August PM

* 08/01/PM

"Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness."
                                                   --Psalm 65:11

   All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly 
blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake His mercy waits
upon us. The sun may leave us a legacy of darkness, but our God
never ceases to shine upon His children with beams of love. Like
a river, His lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness
inexhaustible as His own nature. Like the atmosphere which
constantly surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support
the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all His
creatures; in it, as in their element, they live, and move, and
have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days gladdens us with
beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers
are at certain seasons swollen by the rain, and as the
atmosphere itself is sometimes fraught with more fresh, more
bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with
the mercy of God; it hath its golden hours; its days of
overflow, when the Lord magnifieth His grace before the sons of
men. Amongst the blessings of the nether springs, _the joyous
days of harvest_ are a special season of excessive favour. It is
the glory of autumn that the ripe gifts of providence are then
abundantly bestowed; it is the mellow season of realization,
whereas all before was but hope and expectation. Great is the
joy of harvest. Happy are the reapers who fill their arms with
the liberality of heaven. The Psalmist tells us that the harvest
is the crowning of the year. Surely these crowning mercies call
for crowning thanksgiving! Let us render it by the _inward
emotions of gratitude_. Let our hearts be warmed; let our
spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the
Lord. Then let us _praise Him with our lips_, and laud and
magnify His name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. Let
us glorify God by yielding _our gifts_ to His cause. A practical
proof of our gratitude is a special thank-offering to the Lord
of the harvest.

* 08/02/PM

"So she gleaned in the field until even."
                                                     --Ruth 2:17

   Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to 
gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of
prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the word to
gather spiritual food. _The gleaner gathers her portion ear by
ear_; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to
search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them.
Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson
assists in making us wise unto salvation. _The gleaner keeps her
eyes open_: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she
would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide. I must
be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable
to me; I fear I have lost much already--O that I may rightly
estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence.
_The gleaner stoops for all she finds_, and so must I. High
spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive
benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably
hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not
received except with meekness. A stiff back makes a bad gleaner;
down, master pride, thou art a vile robber, not to be endured
for a moment. _What the gleaner gathers she holds_: if she
dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day's work
would be but scant; she is as careful to retain as to obtain,
and so at last her gains are great. How often do I forget all
that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head,
and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing! Do
I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth? A hungry
belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand,
there will be no bread on her table; she labours under the sense
of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is
firm; I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it,
that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so
plenteous a reward to diligence.

* 08/03/PM

"But as He went."
                                                     --Luke 8:42

   Jesus is passing through the throng to the house of Jairus, 
to raise the ruler's dead daughter; but He is so profuse in
goodness that He works another miracle while upon the road.
While yet this rod of Aaron bears the blossom of an
unaccomplished wonder, it yields the ripe almonds of a perfect
work of mercy. It is enough for us, if we have some one purpose,
straightway to go and accomplish it; it were imprudent to expend
our energies by the way. Hastening to the rescue of a drowning
friend, we cannot afford to exhaust our strength upon another in
like danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit,
and for a man to fulfil his own peculiar calling. But our Master
knows no limit of power or boundary of mission. He is so
prolific of grace, that like the sun which shines as it rolls
onward in its orbit, His path is radiant with lovingkindness. He
is a swift arrow of love, which not only reaches its ordained
target, but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is
evermore going out of Jesus, as sweet odours exhale from
flowers; and it always will be emanating from Him, as water from
a sparkling fountain. What delightful encouragement this truth
affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless
the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in His
way, that He may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if He be
so abundant in bestowing. Give earnest heed to His word now, and
at all times, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart.
Where He is to be found there make thy resort, that thou mayst
obtain His blessing. When He is present to heal, may He not heal
thee? But surely He is present even now, for He always comes to
hearts which need Him. And dost not thou need Him? Ah, _He_
knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn Thine eye and look upon
the distress which is now before Thee, and make Thy suppliant

* 08/04/PM

"I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all
the labours of your hands."
                                                   --Haggai 2:17

  How destructive is the hail to the standing crops, beating out 
the precious grain upon the ground! How grateful ought we to be
when the corn is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer unto
the Lord thanksgiving. Even more to be dreaded are those
mysterious destroyers--smut, bunt, rust, and mildew. These turn
the ear into a mass of soot, or render it putrid, or dry up the
grain, and all in a manner so beyond all human control that the
farmer is compelled to cry, "This is the finger of God."
Innumerable minute fungi cause the mischief, and were it not for
the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon
scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of
men, but in view of the active agents which are ready to destroy
the harvest, right wisely are we taught to pray, "Give us this
day our daily bread." The curse is abroad; we have constant need
of the blessing. When blight and mildew come they are
chastisements from heaven, and men must learn to hear the rod,
and Him that hath appointed it.

   Spiritually, mildew is no uncommon evil. When our work is 
most promising this blight appears. We hoped for many
conversions, and lo! a general apathy, an abounding worldliness,
or a cruel hardness of heart! There may be no open sin in those
for whom we are labouring, but there is a deficiency of
sincerity and decision sadly disappointing our desires. We learn
from this our dependence upon the Lord, and the need of prayer
that no blight may fall upon our work. Spiritual pride or sloth
will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil, and only the Lord of
the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own
hearts, and shrivel our prayers and religious exercises. May it
please the great Husbandman to avert so serious a calamity.
Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away.

