October AM

* 10/01/AM

"Pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O
my beloved."
                                          --Song of Solomon 7:13

   The spouse desires to give to Jesus all that she produces. 
Our heart has "all manner of pleasant fruits," both "old and
new," and they are laid up for our Beloved. At this rich
autumnal season of fruit, let us survey our stores. We have
_new_ fruits. We desire to feel new life, new joy, new
gratitude; we wish to make new resolves and carry them out by
new labours; our heart blossoms with new prayers, and our soul
is pledging herself to new efforts. But we have some _old_
fruits too. There is our first love: a choice fruit that! and
Jesus delights in it. There is our first faith: that simple
faith by which, having nothing, we became possessors of all
things. There is our joy when first we knew the Lord: let us
revive it. We have our old remembrances of the promises. How
faithful has God been! In sickness, how softly did He make our
bed! In deep waters, how placidly did He buoy us up! In the
flaming furnace, how graciously did He deliver us. Old fruits,
indeed! We have many of them, for His mercies have been more
than the hairs of our head. Old sins we must regret, but then we
have had repentances which He has given us, by which we have
wept our way to the cross, and learned the merit of His blood.
We have fruits, this morning, both new and old; but here is the
point--_they are all laid up for Jesus_. Truly, those are the
best and most acceptable services in which Jesus is the solitary
aim of the soul, and His glory, without any admixture whatever,
the end of all our efforts. Let our many fruits be laid up only
for our Beloved; let us display them when He is with us, and not
hold them up before the gaze of men. Jesus, we will turn the key
in our garden door, and none shall enter to rob Thee of one good
fruit from the soil which Thou hast watered with Thy bloody
sweat. Our all shall be Thine, Thine only, O Jesus, our Beloved!

* 10/02/AM

"The hope which is laid up for you in heaven."
                                                --Colossians 1:5

   Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the 
mainstay of our joy here. It will animate our hearts to think
often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there.
Here we are weary and toilworn, but yonder is the land of _rest_
where the sweat of labour shall no more bedew the worker's brow,
and fatigue shall be for ever banished. To those who are weary
and spent, the word "rest" is full of heaven. We are always in
the field of battle; we are so tempted within, and so molested
by foes without, that we have little or no peace; but in heaven
we shall enjoy the _victory_, when the banner shall be waved
aloft in triumph, and the sword shall be sheathed, and we shall
hear our Captain say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." We
have suffered bereavement after bereavement, but we are going to
the land of the _immortal_ where graves are unknown things. Here
sin is a constant grief to us, but there we shall be perfectly
_holy_, for there shall by no means enter into that kingdom
anything which defileth. Hemlock springs not up in the furrows
of celestial fields. Oh! is it not joy, that you are not to be
in banishment for ever, that you are not to dwell eternally in
this wilderness, but shall soon inherit Canaan? Nevertheless let
it never be said of us, that we are dreaming about the _future_
and forgetting the _present_, let the future sanctify the
present to highest uses. Through the Spirit of God the hope of
heaven is the most potent force for the product of virtue; it is
a fountain of joyous effort, it is the corner stone of cheerful
holiness. The man who has this hope in him goes about his work
with vigour, for the joy of the Lord is his strength. He fights
against temptation with ardour, for the hope of the next world
repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labour without
present reward, for he looks for a reward in the world to come.

* 10/03/AM

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister
for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
                                                  --Hebrews 1:14

   Angels are the unseen attendants of the saints of God; they 
bear us up in their hands, lest we dash our foot against a
stone. Loyalty to their Lord leads them to take a deep interest
in the children of His love; they rejoice over the return of the
prodigal to his father's house below, and they welcome the
advent of the believer to the King's palace above. In olden
times the sons of God were favoured with their visible
appearance, and at this day, although unseen by us, heaven is
still opened, and the angels of God ascend and descend upon the
Son of man, that they may visit the heirs of salvation. Seraphim
still fly with live coals from off the altar to touch the lips
of men greatly beloved. If our eyes could be opened, we should
see horses of fire and chariots of fire about the servants of
the Lord; for we have come to an innumerable company of angels,
who are all watchers and protectors of the seed-royal. Spenser's
line is no poetic fiction, where he sings--

          "How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
          The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant
          Against foul fiends to aid us militant!"

To what dignity are the chosen elevated when the brilliant
courtiers of heaven become their willing servitors! Into what
communion are we raised since we have intercourse with spotless
celestials! How well are we defended since all the twenty-
thousand chariots of God are armed for our deliverance! To whom
do we owe all this? Let the Lord Jesus Christ be for ever
endeared to us, for through Him we are made to sit in heavenly
places far above principalities and powers. He it is whose camp
is round about them that fear Him; He is the true Michael whose
foot is upon the dragon. All hail, Jesus! thou Angel of
Jehovah's presence, to Thee this family offers its morning vows.

* 10/04/AM

"At evening time it shall be light."
                                                --Zechariah 14:7

   Oftentimes we look forward with forebodings to _the time of 
old age_, forgetful that at eventide it shall be light. To many
saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A balmier
air fans the mariner's cheek as he nears the shore of
immortality, fewer waves ruffle his sea, quiet reigns, deep,
still and solemn. From the altar of age the flashes of the fire
of youth are gone, but the more real flame of earnest feeling
remains. The pilgrims have reached the land Beulah, that happy
country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels
visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow
in it, and the air is filled with seraphic music. Some dwell
here for years, and others come to it but a few hours before
their departure, but it is an Eden on earth. We may well long
for the time when we shall recline in its shady groves and be
satisfied with hope until the time of fruition comes. The
setting sun seems larger than when aloft in the sky, and a
splendour of glory tinges all the clouds which surround his
going down. Pain breaks not the calm of the sweet twilight of
age, for strength made perfect in weakness bears up with
patience under it all. Ripe fruits of choice experience are
gathered as the rare repast of life's evening, and the soul
prepares itself for rest.

