November PM

* 11/01/PM

"And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away: so
shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
                                                 --Matthew 24:39

   Universal was the doom, neither rich nor poor escaped: the 
learned and the illiterate, the admired and the abhorred, the
religious and the profane, the old and the young, all sank in
one common ruin. Some had doubtless ridiculed the patriarch--
where now their merry jests? Others had threatened him for his
zeal which they counted madness--where now their boastings and
hard speeches? The critic who judged the old man's work is
drowned in the same sea which covers his sneering companions.
Those who spoke patronizingly of the good man's fidelity to his
convictions, but shared not in them, have sunk to rise no more,
and the workers who for pay helped to build the wondrous ark,
are all lost also. The flood swept them _all_ away, and made no
single exception. Even so, out of Christ, final destruction is
sure to every man of woman born; no rank, possession, or
character, shall suffice to save a single soul who has not
believed in the Lord Jesus. My soul, behold this wide-spread
judgment and tremble at it.

   How marvellous the general apathy! they were all eating and 
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, till the awful
morning dawned. There was not one wise man upon earth out of the
ark. Folly duped the whole race, folly as to self-preservation--
the most foolish of all follies. Folly in doubting the most true
God--the most malignant of fooleries. Strange, my soul, is it
not? All men are negligent of their souls till grace gives them
reason, then they leave their madness and act like rational
beings, but not till then.

   _All_, blessed be God, were safe in the ark, no ruin entered
there. From the huge elephant down to the tiny mouse all were
safe. The timid hare was equally secure with the courageous
lion, the helpless cony as safe as the laborious ox. All are
safe in Jesus. My soul, art thou in Him?

* 11/02/PM

"Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that
forsake Thy law."
                                                  --Psalm 119:53

   My soul, feelest thou this holy shuddering at the sins of 
others? for otherwise thou lackest inward holiness. David's
cheeks were wet with rivers of waters because of prevailing
unholiness; Jeremiah desired eyes like fountains that he might
lament the iniquities of Israel, and Lot was vexed with the
conversation of the men of Sodom. Those upon whom the mark was
set in Ezekiel's vision, were those who sighed and cried for the
abominations of Jerusalem. It cannot but grieve gracious souls
to see what pains men take to go to hell. They know the evil of
sin experimentally, and they are alarmed to see others flying
like moths into its blaze. Sin makes the righteous shudder,
because it violates a holy law, which it is to every man's
highest interest to keep; it pulls down the pillars of the
commonwealth. Sin in others horrifies a believer, because it
puts him in mind of the baseness of his own heart: when he sees
a transgressor he cries with the saint mentioned by Bernard, "He
fell to-day, and I may fall to-morrow." Sin to a believer is
horrible, because it crucified the Saviour; he sees in every
iniquity the nails and spear. How can a saved soul behold that
cursed kill-Christ sin without abhorrence? Say, my heart, dost
thou sensibly join in all this? It is an awful thing to insult
God to His face. The good God deserves better treatment, the
great God claims it, the just God will have it, or repay His
adversary to his face. An awakened heart trembles at the
audacity of sin, and stands alarmed at the contemplation of its
punishment. How monstrous a thing is rebellion! How direful a
doom is prepared for the ungodly! My soul, never laugh at sin's
fooleries, lest thou come to smile at sin itself. It is thine
enemy, and thy Lord's enemy--view it with detestation, for so
only canst thou evidence the possession of holiness, without
which no man can see the Lord.

* 11/03/PM

"Their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even unto
                                            --2 Chronicles 30:27

   Prayer is the never-failing resort of the Christian in any 
case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword you may
take to the weapon of all-prayer. Your powder may be damp, your
bow-string may be relaxed, but the weapon of all-prayer need
never be out of order. Leviathan laughs at the javelin, but he
trembles at prayer. Sword and spear need furbishing, but prayer
never rusts, and when we think it most blunt it cuts the best.
Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may surround
you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long
as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy's
hand. We can never be taken by blockade, escalade, mine, or
storm, so long as heavenly succours can come down to us by
Jacob's ladder to relieve us in the time of our necessities.
Prayer is never out of season: in summer and in winter its
merchandize is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in
the dead of night, in the midst of business, in the heat of
noonday, in the shades of evening. In every condition, whether
of poverty, or sickness, or obscurity, or slander, or doubt,
your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from
His holy place. Nor is prayer ever _futile_. True prayer is
evermore true power. You may not always get what you ask, but
you shall always have your real wants supplied. When God does
not answer His children according to the letter, He does so
according to the spirit. If thou askest for coarse meal, wilt
thou be angered because He gives thee the finest flour? If thou
seekest bodily health, shouldst thou complain if instead thereof
He makes thy sickness turn to the healing of spiritual maladies?
Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed? This
evening, my soul, forget not to offer thy petition and request,
for the Lord is ready to grant thee thy desires.

* 11/04/PM

"In Thy light shall we see light."
                                                    --Psalm 36:9

   No lips can tell the love of Christ to the heart till Jesus 
Himself shall speak within. Descriptions all fall flat and tame
unless the Holy Ghost fills them with life and power; till our
Immanuel reveals Himself within, the soul sees Him not. If you
would see the sun, would you gather together the common means of
illumination, and seek in that way to behold the orb of day? No,
the wise man knoweth that the sun must reveal itself, and only
by its own blaze can that mighty lamp be seen. It is so with
Christ. "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona:" said He to Peter,
"for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee." Purify
flesh and blood by any educational process you may select,
elevate mental faculties to the highest degree of intellectual
power, yet none of these can reveal Christ. The Spirit of God
must come with power, and overshadow the man with His wings, and
then in that mystic holy of holies the Lord Jesus must display
Himself to the sanctified eye, as He doth not unto the purblind
sons of men. Christ must be His own mirror. The great mass of
this blear-eyed world can see nothing of the ineffable glories
of Immanuel. He stands before them without form or comeliness, a
root out of a dry ground, rejected by the vain and despised by
the proud. Only where the Spirit has touched the eye with
eye-salve, quickened the heart with divine life, and educated
the soul to a heavenly taste, only there is He understood. "To
you that believe He is precious"; to you He is the chief
corner-stone, the Rock of your salvation, your all in all; but
to others He is "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence."
Happy are those to whom our Lord manifests Himself, for His
promise to such is that He will _make His abode with them_. O
Jesus, our Lord, our heart is open, come in, and go out no more
for ever. Show Thyself to us now! Favour us with a glimpse of
Thine all-conquering charms.

