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The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 1

Morning Worship
First Sunday of the Year.

Father of Lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift! We beseech of Thee to grant us at this time the gracious aid of Thy Holy Spirit, that our minds may be enlightened and our spirits sanctified by Thy holy word; and so teach us to pray that we may ask in faith, and receive with thanksgiving, those things which are according to Thy holy will. Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm xxiii.

[Editors Note: For Thy mercy and Thy grace by H. Downton. [Old and New Year.] Written in 1841, and first published in the Church of England Magazine, in 1843. p. 15, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "A Hymn for the commencement of the Year."  I am having trouble deciding if the intent is for you to read the actual 23rd Psalm first and then read this one and so wrote to the Church of Scotland to see if they could shed any light on this and Felicity Burrows got back to me with the above reference. That said it would be normal for you to cite the Hymn/Psalm and then write it out but in this case and another further down it doesn't work like that.  It may also be that he is providing a Hymn but suggesting you may also use Psalm 23 as an alternative. Am puzzled and so would appreciate your thoughts on this. See Psalm 50 below as it is similar situation.]

For thy mercy and thy grace,
Faithful through another year,
Hear our song of thankfulness,
Father, and Redeemer, hear!

In our weakness and distress,
Rock of strength, be Thou our stay!
In the pathless wilderness,
Be our true and living way!

Who of us death’s awful road
In the coming year shall tread?
With thy rod and staff, O God,
Comfort thou his dying head!

Keep us faithful, keep us pure,
Keep us evermore thine own!
Help, O help us to endure!
Fit us for the promised crown!

So within thy palace gate
We shall praise, on golden strings,
Thee, the only Potentate,
Lord of lords, and King of kings!


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4. And God saw the light that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13. And the evening and the morning were the third day. 14. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth, 18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was so. 25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, ad everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27. So God created man in his own image: in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.



“Our Father in Heaven!” Amidst all the changes of our mortal life we come to Thee. We rejoice in Thee as the Ever-living, “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,” unchanged in Thy love to us, and to all who put their trust in Thee. We worship Thee with all who know and love Thee on earth. We worship The with the holy angels who have never fallen; with patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, and with the noble army of martyrs, who have come out of great tribulation, and washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We worship Thee with all our friends, who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and who are now in Thy presence with exceeding joy: and we desire, with the whole family in earth and in heaven, that Thy name may be hallowed, Thy kingdom may come, and Thy will may be done in earth as it is done in heaven.

Father of mercies! We thank Thee for all we have received from Thee, not only during the past year, but during all the years of our varied life. We thank Thee for our temporal mercies; for deliverance from danger, seen and unseen, and from pain, sickness and grievous suffering. We thank Thee for strength and comfort vouchsafed to ourselves and those dear to us in past seasons of sorrow. We thank Thee for delivering us from temptation, for keeping us from falling, and for all we have been enabled by Thy mercy to be and to do. Holy Father! We praise Thee for the gift of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who died for our sins, rose for our justification, who ever liveth to make intercession for us, and hath promised to come to take us to Himself, that where He is there we may be also. We thank Thee for the gift of Thy Holy Spirit, to be with us and in us for ever; for the renewal of our nature through Him, and the spiritual strength and comfort received from Him. We thank Thee for all the means which in Thy wisdom and love Thou hast adopted, to enable us to know and serve thee as Thy children. Bless the Lord, O our souls, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all our iniquities; who healeth all our diseases; who redeemeth our life from destruction; who crowneth us with loving-kindness and tender mercies.

The more we see the glory of Thy character and of Thy ways, the more do we see the sin in our own hearts, and the sins brought forth in our lives. If Thou hadst forgotten us as we have forgotten Thee; if Thou hadst been as indifferent to our good as we have been to Thy will; if Thou hadst said, “Depart from me,” as in our hearts each of us has often said to Thee: we would have perished long ago. But Thou has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Blessed be Thy name, that Thou who knowest us as we know not ourselves, and hatest our iniquities with infinite hatred, has yet loved us in Jesus Christ Thy Son; and declared that though our sins are as scarlet Thou wilt make them white as snow; and sworn that as Thou livest Thou has no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but rather that he would turn from his wickedness which he hath committed and live; and has commanded us to believe in Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. Most merciful, holy and righteous Father! Forgive us, we beseech of Thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, whom Thou has set forth as a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the world. And grant that all of us may enter a New Year enjoying peace with Thee through Him, and that the God of peace may sanctify us wholly in soul, spirit and body.