   The Lord's people shall also enjoy light in _the hour of 
death_. Unbelief laments; the shadows fall, the night is coming,
existence is ending. Ah no, crieth faith, the night is far
spent, the true day is at hand. Light is come, the light of
immortality, the light of a Father's countenance. Gather up thy
feet in the bed, see the waiting bands of spirits! Angels waft
thee away. Farewell, beloved one, thou art gone, thou wavest
thine hand. Ah, now it is light. The pearly gates are open, the
golden streets shine in the jasper light. We cover our eyes,
but thou beholdest the unseen; adieu, brother, thou hast light
at even-tide, such as we have not yet.

* 10/05/AM

"He arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of
that meat forty days and forty nights."
                                                  --1 Kings 19:8

   All the strength supplied to us by our gracious God is meant 
for service, not for wantonness or boasting. When the prophet
Elijah found the cake baked on the coals, and the cruse of water
placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he was no
gentleman to be gratified with dainty fare that he might stretch
himself at his ease; far otherwise, he was commissioned to go
forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying
towards Horeb, the mount of God. When the Master invited the
disciples to "Come and dine" with Him, after the feast was
concluded He said to Peter, "Feed my sheep"; further adding,
"Follow me." Even thus it is with us; we eat the bread of
heaven, that we may expend our strength in the Master's service.
We come to the passover, and eat of the paschal lamb with loins
girt, and staff in hand, so as to start off at once when we have
satisfied our hunger. Some Christians are for living on Christ,
but are not so anxious to live _for_ Christ. Earth should be a
preparation for heaven; and heaven is the place where saints
feast most and work most. They sit down at the table of our
Lord, and they serve Him day and night in His temple. They eat
of heavenly food and render perfect service. Believer, in the
strength you daily gain from Christ labour for Him. Some of us
have yet to learn much concerning the design of our Lord in
giving us His grace. We are not to retain the precious grains of
truth as the Egyptian mummy held the wheat for ages, without
giving it an opportunity to grow: we must sow it and water it.
Why does the Lord send down the rain upon the thirsty earth, and
give the genial sunshine? Is it not that these may all help the
fruits of the earth to yield food for man? Even so the Lord
feeds and refreshes our souls that we may afterwards use our
renewed strength in the promotion of His glory.

* 10/06/AM

"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall
never thirst."
                                                     --John 4:14

   He who is a believer in Jesus finds enough in his Lord to 
satisfy him now, and to content him for evermore. The believer
is not the man whose days are weary for want of comfort, and
whose nights are long from absence of heart-cheering thought,
for he finds in religion such a spring of joy, such a fountain
of consolation, that he is content and happy. Put him in a
dungeon and he will find good company; place him in a barren
wilderness, he will eat the bread of heaven; drive him away from
friendship, he will meet the "friend that sticketh closer than a
brother." Blast all his gourds, and he will find shadow beneath
the Rock of Ages; sap the foundation of his earthly hopes, but
his heart will still be fixed, trusting in the Lord. The heart
is as insatiable as the grave till Jesus enters it, and then it
is a cup full to overflowing. There is such a fulness in Christ
that He alone is the believer's all. The true saint is so
completely satisfied with the all-sufficiency of Jesus that he
thirsts no more--except it be for deeper draughts of the living
fountain. In that sweet manner, believer, shalt thou thirst; it
shall not be a thirst of pain, but of loving desire; thou wilt
find it a sweet thing to be panting after a fuller enjoyment of
Jesus' love. One in days of yore said, "I have been sinking my
bucket down into the well full often, but now my thirst after
Jesus has become so insatiable, that I long to put the well
itself to my lips, and drink right on." Is this the feeling of
thine heart now, believer? Dost thou feel that all thy desires
are satisfied in Jesus, and that thou hast no want now, but to
know more of Him;, and to have closer fellowship with Him? Then
come continually to the fountain, and take of the water of life
freely. Jesus will never think you take too much, but will ever
welcome you, saying, "Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved."

* 10/07/AM

"Wherefore hast Thou afflicted Thy servant?"
                                                 --Numbers 11:11

   Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles _to try our 
faith_. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test.
Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the _paste_ gem dreads
to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test.
It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are
true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but
that is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when
friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are
depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden.
A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though He slay
me, yet will I trust in Him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord
afflicts His servants _to glorify Himself_, for He is greatly
glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own
handiwork. When "tribulation worketh patience; and patience,
experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is honoured by these
growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if
the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the
grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the
sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor
feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed.
The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the
trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass.
Present afflictions _tend also to heighten future joy_. There
must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the
lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had
not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not
peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after
toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the
bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers
to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let
us muse upon it all day long.

