be dear above all else to thee? What though thy
way be dark, canst thou not gladden thine heart with the
triumphs of His cross and the spread of His truth? Our own
personal troubles are forgotten while we look, not only upon
what God _has_ done, and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious
things He _will yet do_ for His church. Try this receipt, O
believer, whenever thou art sad of heart and in heaviness of
spirit: forget thyself and thy little concerns, and seek the
welfare and prosperity of Zion. When thou bendest thy knee in
prayer to God, limit not thy petition to the narrow circle of
thine own life, tried though it be, but send out thy longing
prayers for the church's prosperity, "Pray for the peace of
Jerusalem," and thine own soul shall be refreshed.

* 07/17/PM

"Let not one of them escape."
                                                 --1 Kings 18:40

   When the prophet Elijah had received the answer to his 
prayer, and the fire from heaven had consumed the sacrifice in
the presence of all the people, he called upon the assembled
Israelites to take the priests of Baal, and sternly cried, "Let
not one of them escape." He took them all down to the brook
Kishon, and slew them there. So must it be with our sins--they
are all doomed, not one must be preserved. Our darling sin must
die. Spare it not for its much crying. Strike, though it be as
dear as an Isaac. Strike, for God struck at sin when it was laid
upon His own Son. With stern unflinching purpose must you
condemn to death that sin which was once the idol of your heart.
Do you ask how you are to accomplish this? Jesus will be your
power. You have grace to overcome sin given you in the covenant
of grace; you have strength to win the victory in the crusade
against inward lusts, because Christ Jesus has promised to be
with you even unto the end. If you would triumph over darkness,
set yourself in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness. There
is no place so well adapted for the discovery of sin, and
recovery from its power and guilt, as the immediate presence of
God. Job never knew how to get rid of sin half so well as he did
when his eye of faith rested upon God, and then he abhorred
himself, and repented in dust and ashes. The fine gold of the
Christian is oft becoming dim. We need the sacred fire to
consume the dross. Let us fly to our God, He is a consuming
fire; He will not consume our spirit, but our sins. Let the
goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy, and to a holy
revenge against those iniquities which are hateful in His sight.
Go forth to battle with Amalek in His strength, and utterly
destroy the accursed crew: let not one of them escape.

* 07/18/PM

"Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every
one in his path."
                                                      --Joel 2:8

   Locusts always keep their rank, and although their number is 
legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their
columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history
shows how thoroughly the a Lord has infused the spirit of order
into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as
much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the seraphic
messengers. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the
same influence in all their spiritual life. _In their Christian
graces_ no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another, or eat
out the vitals of the rest for its own support. Affection must
not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the
field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not
slaughter resolution. So also with _our duties_, one must not
interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure
private piety; church work must not push family worship into a
corner. It is ill to offer God one duty stained with the blood
of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not
otherwise. It was to the Pharisee that Jesus said, "This ought
ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone." The
same rule applies to _our personal position_, we must take care
to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as
the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow
servant's domain. Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high
places, but to be willing to be the least among the brethren.
Far from us be an envious, ambitious spirit, let us feel the
force of the Master's command, and do as He bids us, keeping
rank with the rest of the host. To-night let us see whether we
are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and
let our prayer be that, in all the churches of the Lord Jesus,
peace and order may prevail.

* 07/19/PM

"A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He
not quench."
                                                 --Matthew 12:20

   What is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoking flax? _A 
reed_ that groweth in the fen or marsh, let but the wild duck
light upon it, and it snaps; let but the foot of man brush
against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flits
across the river moves it to and fro. You can conceive of
nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in
jeopardy, than a bruised reed. Then look at the smoking flax--
what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is
almost smothered; an infant's breath might blow it out; nothing
has a more precarious existence than its flame. _Weak things_
are here described, yet Jesus says of them, "The smoking flax I
will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break." Some of
God's children are made strong to do mighty works for Him; God
has His Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza's gates, and
carry them to the top of the hill; He has a few mighties who are
lion-like men, but the majority of His people are a timid,
trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every
passer by; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are
taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens, they are ready
to faint; their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave,
they are drifted along like a sea bird on the crest of the
billows--weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without
foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and _because_ they are so
weak, they have this promise made specially to them. Herein is
grace and graciousness! Herein is love and lovingkindness! How
it opens to us the compassion of Jesus--so gentle, tender,
considerate! We need never shrink back from _His_ touch. We need
never fear a harsh word from _Him_; though He might well chide
us for our weakness, He rebuketh not. Bruised reeds shall have
no blows from Him, and the smoking flax no damping frowns.

