Psalm 110:7

"He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall he lift up the head." - Ps. cx. 7.

The brook of Kedron was a black brook (for so the word Kedron signifies) into which all the filth from the sacrifices was thrown; it was the brook over which the Son of God passed in the night that he entered the garden of Gethsemane. Now, as the whole Psalm from which this portion is taken, refers to the person of Jesus, nothing can be more plain than that David, by the spirit of prophecy, is here describing the deep sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. By the expression, drinking of this black brook, it is intended to convey an idea of the "cup of trembling" put into the Lord Jesus's hands, when he sustained all the sins and filth of his people, and in consequence as their surety, all the Father's wrath against sin. Hence the Lord said, "The cup that my Father giveth me, shall I not drink it?" My soul! pause, and ask thyself, doth not this sweet but solemn verse give thee precious instruction, when thou considerest that all thy filth, and all thy defilements, were imputed, by the Father himself, unto the person of thy glorious surety? Is it not blessed thus to see, that by Christ's drinking "of the brook in the way," he took all thy transgressions, and was made both "sin and a curse for thee, that thou mightest be made the righteousness of God in him?" And though, in himself, he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens," yet, as the surety of his people, he was made black with sin and suffering; "his visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." Precious Jesus! may I never lose sight of Gethsemane, the mount of Olives, and the brook Kedron! Here, by faith, let my soul frequently take her evening station, and behold thee "pouring out thy soul unto death, numbered with the transgressors," drinking "of the brook in the way," that thy sacred head might be lifted up, first on the cross in suffering, and then with thy crown in glory!

Genesis 22:14

"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-j ireh; as it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." - Gen. xxii. 14.

My soul! how many Jehovah-jirehs hast thou erected? At least, how many occasions hath thy bountiful Lord afforded thee for erecting them? Oh what cause have I to blush in the recollection! Had I done by my God, as Abraham did by his, what blessed helps would they have afforded me, in the same moment that they became monuments to the Lord's praise! Surely I know all this, in theory, very plainly and fully: but how do I fall short in the practice of it! To set up the Jehovah-jireh for all that is past, is the best help to a soul in exercises for all that is to come. When I can, and do put down, after any sharp trial, any Jehovah-jireh, and say, here it was "the Lord did provide;" will it not, in any future exercise, enable me to say, ‘If the Lord helped me then, may I not hope that he will help me now?' It would be a very sad requital for past mercies, in the moment of receiving them, to say, ‘Alas! the Lord did once help, but he will not. I fear, do it again.' This would be to read the inscription of the Jehovah-jireh backward. Whereas the very sight of our Jehovah-jirehs should teach us to say, "Here the Lord helped me: here he manifested his free unmerited grace to me: and will he not again? Is he less Jehovah than he was? Is he not God all-sufficient, all-gracious still?" O it is blessed to have such stones set up as Abraham's Jehovah-jireh. There was nothing in the patriarch's of his own providing. His was simply an act of faith; and neither the result of his asking by prayer, or providing by his wisdom. And, my soul, do not overlook a most interesting mark which the Holy Ghost hath put upon Abraham's Jehovah-jireh, in adding, "As it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." As if he had said, ‘ all the ages and generations yet to come shall profit by the great father of the faithful's testimony to this place; and they shall see it to the latest day of Jesus's church upon earth? Oh! how blessed, when our personal experience bears an exact correspondence to that of the faithful gone before; when we can and do set up the same. All blessings, all provisions are in Jesus. He is the Lamb, which, from everlasting, Jehovah hath provided, and whom his people shall see in all their wants, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. And let their extremities be what they may, yea, though the exercises of their faith abound, yet let them wait but the Lord's time, which is always the best time, and they shall most assuredly, like Abraham, find cause to call the name of every place of trial, Jehovah-j ireh; concerning which, in proof and in reality it shall be said, every day and to the last day," In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen!"

1 Corinthians 11:26

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." - I Cor. xi. 26.