* 08/05/PM

"Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?"
                                                  --Numbers 32:6

   Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would 
have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had
been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for
their portions alone. We have received much by means of the
efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we
do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her
our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks.
Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or
excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and
if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the
curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard saith,
"Why stand ye here all the day idle?" What is the idler's
excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty
of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some.
The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us
if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the
temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain
escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question
for this evening's meditation is very applicable. If the most
precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible?
If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made
perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease
from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why and wherefore
should we be treated better than our Lord? The firstborn felt
the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly
pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a
soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned
to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased
with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and,
like Samson, to find honey in the lion.

* 08/06/PM

"Let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen."
                                                   --Psalm 72:19

   This is a large petition. To intercede for a whole city needs 
a stretch of faith, and there are times when a prayer for one
man is enough to stagger us. But how far-reaching was the
psalmist's dying intercession! How comprehensive! How sublime!
"Let the whole earth be filled with His glory." It doth not
exempt a single country however crushed by the foot of
superstition; it doth not exclude a single nation however
barbarous. For the cannibal as well as for the civilized, for
all climes and races this prayer is uttered: the whole circle of
the earth it encompasses, and omits no son of Adam. We must be
up and doing for our Master, or we cannot honestly offer such a
prayer. The petition is not asked with a sincere heart unless we
endeavour, as God shall help us, to extend the kingdom of our
Master. Are there not some who _neglect_ both to plead and to
labour? Reader, is it _your_ prayer? Turn your eyes to Calvary.
Behold the Lord of Life nailed to a cross, with the thorn-crown
about His brow, with bleeding head, and hands, and feet. What!
can you look upon this miracle of miracles, the death of the Son
of God, without feeling within your bosom a marvellous adoration
that language never can express? And when you feel the blood
applied to your conscience, and know that He has blotted out
your sins, _you are not a man_ unless you start from your knees
and cry, "Let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen,
and Amen." Can you bow before the Crucified in loving homage,
and not wish to see your Monarch master of the world? Out on you
if you can pretend to love your Prince, and desire not to see
Him the universal ruler. Your piety is worthless unless it leads
you to wish that the same mercy which has been extended to you
may bless the whole world. Lord, it is harvest-time, put in Thy
sickle and reap.

* 08/07/PM

"Satan hindered us."
                                          --1 Thessalonians 2:18

   Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict 
with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual
experience, that Satan hinders us. From all points of the
compass, all along the line of battle, in the vanguard and in
the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan
hinders us. If we toil in the field, he seeks to break the
ploughshare; if we build the wall, he labours to cast down the
stones; if we would serve God in suffering or in conflict--
everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first
coming to Jesus Christ. Fierce conflicts we had with Satan when
we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved,
he endeavours to hinder the completeness of our personal
character. You may be congratulating yourself, "I have hitherto
walked consistently; no man can challenge my integrity." Beware
of boasting, for your virtue will yet be tried; Satan will
direct his engines against that very virtue for which you are
the most famous. If you have been hitherto a firm believer, your
faith will ere long be attacked; if you have been meek as Moses,
expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips. The
birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will
dash his tusks at your choicest vines. Satan is sure to hinder
us when we are earnest in prayer. He checks our importunity,
and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss
the blessing. Nor is Satan less vigilant in obstructing
Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without
a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah begin
to labour, Sanballat and Tobiah are stirred up to hinder them.
What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hindereth us, for it
is a proof that we are on the Lord's side, and are doing the
Lord's work, and in His strength we shall win the victory, and
triumph over our adversary.

* 08/08/PM

"All things are possible to him that believeth."
                                                     --Mark 9:23

   Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, 
and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of
believers. This is a mistake, for "all things are possible to
him that believeth"; and it is possible for us to mount into a
state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of
passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there.
When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by
favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your
heart, "Alas! these are not for me." O climber, if thou hast but
faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the
temple, for "all things are possible to him that believeth." You
hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they
have enjoyed of Him; how much they have been like Him; how they
have been able to endure great persecutions for His sake; and
you say, "Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to
this." But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may
not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of
spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which
is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay
aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your
true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so,
not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that
thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend!
The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of
communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap
yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every
day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of
wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul
shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden
sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith.
"All things are possible to him that believeth."

* 08/09/PM

"He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast
seven devils."
                                                     --Mark 16:9

   Mary of Magdala was _the victim of a fearful evil_. She was 
possessed by not one devil only, but seven. These dreadful
inmates caused much pain and pollution to the poor frame in
which they had found a lodging. Hers was a hopeless, horrible
case. She could not help herself, neither could any human
succour avail. But Jesus passed that way, and unsought, and
probably even resisted by the poor demoniac, He uttered the word
of power, and Mary of Magdala became _a trophy of the healing
power of Jesus_. All the seven demons left her, left her never
to return, forcibly ejected by the Lord of all. What a blessed
deliverance! What a happy change! From delirium to delight, from
despair to peace, from hell to heaven! Straightway she became
_a constant follower of Jesus_, catching His every word,
following His devious steps, sharing His toilsome life; and
withal she became _His generous helper_, first among that band
of healed and grateful women who ministered unto Him of their
substance. When Jesus was lifted up in crucifixion, Mary
remained _the sharer of His shame_: we find her first beholding
from afar, and then drawing near to the foot of the cross. She
could not die on the cross with Jesus, but she stood as near it
as she could, and when His blessed body was taken down, she
watched to see how and where it was laid. She was _the faithful
and watchful believer_, last at the sepulchre where Jesus slept,
first at the grave whence He arose. Her holy fidelity made her
_a favoured beholder of her beloved Rabboni_, who deigned to
call her by her name, and to make her _His messenger of good
news_ to the trembling disciples and Peter. Thus grace found her
a maniac and made her a minister, cast out devils and gave her
to behold angels, delivered her from Satan, and united her for
ever to the Lord Jesus. May I also be such a miracle of grace!

