October PM

* 10/01/PM

"He will give grace and glory."
                                                   --Psalm 84:11

   Bounteous is Jehovah in His nature; to give is His delight. 
His gifts are beyond measure precious, and are as freely given
as the light of the sun. He gives grace to His elect because He
wills it, to His redeemed because of His covenant, to the called
because of His promise, to believers because they seek it, to
sinners because they need it. He gives grace abundantly,
seasonably, constantly, readily, sovereignly; doubly enhancing
the value of the boon by the manner of its bestowal. Grace in
all its forms He freely renders to His people: comforting,
preserving, sanctifying, directing, instructing, assisting
grace, He generously pours into their souls without ceasing, and
He always will do so, whatever may occur. Sickness may befall,
but the Lord will give grace; poverty may happen to us, but
grace will surely be afforded; death must cone but grace will
light a candle at the darkest hour. Reader, how blessed it is as
years roll round, and the leaves begin again to fall, to enjoy
such an unfading promise as this, "The Lord will give grace."

   The little conjunction "_and_" in this verse is a diamond 
rivet binding the present with the future: grace and glory
always go together. God has married them, and none can divorce
them. The Lord will never deny a soul glory to whom He has
freely given to live upon His grace; indeed, glory is nothing
more than grace in its Sabbath dress, grace in full bloom, grace
like autumn fruit, mellow and perfected. How soon we may have
glory none can tell! It may be before this month of October has
run out we shall see the Holy City; but be the interval longer
or shorter, we shall be glorified ere long. Glory, the glory of
heaven, the glory of eternity, the glory of Jesus, the glory of
the Father, the Lord will surely give to His chosen. Oh, rare
promise of a faithful God!

           Two golden links of one celestial chain:
           Who owneth grace shall surely glory gain.

* 10/02/PM

"A man greatly beloved."
                                                  --Daniel 10:11

   Child of God, do you hesitate to appropriate this title? Ah!
has your unbelief made you forget that you are greatly beloved
too? Must you not have been greatly beloved, to have been bought
with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish
and without spot? When God smote His only begotten Son for you,
what was this but being greatly beloved? You lived in sin, and
rioted in it, must you not have been greatly beloved for God to
have borne so patiently with you? You were called by grace and
led to a Saviour, and made a child of God and an heir of heaven.
All this proves, does it not, a very great and superabounding
love? Since that time, whether your path has been rough with
troubles, or smooth with mercies, it has been full of proofs
that you are a man greatly beloved. If the Lord has chastened
you, yet not in anger; if He has made you poor, yet in grace you
have been rich. The more unworthy you feel yourself to be, the
more evidence have you that nothing but unspeakable love could
have led the Lord Jesus to save such a soul as yours. The more
demerit you feel, the clearer is the display of the abounding
love of God in having chosen you, and called you, and made you
an heir of bliss. Now, if there be such love between God and us
let us live in the influence and sweetness of it, and use the
privilege of our position. Do not let us approach our Lord as
though we were strangers, or as though He were unwilling to hear
us--for we are greatly beloved by our loving Father. "He that
spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how
shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Come
boldly, O believer, for despite the whisperings of Satan and the
doubtings of thine own heart, thou art greatly beloved. Meditate
on the exceeding greatness and faithfulness of divine love this
evening, and so go to thy bed in peace.

* 10/03/PM

"He Himself hath suffered being tempted."
                                                  --Hebrews 2:18

   It is a common-place thought, and yet it tastes like nectar 
to the weary heart--Jesus I was tempted as I am. You have heard
that truth many times: have you grasped it? He was tempted to
the very same sins into which we fall. Do not dissociate Jesus
from our common manhood. It is a dark room which you are going
through, but Jesus went through it before. It is a sharp fight
which you are waging, but Jesus has stood foot to foot with the
same enemy. Let us be of good cheer, Christ has borne the load
before us, and the blood-stained footsteps of the King of glory
may be seen along the road which we traverse at this hour. There
is something sweeter yet--Jesus was tempted, but Jesus never
sinned. Then, my soul, it is not needful for thee to sin, for
Jesus was a man, and if one man endured these temptations and
sinned not, then in His power His members may also cease from
sin. Some beginners in the divine life think that they cannot be
tempted without sinning, but they mistake; there is no sin in
_being tempted_, but there _is_ sin in _yielding to temptation_.
Herein is comfort for the sorely tempted ones. There is still
more to encourage them if they reflect that the Lord Jesus,
though tempted, gloriously triumphed, and as He overcame, so
surely shall His followers also, for Jesus is the representative
man for His people; the Head has triumphed, and the members
share in the victory. Fears are needless, for Christ is with us,
armed for our defence. Our place of safety is the bosom of the
Saviour. Perhaps we are tempted just now, in order to drive us
nearer to Him. Blessed be any wind that blows us into the port
of our Saviour's love! Happy wounds, which make us seek the
beloved Physician. Ye tempted ones, come to your tempted
Saviour, for He can be touched with a feeling of your
infirmities, and will succour every tried and tempted one.

* 10/04/PM

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous."
                                                    --1 John 2:1

   "If any man sin, we _have_ an advocate." Yes, though we sin, 
we have Him still. John does not say, "If any man sin he has
forfeited his advocate," but "we _have_ an advocate," sinners
though we are. All the sin that a believer ever did, or can be
allowed to commit, cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus
Christ, as his advocate. The name here given to our Lord is
suggestive. "_Jesus_." Ah! then He is an advocate such as we
need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it
is to save. "They shall call His name Jesus, for _He shall
save_ His people from their sins." His sweetest name implies His
success. Next, it is "Jesus _Christ_"--Christos, the anointed.
This shows _His authority_ to plead. The Christ has a right to
plead, for He is the Father's own appointed advocate and elected
priest. If He were of our choosing He might fail, but if God
hath laid help upon one that is mighty, we may safely lay our
trouble where God has laid His help. He is Christ, and therefore
authorized; He is Christ, and therefore _qualified_, for the
anointing has fully fitted Him for His work. He can plead so as
to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness,
what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when He
stands up to plead for me! One more letter of His name remains,
"Jesus Christ _the righteous_." This is not only His character
BUT His plea. It is His character, and if the Righteous One be
my advocate, then my cause is good, or He would not have
espoused it. It is His plea, for He meets the charge of
unrighteousness against me by the plea that _He_ is righteous.
He declares Himself my substitute and puts His obedience to my
account. My soul, thou hast a friend well fitted to be thine
advocate, He cannot but succeed; leave thyself entirely in His