An evening or two since, my mind was led out to the contemplation of the supper of the Lord, as a heart affecting ordinance, to make the Lord's table a Bochim. I hope, my soul, that in this view, thou didst find it profitable. Here is another proposed to thy meditation, which, under grace, will prove equally so, in which it comes home to thy affections as a subject of holy joy. Look at it in this light, and remark what the apostle saith upon it. The Lord's death, which is thy life, is set forth by every renewed celebration. And what a delightful thought is that. As the body needs its constant regular meals, so doth the soul. And as Jesus is the whole of life, and strength, and happiness to his people; as oft as we receive the holy supper, we testify to the world of men and angels, that he is all this; and we glory in setting him forth as such at his table. And what a blessed addition is that little phrase at the end of this verse; "till he come:" yea, that "when he comes," he may find his people at his table, and in their death celebrating his. Oh the blessedness of being so found! Surely every lover of Jesus would desire to be found there, when the master comes, and calleth personally for each, to take him home: to be, in one and the same moment, in the valley of vision, and the valley of the shadow of death! My soul! from henceforth, among the other glories of the ordinance, do not forget this. The oftener it is attended, the more delightful it will be. For the service keeps the remembrance of Jesus alive in the soul, until he comes to take the soul home to the everlasting enjoyment of himself in glory. And as there, all his redeemed, who feast their souls with the view of his person, unceasingly behold some new glories in him, and, after millions of ages, will find him still increasingly lovely, and increasingly precious; so here below, the more we see him, and know him, and enjoy him by faith, the more we shall long to see him, and know him, and enjoy him by sight: and the glories of his person, and the wonders of his blood and righteousness, will be unfolding more and more to our ravished souls. And while every other object lessens in its value by time and use, and all created excellencies, like the planet under which they are found, have their growing and their waning seasons; Jesus is the same, "yesterday, and to-day, and forever." Yea, though in reality always the same, yet from the increasing manifestations of love and glory which he makes of himself to us, as our capacities are capable of bearing, he will be in our view more and more blessed, from day to day, from one ordinance to another, and through all the unknown periods of eternity! Oh! the blessedness of setting forth Jesus, "in breaking bread and in prayer!"

Psalm 4:8

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." - Ps. iv. 8.

My soul! it is blessed, indeed, to lie down, or arise, when Jesus is thy rest and refreshment! But, void of security and safety in him, both the day-light and the darkness have their horrors. And how unsatisfying is everything where Jesus is not? This is strikingly exemplified, day by day, among all carnal characters. "There be many," saith the Psalmist (in this divine psalm), "there be many that say, who will shew us any good?" Yea, the whole world, who know not the blessedness of Jesus, will thus say! What a busy life some men make of it? And what is it for? Be their pursuits what they may; let them be ever so much diversified, one object is the aim of all. The apostle hath said what it is;" to make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof," Rom. xiii. 14. My soul! what is the first and last, the greatest and most momentous desire of thine affections? Canst thou, and dost thou, adopt the words of the Psalmist, in this sweet psalm: "Lord! lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me: and it shall put more gladness in my heart than in the time that corn and wine increase?" Oh! the blessedness of such a state! May it be mine! Dearest Lord Jesus! grant it me, day by day; and in the evening and night watches, let thy sweet visits be unceasingly renewing: and then will I take this precious portion for my song, both when undressing for the bed of sleep, and the bed of death: "I will lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety!"

Judges 2:5

"And they called the name of that place Bochim. " - Judges ii. 5.

