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Good Words 1860
Good Words for Every Day of the Year

June 22.

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."—Mark ix. 23.

"Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" —1 John v. 5.

What great things might we attain to in the spiritual life if we had faith? What great things might we not attain to? It is the secret of all strength, because it brings the strength of God to us in our weakness. I want to realise more of what the Lord means by this belief to which "all things are possible;" "Lord increase our faith," increase my faith; not that faith only which assents to the truths revealed in the gospel, but the faith which lives under the continual impression of eternal realities, that faith which is the "evidence of things not seen." Martin Boos says—"We do not enough remember that there was One who sweat blood for us.'" Ah, if we had faith, how could we forget it? Would not the thought of Him come ever first to us? Would not His presence, His nearness, the thought of His love and His agony, come between us and the summer sky, and make us feel Him to be more really there than the sun in the firmament?

"Thou art near—yes, Lord, I feel it,
Thou art near where'er I move;
And though Sense would fain conceal it,
Faith oft whispers it to Love."

June 23.

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."—Rev. v. 12.

This is the song that arises round about the throne of God from holy angels and glorified saints, "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;" but he who heard it—the only mortal man who ever did hear the song of heaven while yet on earth—was at that very time a prisoner and an exile in Patmos "for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ." Men had cast him out for his Master's sake. The Name that was first in heaven was last on earth! Here the followers of the Lamb were persecuted to the death; there the "angels that excel in strength" were filling the heaven of heavens with His praises! Let us deem it our highest privilege, if we may in any manner echo that song, and cry with saints and angels, "Worthy is the Lamb;" let us strive to know more and more how worthy He is of our warmest and deepest adoration and praise; high as He is He lias respect unto the lowly, and will not despise our feeble homage.

"Oh, may our hearts repeat the strain,
And, fired with holy love,
Return from earth a deep Amen
To those high songs above!"

June 24.

"The angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee." —1 Kings xix. 7.

"I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way."— Matt. xv. 32.

Truly "He knoweth our frame;" and if He knows so well, and provides so tenderly, even by special miracles, for the bodily wants of His followers, dare we doubt that He can and will feed their souls also? "He knoweth our frame" as regards our spiritual wants, as well as our temporal; and we have an instance of this in the nourishment that He gives His people in the holy sacrament. It is there and then that special supplies are given, to strengthen us in faith, and hope, and love for the journey that is before us; and every time that we have the privilege of thus feeding upon Him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving, we ought to feel that this is meant for the strengthening in us of the new nature, and that we have missed His purpose if we do not arise and go forth from that banqueting-house stronger in the Lord and in the power of His might. Lord, evermore give us this bread! Send ua not away fasting ! but by this and every means of grace do Thou give us grace, till Thou bring us to glory!

"Is He compared to wine or bread?
Dear Lord! our souls would thus be fed:
That flesh, that dying blood of Thine,
Is bread of life, is heavenly wine."

June 25.

"And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord."—John xx. 20.

Unbelief had so sealed the eyes of the disciples, that they knew Him not, nor received His word of peace until He shewed them His hands and His side—a token of surpassing condescension to their weakness, equalled only by the surpassing love so plainly written in these cruel scars. Let me gaze with the wondering disciples. By these pierced hands and that wounded side do I recognise Thee, O my Saviour, who didst bleed for me! These are the marks of the dreadful battle, and Thou hast borne them with Thee to the heaven of heavens, where, in the midst of the throne, Thy redeemed ones behold a "Lamb as it had been slain." Let me never forget what sin cost my Lord; what a price He paid for my ransom; what a penalty I would have suffered had He not borne it! for the bodily sufferings represented by these scars were but the smallest and lowest part of His sufferings on earth when He was made "a propitiation for our sins," Therefore may I never think lightly, talk lightly, or feel careless about this evil and abominable thing, sin. "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw tho Lord;" and glad also may they bo who have not seen, and yet have believed.

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side that flow'd,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save me from its guilt and power!

June 26.

"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons."—Heb. xii. 7.

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."—Rev. iii. 19.

God loves us too well to leave us uncorrected. If even we ourselves can see innumerable evils in our hearts, how many more must He behold whose "eyes are as a flame of fire!" And He is too faithful to permit us to go on unrebuked, unimproved. But the chastening is "not joyous, but grievous;" oh, how grievous! —and we naturally cry out, "Spare us—O Father, anything but this!" Yet if we could calmly consider it, He is never so near us as at such a time, and is even then answering our best prayers in the most effectual manner; for the best prayers are those in which we entreat Him to root out sin, and make His kingdom come within us. Bitter indeed is often this teaching, and the heart is too prone to go to either of the two fatal extremes of despising or of fainting under it; but if we look to Him as our Father through it all, He will make us able to learn His lessons and submit to His discipline, till we find that it is better to be in the valley of weeping with Him, than in the house of mirth with the vain world lavishing all its pleasures upon us.