* 08/10/PM

"The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins."
                                                   --Matthew 9:6

   Behold one of the great Physician's mightiest arts: He has 
power to forgive sin! While here He lived below, before the
ransom had been paid, before the blood had been literally
sprinkled on the mercy-seat, He had power to forgive sin. Hath
He not power to do it now that He hath died? What power must
dwell in Him who to the utmost farthing has faithfully
discharged the debts of His people! He has boundless power now
that He has finished transgression and made an end of sin. If ye
doubt it, see Him rising from the dead! behold Him in ascending
splendour raised to the right hand of God! Hear Him pleading
before the eternal Father, pointing to His wounds, urging the
merit of His sacred passion! What power to forgive is here! "He
hath ascended on high, and received gifts for men." "He is
exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins." The
most crimson sins are removed by the crimson of His blood. At
this moment, dear reader, whatever thy sinfulness, Christ has
power to pardon, power to pardon _thee_, and millions such as
thou art. A word will speak it. He has nothing more to do to win
thy pardon; all the atoning work is done. He can, in answer to
thy tears, forgive thy sins today, and make thee know it. He can
breathe into thy soul at this very moment a peace with God which
passeth all understanding, which shall spring from perfect
remission of thy manifold iniquities. Dost thou believe that? I
trust thou believest it. Mayst thou experience now the power of
Jesus to forgive sin! Waste no time in applying to the
Physician of souls, but hasten to Him with words like these:--

              "Jesus! Master! hear my cry;
              Save me, heal me with a word;
              Fainting at Thy feet I lie,
              Thou my whisper'd plaint hast heard."

* 08/11/PM

"Everlasting consolation."
                                          --2 Thessalonians 2:16

   "Consolation." There is music in the word: like David's harp, 
it charms away the evil spirit of melancholy. It was a
distinguished honour to Barnabas to be called "the son of
consolation"; nay, it is one of the illustrious names of a
greater than Barnabas, for the Lord Jesus is "the consolation of
Israel." "_Everlasting_ consolation"--here is the cream of all,
for the eternity of comfort is the crown and glory of it. What
is this "everlasting consolation"? It includes a sense of
pardoned sin. A Christian man has received in his heart the
witness of the Spirit that his iniquities are put away like a
cloud, and his transgressions like a thick cloud. If sin be
pardoned, is not that an everlasting consolation? Next, the Lord
gives His people an abiding sense of acceptance in Christ. The
Christian knows that God looks upon him as standing in union
with Jesus. Union to the risen Lord is a consolation of the most
abiding order; it is, in fact, everlasting. Let sickness
prostrate us, have we not seen hundreds of believers as happy in
the weakness of disease as they would have been in the strength
of hale and blooming health? Let death's arrows pierce us to
the heart, our comfort dies not, for have not our ears full
often heard the songs of saints as they have rejoiced because
the living love of God was shed abroad in their hearts in dying
moments? Yes, a sense of acceptance in the Beloved is an
everlasting consolation. Moreover, the Christian has a
conviction of his security. God has promised to save those who
trust in Christ: the Christian does trust in Christ, and he
believes that God will be as good as His word, and will save
him. He feels that he is safe by virtue of his being bound up
with the person and work of Jesus.

* 08/12/PM

"The bow shall be seen in the cloud."
                                                  --Genesis 9:14

   The rainbow, the symbol of the covenant with Noah, is typical 
of our Lord Jesus, who is the Lord's witness to the people. When
may we _expect to see the token of the covenant_? The rainbow
is only to be seen painted upon a _cloud_. When the sinner's
conscience is dark with clouds, when he remembers his past sin,
and mourneth and lamenteth before God, Jesus Christ is revealed
to him as the covenant Rainbow, displaying all the glorious hues
of the divine character and betokening peace. To the believer,
when his trials and temptations surround him, it is sweet to
behold the person of our Lord Jesus Christ--to see Him bleeding,
living, rising, and pleading for us. God's rainbow is hung over
the cloud of our sins, our sorrows, and our woes, to prophesy
deliverance. Nor does a _cloud_ alone give a rainbow, there must
be _the crystal drops_ to reflect the light of the sun. So, our
sorrows must not only threaten, but they must really fall upon
us. There had been no Christ for us if the vengeance of God had
been merely a threatening cloud: punishment must fall in
terrible drops upon the Surety. Until there is a _real_ anguish
in the sinner's conscience, there is no Christ for him; until
the chastisement which he feels becomes grievous, he cannot see
Jesus. But there must also be a sun; for clouds and drops of
rain make not rainbows unless the sun shineth. Beloved, our
God, who is as the sun to us, always shines, but we do not
always see Him--clouds hide His face; but no matter what drops
may be falling, or what clouds may be threatening, if _He_ does
but shine there will be a rainbow at once. It is said that when
we see the rainbow the shower is over. Certain it is, that when
Christ comes, our troubles remove; when we behold Jesus, our
sins vanish, and our doubts and fears subside. When Jesus walks
the waters of the sea, how profound the calm!