* 11/05/PM

"Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name."
                                                   --Psalm 100:4

   Our Lord would have all His people rich in high and happy
thoughts concerning His blessed person. Jesus is not content
that His brethren should think meanly of Him; it is His pleasure
that His espoused ones should be delighted with His beauty. We
are not to regard Him as a bare necessary, like to bread and
water, but as a luxurious delicacy, as a rare and ravishing
delight. To this end He has revealed Himself as the "pearl of
great price" in its peerless beauty, as the "bundle of myrrh" in
its refreshing fragrance, as the "rose of Sharon" in its lasting
perfume, as the "lily" in its spotless purity.

   As a help to high thoughts of Christ, remember the estimation 
that Christ is had in beyond the skies, where things are
measured by the right standard. Think how God esteems the Only
Begotten, His unspeakable gift to us. Consider what the angels
think of Him, as they count it their highest honour to veil
their faces at His feet. Consider what the blood-washed think of
Him, as day without night they sing His well deserved praises.
High thoughts of Christ will enable us to act consistently with
our relations towards Him. The more loftily we see Christ
enthroned, and the more lowly we are when bowing before the foot
of the throne, the more truly shall we be prepared to act our
part towards Him. Our Lord Jesus desires us to think well of
Him, that we may submit cheerfully to His authority. High
thoughts of Him increase our love. Love and esteem go together.
Therefore, believer, think much of your Master's excellencies.
Study Him in His primeval glory, before He took upon Himself
your nature! Think of the mighty love which drew Him from His
throne to die upon the cross! Admire Him as He conquers all the
powers of hell! See Him risen, crowned, glorified! Bow before
Him as the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God, for only
thus will your love to Him be what it should.

* 11/06/PM

"Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath
enjoined unto you."
                                                  --Hebrews 9:20

   There is a strange power about the very name of blood, and 
the sight of it is always affecting. A kind heart cannot bear to
see a sparrow bleed, and unless familiarized by use, turns away
with horror at the slaughter of a beast. As to the blood of men,
it is a consecrated thing: it is murder to shed it in wrath, it
is a dreadful crime to squander it in war. Is this solemnity
occasioned by the fact that the blood is the life, and the
pouring of it forth the token of death? We think so. When we
rise to contemplate the blood of the Son of God, our awe is yet
more increased, and we shudder as we think of the guilt of sin,
and the terrible penalty which the Sin-bearer endured. Blood,
always precious, is priceless when it streams from Immanuel's
side. The blood of Jesus seals the _covenant_ of grace, and
makes it for ever sure. Covenants of old were made by sacrifice,
and the everlasting covenant was ratified in the same manner.
Oh, the delight of being saved upon the sure foundation of
divine engagements which cannot be dishonoured! Salvation by the
works of the law is a frail and broken vessel whose shipwreck is
sure; but the covenant vessel fears no storms, for the blood
ensures the whole. The blood of Jesus made His _testament_
valid. Wills are of no power unless the testators die. In this
light the soldier's spear is a blessed aid to faith, since it
proved our Lord to be really dead. Doubts upon that matter there
can be none, and we may boldly appropriate the legacies which He
has left for His people. Happy they who see their title to
heavenly blessings assured to them by a dying Saviour. But has
this blood no voice to us? Does it not bid us sanctify ourselves
unto Him by whom we have been redeemed? Does it not call us to
newness of life, and incite us to entire consecration to the
Lord? O that the power of the blood might be known, and felt in
us this night!

* 11/07/PM

"And ye shall be witnesses unto Me."
                                                      --Acts 1:8

   In order to learn how to discharge your duty as a witness for 
Christ, look at His example. He is always witnessing: by the
well of Samaria, or in the Temple of Jerusalem: by the lake of
Gennesaret, or on the mountain's brow. He is witnessing night
and day; His mighty prayers are as vocal to God as His daily
services. He witnesses under all circumstances; Scribes and
Pharisees cannot shut His mouth; even before Pilate He witnesses
a good confession. He witnesses so clearly, and distinctly that
there is no mistake in Him. Christian, make your life a clear
testimony. Be you as the brook wherein you may see every stone
at the bottom--not as the muddy creek, of which you only see the
surface--but clear and transparent, so that your heart's love to
God and man may be visible to all. You need not say, "I am
true:" be true. Boast not of integrity, but be upright. So shall
your testimony be such that men cannot help seeing it. Never,
for fear of feeble man, restrain your witness. Your lips have
been warmed with a coal from off the altar; let them speak as
like heaven-touched lips should do. "In the morning sow thy
seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand." Watch not the
clouds, consult not the wind--in season and out of season
witness for the Saviour, and if it shall come to pass that for
Christ's sake and the gospel's you shall endure suffering in any
shape, shrink not, but rejoice in the honour thus conferred upon
you, that you are counted worthy to suffer with your Lord; and
joy also in this--that your sufferings, your losses, and
persecutions shall make you a platform, from which the more
vigorously and with greater power you shall witness for Christ
Jesus. Study your great Exemplar, and be filled with His Spirit.
Remember that you need much teaching, much upholding, much
grace, and much humility, if your witnessing is to be to your
Master's glory.