* 10/05/PM

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
                                                    --Mark 16:16

   Mr. MacDonald asked the inhabitants of the island of St. 
Kilda how a man must be saved. An old man replied, "We shall be
saved if we repent, and forsake our sins, and turn to God."
"Yes," said a middle-aged female, "and with a true heart too."
"Ay," rejoined a third, "and with prayer"; and, added a fourth,
"It must be the prayer of the heart." "And we must be diligent
too," said a fifth, "in keeping the commandments." Thus, each
having contributed his mite, feeling that a very decent creed
had been made up, they all looked and listened for the
preacher's approbation, but they had aroused his deepest pity.
The carnal mind always maps out for itself a way in which self
can work and become great, but the Lord's way is quite the
reverse. Believing and being baptized are no matters of merit to
be gloried in--they are so simple that boasting is excluded, and
free grace bears the palm. It may be that the reader is
unsaved--what is the reason? Do you think the way of salvation
as laid down in the text to be dubious? How can that be when God
has pledged His own word for its certainty? Do you think it too
easy? Why, then, do you not attend to it? Its ease leaves those
without excuse who neglect it. To believe is simply to trust, to
depend, to rely upon Christ Jesus. To be baptized is to submit
to the ordinance which our Lord fulfilled at Jordan, to which
the converted ones submitted at Pentecost, to which the jailer
yielded obedience the very night of his conversion. The outward
sign saves not, but it sets forth to us our death, burial, and
resurrection with Jesus, and, like the Lord's Supper, is not to
be neglected. Reader, do you believe in Jesus? Then, dear
friend, dismiss your fears, you shall be saved. Are you still an
unbeliever, then remember there is but one door, and if you will
not enter by it you will perish in your sins.

* 10/06/PM

"He had married an Ethiopian woman."
                                                  --Numbers 12:1

   Strange choice of Moses, but how much more strange the choice 
of Him who is a prophet like unto Moses, and greater than he!
Our Lord, who is fair as the lily, has entered into marriage
union with one who confesses herself to be black, because the
sun has looked upon her. It is the wonder of angels that the
love of Jesus should be set upon poor, lost, guilty men. Each
believer must, when filled with a sense of Jesus' love, be also
overwhelmed with astonishment that such love should be lavished
on an object so utterly unworthy of it. Knowing as we do our
secret guiltiness, unfaithfulness, and black-heartedness, we are
dissolved in grateful admiration of the matchless freeness and
sovereignty of grace. Jesus must have found the cause of His
love in His own heart, He could not have found it in us, for it
is not there. Even since our conversion we have been black,
though grace has made us comely. Holy Rutherford said of himself
what we must each subscribe to--"His relation to me is, that I
am sick, and He is the Physician of whom I stand in need. Alas!
how often I play fast and loose with Christ! He bindeth, I
loose; He buildeth, I cast down; I quarrel with Christ, and He
agreeth with me twenty times a day!" Most tender and faithful
Husband of our souls, pursue Thy gracious work of conforming us
to Thine image, till Thou shalt present even us poor Ethiops
unto Thyself, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Moses
met with opposition because of his marriage, and both himself
and his spouse were the subjects of an evil eye. Can we wonder
if this vain world opposes Jesus and His spouse, and especially
when great sinners are converted? for this is ever the
Pharisee's ground of objection, "This man receiveth sinners."
Still is the old cause of quarrel revived, "Because he had
married an Ethiopian woman."

* 10/07/PM

"Now on whom dost thou trust?"
                                                   --Isaiah 36:5

   Reader, this is an important question. Listen to the 
Christian's answer, and see if it is yours. "On whom dost thou
trust?" "I trust," says the Christian, "in a triune God. I trust
_the Father_, believing that He has chosen me from before the
foundations of the world; I trust Him to provide for me in
providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be,
and to bring me home to His own house where the many mansions
are. I trust _the Son_. Very God of very God is He--the man
Christ Jesus. I trust in Him to take away all my sins by His own
sacrifice, and to adorn me with His perfect righteousness. I
trust Him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and
desires before His Father's throne, and I trust Him to be my
Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to
justify me. I trust Him for what He is, for what He has done,
and for what He has promised yet to do. And I trust _the Holy
Spirit_--He has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust
Him to drive them all out; I trust Him to curb my temper, to
subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my
passions, to comfort my despondency, to help my weakness, to
illuminate my darkness; I trust Him to dwell in me as my life,
to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul,
and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in
light for ever."

   Oh, blessed trust! To trust Him whose power will never be
exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never
change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will
never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a
diminution! Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine! So
trusting, thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter,
and the foundation of thy trust shall never be removed.

* 10/08/PM

"Praying in the Holy Ghost."
                                                       --Jude 20

   Mark the grand characteristic of true prayer--"_In the Holy
Ghost_." The seed of acceptable devotion must come from heaven's
storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God can go to God.
We must shoot the Lord's arrows back to Him. That desire which
He writes upon our heart will move His heart and bring down a
blessing, but the desires of the flesh have no power with Him.

   Praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in _fervency_. Cold 
prayers ask the Lord not to hear them. Those who do not plead
with fervency, plead not at all. As well speak of lukewarm fire
as of lukewarm prayer--it is essential that it be red hot. It is
praying _perseveringly_. The true suppliant gathers force as he
proceeds, and grows more fervent when God delays to answer. The
longer the gate is closed, the more vehemently does he use the
knocker, and the longer the angel lingers the more resolved is
he that he will never let him go without the blessing. Beautiful
in God's sight is tearful, agonizing, unconquerable importunity.
It means praying _humbly_, for the Holy Spirit never puffs us up
with pride. It is His office to convince of sin, and so to bow
us down in contrition and brokenness of spirit. We shall never
sing _Gloria in excelsis_ except we pray to God _De profundis_:
out of the depths must we cry, or we shall never behold glory in
the highest. It is _loving_ prayer. Prayer should be perfumed
with love, saturated with love--love to our fellow saints, and
love to Christ. Moreover, it must be a prayer full of _faith_. A
man prevails only as he believes. The Holy Spirit is the author
of faith, and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God's
promise. O that this blessed combination of excellent graces,
priceless and sweet as the spices of the merchant, might be
fragrant within us because the Holy Ghost is in our hearts! Most
blessed Comforter, exert Thy mighty power within us, helping our
infirmities in prayer.