* 07/20/PM

"And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the
waters of Sihor?"
                                                 --Jeremiah 2:18

   By sundry miracles, by divers mercies, by strange 
deliverances Jehovah had proved Himself to be worthy of Israel's
trust. Yet they broke down the hedges with which God had
enclosed them as a sacred garden; they forsook their own true
and living God, and followed after false gods. Constantly did
the Lord reprove them for this infatuation, and our text
contains one instance of God's expostulating with them, "What
hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of the
muddy river?"--for so it may be translated. "Why dost thou
wander afar and leave thine own cool stream from Lebanon? Why
dost thou forsake Jerusalem to turn aside to Noph and to
Tahapanes? Why art thou so strangely set on mischief, that thou
canst not be content with the good and healthful, but wouldst
follow after that which is evil and deceitful?" Is there not
here a word of expostulation and warning to the Christian? O
true believer, called by grace and washed in the precious blood
of Jesus, thou hast tasted of better drink than the muddy river
of this world's pleasure can give thee; thou hast had fellowship
with Christ; thou hast obtained the joy of seeing Jesus, and
leaning thine head upon His bosom. Do the trifles, the songs,
the honours, the merriment of this earth content thee after
that? Hast thou eaten the bread of angels, and canst thou live
on husks? Good Rutherford once said, "I have tasted of Christ's
own manna, and it hath put my mouth out of taste for the brown
bread of this world's joys." Methinks it should be so with thee.
If thou art wandering after the waters of Egypt, O return
quickly to the one living fountain: the waters of Sihor may be
sweet to the Egyptians, but they will prove only bitterness to
thee. What hast thou to do with them? _Jesus asks thee this
question this evening_--what wilt thou answer Him?

* 07/21/PM

"Why go I mourning?"
                                                    --Psalm 42:9

   Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason 
why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield
to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would
never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances
would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues
of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of
thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and
ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of
despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood
comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Hope
thou then! Hope thou ever! For God fails thee not. Dost thou not
know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this?
Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and
God's love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest
moments. No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as
much as thou dost; He only cares to use it for that reason which
should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works
thy lasting good. Thou shalt yet climb Jacob's ladder with the
angels, and behold Him who sits at the top of it--thy covenant
God. Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendours of eternity, forget
the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who
led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them.
Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while
passing through the furnace. Make the wilderness to blossom
like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting
joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then
"for ever with the Lord," thy bliss shall never wane.

            "Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
            He changeth not, and thou art dear;
            Only believe and thou shalt see,
            That Christ is all in all to thee."

* 07/22/PM

"Behold the Man!"
                                                     --John 19:5

   If there be one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes 
the joy and comfort of His people, it is where He plunged
deepest into the depths of woe. Come hither, gracious souls, and
behold the Man in the garden of Gethsemane; behold His heart so
brimming with love that He cannot hold it in--so full of sorrow
that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distils
from every pore of His body, and falls upon the ground. Behold
the Man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet. Look
up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your
suffering Lord. Mark Him, as the ruby drops stand on the
thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the
King of Misery. Behold the Man when all His bones are out of
joint, and He is poured out like water and brought into the dust
of death; God hath forsaken Him, and hell compasseth Him about.
Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto His sorrow that
is done unto Him? All ye that pass by draw near and look upon
this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men
and angels, a prodigy unmatched. Behold the Emperor of Woe who
had no equal or rival in His agonies! Gaze upon Him, ye
mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ
there is no joy in earth or heaven. If in the ransom price of
His blood there be not hope, ye harps of heaven, there is no joy
in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for
evermore. We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot
to be less troubled with our doubts and woes. We have but to see
_His_ sorrows, and _our_ sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention;
we have but to gaze into His wounds and heal our own. If we
would live aright it must be by the contemplation of His death;
if we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering His
humiliation and His sorrow.

