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ham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.
12 And is it too much for us to give this return to Jehovah ? He has conducted us out of the bondage of sin, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God: he sustains us in the wilderness of life by the bread which came down from heaven: his word and spirit, like the pillar of a cloud, are ever at hand--sure guidance to our promised land in heaven ! ( let us be grateful.
13 When did ever man dedicate himself to the service of God, and not find it for his good?
14 How monitory! Whether or no we obey, God is supreme! Obedience then is wisdom.
" AND now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? 14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he you above all people, as it is this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: he doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and rai
ment. 19 Love ye therefore
15 Yet God would fain win us over to obedience, for love of Him. chose their seed after them, even
16 Circumcision, remember, is the putting away evil; being "that of the heart;" in the spirit and "not in the letter." (Rom. ii. 29.) Outward duties are enjoined; but the heart must be right also.
19 Sympathy is the Christian's characteristic. He weeps with them that
household; and his faith was accounted unto him for righteousness, because he did that which the Lord commanded him.
weep, and rejoices with them that do rejoice.
the stranger for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.
MORNING. ISAIAH lx.
1 In the prospect of the coming of Christ, Jerusalem is bid to arise from her state of mourning.
1 ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift thine up eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. 8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to
3 "I am the light of the world," said the glorious Messiah. He shineth, "the sun of righteousness;" not only a glory to his people Israel, but a light to lighten the Gentiles. Hence his light now shines upon us!
8 As the dove, the bird of peace, fleeth home for refuge when storm and tempest lower, so the fearful soul of man fleeth for refuge to its God, when sin and trouble threaten.
14 Wicked men may now afflict the church, and despise her ministers and people; but the days are at hand when even they shall give honour for scorn, and reverence for contempt.
the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. 14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob. 17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and
16 Well is it for a people, when princes and governors sustain the church of God, and uphold the honour of the name of Christ; their Saviour and Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob." Happy the people who are in such a case! Yea! Blessed are the people, who have the Lord for their God."
17 Indicative of the glorious change upon the mind of men; upon their before God, and their conduct before hopes and fears; upon their thoughts man. You know how opposite are the affections and actions of those who serve God, and those who serve Him not.
but thou shalt call thy walls 19 Worldly glory shall not be needed. The glory of the Spirit of God shall so vindicate thy holiness and extend
thy powers, that the knowledge of
the Lord shall cover the earth as
the waters cover the sea; and thou -the church of Christ-shalt reign triumphantly.
thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
EVENING. ISAIAH xlix.
1 LISTEN, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; the LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. 2 And he hath made
1 Christ himself here speaks by his prophet-declaring that His heavenly Father had foretold Him as the Messiah, and that his Church may
trust and take comfort in Him.
2 He is "the Word"-whose power is as a sharp sword. (Heb. iv. 12.)
my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; 3 and said unto
3 Christ is here called, Israel. His soul is exceeding troubled, as though he had laboured in vain; for his own received him not, neither were they gathered unto Him. Yet his faith rallies; and he will not let go the hope that his work shall at last
me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore also give thee for a light to the my salvation unto the end of the earth. 7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him
6 Christ declared himself the serrant of God-"I come to do thy will, O my God." "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." the preserved of Israel: I will Gentiles, that thou mayest be 7 Jesus was indeed despised of men, and abhorred of his own nation; yet kings and princes in their wisdom and piety have arisen and worshipped Him.
whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall
choose thee. Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate
8 The Gentiles, who by nature were spiritually without inheritance and Christ, all the glorious privileges of desolate, shall now share, through the sons of God. They, too, shall be to the Messiah, a goodly heritage. To the indigent, shall be riches; late, an inheritance; to the wanderer, to the famishing, food; to the desoa home; to the despairing, shall be hope.
heritages; that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall
feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. "And I will make all my 11 I will remove all difficulties. mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. far: and, lo, these from the these from the land of Sinim.
Behold, these shall come from north and from the west; and
13 This call was responded to, when angels sung the advent of Messiah. The heavens did sing his praise!
for the LORD hath comforted 14 The church, at the death of its founder, and during its consequent persecutions, might well fear, lest the Lord had forsaken her. Lo!-the promise!
Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy High, as he remembers all her trials. children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. 19 For 19 Such is the blessed change effected thy waste and thy desolate by the Gospel.
throws back the unworthy thought 15 Art thou a mother? Thy heart that thou canst forget thy sucking child. Be it so! Learn then what is the love of God for thy soul, which exceeds that of a nursing mother's love for her helpless infant! God never forgets thee!
16 The final welfare of the Church is the continual care of the Most