* 11/08/PM

"The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat
the passover with My disciples?"
                                                    --Mark 14:14

   Jerusalem at the time of the passover was one great inn; each 
householder had invited his own friends, but no one had invited
the Saviour, and He had no dwelling of His own. It was by His
own supernatural power that He found Himself an upper room in
which to keep the feast. It is so even to this day--Jesus is not
received among the sons of men save only where by His
supernatural power and grace He makes the heart anew. All doors
are open enough to the prince of darkness, but Jesus must clear
a way for Himself or lodge in the streets. It was through the
mysterious power exerted by our Lord that the householder raised
no question, but at once cheerfully and joyfully opened his
guestchamber. Who he was, and what he was, we do not know, but
he readily accepted the honour which the Redeemer proposed to
confer upon him. In like manner it is still discovered who are
the Lord's chosen, and who are not; for when the gospel comes to
some, they fight against it, and will not have it, but where men
receive it, welcoming it, this is a sure indication that there
is a secret work going on in the soul, and that God has chosen
them unto eternal life. Are you willing, dear reader, to receive
Christ? then there is no difficulty in the way; Christ will be
your guest; His own power is working with you, making you
willing. What an honour to entertain the Son of God! The heaven
of heavens cannot contain Him, and yet He condescends to find a
house within our hearts! We are not worthy that He should come
under our roof, but what an unutterable privilege when He
condescends to enter! for then He makes a feast, and causes us
to feast with Him upon royal dainties, we sit at a banquet where
the viands are immortal, and give immortality to those who feed
thereon. Blessed among the sons of Adam is he who entertains the
angels' Lord.

* 11/09/PM

"His place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread
shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
                                                  --Isaiah 33:16

  Do you doubt, O Christian, do you doubt as to whether God will 
fulfil His promise? Shall the munitions of rock be carried by
storm? O Shall the storehouses of heaven fail? Do you think
that your heavenly Father, though He knoweth that you have need
of food and raiment, will yet forget you? When not a sparrow
falls to the ground without your Father, and the very hairs of
your head are all numbered, will you mistrust and doubt Him?
Perhaps your affliction will continue upon you till you dare to
trust your God, and then it shall end. Full many there be who
have been tried and sore vexed till at last they have been
driven in sheer desperation to exercise faith in God, and the
moment of their faith has been the instant of their deliverance;
they have seen whether God would keep His promise or not. Oh, I
pray you, doubt Him no longer! Please not Satan, and vex not
yourself by indulging any more those hard thoughts of God. Think
it not a light matter to doubt Jehovah. Remember, it is a _sin_;
and not a little sin either, but in the highest degree criminal.
The angels never doubted Him, nor the devils either: we alone,
out of all the beings that God has fashioned, dishonour Him by
unbelief, and tarnish His honour by mistrust. Shame upon us for
this! Our God does not deserve to be so basely suspected; in our
past life we have proved Him to be true and faithful to His
word, and with so many instances of His love and of His kindness
as we have received, and are daily receiving, at His hands, it
is base and inexcusable that we suffer a doubt to sojourn within
our heart. May we henceforth wage constant war against doubts of
our God--enemies to our peace and to His honour; and with an
unstaggering faith believe that what He has promised He will
also perform. "Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief."

* 11/10/PM

"It is enough for the disciple that he be as His Master."
                                                 --Matthew 10:25

   No one will dispute this statement, for it would be unseemly 
for the servant to be exalted above his Master. When our Lord
was on earth, what was the treatment He received? Were His
claims acknowledged, His instructions followed, His perfections
worshipped, by those whom He came to bless? No; "He was despised
and rejected of men." Outside the camp was His place:
cross-bearing was His occupation. Did the world yield Him solace
and rest? "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have
nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." This
inhospitable country afforded Him no shelter: it cast Him out
and crucified Him. Such--if you are a follower of Jesus, and
maintain a consistent, Christ-like walk and conversation--you
must expect to be the lot of that part of your spiritual life
which, in its outward development, comes under the observation
of men. They will treat it as they treated the Saviour--they
will despise it. Dream not that worldlings will admire you, or
that the more holy and the more Christ-like you are, the more
peaceably people will act towards you. They prized not the
polished gem, how should they value the jewel in the rough? "If
they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much
more shall they call them of His household?" If we were more
like Christ, we should be more hated by His enemies. It were a
sad dishonour to a child of God to be the world's favourite. It
is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and
shout "Well done" to the Christian man. He may begin to look to
his character, and wonder whether he has not been doing wrong,
when the unrighteous give him their approbation. Let us be true
to our Master, and have no friendship with a blind and base
world which scorns and rejects Him. Far be it from us to seek a
crown of honour where our Lord found a coronet of thorn.

* 11/11/PM

"He shall choose our inheritance for us."
                                                    --Psalm 47:4

   Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be 
satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured
that it is the fittest _for you_. Unerring wisdom ordained your
lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. A ship
of large tonnage is to be brought up the river; now, in one part
of the stream there is a sandbank; should some one ask, "Why
does the captain steer through the deep part of the channel and
deviate so much from a straight line?" His answer would be,
"Because I should not get my vessel into harbour at all if I did
not keep to the deep channel." So, it may be, you would run
aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not
steer you into the depths of affliction where waves of trouble
follow each other in quick succession. Some plants die if they
have too much sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you
get but little, you are put there by the loving Husbandman,
because only in that situation will you bring forth fruit unto
perfection. Remember this, had any other condition been better
for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have
put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable
circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you
would soon cry, "Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my
self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows." Be content
with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all
things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the
burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most
effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the
glory of God. Down busy self, and proud impatience, it is not
for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!

                "Trials must and will befall--
                But with humble faith to see
                Love inscribed upon them all;
                This is happiness to me."

