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The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 13

John Erskine Clarke (1827 - 1920) was a British clergyman who issued the first parish magazine. He established several other religious publications and was responsible for founding churches, schools, and hospitals in Battersea. He also competed at Henley Royal Regatta.


ETERNAL Spirit, who art with and in Thy Church, we beseech of Thee so to enlighten our minds in the knowledge of the Eternal Son, that we, being born again and renewed in the Spirit of our minds, may ever behold His glory, and be more and more changed into His image from glory to glory, until at His second coming we shall be perfectly like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.  Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm xxvii. 4-6.

JESU! the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesu’s name,
The Saviour of mankind.

O Hope of every contrite heart!
O Joy of all the meek!
To those who fall how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! This
No tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus what it is
None but his loved-ones know.

Jesu! May all confess thy name,
Thy wondrous love adore;
And, seeking Thee, themselves inflame,
To see Thee more and more.

The Jesu, may our voices bless;
Thee may we love alone;
And ever in our lives express
The image of thine own.

Jesu! our only joy be Thou,
As thou our prize wilt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.


AND Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep and do them. 2. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.  3. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. 4. The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, 5. (I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord; for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount,) saying, 6. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 7.Thou shalt have none other gods before me. 8. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: 9. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, 10. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 11. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 12. Keep the sabbath-day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. 13. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work; 14. But the seventh day is the sabbath-day of the Lord thy God, in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou. 15. Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath-day. 16. Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded me; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 17. Thou shalt not kill. 18. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. 19. Neither shalt thou steal. 20. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor. 21. Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbours’s house, his field, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.  22. These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and he added no more: and he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.

MATTHEW V. 17-30.

THINK not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire. 23. Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.



Father of all the families of the earth, help us now to draw near to Thee with the loving trust of little children, with the deep reverence of creatures in the presence of their Creator.  We adore Thee and worship Thee for Thine infinite perfections -- for Thine almighty power, for Thine all-searching wisdom, for Thine unapproachable majesty; but above all, we adore and worship Thee for Thy wondrous love to our fallen race, manifested in the gift of Thy dearly beloved Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  We confess before Thee that we are not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies toward us.  We have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep; we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts; we have offended against Thy holy laws; we have left undone those things that we ought to have done, and we have done those things that we ought not to have done, and there is no health in our souls.  Thou, who readest our secret hearts, only knowest how sinful we are.  We confess before Thee our sins of thought, word, and deed, whether remembered or forgotten now.  And we beseech Thee to enable us to make such full and true confession unto Thee that Thou mayest be able, according to Thy promise, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Oh! deal not with us after our sins, neither reward us after our iniquities.  We thank Thee that thou hast given us to know Thee in Thy word, and to hope in Thee through Thy Son our Saviour.  We entreat Thee to make us more thankful for all Thy mercies toward us.  Let not our common blessings pass unheeded by us.  We praise and thank Thee for the great gift of life, and for its continuance, day by day, in so much peace, and health, and comfort.  We bless Thee for all those gifts of the earth which Thou givest us so richly to enjoy.  We bless Thee for the ties of kindness and affection, for the mutual joys of loving hearts and pleasant homes; but far more deeply would we bless Thee for Thine assurances of pardon to them that repent, and for the promise of eternal glories to them that serve thee, offered in the gospel of our blessed Saviour. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may rightly use those high privileges that Thou hast bestowed upon us.  May we rest our hopes and fix our eyes on Christ, and Christ alone.  In work or in leisure, in sorrow or in joy, in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, in success or in failure, may we lift up our eyes to no man, save to Jesus only.

        And, while we pray for ourselves, and for those most dear to us in our own family, we would not be unmindful of others removed further from our ken.  Specially we pray for that Royal Lady whom Thou hast called to the sovereignty of these realms.  Endue her, O King of kings, with all the graces which adorn the monarch and sanctify the Christian, that her earthly crown may hereafter be exchanged for a heavenly crown.  And, O Lord of lords, give to all in high places the desire to seek Thy glory and the good of Thy people.  Guide the lords of the council, the nobility, the magistrates, and rulers of our land, giving them grace to execute justice and to maintain truth.  Let Thy blessing descend also on all Thy ministering servants in this and other lands, and on all who in every place seek to guide men into the love of Thy blessed Son.  Finally we commend to Thy fatherly care all who are in sickness, sorrow, or trial of any kind; and we entreat Thee to guide them through the waves of this troublesome world, that in the end they may come to the land of everlasting life. 

