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The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 17

By Alexander Raleigh, D.D.

Morning Worship

THOU, King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible, the only wise God, make us wise unto salvation; and so lead us into the saving knowledge of thy revealed will, and into the love of all Thy holy precepts, and into the faithful and daily keeping of the same, that we may reach the full joy and peace of the gospel, and abide in them all our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm xlvi. 1-5.

MY God, my Father, cheering name!
What joy to call thee mine!
With humble faith and love to claim
A portion so divine!

This comfort can my fears control,
And bid my sorrows fly;
What real harm can reach my soul
Beneath my Father’s eye?

Whate’er thy providence denies
I calmly would resign,
For thou art good, and just, and wise;
O bend my will to thine!

Whate’er thy providence denies,
Lord give me strength to bear;
Still let me say, “My Father reigns,”
And trust his tender care.

Thy ways, great God, are little known
To my weak, erring sight;
Yet shall my soul, believing, own
That all thy ways are right.


LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 3. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return ye children of men. 4. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.  9. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 13. Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.


MOREOVER, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain: 3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; 5. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve;  6. After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7. After that he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11. Therefore, whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. 12. Now, if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ; whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; 17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19. If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. 21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23. But every man is his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. 25. For he must reign, til he hath put all enemies under his feet.



O GOD, we have been in Thy care through the watches of the night; under the shadow of Thy wings have we found rest and safety.  We laid us down and slept; we have awaked, for Thou hast sustained us.

        And now, amid the lights and mercies of a new day, what shall we say unto Thee, O Thou preserver of men!  We shall reckon up our benefits as in Thy sight, until, as we have often done before, we find them more than can be numbered.  Our life is full to overflowing of Thy lovingkindness, and the light of Thy mercy shines even on the commonest of our gifts.  Thou givest us bread to eat and raiment to put on.  Thou renewest our strength day after day.  Thou givest us in fresh gift each morning the home in which we live, and the friends who make it dear and tender.  What reason have we to thank Thee because Thou settest the solitary in families, preserving each of us, day after day, from the loneliness of the homeless and the bereaved! Any morning might dawn upon our sorrow and tears, might cast its light upon the face of our dead.  We are all of us here alive before Thee, and we thank Thee for continued life.  Sanctify to us this hallowed day; enrich all its means of grace with that blessing which alone can make them truly helpful to us.  May we be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.  May we rise above all care and strife, and enter with Jesus into a sacred rest; sharing with Him in the joy and liberty of His risen life, sitting together with Him in the heavenly places.

        Alas, how unlike unto Thee are we still!  Sin is still dark and strong in us, and there is much in our life that can only be displeasing in Thy pure eyes.  Enter not into judgment with Thy servants, O Lord; for in Thy sight we cannot be justified.  Grant us the grace of repentance every day, that we may never think ourselves well without healing, or strong without help.  May we mourn over the evil which is yet within us, and earnestly endeavour after the grace by which it may be expelled.  Especially may we know the sin-subduing power of the atoning sacrifice.  May the blood of sprinkling cleanse us day by day.  May we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and who gave Himself for us; and so rest on the one foundation He hath laid, and so conduct all our affairs in and for Him, that we may be able to declare before all that we glory not save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified unto us, and we unto the world.  

        We shall soon go forth once more into its toils, and among its many cares.  Gird us with strength; inspire us with a hopeful courage.  Make us afraid, if danger should come near, lest we should pass on among the simple and be punished.  Make us willing to do our work, although it should be humble, or common, or difficult.  Make all duty great by the light of Thy presence, and by the hope of the everlasting reward.  Make us afraid of hiding a single talent, or of losing one hour.  May we work while it is day; and watch and be sober; and hope unto the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the coming of Jesus Christ.

        We pray that His kingdom may grow through all the earth.  May it grow mightily even to-day.  Strengthen Thou the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, “Be strong; fear not.”  Endow the strong with tenderness, that they may help the weak.  Give patience to the ardent, that they may wait as well as work.  Give sympathy to the cheerful; and cheerfulness to the suffering.  Let all Thy people rejoice and be confident in thee.

        Pour out Thy Spirit from on high on all the waste places of the earth, and let the deserts rejoice and blossom as the rose.  May they blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing.  How long; O Lord!  how long? Thou hast promised to give unto Thy Son the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession.  We remind Thee of the promise.  We remind Thee of all who have lived and died in the faith of it.  Many, in every age, have gone forth bearing precious seed, the harvest of which they never gathered.  And still the sowers are going forth to sow; and the angels, the reapers, are ready; and all the world is weary; and the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  Arise, O God, plead Thine own cause.  Let Thy word, at length, prevail mightily over all opposition.  Let every adversary of the truth be ashamed, so that the Great King may ride forth prosperously in the chariot of salvation, and be hailed by the acclamations of a regenerated world.  When He cometh may we be of those who shall hear Him say, “well done, good and faithful servants.”  We humbly ask these things for His name’s sake.  Amen.