We beseech of Thee to bless each member of the family and every dear friend, who we in our hearts bring before Thee, and to help them according to their individual need, and Thine abundant mercy; so that all of us this year, whether by life or by death, may glorify Thee by humbly accepting of, and by earnestly  obeying, Thy most holy and righteous will.

We pray that Thy kingdom may come, Thy will be done, throughout the world; that Christ may more and more see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; and that many sons and daughters may by Him be brought out of every nation unto Thee. Renew and quicken every portion of Thy church on earth, that all its members may consider one another, and provoke to love and to good works. Lord, bless our country, that we may be exalted by righteousness guiding our national councils and all our commercial transactions, and by our people at home and abroad leading Christian lives. Lord, bless our Queen, that she may possess Thee as her strength, enjoy Thee as her comfort, and obey Thee as her sovereign.

Hear us for the sake of Him in whose words we would sum up our petitions saying, “Our Father which art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy name, &c. Amen.


Blessed Lord, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of Thy Holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which Thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymn, or Psalm c.

[Editors Note: See reference above]

Awake, and sing the song
Of Moses and the Lamb!
Wake ev’ry heart, and ev’ry tongue,
To praise the Saviour’s name!

Sing of his dying love,
Sing of his rising power:
Sing how He intercedes above
For us whose sins He bore.

Ye pilgrims on the road
To Zion’s city, sing!
Rejoice ye in the Lamb of God,
In Christ th’ eternal King!

Soon shall we hear Him say,
“Ye blessed children, come!”
Soon will He call us hence away,
To our eternal home.

There shall our raptured tongue
His endless praise proclaim;
And sweeter voices tune the song
Of Moses and the Lamb!


Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light; 9. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth;) 10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17. Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Sermon I.
“Awake thou that sleepest.” --Eph. v. 14.

How shall we distinguish the real from the unreal? --or things as they are from what they appear to be? We often express our sense of the unreality of anything by saying, “It was all a dream!” Yet while asleep and dreaming, does not everything appear to be real as when awake? How seldom, indeed, during our day-life have we ever experienced feelings of such wonder, admiration, or horror, as during our night-life! “In thoughts,” says, Job, “from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me and trembling, which made all my bones to shake!” But however real the things we see or hear in shadowy dream-land may appear to be at the time, yet when we awake amid the sunlight of common day, we smile at those visions of the night and say, “It was but a dream!”

The covetous man, for instance, in his sleep sees hoards of uncounted wealth within his grasp; the ambitious man possesses rank, honour and power; the loving and bereaved meet once more the lost and gone, see their familiar faces, and hear their familiar voices, as of old; but each sleeper as he awakes exclaims, “Alas, it was but a dream!”

Where then are our realities, if these be our dreams? What can we possess, when awake, which is not as shadowy and perishing?

“Behold my riches!” replies with confidence the man of wealth; “for this gold and silver which I have in the bank, which I grasp so firmly in my hands, are not dreams, but realities!” “And here, too, are my rank, my power, my honours, all substantial things, and no shadows!” boasts another, as he rejoices in his manifold possessions. “Nor are these dreams, but realities!” murmurs the affectionate man, as he gazes around the family circle, and clasps his dear ones to his bosom. But so would every dreamer have maintained with equal confidence, had he been able while asleep to argue about the reality of all he seemed to possess. Yet, alas! It may be that he who dreamed of riches awoke to find himself a shivering and forsaken pauper; and he who in his visions possessed rank and power awoke a fettered slave; while the heart which revelled in the interchange of joyous greetings with a united family and restored friends, may have awoke with a sudden cry of sorrow amid the silence and loneliness of a bereaved and empty home!

And thus, too, may we from our every-day life, which seems to be so very real, and to have in it so much that is substantial and permanent, with so little that is dream-like and shadowy, awake, nevertheless, to realise its very strange and visionary character!

Could any one, for example, in a few years hence visit the tombs of those who now boast themselves, in the way we have alluded to, of the reality of their possessions, and could he by a superhuman power quicken them unto life with the cry -- “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead!” where then would those things be which to them are now so real and so very unlike dreams? Where their gold and silver, their lands and heritages! Alas! They have passed away from the memory of other generations, and are known only to the curious who peruse their moss-covered tombstones. Where all the lovely forms, the blooming faces, the young children and strong men, who were the most precious realities on earth to their affectionate hearts? They, too, are not to be found on earth, and are forgotten from among men as if they had never been; and their remains are but as the dust and rubbish of the grave. Are the things, then, which we now possess so very substantial and enduring as we assumed them to be? Or have we not all been dreaming while we seemed awake!

But is there nothing real? Is all a dream? No! Blessed be God, there are realities, and not dreams, to which we should awake, unless we are to sleep the sleep of eternal death: --

1. Let us awake to the reality of our individual importance.
There are two classes of dreamers on this point. The one includes all who think they are of no importance whatever .