        And now, O our God, pardon, we beseech Thee, the ignorance, and coldness, and carelessness of our prayer to Thee.  Withhold from us what we have asked amiss; bestow upon us what we have forgotten or neglected to ask.  O hear us, not for our own sakes or our own deservings, but for the worthiness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.



O GRACIOUS God, and most merciful Father, who hast vouchsafed us the rich and precious jewel of Thy holy word, assist us with Thy Spirit, that it may be written in our hearts to our everlasting comfort, to re-form us, to renew us according to Thine own image, to build us up and edify us into the perfect building of Thy Christ; sanctifying and increasing in us all heavenly virtues.  Grant this, O Father, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm xxviii. 1, 2-6, 7.  

Lord, teach us how to pray aright,
With reverence and with fear!
Though dust and ashes in thy sight
We may, we must, draw near.

We perish if we cease from prayer,
O grant us power to pray!
And when to meet Thee we prepare,
Lord, meet us by the way.

Give deep humility, the sense
Of godly sorrow give;
A longing lowly confidence,
To hear thy voice and live;

Faith in the only Sacrifice
That can for sin atone;
To rest our hopes, to fix our eyes,
On Christ and Christ alone.

ISAIAH LII. 13-15.

BEHOLD, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall  be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14. As many were astonished at thee: (his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men;) 15. So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.


AND after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.




WHAT a blessed sight!  I would, that it might said of us, in all the circumstances and seasons of our life, that we saw no man, save Jesus only.

        The words were first said of Peter, and James, and John, the three chosen witnesses whom Jesus took with him to the high mountain, when, to strengthen their faith and to nerve them for the coming trial of his own death, he suffered them for a brief space to gaze on the glory which, during his life on earth, was veiled by that robe of flesh which he wore for our sakes. They saw his face shine as the sun!  They saw his raiment white as the light!  They saw Moses, the great lawgiver of their nation, and Elias, the chief of all their prophets, appear in glorified bodies to bear testimony to the divine character of their Master; and then, while a bright cloud overshadowed them, the voice of God declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.”

        When God spake of old time to the Hebrews at Sinai, and gave them the ten commandments -- speaking out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice -- the people were so terrified that they said, “If we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die.”  And in like manner, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when the disciples heard the same voice, “they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”

        Again I say, would that this sentence were true of us in every circumstance and season of our life. Happy should we be if it could be truly said of us in our daily business, in our common-place work, in our ordinary every-day interchanges of word and deed.

        When the workman is tempted to waste his employer’s substance, or the time which is his property, and says to himself, “There is no one to see, nobody will know,”  he would be checked if he remembered and realized the truth, that he in absolute reality owes his duty to no man, but to Jesus only -- Jesus, who for thirty years sustained the workman’s lot, and put dignity for ever on honest toil!  When the tradesman stoops to dishonest trickery, and salves his conscience with the thought (which is probably a lie) that “everyone does it” -- he should remember, that though he may deceive his customers, there is one with whom he has yet to do; one who promises His favour, which alone is life, to those who have an honest and true heart: the final Judge is no man, but Jesus only.

        But it is not in the life of the workman or the trader alone that the thought of a present Jesus would check sin, and strengthen men against temptation; it would do so in every place, in every time.  In society, it would save us from that fear of man which so often bringeth a snare, if we could even feel that the real person for whose opinion we have to care, is no man, but Jesus only!  In solitude, it would prevent our yielding to sloth, or to fretfulness, or to self-satisfaction, if we bore in mind that he who searcheth our hearts, who knoweth our every need, or every weakness, is no man, but Jesus only!

        But not only for this world’s business, and behaviour, and temperament is this thought a tried and precious one.  In the matter of our souls’ salvation, blessed are they who see no man, but Jesus’ only.