* 10/09/PM

"But He answered her not a word."
                                                 --Matthew 15:23

   Genuine seekers who as yet have not obtained the blessing, 
may take comfort from the story before us. The Saviour did not
at once bestow the blessing, even though the woman had great
faith in Him. He intended to give it, but He waited awhile. "He
answered her not a word." Were not her prayers good? Never
better in the world. Was not her case needy? Sorrowfully needy.
Did she not _feel_ her need sufficiently? She felt it
overwhelmingly. Was she not earnest enough? She was intensely
so. Had she no faith? She had such a high degree of it that even
Jesus wondered, and said, "O woman, great is thy faith." See
then, although it is true that faith brings peace, yet it does
not always bring it instantaneously. There may be certain
reasons calling for the trial of faith, rather than the reward
of faith. Genuine faith may be in the soul like a hidden seed,
but as yet it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and
peace. A painful silence from the Saviour is the grievous trial
of many a seeking soul, but heavier still is the affliction of a
harsh cutting reply such as this, "It is not meet to take the
children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." Many in waiting upon
the Lord find immediate delight, but this is not the case with
all. Some, like the jailer, are in a moment turned from darkness
to light, but others are plants of slower growth. A deeper sense
of sin may be given to you instead of a sense of pardon, and in
such a case you will have need of patience to bear the heavy
blow. Ah! poor heart, though Christ beat and bruise thee, or
even slay thee, trust Him; though He should give thee an angry
word, believe in the love of His heart. Do not, I beseech thee,
give up seeking or trusting my Master, because thou hast not yet
obtained the conscious joy which thou longest for. Cast thyself
on Him, and perseveringly depend even where thou canst not
rejoicingly hope.

* 10/10/PM

"And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I
will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible."
                                                --Jeremiah 15:21

   Note the glorious personality of the promise. _I_ will, _I_
will. The Lord Jehovah Himself interposes to deliver and redeem
His people. He pledges Himself personally to rescue them. His
own arm shall do it, that He may have the glory. Here is not a
word said of any effort of our own which may be needed to assist
the Lord. Neither our strength nor our weakness is taken into
the account, but the lone _I_, like the sun in the heavens,
shines out resplendent in all-sufficience. Why then do we
calculate our forces, and consult with flesh and blood to our
grievous wounding? Jehovah has power enough without borrowing
from our puny arm. Peace, ye unbelieving thoughts, be still, and
know that the Lord reigneth. Nor is there a hint concerning
secondary means and causes. The Lord says nothing of friends
and helpers: He undertakes the work alone, and feels no need of
human arms to aid Him. Vain are all our lookings around to
companions and relatives; they are broken reeds if we lean upon
them--often unwilling when able, and unable when they are
willing. Since the promise comes alone from God, it would be
well to wait only upon Him; and when we do so, our expectation
never fails us. Who are the wicked that we should fear them? The
Lord will utterly consume them; they are to be pitied rather
than feared. As for terrible ones, they are only terrors to
those who have no God to fly to, for when the Lord is on our
side, whom shall we fear? If we run into sin to please the
wicked, we have cause to be alarmed, but if we hold fast our
integrity, the rage of tyrants shall be overruled for our good.
When the fish swallowed Jonah, he found him a morsel which he
could not digest; and when the world devours the church, it is
glad to be rid of it again. In all times of fiery trial, in
patience let us possess our souls.

* 10/11/PM

"Whom He did predestinate, them He also called."
                                                   --Romans 8:30

   In the second epistle to Timothy, first chapter, and ninth 
verse, are these words--"Who hath saved us, and called us with
an _holy_ calling." Now, here is a touchstone by which we may
try our calling. It is "an holy calling, not according to our
works, but according to his own purpose and grace." This calling
forbids all trust in our own doings, and conducts us to Christ
alone for salvation, but it afterwards purges us from dead works
to serve the living and true God. As He that hath called you is
holy, so must you be holy. If you are living in sin, you are not
called, but if you are truly Christ's, you can say, "Nothing
pains me so much as sin; I desire to be rid of it; Lord, help me
to be holy." Is this the panting of thy heart? Is this the tenor
of thy life towards God, and His divine will? Again, in
Philippians, 3:13, 14, we are told of "The _high_ calling of God
in Christ Jesus." Is then your calling a high calling? Has it
ennobled your heart, and set it upon heavenly things? Has it
elevated your hopes, your tastes, your desires? Has it upraised
the constant tenor of your life, so that you spend it with God
and for God? Another test we find in Hebrews 3:1--"Partakers of
the _heavenly_ calling." Heavenly calling means a call _from_
heaven. If man alone call thee, thou art uncalled. Is thy
calling of God? Is it a call _to_ heaven as well as from heaven?
Unless thou art a stranger here, and heaven thy home, thou hast
not been called with a heavenly calling; for those who have been
so called, declare that they look for a city which hath
foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they themselves
are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth. Is thy calling thus
holy, high, heavenly? Then, beloved, thou hast been called of
God, for such is the calling wherewith God doth call His people.

