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practice-unless he is, so to speak, set a going—-unless he says, with David, “I will walk in thy truth.” To walk is to be active and advancing. It stands for the whole of our conduct: and upon this it is that the Scripture lays such stress, requiring us as we have received Christ Jesus the Lord so to walk in him; and to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called.

He speaks of his goings “in God's paths.” These are three-fold. The path of his commands. “O let me not wander from thy commandments.” “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” His commands are to be found in bis word; and faith in Christ is one of them, and necessary to our obeying all the rest; for “this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.”—The path of his ordinances. Pious minds alive to the authority of God who has appointed them, and believing the promise that they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, and feeling their need of spiritual supplies and succour, can never neglect the means of grace. They will value retirement for reading the Scriptures, and meditation, and prayer. They will love the conversation of the godly. As they have opportunity they will repair to the sanctuary, and join in the solemn assemblies in public devotion, and in hearing the word preached, and in surrounding the table of the Lord. Others inay indeed occasionally or even frequently attend upon religious institutions, but not as spiritual worshippers who use them as mediums of communion with God, and channels of communication from him.- The path of his dispensations. Nothing in our condition happens by chance. Events are the movements of his providence: and where others disregard them or view them only in connexion with creatures-for God is not in all their thoughts, believers acknowledge him in their connexions, their losses, their gains, their comforts, and their trials. Thus Job said, “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.” And David says, “I will sing of mercy and of judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.” Such was his course.

Observe, Secondly, his concern respecting it--"Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” It is the language of conviction. He knew the injury that would result from a tall or even a slip in religion-How it would dishonour God, cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of, harden the wicked, scandalize the weak, distress the strong, injure his own usefulness and peace, and bring upon himself those trials by which his wickedness should correct him, and his backslidings reprove him. It is the language of apprehension. He knew his footsteps were prone to slide. How can a man be ignorant of this, who reflects on the malice and power of his adversary the devil, and the allurements of the world, and the corruption of his nature; and has seen the errors and falls of others far superior to himself ? It is well to be sensible of our danger; and it is only grace that can enable us to say

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God i love--" It is the language of weakness. He knew not only his exposure, but his inability to help himself. This a Christian learns not only

from faith in the testimony of the word, which every where assures us that we are without strength in ourselves, but from experience also. He sees how little he can depend upon his persuasions however clear, and his resolutions however firm-How often have they given way, and filled him not only with grief but astonishment. Year after year has told him that he who trusts in his own heart is a fool; and that he is not wise who trusts in his own grace-It is not thy grace, says the Saviour, but my grace that is sufficient for thee. "It is the language of confidence. He hopes in God while he renounces all self-dependence. The one is as necessary as the other. And it is as well founded. O that we could keep them equally balanced in the mind-That while we avoid presumption, we may also avoid despondency- That while we are humble we may also be cheerful-That while we are cautious we may also be courageous; knowing that while we cannot stand of ourselves, he is able to keep us from falling, and has said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee; so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my keeper, I will not fear-Hold Thou me up, and I SHALL BE SAFE.

May 13.-"Behoid my hands and my feet.”—Luke xxiv. 39. His sufferings and death were not only wonderful, but all-important: and " he showed them his hands and his feet;' because these contained the effects and proofs of them. The wounds were indeed now closed, and this was as miraculous as his resurrection itself; for the parts had been so lacerated and torn by the large nails that fastened him to the cross, and sustained the whole weight of his body, that many weeks would have been required to heal them naturally. But the marks remained, and fully ascertained him to be the sufferer who died on the cross. All the disciples now present saw them ; and Thomas who was absent saw them a few days after, and was no longer faithless, but believing. And these signs of his passion our Lord retained, not only after his resurrection, but also after his ascension. John, in his visions, saw an image of him, “as a lamb that had been slain;" that is, the lamb appeared with the wool gored and the neck gashed. He ever liveth to make intercession for us, and is our advocate with the Father, by presenting his humanity, and pleading the sacrifice he offered on earth : for he entered into the holy place, there to appear in the presence of God for us, not with the blood of bulls and of goats, but with his own blood, the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than that of Abel. The Father beholds his hands and his feet, and is well pleased for his righteousness' sake, and says, “ Ask of me now, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." The angels behold them, and though he has not saved them, they know that he has saved us, and their benevolence leads them to exclaim, with a loud voice,“ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." "The saints behold them, and sing “a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

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Christians, to this same sight you are bastening; for yet a little while, and you will be like him, for you shall see him as he is. But you have no reason to look for such a real and sensible sight of him here. Some indeed seem persuaded that they have actually seen him; but their mistake obviously appears from the manner of the sight. He could render himself corporeally visible; but if he did this, he would give us a true representation of himself. These good people have always seen him upon the cross : but he is now in his glory. If he showed himself at this moment, we should not see his hands and feet bleeding ; but his body would be a glorious body, as Saul of Tarsus saw it, and shining above the brightness of the sun. The case seems to be this. These persons, of lively apprehensions and feeling, in the depths of their anguish and terror, obtained relief from a dying Saviour by believing, which is mental sight, and took the impression of faith for a sensible reality.

But there is still a spiritual exhibition of himself, in which he says, “Behold my hands and my feet.” They are to be seen, First, in the Scripture of Truth; in its types, prophecies, history, doctrine. Secondly, in the ministry of the Gospel, which is called “ the preaching of the cross." Thirdly, in the teachings of the Holy Ghost, who takes of the things of Christ, and shows them to us; so that we see the Son and believe on him. And, Fourthly, in the ordinance of the Lord's supper, where, by emblems and memorials the most simple and significant before our eyes, Jesus Christ is evidently set forth crucified among us.

