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The Home Preacher
Or Church in the House - Week 34

Revd. J.C.Ryle, B.A., Vicar of Stradbroke Engraved by W. Holl, from a photograph. William MacKenzie, Glasgow, Edinburgh & London.


O GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast promised to give Thy Holy Spirit to them that ask in Thy Son’s name, grant that the Holy Ghost may dwell in our hearts, and that we may really feel and experience his renewing grace. Sanctify us wholly in body, soul, and spirit. Break the power of our besetting sins from day to day, and make all sin hateful to us. Enable us to fight a good fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and, by the Spirit working in us, to get a complete victory. May we be kept continually from temptation, and give good proof that we are not Christians in name only, but in deed and truth. And finally, being led by Thy Spirit in the narrow way of life, may we be found living members of Christ in the day of His second coming, and meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Grant this for thy dear Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm lxiii, 23-26.

A FEW more years shall roll,
A few more seasons come;
And we shall lie with them that rest,
Asleep within the tomb.
Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that great day;
O wash me in thy precious blood,
And take my sins away.

A few more struggles here,
A few more partings o’er,
A few more toils, a few more tears,
And we shall weep no more.
Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that blest day;
O wash me in thy precious blood,
And take my sins away.

A few more sabbaths here
Shall cheer us on our way;
And we shall reach the endless rest
The eternal Sabbath-day.
Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that sweet day;
O wash me in thy precious blood,
And take my sins away.

’Tis but a little while,
And He shall come again,
Who died that we might live, who lives
That we with Him may reign,
Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that glad day;
O wash me in thy precious blood
And take my sins away.

JOSHUA i. 1-8.

NOW, after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2. Moses my servant is dead: now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea, toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 5. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6. Be strong, and of a good courage; for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7. Only be thou strong, and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

JOSHUA V. 13-15.

AND it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him, with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14. And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? 15. And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.



ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we desire to begin our day with Thee. We draw near to Thee in the name and through the mediation of Thy dear Son, our Redeemer. For His sake hear and answer our prayer.

We confess before Thee that we are weak and guilty sinners. If we said that we had not sinned we should only deceive ourselves, while we could not deceive Thee. But we have nothing to say for ourselves. By leaving undone the things we should do, and doing the things we should not do, we are daily sinning against Thee. We have nothing of our own to plead by way of excuse. We can only put Thee in remembrance of Thine own promises and cry, “God be merciful to us sinners.”

We now desire to cast ourselves entirely on our Lord Jesus Christ for pardon, peace, and acceptance with Thee. We profess to-day that we have no hope but in the redemption He has provided, and the atonement He made on the cross as the substitute and mediator of sinners. His work, not our work -- His righteousness, not our righteousness -- is the only hope of our souls. We plead His gracious promise that “whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” For His name’s sake hide Thy face from all our sins, and blot out all our iniquities. Wash us in that blood which cleanseth us from all sin. This we solemnly declare is all our confidence, that Christ hath suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust. In Him we believe; Lord, help Thou our unbelief. To Him we come by faith: do as Thou hast said, and cast us not out.

We ask furthermore for grace, as well as mercy. Send the Holy Ghost with power into our hearts. Give us daily that thing which by nature we have not, even a will to serve thee, and a thorough delight in Thy law. Work in us true repentance for all our sins. Sanctify us wholly in body, soul, and spirit, and bring every thought and faculty within us into conformity to the mind of Christ. May we find it a pleasant thing to walk in our Saviour’s steps, and may Jesus be, not only our salvation, but our example.

Strengthen us each one for all the relations of life in which we are severally placed. Whether old or young, married or single, parents or children, masters or servants, may we strive to do our duty, and to glorify God where we are and as we are. By unfailing kindness and unselfishness, by helpfulness and by brotherly-kindness, by meekness and gentleness, by patience and longsuffering, by diligence and faithfulness, by truthfulness and honesty, by good temper and by charity -- by all these graces may we strive to adorn our doctrine, and commend our Christian profession. We know that we are poor creatures at our best, and full of failings; but we remember that with Thee nothing is impossible. Strengthen us with Thy mighty power, and supply all our need. Make us holy and consistent in all manner of conversation.

To these our prayers for ourselves we now desire to add our supplications and intercessions for all estates of men. We are deeply sensible that all our prayers are defective and defiled, and in themselves are nothing worth. But we put Thee in remembrance of Thine own gracious commands to pray for one another, and in the name of Jesus we spread our poor petitions before Thee.

Bless our Queen, and all who rule over us; may they govern the nation well, and do nothing to make Thee angry with our land. Do Thou, who hast all hearts in Thy hands, put good designs into their minds, and give them courage and wisdom for their execution. Confound the devices of wicked men, and bring them to foolishness. Strengthen the hands of good men in high places, and may there never be wanting a supply of such men to rule us in Thy fear.