        Perhaps, one reason why our Lord’s transfigured glory was so soon withdrawn may have been, that the disciples were inclined to rest too much on it.  In the beginning of the chapter before this, we are told that the Pharisees and Sadducess had come to their Master, and desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven.  Jesus had sternly refused.  He had said to these men who boasted of their piety and learning -- “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” 

        The disciples would see the hatred and rage, shown in looks of contempt and words of scorn, which this rebuke would call forth; and they would naturally desire that the face of their Master, shining as the sun, the raiment white as the light, might be given as a sign to silence these insulting foes. But their Master would not have it so.  He gave them a glimpse of his glory, but he would not allow them to rest on it, but on himself in the human nature which he had assumed; and so, “when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”

        There is a danger, especially for the young, in letting their religion be based on mere regard and attachment to a minister or religious friend.  This is natural, but not wise or safe.  Regard for any person may wane; when we know them better, we find blemishes which we did not see at first, and then there is danger lest our religion suffer or die, because founded on so insecure a basis.  Or, perhaps, he, who is so trusted, falls into some grievous sin -- for Satan has always his fiercest temptations for ministers and those who influence others for good, because, if they fall, they bring down others with them.  Wherefore, put not your full trust in man or in minister; use their teaching as far as you may, but do not lean on them, or on any human stay.  In the matter of your soul’s salvation, fix your heart and hope on no man, save on Jesus only.

        Again, in the day when we are burdened with the sense of sin, may we look to no man, save Jesus only!

        The memory of sin must always make us sad; we must always, to the end of our days, look back on our sin with shame, and sorrow, and pain; but if we look to no man, save Jesus only, we have no room to despair: we are assured of the immediate pardon of our sin.

        What else can we understand by those words of St. Paul, when, preaching at Antioch, he said -- “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things.”  It is not said, may possibly be justified -- shall be justified at some future time -- but, are justified now.  It is no presumption to believe God; and yet his word declares, that a sinner who casts his whole trust on the sacrifice of Christ, is at once, in this world, delivered from the burden and guilt of his past sin.

        The same blessed truth appears from those words, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.” But Christ is raised, therefore, it is not a vain thing to trust in him; and whosoever does so trust in him, is not in his sins.   And believing this, we need not despair on account of past sinfulness; we may gratefully accept the assurance of cancelled guilt, if determined to see no man, save Jesus only!

        But besides sin, sorrow often makes the people of God to go in heaviness. 

        In the hour of heart-break and of bitter grief, may we be able to recall the words of the text, and to take comfort from the thought, that though men are miserable comforters, yet the Son of man, our unseen Friend, is able to bind up every wound. 

        I have read somewhere of a Christian widow who had given herself over to uncontrolled and continued lamentation, and who refused to be comforted for her beloved, because he was not, but who was recalled to calmness by the touching question of her little child -- “Mother, is Jesus dead?”

        May that child-saying teach us; and when the waves of trial beat in upon our spirits, when all is darkness, and gloom, and wretchedness within us and around us, may we remember that Jesus is not dead; and may we rise up to our duties with cheerfulness and resignation, fixing the eye of our minds on no man, save Jesus only.  And if this be so with us in sorrow, then, in the hour of our own death, we will have the One Friend with us, who can go down with us into the dark valley, where all other friends must leave us.

        When Bishop Beveridge was on his death-bed, his memory failed so completely, that he did not know any of his nearest relations.  His chaplain said, “Bishop Beveridge, do you know me?”  “Who are you?” was the answer.  His own wife asked, “”Do you know me?”  “Who are you?”  Being told that it was his wife, he said he did not know her. “Well,” said one near, “Bishop Beveridge, do you know Jesus Christ?”   “Jesus Christ?” he replied, reviving as if the name had acted on him as a charm.  “O yes, I have known him these forty years.  He is my only hope.”

        When our time comes to depart to the place of peace, may we, in like manner, see no man, save Jesus only! 

        But, if the friendship of Jesus is to abide with us when flesh, and heart, and mind are failing, it must be cherished in the years of health and vigour.

        It is in the sanctuary of God, in the united prayer and praise of his people, specially at the sacred table, which the love of Jesus enjoined should be spread in order to help us to quicken our love to him by the constant remembrance of his death, that we press on in upon our hearts the love of our unseen Friend. 

        And lastly, if Jesus be with us loved and trusted here, not only will he comfort us in sorrow, and uphold us in the hour of death, but in the day of judgment.  He then, sitting on the great white throne, clothed with the raiment white as the light, his countenance as when the sun shineth in his strength, he shall then say to us, “Fear not; come, ye blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

        God grant that in that most solemn day, for which all other days were made, we may lift up our eyes with loving trust, and not with terror and despair, unto that throne where we see no man, save Jesus only.

                                                 -- J. ERSKINE CLARK, M.A.