Surely it was enough to induce such an effect, when the preaching of an angel informed the people, that the Lord, for their sins, would not drive out their enemies before them. The place might well be called Bochim, and they themselves might hear the name Bochim, weepers. But, my soul, thou hast lately been to a place which is yet more calculated to make it memorable, by weeping, when thou didst attend Jesus at the ordinance of his supper. For there Jesus himself was, and is, the everlasting preacher, who sheweth thee his hands and his side, pierced and streaming with blood, for thy sins. Didst thou not hear him speak to thee himself, in his own words, "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born?" Zech. xii. 10. Didst thou not weep in beholding such a sight, in hearing such words, and in meditating on such things? Alas! Lord, my heart is harder than the adamant. But if the eye wept not; say, was not my heart broken? Did I not desire to feel, to mourn, and, with the prophet, to cry out: "Oh! that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night," in the recollection of my Redeemer's sufferings, and my sins, the dreadful cause of them? Did Jesus die for me! Did the Son of God offer up his precious soul and offering for me? Was his body broken, and his blood shed for me? For me! a poor, wretched, polluted, hell-deserving sinner? Oh! for grace to make every place a Bochim in the recollection; and especially at the table of Jesus, may my soul always find these ordinance- seasons heart-melting seasons. Here would I frequently attend, to have my soul thoroughly awakened, and my stony heart made flesh. Here would I go, to gather a holy hatred to my sins, which brought Jesus to the cross. Here would I be found waiting, that when any new temptation may arise, I may cry out, with a vehement indignation, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" How can I "crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame?" Precious Lord Jesus! do thou help me to keep the eye of my soul stedfastly fixed on thee, and all the affections of my soul to be going out in desires after thee; to be "always bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of the Lord Jesus may he made manifest in my body!"

Psalm 68:9

"Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance when it was weary." - Ps. lxviii. 9.

How truly grateful are the falling showers upon the thirsty earth, after a hot summer's day, such as this season of the year abounds with! Such, my soul, (and thou knowest it, I hope, in the many refreshments thou hast had) is Jesus, in the visits of his grace! "He shall come like rain," was the sweet promise given to old testament saints, "upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth," Ps. lxxii. 6. And every new testament believer hath, more or less, a real personal enjoyment of it. Sometimes the Lord comes as the tender dew, for he saith himself," I will be as the dew unto Israel," Hosea xiv. 5. And hast thou not found thy Lord, not unfrequently, so to come? silent and unperceived for a while; yea, at times, when wholly unlooked for, unasked, unsought! Yes! thou dearest Jesus, thou tarriest not for man's desert, neither waitest thou for their prepared state to receive thee! Micah v. 7. And sometimes, as this blessed portion for the evening expresseth it, the Lord comes in a "plentiful rain;" even showers of his love, washing away "the filth of the daughter of Zion," and cleansing everything that is polluted; as the natural clouds pour their fullness, which wash off the insects from the vegetable creation, and purify the air from noxious vapours. And when my God and Saviour thus comes to his people, how doth he make the wilderness- frames of their dry and languishing minds to blossom as the rose! So come, Lord Jesus, I beseech thee, on my soul, and not on mine only, but on thy churches, thy ministers, thy people! But, my soul, do not dismiss this charming scripture, until thou hast first gathered another blessed instruction from it, for it is most blessed. The words say, that Jehovah sends this plentiful rain, whereby he "confirmed his inheritance when it was weary." And doth not this most abundantly prove, that Christ, with all his fullness, and all his graces, is the sent of God the Father? "We have seen and do testify (said John, the beloved apostle)that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," 1 John iv. 14. Oh! precious, precious scripture! Do I not read in it the grace, and love, and mercy of all the persons of the Godhead? Surely, Almighty Father! thou dost confirm all thy covenant faithfulness, when thou dost send thy dear Son to the souls of thy people! Thou dost, indeed, both confirm thy truth, and refresh their weary, dry, and thirsty souls, when Jesus comes to bless them, in the dew of his grace, and in the showers of his love and mercy!

Song of Solomon 7:6

"How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!" - Song vii. 6.

My soul! thou hast been refreshed, many an evening, through grace, in beholding thy Lord, both in his person, and in his comprehensive fullness for his redeemed; nor wilt thou be without refreshment this evening, if thy Lord, in his sweet influences, be with thee, to make what is said in this lovely scripture, life and spirit in thine heart. They are the words of Jesus; and they express the love and complacency of delight which Jesus takes in his church. Surely nothing can be more blessed, than to see the high value the Son of God puts upon the church, which the Father gave him, endeared as it is yet more in being the purchase of his blood! But what astonishment is it to the soul of a poor sinner, to be told, and by the lip of truth, that sinners are fair in Jesus's eyes! "Thou art fair, O love, yea, pleasant." Now remember, my soul, and in that remembrance let Jesus have all the glory, that this loveliness and beauty in the sinner, of every degree, that is regenerated, and made anew in Christ, is from Jesus. It is wholly from his righteousness, in which he beholds her clothed: "I washed thee with water, (saith the Lord) and I decked thee also with ornaments; and thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God," Ezek. xvi. 5-14. My soul! bow down under the conviction of all that remains of indwelling inbred sin; and, in language like that of the astonished apostle, cry out, ‘Lord! how is it that thou hast set thy love upon creatures so polluted and unworthy; and dost "manifest thyself to them otherwise than thou dost to the world?"‘