* 08/13/PM

"And I will remember My covenant."
                                                  --Genesis 9:15

   Mark the form of the promise. God does not say, "And when ye
shall look upon the bow, and _ye_ shall remember My covenant,
_then_ I will not destroy the earth," but it is gloriously put,
not upon _our_ memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon
_God's_ memory, which is infinite and immutable. "The bow shall
be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember
the everlasting covenant." Oh! it is not my remembering God, it
is God's remembering _me_ which is the ground of my safety; it
is not my laying hold of His covenant, but His covenant's laying
hold on me. Glory be to God! the whole of the bulwarks of
salvation are secured by divine power, and even the minor
towers, which we may imagine might have been left to man, are
guarded by almighty strength. Even the _remembrance_ of the
covenant is not left to our memories, for _we_ might forget, but
our Lord cannot forget the saints whom He has graven on the
palms of His hands. It is with us as with Israel in Egypt; the
blood was upon the lintel and the two side-posts, but the Lord
did not say, "When _you_ see the blood I will pass over you,"
but "When _I_ see the blood I will pass over you." My looking to
Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God's looking to Jesus
which secures my salvation and that of all His elect, since it
is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding
Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished
in Him. No, it is not left with _us_ even to be saved by
remembering the covenant. There is no linsey-wolsey here--not a
single thread of the creature mars the fabric. It is not _of_
man, neither _by_ man, but of the Lord alone. We _should_
remember the covenant, and we _shall_ do it, through divine
grace; but the hinge of our safety does not hang there--it is
God's remembering _us_, not our remembering _Him_; and hence the
covenant is _an everlasting covenant_.

* 08/14/PM

"I know their sorrows."
                                                    --Exodus 3:7

   The child is cheered as he sings, "This my father knows"; and 
shall not we be comforted as we discern that our dear Friend and
tender soul-husband knows all about us?

   1. _He is the Physician_, and if He knows all, there is no 
need that the patient should know. Hush, thou silly, fluttering
heart, prying, peeping, and suspecting! What thou knowest not
now, thou shalt know hereafter, and meanwhile Jesus, the beloved
Physician, knows thy soul in adversities. Why need the patient
analyze all the medicine, or estimate all the symptoms? This is
the Physician's work, not mine; it is my business to trust, and
His to prescribe. If He shall write His prescription in uncouth
characters which I cannot read, I will not be uneasy on that
account, but rely upon His unfailing skill to make all plain in
the result, however mysterious in the working.

   2. _He is the Master_, and His knowledge is to serve us
instead of our own; we are to obey, not to judge: "The servant
knoweth not what his lord doeth." Shall the architect explain
his plans to every hodman on the works? If he knows his own
intent, is it not enough? The vessel on the wheel cannot guess
to what pattern it shall be conformed, but if the potter
understands his art, what matters the ignorance of the clay? My
Lord must not be cross-questioned any more by one so ignorant as
I am.

   3. _He is the Head_. All understanding centres there. What 
judgment has the arm? What comprehension has the foot? All the
power to know lies in the head. Why should the member have a
brain of its own when the head fulfils for it every intellectual
office? Here, then, must the believer rest his comfort in
sickness, not that he himself can see the end, but that Jesus
knows all. Sweet Lord, be thou for ever eye, and soul, and head
for us, and let us be content to know only what Thou choosest to

* 08/15/PM

"And I will give you an heart of flesh."
                                                 --Ezekiel 36:26

   A heart of flesh is known by its _tenderness concerning sin_. 
To have indulged a foul imagination, or to have allowed a wild
desire to tarry even for a moment, is quite enough to make a
heart of flesh grieve before the Lord. The heart of stone calls
a great iniquity nothing, but not so the heart of flesh.

               "If to the right or left I stray,
               That moment, Lord, reprove;
               And let me weep my life away,
               For having grieved thy love"

The heart of flesh is _tender of God's will_. My Lord
Will-be-will is a great blusterer, and it is hard to subject him
to God's will; but when the heart of flesh is given, the will
quivers like an aspen leaf in every breath of heaven, and bows
like an osier in every breeze of God's Spirit. The natural will
is cold, hard iron, which is not to be hammered into form, but
the renewed will, like molten metal, is soon moulded by the hand
of grace. In the fleshy heart there is _a tenderness of the
affections_. The hard heart does not love the Redeemer, but the
renewed heart burns with affection towards Him. The hard heart
is selfish and coldly demands, "Why should I weep for sin? Why
should I love the Lord?" But the heart of flesh says; "Lord,
Thou knowest that I love Thee; help me to love Thee more!" Many
are the privileges of this renewed heart; "'Tis here the Spirit
dwells, 'tis here that Jesus rests." It is fitted to receive
every spiritual blessing, and every blessing comes to it. It is
prepared to yield every heavenly fruit to the honour and praise
of God, and therefore the Lord delights in it. A tender heart is
the best defence against sin, and the best preparation for
heaven. A renewed heart stands on its watchtower looking for the
coming of the Lord Jesus. Have you this heart of flesh?

* 08/16/PM

"Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit."
                                                   --Romans 8:23

   Present possession is declared. At this present moment we 
have the first fruits of the Spirit. We have repentance, that
gem of the first water; faith, that priceless pearl; hope, the
heavenly emerald; and love, the glorious ruby. We are already
made "new creatures in Christ Jesus," by the effectual working
of God the Holy Ghost. This is called the firstfruit because _it
comes first_. As the wave-sheaf was the first of the harvest,
so the spiritual life, and all the graces which adorn that life,
are the first operations of the Spirit of God in our souls. _The
firstfruits were the pledge of the harvest_. As soon as the
Israelite had plucked the first handful of ripe ears, he looked
forward with glad anticipation to the time when the wain should
creak beneath the sheaves. So, brethren, when God gives us
things which are pure, lovely, and of good report, as the work
of the Holy Spirit, these are to us the prognostics of the
coming glory. _The firstfruits were always holy to the Lord_,
and our new nature, with all its powers, is a consecrated thing.
The new life is not ours that we should ascribe its excellence
to our own merit; it is Christ's image and creation, and is
ordained for His glory. But _the firstfruits were not the
harvest_, and the works of the Spirit in us at this moment are
not the consummation--the perfection is yet to come. We must not
boast that we have attained, and so reckon the wave-sheaf to be
all the produce of the year: we must hunger and thirst after
righteousness, and pant for the day of full redemption. Dear
reader, this evening open your mouth wide, and God will fill it.
Let the boon in present possession excite in you a sacred
avarice for more grace. Groan within yourself for higher degrees
of consecration, and your Lord will grant them to you, for He is
able to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask or even think.