* 11/12/PM

"And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a
mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."
                                                     --Luke 6:12

   If ever one of woman born might have lived without prayer, it 
was our spotless, perfect a Lord, and yet none was ever so much
in supplication as He! Such was His love to His Father, that He
loved much to be in communion with Him: such His love for His
people, that He desired to be much in intercession for them.
_The fact_ of this eminent prayerfulness of Jesus is a lesson
for us--He hath given us an example that we may follow in His
steps. _The time_ He chose was admirable, it was the hour of
silence, when the crowd would not disturb Him; the time of
inaction, when all but Himself had ceased to labour; and the
season when slumber made men forget their woes, and cease their
applications to Him for relief. While others found rest in
sleep, He refreshed Himself with prayer. _The place_ was also
well selected. He was alone where none would intrude, where none
could observe: thus was He free from Pharisaic ostentation and
vulgar interruption. Those dark and silent hills were a fit
oratory for the Son of God. Heaven and earth in midnight
stillness heard the groans and sighs of the mysterious Being in
whom both worlds were blended. _The continuance_ of His
pleadings is remarkable; the long watches were not too long; the
cold wind did not chill His devotions; the grim darkness did not
darken His faith, or loneliness check His importunity. We
cannot watch with Him one hour, but He watched for us whole
nights. _The occasion_ for this prayer is notable; it was after
His enemies had been enraged--prayer was His refuge and solace;
it was before He sent forth the twelve apostles--prayer was the
gate of His enterprise, the herald of His new work. Should we
not learn from Jesus to resort to special prayer when we are
under peculiar trial, or contemplate fresh endeavours for the
Master's glory? Lord Jesus, teach us to pray.

* 11/13/PM

"Men ought always to pray."
                                                     --Luke 18:1

   If _men_ ought always to pray and not to faint, much more 
Christian men. Jesus has sent His church into the world on the
same errand upon which He Himself came, and this mission
includes intercession. What if I say that the church is the
world's priest? Creation is dumb, but the church is to find a
mouth for it. It is the church's high privilege to pray with
acceptance. The door of grace is always open for her petitions,
and they never return empty-handed. The veil was rent _for her_,
the blood was sprinkled upon the altar _for her_, God constantly
invites her to ask what she wills. Will she refuse the privilege
which angels might envy her? Is she not the bride of Christ? May
she not go in unto her King at every hour? Shall she allow the
precious privilege to be unused? The church always has need for
prayer. There are always some in her midst who are declining, or
falling into open sin. There are lambs to be prayed for, that
they may be carried in Christ's bosom? the strong, lest they
grow presumptuous; and the weak, lest they become despairing. If
we kept up prayer-meetings four-and-twenty hours in the day, all
the days in the year, we might never be without a special
subject for supplication. Are we ever without the sick and the
poor, the afflicted and the wavering? Are we ever without those
who seek the conversion of relatives, the reclaiming of
back-sliders, or the salvation of the depraved? Nay, with
congregations constantly gathering, with ministers always
preaching, with millions of sinners lying dead in trespasses and
sins; in a country over which the darkness of Romanism is
certainly descending; in a world full of idols, cruelties,
devilries, if the church doth not pray, how shall she excuse her
base neglect of the commission of her loving Lord? Let the
church be constant in supplication, let every private believer
cast his mite of prayer into the treasury.

* 11/14/PM

"And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give
the younger before the firstborn."
                                                 --Genesis 29:26

   We do not excuse Laban for his dishonesty, but we scruple not 
to learn from the custom which he quoted as his excuse. There
are some things which must be taken in order, and if we would
win the second we must secure the first. The second may be the
more lovely in our eyes, but the rule of the heavenly country
must stand, and the elder must be married first. For instance,
many men desire the beautiful and well-favoured Rachel of joy
and peace in believing, but they must first be wedded to the
tender-eyed Leah of repentance. Every one falls in love with
happiness, and many would cheerfully serve twice seven years to
enjoy it, but according to the rule of the Lord's kingdom, the
Leah of real holiness must be beloved of our soul before the
Rachel of true happiness can be attained. Heaven stands not
first but second, and only by persevering to the end can we win
a portion in it. The cross must be carried before the crown can
be worn. We must follow our Lord in His humiliation, or we shall
never rest with Him in glory.

   My soul, what sayest thou, art thou so vain as to hope to 
break through the heavenly rule? Dost thou hope for reward
without labour, or honour without toil? Dismiss the idle
expectation, and be content to take the ill-favoured things for
the sake of the sweet love of Jesus, which will recompense thee
for all. In such a spirit, labouring and suffering, thou wilt
find bitters grow sweet, and hard things easy. Like Jacob, thy
years of service will seem unto thee but a few days for the love
thou hast to Jesus; and when the dear hour of the wedding feast
shall come, all thy toils shall be as though they had never
been--an hour with Jesus will make up for ages of pain and

             Jesus, to win Thyself so fair,
             Thy cross I will with gladness bear:
             Since so the rules of heaven ordain,
             The first I'll wed the next to gain.

* 11/15/PM

"Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us."
                                                   --Psalm 68:28

   It is our wisdom, as well as our necessity, to beseech God 
continually to strengthen that which He has wrought in us. It is
because of their neglect in this, that many Christians may blame
themselves for those trials and afflictions of spirit which
arise from unbelief. It is true that Satan seeks to flood the
fair garden of the heart and make it a scene of desolation, but
it is also true that many Christians leave open the sluice-gates
themselves, and let in the dreadful deluge through carelessness
and want of prayer to their strong Helper. We often forget that
the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also. The
lamp which was burning in the temple was never allowed to go
out, but it had to be daily replenished with fresh oil; in like
manner, our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil
of grace, and we can only obtain this from God Himself. Foolish
virgins we shall prove, if we do not secure the needed
sustenance for our lamps. He who built the world upholds it, or
it would fall in one tremendous crash; He who made us Christians
must maintain us by His Spirit, or our ruin will be speedy and
final. Let us, then, evening by evening, go to our Lord for the
grace and strength we need. We have a strong argument to plead,
for it is _His own work of grace_ which we ask Him to
strengthen--"_that which Thou hast wrought for us_." Think you
He will fail to protect and sustain that? Only let your faith
take hold of His strength, and all the powers of darkness, led
on by the master fiend of hell, cannot cast a cloud or shadow
over your joy and peace. Why faint when you may be strong? Why
suffer defeat when you may conquer? Oh! take your wavering
faith and drooping graces to Him who can revive and replenish
them, and earnestly pray, "Strengthen, O God, that which thou
hast wrought for us."