* 10/08/AM

"Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a
                                                      --Luke 5:4

   We learn from this narrative, _the necessity of human 
agency_. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the
fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but
all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God
worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall
stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to
save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments,
doubtless He is glorified; but He hath Himself selected the plan
of instrumentality as being that by which He is most magnified
in the earth. _Means of themselves are utterly unavailing_.
"Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing."
What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying
their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they
understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskillfully?
No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they
lacked perseverance? No, they had _toiled all the night_. Was
there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as
soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What,
then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the
means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? "Without
Him we can do nothing." But with Christ we can do all things.
_Christ's presence confers success_. Jesus sat in Peter's boat,
and His will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the
net. When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the
Church's power--the shout of a king is in the midst of her. "I,
if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Let us go out
this morning on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith,
and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us toil till night comes,
and we shall not labour in vain, for He who bids us let down the
net, will fill it with fishes.

* 10/09/AM

"Able to keep you from falling."
                                                       --Jude 24

   In some sense the path to heaven is very safe, but in other 
respects there is _no road so dangerous_. It is beset with
difficulties. One false step (and how easy it is to take that if
grace be absent), and down we go. What a slippery path is that
which some of us have to tread! How many times have we to
exclaim with the Psalmist, "My feet were almost gone, my steps
had well nigh slipped." If we were strong, sure-footed
mountaineers, this would not matter so much; but in ourselves,
_how weak we are_! In the best roads _we soon falter_, in the
smoothest paths we quickly stumble. These feeble knees of ours
can scarcely support our tottering weight. A straw may throw us,
and a pebble can wound us; we are mere children tremblingly
taking our first steps in the walk of faith, our heavenly Father
holds us by the arms or we should soon be down. Oh, if we are
kept from falling, how must we bless the patient power which
watches over us day by day! Think, how prone we are to sin, how
apt to choose danger, how strong our tendency to cast ourselves
down, and these reflections will make us sing more sweetly than
we have ever done, "Glory be to Him, who is able to keep us from
falling." _We have many foes_ who try to push us down. The road
is rough and we are weak, but in addition to this, enemies lurk
in ambush, who rush out when we least expect them, and labour to
trip us up, or hurl us down the nearest precipice. Only an
Almighty arm can preserve us from these unseen foes, who are
seeking to destroy us. Such an arm is engaged for our defence.
He is faithful that hath promised, and He is able to keep us
from falling, so that with a deep sense of our utter weakness,
we may cherish a firm belief in our perfect safety, and say,
with joyful confidence,

              "Against me earth and hell combine,
              But on my side is power divine;
              Jesus is all, and He is mine!"

* 10/10/AM

"Faultless before the presence of His glory."
                                                       --Jude 24

   Revolve in your mind that wondrous word, _faultless_!" We are 
far off from it now; but as our Lord never stops short of
perfection in His work of love, we shall reach it one day. The
Saviour who will keep His people to the end, will also present
them at last to Himself, as "a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish."
All the jewels in the Saviour's crown are of the first water and
without a single flaw. All the maids of honour who attend the
Lamb's wife are pure virgins without spot or stain. But how will
Jesus make us faultless? He will wash us from our sins in His
own blood until we are white and fair as God's purest angel; and
we shall be clothed in His righteousness, that righteousness
which makes the saint who wears it positively faultless; yea,
perfect in the sight of God. We shall be unblameable and
unreproveable even in His eyes. His law will not only have no
charge against us, but it will be magnified in us. Moreover, the
work of the Holy Spirit within us will be altogether complete.
He will make us so perfectly holy, that we shall have no
lingering tendency to sin. Judgment, memory, will--every power
and passion shall be emancipated from the thraldom of evil. We
shall be holy even as God is holy, and in His presence we shall
dwell for ever. Saints will not be out of place in heaven, their
beauty will be as great as that of the place prepared for them.
Oh the rapture of that hour when the everlasting doors shall be
lifted up, and we, being made meet for the inheritance, shall
dwell with the saints in light. Sin gone, Satan shut out,
temptation past for ever, and ourselves "faultless" before God,
this will be heaven indeed! Let us be joyful now as we rehearse
the song of eternal praise so soon to roll forth in full chorus
from all the blood-washed host; let us copy David's exultings
before the ark as a prelude to our ecstasies before the throne.

* 10/11/AM

"Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the
                                             --Lamentations 3:41

   The act of prayer _teaches us our unworthiness_, which is a 
very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God
gave us favours without constraining us to pray for them we
should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an
inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of
hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it
is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a
Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending
upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich
in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do
great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it
adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very
dust. Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it
brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains
strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race
of life we acquire energy by the hallowed labour of prayer.
Prayer plumes the wings of God's young eaglets, that they may
learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer girds the loins of God's
warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews
braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader cometh out of
his closet, even as the sun ariseth from the chambers of the
east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race. Prayer is
that uplifted hand of Moses which routs the Amalekites more than
the sword of Joshua; it is the arrow shot from the chamber of
the prophet foreboding defeat to the Syrians. Prayer girds
human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into
heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God.
We know not what prayer cannot do! We thank thee, great God, for
the mercy-seat, a choice proof of thy marvellous lovingkindness.
Help us to use it aright throughout this day!

* 10/12/AM

"I will meditate in Thy precepts."
                                                  --Psalm 119:15

   There are times when solitude is better than society, and 
silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if
we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through
meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in His
service. We ought to _muse upon the things of God, because we
thus get the real nutriment out of them_. Truth is something
like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we
must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The
bruiser's feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else
the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, or
else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by
meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we would get the
wine of consolation therefrom. Our bodies are not supported by
merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really
supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone,
is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward
food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not
nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that,
and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading,
marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to
complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth
lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that
some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow
advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets,
and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the
wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but
they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit
hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows
at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such
folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this morning,
"I will meditate in Thy precepts."