FATHER of lights, shine upon our darkness, and grant us a gracious deliverance from ignorance, prejudice, and sin; and such effectual teaching of thy Holy Spirit that we may, now and ever, receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save our souls, and bring forth its blessed and abundant fruits with patience, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

                                HYMN, or Psalm xxxi. 19, 20, 23, 24.

HAIL, everlasting Prince of peace;
Hail, Governor divine;
How gracious is thy sceptre’s sway!
What gentle laws are thine!

Thy tender heart with love o’erflow’d;
Love spoke in every breath;
Vig’rous it reign’d through all thy life,
And triumph’d in thy death.

All these united charms how strong
Our frozen souls to move!
And this the proof of love to Thee,
“That we each other love.”

O be the sacred law fulfill’d
In every act and thought;
Each angry passion far removed,
Each selfish view forgot!

Be all our hearts dilated wide
By our Redeemer’s grace;
And in one grasp of fervent love,
His foll’wers all embrace.


AND Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.  2. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods. 3. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and I multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. 4. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.  5. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them; and afterward I brought you out.  6. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red Sea. 7. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. 8. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. 9. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: 10. But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. 11. And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. 12. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. 13. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.  14. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 16.  And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; 17. For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 18. And the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God. 19. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord,; for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God’ he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20. If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. 21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay, but we will serve the Lord. 22. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him.  And they said, We are witnesses. 23. Now therefore put away (said he) the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel. 24. And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. 25. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.  26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us: for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. 28. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. 29. And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in Mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. 31. And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel. 32. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. 33. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim. 




“HE exhorted them all;” and they were not few.  They were the new Christian converts in Antioch -- converts made, as it were, in a chance way, out of all ecclesiastical rule; but good and sound converts notwithstanding, as all their after history showed. 

        Antioch first received the gospel from travelling preachers, or rather from men who probably never had been preachers before, but who became so as soon as they were driven away from Jerusalem by the persecution.  The rule among them at first, was to preach only to the Jews; which they did in Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch.  But some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, in a happy moment, thought of speaking also to the Grecians, and lo!  The same results followed -- they believed just as if they had been Jews.  “The hand” or power of the Lord was with the preachers, “and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord.”  The tidings reached Jerusalem, and the church there, not knowing what to think -- afraid, cautious, not at all approving as yet, not at all sure about admitting the Gentiles in such numbers -- yet sent Barnabas, evidently in a kindly spirit.  He was a Hellenist, or Greek Jew, a Cyprian also, and would therefore, probably enough, know some of the men from Cyprus who had preached the gospel in Antioch with such effect.  He was sent to watch the work, to correct and restrain as it might be necessary.  He came, and all doubt vanished from his mind as soon as he saw the real character and extent of the work going on!  The impression at once produced on his mind was, “This is nothing else but the grace of God;” and being himself a good and gracious man, “he was glad, and exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”

        Now this exhortation is to us, just as it was of old to them to whom it was first given.  There is no difference that is essential.  Two thousand miles of land and sea lie between the two places -- there and here; but a religious truth is as true in any one part of the world as in any other.  Eighteen hundred years come between the two times -- then and now; but “a thousand years are to the Lord as one day.”  In the annals of eternity it was but “yesterday” -- yesterday in the morning of the day, that Barnabas preached at Antioch, exhorting them to “cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart.”  So fresh and living is the religion of Christ!  So perpetually the same are the needs of man!  Let us consider and apply the exhortation: let us consider first, and then apply.

        At the basis of it, or in the heart of it, there is this great truth -- that Christ, the Lord Himself, is the centre, sum, substance, of a sinner’s religion.  Christ is Christianity.  We are to cleave not to the system so much as to the person, who, in his revealed personality, shows, lives, makes the system; not so much to the truth as to the Lord.  Of course we do accept the system of revealed truth; we cannot believe intelligently without doing that.  But it is a higher and fuller and more entire act of the mind to accept of the Saviour, to cleave unto the Lord.

        Now, what is this cleaving to Him?