These are very often to be found among the poor and unknown in this world--the stranger and the destitute, the orphan and the friendless. Such persons are apt to measure themselves by what the world thinks of them; and they conclude accordingly, and very naturally, that they are of little value. They feel themselves lost in the great crowd--fractions too small to count in the immense sum of human life, and too worthless to be missed out of it; mere bubbles floating on the mighty sea, for whom no one will mourn when they disappear. What are their joys or sorrows, their hopes and fears, their struggles and difficulties, to the big and busy world! Such thoughts are apt to make the heart hard and selfish, to shut it against our brother, ay, to shut it against our God; for they are unloving thoughts of God, and arise, perhaps, from supposing that the estimate of our Maker, and that we stand in no closer relationship to Him who is unseen, than to the great world which we see and hear. Yet what would we think if we heard a prince muttering in his sleep, complaining of his privations, and speaking of himself as one unknown and uncared for, deserted by every friend, condemned to live only for labour, yea, to die unheeded and alone, but who all the while was sleeping and dreaming in a splendid palace, with a king, his father, and royal brothers looking on, and watching over him in his slumbers? Why then those tears and groans of ours, this bitter anxiety and hopelessness from men and women, as if they were of no importance whatever, and utterly unknown and uncared for on the earth -- while all the time they are in the grand palace of their Father, with angel brothers watching over us! Awake, O poor sleeper! All this suffering and trial, these days of toil and nights of sorrow, this daily history, which make you think yourself of so little importance as that no one in the whole universe ever thinks of you, or carries your burden--this is the dream ! But the reality is -- what many call a dream, -- that God Almighty, who made the heavens and the earth, made you and breathed into you the breath of life, that He made you to know, love and enjoy Himself for ever; that He redeemed you to Himself, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of His Son; that He knows you individually, and loves you, and cares for you as much as if you were the first and last and only created thing. Surely, then, you are of incalculable importance! Who can too highly value creatures made for such noble ends, and redeemed from slavery and death by such an infinite price! We are all of more value than the whole material universe, which by the word of God may in a moment pass away, while the poorest Lazarus shall live through endless ages in the presence of his God.

There are others, again, who dream of being of great importance, merely because they are so in their own eyes or in the eyes of some circle, whether smaller or larger, of which they may happen to be the centres. They are of importance only because of their family, their wealth, or their influence in the village, city, parish or county, in which they may happen to live. Now, if this constitutes our only or chief importance, what a dream it is! Think of the millions in our country who never heard of our name, nor of the name of the place in which we reside! Think of the hundreds of millions in the world who never heard even the name of our country! Let us think, moreover, how very soon not one person on earth, will know we have ever existed; when all this busy life of ours, which fills up our days and years, which seem so many and so long, will have passed away from the known to the unknown, like a song which leaves an echo but for a moment, or a leaf which flutters for a while in breeze and sunshine, and then falls into the stream and is swept into the shoreless, fathomless sea! Alas! What foolish dreamers are we, if these be our only thoughts about ourselves! Let us awake from them to a true sense of our awful and real importance as beings created and redeemed by Christ, to love and serve God now and for ever!

2. Let us awake to the reality of unseen and eternal things.
The sleeper may be in the midst of friends or enemies, and be connected with things of unspeakable importance to his well-being, and yet in his sleep all these may be to him as if they had no existence. His mind is wholly occupied by what he appears to see, hear or do in his dreams. And thus to many, their only world is what they see with their bodily eyes, or touch with their bodily hands, or know by their five senses. Things visible are their only realities. Speak to them of God, or Christ, or the Holy Ghost, of saints and angels, or of heaven and its holiness, of hell and its wickedness, of Satan and his angels -- all this mighty world of persons and things, which cannot be discerned by the eye or ear -- and it is to them shadowy, misty, far away, and unreal as a dream. Yet what separates us from this same unseen world! Let only a pin point touch the mysterious source of life in our brain, or let the thin valve of our heart give way, or death come in any of the ten thousand forms to which we are hourly liable -- and then where will our present realities be? What then would this world be, which is now perhaps all in all to us? What then would be our present business and our amusements, our well-laid plans and purposes, this hoped-for meeting, or that anticipated parting, those worldly cares and matters which we call so interesting, so pressing, and so important? What would be our home, our circle of friends, and all this hum of busy life, which alone occupies the thoughts, fills up the time of the dreamer, and shuts out every thought of another and an eternal world? All would depart as a vision! In the twinkling of an eye, the universe would be revolutionised to us, and those things which seem now so unreal and dreamlike would, in a few minutes after death, be our grand and unchangeable realities for ever and ever. But we are now in the midst of this very unseen world, and in the presence of its inhabitants! Let us therefore, open the eyes of our spirit, and by faith awake to the reality of things as they are, and not dream of them as they appear to be.