* 08/17/PM

"This sickness is not unto death."
                                                     --John 11:4

   From our Lord's words we learn that there is a limit to 
sickness. Here is an "unto" within which its ultimate end is
restrained, and beyond which it cannot go. Lazarus might pass
through death, but death was not to be the ultimatum of his
sickness. In all sickness, the Lord saith to the waves of pain,
"Hitherto shall ye go, but no further." His fixed purpose is not
the destruction, but the instruction of His people. Wisdom hangs
up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the heat.

   1. _The limit is encouragingly comprehensive_. The God of 
providence has limited the time, manner, intensity, repetition,
and effects of all our sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each
sleepless hour predestinated, each relapse ordained, each
depression of spirit foreknown, and each sanctifying result
eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes the ordaining
hand of Him who numbers the hairs of our head.

   2. _This limit is wisely adjusted_ to our strength, to the 
end designed, and to the grace apportioned. Affliction comes not
at haphazard--the weight of every stroke of the rod is
accurately measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the
clouds and meting out the heavens, commits no errors in
measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of
souls. We cannot suffer too much nor be relieved too late.

   3. _The limit is tenderly appointed_. The knife of the 
heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary.
"He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men."
A mother's heart cries, "Spare my child"; but no mother is more
compassionate than our gracious God. When we consider how
hard-mouthed we are, it is a wonder that we are not driven with
a sharper bit. The thought is full of consolation, that He who
has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the
bounds of our tribulation.

* 08/18/PM

"And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but He
received it not."
                                                    --Mark 15:23

   A golden truth is couched in the fact that the Saviour put 
the myrrhed wine-cup from His lips. On the heights of heaven the
Son of God stood of old, and as He looked down upon our globe He
measured the long descent to the utmost depths of human misery;
He cast up the sum total of all the agonies which expiation would
require, and abated not a jot. He solemnly determined that to
offer a sufficient atoning sacrifice He must go the whole way,
from the highest to the lowest, from the throne of highest glory
to the cross of deepest woe. This myrrhed cup, with its
soporific influence, would have stayed Him within a little of
the utmost limit of misery, therefore He refused it. He would
not stop short of all He had undertaken to suffer for His
people. Ah, how many of us have pined after reliefs to our grief
which would have been injurious to us! Reader, did you never
pray for a discharge from hard service or suffering with a
petulant and wilful eagerness? Providence has taken from you the
desire of your eyes with a stroke. Say, Christian, if it had
been said, "If you so desire it, that loved one of yours shall
live, but God will be dishonoured," could you have put away the
temptation, and said, "Thy will be done"? Oh, it is sweet to be
able to say, "My Lord, if for other reasons I need not suffer,
yet if I can honour Thee more by suffering, and if the loss of
my earthly all will bring Thee glory, then so let it be. I
refuse the comfort, if it comes in the way of Thine honour." O
that we thus walked more in the footsteps of our Lord,
cheerfully enduring trial for His sake, promptly and willingly
putting away the thought of self and comfort when it would
interfere with our finishing the work which He has given us to
do. Great grace is needed, but great grace is provided.

* 08/19/PM

"Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for
Thou art my strength."
                                                    --Psalm 31:4

   Our spiritual foes are of the serpent's brood, a and seek to 
ensnare us by subtlety. The prayer before us supposes the
possibility of the believer being caught like a bird. So deftly
does the fowler do his work, that simple ones are soon
surrounded by the net. The text asks that even out of Satan's
meshes the captive one may be delivered; this is a proper
petition, and one which can be granted: from between the jaws of
the lion, and out of the belly of hell, can eternal love rescue
the saint. It may need a sharp pull to save a soul from the net
of temptations, and a mighty pull to extricate a man from the
snares of malicious cunning, but the Lord is equal to every
emergency, and the most skilfully placed nets of the hunter
shall never be able to hold His chosen ones. Woe unto those who
are so clever at net laying; they who tempt others shall be
destroyed themselves.

   "_For Thou art my strength_." What an inexpressible sweetness 
is to be found in these few words! How joyfully may we encounter
toils, and how cheerfully may we endure sufferings, when we can
lay hold upon celestial strength. Divine power will rend
asunder all the toils of our enemies, confound their politics,
and frustrate their knavish tricks; he is a happy man who has
such matchless might engaged upon his side. Our own strength
would be of little service when embarrassed in the nets of base
cunning, but the Lord's strength is ever available; we have but
to invoke it, and we shall find it near at hand. If by faith we
are depending alone upon the strength of the mighty God of
Israel, we may use our holy reliance as a plea in supplication.

"Lord, evermore Thy face we seek:
Tempted we are, and poor, and weak;
Keep us with lowly hearts, and meek.
Let us not fall. Let us not fall."