        I. It implies an act and state of dependence.  We are not going to lay down any express order of human experience in coming to the knowledge of the truth; because there is no invariable order in the consciousness of the individual.  The mind has many powers, and many affections, and any one of them may be used as a first door of entrance for the truth.  The Lord can come into his own house when and how He chooses.  The first thrill of his presence may be felt in this power or in that -- here, or there, in the soul’s consciousness; in the fear, or in the faith, or in the love, or in the joy, or in the resolve, of the awakening soul.  It does not matter how, if the soul does begin to cleave unto the Lord.  But very often, although, as we have said, not invariably, the first consciousness of such a condition is just this simple feeling -- a feeling of dependence.

        We must depend, and we must have this feeling of dependence soon or late -- we must have it soon and late.  For this is not a feeling suitable to a crisis simply, a day of decision, or a time of trouble.  It is a state to live in.  It is a beautiful and blessed state to die in -- a state of dependence: so the soul cleaves unto the Lord. 

        This is a very simple state, we have said, and yet how much it expresses and implies!  It says, it is the soul saying, I have no strength; give me a staff, or better still, an arm, to stay me and hold me up.  I have no wisdom; give me a light to shine upon my way, and let me see the pointing of a hand where in future that way will be.  I have no goodness -- none; let me have the goodness of another, a perfect spotless virtue, to be to me a garment of salvation.  I have nothing of my own, I must look for all to Christ.  I know not even the depth and fullness of my own need, I must trust to Him to search me and know me, and see if there are any wicked ways in me, and then lead me in his way everlasting.

        Such is this feeling of dependence.  It has all these things, and others like, within it, and yet how simple it is!  A child depends on the arm which carries it.  A traveler depends on the wooden bridge, frail though it may look to the eye, by which he crosses the black abysmal gult, to fall into which were swift destruction.  A voyager depends on the ship he sails in, and on the captain who steers it safely through stormy seas.  So, with the like simplicity, with the like quietness of trust, we depend on Christ alone for salvation.  Do you know this?  Hear it, learn it, you who labour and are heavy laden; you who are weary in the greatness of your own way; you who look for something in your feelings to justify your trust -- learn that trust is first, and feeling after; that you must depend on Jesus, without previous mental conditions: as you are, however that may be.  If only you feel that by cleaving to Him your need is met and your heart is satisfied, then I exhort you to cleave unto the Lord in this feeling of helpless and absolute dependence.  Your weakness will be strength, your helplessness will be all-sufficiency, you will say ere long, “When I am weak, then am I strong.”  “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” 

        II.  But in this cleaving to the Lord there is more than dependence.  We might depend on one whom we did not, or even could not love.  But in this case how different!  To cleave is to love. And where the love is not, the cleaving will not be for long.  Fear may bring us into contact with the Saviour, but only love has power to keep us in the union.  Sometimes sense of sin, and fear of danger, and conviction of need, so work in the soul as to drive it to this only refuge; and that soul for a while seems to sing the old song of eternal triumph.  ‘Who shall separate me from the love of Christ?”  Yet, alas! in a while the separation is accomplished, and accomplished apparently without any great difficulty.  No tribulation!  No distress, persecution, nakedness, famine, peril, or sword! No killing all day long for his sake!  No struggle with “death or life,” with “angels, principalities, or powers!”  All is quiet, and yet the sad separation has taken place -- as when the snow melts from the hill, as when the leaf falls from the tree on the mild autumn day.  Why is this?  It is because there is no love.  The apparent cleaving to the Lord was but the rush and the cling of fear, was but the grasp of self-interest.  It was but the sign of the hatred of misery and pain, of sin in its consequences rather than it itself, while there was no love of the goodness of Christ, by which the sin is destroyed.

        We cannot cleave to the Lord unless we love.  We cannot be saved without love.  Our love is our heart; we might almost say it is ourselves.  The love, more than all else, is the man.  It is more than trust, more than hope, more than joy, more than anything else we can think, or feel, or do, or give, or be.  “God is Love;” and when we have love answering to his love in Christ to us, we are like Him -- we possess him -- we live in the very element of his felicity.  And without this there is no eternal bond.  Without this we are giving a divided service, we are not offering a whole burnt-offering, we are not cleaving to the Lord.  Like Ananias and Sapphira, we are keeping back a part -- a part?  yes, almost the whole, if we do not love.  Our love is ourselves.  Christ does not want our cries, our fears, our words, our works, our so-called sacrifices, separated from ourselves.  It is ourselves He wants.  “I seek not yours, but you.”  He looks at all we can do, and be, and bring, and suffer, apart from our love, and it is nothing to Him -- makes Him no richer, no more a Saviour than He was.  He still says, “My Son, give me thine heart.  Lovest thou me?”  But if He sees the love, then He is satisfied; the heart is then won, and that living soul is cleaving unto Him.