* 10/13/AM

"Godly sorrow worketh repentance."
                                            --2 Corinthians 7:10

   Genuine, spiritual mourning for sin is _the work of the 
Spirit of God_. Repentance is too choice a flower to grow in
nature's garden. Pearls grow naturally in oysters, but penitence
never shows itself in sinners except divine grace works it in
them. If thou hast one particle of real hatred for sin, God must
have given it thee, for human nature's thorns never produced a
single fig. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh."

   True repentance _has a distinct reference to the Saviour_.
When we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon sin and another
upon the cross, or it will be better still if we fix both our
eyes upon Christ and see our transgressions only, in the light
of His love.

   True sorrow for sin is _eminently practical_. No man may say 
he hates sin, if he lives in it. Repentance makes us see the
evil of sin, not merely as a theory, but experimentally--as a
burnt child dreads fire. We shall be as much afraid of it, as a
man who has lately been stopped and robbed is afraid of the
thief upon the highway; and we shall shun it--shun it in
everything--not in great things only, but in little things, as
men shun little vipers as well as great snakes. True mourning
for sin will make us very jealous over our tongue, lest it
should say a wrong word; we shall be very watchful over our
daily actions, lest in anything we offend, and each night we
shall close the day with painful confessions of shortcoming, and
each morning awaken with anxious prayers, that this day God
would hold us up that we may not sin against Him.

   Sincere repentance is _continual_. Believers repent until
their dying day. This dropping well is not intermittent. Every
other sorrow yields to time, but this dear sorrow grows with our
growth, and it is so sweet a bitter, that we thank God we are
permitted to enjoy and to suffer it until we enter our eternal

* 10/14/AM

"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus my Lord."
                                               --Philippians 3:8

   Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a _personal_ knowledge. 
I cannot know Jesus through another person's acquaintance with
Him. No, I must know Him _myself_; I must know Him on my own
account. It will be an _intelligent_ knowledge--I must know
_Him_, not as the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word
reveals Him. I must know His natures, divine and human. I must
know His offices--His attributes--His works--His shame--His
glory. I must meditate upon Him until I "comprehend with all
saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." It will
be an _affectionate_ knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at
all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton
of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a _satisfying_
knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the
brim--I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted
after. "This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never
hunger." At the same time it will be an _exciting_ knowledge;
the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know.
The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite
my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more.
Like the miser's treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To
conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most _happy_
one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely
bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it
will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than "Man that is
born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble"; for it
will fling about me the immortality of the everliving Saviour,
and gird me with the golden girdle of His eternal joy. Come, my
soul, sit at Jesus's feet and learn of Him all this day.

* 10/15/AM

"But who may abide the day of his coming?"
                                                   --Malachi 3:2

   His first coming was without external pomp or show of power, 
and yet in truth there were few who could abide its testing
might. Herod and all Jerusalem with him were stirred at the news
of the wondrous birth. Those who supposed themselves to be
waiting for Him, showed the fallacy of their professions by
rejecting Him when He came. His life on earth was a winnowing
fan, which tried the great heap of religious profession, and few
enough could abide the process. But what will His second advent
be? What sinner can endure to think of it? "He shall smite the
earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips
shall He slay the wicked." When in His humiliation He did but
say to the soldiers, "I am He," they fell backward; what will be
the terror of His enemies when He shall more fully reveal
Himself as the "_I am_?" His death shook earth and darkened
heaven, what shall be the dreadful splendour of that day in
which as the living Saviour, He shall summon the quick and dead
before Him? O that the terrors of the Lord would persuade men
to forsake their sins and kiss the Son lest He be angry! Though
a lamb, He is yet the lion of the tribe of Judah, rending the
prey in pieces; and though He breaks not the bruised reed, yet
will He break His enemies with a rod of iron, and dash them in
pieces like a potter's vessel. None of His foes shall bear up
before the tempest of His wrath, or hide themselves from the
sweeping hail of His indignation; but His beloved bloodwashed
people look for His appearing with joy, and hope to abide it
without fear: to them He sits as a refiner even now, and when He
has tried them they shall come forth as gold. Let us search
ourselves this morning and make our calling and election sure,
so that the coming of the Lord may cause no dark forebodings in
our mind. O for grace to cast away all hypocrisy, and to be
found of Him sincere and without rebuke in the day of His

* 10/16/AM

"Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine."
                                                    --John 21:12

   In these words the believer is invited to a holy nearness to 
Jesus. "Come and dine," implies the same table, the same meat;
ay, and sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our
head upon the Saviour's bosom. It is being brought into the
banqueting-house, where waves the banner of redeeming love.
"Come and dine," gives us a vision of _union with Jesus_,
because the only food that we can feast upon when we dine with
Jesus is _Himself_. Oh, what union is this! It is a depth which
reason cannot fathom, that we thus feed upon Jesus. "He that
eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in
him." It is also an invitation to enjoy _fellowship with the
saints_. Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they
have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all _feel_
alike, we can all _feed_ alike on the bread of life sent down
from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one
bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one
another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find
yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like
yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. If we were more
near to Jesus we should be more near to one another. We likewise
see in these words the _source of strength_ for every Christian.
To look at Christ is to live, but for strength to serve Him you
must "come and dine." We labour under much unnecessary weakness
on account of neglecting this percept of the Master. We none of
us need to put ourselves on low diet; on the contrary, we should
fatten on the marrow and fatness of the gospel that we may
accumulate strength therein, and urge every power to its full
tension in the Master's service. Thus, then, if you would
realize _nearness_ to Jesus, _union_ with Jesus, _love_ to His
people and _strength from Jesus_, "come and dine" with Him by