Little did the shepherds of Bethlehem think, when calmly watching their sheep by night, and gazing on the starry sky, that the unseen world, which seemed so far away, was even then around them; and that the angel Gabriel knew them and was about to tell them the most joyful tidings which had ever reached the earth; and that a multitude of the heavenly host were filling the amphitheatre of the skies, and gazing on them, ready to burst forth into such an hallelujah of praise as never had greeted the ears of mortal men! But so it was. Heaven and heavenly persons were not far away, but very near, and heaven’s King was Himself among them, and had become an inhabitant of their own lowly village of Bethlehem. And thus, too, little did Judas think, when he was sitting at the same table with his Lord, in a scene of holy calm, surrounded with the apostles of the Church, and listening to such prayers and heavenly teaching as never proceeded from mortal lips, that he stood on the very edge of that awful gulf into which he fell in a few hours afterwards. Nor did the poor dying thief suspect, when he first beheld the cross, the crowd, and the stern realities of Calvary, that these were so dream-like, and that he was about to enter paradise with his Redeemer, which was no dream! And so it is with us all. God and things unseen are very near, though we may not, in our sleep of ignorance or unbelief, think them to be so. Let us but awake, and then we shall say, like Jacob, when he rose from his stony pillow and pondered over the dream of the night: -- “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.”

3. Let us awake to the reality of God’s love to us. How ignorant is a child when it is asleep upon its mother’s knee, of its mother’s love! Yet how real it is! How it beams in her eye as she gazes on her child’s countenance, and fills her bosom as she folds the babe in her arms! But that little one cannot measure the depth, nor comprehend the many thoughts of her love, nor understand its absolute dependence upon it. And how many are thus asleep in the very sunshine of God’s love! For He loves us truly, when we know it not. And because He loves ourselves, He hates our sins and sinful characters, and wishes that these characters were changed. Yet how are our characters to be ever changed and become lovable? How shall our ways become such as to please Him who is so good? How shall all that is vile in us and at enmity to God be rooted out, and all that is pure, holy, and in sympathy with Him be implanted? In one word, how shall love to God be ever kindled in our hearts, and abide there for ever? How indeed, unless He first loves us, and we have faith in that love? For so long as we are asleep to this love -- see it not, believe it not, but have frightful dreams of one who has no interest in us, and who willeth rather that we should perish than repent and have everlasting life -- love cannot, in the nature of things, be kindled! And where no love is, death is, and the fear which hath torment. To awake from sleep and arise from the dead, is really to awake from this blindness to God’s love, this death of an unloving heart, and to see with our spirit His love to us in Jesus and in this light of love to see Him and see ourselves. Let us awake, then to the glorious reality! If not, it will practically be to us as if it were a dream, even as light is a dream, and not a reality, to a blind man’s eye!

4. Let us awake to the reality of the work assigned to each of us on earth by God. It is possible to work while asleep; somnambulists often do so But how unlike is the labour of the man asleep to that of the earnest, wise and persevering effort of the man awake? And thus it is, that men who are morally asleep to the grand and abiding realities of existence may yet, in a sense, labour all the days of their life. Who so busy as they! Their hands or heads are never idle. They labour for the meat that perisheth; they labour to be rich, and to increase the means of their earthly enjoyments; they labour to be amused, “to kill time,” and to be kept in a round of excitement; they labour as master or servant, merchant or mechanic, in politics or trade; all are busy -- and yet who, after all, may be so idle as they! At the eleventh hour of their earthly life, ere the midnight darkness comes, when no man can work, we may ask them with truth, Why stand ye all the day idle? The pious Christian invalid, who has been confined for years to bed, with strength scarcely sufficient to move a limb or utter a sentence, has been in God’s sight, and in the sight of the ministering angels, busier than they, if accepting in faith the work of patient submission to God’s will, and “labouring in prayer.” For what is the object of all this ceaseless activity visible among men? What means this intense life? -- this hurrying to and fro with the speed of the whirlwind over the earth? -- those anxious looks and knit brows, and this severe economy of time? What great work is doing, what great ends are sought, to accomplish which, time seems to be so short, and all existing means so inadequate? Alas! It is possible that the only work which is left undone, is that for which man was created: “This is the work of God, to believe on Him whom He hath sent!” What of that work of God? “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” “Work while it is called to-day, seeing the night cometh in which no man can work!” What of such work as this? Is every field to be bought but the one having the hidden treasure -- every pearl but the oe of great price? Are men to labour for the meat that perisheth, and utterly to neglect that which endureth unto life everlasting? Oh! Say, have we not been living and acting too long with reference only to the visions, grave or gay, of a perishing life, while asleep to the work of a life that must endure for ever. Do we wonder then, as the years pass away, and old age comes, it should be to so many to be as the baseless fabric of a vision which leaves not even a wreck behind! What has become of all their many works and many labours, as the means of giving rest and satisfaction to their souls? All gone! Eternity may thus be entered, but found empty of any treasure laid up for the soul. There was no true work done during the earthly spring-time, and so there is no harvest to crown with its fatness the autumn of our years. Well may the prophet ask all such, “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not?” Oh! awake to a sense of the reality, the infinite importance, of the work actually given us to do, and for which God holds us responsible -- the one mighty work of knowing,loving, and serving God through Jesus Christ our Lord, and the power of the Holy Ghost! And lastly --