Bless the true church of Christ in every part of the world. May all its members shine as lights in their several dwellings, and be salt and leaven to all around them. Increase their numbers, their faithfulness, and zeal. Keep them from useless strife and unprofitable controversy, and stir them up continually to a close walk with God.
Bless all visible churches of Christ throughout the world, which hold the Head, and maintain the pure truth of the gospel. Bless Thy work continually in the congregations, and add yearly to the number of such as shall be saved. Give them Thy best gift, a continual supply of faithful ministers, who shall preach the truth, live the truth, and feed the flock of Christ with knowledge and understanding.

Bless all our relatives and friends. Give them all that which is really for their good in this world, and above all, give to every one of them Thy grace in their hearts. May we all be led by the same Spirit, washed in the same precious blood, walk in the same narrow way, and love the same blessed Bible. Though parted and separated by Thy providence, may we often meet in spirit at the same throne of grace, and at last be found together eternally in the same heavenly home.

Finally, we give Thee our heartfelt praises and thanksgivings for countless mercies, of which millions in the world know nothing. For national liberty and worldly comforts, for an open Bible and a preached gospel, for the means of grace and the hope of glory, for all these things we bless Thy holy name. May our hearts every day be more full of praise.

And now hold us up in all our ways this day, and then we shall be safe. Keep us from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Strengthen us for every duty, comfort us in every trial, guide us in every difficulty; and grant all we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.



Sea of Tiberias: Engraved by J Stephenson from a photograph by Frith.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast mercifully caused Thy holy scriptures to be written for our learning, grant us a will to read them regularly, and a heart to profit by what we read. Open our understandings by the Holy Ghost, that we may understand the great things of thy Bible. May it ever be the rule both of our doctrine and our practice. Cause its truths to dwell in us richly, and grant that by faith in the Saviour, of whom it testifies, we may at length have an abundant entrance into Thine eternal kingdom, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm xliii. 3-5.

SPIRIT divine! Attend our prayer
And make this house thy home;
Descend with all thy gracious power,
O come, great Spirit, come.

Come as the light,--to us reveal
Our emptiness and woe;
And lead us in those paths of life
Where all the righteous go.

Come as the fire, and purge our hearts,
Like sacrificial flame;
Let our whole souls an offering be
To our Redeemer’s name.

Come as the dew, and sweetly bless
This consecrated hour;
May barren minds be taught to own
Thy fertilizing power.

Come as the dove, and spread thy wings
The wings of peaceful love;
And let the church on earth become
Blest as the church above.

JOHN XXI. 1-19.

AFTER these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. 4. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore; but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now, when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him (for he was naked), and did cast himself into the sea. 8. And the other disciples came in a little ship for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits dragging the net with fishes. 9. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples after that he was risen from the dead. 15. So, when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

II. PETER I. 16-21.

FOR we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. 17. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.




THESE verses form part of a well-known story in the New Testament. They describe the fall of the famous apostle St. Peter, when he thrice denied his Master.
It would be easy to draw from the passage a strong indirect argument for the credibility of the Christian religion. If that religion had been forged and concocted by imposters, they would never have left on record such a narrative as this. They would never have told us that one of its leading preachers made such a signal exhibition of weakness as Peter did on this occasion. The transparent honesty of the gospel writers is a powerful evidence in favour of Christianity.

For the present we must content ourselves with lessons of practical usefulness. He that desires to be a well-furnished Christian must first study Christ himself. But after studying Christ, let him study the character of Christians as they are painted in the New Testament. If he would know what to expect in himself or others, what to watch against and what to avoid, let him ponder well such histories as that which is before us.

I. In the first place, we will consider Peter’s fall.

It was a great fall. Here is a disciple who denied his Master three times over. It was not a slip of the tongue, but a wilful, thrice-repeated act. It was done with every possible aggravation, at a singularly critical moment, and with the accompaniment of cursing and swearing.

What a Master was this whom the disciple denied! Gracious, loving, merciful, patient, long-suffering, almighty, wise. For such an one as this some would even dare to die. There was no fault in the Master, and yet Peter three times denied him.

What a disciple was this who denied his Master! The very last man from whom such conduct might have been expected--a leader among the apostles; one who had been up and down Palestine with Christ for three years, a witness of all his miracles, a hearer of all his sermons--himself a preacher of his kingdom. Yet this is the man who three times denied Christ.

It was a fall after great warnings. Never perhaps was a man told so plainly of coming danger. The very day before, Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice:” -- “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” He had been cautioned, admonished, and put on his guard, and yet within twenty-four hours Peter denies Christ.

It was a fall immediately after great privileges. Peter had just been at the Lord’s Supper. Such a communion never was before, and never can be again. Jesus himself had broken the bread, and given the cup. Apostles were the fellow-communicants. Peter had just heard the wonderful discourse recorded in the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of St. John. Promises, privileges, and abounding consolations, were still fresh and ringing in his ears. Yet only a few hours after, this highly favoured disciple actually denies Christ.