* 10/17/AM

"And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the
hand of Saul."
                                                 --1 Samuel 27:1

   The thought of David's heart at this time was a _false_ 
thought, because he certainly had no ground for thinking that
God's anointing him by Samuel was intended to be left as an
empty unmeaning act. On no one occasion had the Lord deserted
His servant; he had been placed in perilous positions very
often, but not one instance had occurred in which divine
interposition had not delivered him. The trials to which he had
been exposed had been varied; they had not assumed one form
only, but many--yet in every case He who sent the trial had also
graciously ordained a way of escape. David could not put his
finger upon any entry in his diary, and say of it, "Here is
evidence that the Lord will forsake me," for the entire tenor of
his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued
from what God _had_ done for him, that God would be his defender
still. But is it not just in the same way that _we_ doubt God's
help? Is it not _mistrust without a cause_? Have we ever had the
shadow of a reason to doubt our Father's goodness? Have not His
lovingkindnesses been marvellous? Has He _once_ failed to
justify our trust? Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time.
We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth
amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over
our head He has held aloft the shield of our defence. We have
gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to
our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is,
that He who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake
us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God,
proves that He will keep us to the end. Let us not, then,
reason contrary to evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as
to _doubt_ our God? Lord, throw down the Jezebel of our
unbelief, and let the dogs devour it.

* 10/18/AM

"Thy paths drop fatness."
                                                   --Psalm 65:11

   Many are "the paths of the Lord" which "drop fatness," but an 
especial one is the _path of prayer_. No believer, who is much
in the closet, will have need to cry, "My leanness, my leanness;
woe unto me." Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy-
seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought.
Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the
believer strong--if not happy. The nearest place to the gate of
heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you
will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion
will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not
sparkling with the joy of the Lord. Since the soul-enriching
path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high
attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come
because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be
a saint at all; see to it, dear reader, that you are often in
the way of private devotion. Be much on your knees, for so
Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel's fields.

   There is another especial path dropping with fatness to those 
who walk therein, it is the secret walk of communion. Oh! the
delights of fellowship with Jesus! Earth hath no words which can
set forth the holy calm of a soul leaning on Jesus' bosom. Few
Christians understand it, they live in the lowlands and seldom
climb to the top of Nebo: they live in the outer court, they
enter not the holy place, they take not up the privilege of
priesthood. At a distance they see the sacrifice, but they sit
not down with the priest to eat thereof, and to enjoy the fat of
the burnt offering. But, reader, sit thou ever under the shadow
of Jesus; come up to that palm tree, and take hold of the
branches thereof; let thy beloved be unto thee as the apple-tree
among the trees of the wood, and thou shalt be satisfied as with
marrow and fatness. O Jesus, visit us with Thy salvation!

* 10/19/AM

"Babes in Christ."
                                             --1 Corinthians 3:1

   Are you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the 
divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so
feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember
_that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most
full-grown Christian_. You are as much bought with blood as he
is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other
believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the
full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your
justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has
made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the
precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers,
for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but
in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the
measure, but the token of your inheritance in Him. You are as
rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real
possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the
faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In
the family register of glory the small and the great are written
with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father's heart as the
greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are
like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, "put out that
smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!" but
the smoking flax _He_ will not quench. You are like a bruised
reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician
would tread upon you or throw you away, but He will never break
the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what
you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in
Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I
poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though
"less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess." yet, if the
root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and
glory in the God of my salvation.

* 10/20/AM

"Grow up into Him in all things."
                                                --Ephesians 4:15

   Many Christians remain stunted and dwarfed in spiritual 
things, so as to present the same appearance year after year. No
up-springing of advanced and refined feeling is manifest in
them. They exist but do not "_grow up into Him in all things_."
But should we rest content with being in the "green blade," when
we might advance to "the ear," and eventually ripen into the
"full corn in the ear?" Should we be satisfied to believe in
Christ, and to say, "I am safe," without wishing to know in our
own experience more of the fulness which is to be found in Him.
It should not be so; we should, as good traders in heaven's
market, covet to be enriched in the knowledge of Jesus. It is
all very well to keep other men's vineyards, but we must not
neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening. Why should it
always be winter time in our hearts? We must have our seed
time, it is true, but O for a spring time--yea, a summer season,
which shall give promise of an early harvest. If we would ripen
in grace, we must live near to Jesus--in His presence--ripened
by the sunshine of His smiles. We must hold sweet communion with
Him. We must leave the distant view of His face and come near,
as John did, and pillow our head on His breast; then shall we
find ourselves advancing in holiness, in love, in faith, in
hope--yea, in every precious gift. As the sun rises first on
mountain-tops and gilds them with his light, and presents one of
the most charming sights to the eye of the traveller; so is it
one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to mark
the glow of the Spirit's light on the head of some saint, who
has risen up in spiritual stature, like Saul, above his fellows,
till, like a mighty Alp, snow-capped, he reflects first among
the chosen, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and bears the
sheen of His effulgence high aloft for all to see, and seeing
it, to glorify His Father which is in heaven.