"Let but my fainting heart be blest,
"With Thy sweet Spirit for its guest
My God, to Thee I leave the rest;
Thy will ',e done!"

June 27.

"Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."—John" xx. 17.

"What a message of love for the disciples! They had all forsaken Him and fled; yet He says ''my brethren"— "He is not ashamed to call them brethren." The grave had not broken the tie, nor had even their own desertion of Him. "My Father, and your Father." Thus is God our Father in Christ: not Father by creation only, in the sense of St Paul to the Athenians, "we are also His offspring," (Acts xvii. 28;) but Father in the sense of St John, when he says, "As many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God," (John i. 12.) "My Father, and your Father; my God, and your God"—wonderful union! Glorious privilege of His own dear children! Happy they who can thus approach their God, and feel that Christ has thus taught them by His Spirit to say "Abba, Father!" Yet observe, He says, "My Father, and your Father"—not "our Father." There is a sacred difference. He is the only-begotten Son of the Father; we are through Him alone brought into this relation; we are the children of adoption; and though He has taught us when we pray to say, "Our Father," when we speak to God, He gives us another thought when in speaking to us, He says, "My Father, and your Father.

"Born unto God in Christ—in Christ my all!
What that earth boasts were not lost cheaply rather
Than forfeit that blest name by which I call
The Holy One, the Eternal God, 'my Father!'"

June 28.

As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."—Matt. xxiv. 27.

This comparison holds true whether the coming referred to means the coming of the Lord in the destruction of Jerusalem, or that great second coming and glorious appearance of which the other was a type. His coming is to be sudden, like the lightning. "We may have watched the gathering clouds, and predicted the storm, yet the first flash always takes us by surprise; and such will be His approach, for "when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, . . . . and they shall not escape." His coming is to be manifest to every eye; none shall need to say, "Lo, here is Christ, or there;" for "every eye shall behold Him." Men may dispute now about the signs of the times; they shall not dispute then, the event will be too plain—as plain as the awful ruin of Jerusalem was to those who beheld that advent of judgment from God. His coming is certain. Many future things are uncertain, however fondly we anticipate, or anxiously we dread them,—this event is sure to come to pass. "We know not when, we know not how He will come, but we know that He shall come, and will not tarry. Oh to be found watching in that day!

"Lo, He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favour'd sinners slain,
Thousand, thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of His train."

June 29.

"I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me."—Ps. cxix. 75.

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."—Rev. iii. 19.

These verses may remind some of deep sorrows, days of darkness, nights of weeping, never to be effaced from memory. What traces have they left? What results have they produced? Can we say, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted?" These things have not happened to us by chance, they were sent with a purpose, and it was a purpose of love. God doth not afflict willingly. O poor mourner, thy heavenly Father would not so grieve thy heart, unless some great and worthy end were to be accomplished: has it, then, been fulfilled in thee? God designs to bring thee to Himself if thou hast never yet come to Him; to recall thee if thou hast wandered from Him; or, perhaps, He prunes thy branches, even though fruitful, in order that they may bring forth more fruit, and he is no fruit-bearing Christian who would wish to be let alone. There is something in which the believer ought to be more zealous, something for which he ought to repent, and it is because God loves him that He chastens him to teach him these lessons.

"Affliction, when it spreads around,
May seem a field of woe;
Yet there at last the happy fruits
Of righteousness shall grow."

June 30.

"Be patient toward all men."—1 Thess. v. 14.

"And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."—Eph. iv. 32.

The apostle, who instructs us in the loftiest Christian doctrines, does not think it beneath him to exhort us to the practice of the lowliest Christian virtues; we are not true disciples unless we seek to practise the one as well as to believe the other. "Be patient,"— it is sometimes a hard duty, and some dispositions find it peculiarly so. When we look to Jesus, we see what true patience is. How meekly He bore all and suffered all; how tenderly He reproved, instructed, watched over His own in spite of all their slowness of heart to believe! O meek and lowly Lamb of God, let me learn of Thee; and do Thou put Thy Spirit within me, to correct all those hasty, impatient feelings which are so apt to arise in my heart, and which are so displeasing in Thy sight! May I be kind, tender, and forgiving from high principle, not from mere natural feeling, to those whom I love; may I forgive as one to whom much has been forgiven; and may thoughts of Thy love make me learn love. If tempted to anger, this day may I set Thy patience before me as my pattern, and repel the temptation in Thy strength; and whatever others do to irritate or provoke, may I hear Thy voice saying to mo, "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart"—"br patient toward all men."

"Could we bear from one another
What He daily bears from us?
Yet this glorious Friend and Brother
Loves us though we treat Him thus:
Though for good we render ill
He accounts us brethren still.

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