* 07/23/PM

"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin."
                                                    --1 John 1:7

   "Cleanseth," says the text--not "_shall_ cleanse." There are
multitudes who think that as a dying hope they may look forward
to pardon. Oh! how infinitely better to have cleansing now than
to depend on the bare possibility of forgiveness when I come to
die. Some imagine that a sense of pardon is an attainment only
obtainable after many years of Christian experience. But
forgiveness of sin is a _present_ thing--a privilege for this
day, a joy for this very hour. The moment a sinner trusts Jesus
he is fully forgiven. The text, being written in the present
tense, also indicates _continuance_; it was "cleanseth"
yesterday, it is "cleanseth" to-day, it will be "cleanseth"
tomorrow: it will be always so with you, Christian, until you
cross the river; every hour you may come to this fountain, for
it cleanseth still. Notice, likewise, the _completeness_ of the
cleansing, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from
_all_ sin"--not only from sin, but "from all sin." Reader, I
cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray
God the Holy Ghost to give you a taste of it. Manifold are our
sins against God. Whether the bill be little or great, the same
receipt can discharge one as the other. The blood of Jesus
Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions
of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John; our
iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone for ever.
Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one
gives himself to sleep.

               "Sins against a holy God;
               Sins against His righteous laws;
               Sins against His love, His blood;
               Sins against His name and cause;
               Sins immense as is the sea-
               From them all He cleanseth me."

* 07/24/PM

"His camp is very great."
                                                     --Joel 2:11

   Consider, my soul, the mightiness of the Lord who is thy 
glory and defence. He is a man of war, Jehovah is His name. All
_the forces of heaven_ are at His beck, legions wait at His
door, cherubim and seraphim;, watchers and holy ones,
principalities and powers, are all attentive to His will. If our
eyes were not blinded by the ophthalmia of the flesh, we should
see horses of fire and chariots of fire round about the Lord's
beloved. _The powers of nature_ are all subject to the absolute
control of the Creator: stormy wind and tempest, lightning and
rain, and snow, and hail, and the soft dews and cheering
sunshine, come and go at His decree. The bands of Orion He
looseth, and bindeth the sweet influences of the Pleiades.
Earth, sea, and air, and the places under the earth, are the
barracks for Jehovah's great armies; space is His camping
ground, light is His banner, and flame is His sword. When He
goeth forth to war, famine ravages the land, pestilence smites
the nations, hurricane sweeps the sea, tornado shakes the
mountains, and earthquake makes the solid world to tremble. As
for _animate creatures_, they all own His dominion, and from the
great fish which swallowed the prophet, down to "all manner of
flies," which plagued the field of Zoan, all are His servants,
and like the palmer-worm, the caterpillar, and the cankerworm,
are squadrons of His great army, for His camp is very great. My
soul, see to it that thou be at peace with this mighty King,
yea, more, be sure to enlist under His banner, for to war
against Him is madness, and to serve Him is glory. Jesus,
Immanuel, God with us, is ready to receive recruits for the army
of the Lord: if I am not already enlisted let me go to Him ere I
sleep, and beg to be accepted through His merits; and if I be
already, as I hope I am, a soldier of the cross, let me be of
good courage; for the enemy is powerless compared with my Lord,
whose camp is very great.

* 07/25/PM

"In their affliction they will seek Me early."
                                                    --Hosea 5:15

   Losses and adversities are frequently the means which the 
great Shepherd uses to fetch home His wandering sheep; like
fierce dogs they worry the wanderers back to the fold. There is
no making lions tame if they are too well fed; they must be
brought down from their great strength, and their stomachs must
be lowered, and then they will submit to the tamer's hand; and
often have we seen the Christian rendered obedient to the Lord's
will by straitness of bread and hard labour. When rich and
increased in goods many professors carry their heads much too
loftily, and speak exceeding boastfully. Like David, they
flatter themselves, "My mountain standeth fast; I shall never be
moved." When the Christian groweth wealthy, is in good repute,
hath good health, and a happy family, he too often admits Mr.
Carnal Security to feast at his table, and then if he be a true
child of God there is a rod preparing for him. Wait awhile, and
it may be you will see his substance melt away as a dream. There
goes a portion of his estate--how soon the acres change hands.
That debt, that dishonoured bill--how fast his losses roll in,
where will they end? It is a blessed sign of divine life if when
these embarrassments occur one after another he begins to be
distressed about his backslidings, and betakes himself to his
God. Blessed are the waves that wash the mariner upon the rock
of salvation! Losses in business are often sanctified to our
soul's enriching. If the chosen soul will not come to the Lord
full-handed, it shall come empty. If God, in His grace, findeth
no other means of making us honour Him among men, He will cast
us into the deep; if we fail to honour Him on the pinnacle of
riches, He will bring us into the valley of poverty. Yet faint
not, heir of sorrow, when thou art thus rebuked, rather
recognize the loving hand which chastens, and say, "I will
arise, and go unto my Father."