* 10/12/PM

"The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost."
                                                    --John 14:26

   This age is peculiarly the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, 
in which Jesus cheers us, not by His personal presence, as He
shall do by-and-by, but by the indwelling and constant abiding
of the Holy Ghost, who is evermore the Comforter of the church.
It is His office to console the hearts of God's people. He
convinces of sin; He illuminates and instructs; but still the
main part of His work lies in making glad the hearts of the
renewed, in confirming the weak, and lifting up all those that
be bowed down. He does this by revealing Jesus to them. The Holy
Spirit consoles, but Christ _is the consolation_. If we may use
the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician, but Jesus is the
medicine. _He_ heals the wound, but it is by applying the holy
ointment of Christ's name and grace. He takes not of His own
things, but of the things of Christ. So if we give to the Holy
Spirit the Greek name of _Paraclete_, as we sometimes do, then
our heart confers on our blessed Lord Jesus the title of
_Paraclesis_. If the one be the Comforter, the other is the
Comfort. Now, with such rich provision for his need, why should
the Christian be sad and desponding? The Holy Spirit has
graciously engaged to be thy Comforter: dost thou imagine, O
thou weak and trembling believer, that He will be negligent of
His sacred trust? Canst thou suppose that He has undertaken what
He cannot or will not perform? If it be His especial work to
strengthen thee, and to comfort thee, dost thou suppose He has
forgotten His business, or that He will fail in the loving
office which He sustains towards thee? Nay, think not so hardly
of the tender and blessed Spirit whose name is "the Comforter."
He delights to give the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment
of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Trust thou in Him, and He
will surely comfort thee till the house of mourning is closed
for ever, and the marriage feast has begun.

* 10/13/PM

"Love is strong as death."
                                           --Song of Solomon 8:6

   Whose love can this be which is as mighty as the conqueror of 
monarchs, the destroyer of the human race? Would it not sound
like satire if it were applied to my poor, weak, and scarcely
living love to Jesus my Lord? I do love Him, and perhaps by His
grace, I could even die for Him, but as for my love in itself,
it can scarcely endure a scoffing jest, much less a cruel death.
Surely it is my Beloved's love which is here spoken of--the love
of Jesus, the matchless lover of souls. His love was indeed
stronger than the most terrible death, for it endured the trial
of the cross triumphantly. It was a lingering death, but love
survived the torment; a shameful death, but love despised the
shame; a penal death, but love bore our iniquities; a forsaken,
lonely death, from which the eternal Father hid His face, but
love endured the curse, and gloried over all. Never such love,
never such death. It was a desperate duel, but love bore the
palm. What then, my heart? Hast thou no emotions excited within
thee at the contemplation of such heavenly affection? Yes, my
Lord, I long, I pant to feel Thy love flaming like a furnace
within me. Come Thou Thyself and excite the ardour of my

               "For every drop of crimson blood
               Thus shed to make me live,
               O wherefore, wherefore have not I
               A thousand lives to give?"

Why should I despair of loving Jesus with a love as strong as
death? He deserves it: I desire it. The martyrs felt such love,
and they were but flesh and blood, then why not I? They mourned
their weakness, and yet out of weakness were made strong. Grace
gave them all their unflinching constancy--there is the same
grace for me. Jesus, lover of my soul, shed abroad such love,
even Thy love in my heart, this evening.

* 10/14/PM

"And be not conformed to this world."
                                                   --Romans 12:2

   If a Christian can by possibility be saved while he conforms 
to this world, at any rate it must be so as by fire. Such a bare
salvation is almost as much to be dreaded as desired. Reader,
would you wish to leave this world in the darkness of a
desponding death bed, and enter heaven as a shipwrecked mariner
climbs the rocks of his native country? then be worldly; be
mixed up with Mammonites, and refuse to go without the camp
bearing Christ's reproach. But would you have a heaven below as
well as a heaven above? Would you comprehend with all saints
what are the heights and depths, and know the love of Christ
which passeth knowledge? Would you receive an abundant entrance
into the joy of your Lord? Then come ye out from among them,
and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Would you
attain the full assurance of faith? you cannot gain it while you
commune with sinners. Would you flame with vehement love? your
love will be damped by the drenchings of godless society. You
cannot become a great Christian--you may be a babe in grace, but
you never can be a perfect man in Christ Jesus while you yield
yourself to the worldly maxims and modes of business of men of
the world. It is ill for an heir of heaven to be a great friend
with the heirs of hell. It has a bad look when a courtier is too
intimate with his king's enemies. Even small inconsistencies
are dangerous. Little thorns make great blisters, little moths
destroy fine garments, and little frivolities and little
rogueries will rob religion of a thousand joys. O professor, too
little separated from sinners, you know not what you lose by
your conformity to the world. It cuts the tendons of your
strength, and makes you creep where you ought to run. Then, for
your own comfort's sake, and for the sake of your growth in
grace, if you be a Christian, be a Christian, and be a marked
and distinct one.

* 10/15/PM

"But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and
if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck."
                                                  --Exodus 34:20

   Every firstborn creature must be the Lord's, but since the 
ass was unclean, it could not be presented in sacrifice. What
then? Should it be allowed to go free from the universal law? By
no means. God admits of no exceptions. The ass is His due, but
He will not accept it; He will not abate the claim, but yet He
cannot be pleased with the victim. No way of escape remained but
redemption--the creature must be saved by the substitution of a
lamb in its place; or if not redeemed, it must die. My soul,
here is a lesson for thee. That unclean animal is thyself; thou
art justly the property of the Lord who made thee and preserves
thee, but thou art so sinful that God will not, cannot, accept
thee; and it has come to this, the Lamb of God must stand in thy
stead, or thou must die eternally. Let all the world know of thy
gratitude to that spotless Lamb who has already bled for thee,
and so redeemed thee from the fatal curse of the law. Must it
not sometimes have been a question with the Israelite which
should die, the ass or the lamb? Would not the good man pause to
estimate and compare? Assuredly there was no comparison between
the value of the soul of man and the life of the Lord Jesus, and
yet the Lamb dies, and man the ass is spared. My soul, admire
the boundless love of God to thee and others of the human race.
Worms are bought with the blood of the Son of the Highest! Dust
and ashes redeemed with a price far above silver and gold! What
a doom had been mine had not plenteous redemption been found!
The breaking of the neck of the ass was but a momentary penalty,
but who shall measure the wrath to come to which no limit can be
imagined? Inestimably dear is the glorious Lamb who has redeemed
us from such a doom.