It was a fall which began on a very slight temptation. What made Peter so afraid? Why did he say, “I know him not?” Were Annas and Caiaphas questioning him? Was Pontius Pilate ordering him to be scourged? Were Roman soldiers crowning him with thorns? Was there apparent danger of his life being taken away?

Nothing of the kind! A single weak woman says, “This man also was with him.” It was a simple remark, and not a word more was said. But at once Peter the great apostle begins to fall, and falls lower and lower every moment, until he ends with cursing and swearing.

Now these things were written for our learning. Here is instruction which ought to come home to the heart of every professing Christian. The thoughtless and worldly-minded may think little of the narrative, and see in it nothing for themselves. The thoughtful man, who desires to carry religion into daily life, will find in it abundant food for useful reflection.

Let us learn, then, what poor weak creatures the best Christians are. There is a mire of feebleness in our hearts, of which most of us have very faint and inadequate conceptions. There is no kind of sin into which the holiest child of God may not fall, unless he continually watches and prays to be held up. The biographies of the saints in God’s word are stained with many a sorrowful blemish. We discover that there is no literal perfection in man, even when converted, renewed, and sanctified. We find that Noah could be drunken, Abraham could countenance a lie, Moses could speak unadvisedly with his lips, David could commit adultery, Solomon could fall into idolatry, and Paul and Barnabas could quarrel. And here we cap all to-day, by finding that even an apostle like Peter could deny Christ.

Let us learn to judge others charitably, and to expect little from any child of Adam. Above all, let us learn to walk humbly ourselves, to distrust our own goodness, and never to say of any sin, “I am incapable of doing that.” We know nothing at all about the matter! We have not the least idea what we might do, if tempted in a moment of weakness and left to ourselves. The most unlikely people sometimes do the most unlikely things. Let us rather throw ourselves daily on the Strong for strength, and cry, “Hold thou me up, and then I shall be safe.”

II. In the second place, we will consider the steps which led to Peter’s fall.

This is a point of infinite importance. It rarely happens that a true Christian falls into sin without a predisposing cause. When such a man backslides or is overtaken by a grievous fault, there are generally reasons which account for it. If the case is thoroughly investigated and brought to light, it will be found that the fall may be traced to secret evils of long standing. This principle is singularly illustrated in the history of the apostle Peter. Mischief had begun in his heart before he denied Christ. To the eyes of men his denial was the first appearance of failure. To the eye of God that failure had begun long before; the steps which preceded his fall are as clearly marked in Scripture as the steps of a ladder. Let us look at them, and see what they were.

One thing we may detect in Peter before he fell was pride and self-conceit. What did he first say when Jesus gave him warning of coming danger? “Though all men deny thee, yet will not I: I am ready to go with thee both to prison and to death.” Brave words these and confidently spoken! Yet, alas! These very words proved how little he knew his own heart.

He thought himself stronger than all his brethren. He felt no doubt of his own courage, strength, perseverance, and faithfulness. Others might run away; not he! Others might deny Christ; it was impossible he could! Truly this was a bad beginning. Never was there a truer saying than that of Solomon, “Pride goeth before destruction; and a haughty spirit before a fall.” We know nothing till we know that we can do nothing of ourselves. The man truly taught of God will always say, with St. Paul, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” Another thing we may detect in Peter before his fall was spiritual sloth and indolence. In the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus took him aside with the sons of Zebedee during his mysterious agony, he specially charged him to watch and pray. He knew that trial of no ordinary kind was close at hand. He would have had him fitted and prepared to resist it. But what are we told Peter did? He slumbered and slept! He was sleeping when he ought to have been wide awake, idle when he ought to have been watching, careless when he ought to have been on his guard.

That was a fatal blow to his safety. No prayer, no power! Who can wonder that by and by, like Samson shorn of his locks, he found his strength departed from him. Means of grace are not saviours; but he that neglects means irreparably damages his soul. Let not that man wonder if, in the hour of temptation, his strength is small.
Another thing we may detect in Peter before his fall was indecision and irresolution. What did he do when the soldiers appeared, and laid hands on his Master to take him? At first he draws his sword, and smites valiantly with the carnal weapon. Then he takes to flight with his fellow disciples, and runs away. Then by and by he turns round, and follows his Lord afar off. Unhappy man! He cannot thoroughly make up his mind what to do. He does not completely forsake his Master, and yet he does not boldly join him. He does not manfully stand by his side, and yet he does not entirely go away. He halts between two opinions. He wishes to escape danger, and yet he does not like to turn his back on his Lord.

This was another downward step. Unstable as water, he was sure not to succeed. Like most people who try a similar line of conduct, he failed to satisfy either friends or foes, and only brought sorrow and trouble on his own soul.