        Perhaps the most expressive instance of the cleaving of inseparable love, in the Bible, is that of Ruth to Naomi.  That of Jonathan to David is also beautiful -- very; but that of Ruth to Naomi is wonderful!  The characters are simple enough.  Two Hebrew women -- two Eastern women, at least.  Three stand together when we see them first -- weeping, pleading, preparing to part.  The eldest of the three in Naomi, the Hebrew mother.  She has been dwelling in the land of Moab for at least ten years; she has buried her husband there, and her two sons -- all that she had.  And now, a sorrowful, desolate woman, she is turning homewards to seek some solace in the land of her birth.  These two young women who have come thus far with her -- they are not of her blood, they are not of her race.  They are daughters-in-law to her, but their home is in Moab; and (no doubt after many tender talkings) she gives, or tries to give, the farewell kiss.  To one she gives, but not to both.  “Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her.”  And then Naomi, knowing that she was poor, portionless, bereaved, without standing now in life, husband and sons all gone, said to Ruth, “Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back to her people, return thou after thy sister-in-law.”  But Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”  A noble, unselfish utterance -- the most passionate, and yet the purest cleaving of love -- well deserving to be enshrined, as it has been, in the songs of all Christian lands, and to be cherished in the admiration of all Christian hearts;  well-deserving of being made the symbol, as we do instinctively make it, of that still holier love by which our eternal consecration to God in Christ is sealed -- by which we “cleave unto the Lord.” 

        III.  the next element in this cleaving to the Lord is found in the will set to obedience -- in the determination or purpose of the mind to continue in consecration to the end.   The very expression, you see, is in the test, so that we cannot mistake.  “He “exhorted them that, with purpose of heart, they would cleave.” 

        We have seen that the dependence that cleaves is not the dependence of fear, or selfish longing. It links itself with  vehement and unselfish love.  And the love is not a transient and vanishing flame.  It burns as calmly as the stars.  It is a fire on the altar that never goes out, for it is sustained by the strength and fed by the diligence of a “purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord.”  When Naomi saw that Ruth was steadfastly minded, she left speaking to her, and they two went on together.  The same steadfast mind to go with Christ will do much to still the speakings and overcome the hostilities of all who are against it.  A “steadfast mind!”  A “purpose of heart!”  These, when fully formed, are invincible things.  You have seen a rocky island dashed by the waves of every storm that comes, until sometimes the whole air is resounding with the shocks, yet never moving from its place.  You have seen a tree--giant oak or sylvan beech--assailed, shaken by the whirlwind, until men who had often found shelter beneath its leafy shade fled away from it in fear, to escape possible destruction in its fall; and yet it stood unhurt, and smiled once more under the sunshine of the summer day.  You have seen the sun or moon climbing the heavens while the rack of the tempest came driving and hurrying on, as if to quench the brightness.  But mist and rain and dark storm-clouds passed, and left the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.  You have seen -- no, you have never seen, and may you and I never see! but you have heard of -- serried ranks of living men standing the fierce shock of battle and turning the tide of war.  But there is something grander and morally more noble than all these.  Stronger than ocean rock, firmer than rooted oak, more unquenchable than sun or moon in wintry sky, more immovable and invincible than patriot soldiers of the freest land -- is the “steadfast mind,”  the “purpose” of the heart that cleaves unto the Lord. 

        “Endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.”  Cleave unto him in this way -- in a way that will calmly set at defiance the frown, the sneer, the merry scoff.  Cleave to Him with such force of purpose in your soul that, like a ship with a great way on, sailing through the outer circles of a whirlpool safely, although within sight and hearing of the maelstrom, you will be able to pass through all the enchantments that pleasure may try to throw over you; through her charmed grounds (if duty calls you) without feeling the spell; through even the tides and currents of passion that may lie in your voyage -- wafted by the trade-wind of eternity, and borne onwards by the tide that will never cease to flow until it touches the eternal shore. 

        Endure “hardness.”  I like that word so applied.  “Hardness!”  That is what many need.  Some men are too soft and yielding in the life of Christ  The only tactics they uniformly favour in the holy war are those which teach them gracefully to retire.  But that is not the teaching of Christ.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil -- not to retire with compliments to him.  “Stand, therefore.”  “Having done all, to stand.”  “With purpose of heart cleaving unto the Lord.”