* 10/16/PM

"With Thee is the fountain of life."
                                                    --Psalm 36:9

   There are times in our spiritual experience when human 
counsel or sympathy, or religious ordinances, fail to comfort or
help us. Why does our gracious God permit this? Perhaps it is
because we have been living too much without Him, and He
therefore takes away everything upon which we have been in the
habit of depending, that He may drive us to Himself. It is a
blessed thing to live at the fountain head. While our skin-
bottles are full, we are content, like Hagar and Ishmael, to go
into the wilderness; but when those are dry, nothing will serve
us but "Thou God seest me." We are like the prodigal, we love
the swine-troughs and forget our Father's house. Remember, we
can make swine-troughs and husks even out of the forms of
religion; they are blessed things, but we may put them in God's
place, and then they are of no value. Anything becomes an idol
when it keeps us away from God: even the brazen serpent is to be
despised as "Nehushtan," if we worship it instead of God. The
prodigal was never safer than when he was driven to his father's
bosom, because he could find sustenance nowhere else. Our Lord
favours us with a famine in the land that it may make us seek
after Himself the more. The best position for a Christian is
living wholly and directly on God's grace--still abiding where
he stood at first--"Having nothing, and yet possessing all
things." Let us never for a moment think that our standing is in
our sanctification, our mortification, our graces, or our
feelings, but know that because Christ offered a full atonement,
therefore we are saved; for we are complete in Him. Having
nothing of our own to trust to, but resting upon the merits of
Jesus--His passion and holy life furnish us with the only sure
ground of confidence. Beloved, when we are brought to a
thirsting condition, we are sure to turn to the fountain of life
with eagerness.

* 10/17/PM

"He shall gather the lambs with His arm."
                                                  --Isaiah 40:11

   Our good Shepherd has in His flock a variety of experiences, 
some are strong in the Lord, and others are weak in faith, but
He is impartial in His care for all His sheep, and the weakest
lamb is as dear to Him as the most advanced of the flock. Lambs
are wont to lag behind, prone to wander, and apt to grow weary,
but from all the danger of these infirmities the Shepherd
protects them with His arm of power. He finds new-born souls,
like young lambs, ready to perish--He nourishes them till life
becomes vigorous; He finds weak minds ready to faint and die--He
consoles them and renews their strength. All the little ones He
gathers, for it is not the will of our heavenly Father that one
of them should perish. What a quick eye He must have to see them
all! What a tender heart to care for them all! What a far-
reaching and potent arm, to gather them all! In His lifetime on
earth He was a great gatherer of the weaker sort, and now that
He dwells in heaven, His loving heart yearns towards the meek
and contrite, the timid and feeble, the fearful and fainting
here below. How gently did He gather me to Himself, to His
truth, to His blood, to His love, to His church! With what
effectual grace did He compel me to come to Himself! Since my
first conversion, how frequently has He restored me from my
wanderings, and once again folded me within the circle of His
everlasting arm! The best of all is, that He does it all Himself
personally, not delegating the task of love, but condescending
Himself to rescue and preserve His most unworthy servant. How
shall I love Him enough or serve Him worthily? I would fain make
His name great unto the ends of the earth, but what can my
feebleness do for Him? Great Shepherd, add to Thy mercies this
one other, a heart to love Thee more truly as I ought.

* 10/18/PM

"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice."
                                                --1 Samuel 15:22

   Saul had been commanded to slay utterly all the Amalekites 
and their cattle. Instead of doing so, he preserved the king,
and suffered his people to take the best of the oxen and of the
sheep. When called to account for this, he declared that he did
it with a view of offering sacrifice to God; but Samuel met him
at once with the assurance that sacrifices were no excuse for an
act of direct rebellion. The sentence before us is worthy to be
printed in letters of gold, and to be hung up before the eyes of
the present idolatrous generation, who are very fond of the
fineries of will-worship, but utterly neglect the laws of God.
Be it ever in your remembrance, that to keep strictly in the
path of your Saviour's command is better than any outward form
of religion; and to hearken to His precept with an attentive ear
is better than to bring the fat of rams, or any other precious
thing to lay upon His altar. If you are failing to keep the
least of Christ's commands to His disciples, I pray you be
disobedient no longer. All the pretensions you make of
attachment to your Master, and all the devout actions which you
may perform, are no recompense for disobedience. "To obey," even
in the slightest and smallest thing, "is better than sacrifice,"
however pompous. Talk not of Gregorian chants, sumptuous robes,
incense, and banners; the first thing which God requires of His
child is obedience; and though you should give your body to be
burned, and all your goods to feed the poor, yet if you do not
hearken to the Lord's precepts, all your formalities shall
profit you nothing. It is a blessed thing to be teachable as a
little child, but it is a much more blessed thing when one has
been taught the lesson, to carry it out to the letter. How many
adorn their temples and decorate their priests, but refuse to
obey the word of the Lord! My soul, come not thou into their

* 10/19/PM

"God, my Maker, who giveth songs in the night."
                                                     --Job 35:10

   Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws 
inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him,
any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or
sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian
harp to whisper music when the winds blow--the difficulty is for
music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to
sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful
who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by--who sings
from his heart. No man can make a song in the night of himself;
he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night
must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave
songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that
grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing
grows, and wherewith shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How
shall a mortal man make a crown for the Lord where no jewels
are? Let but this voice be clear, and this body full of health,
and I can sing God's praise: silence my tongue, lay me upon the
bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high
praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in
man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal
shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang,
when in the night he said, "Although the fig-tree shall not
blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the
olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock
shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in
the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the
God of my salvation." Then, since our Maker gives _songs in the
night_, let us wait upon Him for the music. O Thou chief
musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon
us, but tune Thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving.

* 10/20/PM

"Keep not back."
                                                   --Isaiah 43:6

   Although this message was sent to the south, and referred to 
the seed of Israel, it may profitably be a summons to ourselves.
Backward we are naturally to all good things, and it is a lesson
of grace to learn to go forward in the ways of God. Reader, are
you unconverted, but do you desire to trust in the Lord Jesus?
Then _keep not back_. Love invites you, the promises secure you
success, the precious blood prepares the way. Let not sins or
fears hinder you, but come to Jesus just as you are. Do you
long to pray? Would you pour out your heart before the Lord?
_Keep not back_. The mercy-seat is prepared for such as need
mercy; a sinner's cries will prevail with God. You are invited,
nay, you are commanded to pray, come therefore with boldness to
the throne of grace.