* 07/26/PM

"That He may set him with princes."
                                                   --Psalm 113:8

   Our spiritual privileges are of the highest order. "Among 
princes" _is the place of select society_. "Truly our fellowship
is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." Speak of
select society, there is none like this! "We are a chosen
generation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood." "We are come
unto the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose
names are written in heaven." The saints _have courtly
audience_: princes have admittance to royalty when common people
must stand afar off. The child of God has free access to the
inner courts of heaven. "For through Him we both have access by
one Spirit unto the Father." "Let us come boldly," says the
apostle, "_to the throne_ of the heavenly grace." Among princes
there is _abundant wealth_, but what is the abundance of princes
compared with the riches of believers? for "all things are
yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." "He that
spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how
shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Princes
have _peculiar power_. A prince of heaven's empire has great
influence: he wields a sceptre in his own domain; he sits upon
Jesus' throne, for "He hath made us kings and priests unto God,
and we shall reign for ever and ever." We reign over the united
kingdom of time and eternity. Princes, again, have _special
honour_. We may look down upon all earth-born dignity from the
eminence upon which grace has placed us. For what is human
grandeur to this, "He hath raised us up together, and made us
sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus"? We share the
honour of Christ, and compared with this, earthly splendours are
not worth a thought. Communion with Jesus is a richer gem than
ever glittered in imperial diadem. Union with the Lord is a
coronet of beauty outshining all the blaze of imperial pomp.

* 07/27/PM

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"
                                                   --Romans 8:33

   Most blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of 
the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation, and
by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God's book
against His people: He seeth no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity
in Israel; they are justified in Christ for ever. When the guilt
of sin was taken away, the punishment of sin was removed. For
the Christian there is no stroke from God's angry hand--nay, not
so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may
be chastised by his Father, but God the Judge has nothing to say
to the Christian, except "I have absolved thee: thou art
acquitted." For the Christian there is no penal death in this
world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from
all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of
sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with
perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in
union with Jesus. There is no sin which a Christian cannot
overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it. They who
wear the white robe in heaven overcame through the blood of the
Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no
besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through
the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that thy sin is a
condemned thing. It may kick and struggle, but it is doomed to
die. God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has
crucified it, "nailing it to His cross." Go now and mortify it,
and the Lord help you to live to His praise, for sin with all
its guilt, shame, and fear, is gone.

             "Here's pardon for transgressions past,
             It matters not how black their cast;
             And, O my soul, with wonder view,
             For sins to come here's pardon too."

* 07/28/PM

"Who went about doing good."
                                                    --Acts 10:38

   Few words, but yet an exquisite miniature of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of
a master's pencil. Of the Saviour and only of the Saviour is it
true in the fullest, broadest, and most unqualified sense. "He
went about doing good." From this description it is evident that
He did good _personally_. The evangelists constantly tell us
that He touched the leper with His own finger, that He anointed
the eyes of the blind, and that in cases where He was asked to
speak the word only at a distance, He did not usually comply,
but went Himself to the sick bed, and there personally wrought
the cure. A lesson to us, if we would do good, to do it
ourselves. Give alms with your own hand; a kind look, or word,
will enhance the value of the gift. Speak to a friend about his
soul; your loving appeal will have more influence than a whole
library of tracts. Our Lord's mode of doing good sets forth His
_incessant activity_! He did not only the good which came close
to hand, but He "went about" on His errands of mercy. Throughout
the whole land of Judea there was scarcely a village or a hamlet
which was not gladdened by the sight of Him. How this reproves
the creeping, loitering manner, in which many professors serve
the Lord. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and be not weary
in well doing. Does not the text imply that Jesus Christ _went
out of His way to do good_? "He went _about_ doing good." He was
never deterred by danger or difficulty. He sought out the
objects of His gracious intentions. So must we. If old plans
will not answer, we must try new ones, for fresh experiments
sometimes achieve more than regular methods. Christ's
_perseverance_, and the _unity_ of His purpose, are also hinted
at, and the practical application of the subject may be summed
up in the words, "He hath left us an example that we should
follow in His steps."