Do you say that hardness is apt to become unloveliness, that tenderness and sympathy are apt to be lost or frozen up in the heart of it?  No doubt that might be!  What virtue can you cultivate, what course can you adopt, without danger to free and growing men?  But there is no need that Christian hardness should be without due tenderness and grace.  Look at that stone -- translucent, clear.  How soft it seems.  how tender its depths!  Surely it would melt with a touch?  Nay; nor shiver with a stroke!  You could not even scratch its surface with hardest steel.  That is the diamond, the clearest, softeest, fairest and yet the hardest thing we know.  “Endure hardness.”  “With purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord.” 

        And now, having explained this exhortation, let me in a few closing words still farther, and more expressly, apply it.  Of course this exhortation is applicable to all who are really joined to Him -- to the most aged disciples as well as to the youngest; in some sense more tenderly to the aged than to the young.  It would be a sorrow beyond the power of words or the reach of tears if we could think of those who have long been joined to the Lord forsaking Him late in life, amid the shades of life’s eventide, amid the infirmities of age, just before He would call them into his eternal joy.  Sad indeed would it be to think of turning the vessel another way after the long voyage is well-nigh over, and the long-sought shore is almost in sight.  Surely, aged brethren, you are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. 

        But following the analogy of the passage, we have in view rather recent converts, whether in middle life or (still more especially) the young.  Young friends, I exhort you to cleave with purpose of heart unto the Lord.  You are his; be wholly his.  You are his; be nobly his -- his by a simple dependence, by a fervent affection, by a steady purpose of the will and of the heart, “cleaving unto your Lord.”  The more firmly you believe, the more easily you will go on.  You are getting now the very tone and manner of your after life, in spiritual, still more than in earthly things.  You are sowing your own futurity every day.  What shall it be?  Shall it be shadow or clearness?  Shall it be vacillation or onwardness?  Shall it be dalliance with many, or shall it be cleaving to one -- your loving Lord?  Ah!  Are you turning your vessel so that you may pass near the glittering realms of pleasure?  or are you steering her exactly by the compass of duty, through whatever seas and storms may come?  “I exhort you” -- would that I had the tongue of Barnabas of Cyprus to do it -- to leave now “with purpose of heart to the Lord.”

        Finally, Are any of you cleaving to Him, and yet holding yourselves apart from his people?  You may still be his, although you are not outwardly with them; but it will be more difficult for you.  The church is your home if you are his, and you will lose something every year, and every month, that you live out of her fellowship.

        In those early days, when the moment of decision came, the very next thing that was thought of, and the next step that was taken, was the step of entrance into the church of God.  The very expression, “added unto the Lord,” means, or at least implies, added visibly to his church.  “The disciples were all together, and had all things in common.”  Now, Christian converts sometimes linger for years before they come to profess the faith among their brethren.  And Jesus cares for them all that time; for He is very pitiful and of tender mercy.  But He does not approve their delay.  He would rather lead them among his sheep, and by the footsteps of his flock, than watch and keep them in their separate ways.  “Be not you a wanderer on the mountain, or amid the wide commons and devious ways of the world, when you may at once enter into the green pastures and abide by the still waters; come with us and we will do you good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.”

        There are special times in the circle of the year when this and other questions come seriously before the mind -- anniversaries, that bring their memorial message; the new year; or those special opportunities and seasons of communion which occur from time to time.  Will you enter on another period still unconfessed?  Will you not rather say as you feel, “I am not my own; I am bought with a price,”  “I am the Lord’s.”  I must live among those who are the Lord’s; I am not strong enough to stand alone; I must share their privileges, and do my part in their work; I must pay my vows unto the Lord now, in the presence of all his people. -- Alexander Raleigh, D.D.




IF I were to ask some little reader, who was the wisest man, I have no doubt I should be readily told it was Solomon.  And the Bible does indeed say that he was wiser than all other men that dwelt on the face of the earth.  Now when any person is taller, or older, or richer, or stronger, or more learned than every body else, he soon gets to be talked about.  His fame, as we say, flies abroad.  This happened in Solomon’s case.  In all the countries round about Palestine, people began to speak about the wonderful king that was seated on the throne of Israel.  Stories were told to show how wise he was.  Here was one of them:  -- It was said that two mothers who slept together, with their little babes, once came before him for judgment.  One of the infants had been overlaid in the night, and had died.  Now the mother who had smothered her child, when she saw that it was dead, rose quietly and took away the living infant from the bosom of the other, and put the little dead body of her own in its place.  When the mother of the living child woke, she was startled at first, but looking carefully, she saw the cheat.  So she came to tell the king, asking him to do justice, and to tell the other woman to give her back her own child.  It is my child, cried that other, and I won’t give it.  So when the king had heard them cry out in this way, contradicting each other, and each claiming the child as her own, he bade them stand aside a little, and said, This one says, the babe is mine, and the other says, No, it is mine; how can we tell?  Bring the child here; and since each of these women says it is hers, and we know not which speaks the truth, let us just give each of them a part.  Bring a sword to cut it in two.  Now the king had no design at all to kill the little helpless thing, but he took this plan to find out who the mother was.  And he soon found it out.  For the true mother cried out at once, O don’t: give her the child (meaning the other woman), and do not kill it.  The other said, Yes, yes, it is but fair; let it be neither yours nor mine, but divide it; for she did not care so much to have a child to love and nurse, as just to see her neighbour childless like herself.  This was quite what the king expected, and as soon as he had heard it, he said, pointing to the first that spoke, That is the mother; give her the child; by no means hurt it.  So the true mother went away hugging her little son to her bosom, and the people, when they heard of the judgment, wondered at the wisdom of the king. 