5. We should awake to the reality of our danger , unless we are “in Christ Jesus.” A member may not be “in Christ,” who is yet a member of the Church of Christ. Simon Magus was baptized by Philip, yet remained in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity. Ananias and Sapphira were members of the first apostolic Church, yet were slain by the power of God on account of their falsehoods.

A person may not be “in Christ” who is possessed of much that is morally right. “All these I have kept from my youth,” was the reply of the young man to whom Christ repeated the commandments, so that “Jesus, looking on him, loved him,” yet he went away sorrowful,” because lacking “one thing needful” -- to be “in Christ.”

A person not “in Christ” may have remarkable gifs, and do many remarkable things “in his name.” “Many will come to me on that day, saying Lord, Lord, have we not cast out devils in thy name, and in thy name done many wonderful works? Then shall I profess unto them I never knew you ; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”

To be “in Christ,” implies sincere faith in Him as the only Saviour. “He who believeth in me, though he were dead, he shall live.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

To be “in Christ,” implies a changed heart and thorough reformation of life, by the Holy Spirit. “Marvel not that I say unto you Ye must be born again.” “If any man be in Christ , he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” If Christ be in you, the body is dead as to sin, and the Spirit is life as to righteousness.”

Now there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” who thus “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” But there is condemnation to all who are not in Christ Jesus. The same God of truth who hath promised life to all that are his, has also passed the sentence of death on all who are not his. “He who believeth not, is condemned already” “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” But are there not many without those marks which are declared by God to distinguish “those who are Christ’s” from those who are not, and who possess many habits inconsistent with being new creatures, or even “babes in Christ;” who do not feel sufficient interest in the question of their soul’s salvation, as to consider even how they stand in relation to the Redeemer; but who, nevertheless, experience no fear whatever of the consequences of their state, nor the most transitory sense of danger from their position! How can this be? What means this kind of peace? They are asleep! Their quiet is that of the dreamer, who is ignorant of danger; not that of the waking man, who is secure against it.

The picture is trite and familiar, of a sleeper thus enjoying repose while in the midst of circumstances threatening him with sudden destruction. Often has the affecting illustration been presented to our fancy, of a sailor-boy wandering back in his dreams to his early and happy home. He recognizes it from afar -- he sees the rocks, the streams, the trees, the hills, which so long have haunted his memory on the waste of waters -- mysterious powers seem to clog his limbs, as he eagerly tries to reach the familiar scene -- until at last he is in the fond embrace of father and other, while brothers and sisters hang around him. But alas! The tumult of his joy is suddenly broken by the roar of breakers around his vessel, and by the death-cries of her despairing crew!

And thus may we cry, “Peace, peace,” while God says, “No peace.”

“Soul, take thine ease!” cried the man whose life consisted only in the abundance of the things he possessed; “thou hast much goods laid up for many years” -- this was the dream of the Christless worldling. “Thou fool, this night that soul will be required of thee!” -- this was the waking reality. “Lord, Lord, open to us! Have we not eat and drunk in thy presence? Hast thou not taught in our streets? Have we not done many wonderful things in thy name!” -- this was the dream of the Christless hypocrite. “Depart from me. I never knew you!” this was the waking reality -- “Awake, then, arise, thou sleeper! and Christ will give thee light.”

Jesus is the light and life of men. We cannot quicken ourselves into newness of life, but we can cry to Jesus to do so; nor can we obtain the true light from ourselves, but we can go to Jesus and ask him to enlighten us. For thus seeking Him, praying to Him, believing in Him, we are responsible; and it is impossible for any man to seek and pray with real meaning, and not find; to come to Him, and be cast out; to believe in Him, without being made alive and walking in the light with reference to all those realities to which our attention has been turned. A new year reminds us that it is high time to wake out of sleep. May Jesus Christ, our life and light, enable us all to do so, and to walk as children of the day! “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day.” “Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” -- Amen. --- Editor.