   Dear friend, are you already saved? Then _keep not back_ from 
union with the Lord's people. Neglect not the ordinances of
baptism and the Lord's Supper. You may be of a timid
disposition, but you must strive against it, lest it lead you
into disobedience. There is a sweet promise made to those who
confess Christ--by no means miss it, lest you come under the
condemnation of those who deny Him. If you have talents _keep
not back_ from using them. Hoard not your wealth, waste not
your time; let not your abilities rust or your influence be
unused. Jesus kept not back, imitate Him by being foremost in
self-denials and self-sacrifices. _Keep not back_ from close
communion with God, from boldly appropriating covenant
blessings, from advancing in the divine life, from prying into
the precious mysteries of the love of Christ. Neither, beloved
friend, be guilty of keeping others back by your coldness,
harshness, or suspicions. For Jesus' sake go forward yourself,
and encourage others to do the like. Hell and the leaguered
bands of superstition and infidelity are forward to the fight.
O soldiers of the cross, keep not back.

* 10/21/PM

"Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?"
                                                    --Luke 24:38

   "Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, My way is 
hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?"
The Lord cares for all things, and the meanest creatures share
in His universal providence, but His particular providence is
over His saints. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about
them that fear Him." "Precious shall their blood be in His
sight." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His
saints." "We know that all things work together for good to them
that love God, to them that are the called according to His
purpose." Let the fact that, while He is the Saviour of all men,
He is specially the Saviour of them that believe, cheer and
comfort you. You are His peculiar care; His regal treasure which
He guards as the apple of His eye; His vineyard over which He
watches day and night. "The very hairs of your head are all
numbered." Let the thought of His special love _to you_ be a
spiritual pain-killer, a dear quietus to your woe: "I will never
leave _thee_, nor forsake _thee_." God says that as much to you
as to any saint of old. "Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy
exceeding great reward." We lose much consolation by the habit
of reading His promises for the whole church, instead of taking
them directly home to ourselves. Believer, grasp the divine word
with a personal, appropriating faith. Think that you hear Jesus
say, "I have prayed for _thee_ that thy faith fail not." Think
you see Him walking on the waters of thy trouble, for He is
there, and He is saying, "Fear not, it is I; be not afraid." Oh,
those sweet words of Christ! May the Holy Ghost make you feel
them as spoken to _you_; forget others for awhile--accept the
voice of Jesus as addressed to you, and say, "Jesus whispers
consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under His shadow
with great delight."

* 10/22/PM

"He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you."
                                                    --John 16:15

   There are times when all the promises and a doctrines of the 
Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them
to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water-
brook. When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use
for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can
bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains
which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither,
and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls, and
to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who
takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not
that Christ hath placed His joys on heavenly shelves that we may
climb up to them for ourselves, but He draws near, and sheds His
peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-night
labouring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee
promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like
buckets from a well, but the promises He has written in the Word
He will write anew on your heart. He will manifest His love to
you, and by His blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles.
Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is God's prerogative
to wipe every tear from the eye of His people. The good
Samaritan did not say, "Here is the wine, and here is the oil
for you"; he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus
not only gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the
golden chalice to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your
mouth. The poor, sick, way-worn pilgrim is not merely
strengthened to walk, but he is borne on eagles' wings. Glorious
gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws
nigh to us when we cannot reach after it--brings us grace before
we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving as in the
gift. Happy people who have the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus to

* 10/23/PM

"Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."
                                                    --Luke 22:46

   When is the Christian most liable to sleep? Is it not _when 
his temporal circumstances are prosperous_? Have you not found
it so? When you had daily troubles to take to the throne of
grace, were you not more wakeful than you are now? Easy roads
make sleepy travellers. Another dangerous time is _when all
goes pleasantly in spiritual matters_. Christian went not to
sleep when lions were in the way, or when he was wading through
the river, or when fighting with Apollyon, but when he had
climbed half way up the Hill Difficulty, and came to a
delightful arbour, he sat down, and forthwith fell asleep, to
his great sorrow and loss. The enchanted ground is a place of
balmy breezes, laden with fragrant odours and soft influences,
all tending to lull pilgrims to sleep. Remember Bunyan's
description: "Then they came to an arbour, warm, and promising
much refreshing to the weary pilgrims; for it was finely wrought
above head, beautified with greens, and furnished with benches
and settles. It had also in it a soft couch, where the weary
might lean." "The arbour was called the Slothful's Friend, and
was made on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the
pilgrims to take up their rest there when weary." Depend upon
it, it is in easy places that men shut their eyes and wander
into the dreamy land of forgetfulness. Old Erskine wisely
remarked, "I like a roaring devil better than a sleeping devil."
There is no temptation half so dangerous as not being tempted.
The distressed soul does not sleep; it is after we enter into
peaceful confidence and full assurance that we are in danger of
slumbering. The disciples fell asleep after they had seen Jesus
transfigured on the mountain top. Take heed, joyous Christian,
good frames are near neighbours to temptations: be as happy as
you will, only be watchful.

* 10/24/PM

"He began to wash the disciples' feet."
                                                     --John 13:5

   The Lord Jesus loves His people so much, that every day He is 
still doing for them much that is analogous to washing their
soiled feet. Their poorest actions He accepts; their deepest
sorrow He feels; their slenderest wish He hears, and their every
transgression He forgives. He is still their servant as well as
their Friend and Master. He not only performs majestic deeds for
them, as wearing the mitre on His brow, and the precious jewels
glittering on His breastplate, and standing up to plead for
them, but humbly, patiently, He yet goes about among His people
with the basin and the towel. He does this when He puts away
from us day by day our constant infirmities and sins. Last
night, when you bowed the knee, you mournfully confessed that
much of your conduct was not worthy of your profession; and even
tonight, you must mourn afresh that you have fallen again into
the selfsame folly and sin from which special grace delivered
you long ago; and yet Jesus will have great patience with you;
He will hear your confession of sin; He will say, "I will, be
thou clean"; He will again apply the blood of sprinkling, and
speak peace to your conscience, and remove every spot. It is a
great act of eternal love when Christ once for all absolves the
sinner, and puts him into the family of God; but what
condescending patience there is when the Saviour with much
long-suffering bears the oft recurring follies of His wayward
disciple; day by day, and hour by hour, washing away the
multiplied transgressions of His erring but yet beloved child!
To dry up a flood of rebellion is something marvellous, but to
endure the constant dropping of repeated offences--to bear with
a perpetual trying of patience, this is divine indeed! While we
find comfort and peace in our Lord's daily cleansing, its
legitimate influence upon us will be to increase our
watchfulness, and quicken our desire for holiness. _Is it so_?