Another thing we may detect in Peter before his fall was willingness to be found in bad company. What did he do when Jesus was taken to the palace of the high priest? He followed him there, and sneaked into the hall as if he had been one of the party that took our Lord. He sat by the fire, and warmed himself among his Master’s enemies. He went where he had no business to go, and heard and saw what he had better neither have heard nor seen. Who can wonder that he caught harm, and did no good? It is far easier to catch a chill, than to impart a glow. It is written, that “evil communications corrupt good manners.” When an apostle drops his character, and sits uncalled in the society of wicked men, it need surprise no one if he ends with cowardice, lying, and base denial of Christ.

Such were the four steps which led to Peter’s fall. They stand out on the face of the narrative of the historian, like beacons and danger signals. Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, they deserve to be steadily pondered, and laid up in remembrance. If we love life and would see good days -- if we value a good conscience, and desire to adorn the doctrine we profess -- let us not forget the lesson which the steps to Peter’s fall were meant to convey.

Let us learn never to make light of little things in religion. A few isolated acts of inconsistency may seem trifling matters, at first sight. It is precisely the toleration of such acts that ought to be dreaded by every real Christian. Once allowed to dwell in our hearts undisturbed, these Canaanites will increase and multiply. It is the beginning of all spiritual mischief to say of one sin, “Is it not a little one? Why so particular?” Whatever we may please to think, there is nothing really little in religion. The tabernacle in the wilderness could never have been reared, and could never have stood with firmness when reared, if the Levites had neglected little things, and left the pins behind when they marched from Mount Sinai.

The saying of a heathen writer on moral subjects is seldom far from the truth, “No one becomes bad suddenly.” A breach in a sea-wall embankment may generally be traced to some neglected crack, or to a flaw in workmanship of old date. The sudden fall of some mighty limb from an old oak tree, without previous symptoms of weakness, will generally be proved to have been caused by some decay at the heart, which no one had suspected. The sudden relapse of some eminent professor of religion may almost always be tracked home to such faults as pride, laziness, and keeping bad company, indulged, unsubdued, and unmortified. Let all who love their souls lay these things to heart. He that would not fall as Peter fell, must never forget the steps by which Peter reached the bottom.

III. In the last place, we will consider Peter’s repentance.

This is a part of the history which ought never to be overlooked. Many remember the apostle’s fall, but not his rising again. Thousands are very fond of pointing at David’s tremendous sin in the matter of the wife of Uriah, who find it convenient to forget David’s deep, soul-searching, life-long contrition.

Peter did fall sadly, but he also repented speedily and unmistakeably. Every step in the story of his repentance is full of useful instruction. The stages of his rise ought to set us thinking, just as much as the stages of his fall.

Peter’s repentance began with two apparently trifling circumstances. Each demands special notice.

“The cock crew.” No doubt Peter had heard that sound thousands of times, and been utterly unmoved by it; but now the shrill cry of the bird rung in his ears like the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. It called him to remembrance; it awoke him from his slumbering condition, and made him see and feel what he was doing.

“The Lord turned and looked upon Peter.” That look spoke volumes, and pierced the apostle’s conscience like an arrow. It was a look of solemn pity and compassion, a reminding look, a warning look, a rebuking look. To Peter’s heart there was more in that look than the eloquence of a thousand sermons.

A cock crowing and a look? What trifles they seem! Yet trifles like these are often the very things which begin a revolution in man’s soul. The turning of a little valve is enough to let the steam in upon a steam-engine, and in a few moments the whole machinery of some mighty manufactory is throbbing and revolving with busy din and activity. A word, a sigh, a glance, a tear, a frown, a shake of the head, a letter, a tract -- any of these may be made the means in God’s hand of touching the springs of a man’s conscience and setting it on work, and of turning upside down the whole course of his life.

Let us despise no means, however little, in trying to do good to souls. “Who hath despised the day of small things?” The weakest instrumentality may work wonders, if God commands success. The strongest agencies are useless if the grace of the Holy Ghost does not accompany them. There must be a turning point in the tide when it ceases to fall and begins to rise, and yet that turning point is almost imperceptible. There must be a beginning in the work of the Spirit, when he calls a backslider to repentance or a dead soul to life; and yet that beginning is often infinitesimally small.

Peter’s repentance was carried forward by memory awakening within him. “He remembered the word that Jesus had spoken,” and at once broke the chain which sin had cast around. At once came flashing on his mind the warnings he had received, the privileges he had enjoyed, the profession he had made, the astounding weakness and folly of which he had been guilty. Just as the latent image in the photographer’s glass flashes out into a picture when the developing liquid is poured over it, though an instant before it looked a dull vacancy, just so did Peter’s sin flash out before the eyes of his mind, when the Holy Ghost aroused his memory and set it working.

