"And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes
from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy
ground."—Exod. iii. 5.
Our faith in God is not a right faith, unless it is
reverential, for reverence is seeing Him who is invisible. Though He
has now " in these last days spoken to us by His Son," and has granted
unto us a revelation of His glory, "the glory as of the only-begotten of
the Father, full of grace and truth," He is still to be worshipped with
the same depth of awe and reverence, as when He said to Moses, "The place
whereon thou standest is holy ground." And let us remember this when we
approach the mercy-seat—the place where we seek to meet with God in
prayer, whether in the sanctuary, or in the closet, or under the blue
canopy of the heavens which He has made, or on a sick-bed, or on a
journey, where-ever it may be, it is a place where we must stand with
reverence and godly fear, putting away earthly thoughts, as the shoes from
our feet, and striving to attain worthy thoughts of Him in whose presence
we stand. "Thy mansion is the Christian's heart, O Lord, Thy
dwelling-place secure! Bid the unruly throng depart, And leave the
"Whoso hearkeneth unto mo shall dwell safely, and
shall be quiet from fear of evil."—Prov. i. 33.
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is
fixed, trusting in the Lord."—Ps. cxii. 7.
There are some persons whose minds are of so anxious a
cast, that the fear of evil is to them as great a trial as evil
itself. Apprehensions of some approaching calamity disturb their peace;
they take affliction home to themselves before God sends it; and,
therefore, they do not receive the strength to bear it, which He has
promised to His people in the day, but not before the day of their
distress. In the verses quoted above, we have the cure for this spirit
given to us—"Whoso hearkeneth unto me"—unto heavenly Wisdom—"shall dwell
safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." Resting in God he is safe,
and he knows it; trusting in the Lord, "he shall not be afraid of evil
tidings," he need not be afraid, and he feels that he need not, for he has
learned by experience that if sorrow does come, and evil tidings do reach
him, his God will be with him still, and he knows that He can sustain him,
whatever may be the lot He appoints for him, or the trials He sends him on
"Then, whate'er the future prove,
Let not fear my spirit move;
Let me never doubt Thy love,
O my Father!
"On Thy wisdom let me rest,
Sure Thy way is ever best,
So shall peace possess my breast,
From my Father!"
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine
eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."—Matt. vi. 22.
"This one thing T. do."—Phil. iii. 13.
Singleness of aim gives great power to the character,
and this is as true of the Christian as of the man of the world. The man
whose heart is divided by various interests and aims brings "forth no
fruit to perfection;" but he whose "eye is single," and directed to the
glory of God, sees his way plainly and clearly, and follows it with a
cheerful decision to which the divided heart can never attain. The
Psalmist says, " Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness," he
is not left a prey to uncertainty and perplexity, he is seeking to do
God's will, not his own, and this simplifies every question of duty to
him; God gives him light enough to do His will, when he seeks it in
uprightness. The apostle says, " this one thing I do," he
concentrated his soul upon the great work, therefore he was enabled to do
so much. Lord, do Thou so free us from selfish aims and worldly interests,
that we may have that single eye to which Thou hast promised to
"I want a true regard,
A single, steady aim,
Unmoved by threatening or reward,
To Thee and Thy great name.
A jealous, just concern
For Thine immortal praise,
A pure desire that all may learn
And glorify Thy grace!"
"His name shall be called Wonderful."—Isa. ix. 6.
"What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him !
"—Matt, viii. 27.
"Never man spake like this man."—John vii. 46. We know
nothing of Jesus if we do not yet know that "His name is called
Wonderful!" Those who saw His works, and heard His words when He was on
earth, could not find words strong enough to express their wonder; far
more cause have we to wonder, adore, and admire, knowing, as we do, not
only the works done in the course of His ministry, but the death that He
died, and the resurrection from the dead which sealed, with a Divine
stamp, all His mission to this world of ours. Wonderful He was—in His
birth—in His holy infancy —in His miracles—in His temptations—in His
teaching; wonderful in His Divine condescension, wonderful in His perfect
humanity. His character was wonderful, as our example; His death
wonderful, as our atonement. Wonderful was His rising from the dead, and
ascending up into glory; and, oh, not less wonderful is He in His dealings
with His Church now ! How marvellous His grace in calling us to the
knowledge of Himself ! How wondrous the change which He works by His
Spirit in the hearts of His people ! How excellent His long-suffering in
bearing with them! And how amazing is His promise, that they shall at last
reign with Him in glory, world without end! Yes, Lord Jesus! Thy name is
"Oh, who can all His grace proclaim?
What tongue His glory tell?
It pleased the Father that in Him
Should all His fulness dwell!"
"The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by
the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."—Gal.
"He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto
themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."—2 Cor. v.
Life and death! How little we know what these words
mean! There may be spiritual death where the body lives; there may be
spiritual life when the body -dies. May He, who is the Lord and Giver of
life, grant us to know more and more of that life of which St Paul
speaks—life by the faith of the Son of God, life by union with Him who
died and rose again! How boldly does the apostle speak! He knew he had
passed from death unto life, and was not afraid to say, Christ liveth in
me. It is our consciousness of languor in spiritual life that makes us
afraid to declare what God has done for our souls. Thus we rob Christ of
His glory, and ourselves of that fulness of life which He is ready and
waiting to bestow.
"Our flesh He took, our sins He bore,
Himself for us He gave;
His cross was ours, and we with Him
Were buried in one grave.
"With Him we rose, with Him we live,
With Him we sit above,
With Him for ever we shall share
The Father's boundless love."
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he
shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin
worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."—Job xix. 25,
How wonderful is it that Job, in those far remote days
should have seen so clearly and grasped so firmly the great doctrine of
the resurrection, a doctrine which required to be defended, in our Lord's
time, by His own voice against its Sadducee assailants, and, even after
His. resurrection, needed to be maintained by all the arguments of St
Paul; and that even among professing believers—"How say some among you
that there is no resurrection?" "Thou hast hid these things from the
wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes;" Job, in the Church's
infancy, had this truth revealed to him, to his infinite comfort; and many
a babe in Christ, since Job's time, has received it in simplicity, and
held it in lowly confidence, and, believing that his "Redeemer liveth,"
has lain down to sleep in Jesus, in the full faith that the morning would
not fail to dawn when his Lord would stand upon the earth, and in his
flesh he should see God. Let us comfort one another, and comfort
ourselves with these words, rejoicing, with Job, in the thought of our
"Christ, my Rock, my sure Defence,
Jesus, my Redeemer, liveth!
Oh, what blessed hope from thence
My believing heart receiveth!
Death itself shall never part
Me from my Redeemer's heart!"