* 08/20/PM

"And they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall."
                                                  --Nehemiah 3:8

   Cities well fortified have broad walls, and so had Jerusalem 
in her glory. The New Jerusalem must, in like manner, be
surrounded and preserved by a broad wall of nonconformity to the
world, and _separation_ from its customs and spirit. The
tendency of these days break down the holy barrier, and make the
distinction between the church and the world merely nominal.
Professors are no longer strict and Puritanical, questionable
literature is read on all hands, frivolous pastimes are
currently indulged, and a general laxity threatens to deprive
the Lord's peculiar people of those sacred singularities which
separate them from sinners. It will be an ill day for the church
and the world when the proposed amalgamation shall be complete,
and the sons of God and the daughters of men shall be as one:
then shall another deluge of wrath be ushered in. Beloved
reader, be it your aim in heart, in word, in dress, in action to
maintain the broad wall, remembering that the friendship of this
world is enmity against God.

   The broad wall afforded a pleasant place of _resort_ for the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, from which they could command
prospects of the surrounding country. This reminds us of the
Lord's exceeding broad commandments, in which we walk at liberty
in communion with Jesus, overlooking the scenes of earth, and
looking out towards the glories of heaven. Separated from the
world, and denying ourselves all ungodliness and fleshly lusts,
we are nevertheless not in prison, nor restricted within narrow
bounds; nay, we walk at liberty, because we keep His precepts.
Come, reader, this evening walk with God in His statutes. As
friend met friend upon the city wall, so meet thou thy God in
the way of holy prayer and meditation. The bulwarks of salvation
thou hast a right to traverse, for thou art a freeman of the
royal burgh, a citizen of the metropolis of the universe.

* 08/21/PM

"I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye Me in vain."
                                                  --Isaiah 45:19

   We may gain much solace by considering what God has _not_ 
said. What He has said is inexpressibly full of comfort and
delight; what He has not said is scarcely less rich in
consolation. It was one of these "_said nots_" which preserved
the kingdom of Israel in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash,
for "the Lord said not that He would blot out the name of Israel
from under heaven." 2 Kings 14:27. In our text we have an
assurance that God _will_ answer prayer, because He hath "_not_
said unto the seed of Israel, Seek ye Me in vain." You who write
bitter things against yourselves should remember that, let your
doubts and fears say what they will, if _God_ has not cut you
off from mercy, there is no room for despair: even the voice of
conscience is of little weight if it be not seconded by the
voice of God. What God _has_ said, tremble at! But suffer not
your vain imaginings to overwhelm you with despondency and
sinful despair. Many timid persons have been vexed by the
suspicion that there may be something in God's decree which
shuts _them_ out from hope, but here is a complete refutation to
that troublesome fear, for no true seeker can be decreed to
wrath. "I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the
earth; I have not said," even in the secret of my unsearchable
decree, "Seek ye Me in vain." God has clearly revealed that He
_will_ hear the prayer of those who call upon Him, and that
declaration cannot be contravened. He has so firmly, so
truthfully, so righteously spoken, that there can be no room for
doubt. He does not reveal His mind in unintelligible words, but
He speaks plainly and positively, "Ask, and ye shall receive."
Believe, O trembler, this sure truth--that prayer must and shall
be heard, and that never, even in the secrets of eternity, has
the Lord said unto any living soul, "Seek ye Me in vain."

* 08/22/PM

"The unsearchable riches of Christ."
                                                 --Ephesians 3:8

   My Master has riches beyond the count of arithmetic, the 
measurement of reason, the dream of imagination, or the
eloquence of words. They are _unsearchable_! You may look, and
study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Saviour than you think
Him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest. My Lord is
more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than
you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your
wants than you are to confess them. Never tolerate low thoughts
of my Lord Jesus. When you put the crown on His head, you will
only crown Him with silver when He deserves gold. _My Master
has riches of happiness to bestow upon you now_. He can make
you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside still
waters. There is no music like the music of His pipe, when He is
the Shepherd and you are the sheep, and you lie down at His
feet. There is no love like His, neither earth nor heaven can
match it. To know Christ and to be found in Him--oh! this is
life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees
well refined. My Master does not treat His servants churlishly;
He gives to them as a king giveth to a king; He gives them two
heavens--a heaven below in serving Him here, and a heaven above
in delighting in Him for ever. _His unsearchable riches will be
best known in eternity_. He will give you on the way to heaven
all you need; your place of defence shall be the munitions of
rocks, your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall be
sure; but it is there, THERE, where you shall hear the song of
them that triumph, the shout of them that feast, and shall have
a face-to-face view of the glorious and beloved One. The
unsearchable riches of Christ! This is the tune for the
minstrels of earth, and the song for the harpers of heaven.
Lord, teach us more and more of Jesus, and we will tell out the
good news to others.

* 08/23/PM

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."
                                                --Ephesians 3:17

   Beyond measure it is desirable that we, as believers, should 
have the person of Jesus constantly before us, to inflame our
love towards Him, and to increase our knowledge of Him. I would
to God that my readers were all entered as diligent scholars in
Jesus' college, students of Corpus Christi, or the body of
Christ, resolved to attain unto a good degree in the learning of
the cross. But to have Jesus ever near, the heart must be full
of Him, welling up with His love, even to overrunning; hence the
apostle prays "that Christ may _dwell in your hearts_." See how
near he would have Jesus to be! You cannot get a subject closer
to you than to have it in the heart itself. "_That He may
dwell_"; not that He may call upon you sometimes, as a casual
visitor enters into a house and tarries for a night, but that He
may _dwell_; that Jesus may become the Lord and Tenant of your
inmost being, never more to go out.