I HAVE told you all about the child Moses, how he was born in Egypt at a time when the king had given orders to kill all the boy-babes of the people of Israel; and how the king’s daughter, coming to bathe, found him, and took pity on him, and had him taken care of, and brought him home by and by to the palace, and brought up as her own son; and how he grew to be a very wise, brave man.  I must now tell you what happened to him after he was about forty years old.

        Moses, in the palace, had not forgotten his own people.  But at the time of which I am now to speak he had gone to see them, and was much vexed by the cruelties he saw them suffering.  So, when all the people about the court were thinking how he would one day come to be king, he surprised them by refusing “to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” God was moving his heart to be the deliverer of his people, and he did not care for all the power and riches of Egypt.  He would rather be God’s servant to set Israel free.  One day, when his heart was glowing with this desire, thinking that now the time was coming for letting the people know that God was going to save them by his hand, he went out among them; and seeing an Egyptian beating an Israelite, he was moved to go near, and slay the cruel wrong-doer, and set the Israelite free.  He thought this would let the people see what God had raised him to do.  So the next day, seeing two of them quarrelling, he went near, and tried to make peace, saying to them that they should not strive, for they were brethren.  But the one who was in the wrong spoke back to him angrily, and said, Who made you our judge?  Will you kill me, as you did the Egyptian yesterday? On this Moses’ faith failed him.  He thought that the people were not ready to have him as their deliverer, and that his putting the Egyptian to death was getting so talked about that it would be sure to come to the ears of the king.  So he fled from the country, and went away into the land of Midian.  There he made the acquaintance of one of the shepherd - chiefs of the place, and agreed to stay with him and keep his flocks.  Jethro was this chief’s name.  He was very much pleased with Moses, and agreed that he should marry one of his daughters, which he did, and lived with his father-in-law for forty years.  But I do not think that he was altogether forgetting his poor brethren in Egypt.  At least, God was thinking both of them and of Moses, and when the set time came, he spoke to Moses, and sent him back to Egypt to deliver them from their bondage.

        It happened this strange way: -- Moses had taken the flocks he was feeding to a great distance into the desert country, and had come along by the places where there was grass till he reached the skirt of Mount Horeb.  Here his eye was taken with a very wonderful sight.  He saw a bush all on fire, and yet it was not burned.  So he said, I must go near and see this strange thing, how the bush can be in the flames, and yet not be burned up.  But as he did so, a voice spoke to him out of the midst of the fire, and he knew that God was there, and he hid his face for fear.  Then God talked with him, and told him he was full of pity for his people Israel, who were so cruelly treated by Pharaoh, and that he had come to set them free.  He bade Moses go back to them, and he would tell him what to do.  Moses was not willing to go at first, but God would not allow him to make any excuse.  Then Moses said, But the people will not believe that Thou hast sent me, and God gave him signs to show them.  He made him throw his shepherd’s staff on the ground, and it became a serpent; then he told him to catch it by the tail, and it became a staff as before.  He made him also put his hand into his bosom twice, which when he did the hand came out the first time all white as snow with leprosy, and the second time was all right again.  He told him also of another sign to give, if these did not convince the people.  Moses could not refuse any longer, so he bade his father-in-law farewell, and set out with his wife and two sons that had been born to go into Egypt. 

        When he had finished his journey, and arrived among the people of Israel, he sent for their elders, and told them all that God had said to him, and how he was come from God to free them from their tyrant.  He showed them the signs which God had bid him give them, and when they saw his staff become a serpent and then a rod again, and his hand grow leprous and then sound just by being put into his bosom, they believed, and were very glad, and praised the Lord.  After that Moses, along with a brother named Aaron, who was a little older than himself, went to King Pharaoh, and in the name of the Lord God of Israel, asked him to let the people go. But he said very profanely, I should like to know who the Lord God is, that I should mind him, or do as he wants me.  Poor man, he did know before long.  Only, at first it put him into a rage with the people to be asked to let them leave Egypt, and he gave orders to treat them more harshly than ever.  It was a hard case for the Israelites, and tried their faith much to see their lot getting worse instead of better, and they began to complain to Moses, and to say it would have been well if he had not come to meddle in their affairs at all.