The Children’s Service.
The Child Moses.

The word of God is always true and sure. He never fails to do what he says he will do. When he promises anything, and sets the time, it comes at that time. But when he does not say at what time he will bring the thing to pass, he often delays it for a long while. He is sure to do what he said in the end, but he does not do it as soon as his people wish and hope. He wants by that to try their faith; to try if they will hold fast their trust in his truth. And when it is in cases like this that strong faith shows itself. When a long time has past, and the thing promised has not come, little faith faints, and is ready to fear that it will never come: but strong faith says -- Wait, it is sure to come; for He has said it, and He will do it.

Sometimes God does more than merely take a long time to fulfil his word. He sometimes seems to work all the other way.He said to Abram, for instance, when he told him to leave his own country, that he would give him another. So he did, by and by. He gave it to Abraham in his children. But when Abraham himself died, he had only got a grave in it. Besides, for some hundreds of years the people that had Abraham for their forefather were kept in Egypt and were even made slaves there. So it seemed to many of them that God had forgotten them, and was going to leave them always in their bondage. There were some among them, however, who felt sure that God would keep his word, and come to help them and they told the others that God had said to their fathers that this long hard time of toil would come, but that afterwards there would be great deliverance; and that Joseph when he was dying spoke of this, and told them to take his bones with them, when they should come to leave the land.

These last were right. God did come to help his poor people at the set time. Just when things were at the darkes, light began to break. A little child was born, who was to lead the people out of Egypt when he grew up: and I am going to tell you now the strange way in which he came to be brought up in the very palace of the king that was oppressing the people of Israel. The king-name of the rulers of Egypt was Pharaoh. Now the Pharaohthat was reigning when the child I speak of was born, was very hard and cruel. He had come to be frightened at the great increase of the people of Israel. He said to the men of his court -- If those slaves grow to be many more than they are, and there should happen to be war, they will join our foes, and be too strong for us. So in his fear he told his people to cast into the Nile all the boy-children that should be born to the Israelites. They were to let the little girls live, but to kill all the boys. And many a wicked cruel deed was probably done at the king’s bidding.

The king had a daughter. It is thought she was his only child, and that when the king died the crown would come to her, or to her son, if she had one. So she was a person of great importance; and her woman heart was not so cruel as her father’s. Now, one morning this princess, with her maids, walked down to the river’s side, that she might wash herself. This was the very river about which the king had said --Cast all the male babes into it. It was a big, deep river, and besides there were ugly crocodiles in some places about it, to eat the poor babes. At the place where the king’s daughter came to bathe, there were long rushes growing on the bank; and as she and her maids were passing along, they saw a curious little basket lying among the flags. They had never seen anything like it before. So th princess told one of her maids to go and bring it to her: and when she had done this, they found it was a little chest with a lid, all carefully plastered outside with pitch to keep the water out. Then they raised the lid, and wondered to find a lovely little baby lying in it. Poor thing! It began to cry, and tears stood on its cheeks. The king’s daughter, knowing what her father had ordered to be done with the boys of the Hebrews, said at once this is one of the little children of these people, and her heart warmed to it as she looked at it. No wonder; it must have been a hard heart that did not pity the little infant, so pretty and so helpless, lying there in its strange cradle.

But before I tell you what happened afterwards, I must turn back and give you some account of how the baby came there.

The Child Moses

This little child’s father and mother were pious people, and were among those who were sure that God would keep his word and bring Israel out of Egypt. They had some older children. But when this boy was born, they saw a very strange beauty on his face, and in some way God pressed the thought into their hearts, that he had been born to do a great work. So they were encouraged to do all they could to keep him safe, and his mother hid him in the house for three months. But then, I suppose, when he began to be lively and stirring and noisy, or when it was being told about that he had been born, she found she could not keep him any longer there in safety. Some of the Egyptian spies would be finding him out, and tearing him from her arms to throw him into the Nile. So, not without praying about it, you may be sure, and getting God’s leading, she made the curious basket I have mentioned, and putting the child into it, hid it among the flags. Then she set a sister of the babe to watch,keeping out of sight herself, but full of hope that God would bring all about wisely for her infant’s safety.