* 10/21/AM

"The love of Christ constraineth us."
                                            --2 Corinthians 5:14

   How much owest thou unto my Lord? Has He ever done anything 
for thee? Has He forgiven thy sins? Has He covered thee with a
robe of righteousness? Has He set thy feet upon a rock? Has He
established thy goings? Has He prepared heaven for thee? Has He
prepared thee for heaven? Has He written thy name in His book of
life? Has He given thee countless blessings? Has He laid up for
thee a store of mercies, which eye hath not seen nor ear heard?
Then do something for Jesus worthy of His love. Give not a mere
wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How will you feel when your
Master comes, if you have to confess that you _did_ nothing for
Him, but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant pool, neither
flowing forth to His poor or to His work. Out on such love as
that! What do men think of a love which never shows itself in
action? Why, they say, "Open rebuke is better than secret
love." Who will accept a love so weak that it does not actuate
you to a single deed of self-denial, of generosity, of heroism,
or zeal! Think how _He_ has loved you, and given Himself for
you! Do you know the power of that love? Then let it be like a
rushing mighty wind to your soul to sweep out the clouds of your
worldliness, and clear away the mists of sin. "For Christ's
sake" be this the tongue of fire that shall sit upon you: "for
Christ's sake" be this the divine rapture, the heavenly afflatus
to bear you aloft from earth, the divine spirit that shall make
you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord's service.
Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to
the arms of labour. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not
to be shaken, resolute to honour Him with a determination that
is not to be turned aside, and pressing on with an ardour never
to be wearied, let us manifest the constraints of love to Jesus.
May the divine loadstone draw us heavenward towards itself.

* 10/22/AM

"I will love them freely."
                                                    --Hosea 14:4

   This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who 
understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive
into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a
condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was
delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges
upon the word "freely." This is the glorious, the suitable, the
divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a
spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it,
purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way
in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow
to all sorts of fitness: "I will love them _freely_." Now, if
there were any fitness necessary in us, then He would not love
us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback
to the freeness of it. But it stands, "I will love you
freely."We complain, "Lord, my heart is so hard." "I will love
you _freely_." "But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could
wish." "I will not love you because you feel your need; I will
love you freely." "But I do not feel that softening of spirit
which I could desire." Remember, the softening of spirit is not
a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace
has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness
may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in
Christ Jesus, when He said, "He that believeth on Him is not
condemned." It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free
to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness,
without money, and without price! "I will love them freely."
These words _invite backsliders to return_: indeed, the text was
specially written for such--"I will heal their backsliding; I
will love them freely." Backslider! surely the generosity of the
promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and
seek your injured Father's face.

* 10/23/AM

"Will ye also go away?"
                                                     --John 6:67

   Many have forsaken Christ, and have walked no more with Him; 
but what reason have YOU _to make a change_? Has there been any
reason for it in the _past_? Has not Jesus proved Himself
all-sufficient? He appeals to you this morning--"Have I been a
wilderness unto you?" When your soul has simply trusted Jesus,
have you ever been confounded? Have you not up till now found
your Lord to be a compassionate and generous friend to you, and
has not simple faith in Him given you all the peace your spirit
could desire? Can you so much as dream of a better friend than
He has been to you? Then change not the old and tried for new
and false. As for _the present_, can that compel you to leave
Christ? When we are hard beset with this world, or with the
severer trials within the Church, we find it a most blessed
thing to pillow our head upon the bosom of our Saviour. This is
the joy we have to-day that we are saved in Him; and if this joy
be satisfying, wherefore should we think of changing? Who
barters gold for dross? We will not forswear the sun till we
find a better light, nor leave our Lord until a brighter lover
shall appear; and, since this can never be, we will hold Him
with a grasp immortal, and bind His name as a seal upon our arm.
As for _the future_, can you suggest anything which can arise
that shall render it necessary for you to mutiny, or desert the
old flag to serve under another captain? We think not. If life
be long--He changes not. If we are poor, what better than to
have Christ who can make us rich? When we are sick, what more do
we want than Jesus to make our bed in our sickness? When we die,
is it not written that "neither death, nor life, nor things
present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from
the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!" We say with
Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go?"

* 10/24/AM

"The trees of the Lord are full of sap."
                                                  --Psalm 104:16

   Without sap the tree cannot flourish or even exist. 
_Vitality_ is essential to a Christian. There must be _life_--a
vital principle infused into us by God the Holy Ghost, or we
cannot be trees of the Lord. The mere name of being a Christian
is but a dead thing, we must be filled with the spirit of divine
life. This life is _mysterious_. We do not understand the
circulation of the sap, by what force it rises, and by what
power it descends again. So the life within us is a sacred
mystery. Regeneration is wrought by the Holy Ghost entering into
man and becoming man's life; and this divine life in a believer
afterwards feeds upon the flesh and blood of Christ and is thus
sustained by divine food, but whence it cometh and whither it
goeth who shall explain to us? What a _secret_ thing the sap is!
The roots go searching through the soil with their little
spongioles, but we cannot see them suck out the various gases,
or transmute the mineral into the vegetable; this work is done
down in the dark. Our root is Christ Jesus, and our life is hid
in Him; this is the secret of the Lord. The radix of the
Christian life is as secret as the life itself. How _permanently
active_ is the sap in the cedar! In the Christian the divine
life is always full of energy--not always in fruit-bearing, but
in inward operations. The believer's _graces_, are not every one
of them in constant motion? but his life never ceases to
palpitate within. He is not always working for God, but his
heart is always living upon Him. As the sap _manifests itself in
producing the foliage and fruit of the tree_, so with a truly
healthy Christian, his grace is externally manifested in his
walk and conversation. If you talk with him, he cannot help
speaking about Jesus. If you notice his actions you will see
that he has been with Jesus. He has so much sap within, that it
must fill his conduct and conversation with life.