        This sent Moses to God in prayer.  Trials always do send good men to prayer.  The answer came in a series of terrible judgments of Pharaoh, till at last in great fear he allowed the people to go.  These judgments were wrought by Moses’ staff, which, for these great signs, was called the rod of God.  Of course it was God’s power, not the rod, that did the wonders.  But the stretching out of the rod was the token of God’s great power being at hand and ready to work.  The ten judgements are usually called the ten plagues.  Here they are, named in order as they fell out: First, the river Nile, of which the Egyptians were very proud, was turned into blood.  Next, all the land swarmed with frogs.  After that, the dust of the ground was turned into gnats, or some sort of small insects.  The fourth plague came in the shape of swarms, probably, of beetles.  The fifth was a cattle-plague.  After that, a disease, causing sore boils, came on the Egyptians themselves.  Then a terrible storm of thunder and lightning and hail swept over the land.  Next, every thing left by the hail was eaten up by prodigious hosts of locusts.  Then came a darkness, so thick that you could feel it with the touch, which lasted three days; all the time no one being able to move from his place for fear, and for the black night that was round him.  Last of all, one night the angel of death went out through all Egypt, and slew every first-born person, high and low, so that there was not a house where there was not one dead.  Then it was that King Pharaoh in a fright sent to Moses and Aaron, and bade them take the people away; and the Israelites, who had been getting ready beforehand, left Egypt with everything they had, never to come back.


        The story of the first-born, and of Israel’s going out of Egypt, is so wonderful, that it must be told in another place by itself.  Here I will tell you of one other judgment sent on Pharaoh by the rod of God.

        After his fright began to pass off, the king became sorry that he had yielded after all, and let the people go.  So he resolved to chase them, and bring them back.  He got ready, accordingly, a great host of chariots, and horsemen, and soldiers, and set out in pursuit.  And as he had heard that they had not gone the straight way into the wilderness, but had turned south, and were in camp on the west shore of the Red Sea, he made sure of taking them all captive again.  When his army came in sight, the people of Israel felt very much afraid.  They thought they could not escape, with the sea before them, and a great host behind.  But God had told Moses what to do.  He was to stretch the staff he had used in bringing the plagues over the sea, and divide it.  He did so, and behold the waters were separated and driven back, and a broad dry road left for Israel to go through.  All night they advanced by this strange highway, and in the morning were safe on the other shore.  The king of Egypt and his host dashed in to the sea path after them, but God towards morning began to plague them, and terrify them, and they turned at last to flee; but not one of them escaped.  How they perished you may see in the picture of the destruction of Pharaoh’s host.  It tells the story at a glance.  See, there is Moses stretching out the rod over the sea.  There are the great waves tumbling down on the Egyptian host.  See how they vainly struggle in the waters.  See the black wrath-storm over their heads.  They cry, they sink, they perish!  But high and safe, Israel are singing for wonder and joy -- “The Lord hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea.”


        1. Can you find out in the picture the ark of God, and the pillar of fire?

        2. Where are we told that Moses was forty years of age at the time this story begins?

        3. What does the scripture say was the secret principle which led to Moses to choose helping his brethren, rather than ruling in Egypt?

        4. Can you name two other good men who, like Moses, fled from their country for a time because their faith failed them?

        5. Moses met Jethro’s daughters, one of whom he married, at a well -- what other famous person first met his wife at a well also?

        6. What doctrine of scripture was proved by the words God spoke from the midst of the burning bush?

        7. Who was it that, for deceit, became all over a leper white as snow?

        8. What other king blasphemed God, like Pharaoh, as if he were just like any idol-god of the nations?

        9. Can you give four instances of good persons whom trouble led to prayer?

        To remember the plagues of Egypt in order, commit to memory this couplet, or make one for yourselves: --

        Blood, frogs, gnats, beetles, cattle-murrain dread

[lice, fly-swarms]

Boils, hail storm, locusts, darkness, first-born dead.

CONSULT for answers to the questions -- Acts vii.;  Heb. xi; 1 Sam. xxvii., 1 Kings xix; Gen. xxix; Luke xx.; 2 Kings v.; 2 Kings xix.;  Gen. xxxii.,         1 Sam i., 2 Chron. xxxii., and Dan.ii.