Now when this sister I am not quite sure what her name was, but it was probably Mary, saw the Egyptian princess and her maidens opening the basket, she stole nearer to them, and soon observed that they were sorry for the child, and no way disposed to hurt it. Indeed, she could see that the princess was getting to like it, and meant to save it. So she very respectfully went up to her, and asked if she would like her to go and get a nurse for it, from among the Hebrew women. The princess was pleased, and told her to go. You may be sure she did not lose any time, but running home, told her own mother, and brought her to the princess. “Here is a baby,” said the king’s daughter, “take it, and nurse it for me, and I will pay you for doing it. I have given it a name, to keep in mind how I found it. Take care of my little Moses.” Yes, to be sure, she will -- her own darling boy it is, given back by God to her arms.

So she nursed and trained him without fear, for no one durst hurt the child that the king’s daughter had resolved to adopt. After a time he was taken home to the palace, and got a princely education, and grew up to be a very wise, brave man -- till everybody thought he would be king one day. But I meant to tell you only of his childhood at present. Some other time, I may have a story about his after life.

Questions on the Bible Story

1. Can you find a promise of God, where he set the time for doing it?

2. Can you name a great promise which God delayed for a long time to fulfil?

3. Can you give the names of any persons who showed strong faith?

4. What was the name of the country given to Abraham’s seed? And where was Abraham’s grave in it?

5. Where do you find a passage in which God foretold to their fathers that the people of Israel would be long tie oppressed in a strange land?

6. Where in the new testament are we told about Joseph giving directions regarding his bones?

7. About how long were Israel in Egypt?

8. What other names in scripture were -- like Pharaoh -- the names of a line of kings or emperors?

9. Is the Nile anywhere named in scripture?

10. Is there anything about the crocodile in the Bible?

11. How many things in the Bible are called by the name of ark?

12. Is there any other person in scripture noted, like Pharaoh, for his cruelty to babes?

13. Where are we told in the Bible that Moses was very beautiful when a child?

14. How do we know that God in some way had made the parents of Moses to put trust in him about their child, as born to some great end?

15. What is the Old Testament form of the name of Moses’ sister?

16. In what passage are we told that Moses was well educated?


For answers to the foregoing questions, the young reader my consult -- Daniel ix.; Gen. iii.; Heb. xi.; Gen. xlix.; Gen. xv.; Heb. xi.; Acts vii.; Luke ii., iii..; Job xli., Gen. vi.; Exod. xxv.; Matt. ii.; Acts vii.; Heb. xi.; Exod. xv.; Acts vii.

Questions on the Bible Lessons.

1. Who created the heavens and the earth? Gen. i. 1; John i. 1, 3, and 10; Col. i. 16.

2. Can you enumerate the things mentioned in Gen. i, as having been created by God?

3. After whose image was man created? Gen. 1. 26.

4. What is Jesus Christ called in John i. 1, 9; and in Col. i.18

5. How long has he existed? John i. 2; Col. i. 17.

6. In these chapters what is Jesus Christ said to have done as Creator? Col. i. 16; and as Redeemer? Compare Col. i. 20; John i. 12.


O Lord, we were cast on thy care when we were infants, and Thou hast kept us till now. We thank Thee for home, and food, and clothes, and for our parents’ love. We pray that Thou wouldest take kind charge of poor orphans, and raise up friends for them. We bless Thee that we live in a country where there is just rule, and a kind and motherly Queen. Do Thou bless her, and her royal house. Remember all that are oppressed, and deliver them. Save us all from the power of our great foe, the wicked one. To thy name be glory and power for ever, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord teach us out of thy law, and open our eyes to behold its wonders. Let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom, and may it be made profitable unto us by the Holy Spirit for doctrine, conviction, correction, and instruction in righteousness. -- Amen .

Hymn, or Psalm xc.

While with ceaseless course the sun
Hasted through the former year,
Many souls their race have run,
Never more to meet us here:
Fix’d in an eternal state,
They have done with all below;
We a little longer wait,
But how little, none can know.

As the winged arrow flies,
Speedily the mark to find;
As the lightning from the skies
Darts, and leaves no race behind;
Swiftly thus or fleeting days
Bear us down life’s rapid stream:
Upward, Lord, our spirits raise;
All below is but a dream.

Thanks for mercies past receive;
Pardon of our sins renew;
Teach us, henceforth, how to live
With eternity in view.
Bless thy word to young and old;
Fill us with a Saviour’s love;
And when life’s short tale is told,
May we dwell with Thee above!


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. 15. John bare witness of him and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me. 16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father he hath declared him.


For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him: 17. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist: 18. And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence: 19. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell: 20. And (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

See also Job xxxviii.; Ps. civ.