Memory is a mighty help to the salvation of souls. Hundreds of things are lying buried at this moment in the minds of careless Christians, of which there will be a resurrection one day. All that we say from the pulpit is not lost and forgotten because many hearers seem listless and inattentive. Once let the Holy Ghost begin to work in the heart of a sinner, and rouse his conscience to activity, and then we discover that he remembers many things which those around him thought he had clean forgotten.

Peter’s repentance was attended by bitter sorrow. At once, we are told, he “went out and wept bitterly.” Tradition says that, from that day forward till his death, he never heard a cock crow without shedding tears. Whether we like to believe this or not, we may well believe that he carried a smarting scar in his memory for the rest of his life. A wound may be healed thoroughly, and general health completely restored, and yet after a wound there is always a scar.

We may lay it down as an invariable rule, that sin always produces sorrow, sooner or later, in this life or in the life to come. He that sows wickedness is sure to reap bitter tears. None perhaps find out that so thoroughly as a backslider. It is written, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his ways.” None feel so acutely that they have “forsaken their own mercies.” None learn to their own cost so thoroughly, that ‘it is an evil and a bitter thing to forsake God.” Those who point to David’s repentance, and fancy it is easy to continue sinning and repenting -- sinning and repenting to their last day -- understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm. Let them read attentively the 32nd and 51st Psalms. If the experience of the writer of these psalms does not convince them that a pardoned penitent has bitter recollection of his sins, they must be blind to the meaning of words.

Last but not least, Peter’s repentance was followed by abundant fruit in his life and conduct.

From this time forth we find none of the twelve apostles so bold and so courageous as the apostle Peter. None spoke out so manfully on all occasions; none were so completely delivered from fear. This is the man who on the day of Pentecost charges home on the Jews their sin in crucifying Christ, and proclaims him openly as the promised Messiah. This is the man who witnesses before the council, “there is none other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved,” but that of Jesus. This very man who thrice denied his Lord, is the very man who gloried every where in confessing Christ. True repentance will always show itself in this way. It will not content itself with tears, and regrets, and bitter repinings over past unprofitableness. It will act, and move, and stir, and do. It will find work to be done for Christ, and opportunities for showing love to Christ. The burned child dreads the fire. The true penitent loathes sin in every shape, and form, and description. Loved much, he loves much in return. Plucked at a mighty cost from the brink of destruction, he feels that he can never do too much for Him that delivered him.

Never let us give way to the vain notion that there is any true repentance when a man continues in sin. Hypocrites and false professors may flatter themselves that all is right because they feel much, talk much, write much, weep much, while they secretly cling to their sin. They are deceiving themselves, and will discover it too late in another world. The true child of God will hate the sins that he deplores, and forsake them. Like Peter, he will not only weep bitterly, but work heartily. This, and this only, is repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of.

And now what general lessons may we learn ere we turn away from this deeply interesting portion of Scripture?

Let us learn, for one thing, to beware of presumption and self-confidence in our religion. We think sometimes that we are not likely to give way to temptations by which others are overcome. We flatter ourselves that we are too old, too steady, too thoroughly settled, to be led away. Let us cast away such foolish thoughts, and allow them no place in our minds. We are never quite safe against falls till we get to heaven. In the meantime, let us be clothed with humility. Though not cast away, we may be cast down; though not given over to complete apostasy, we may be given over to miserable errors and mistakes; though never altogether losing grace, we may lose all sense and enjoyment of grace. Let us remember Peter, and beware.

Let us learn, for another thing, never to despair of God’s mercy and Christ’s forgiveness. We may have fallen sadly, and left our first love. But yet there is hope in Jesus, and the precious blood that cleanseth from all sin. He that forgave Peter, and raised him from his fall, and received him once more as an apostle, is not changed. He still lives at the right hand of God, rich in mercy towards all who cast their souls on him, and able to heal all our backslidings. Let us remember Christ’s mercy to Simon Peter, and not despair.

Let us learn, in the last place, never to turn our backs upon a brother Christian because he has fallen from his profession, and run into sin. It is not charitable, it is not Christ-like, to do so. Let us mark how Jesus dealt with Simon Peter, and do likewise. Happy is he who never forgets the lesson of the apostolic command, “If a brother be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” -- J.C. RYLE.




WHEN anybody is ill now-a-days, and it is wished to let friends at a distance know, there is the post to do it in a day, or a few hours; or there is the telegraph, to do it in almost a minute. When Martha and Mary saw their brother very ill, and wished to let Jesus know, they had to send a messenger. Perhaps he rode, perhaps he went afoot. In any case, surely he would go as fast as he could. He might have some inquiries to make as to where Jesus and his disciples were last seen; but when he found out, he would hasten to the place. And would you not think that as soon as Jesus heard that his friend was sick, he would at once turn back to go to him? But he did not do that. He stopped where he was for two days. He did not go farther away; but he did not return to Bethany. The reason was, that he wanted to Lazarus die and be buried. That was not because he did not love him, but because he wished to show forth the glory of God in raising him from the dead. If he had been so pleased, he could have healed Lazarus where he was; as he did once cure a sick child, though he was miles away. But it was desirable for wise ends that he should die. Our Lord, however, seems to say that if he had been on the spot, and had seen Mary and Martha weeping, and had heard them praying to him to save their brother, he could not have withstood them, and must have healed him. For after he was dead, Jesus said to his disciples, I am glad, for your sakes, that I was not there. So after the message, he staid still where he was for two days.