O LORD, Thou art the God of the needy.  Look down on peoples and persons that are suffering now from cruel hands of power.  Teach the weak and the wronged to cry to Thee, and put their trust in Thee.  Have pity on all that are toiling in weariness and almost despair, and cannot get enough to eat and wear.  Put to shame all that for their own gain hold back the poor man’s hire.  Pity the slaves of Satan everywhere.  Bind the strong one, Lord Jesus, for Thou art stronger than he, and spoil him of his goods.  Teach us, O Lord, to sing Thy praise for victory over all evil.  To Thee be glory, world without end.  Amen.



LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things, graft in our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us in all goodness; and of Thy mercy keep us in the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm cvi. 1-5.

SUN of my soul! Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night if thou be near.
Oh! May no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from thy servant’s eyes.

When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
For ever on my Saviour’s breast.

Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.

If some poor wandering child of thine
Have spurned, to-day, the voice divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin,
Let him no more lie down in sin.

Watch by the sick: enrich the poor,
With blessings from thy boundless store;
Be every morner’s sleep to-night,
Like infant’s slumbers, pure and light.

Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take;
Till in the ocean of Thy love
We lose ourselves in heaven above.

MATTHEW V. 22-30.

BUT I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire. 23. Therefore, if thou bring thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shall not commit adultery: 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.


DO we begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2. Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 4. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit : for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7. But if the ministration of death, written engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; 8. How shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious? 9. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11. For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. 12. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; 13. And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastedly look to the end of that which is abolished; 14. But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.  17. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.



HEAVENLY Father, whose goodness has brought us to the close of another day, we again humbly seek Thy blessing.  The shades of night have fallen now upon the world; let not any shade of unrepented sin remain to cloud our consciences, or to darken the last moments of a day which has brought us one step nearer to the eternal world.  Forgive what thou hast seen amiss in us this day, and absolve us from our offences, that by Thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered, from the bonds of those sins which, by our frailty, we have committed.  May that Lamb of God who died to take away the sins of the world, take away our sins for ever.  Lighten our darkness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and by Thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night.  Preserve us from harm in those unconscious hours, when we are specially powerless to keep ourselves.  May no danger come nigh our bodies, no evil and polluting thoughts defile our souls; may we be refreshed and strengthened by a sweet sleep for the labours and duties of another day, if we are spared to see it; or if in the night we wakeful lie, do Thou supply our souls with holy thoughts.  Look down in thy especial mercy on those who cannot sleep, those who are tossing on beds of pain or languising, and give them the consolations of thy Spirit, so that there may be no creature in adversity who doth not feel Thy comfort and compassion.  Be Thou the friend of the friendless, the merciful reclaimer of the wanderer, the strength of the weak and wavering, the support of them that suffer in a righteous cause.

        Give success to every effort that is being made to lessen iniquity, to relieve distress, to enlighten the ignorant with that knowledge which is eternal life.  Put it into our hearts, and into the power of our hands to seek to do our part that Thy way may be known on earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  “Our Father, “ &c.





        Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 

        The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.

        She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.

        Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

        She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

        Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Prov. xxxi. 10, 11, 12, 25, 26, 28.


Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.

Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or or putting on of apparel;

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 

1 Peter iii. 1, 3, 4.



        Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

        Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord.

        Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

        The father to the children shall make known thy truth.

        And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart;

        And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Prov. xxii. 6.    Col. iii. 20, 21.   Isa. xxxviii. 19.   Deut. vi. 6, 7.


        Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.

        What man is he that feareth the Lord: him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

        His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

        For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

        And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses.

                    Deut. xii. 20.   Ps. xxv. 12, 13.   Isa. xiv. 3, 4.



        Honour thy father and thy mother:

        Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father.

        My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

        For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

        My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

        Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

Matt. xix. 19.       Lev. xix. 3.       Prov. i. 8, 9.     Prov. vi. 20, 21.


        Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

        And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses.

        And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.

        If any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

Prov. xxiii. 22.     Gen. xlvii. 11. 12.      1 Tim. v. 4.  



        And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

        But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

        Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as little child, he shall not enter therein.

        And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them,

Mark x. 13, 14, 15, 16.


        At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

        And Jesus called a little child unto him,

        And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

        And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

        But who shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 

Matt. xviii. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6.



        And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

        And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

        Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Matt. xxi. 15, 16.  Matt. xviii. 10.


        A woman of Canaan cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

        Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

        But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

        And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

        Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Matt. xv. 22, 25, 26, 27, 28.



        And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

        And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

        And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

        For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

        And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Luke ii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.


        They found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

        And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

        And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

        And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke ii. 46, 47, 48, 49.

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