Again we come to Thee, our reconciled Father in Christ, believing that Thou art the hearer of prayer. Thou hast said to us in thy great mercy, that if we, being evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more wilt Thou, our Father in heaven, give good things to them who ask Thee. Hear us as we cry to Thee! Thou hast forbid us to be over-anxious about any thing, as if Thou didst not care for us; but in every thing by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, to let our requests be made known to Thyself: and thy peace which passeth understanding will keep our mind and heart through Christ Jesus. Lord, we believe; help our unbelief!

We enter another year, trusting to Thee the Lord our God. We know not whether we are to live or die ere it ends, be in sickness or health, in adversity or prosperity: but what Thou hast in Thy wisdom concealed, we would not in our ignorance desire to know. We desire only to know Thee, to trust Thee, to obey Thee and in all our ways to acknowledge Thee. Thou, Lord, knowest all persons and all things in the universe, and rulest over all. We are not lost in this great crowd of life, but are ever in thy presence. “The hairs of our head are all numbered.” Thou knowest all our sins, all our infirmities, all our sorrows, all our temptations and difficulties, and we rejoice in this: for never would we shut up our hearts against Thee, believing in thy good will toward us. Thou who didst not spare thine own Son, how wilt Thou not with Him freely give us all things? Lord, we are thine; save us! Into thy hands we commit ourselves -- soul, spirit, and body -- all that concerns us, and all whom we love. Undertake for us. The Lord reigneth; let the earth be glad! We are weak, but Thou art strong; perfect thy strength in our weakness. We are ignorant, but Thou art wise; be pleased to guide us in a right way, and in thine own way, to the city of our eternal habitation. We know not what a day or an hour may bring forth, but Thou knowest all; fulfil thy promise, that as our day is so to us may our strength be. Whatever else Thou art pleased to take from us, O never take from us thy Holy Spirit; whoever may forsake us, do Thou, Lord, abide with us, and help us that we may never forsake Thee. In our day of sorrow may we ever find peace in Thyself; in the day of our prosperity may we still hold fast our confidence in Thee as our portion, and never seek our life in the abundance of the things which by thy providence we may possess. May our life be hid with Christ in Thee, so that when He who is our life shall appear, we may appear with Him in glory. O good Shepherd of Israel, lead us into thy green pastures, and nourish our souls; give us repose of spirit beside thy still waters. May thy goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life; thy rod and staff support and comfort us in the valley and shadow of death; and may we dwell in thy house for ever. Hear us for the sake of Him, in whose words we sum up our petitions: “Our Father” &c. Amen.




There is but a step between me and death.

When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

The graves are ready for me.

1 Sam. xx. 3. Job xvi. 22. Ps. xxxix. 4. Heb. xiii. 14. I Chron. xxix. 15. Job xvii. 1.


So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

I must work the work of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

Ps. xc. 12. Ps. vi. 5. John ix. 4. Eccl. ix. 10. Isa. xxxviii. 18. Ps. xxxi. 5.



The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day:

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

The Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

For in him we live, and move, and have our being.

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Isa. xxxviii. 19. Ps. lxxiii. 24. Ps. lxxxiv. 11. Acts xvii. 28. Ps. xlviii. 14. Phil. i. 21.


Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.

The righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacl e were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

There the weary be a rest.

Ps. cxvi. 15. Num. xxii. 10. Isa. lvii. 1. 2 Cor. v. 1. Rev. xiv. 13. Job iii. 17.



O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

1 Cor. xv. 55. 1 Thess. iv. 16. Rev. xx. 6. 2 Cor. v. 4.


He that judgeth me is the Lord.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Cor. iv. 4. 1 Thess. v. 2. Luke xxi. 36. James v. 8. 1 John ii. 28. 1 Thess. v. 6.



The heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God?

Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness.

2 Peter iii. 10, 11, 12. 1 Peter iv. 7. Rev. xiv. 7. Acts xvii. 31.


Nevertheless we, according to his promise,

look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance.

2 Peter iii. 13. Luke xxi. 27, 34, 35. 1 Thess. v. 4. Col. iii. 24.



Live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present world.

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind.

Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Titus ii. 12. 2 Thess. ii. 1, 2. Col. iii. 2, 3, 4.


Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.

Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early \and the latter rain.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

That ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

James v. 7. Titus ii. 13, 14. 1 Cor. i. 8. 1 Thess. iv. 18.



It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

The judgment of God is according to truth.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Heb. ix. 27. Rom. ii. 2. Eccles. xii. 14. Rom. xiv. 12. Rom. xiv. 10. Mark xiii. 33.


But of that day and that hour knoweth no man.

For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.

Mark xiii. 32, 34, 35, 36, 37. 1 Peter iv. 17.

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