        Among the countries to which the fame of King Solomon spread, Sheba was one.  If you look at the map you will see that south from Judea lies the region called Arabia.  Sheba was probably that part of Arabia which is lowest down in the map, on the borders of the ocean.  Jesus, speaking of it, calls it in the New Testament the uttermost parts of the earth, so that it was the farthest off place known in Solomon’s time, or rather the farthest off in the direction in which it lay.  This country of Sheba at the time was under the rule of a queen.  Our own land has had wise and able queens -- has now a queen whom her many subjects love; and Sheba’s ruler was a very thoughtful and wise person.  When she heard people tell of the great king that had risen in Israel, how grand and how full of wisdom he was, she thought she would like to visit him, and hear him speak.  There were subjects on which she had long thought, without being able to see into them clearly; and she wished to ask Solomon about them.  So she resolved to take a journey to Jerusalem.  That was a long way off -- a thousand miles, or thereby.  In days when railways make distances seem so little, it is not very hard to travel as far as that; but it was different in the Queen of Sheba’s days.  That long way could only be gone over by riding on camels.  So the queen told her servants to get a train of camels ready, and to lade many of them with the sweet gums and spices of the country, and with gold and precious stones, while herself and a great number of attendants were carried by others.  It must have been a fine thing to see this royal procession move through the sandy desert, and to know that the lady who led it was going to be a learner at the feet of wisdom.  Our blessed Lord, by referring to it, shows that it was pleasant for God to see it.  It was a beautiful instance of earnest pursuit of knowledge.  At last the company reached Jerusalem, and no doubt there was a great stir on the coming of so many strangers, with a queen at their head.  No doubt Solomon received them very hospitably.  But the chief thing that the royal lady was bent on was to hear his wisdom.  So she asked him about the subjects that had perplexed her, and he gave her clear and true answers.  The Bible does not say what her questions were about, but I think they must have been about sin, and God, and duty, and hope; perhaps, also, about other subjects of a different kind, about which we are told that Solomon spoke -- the habits of beasts, and birds, and fishes, or about flowers, and plants, and trees.  Whatever her questions were about, the king was able to satisfy her by his answers, and she wondered very much indeed at his wisdom. 

        Afterwards Solomon took the Queen of Sheba to see the temple with its wonderful riches and grandeur, and showed her the way by which he went up, when he went there to worship.  She had never seen any thing like it.  Then he took her all over his palace, and he let her see all his state, how his table was spread, how the attendants waited, what a retinue of servants he had, how bravely they were dressed, how his wines were served; and putting all things together, the queen was quite overcome with the sight.  She did not know how to express strongly enough her sense of Solomon’s greatness  So she gave him a very costly present of gold, and precious stones, and sweet gums.  Such abundance of the best sort of spices had never been known in Jerusalem before.  And ere she left the court of the king to go home to her own land, she made a speech, which served to show her own good character, and her highest delight with all she had seen and heard.  The speech was to this effect: --

        King Solomon, when I was at home in my own country and among my own people, I heard the report of your great wisdom, but I would not believe it.  I thought it could not be true.  I thought no mortal man could be so wise as you were said to be.  It could only be an instance of how things far away were made greater as they were passed from lip to lip.  But finding that still the same story was told, how there was no one on the earth like you, I resolved that I would go and see, and judge for myself.  I have come, O king, to find it all true; only, the one-half had not been told me before.  You are wiser far than fame said that you was, for you have explained things to me which I thought no one on earth could make plain.  Your prosperity, and riches, and grandeur, are also most wonderful.  I go back to my own humble country filled with amazement and delight.  O king Solomon, yours is a happy people.  Happy are your courtiers, happy are all your servants, to have opportunity constantly of seeing your state, and hearing your wise words.  May the great God, your own and your father’s God, be praised for raising you up to reign over Israel, and judge them so faithfully.  Surely he has given in this a proof of the love he has to his own people, whom he redeemed for himself.  O king, reign still long and happily!  And blessed for ever be the God of Israel, the true and living God!