* 11/16/PM

"Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty."
                                                  --Isaiah 33:17

   The more you know about Christ the less will you be satisfied 
with superficial views of Him; and the more deeply you study His
transactions in the eternal covenant, His engagements on your
behalf as the eternal Surety, and the fulness of His grace which
shines in all His offices, the more truly will you see the King
in His beauty. Be much in such outlooks. Long more and more to
see Jesus. _Meditation and contemplation_ are often like windows
of agate, and gates of carbuncle, through which we behold the
Redeemer. Meditation puts the telescope to the eye, and enables
us to see Jesus after a better sort than we could have seen Him
if we had lived in the days of His flesh. Would that our
conversation were more in heaven, and that we were more taken up
with the person, the work, the beauty of our incarnate Lord.
More meditation, and the beauty of the King would flash upon us
with more resplendence. Beloved, it is very probable that we
shall have such a sight of our glorious King as we never had
before, _when we come to die_. Many saints in dying have looked
up from amidst the stormy waters, and have seen Jesus walking on
the waves of the sea, and heard Him say, "It is I, be not
afraid." Ah, yes! when the tenement begins to shake, and the
clay falls away, we see Christ through the rifts, and between
the rafters the sunlight of heaven comes streaming in. But if we
want to see face to face the "King in His beauty" _we must go to
heaven_ for the sight, or the King must come here in person. O
that He would come on the wings of the wind! He is our Husband,
and we are widowed by His absence; He is our Brother dear and
fair, and we are lonely without Him. Thick veils and clouds hang
between our souls and their true life: when shall the day break
and the shadows flee away? Oh, long-expected day, begin!

* 11/17/PM

"He that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby."
                                             --Ecclesiastes 10:9

   Oppressors may get their will of poor and needy men as easily
as they can split logs of wood, but they had better mind, for it
is a dangerous business, and a splinter from a tree has often
killed the woodman. Jesus is persecuted in every injured saint,
and He is mighty to avenge His beloved ones. Success in treading
down the poor and needy is a thing to be trembled at: if there
be no danger to persecutors here there will be great danger

   _To cleave wood is a common every-day business, and yet it 
has its dangers_; so then, reader, there are dangers connected
with your calling and daily life which it will be well for you
to be aware of. We refer not to hazards by flood and field, or
by disease and sudden death, but to perils of a spiritual sort.
Your occupation may be as humble as log splitting, and yet the
devil can tempt you in it. You may be a domestic servant, a farm
labourer, or a mechanic, and you may be greatly screened from
temptations to the grosser vices, and yet some secret sin may do
you damage. Those who dwell at home, and mingle not with the
rough world, may yet be endangered by their very seclusion.
Nowhere is he safe who thinks himself so. Pride may enter a poor
man's heart; avarice may reign in a cottager's bosom;
uncleanness may venture into the quietest home; and anger, and
envy, and malice may insinuate themselves into the most rural
abode. Even in speaking a few words to a servant we may sin; a
little purchase at a shop may be the first link in a chain of
temptations; the mere looking out of a window may be the
beginning of evil. O Lord, how exposed we are! How shall we be
secured! To keep ourselves is work too hard for us: only Thou
Thyself art able to preserve us in such a world of evils. Spread
Thy wings over us, and we, like little chickens, will cower down
beneath Thee, and feel ourselves safe!

* 11/18/PM

"Thou art from everlasting."
                                                    --Psalm 93:2

   Christ is EVERLASTING. Of Him we may sing with David, "Thy 
throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Rejoice, believer, in
Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Jesus
always _was_. The Babe born in Bethlehem was united to the Word,
which was in the beginning, by whom all things were made. The
title by which Christ revealed Himself to John in Patmos was,
"Him which is, and which was, and which is to come." If He were
not God from everlasting, we could not so devoutly love Him; we
could not feel that He had any share in the eternal love which
is the fountain of all covenant blessings; but since He was from
all eternity with the Father, we trace the stream of divine love
to Himself equally with His Father and the blessed Spirit. As
our Lord always _was_, so also He is for evermore. Jesus is not
dead; "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." Resort to
Him in all your times of need, for He is waiting to bless you
still. Moreover, Jesus our Lord ever _shall be_. If God should
spare your life to fulfil your full day of threescore years and
ten, you will find that His cleansing fountain is still opened,
and His precious blood has not lost its power; you shall find
that the Priest who filled the healing fount with His own blood,
lives to purge you from all iniquity. When only your last battle
remains to be fought, you shall find that the hand of your
conquering Captain has not grown feeble--the living Saviour
shall cheer the dying saint. When you enter heaven you shall
find Him there bearing the dew of His youth; and through
eternity the Lord Jesus shall still remain the perennial spring
of joy, and life, and glory to His people. Living waters may you
draw from this sacred well! Jesus always was, He always is, He
always shall be. He is eternal in all His attributes, in all
His offices, in all His might, and willingness to bless,
comfort, guard, and crown His chosen people.

