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quire of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
the high hopes of an inheritance in Heaven, walks humbly with his God ! Humility, always laudable, is then
9 Wisdom acknowledges, in every chastening, the hand of a Heavenly
10 How carefully the Almighty insists upon peace and goodwill towards man in those who profess glory and
honour towards Him.
'The LORD's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it. 19 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. "Thou 14 Nothing shall prosper with the shalt eat, but not be satis- wicked. All shall be disappointment. fied; and thy casting down They shall feed on bitter ashes. shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. 16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house
16 The ten tribes had broken the unity of the Church-yielding to the evil and idolatrous practices of Omri and Ahab.
of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.
The highest earthly advantages profit not a people, but come to nought, when true religion and piety cease to flourish and abound.
The twenty-first Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. HABAKKUK ii.
'I WILL stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower,
1 Thus your ministers watch unto prayer to God for your souls.
• The Lord accepts no service either of humility from those who are proud of heart towards their fellow-creatures, or of honour from him who scorneth the simple, or of duty from them who oppress or defraud their neighbour. His eye is upon the unjust balance, as well as upon the unbelieving heart-upon the unjust worshipper, as upon the despiser of
and will watch to see what he will shall answer when I am reproved. me, and said, Write the vision, and that he may run that readeth it. appointed time, but at the though it tarry, wait for it; will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him but the just shall live by his faith. Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. 9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that power of evil!
say unto me, and what I And the LORD answered make it plain upon tables, For the vision is yet for an end it shall speak, and not lie: because it will surely come, it
4 Faith is life to the soul. Even the just in their most righteous and holy service, live not through their own righteousness, or by their own
holiness, but by faith in the Holy One the Lord, their righteousness. Pause, and ask your own heart. If thus even the just live only by faith, wherewithal shall the ungodly and wicked save their souls alive? Is there another Saviour?
5 The ambition of Chaldea was ever insatiable of empire. O Reader! guard thine own heart. Be not ambitious of greatness among thy fellow-creatures. He that is least in the Gospel kingdom, the same shall be great in the kingdom of heaven.
9 Covetousness is idolatry. Avarice is as wretched as it is wicked. pines amid plenty: ungrateful to God, uncharitable towards man*.
he may be delivered from the Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and sta
12 God's anger is against cruelty; whether in a nation as the Babylonians, or in any individual. Special.
* Avoid thinking that when rich, no harm can reach you. That is to build a Babel tower, and to call down upon yourself God's just vengeance. It often happens that when men have heaped up all the wealth which they hope will deliver them from the power of evil," then, sickness, sorrow, or death come, and all their fond hopes perish.
woe awaits those who persecute the Church of God.
Vain too as sinful is their cruelty: for the knowledge of the Gospel shall gradually spread
over all the world-even as God
blisheth a city by iniquity! Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary them- would in this case vindicate his truth selves for very vanity? For as the avenger of his people. the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover 15 Woe to the Chaldean, who lures the sea. 15 Woe unto him by the cup of idolatry! woe also to that giveth his neighbour the people who drink thereof *. drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD's right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone,
19 If idolatry be a woful sin, it is also a base and woful folly; well deserving the reproof of scorn.
Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep
silence before him.
20 The whole creation is the Lord's temple. He is present there; He is present here for thy comfort, as he will be present for thy protection, thou art reading these pages; and when again, thou must mingle in a world where sin and sorrow range.
EVENING. PROVERBS i.
THE proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and in- 2 Religious knowledge maketh wise struction; to perceive the unto salvation. words of understanding; to justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty to
receive the instruction of wisdom,
4 Be ye wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. (Matt. x. 16.)
Idolatry, like drunkenness, takes from a man that reason which raises him above the brutes, and so sinks him below them. The drunkard, too, is left a prey to every evil passion, which may lead to disgrace, and misery, and death.
the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The The strongest guard against sin
fear of the LORD is the be- is the fear of a present God.
fools despise wisdom and instruc
8 Sons and daughters! if ye value cheerfulness in youth; if ye look for honour in age; if ye would have peace in death, and acceptance in judgment-Honour your father and your mother. Ye can never do enough to repay them all their deep and anxious care; all their unwearied love and affection for you.
11 Love your home. Do not be enticed to leave its shelter at the call of the idler. At home there is safety.
them; refrain thy foot from
ginning of knowledge: but tion. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. "If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause : let us swallow them up alive as the grave, and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: my son, walk not thou in the way with their path: 16 for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; of the owners thereof. Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates; in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your
16 Never yield to the temptations of wicked companions. They may tempt you to plunge into sin, but they cannot pluck you out. They can neither screen you from the disgrace you will bring upon yourself, and the anguish you will cause your parents; nor can they save you from the anger of Almighty God.
which taketh away the life
21 What a blessed privilege! to live in a land where the Gospel is daily inviting us to God.
calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh: when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind: when distress and anguish cometh upon you. *Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: they would none of my counsel they despised
28 Avoid this awful menace by yourself seeking God early.
all my reproof. 31
they shall seek me early, but
31 Nothing can be more dreadful than that retributive justice whereby God sometimes permits his offending creatures to bring upon themseives their own punishments, by accomplishing their own desires. prosperity of fools shall destroy 33 How full this gracious promise! Not only shall you be safe from evil, but quiet from fear of evil-quiet from that apprehension of approaching ill, which causes often the verest anguish.
The twenty-second Sunday after Trinity.
'My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that
1 Having God's commands hidden in store, as it were always ready for use.
thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 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 layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wis
So now, though by grace we are saved, yet that grace must be sought earnestly; and if we would have God's guidance, we must search diidirections are contained. gently those Scriptures in which His 6 Therefore, to neglect the Bible, is to cast from us wisdom.
The Bible points out to us, and keeps us in every good path-the path of holiness before God; the path of integrity before men.