[The Daily Readings were
reluctantly given up wholly on the ground of their occupying about eight
pages monthly, and thereby excluding a number of articles, which, it was
believed, were necessary to give variety to the Magazine. They are now,
however, restored, and will be continued, at the urgent request of very
many correspondents, who found them pleasant and profitable. The Editor
accedes the more willingly to this request as the Headings tend to carry
out the idea which he wishes to realise in the Magazine—that of furnishing
interesting and instructive reading for every day of the week, and not for
Sunday only. He desires to see the "secular " and the "religious"
naturally and truthfully blended in the pages of the Magazine, as they are
in the everyday life of a good man.]
"O love the Lord, all ye
his saints."—Ps. xxxi. 23.
"I will love thee, O Lord,
my strength."—Ps. xviii. 1.
Blessed be God that our
hearts are not left without love in this world! He has given us an object
worthy of our highest affections; He has given us Himself to love ! Here
we may safely love, and here alone—for here there can never come the fear
of change or of loss; we cannot love our God too well,—alas, that we love
Him so little ! In our earthly attachments there must ever be insecurity ;
we rest upon those who are removed from us or we from them, and we are
taught by bitter experience that the best and holiest of earthly ties
cause our deepest sorrows as well as our greatest joys, by the sore
partings which they entail. How desolate is then the heart that has never
learned to love the "Friend that sticketh closer than a brother,"—"Jesus
Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever!" Let us pray, "Teach
us to love Thee, Lord!" Our hearts are by nature so estranged, that the
vainest vanities of time too often come between us and our God, and unless
He opens our eyes to behold His beauty by the power of His Holy Spirit, we
cannot either believe or love. The Psalmist says, " I will love thee, O
Lord, my strength;" let us believe that strength to love Him is His own
gift, which He is more ready to give than we are to ask;— surely it may
well be reckoned as among those "good things" which our Father in heaven
is so willing to bestow on them that ask Him!
"Grow in grace, and in the
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." — 2 Pet. iii. 18.
A question for me—Am I
growing in grace? am I growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ V This is not merely a question of progress, it is a question
of life—the dead cannot grow—but every living child must grow, and so must
the child of God. "We can grow only by union with our living Head, hence
the need of growing "in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ." Lord, make me earnest in praying for, and seeking after spiritual
growth; watchful over myself in avoiding all that hinders it, and earnest
in following all that helps it. May the means of grace be truly means of
growth in grace to me. May I not rest content unless I gain something by
each sermon and Sunday, and especially by each time of nearest approach to
my Lord, when I partake of that bread and that wine which are fitted most
of all to bring me into the knowledge of His love and His grace towards
me. May I grow in humility, heavenly-mindedness, and diligence in His
service, and may I be always longing after more growth in grace, and never
resting content as though I had already attained or were already perfect.
"Never leave me nor forsake
More and more reveal Thy love,
Till Thou shalt a pillar make me
In the house of God above."
"Give the king thy
judgments, 0 God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son."—Ps. lxxii.
" Tell ye the daughter of
Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee."—Matt. xxi. 5.
The seventy-second Psalm is
a glorious and most heart-cheering one; it is a prophecy of the future
glories of our Heavenly King, when the prayer of His Church for ages shall
be at last accomplished—"Thy kingdom come." There is so much sin and
sorrow in this world, that sometimes the oppressed heart can only say, in
the mournful words of the Preacher, ''This is also vanity and vexation of
spirit." How cheering is it, at such times of depression, to lift our
thoughts from a gloomy present, and carry them on, by the help of the sure
word of prophecy, to a glorious future, when the Lord shall reign, and His
kingdom shall be from sea to sea, and "the earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord!" In the seventy-second Psalm Ave have set before us
the righteousness, goodness, glory, and eternal duration of Christ's
kingdom; and if the King Himself is dear to our hearts, His glory must be
the object of our fondest hopes. We know not when or how these things
shall be, but that they shall be there can be no doubt—
"The mouth of the Lord hath
"Come then, and, added to Thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy!"
"What I say unto you I say
unto all, Watch.''' —Mark xiii. 37.
"Take heed to your
spirit."—Mal. ii. 15.
There is not a day in which
we may not hear that "Voice saying unto us, and unto all, "Watch."
Especially is it heard when He calls away by a sudden death some one from
the midst of us; then we are startled from our careless state, and we
cannot help asking ourselves, "Why was it not I? I may be the next." But
this may he merely a passing feeling: we must "take heed to our spirit,"
and seek to attain that true state of watchfulness which looks for the
coming of the Lord with joy, as to the return of a long absent but
dearly-loved master, whose arrival will be a blessed day for us. Lord,
enable me this day to watch! May I love to remember that Thou mayest be
nearer me than I think! May my faith repose with full trust upon Thy work
of righteousness and Thy blood of atonement, so that I may not shrink
from, but rather long to behold Thy face; and oh, may my thoughts, words,
and actions be those of a faithful servant before Thee, when the hour
comes that shall try every man's work!