* 11/19/PM

"O that I knew where I might find Him!"
                                                      --Job 23:3

   In Job's uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The 
longing desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see
his Father's face. His first prayer is not "O that I might be
healed of the disease which now festers in every part of my
body!" nor even "O that I might see my children restored from
the jaws of the grave, and my property once more brought from
the hand of the spoiler!" but the first and uppermost cry is, "O
that I knew where I might find HIM, who is my God! that I might
come even to His seat!" God's children run home when the storm
comes on. It is the heaven-born instinct of a gracious soul to
seek shelter from all ills beneath the wings of Jehovah. "He
that hath made his refuge God," might serve as the title of a
true believer. A hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the
infliction, and, like a slave, would run from the Master who has
scourged him; but not so the true heir of heaven, he kisses the
hand which smote him, and seeks shelter from the rod in the
bosom of the God who frowned upon him. Job's desire to commune
with God was intensified by the failure of all other sources of
consolation. The patriarch turned away from his sorry friends,
and looked up to the celestial throne, just as a traveller turns
from his empty skin bottle, and betakes himself with all speed
to the well. He bids farewell to earth-born hopes, and cries, "O
that I knew where I might find my God!" Nothing teaches us so
much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the
emptiness of all besides. Turning away with bitter scorn from
earth's hives, where we find no honey, but many sharp stings, we
rejoice in Him whose faithful word is sweeter than honey or the
honeycomb. In every trouble we should first seek to realize
God's presence with us. Only let us enjoy His smile, and we can
bear our daily cross with a willing heart for His dear sake.

* 11/20/PM

"The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in
the rocks."
                                                --Proverbs 30:26

   Conscious of their own natural defenselessness, the conies 
resort to burrows in the rocks, and are secure from their
enemies. My heart, be willing to gather a lesson from these
feeble folk. Thou art as weak and as exposed to peril as the
timid cony, be as wise to seek a shelter. My best security is
within the munitions of an immutable Jehovah, where His
unalterable promises stand like giant walls of rock. It will be
well with thee, my heart, if thou canst always hide thyself in
the bulwarks of His glorious attributes, all of which are
guarantees of safety for those who put their trust in Him.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, I have so done, and have found
myself like David in Adullam, safe from the cruelty of my enemy;
I have not now to find out the blessedness of the man who puts
his trust in the Lord, for long ago, when Satan and my sins
pursued me, I fled to the cleft of the rock Christ Jesus, and in
His riven side I found a delightful resting-place. My heart,
run to Him anew to-night, whatever thy present grief may be;
Jesus feels for thee; Jesus consoles thee; Jesus will help thee.
No monarch in his impregnable fortress is more secure than the
cony in his rocky burrow. The master of ten thousand chariots is
not one whit better protected than the little dweller in the
mountain's cleft. In Jesus the weak are strong, and the
defenceless safe; they could not be more strong if they were
giants, or more safe if they were in heaven. Faith gives to men
on earth the protection of the God of heaven. More they cannot
need, and need not wish. The conies cannot build a castle, but
they avail themselves of what is there already: I cannot make
myself a refuge, but Jesus has provided it, His Father has given
it, His Spirit has revealed it, and lo, again to-night I enter
it, and am safe from every foe.

* 11/21/PM

"Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him."
                                                     --John 12:2

   _He is to be envied_. It was well to be Martha and serve, but
better to be Lazarus and commune. There are times for each
purpose, and each is comely in its season, but none of the trees
of the garden yield such clusters as the vine of fellowship. To
sit with Jesus, to hear His words, to mark His acts, and receive
His smiles, was such a favour as must have made Lazarus as happy
as the angels. When it has been our happy lot to feast with our
Beloved in His banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a
sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could
have bought them.

   _He is to be imitated_. It would have been a strange thing if 
Lazarus had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had
been dead, and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be
absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house, would
have been ungrateful indeed. We too were once dead, yea, and
like Lazarus stinking in the grave of sin; Jesus raised us, and
by His life we live--can we be content to live at a distance
from Him? Do we omit to remember Him at His table, where He
deigns to feast with His brethren? Oh, this is cruel! It behoves
us to repent, and do as _He_ has bidden us, for His least wish
should be law to us. To have lived without constant intercourse
with one of whom the Jews said, "Behold how He loved him," would
have been disgraceful to Lazarus, is it excusable in us whom
Jesus has loved with an everlasting love? To have been cold to
Him who wept over his lifeless corpse, would have argued great
brutishness in Lazarus. What does it argue in us over whom the
Saviour has not only wept, but bled? Come, brethren, who read
this portion, let us return unto our heavenly Bridegroom, and
ask for His Spirit that we may be on terms of closer intimacy
with Him, and henceforth sit at the table with Him.

* 11/22/PM

"The power of His resurrection."
                                              --Philippians 3:10

   The doctrine of a risen Saviour is exceedingly precious. The 
resurrection is the corner-stone of the entire building of
Christianity. It is the key-stone of the arch of our salvation.
It would take a volume to set forth all the streams of living
water which flow from this one sacred source, the resurrection
of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; but _to know_ that He
has risen, and to have fellowship with Him as such--communing
with the risen Saviour by possessing a risen life--seeing Him
leave the tomb by leaving the tomb of worldliness ourselves,
this is even still more precious. The doctrine is the basis of
the experience, but as the flower is more lovely than the root,
so is the experience of fellowship with the risen Saviour more
lovely than the doctrine itself. I would have you _believe_ that
Christ rose from the dead so as to sing of it, and derive all
the consolation which it is possible for you to extract from
this well-ascertained and well-witnessed fact; but I beseech
you, rest not contented even there. Though you cannot, like the
disciples, see Him visibly, yet I bid you aspire to see Christ
Jesus by the eye of faith; and though, like Mary Magdalene, you
may not "touch" Him, yet may you be privileged to converse with
Him, and to know that He is risen, you yourselves being risen in
Him to newness of life. To know a crucified Saviour as having
crucified all my sins, is a high degree of knowledge; but to
know a risen Saviour as having justified me, and to realize that
He has bestowed upon me new life, having given me to be a new
creature through His own newness of life, this is a noble style
of experience: short of it, none ought to rest satisfied. May
you both "know Him, and the power of His resurrection." Why
should souls who are quickened with Jesus, wear the
grave-clothes of worldliness and unbelief? Rise, for the Lord is