        Solomon was much pleased with the conduct and the words of the Queen of Sheba.  So, besides telling her all she asked him to explain, he informed her of many things she had not known or heard of.  He gave her many presents; also indeed whatever she seemed to like and wish he gave her freely.  After a time she went away into her own land, carrying many gifts with her  But the best was the wisdom she had learned at the great sage’s feet: for wisdom is better than gold or rubies.  I suppose, too, the queen would teach her own people much of what she had learned; and we may believe that, in the last day, the King who is wiser and greater than Solomon will have many of his precious redeemed ones from the subjects of the Queen of Sheba.  We know, also, from prophecy that hereafter he will receive homage and gifts from the land over which she ruled.  May we soon see the prophecy fulfilled!



        1. Can you give the names of four wise men, none of whom was yet so wise as King Solomon?

        2. Can you quote an instance of a mother’s affection proved by her conduct toward dead sons?

        3. What king was it whose cruel sword was dipped in the blood of little children?

        4. What passage in one of the prophets speaks of the strong love a mother has to her infant child?

        5. What name did the Lord Jesus give to the Queen of Sheba, and what did he say about her?

        6. From the answer to this last question, can you say whether the Queen of Sheba lives still?

        7. Can you tell where we read of another queen who showed her good sense by her regard for a very wise man that was one of her husband’s ministers?

        8. Where do we read of a train of camels laden with sweet spices that were going in a different direction from those of the Queen of Sheba, the passing by of which gave occasion for a very wicked action?

ANSWERS to the foregoing will be found by consulting the following chapters: -- 1 Kings iv.; 2 Sam. xxi.; Matt. ii.;     Is. xlix.; Matt. xii.; Dan.v.; Gen. xxxvii.



O GOD, who has told us how excellent wisdom is, we pray Thee to make us very desirous to be wise unto salvation.  We thank Thee that the Bible is able to teach us saving wisdom, and we ask Thee to enable us to search and know the truth, in that blessed book, which saves the soul.  May we know the heavenly Wisdom, who says to us in one part of that book, I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me.  May we prize wisdom far more than riches, and grow in it as we grow in years.  O gracious God, teach the blind nations Thy truth.  Let them hear the fame of the great King Thou hast set on Thy holy hill of Zion.  May the whole earth soon be seen seeking to Him, to learn of his salvation.  Soon may the kings of Sheba and Seba offer him gifts: soon may all men be blessed in Him, and all nations call Him blessed.  Amen.



O GOD, make us deeply sensible of Thy great mercy to us in the means and ministrations of divine grace.  May these means of grace which we now seek to use, be to us as the streams which make glad the city of God, and may we all drink of them and be refreshed, through the grace of our Saviour Christ.  Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm li. 6-12.

COME, Holy Spirit, from above,
    Our longing breasts inspire
With the pure flame of heavenly love,
                              And fan the sacred fire.

Thou comfortest the heavy heart,
By sin and sorrow press’d;
Life to the dead Thou dost impart,
                          And to the weary rest.

Let no false comfort lift us up
To confidence that’s vain;
Nor let our faith and courage droop,
For whom the Lamb was slain.

The Father sent his Son to die,
The willing Son obey’d:
The witness Thou, to testify
The purchase Christ has made.


WHEREFORE, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

JOHN I. 15-18.

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.

JOHN VI. 48-58.

I AM that bread of life. 49. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live fore ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the  Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

JOHN X. 1-18.

VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth them by name, and leadeth them out. 4. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6. This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father.



MOST Merciful Father, we seek Thy presence at the close of the day.  We might have that presence in fullness all day long; but we are so forgetful of Thee, and so carried away on the stream of passing things, or so drawn hither and thither by the distractions of life, that we are glad when Thou dost spread the calm shadow of Thy presence, and invite us to come within its stillness and solemnity.  Be a little sanctuary to us here to-night.  May we hear the voice of the Lord God at the cool of the day.  May our souls be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and our mouths shall praise Thee when we remember Thee upon our beds.