"Lord, I wait for Thy
Waiting, hoping in Thy word;
More than they that watch for morning,
Waits my soul upon the Lord!"
"This is the will of God,
even your sanctification." —1 Thess. iv. 3.
"God, who hath saved us,
and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but
according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus
before the world began."—2 Tim. i. 9.
What an animating thought
is it for those who desire to be holy, that "this is the will of God, even
your sanctification." It is His own purpose concerning His people; He
saves them from sin, and calls them with an holy calling; and this not on
account of their works, or desires, or aspirings after holiness, (which
they feel with shame to be so faint and few,) but according to His own
purpose and grace in Christ Jesus. Well may we wonder and adore the
greatness of His saving love! Never would any fallen man have chosen the
path of holiness had not the Lord put forth His saving hand, and led the
sinner into it Himself; therefore we may be sure that He will perfect the
good work wherever He has begun it; and how should this thought encourage
us in our Christian course! We have, indeed, "no power of ourselves to
help ourselves," but we believe that He who cast out devils with a word,
has power to "keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our
souls," according to His own purpose and grace.
"He wills that I should holy
What can withstand His will?
The counsel of His grace in me
He surely will fulfil."
"Though I bestow all my
goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have
not charity, it profiteth me nothing."— 1 Cor. xiii. 3.
It is fearful to think how
far a man may go without going far enough—how much he may have, and yet
not have enough; and we may well ask ourselves what we have of this
charity, without which we are nothing. We may have eloquence, (ver. 1,)
prophecy, knowledge, faith, liberality, and even self-sacrifice, and yet
not have the "most excellent gift of charity." All these are of the head;
charity or love is of the heart, and the Lord looks on the heart. Giving
all our goods to feed the poor may coexist with a heart given to the
world, and untouched by love to either God or man; and giving the body to
be burned, is a proof of devotedness which has often actually been given
by men who have had so little charity, that they have, in their day of
power, themselves given the bodies of other men to be burned for their
opinions. Where, then, shall we find the true pattern of charity? Where
but in our blessed Lord himself, who, for the great love wherewith He
loved us, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor —though He was
Lord of all, for our sakes took on Him the form of a servant—and ''who His
own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree."
"One is kind above all
Oh, how He loves!
His is love beyond a brother's—
Oh, how he loves!"
"If any man among you seem
to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart,
this man's religion is vain."— James i. 26.
"If any man offend not in
word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole
body."—James iii. 2.
We have much need to pray,
"Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips;" for
which of us is not in danger from sins of the tongue ? There is but one
bridle strong enough to restrain this unruly member; it is the bridle of
love. Were our hearts filled with love to God and love to man, it would be
impossible for such fountains of "sweet waters" to send out at the same
place bitter streams. Were we closely united to Christ the Vine, it would
be impossible for us to bear strange fruit—"wild grapes." "If any man
offend not in word;"—we may offend in word by the pen as well as by the
tongue; this also requires bridling. Many persons write things which they
dare not speak; and, in these days of much writing, much watchfulness is
needed, lest we be found guilty of having a pen, rather than a tongue,
"set on fire of hell." There is a kind of self-denial much needed by some
spirits, and to them far more irksome than the self-denial which mortifies
the body alone; it is the self-denial of refraining from the bitter,
clever word which wounds another. The biting sarcasm, the powerful
invective may be admired by men of the world; but the Christian seeks to
have in his heart, the "meekness of wisdom;" on his tongue, the "law of
"To walk as children of the
To mark the precept's holy light,
To wage the warfare, watch, and pray,
Shew who are pleasing in His sight."
"The hope which is laid up
for you in heaven."—Col. i. 5.
"Every man that hath this
hope in him purifieth himself."—1 John iii. 3.
What a holy influence ought
the possession of such a hope to have upon us ! If we, indeed, believe
that a home is prepared for us above, that death will be to us the
entrance into glory, that eternal life has been purchased for us, and is
given to us by Jesus Christ, and that we are heirs to all the holiness and
happiness of a world of love—oh, what manner of persons ought we to be !
how humble, how devoted, how holy, how raised above the vanities of earth,
how full of love to God, how marked among men for all holy conversation
and godliness! We should often think what our hope really is, that we may
try ourselves, and our progress in the divine life, by the feeling which
such a hope awakens. Is the thought of a holy heaven a bright hope to us?
Do we love the prospect, or are we growing indifferent to it and absorbed
in worldly things? Surely the very best part of the hope set before us is
this, that He will perfect His own work in us, so that the day will come
when we shall love Him without distraction and serve Him without
"Then in a nobler, sweeter
I'll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stamm'ring tongue
lies silent in the grave!"