And what should the sight remind us of? Beholding his hands and his feet, we should think of the evil of sin, that required his suffering and death to put it away-And of the justice of God, that spared not his own Son when he became a surety for us—And the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his kindness towards us. We hear of benefactors: but how rarely do they exercise self-denial, or make personal and painful sacrifices! We talk of love; and greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. But while we were enemies, Christ died for us

May 14._" And the Lord showed me four carpenters.”—Zech. i. 20. "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” And it is given them not only to possess and enjoy, but to cultivate. Carelessness, and ignorance, and sloth, stalk over many rude and barren spots, which skill and diligence could render beautiful and productive. It is the same with the Scripture. Many passages as they are now read seem to have no meaning, and yield no information, yet they really contain much of the wisdom that is from above. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness;" but they are addressed to us as rational creatures, and we are commanded to search them. We must therefore not only read them, but remark, and examine, and compare, and apply them. And if we do this with seriousness and prayer, we shall be amply rewarded for our endeavours, and the good ground will yield “some an hundred fold, some sixty, and some thirty

Zechariah had seen four horns, and had said to the angel that talked with him, “ What be these ?" And he answered him, “ These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” Then the LORD SHOWED HIM FOUR CARPENTERS. And upon his inquiring, “What come these to do ?” he received for answer, “ These are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scalter it."

It is not perhaps possible to determine who those“ four horns" were, or whether they are to be viewed as so many individuals or nations—they were evidently hostile powers. The same may be said of these “four carpenters." Some have supposed they were Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and Nehemiah, and Ezra. In each case a definite number seems to be used for an indefinite.

But we see from it—that the friends of Zion are as numerous as her foes; that her defence is equal to her danger; and that as the state of his people requires it, the Lord will seasonably raise up means and instruments for their succour and deliverance - This is the doctrine of the text. And the assurance may be derived from four principles—The love of God, The power of God— The faithfulness of God-The conduct of God. In the first, we see that he must be inclined to appear for them, as they are infinitely dear to him. In the second, we see that he is able to do it. In the third, that he is engaged to do it, and his promise cannot be broken. In the fourth, that he always has done it, Scripture, history, and experience being witness

"Then let the world forbear their rage,

The Church renounce her fear;
Israel must live through every age,

And be the Almighty's care."

May 15.—" And she said, O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed ; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.”—1 Samuel, i. 26–27.

HERE we see the meekness of wisdom, and the wisdom of meekness. Hannah does not bring the former scene to the remembrance of Eli by his improper carriage towards her—“O my lord, I am the woman you called a drunkard, and treated as a daughter of Belial. What do you think of her now? And what do you think of yourself and your false, vile, and cruel censure ?" Little minds always retain a sense of an injury received: but it is the glory of a man to pass by a transgression; and we are not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good. We question the sincerity of a man who says, I forgive but I do not forget. We are sure he does not resemble the Father of mercies, who says, Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Good men are not to be upbraided with their miscarriages and mistakes. They have long ago mourned over them; and have condemned them more than others have done-Let them be buried in oblivion for ever.

Here we behold one of those transitions which often take place in human life. We may compare it with another affecting change of a very different quality, and which also befel a pious woman. When Naomi returned with her daughter-in-law Ruth from the country of Moab, to which she had been driven by famine, and had reached her native village, the people of Bethlehem came around her, saying, " Is this Naomi ?” “And she said, “Call me not Naomi-Call me Mara, for the Lord hath dealt very bitterly with me. I had substance-I am now poor. I had a husband—I am now a widow. I was a mother-I am now childless. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty. Why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me ?” But what a difference is there between Hannah's former and present circumstances and experience. Then she was a petitioner-now she is filled with thanksgiving, and has the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Then she presented herself at the temple in the bitterness of her soul; then she sowed in tears-now she reaps in joy ; then she went forth weeping, bearing precious seed—now she returns again with rejoicing, bringing her sheaf with her. “Oh my lord, you may have forgotten the case, but I have not. I who am now so favoured and honoured, am the very woman who was here at such a time, drunk indeed with grief; but he has made darkness light before me: he has turned the shadow of death into the morning--Oh my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here praying unto the Lord.”

Here we learn the importance of prayer. Whoever undervalues it, says Hannah, I can extol and recommend it. I have found it good to draw near to God-For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. Time employed in prayer is not spent in vain. Prayer is the richest traffic in the world, the merchandize of it is better than the merchandize of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. By intercourse with God we are impressed, and made to resemble him, as the face of Moses shone when he came down from the communion of Horeb. How are we refreshed by the exercise when our spirits are weary and ready to faint! How it enables us to leave our fears and cares at the footstool of divine grace; and go away as Hannah did, with our countenance no more sad, and our heart feeling the peace of God which passeth all understanding ! Trouble is the dreary path which in this vale of tears all will sooner or later tread : and to enter without a guide ; to go on without a comforter ; 10 meet death at the end without support or hope—if any man be reduced to this, " I say, an untimely birth is better than he.” But let us not limit the subject, or suppose with some that the worth or usefulness of prayer arises wholly and merely from the influence of the performance. The labour of the husbandman in the field is beneficial to him by the exercise, and conduces to health and strength : but he looks also for a crop; and goes forth and sees first the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear. So it is with us. The very action of prayer benefits and improves us : but if there be any meaning in the Scripture, we may rely upon answers of prayer. This woman obtained her request; and the time would fail us to tell of all those recorded in the word of God, who could acknowledge that he had given them the blessings which they asked of him.

Hannah observes the answer to her petition. Prayer is some

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