* 11/23/PM

"Get thee up into the high mountain."
                                                   --Isaiah 40:9

   Each believer should be thirsting for God, for the living 
God, and longing to climb the hill of the Lord, and see Him face
to face. We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley
when the summit of Tabor awaits us. My soul thirsteth to drink
deep of the cup which is reserved for those who reach the
mountain's brow, and bathe their brows in heaven. How pure are
the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich
the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New
Jerusalem! Many saints are content to live like men in coal
mines, who see not the sun; they eat dust like the serpent when
they might taste the ambrosial meat of angels; they are content
to wear the miner's garb when they might put on king's robes;
tears mar their faces when they might anoint them with celestial
oil. Satisfied I am that many a believer pines in a dungeon when
he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land and
Lebanon. Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition! Cast
away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coldness, or whatever
interferes with thy chaste and pure love to Christ, thy soul's
Husband. Make Him the source, the centre, and the circumference
of all thy soul's range of delight. What enchants thee into such
folly as to remain in a pit when thou mayst sit on a throne?
Live not in the lowlands of bondage now that mountain liberty is
conferred upon thee. Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish
attainments, but press forward to things more sublime and
heavenly. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to
heaven! Nearer to God!

             "When wilt Thou come unto me, Lord?
             Oh come, my Lord most dear!
             Come near, come nearer, nearer still,
             I'm blest when Thou art near."

* 11/24/PM

"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the
hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that
travelleth; and thy want as an armed man."
                                            --Proverbs 24:33, 34

   The  worst of sluggards only ask for a little slumber; they 
would be indignant if they were accused of thorough idleness. A
little folding of the hands to sleep is all they crave, and they
have a crowd of reasons to show that this indulgence is a very
proper one. Yet by these littles the day ebbs out, and the time
for labour is all gone, and the field is grown over with thorns.
It is by little procrastinations that men ruin their souls. They
have no intention to delay for years--a few months will bring
the more convenient season--to-morrow if you will, they will
attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied
and altogether so unsuitable, that they beg to be excused. Like
sands from an hour-glass, time passes, life is wasted by
driblets, and seasons of grace lost by little slumbers. Oh, to
be wise, to catch the flying hour, to use the moments on the
wing! May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, for otherwise a
poverty of the worst sort awaits us, eternal poverty which shall
want even a drop of water, and beg for it in vain. Like a
traveller steadily pursuing his journey, poverty overtakes the
slothful, and ruin overthrows the undecided: each hour brings
the dreaded pursuer nearer; he pauses not by the way, for he is
on his master's business and must not tarry. As an armed man
enters with authority and power, so shall want come to the idle,
and death to the impenitent, and there will be no escape. O that
men were wise be-times, and would seek diligently unto the Lord
Jesus, or ere the solemn day shall dawn when it will be too late
to plough and to sow, too late to repent and believe. In
harvest, it is vain to lament that the seed time was neglected.
As yet, faith and holy decision are timely. May we obtain them
this night.

* 11/25/PM

"For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have
mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have
                                                   --Romans 9:15

   In these words the Lord in the plainest manner claims the 
right to give or to withhold His mercy according to His own
sovereign will. As the prerogative of life and death is vested
in the monarch, so the Judge of all the earth has a right to
spare or condemn the guilty, as may seem best in His sight. Men
by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God; they deserve to
perish for their sins--and if they all do so, they have no
ground for complaint. If the Lord steps in to save any, He may
do so if the ends of justice are not thwarted; but if He judges
it best to leave the condemned to suffer the righteous sentence,
none may arraign Him at their bar. Foolish and impudent are all
those discourses about the rights of men to be all placed on the
same footing; ignorant, if not worse, are those contentions
against discriminating grace, which are but the rebellions of
proud human nature against the crown and sceptre of Jehovah.
When we are brought to see our own utter ruin and ill desert,
and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer
cavil at the truth that the Lord is not bound to save us; we do
not murmur if He chooses to save others, as though He were doing
us an injury, but feel that if He deigns to look upon us, it
will be His own free act of undeserved goodness, for which we
shall for ever bless His name.

   How shall those who are the subjects of divine election
sufficiently adore the grace of God? They have no room for
boasting, for sovereignty most effectually excludes it. The
Lord's will alone is glorified, and the very notion of human
merit is cast out to everlasting contempt. There is no more
humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none more
promotive of gratitude, and, consequently, none more
sanctifying. Believers should not be afraid of it, but adoringly
rejoice in it.

* 11/26/PM

"They shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of
                                                --Zechariah 4:10

   Small things marked the beginning of the work in the hand of 
Zerubbabel, but none might despise it, for the Lord had raised
up one who would persevere until the headstone should be brought
forth with shoutings. The plummet was in good hands. Here is the
comfort of every believer in the Lord Jesus; let the work of
grace be ever so small in its beginnings, _the plummet is in
good hands_, a master builder greater than Solomon has
undertaken the raising of the heavenly temple, and He will not
fail nor be discouraged till the topmost pinnacle shall be
raised. If the plummet were in the hand of any merely human
being, we might fear for the building, but the pleasure of the
Lord shall prosper in Jesus' hand. The works did not proceed
irregularly, and without care, for _the master's hand carried a
good instrument_. Had the walls been hurriedly run up without
due superintendence, they might have been out of the
perpendicular; but the plummet was used by the chosen overseer.
Jesus is evermore watching the erection of His spiritual temple,
that it may be built securely and well. We are for haste, but
Jesus is for judgment. He will use the plummet, and that which
is out of line must come down, every stone of it. Hence the
failure of many a flattering work, the overthrow of many a
glittering profession. It is not for us to judge the Lord's
church, since Jesus has a steady hand, and a true eye, and can
use the plummet well. Do we not rejoice to see judgment left to

   _The plummet was in active use_--it was in the builder's
hand; a sure indication that he meant to push on the work to
completion. O Lord Jesus, how would we indeed be glad if we
could see Thee at Thy great work. O Zion, the beautiful, thy
walls are still in ruins! Rise, Thou glorious Builder, and make
her desolations to rejoice at Thy coming.