By this time Lazarus was dead. I do not know what the disciples thought of Christ’s stopping so long where they happened to be when the message of the afflicted sisters reached him. But having heard him say, This sickness is not unto death, they did not think it strange that he did not return to Bethany. On the contrary, they expressed their wonder when, after the two days’ delay, he said, Let us go back to Judea again. They knew that he had left on account of his enemies seeking to take his life, and they were surprized that he should venture to return where his foes could find him. So they said, Will you go where the Jews were seeking to stone you? But he told them he must go where he had work to do, and that he would be safe until his work was done; and then he said that his friend and theirs, about whose illness they had heard, had fallen asleep, and he must go to wake him. That made the disciples wonder still more. They thought that Jesus meant sleeping, as we sleep at night on our beds, and they felt that to be a good sign of the state of Lazarus; and they made the remark that if he was sleeping, he would get well. Jesus let them think for a little, and then he said, Lazarus is dead. The disciples thought now that it was natural for Jesus to wish to go to Bethany, but they supposed it would be at the cost of his life One of them put it plainly, saying, Let us go also, let us die with him. It was Thomas that said that; showing more love now than he showed faith afterwards, when he would not believe that his Lord has risen from the dead, unless he should see his wounds in hands and side. All the disciples this time agreed with Thomas Twin, as all of them afterwards were beforehand with him in believing that the Lord had risen. So they went back with Jesus to Judea and Bethany.

When our good Lord and his disciples came to the village, Lazarus had been laid in the grave for four days. Of course they could not come without its being known. So before he could visit the house of the bereaved sisters, it was said, He is coming. The sisters heard the report. They both thought it strange that he had not come sooner; but they both were glad to hear that he had come. One of them, however, had deeper thoughts than the other. So she sat still in the house, waiting till the Lord would come; afraid, I suppose, that he was not pleased, or trying to find out why he had not come when her sister and she had sent the message to him. Martha, the other and older sister, though she had been reproved by Christ for being too careful about serving him at dinner, went off at once when she heard that he was coming, and met him on the road. Perhaps she went all the more readily because she had been reproved. I have seen children go closer to their father’s or their mother’s bosom after being corrected for a fault. Be that as it may, Martha went, while Mary staid. The one acted, while the other was thinking; but their hearts were on one idea, that if Jesus had been in Bethany when their brother was dying, he would have cured him. They were right in that thought, for Jesus said that he was glad he was not there, showing that if he had been there, he could not have let Lazarus die. Will you think about this? There is something very sweet about it. Jesus could have kept his friend from dying, so far as power goes, though he was far away; he could have let him die though present; yet he speaks as if he could not have stood by and seen him die. Does not this show how very truly Jesus was man?

When Martha got to where Jesus was, she spoke out at once the thought that was in her own and Mary’s heart. She said, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Then she went on to say, showing her faith, that even yet she was sure God would give him whatever he would ask. Jesus answered her by saying that her brother would rise again, but that was not enough for Martha. She said she knew that he would rise again at the last day, but almost hinted that she would like something more than that.

Jesus then prepared her mind for what he meant to do, by telling her that he himself then present was the resurrection and the life, and asking her if she believed this. Answering that she did -- that she believed Jesus to be the Son of God -- she went away home, and told her sister that Jesus was come, and wished to see her. That led Mary to rise at once and go to Jesus; and when she reached him, she fell at his feet weeping and said, just as her sister had done, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died. By this time a number of Jews, who had been trying to comfort the mourning sisters, had followed Mary from the house, and were gathering round where Jesus was standing. Jesus was very much moved when he saw Mary’s tears, and the weeping of others round her. He said, Where have ye buried Lazarus? And they said, Come and see. On the way a wonderful thing happened. Tears began to course down the face of the Saviour. The verse which tell us this is the shortest in the Bible, and among the sweetest. I have no doubt you can repeat it. It says, “Jesus wept.” When the Jews saw his tears, they said, How he must have loved him!