Hebrews 11:31

"By faith, the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." - Heb. xi. 31.

It were a pity to disconnect what. the Holy Ghost hath joined; and as the relation of the destruction accomplished by faith on the walls of Jericho, is followed in the scripture history, with an account of a deliverance, from the same principle, in this wonderful woman, who was an harlot, do thou, my soul, let thy last evening's meditation on the one, he followed up in this, by the exercise of thy devout thoughts on the other; for both are expressly intended to one and the same purpose, which is to encourage the Lord's people to be "followers of them, who now, through faith and patience, inherit the promises." What extraordinary events are there in the scripture account of Rahab, the harlot; that such a woman, and an harlot, should be distinguished with such grace! That in such a city, even an accursed city, the Lord should have so illustrious an instance of faith! That faith so illustrious should be found in the heart of an harlot! And that the eminency and greatness of it should be such, that God the Holy Ghost hath thought proper to have it recorded, both in its principle and effects, by the apostle Paul, in one epistle, and by the apostle James in another. Yea, and what is more marvelous still, that our Lord, after the flesh, should arise out of such a stock! Oh! what a world of wonders is folded up in the great plan of salvation! But while thou art beholding the wonders of grace in the instance of this woman, and admiring the triumph of faith wrought in her, do not fail to connect with it the still more blessed view of Him who is the author and finisher of faith, and from whom, and in whom, and by whom, the whole is accomplished. Precious Jesus! it is all by thee, and thy glorious undertaking, that Rahab, the gentile, found faith to believe, while the spies of Israel doubted. It was thou, and thy grace, O Lord, that wrought so effectually, and therefore be thou eternally loved and adored in this rich dispensation of thy mercy, that Rahab the harlot perished not with them that believed not. Oh! thou bountiful Lord! publicans and harlots, thou hast said, go into the kingdom of God, before the self- righteous Pharisees!

Hebrews 12:30

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." - Heb. xii. 30.

Never, in the annals of mankind, in the history of all wars, is there a parallel instance to be found, of exploits like what the Holy Ghost hath recorded here, of faith. The walls of a city actually fell down at the blasting of rams' horns; and yet not from the blasting of horns, but from faith in the almighty power of Goal. My soul! let thy meditation, this evening, be directed to the subject, to see whether it will or not, under divine teaching, give strength to the exercise's of thy faith? We find, in the relation given of this memorable siege, that no ramparts were thrown up, no mounds raised, nothing of any human attempt made, either to sap the foundations, or to harass the enemy. The simple process adopted to intimate to the besieged the appearance of war, was an army marching round the walls, once every day, for seven days together. I have often thought how the despisers of God and his army, in the city of Jericho, ridiculed the Israelites in their daily exercise. And what an apt resemblance were they of the despisers, in the present day, of God and his Christ! But what an effect must have been induced, when on the seventh day, and after seven times marching round (perhaps in honour of the Sabbath) at the shout of Joshua and his army, the whole of the walls fell flat to the ground! My soul! such, but in an infinitely higher degree, will be the consternation of all the enemies of Jesus, when "he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all that believe!" Do not overlook the testimony the Holy Ghost hath given to this memorable event, that it was wrought" by faith!" And what cannot faith in Jesus accomplish? Hadst thou been present at this siege, and beheld the stupendous event, when, at the command of Joshua, the Israelites shouted, and the walls fell, thou wouldest have seen a sight not more wonderful and supernatural, than when, at the command of our new testament Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, the weapons of sin fall out of the hands of the sinner, and the strong holds of Satan give way in the heart, to the victorious grace of the Spirit. Lord! I would say, in the review of this subject, increase my faith, and make my soul strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus!