* 11/27/PM

"The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."
                                                 --Ephesians 1:7

   Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word 
"forgiveness," when it sounds in a guilty sinner's ear, like the
silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, for
ever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the
condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the
midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as
mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and for ever? Hell
is my portion as a sinner--there is no possibility of my
escaping from it while sin remains upon me--can the load of
guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine
stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or
the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may
yet be clear. For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love
which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is
secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the
appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my
sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of His
substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to
be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers
to Him who of His own unpurchased love became my surety, and
wrought out for me redemption through His blood. What riches of
grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to
forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a
constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins
were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from
them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed
home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection.
I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross
which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate
God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.

* 11/28/PM

"Seeking the wealth of his people."
                                                   --Esther 10:3

   Mordecai was a true patriot, and therefore, being exalted to 
the highest position under Ahasuerus, he used his eminence to
promote the prosperity of Israel. In this he was a type of
Jesus, who, upon His throne of glory, seeks not His own, but
spends His power for His people. It were well if every Christian
would be a Mordecai to the church, striving according to his
ability for its prosperity. Some are placed in stations of
affluence and influence, let them honour their Lord in the high
places of the earth, and testify for Jesus before great men.
Others have what is far better, namely, close fellowship with
the King of kings, let them be sure to plead daily for the weak
of the Lord's people, the doubting, the tempted, and the
comfortless. It will redound to their honour if they make much
intercession for those who are in darkness and dare not draw
nigh unto the mercy seat. Instructed believers may serve their
Master greatly if they lay out their talents for the general
good, and impart their wealth of heavenly learning to others, by
teaching them the things of God. The very least in our Israel
may at least _seek_ the welfare of his people; and his desire,
if he can give no more, shall be acceptable. It is at once the
most Christlike and the most happy course for a believer to
cease from living to himself. He who blesses others cannot fail
to be blessed himself. On the other hand, to seek our own
personal greatness is a wicked and unhappy plan of life, its way
will be grievous and its end will be fatal.

   Here is the place to ask thee, my friend, whether thou art to
the best of thy power seeking the wealth of the church in thy
neighbourhood? I trust thou art not doing it mischief by
bitterness and scandal, nor weakening it by thy neglect. Friend,
unite with the Lord's poor, bear their cross, do them all the
good thou canst, and thou shalt not miss thy reward.

* 11/29/PM

"Spices for anointing oil."
                                                   --Exodus 35:8

   Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and 
that which it represents is of primary importance under the
gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is
indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably.
Without His aid our religious services are but a vain oblation,
and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry
is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! nor are the
prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians
one jot superior. A holy anointing is the soul and life of
piety, its absence the most grievous of all calamities. To go
before the Lord without anointing is as though some common
Levite had thrust himself into the priest's office--his
ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we
never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings.
They drop upon us from our glorious Head; from His anointing we
who are as the skirts of His garments partake of a plenteous
unction. Choice spices were compounded with rarest art of the
apothecary to form the anointing oil, to show forth to us how
rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit. All good things
are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation,
infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy,
and divine sanctification all lie compounded with other
excellencies in that sacred eye-slave, the heavenly anointing
oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the
character and person of the man upon whom it is poured. Nothing
like it can be found in all the treasuries of the rich, or the
secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It comes alone
from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every
waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it
this very evening. O Lord, anoint Thy servants.

* 11/30/PM

"Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and
the dragon fought and his angels."
                                               --Revelation 12:7

   War always will rage between the two great sovereignties
until one or other be crushed. Peace between good and evil is
an impossibility; the very pretence of it would, in fact, be the
triumph of the powers of darkness. _Michael will always fight_;
his holy soul is vexed with sin, and will not endure it. Jesus
will always be the dragon's foe, and that not in a quiet sense,
but actively, vigorously, with full determination to exterminate
evil. All His servants, whether angels in heaven or messengers
on earth, will and must fight; they are born to be warriors--at
the cross they enter into covenant never to make truce with
evil; they are a warlike company, firm in defence and fierce in
attack. The duty of every soldier in the army of the Lord is
daily, with all his heart, and soul, and strength, to fight
against the dragon.

   _The dragon and his angels will not decline the affray_; they 
are incessant in their onslaughts, sparing no weapon, fair or
foul. We are foolish to expect to serve God without opposition:
the more zealous we are, the more sure are we to be assailed by
the myrmidons of hell. The church may become slothful, but not
so her great antagonist; his restless spirit never suffers the
war to pause; he hates the woman's seed, and would fain devour
the church if he could. The servants of Satan partake much of
the old dragon's energy, and are usually an active race. War
rages all around, and to dream of peace is dangerous and futile.

   Glory be to God, we know the end of the war. The great dragon 
shall be cast out and for ever destroyed, while Jesus and they
who are with Him shall receive the crown. Let us sharpen our
swords to-night, and pray the Holy Spirit to nerve our arms for
the conflict. Never battle so important, never crown so
glorious. Every man to his post, ye warriors of the cross, and
may the Lord tread Satan under your feet shortly!

This document (last modified September 30, 1995) from