* 10/25/AM

"For the truths sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us
for ever."
                                                      --2 John 2

   Once let the truth of God obtain an entrance into the human 
heart and subdue the whole man unto itself, no power human or
infernal can dislodge it. We entertain it not as a guest but as
the master of the house--this is a _Christian necessity_, he is
no Christian who doth not thus believe. Those who feel the vital
power of the gospel, and know the might of the Holy Ghost as He
opens, applies, and seals the Lord's Word, would sooner be torn
to pieces than be rent away from the gospel of their salvation.
What a thousand mercies are wrapt up in the assurance that the
truth will be with us for ever; will be our living support, our
dying comfort, our rising song, our eternal glory; this is
_Christian privilege_, without it our faith were little worth.
Some truths we outgrow and leave behind, for they are but
rudiments and lessons for beginners, but we cannot thus deal
with Divine truth, for though it is sweet food for babes, it is
in the highest sense strong meat for men. The truth that we are
sinners is painfully with us to humble and make us watchful; the
more blessed truth that whosoever believeth on the Lord Jesus
shall be saved, abides with us as our hope and joy. Experience,
so far from loosening our hold of the doctrines of grace, has
knit us to them more and more firmly; our grounds and motives
for believing are now more strong, more numerous than ever, and
we have reason to expect that it will be so till in death we
clasp the Saviour in our arms.

   Wherever this abiding love of truth can be discovered, we are
bound to exercise our love. No narrow circle can contain our
gracious sympathies, wide as the election of grace must be our
communion of heart. Much of error may be mingled with truth
received, let us war with the error but still love the brother
for the measure of truth which we see in Him; above all let us
love and spread the truth ourselves.

* 10/26/AM

"Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye
brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of
hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man
unto his own house."
                                                    --Haggai 1:9

   Churlish souls stint their contributions to the ministry and 
missionary operations, and call such saving good economy; little
do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves. Their
excuse is that they must care for their own families, and they
forget that to neglect the house of God is the sure way to bring
ruin upon their own houses. Our God has a method in providence
by which He can succeed our endeavours beyond our expectation,
or can defeat our plans to our confusion and dismay; by a turn
of His hand He can steer our vessel in a profitable channel, or
run it aground in poverty and bankruptcy. It is the teaching of
Scripture that the Lord enriches the liberal and leaves the
miserly to find out that withholding tendeth to poverty. In a
very wide sphere of observation, I have noticed that the most
generous Christians of my acquaintance have been always the most
happy, and almost invariably the most prosperous. I have seen
the liberal giver rise to wealth of which he never dreamed; and
I have as often seen the mean, ungenerous churl descend to
poverty by the very parsimony by which he thought to rise. Men
trust good stewards with larger and larger sums, and so it
frequently is with the Lord; He gives by cartloads to those who
give by bushels. Where wealth is not bestowed the Lord makes the
little much by the contentment which the sanctified heart feels
in a portion of which the tithe has been dedicated to the Lord.
Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness, yet in the long run
selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith
to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely He deserves
it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment
of our amazing indebtedness to His goodness.

* 10/27/AM

"It is a faithful saying."
                                                --2 Timothy 2:11

   Paul has four of these "_faithful sayings_." The first occurs 
in 1 Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all
acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners." The next is in 1 Timothy 4:6, "Godliness is profitable
unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and
of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy
of all acceptation." The third is in 2 Timothy 2:12, "It is a
faithful saying--If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with
Him"; and the fourth is in Titus 3:3, "This is a faithful
saying, that they which have believed in God might be careful to
maintain good works." We may trace a connection between these
faithful sayings. The first one lays the foundation of our
eternal salvation in the free grace of God, as shown to us in
the mission of the great Redeemer. The next affirms the double
blessedness which we obtain through this salvation--the
blessings of the upper and nether springs--of time and of
eternity. The third shows one of the duties to which the chosen
people are called; we are ordained to suffer for Christ with the
promise that "if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." The
last sets forth the active form of Christian service, bidding us
diligently to maintain good works. Thus we have the root of
salvation in free grace; next, the privileges of that salvation
in the life which now is, and in that which is to come; and we
have also the two great branches of suffering with Christ and
serving with Christ, loaded with the fruits of the Spirit.
Treasure up these faithful sayings. Let them be the guides of
our life, our comfort, and our instruction. The apostle of the
Gentiles proved them to be faithful, they are faithful still,
not one word shall fall to the ground; they are worthy of all
acceptation, let us accept them now, and prove their
faithfulness. Let these four faithful sayings be written on the
four corners of My house.

* 10/28/AM

"I have chosen you out of the world."
                                                    --John 15:19

   Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard; for 
some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be
afraid to dwell upon this high doctrine of election. When your
mind is most heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a
bottle of richest cordial. Those who doubt the doctrines of
grace, or who cast them into the shade, miss the richest
clusters of Eshcol; they lose the wines on the lees well
refined, the fat things full of marrow. There is no balm in
Gilead comparable to it. If the honey in Jonathan's wood when
but touched enlightened _the eyes_, this is honey which will
enlighten _your heart_ to love and learn the mysteries of the
kingdom of God. Eat, and fear not a surfeit; live upon this
choice dainty, and fear not that it will be too delicate a diet.
Meat from the King's table will hurt none of His courtiers.
Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more
and more the eternal, everlasting, discriminating love of God.
When you have mounted as high as election, tarry on its sister
mount, the covenant of grace. Covenant engagements are the
munitions of stupendous rock behind which we lie entrenched;
covenant engagements with the surety, Christ Jesus, are the
quiet resting-places of trembling spirits.