John 11:35

"Jesus wept." - John xi. 35.

My soul! look at thy Redeemer in this account of him. Was there ever a more interesting portrait than what the evangelist hath here drawn of the Son of God? If the imagination were to be employed forever in forming an interesting scene of the miseries of human nature, what could furnish so complete a picture as these two words give of Christ, at the sight of them? "Jesus wept." Here we have at once the evidence how much the miseries of our nature affected the heart of Jesus; and here we have the most convincing testimony, that he partook of all the sinless infirmities of our nature, and was truly, and in all points, man, as well as God. We are told by one of the ancient writers (as well as I recollect, it was St. Chrysostom) that some weak but injudicious Christians in his days, were so rash as to strike this verse out of their bibles, from an idea, that it was unsuitable and unbecoming in the Son of God to weep. But we have cause to bless the over-ruling providence of God, that though they struck it out from their bibles, they did it not from ours. It is blessed to us to have it preserved, for it affords one of the most delightful views we can possibly have of the affectionate heart of Jesus, in feeling for the sorrows of his people. And methinks, had they judged aright, they would have thought, that if it were unsuitable or unbecoming in Jesus to weep, it would have been more so to put on the appearance of it. And why those groans at the grave of Lazarus, if tears were improper? Precious Lord! how refreshing is it to my soul the consideration, that, "Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, thou likewise didst take part of the same; that in all things it behoved thee to be made like to thy brethren!" Hence, when my poor heart is afflicted, when Satan storms, or the world frowns, when sickness in myself, or when under bereaving providences for my friends, "all thy waves and storms seem to go over me;" Oh, what relief is it, to know that Jesus looks on, and sympathizes! Then do I say to myself, will not Jesus, who wept at the grave of Lazarus, feel for me? Shah I look up to him, and look up in vain? Did Jesus, when upon earth, know what those exercises were; and was his precious soul made sensible of distresses even to tears; and will he be regardless of what! feel, and the sorrows under which I groan? Oh no! the sigh that bursts in secret from my heart, is not secret to him; the tear that on my night couch, drops unperceived and unknown to the world, is known and numbered by him. Though now exalted at the right hand of power, where he hath wiped away all tears from off all faces, yet he himself still retains the feelings and the character of "the man of sorrows, and of one well acquainted with grief." Help me, Lord, thus to look up to thee, and thus to remember thee! Oh! that blessed scripture; "In all their afflictions, he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old," Isa. lxiii. 9.

Leviticus 23:10

"A sheaf of the first-fruits. " - Levit. xxiii. 10.

This was a most interesting service in the Jewish church, and full of gospel mercies; When the Lord appointed" a sheaf of the first-fruits" of their harvest to be brought before him, and waved towards heaven, as a token that all fruits were of the Lord, and that he was both the giver and proprietor of all. And it hath reference to the person of Christ, both in his death and resurrection. For "a lamb of the first year, without blemish," was to be offered as a burnt-offering with it, to testify that the death of Jesus sanctifies and sweetens all; and Christ himself, in his resurrection, is the "first-fruits of them that sleep." My soul! dost thou observe this Jewish service in a gospel dress? Surely, the service is a reasonable service, and, if possible, more heightened now than then. When this law was given, the Israelite had no power to perform it; neither indeed was it intended to be observed, until the people arrived in Canaan. There was neither tilling of land, nor sowing of seed, in the wilderness; for the people were victualled by the immediate bounty of heaven; and we are told, that they ate the manna until that they came to Canaan. But when they were settled in the land which the Lord had promised them, and God gave them "fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness," surely it was meet thus to acknowledge God in his providences, as the providence of God had owned and blessed them. What sayest thou to it, my soul? Here was Jesus in the sheaf of the first-fruits. Here was the Father's blessing, acknowledged in the gift of Jesus. Here was Jesus represented in the lamb, which accompanied the service. Here was the waving it towards heaven, and a prohibition not to eat bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until God's portion had been first offered! Oh! my soul, wilt thou not learn hence, to trace Jesus in every one of thy blessings, and to bless thy God and Father for a sanctified use of everything in Jesus! Help me, Lord, I pray thee, in my heart, in my house, in the field, in the city, in the church, in the closet, in the world, in the family, to be forever waving before my God, "the sheaf of the first-fruits" in all his bounties. In Jesus I have all; in Jesus would I enjoy all; and then shall I most assuredly have that sweet promise forever fulfilling in my heart: "Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine;" Prov. iii. 9, 10.