It was not long till the mourners reached the grave where, four days before, Lazarus had been laid. It was a cave, and a large stone lay at the mouth of it. Jessu bade them roll the stone away. When Martha heard this command, her faith seems to have failed her, for she made objection that the body would be decaying and very unpleasant to sight and smell. Jesus put her objection aside, and said, did not I tell you to have faith, and you would see God’s glory? After that the people rolled away the stone, and Jesus, looking up to heaven, gave thanks to his Father for having heard his prayer. He did this aloud, for the sake of the persons that were standing by. Then, raising his voice, he called to the dead man, Lazarus, come forth; and, in a moment, bound with graveclothes, just as he had lain in the cave, he came out. Jesus said, Loose him, and let him go. So they would no doubt unbind his hands and feet and face; and the two sisters, wondering and rejoicing, would lead him away home. Perhaps Jesus went with them, and explained to them his reasons for letting Lazarus die, that he might bring him to life again. The Bible, however, does not tell us anything more about the family at Bethany, til it gives an account of a supper that was given to Jesus and his disciples some days afterwards in their house. What happened at that supper will be told in another story.



1. Who was it that rode first to see a prophet of God, when sickness and death had happened in the home?
2. Whose child did Jesus cure while he was at a distance?
3. Do you remember an instance in which Jesus appeared not to attend to a person crying to him for a sick daughter?
4. Where is even a violent and cruel death spoken of as sleep?
5. Where do we read of the unbelief of Thomas?
6. Can you find two other confessions of Jesus as the Son of God, which it pleased him so much to hear?
7. On what two other occasions do we read of Christ weeping?
8. Who rolled away the stone from the door of Jesus’ grave?

ANSWERS to the foregoing questions will be easily found by consulting the following chapters: -- 2 Kings iv.; John iv.; Matt. xv.; Acts vii.; John xx.; John i. and vi.; Luke xix. and Heb. v.; Matt. xxviii.



O THOU who art the resurrection and the life, quicken our souls from the death of sin. May we all be risen with Thee, and live, even while on earth, a heavenly life. Give us, to cheer us in dark hours, the knowledge of Thy sympathy and the hope of glory. Let us not be impatient under suffering and sorrow, and do not allow us to think that Thou art then forgetting us. We thank Thee for Thy tears beside the grave of Lazarus. Comfort Thou all mourners, and prepare them for that world where the days of mourning shall be ended. To Thee, Lord, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.



O HOLY Father, who has graciously sent into the world Thine eternal Son to die for our sins, and rise again for our justification, grant us fully to know Thee and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. Give us daily a clear view of our own sinfulness and lost condition, and give us at the same time a clear view of the great salvation provided for us in Jesus Christ. Show us that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, and that all who believe on Christ cleanseth from all sin, and that all who believe on Christ are justified and forgiven. Give to each of us that true faith in Jesus which alone brings peace to the conscience. May we live the life of faith in Christ while we live, and be found in Christ when we die. Amen.

HYMN, or Psalm l. 6-11.

COME, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
Let us thine influence prove;
Source of the old prophetic fire,
Fountain of life and love.

Open the hearts of all who hear,
To make the Saviour room;
Now let us find redemption near,
Let faith by hearing come.

Thou art the only Comforter
In all our souls’ distress;
Thou showest us our unbelief,
And Christ’s redeeming grace.

Arise and strengthen us, O Lord,
Thou know'st we all are frail;
Grant neither Satan, world, nor flesh
May o’er Christ’s flock prevail.

Cause all disharmony and strife
In Christendom to cease,
And give to all the flocks of Christ
Love, union, truth, and peace.

LUKE IV. 16-32; 40-44.

AND he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath-day, and stood up for to read. 17. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias: and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor: he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised; 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 22. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? 23. And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 25. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26. But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29. And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30. But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way, 31. And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath-days. 32. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 40. Now, when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ, the Son of God. And he, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. 42. And when it was day, he departed, and went into a desert place; and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed with him, that he should not depart from them. 43. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. 44. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.



ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who dost keep us alive from morning to night, we desire to end our Sunday with Thee. Hear in heaven Thy dwelling place, and for the sake of Jesus, our mediator and advocate, accept our prayer.

We thank Thee for mercifully giving us one day in every week to remind us of Thee. We praise and adore that holy wisdom by which thou dost knock at the door of our hearts once in every seven days, and call to our recollection the concerns of another world. We confess with sorrow and shame that our souls cleave to the dust, and that the cares of this weary world are continually tempting us to forget Thee. We therefore bless and praise Thee for our Sundays. May we always know the value of this holy day, and never provoke Thee to take it from us by our national unbelief and hardness of heart. May we, each of us, use our Sundays well while we have them, and remember that they test and prove our meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light.

Forgive, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, all that Thou hast seen amiss and wrong in us during the Sunday that is now passing away. Our best services are poor and defective, and mingled with imperfection. Our prayers and praises, our Bible readings and sermon-hearings, are all alike stained with shortcomings. If Thou wert to deal with us according to our dealings with Thee on Thine own day alone, we could not stand in Thy sight. Cold and sinful must our hearts be when, even in Thine own presence and on Sunday, we cannot love Thee more and serve Thee better.