   Observe the words--that He may dwell _in your heart_, that 
best room of the house of manhood; not in your thoughts alone,
but in your affections; not merely in the mind's meditations,
but in the heart's emotions. We should pant after love to Christ
of a most abiding character, not a love that flames up and then
dies out into the darkness of a few embers, but a constant
flame, fed by sacred fuel, like the fire upon the altar which
never went out. This cannot be accomplished except by faith.
Faith must be strong, or love will not be fervent; the root of
the flower must be healthy, or we cannot expect the bloom to be
sweet. Faith is the lily's root, and love is the lily's bloom.
Now, reader, Jesus cannot be in your heart's love except you
have a firm hold of Him by your heart's faith; and, therefore,
pray that you may always trust Christ in order that you may
always love Him. If love be cold, be sure that faith is

* 08/24/PM

"If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of
corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith;
he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution."
                                                   --Exodus 22:6

   But what restitution can he make who casts abroad the 
fire-brands of error, or the coals of lasciviousness, and sets
men's souls on a blaze with the fire of hell? The guilt is
beyond estimate, and the result is irretrievable. If such an
offender be forgiven, what grief it will cause him in the
retrospect, since he cannot undo the mischief which he has done!
An ill example may kindle a flame which years of amended
character cannot quench. To burn the food of man is bad enough,
but how much worse to destroy the soul! It may be useful to us
to reflect how far we may have been guilty in the past, and to
enquire whether, even in the present, there may not be evil in
us which has a tendency to bring damage to the souls of our
relatives, friends, or neighbours.

   The fire of strife is a terrible evil when it breaks out in a 
Christian church. Where converts were multiplied, and God was
glorified, jealousy and envy do the devil's work most
effectually. Where the golden grain was being housed, to reward
the toil of the great Boaz, the fire of enmity comes in and
leaves little else but smoke and a heap of blackness. Woe unto
those by whom offences come. May they never come through us, for
although we cannot make restitution, we shall certainly be the
chief sufferers if we are the chief offenders. Those who feed
the fire deserve just censure, but he who first kindles it is
most to blame. Discord usually takes first hold upon the thorns;
it is nurtured among the hypocrites and base professors in the
church, and away it goes among the righteous, blown by the winds
of hell, and no one knows where it may end. O Thou Lord and
giver of peace, make us peacemakers, and never let us aid and
abet the men of strife, or even unintentionally cause the least
division among Thy people.

* 08/25/PM

"If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest."
                                                     --Acts 8:37

   These words may answer your scruples, devout reader, 
concerning _the ordinances_. Perhaps you say, "I should be
afraid to be baptized; it is such a solemn thing to avow myself
to be dead with Christ, and buried with Him. should not feel at
liberty to come to the Master's table; I should be afraid of
eating and drinking damnation unto myself, not discerning the
Lord's body." Ah! poor trembler, Jesus has given you liberty, be
not afraid. If a stranger came to your house, he would stand at
the door, or wait in the hall; he would not dream of intruding
unbidden into your parlour--he is not at home: but your child
makes himself very free about the house; and so is it with the
child of God. A stranger may not intrude where a child may
venture. When the Holy Ghost has given you to feel the spirit of
adoption, you may come to Christian ordinances without fear. The
same rule holds good of the _Christian's inward privileges_. You
think, poor seeker, that you are not allowed to rejoice with joy
unspeakable and full of glory; if you are permitted to get
inside Christ's door, or sit at the bottom of His table, you
will be well content. Ah! but you shall not have less privileges
than the very greatest. God makes no difference in His love to
His children. A child is a child to Him; He will not make him a
hired servant; but he shall feast upon the fatted calf, and
shall have the music and the dancing as much as if he had never
gone astray. When Jesus comes into the heart, He issues a
general licence to be glad in the Lord. No chains are worn in
the court of King Jesus. Our admission into full privileges may
be gradual, but it is sure. Perhaps our reader is saying, "I
wish I could enjoy the promises, and walk at liberty in my
Lord's commands." "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou
mayest." Loose the chains of thy neck, O captive daughter, for
Jesus makes thee free.

* 08/26/PM

"The people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed, and
running to Him saluted Him."
                                                     --Mark 9:15

   How great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the 
prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he
underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance
shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his
face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory.
Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater
glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the
people were blinded by the blaze of His countenance, but rather
they were amazed, and running to Him they saluted Him. The glory
of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts.
Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with His purity there
is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to Him amazed at
His goodness, fascinated by His love; they salute Him, become
His disciples, and take Him to be their Lord and Master. Reader,
it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling
brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your
conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you
find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your
profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God;
you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards
desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all
his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with
milder glories. Behold His flowing wounds and thorn-crowned
head! He is the Son of God, and therein He is greater than
Moses, but He is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than
the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in His death
revealed more of God's justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that
justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of
believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Saviour, and
as thou feelest the attraction of His love, fly to His arms, and
thou shalt be saved.

* 08/27/PM

"Into Thine hand I commit my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O
Lord God of truth."
                                                    --Psalm 31:5

   These words have been frequently used by holy men in their 
hour of departure. We may profitably consider them this evening.
The object of the faithful man's solicitude in life and death is
not his body or his estate, but his spirit; this is his choice
treasure--if this be safe, all is well. What is this mortal
state compared with the soul? The believer commits his soul to
the hand of his God; it came from Him, it is His own, He has
aforetime sustained it, He is able to keep it, and it is most
fit that He should receive it. All things are safe in Jehovah's
hands; what we entrust to the Lord will be secure, both now and
in that day of days towards which we are hastening. It is
peaceful living, and glorious dying, to repose in the care of
heaven. At all times we should commit our all to Jesus' faithful
hand; then, though life may hang on a thread, and adversities
may multiply as the sands of the sea, our soul shall dwell at
ease, and delight itself in quiet resting places.