* 10/25/PM

"She gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to
light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the
kindred of Elimelech."
                                                      --Ruth 2:3

   Her _hap was_. Yes, it seemed nothing but an accident, but 
how divinely was it overruled! Ruth had gone forth with her
mother's blessing, under the care of her mother's God, to humble
but honourable toil, and the providence of God was guiding her
every step. Little did she know that amid the sheaves she would
find a husband, that he should make her the joint owner of all
those broad acres, and that she a poor foreigner should become
one of the progenitors of the great Messiah. God is very good to
those who trust in Him, and often surprises them with unlooked
for blessings. Little do we know what may happen to us
to-morrow, but this sweet fact may cheer us, that no good thing
shall be withheld. Chance is banished from the faith of
Christians, for they see the hand of God in everything. The
trivial events of to-day or to-morrow may involve consequences
of the highest importance. O Lord, deal as graciously with Thy
servants as Thou didst with Ruth.

   How blessed would it be, if, in wandering in the field of
meditation to-night, our hap should be to light upon the place
where our next Kinsman will reveal Himself to us! O Spirit of
God, guide us to Him. We would sooner glean in His field than
bear away the whole harvest from any other. O for the footsteps
of His flock, which may conduct us to the green pastures where
He dwells! This is a weary world when Jesus is away--we could
better do without sun and moon that without Him--but how
divinely fair all things become in the glory of His presence!
Our souls know the virtue which dwells in Jesus, and can never
be content without Him. We will wait in prayer this night until
our hap shall be to light on a part of the field belonging to
Jesus wherein He will manifest Himself to us.

* 10/26/PM

"All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto
the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return
                                              --Ecclesiastes 1:7

   Everything sublunary is on the move, time knows nothing of 
rest. The solid earth is a rolling ball, and the great sun
himself a star obediently fulfilling its course around some
greater luminary. Tides move the sea, winds stir the airy
ocean, friction wears the rock: change and death rule
everywhere. The sea is not a miser's storehouse for a wealth of
waters, for as by one force the waters flow into it, by another
they are lifted from it. Men are born but to die: everything is
hurry, worry, and vexation of spirit. Friend of the unchanging
Jesus, what a joy it is to reflect upon thy changeless heritage;
thy sea of bliss which will be for ever full, since God Himself
shall pour eternal rivers of pleasure into it. We seek an
abiding city beyond the skies, and we shall not be disappointed.
The passage before us may well teach us gratitude. Father Ocean
is a great receiver, but he is a generous distributor. What the
rivers bring him he returns to the earth in the form of clouds
and rain. That man is out of joint with the universe who takes
all but makes no return. To give to others is but sowing seed
for ourselves. He who is so good a steward as to be willing to
use his substance for his Lord, shall be entrusted with more.
Friend of Jesus, art thou rendering to Him according to the
benefit received? Much has been given thee, what is thy fruit?
Hast thou done all? Canst thou not do more? To be selfish is to
be wicked. Suppose the ocean gave up none of its watery
treasure, it would bring ruin upon our race. God forbid that any
of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of
living unto ourselves. Jesus pleased not Himself. All fulness
dwells in Him, but of His fulness have all we received. O for
Jesu's spirit, that henceforth we may live not unto ourselves!

* 10/27/PM

"We are all as an unclean thing."
                                                   --Isaiah 64:6

   The believer is a new creature, he belongs to a holy 
generation and a peculiar people--the Spirit of God is in him,
and in all respects he is far removed from the natural man; but
for all that the Christian is a sinner still. He is so from the
imperfection of his nature, and will continue so to the end of
his earthly life. The black fingers of sin leave smuts upon our
fairest robes. Sin mars our repentance, ere the great Potter has
finished it, upon the wheel. Selfishness defiles our tears, and
unbelief tampers with our faith. The best thing we ever did
apart from the merit of Jesus only swelled the number of our
sins; for when we have been most pure in our own sight, yet,
like the heavens, we are not pure in God's sight; and as He
charged His angels with folly, much more must He charge us with
it, even in our most angelic frames of mind. The song which
thrills to heaven, and seeks to emulate seraphic strains, hath
human discords in it. The prayer which moves the arm of God is
still a bruised and battered prayer, and only moves that arm
because the sinless One, the great Mediator, has stepped in to
take away the sin of our supplication. The most golden faith or
the purest degree of sanctification to which a Christian ever
attained on earth, has still so much alloy in it as to be only
worthy of the flames, in itself considered. Every night we look
in the glass we see a sinner, and had need confess, "We are all
as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags." Oh, how precious the blood of Christ to such hearts as
ours! How priceless a gift is His perfect righteousness! And
how bright the hope of perfect holiness hereafter! Even now,
though sin dwells in us, _its power is broken_. It has no
dominion; it is a broken-backed snake; we are in bitter conflict
with it, but it is with a vanquished foe that we have to deal.
Yet a little while and we shall enter victoriously into the city
where nothing defileth.

* 10/28/PM

"His head is as the most fine gold, His locks are bushy, and
black as a raven."
                                          --Song of Solomon 5:11

   Comparisons all fail to set forth the Lord Jesus, but the 
spouse uses the best within her reach. By _the head_ of Jesus we
may understand His deity, "for the head of Christ is God" and
then the ingot of purest gold is the best conceivable metaphor,
but all too poor to describe one so precious, so pure, so dear,
so glorious. Jesus is not a grain of gold, but a vast globe of
it, a priceless mass of treasure such as earth and heaven cannot
excel. The creatures are mere iron and clay, they all shall
perish like wood, hay, and stubble, but the everliving Head of
the creation of God shall shine on for ever and ever. In Him is
no mixture, nor smallest taint of alloy. He is for ever
infinitely holy and altogether divine. _The bushy locks_ depict
His manly vigour. There is nothing effeminate in our Beloved. He
is the manliest of men. Bold as a lion, laborious as an ox,
swift as an eagle. Every conceivable and inconceivable beauty is
to be found in Him, though once He was despised and rejected of

                "His head the finest gold;
                With secret sweet perfume,
                His curled locks hang all as black
                As any raven's plume."