But we desire to take comfort in thought that the Lord Jesus not only died for our sins, but ever liveth to make intercession for us; that we have a high priest at Thy right hand, who pleads our cause continually, and makes us acceptable before Thee. In Him we desire to rest every Sunday night, and on Him to repose all the weight of our souls. May our prayers be mingled with His all-prevailing intercessions: for then, and then alone, can we hope that they will be heard on high.

Grant that every Sunday may produce good effects on our souls. May the Holy Ghost make lasting impression on our hearts, and cause fruit to be seen in our lives. Show us more of the sinfulness of sin, the excellence of Christ, the folly of living for the world, the beauty and happiness of holiness. Wean us more and more from the world. Give us clearer views of that unseen world which is eternal. Break the power of our besetting sins. Fit us more and more for relative duties. Make Bible-reading a more delightful occupation to us. Make our prayers more loving, more hearty and fervent. Increase our knowledge of divine things, brighten our hope, enlarge our charity, establish in us a deeper acquaintance with Christian doctrine and Christian practice. Thus mould and fashion our hearts on Thine own day, and make our Sundays become “days of the Son of Man” to our souls.

We pray for all Christian congregations which have met together this day in the name of the Lord Jesus. Revive Thy work among them. Touch many more hard hearts by the Holy Ghost, and convert many more sinners. Teach those to think, who now live thoughtlessly and carelessly. Lead onwards those who are now halting between two opinions, and give them courage to come out boldly, take up the cross, and follow Christ. Strengthen and build up all true believers, that they may grow in grace every week, shine as lights in the world, and do good in their day and generation.

We pray for all faithful ministers of Christ, who have been preaching thy truth to-day. Hold up their hands by Thy Holy Spirit, and cheer them in the heavy work which they have to do. Keep them from false doctrine of every kind, and specially from popery and infidelity. Preserve them from inconsistency and unholiness of conduct, and grant they may not pull down by their lives what they preach with their lips. Supply them with all ministerial gifts suitable to their several positions, and let the word preached by them never be preached in vain.

We pray for all Christian schools which have assembled this day. Make them the honoured instruments of training thousands for the service of Christ. Bless those that teach and those that are taught. Let the seed sown in weakness in young hearts be watered by the dew of Thy Spirit, and grant that myriads of Christian men and women may one day have cause to praise thee for sabbath instruction.

We pray for all who are labouring to do good among heathens or Mahometans, Roman Catholics or Jews. Prosper every effort to spread pure and undefiled religion through the earth. Supply missionaries with all needful wisdom, faith, and patience; and gather out from among their hearers many more true and genuine converts. Incline the hearts of rich men to give liberally to the extension of Christ’s cause in the earth, and let no evangelical movement, whether at home or abroad, languish or fail for want of supporters.

Finally, we pray Thee to hasten that blessed time when all men shall know Thee from the least to the greatest. Hasten that long-promised day when Christ shall come again in person, take to himself His great power and reign, raise the dead saints, change the living, and gather all around him in one happy home. Hasten that happy season, when sin shall be cast out of the earth, the devil bound, and the curse removed -- when congregations shall no more break up, and sabbaths shall never end. And when that day comes, may we, and all whom we love, be found ready for it, and enter in with joy into the presence of our Lord. We ask all this for Jesus Chists sake. Amen.




He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
The poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Some remove the land-marks: they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof;
They drive away the ass of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
Remove not the old land-mark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless;
For their Redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

Deut. x. 18. Ps. x. 14. Job xxiv. 2, 3. Prov. xxii. 10, 11.


Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger.
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid and the stranger may be refreshed.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against those that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.
I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

Deut. x. 19. Exod. xxiii. 9, 12. Mal. iii. 5. Matt. xxv. 35.



My brethren, have not the faith of our Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom?

James ii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates, in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother;
But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

Deut. 7, 8, 10.



If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;
Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;
If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;
If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:
Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.
For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.

Job xxxi. 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23.


For the poor shall never cease out of the land.
The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.
He will keep the feet of his saints and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

Deut. xv. 11. 1 Sam. ii. 6, 7, 8, 9.



A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eye-sight.
With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
For thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

Prov. xii. 10. Ps. xviii. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.


And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground.
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the fowls of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Hos. ii. 18. Ps. l. 10, 11. Ps. xxxvi. 6, 7.



Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.
If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young;
But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.
Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.

Deut. xxv. 4. Exod. xxiii. 19. Deut. xxii. 4, 6, 7, 10.


He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.
And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:
But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still, that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave, the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

Mic. vi. 8. Deut. xxii. 1. Exod. xxiii. 10, 11.



The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy ; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Prov. xiv. 20, 21, 22. Prov. xxi. 21. Hos. x. 12.


The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
The desire of the righteous is only good; but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

Prov. xi. 17, 23, 24, 25. Ps. xxxvii. 26.

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