             "His oath, His covenant, His blood,
             Support me in the raging flood;
             When every earthly prop gives way,
             This still is all my strength and stay."

If Jesus undertook to bring me to glory, and if the Father
promised that He would give me to the Son to be a part of the
infinite reward of the travail of His soul; then, my soul, till
God Himself shall be unfaithful, till Jesus shall cease to be
the truth, thou art safe. When David danced before the ark, he
told Michal that election made him do so. Come, my soul, exult
before the God of grace and leap for joy of heart.

* 10/29/AM

"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in
heaven, etc."
                                                   --Matthew 6:9

   This prayer begins where all true prayer must commence, with 
the spirit of _adoption_, "Our Father." There is no acceptable
prayer until we can say, "I will arise, and go unto my Father."
This child-like spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father
"in heaven," and ascends to _devout adoration_, "Hallowed be Thy
name." The child lisping, "Abba, Father," grows into the cherub
crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy." There is but a step from rapturous
worship to the _glowing missionary spirit_, which is a sure
outgrowth of filial love and reverent adoration--"Thy kingdom
come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Next
follows the heartfelt _expression of dependence_ upon God--"Give
us this day our daily bread." Being further illuminated by the
Spirit, he discovers that he is not only dependent, but sinful,
hence he _entreats for mercy_, "Forgive us our debts as we
forgive our debtors:" and being pardoned, having the
righteousness of Christ imputed, and knowing his acceptance with
God, he humbly _supplicates for holy perseverance_, "Lead us not
into temptation." The man who is really forgiven, is anxious not
to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an
anxious desire for sanctification. "Forgive us our debts," that
is justification; "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from evil," that is sanctification in its negative and positive
forms. As the result of all this, there follows a _triumphant
ascription of praise_, "Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the
glory, for ever and ever, Amen." We rejoice that _our_ King
reigns in providence and shall reign in grace, from the river
even to the ends of the earth, and of His dominion there shall
be no end. Thus from a sense of adoption, up to fellowship with
our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer conducts the soul.
Lord, teach us thus to pray.

* 10/30/AM

"I will praise Thee, O Lord."
                                                     --Psalm 9:1

   Praise should always follow answered prayer; as the mist of 
earth's gratitude rises when the sun of heaven's love warms the
ground. Hath the Lord been gracious to thee, and inclined His
ear to the voice of thy supplication? Then praise Him as long as
thou livest. Let the ripe fruit drop upon the fertile soil from
which it drew its life. Deny not a song to Him who hath answered
thy prayer and given thee the desire of thy heart. To be silent
over God's mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is
to act as basely as the nine lepers, who after they had been
cured of their leprosy, returned not to give thanks unto the
healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit
ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of
promoting the growth of the spiritual life. It helps to remove
our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a
healthful and invigorating exercise which quickens the pulse of
the believer, and nerves him for fresh enterprises in his
Master's service. To bless God for mercies received is also the
way to benefit our fellow-men; "the humble shall hear thereof
and be glad." Others who have been in like circumstances shall
take comfort if we can say, "Oh! magnify the Lord with me, and
let us exalt His name together; this poor man cried, and the
Lord heard him." Weak hearts will be strengthened, and drooping
saints will be revived as they listen to our "songs of
deliverance." Their doubts and fears will be rebuked, as we
teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs. They too shall "sing in the ways of the Lord," when they
hear us magnify His holy name. Praise is the most heavenly of
Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to
praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white
robes, with palm-branches in their hands, are never weary of
singing the new song, "Worthy is the Lamb."

* 10/31/AM

"Renew a right spirit within me."
                                                   --Psalm 51:10

   A backslider, if there be a spark of life left in him will 
groan after restoration. In this renewal the same exercise of
grace is required as at our conversion. We needed repentance
then; we certainly need it now. We wanted faith that we might
come to Christ at first; only the like grace can bring us to
Jesus now. We wanted a word from the Most High, a word from the
lip of the loving One, to end our fears then; we shall soon
discover, when under a sense of present sin, that we need it
now. No man can be renewed without as real and true a
manifestation of the Holy Spirit's energy as he felt at first,
because the work is as great, and flesh and blood are as much in
the way now as ever they were. Let thy personal weakness, O
Christian, be an argument to make thee pray earnestly to thy God
for help. Remember, David when he felt himself to be powerless,
did not fold his arms or close his lips, but he hastened to the
mercy-seat with "renew a right spirit within me." Let not the
doctrine that you, unaided, can do nothing, make you sleep; but
let it be a goad in your side to drive you with an awful
earnestness to Israel's strong Helper. O that you may have grace
to plead with God, as though you pleaded for your very
life--"Lord, renew a right spirit within me." He who _sincerely_
prays to God to do this, will prove his honesty by using the
means through which God works. Be much in prayer; live much upon
the Word of God; kill the lusts which have driven your Lord from
you; be careful to watch over the future uprisings of sin. The
Lord has His own appointed ways; sit by the wayside and you will
be ready when He passes by. Continue in all those blessed
ordinances which will foster and nourish your dying graces; and,
knowing that all the power must proceed from Him, cease not to
cry, "Renew a right spirit within me."

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