The glory of His head is not shorn away, He is eternally crowned
with peerless majesty. _The black hair_ indicates youthful
freshness, for Jesus has the dew of His youth upon Him. Others
grow languid with age, but He is for ever a Priest as was
Melchisedek; others come and go, but He abides as God upon His
throne, world without end. We will behold Him to-night and adore
Him. Angels are gazing upon Him--His redeemed must not turn away
their eyes from Him. Where else is there such a Beloved? O for
an hour's fellowship with Him! Away, ye intruding cares! Jesus
draws me, and I run after Him.

* 10/29/PM

"But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him."
                                                    --Luke 24:16

   The disciples ought to have known Jesus, they had heard His 
voice so often, and gazed upon that marred face so frequently,
that it is wonderful they did not discover Him. Yet is it not so
with you also? You have not seen Jesus lately. You have been to
His table, and you have not met Him there. You are in a dark
trouble this evening, and though He plainly says, "It is I, be
not afraid," yet you cannot discern Him. Alas! our eyes are
holden. We know His voice; we have looked into His face; we
have leaned our head upon His bosom, and yet, though Christ is
very near us, we are saying "O that I knew where I might find
Him!" We should know Jesus, for we have the Scriptures to
reflect His image, and yet how possible it is for us to open
that precious book and have no glimpse of the Wellbeloved! Dear
child of God, are you in that state? Jesus feedeth among the
lilies of the word, and you walk among those lilies, and yet you
behold Him not. He is accustomed to walk through the glades of
Scripture, and to commune with His people, as the Father did
with Adam in the cool of the day, and yet you are in the garden
of Scripture, but cannot see Him, though He is always there. And
why do we not see Him? It must be ascribed in our case, as in
the disciples', to unbelief. They evidently did not expect to
see Jesus, and therefore they did not know Him. To a great
extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord.
Faith alone can bring us to see Jesus. Make it your prayer,
"Lord, open Thou mine eyes, that I may see my Saviour present
with me." It is a blessed thing to want to see Him; but oh! it
is better far to gaze upon Him. To those who seek Him He is
kind; but to those who find Him, beyond expression is He dear!

* 10/30/PM

"Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to
Thy voice: cause me to hear it."
                                          --Song of Solomon 8:13

   My sweet Lord Jesus remembers well the garden of Gethsemane, 
and although He has left that garden, He now dwells in the
garden of His church: there He unbosoms Himself to those who
keep His blessed company. That voice of love with which He
speaks to His beloved is more musical than the harps of heaven.
There is a depth of melodious love within it which leaves all
human music far behind. Ten of thousands on earth, and millions
above, are indulged with its harmonious accents. Some whom I
well know, and whom I greatly envy, are at this moment
hearkening to the beloved voice. O that I were a partaker of
their joys! It is true some of these are poor, others bedridden,
and some near the gates of death, but O my Lord, I would
cheerfully starve with them, pine with them, or die with them,
if I might but hear Thy voice. Once I did hear it often, but I
have grieved Thy Spirit. Return unto me in compassion, and once
again say unto me, "I am thy salvation." No other voice can
content me; I know Thy voice, and cannot be deceived by another,
let me hear it, I pray thee. I know not what Thou wilt say,
neither do I make any condition, O my Beloved, do but let me
hear Thee speak, and if it be a rebuke I will bless Thee for it.
Perhaps to cleanse my dull ear may need an operation very
grievous to the flesh, but let it cost what it may I turn not
from the one consuming desire, cause me to hear Thy voice. Bore
my ear afresh; pierce my ear with Thy harshest notes, only do
not permit me to continue deaf to Thy calls. To-night, Lord,
grant Thine unworthy one his desire, for I am Thine, and Thou
hast bought me with Thy blood. Thou hast opened mine eye to see
Thee, and the sight has saved me. Lord, open Thou mine ear. I
have read Thy heart, now let me hear Thy lips.

* 10/31/PM

"I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great
                                                    --Hosea 13:5

   Yes, Lord, Thou didst indeed know me in my _fallen state_, 
and Thou didst even then choose me for Thyself. When I was
loathsome and self-abhorred, Thou didst receive me as Thy child,
and Thou didst satisfy my craving wants. Blessed for ever be Thy
name for this free, rich, abounding mercy. Since then, _my
inward experience_ has often been a wilderness; but Thou hast
owned me still as Thy beloved, and poured streams of love and
grace into me to gladden me, and make me fruitful. Yea, when my
_outward circumstances_ have been at the worst, and I have
wandered in a land of drought, Thy sweet presence has solaced
me. Men have not known me when scorn has awaited me, but Thou
hast known my soul in adversities, for no affliction dims the
lustre of Thy love. Most gracious Lord, I magnify Thee for all
Thy faithfulness to me in trying circumstances, and I deplore
that I should at any time have forgotten Thee and been exalted
in heart, when I have owed all to Thy gentleness and love. Have
mercy upon Thy servant in this thing!

   My soul, if Jesus thus acknowledged thee in thy low estate, 
be sure that thou own both Himself and His cause now that thou
art in thy prosperity. Be not lifted up by thy worldly successes
so as to be ashamed of the truth or of the poor church with
which thou hast been associated. Follow Jesus into the
wilderness: bear the cross with Him when the heat of persecution
grows hot. He owned thee, O my soul, in thy poverty and
shame--never be so treacherous as to be ashamed of Him. O for
more shame at the thought of being ashamed of my best Beloved!
Jesus, my soul cleaveth to Thee.

              "I'll turn to Thee in days of light,
              As well as nights of care,
              Thou brightest amid all that's bright!
              Thou fairest of the fair!"

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