        We thank Thee for the many and rich mercies of this day, for the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy place.  How precious have been Thy thoughts to us-ward, and how great has been the sum of them!  May the good seed of divine truth find in our hearts “good ground” in which to grow, and in our lives a field in which to ripen.  Preserve in us every holy impression and helpful memory.  Nourish us still by the bread of life; and take us from one sabbath to another, “as from strength to strength,” until we appear in the heavenly Zion before Thee.  Save us from spiritual hardness, and coldness, and spiritual indifference; and as Thou are ever about us in Thy tenderness, and Thy love in its many and merciful ministrations is preventing us on every side, O make us tender, and receptive, and contrite, and humble, that we may thus grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

        We praise Thee for Him: for all He has told us of Thy fatherhood, for all He has done for us in His atonement, and for all He continues to be and do for us still, in heaven as our High Priest, and here on earth as an ever-present friend, we praise Thee.  Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.  May we rejoice in the Lord alway.  May His blood cleanse us every day from all sin.  May His suffering explain and sanctify ours, so that all things shall work together for our good.

        We especially beseech Thee to grant unto us a deeper and more abiding loyalty to Him as our only rightful Lord, and a more fervent and steady zeal for the service of His kingdom. Ah, how slack we have been, how careless, how unprofitable!  How timid our confession!  How scanty our toils!  Oftentimes we have almost betrayed our Master, and we have never given Him a full and undivided consecration.  Help us now to yield ourselves unto God through Christ our Saviour, without reserve.  May we now present the living sacrifice, and, overcoming by our faith and resolution the fear of the world and the reluctance of the flesh, may we follow and serve the Lord wholly, and unto the end.  O grant us thy Holy Spirit as a spirit of power, to vitalize our convictions and strengthen our principles, and to set our will more fixedly to the duty of each day, until the day of life shall come to its close, and the duty of life shall be all done.   By His indwelling may we know the things of Christ in all their clearness and beauty, and be led so to come to Him not only in faith, but in daily consecration and active service, that we may find His yoke to be easy and His burden to be light.

        Help us to bear our troubles and perplexities as those who know that they are appointed, and that they are swiftly passing away.  Stay us so with grace that we may not weary of the chastening that is for our profit, that we may not fail of the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory which all our suffering should work out.  As our mortal days and nights come and go, may we look with a brightening hope to the everlasting and unclouded day of heaven; and when at length, in Thine own good time, we leave the earthly toil and sorrow behind, may we through grace enter into the city where already are gathered together the pilgrim people who have lived and died before us. 

        May all who are dear to us be of that pilgrim company.  May none be left to set their affection on things on the earth.  May none despise, or even neglect, the good part.  May they hasten to be wise.  May they seek the Lord while He is to be found, and call upon Him while He is near.  May religion open to them its joys and adorn them with its beauty, and may they and we go, henceforth, in the ways which are pleasantness, and in the paths which are peace.

        Bless our native land, and our most gracious sovereign, and all the royal family.  Give peace in our times, and turn away Thy judgments.  Make known Thy truth, and let Thy glory shine over all the earth, and may Thy will, speedily, be done on earth, even as it is done in heaven.

        We now humbly and trustfully commit ourselves to Thee for the night, and even for evermore, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.





        The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts; if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.

        For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

        That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

                      1 Chron. xxviii. 9.       Col. i. 9, 10.


For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy disease;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.

              2 Pet. i. 8.        Col. i. 12.       Ps. ciii. 2,3,4.



        For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

        O continue thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

        Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:  I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

        He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

        The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

        He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

 Ps. xxxvi. 9, 10.  Ps. xci. 14, 15.  Dan. xi. 32.  Ps. xlvii. 3.


        And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

        And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight.  These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them

        And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

        And I will remember their sin no more.

Isa. liv. 13.     Isa. xlii. 16.     Jer. xxiv. 7.     Jer. xxxi. 34.



        And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies.

        I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord.

        And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

                                 Hos. ii. 19, 20, 23.


        Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

        After two days will he revive us: in the third day, he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight;

        O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee?  O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.

        I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

                    Hos. vi. 1, 2, 4.          Ps. cxix. 176.



        For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

        For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

        Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

        For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

        He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

            Hab. ii. 14.       Mal. i. 11.     Prov. ii 5, 6, 7.


        Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea every good path.

        When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

        Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: that thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

        For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

        But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

                      Prov. ii. 9, 10, 11, 20, 21, 22.



        The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple:

        The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes:

        The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

        More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.

        Moreover, by them is thy servant warned: and in the keeping of them there is great reward.

                               Ps. xix. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.


        And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.

        And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than we we believed.

        The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

        Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, and not strife and envying:

        But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

              Acts xvii. 30.        Rom. xiii. 11, 12, 13, 14.



        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.

        Wherefore comfort ourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

        And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

        And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.  And be at peace among yourselves.

                         1 Thess. v. 8, 9, 11, 12, 13.


        When the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

        But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

        Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

        Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

                       Ps. xiv. 7.       1 Pet. ii. 9, 10, 11.

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