   "_Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth_." Redemption
is a solid basis for confidence. David had not known
Calvary as we have done, but temporal redemption cheered
him; and shall not eternal redemption yet more sweetly
console us? Past deliverances are strong pleas for present
assistance. What the Lord has done He will do again, for
He changes not. He is faithful to His promises, and
gracious to His saints; He will not turn away from His people.

               "Though Thou slay me I will trust,
               Praise Thee even from the dust,
               Prove, and tell it as I prove,
               Thine unutterable love.

               Thou mayst chasten and correct,
               But Thou never canst neglect;
               Since the ransom price is paid,
               On Thy love my hope is stay'd."

* 08/28/PM

"Sing, O barren."
                                                   --Isaiah 54:1

   Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have 
a joyful hope that we are "plants of His own right hand
planting," yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer
is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the
garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers
in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a
condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just
such a state. "_Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud_." But
what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even
the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus
Christ. I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes
paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love
wherewith He loved His people when He came from the heights of
heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again. Come,
my soul, heavy laden thou wast once, and thou didst lose thy
burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross
which gave thee life may give thee fruitfulness. What is my
barrenness? It is the platform for His fruit-creating power.
What is my desolation? It is the black setting for the sapphire
of His everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in
helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will
tell Him that I am still His child, and in confidence in His
faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud.

   Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the
hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that thou art
really ashamed of being barren, thou wilt be fruitful soon; now
that God makes thee _loath_ to be without fruit He will soon
cover thee with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is
painful, but the Lord's visitations are delightful. A sense of
our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need
to be, for in Him is our fruit found.

* 08/29/PM

"All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is
made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk."
                                                   --Numbers 6:4

   Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred 
them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate
the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine
or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they
were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to
eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to
secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed
anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to
avoid the appearance of evil. Surely this is a lesson to the
Lord's separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in
every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its
spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these
days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and
the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in
fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink
the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in
Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a
province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a
snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to
presumptuous sins. Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape
juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured
a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in
heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing
Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must
feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful
we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting
we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be
sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful
walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of
its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.

* 08/30/PM

"Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed."
                                                --Jeremiah 17:14
"I have seen His ways, and will heal him."
                                                  --Isaiah 57:18

   It is the sole prerogative of God to remove spiritual 
disease. Natural disease may be instrumentally healed by men,
but even then the honour is to be given to God who giveth virtue
unto medicine, and bestoweth power unto the human frame to cast
off disease. As for spiritual sicknesses, these remain with the
great Physician alone; He claims it as His prerogative, "I kill
and I make alive, I wound and I heal"; and one of the Lord's
choice titles is Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord that healeth thee. "I
will heal thee of thy wounds," is a promise which could not come
from the lip of man, but only from the mouth of the eternal God.
On this account the psalmist cried unto the Lord, "O Lord, heal
me, for my bones are sore vexed," and again, "Heal my soul, for
I have sinned against thee." For this, also, the godly praise
the name of the Lord, saying, "He healeth all our diseases." He
who made man can restore man; He who was at first the creator of
our nature can new create it. What a transcendent comfort it is
that in the person of Jesus "dwelleth all the fulness of the
Godhead bodily!" My soul, whatever thy disease may be, this
great Physician can heal thee. If He be God, there can be no
limit to His power. Come then with the blind eye of darkened
understanding, come with the limping foot of wasted energy, come
with the maimed hand of weak faith, the fever of an angry
temper, or the ague of shivering despondency, come just as thou
art, for He who is God can certainly restore thee of thy plague.
None shall restrain the healing virtue which proceeds from Jesus
our Lord. Legions of devils have been made to own the power of
the beloved Physician, and never once has He been baffled. All
His patients have been cured in the past and shall be in the
future, and thou shalt be one among them, my friend, if thou
wilt but rest thyself in Him this night.

* 08/31/PM

"If we walk in the light, as He is in the light."
                                                      --1 John 1:7

   As He is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we
ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as He is whom we
call "Our Father," of whom it is written, "God is light, and in
Him is no darkness at all"? Certainly, this is the model which
it set before us, for the Saviour Himself said, "Be ye perfect,
even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect"; and although
we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet
we are to seek after it, and never to be satisfied until we
attain to it. The youthful artist, as he grasps his early
pencil, can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michael Angelo, but
still, if he did not have a noble _beau ideal_ before his mind,
he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary. But
what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in
light as God is in the light? We conceive it to import
_likeness_, but not _degree_. We are as truly in the light, we
are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light,
as honestly in the light, though we cannot be there in the same
measure. I cannot dwell in the sun, it is too bright a place for
my residence, but I can _walk_ in the light of the sun; and so,
though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth
which belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely
good, yet I can set the Lord always before me, and strive, by
the help of the indwelling Spirit, after conformity to His
image. That famous old commentator, John Trapp, says, "We may be
in the light as God is in the light for _quality_, but not for
_equality_." We are to have the same light, and are as truly to
have it and walk in it as God does, though, as for equality with
God in His holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross
the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Mark
that the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing
are bound up with walking in the light.

This document (last modified June 17, 1996) from