* 07/29/PM

"All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me."
                                                     --John 6:37

   This declaration involves _the doctrine of election_: there
are some whom the Father gave to Christ. It involves _the
doctrine of effectual calling_: these who are given must and
shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it,
yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God's marvellous
light. It teaches us _the indispensable necessity of faith_; for
even those who are given to Christ are not saved except they
come to Jesus. Even _they_ must come, for there is no other way
to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All that the Father
gives to our Redeemer _must come to Him_, therefore none can
come to heaven except they come to Christ.

   Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words "_shall 
come_." He does not say they have power to come, nor they may
come if they will, but they "_shall come_." The Lord Jesus doth
by His messengers, His word, and His Spirit, sweetly and
graciously compel men to come in that they may eat of His
marriage supper; and this He does, not by any violation of the
free agency of man, but by the power of His grace. I may
exercise power over another man's will, and yet that other man's
will may be perfectly free, because the constraint is exercised
in a manner accordant with the laws of the human mind. Jehovah
Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the
understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections,
and by the mysterious influence of His Holy Spirit operating
upon all the powers and passions of the soul, so to subdue the
whole man, that whereas he was once rebellious, he yields
cheerfully to His government, subdued by sovereign love. But how
shall those be known whom God hath chosen? By this result: that
they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ, and come to Him
with simple and unfeigned faith, resting upon Him as all their
salvation and all their desire. Reader, have you thus come to

* 07/30/PM

"Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
                                                     --John 6:37

   No limit is set to _the duration_ of this promise. It does
not merely say, "I will not cast out a sinner at his first
coming," but, "I will in no wise cast out." The original reads,
"I will not, not cast out," or "I will never, never cast out."
The text means, that Christ will not at _first_ reject a
believer; and that as He will not do it at first, so He will not
to the last.

   But suppose the believer sins after coming? "If any man sin
we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous." But suppose that believers backslide? "I will heal
their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is
turned away from him." But believers may fall under temptation!
"God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above
that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way
to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." But the believer may
fall into sin as David did! Yes, but He will "Purge them with
hyssop, and they shall be clean; He will wash them and they
shall be whiter than snow"; "From all their iniquities will I
cleanse them."

            "Once in Christ, in Christ for ever,
            Nothing from His love can sever."

"I give unto My sheep," saith He, "eternal life; and they shall
never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand."
What sayest thou to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this a
precious mercy, that coming to Christ, thou dost not come to One
who will treat thee well for a little while, and then send thee
about thy business, but He will receive thee and make thee His
bride, and thou shalt be His for ever? Receive no longer the
spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption
whereby thou shalt cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these
words: "I will in no wise cast out."

* 07/31/PM

"And these are the singers . . . they were employed in that work
day and night."
                                             --1 Chronicles 9:33

   Well was it so ordered in the temple that the sacred chant 
never ceased: for evermore did the singers praise the Lord,
whose mercy endureth for ever. As mercy did not cease to rule
either by day or by night, so neither did music hush its holy
ministry. My heart, there is a lesson sweetly taught to thee in
the ceaseless song of Zion's temple, thou too art a constant
debtor, and see thou to it that thy gratitude, like charity,
never faileth. God's praise is constant in heaven, which is to
be thy final dwelling-place, learn thou to practise the eternal
hallelujah. Around the earth as the sun scatters his light, his
beams awaken grateful believers to tune their morning hymn, so
that by the priesthood of the saints perpetual praise is kept up
at all hours, they swathe our globe in a mantle of thanksgiving,
and girdle it with a golden belt of song.

   The Lord always deserves to be praised for what He is in 
Himself, for His works of creation and providence, for His
goodness towards His creatures, and especially for the
transcendent act of redemption, and all the marvellous blessing
flowing therefrom. It is always beneficial to praise the Lord;
it cheers the day and brightens the night; it lightens toil and
softens sorrow; and over earthly gladness it sheds a sanctifying
radiance which makes it less liable to blind us with its glare.
Have we not something to sing about at this moment? Can we not
weave a song out of our present joys, or our past deliverances,
or our future hopes? Earth yields her summer fruits: the hay is
housed, the golden grain invites the sickle, and the sun
tarrying long to shine upon a fruitful earth, shortens the
interval of shade that we may lengthen the hours of devout
worship. By the love of Jesus, let us be stirred up to close the
day with a psalm of sanctified gladness.

This document (last modified September 30, 1995) from Believerscafe.com