Hebrews 5:8

"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience, by the things which he suffered." - Heb. v. 8.

My soul! behold what a precious verse of scripture is here! How blessedly doth it set forth thy Redeemer! See here what an example Jesus shews to all his people, and how sweetly accommodating is that example to every case and circumstance, into which any of them can be brought! Surely, if any might have done without going into such a school of suffering, for the purpose of learning, it must have been Jesus; but yet even Jesus would not. And wouldest thou, my soul, after such an illustrious pattern, desire to be excused? Hath not Jesus dignified it, and made it blessed? Oh! the honour of following his steps. There is another beauty in this scripture. The apostle, in a verse or two preceding, took notice of Jesus in his human nature, that he sought not, as such, the high priest's office uncalled. "Christ (saith he) glorified not himself, to be made an high priest, but was called of God, as was Aaron." And by reading this verse in connection with that, it is as if the apostle had said, ‘Yea, such was the wonderful condescension of the Son of God, in his divine nature, that, though of the same nature and essence with the Father, yet would he have his human nature trained up in all the exercises of suffering; that, by a fellow feeling, his people might know how he understood their exercises by his own.' Oh! thou gracious, condescending Lord! Surely nothing can soften sorrow like the consciousness that thou hast known it in our nature for thy people; and nothing can more effectually reconcile all thine afflicted members, humbly and patiently to learn obedience in the school of suffering, as that Jesus, though a Son, and the Son of God, in the eternity of his nature, was pleased, in his human nature, "to learn obedience by the things which he suffered."

Matthew 22:11

"A wedding garment." - Matt. xxii. 11.

My soul! let this evening's meditations be directed to the subject proposed in these few words: "a wedding garment." Very many are the instructions which the passage contains. The Lord Jesus is representing, under the similitude of a wedding feast, the rich provision God the Father had made in the gospel, on account of the marriage of his dear Son with our nature. And most beautiful, indeed, is the representation. For what feast, in point of fullness, richness, and satisfaction, can come up to that which is furnished for the poor, needy, and perishing circumstances of famished and dying sinners? This feast of fat things (as the scripture calls it) is indeed a rich feast, a royal feast, and a true wedding feast: for as Jesus, on whose account it is made, hath united our nature in general to himself, so hath he united each individual of that nature in particular to himself, who is truly, and in reality, made a partaker of it. But the parable supposes (which, though not said, is implied) that the rich and bountiful Donor not only provides a feast for the hungry, but a covering for the naked; and that the very entrance to his table is inadmissible without this wedding garment being accepted, put on, and worn by every individual who partakes of the supper. The case is here stated of one unworthy creature (and that one is a representative of all in like circumstances) who, when the King came in to see the guests, was found deficient of this covering. My soul! pause over this part. This man, it should seem, was not observed by any around him. He had come in with the crowd, and gained admittance with the rest. It was only when the King came in, that he was discovered, and that by the King himself. What a volume of instruction is contained in this short representation? So Jesus comes in the midst of his churches. He presides at his table. Every individual is seen, is known by him, with every secret motive for which each cometh. It should seem, that at this supper there were great multitudes present, and but one without a wedding garment. And yet that one could not be hidden from the King's eye. My soul! while this furnisheth a subject for awful consideration, so doth it no less for joyful thought. Hast thou been at this gospel feast? Weft thou clothed in this wedding garment? Surely, if so, thou art not at a loss to know. If the feast and the garment were both of the King's providing, thou must know whether thou camest to be clothed as well as fed; and whether the Lord, that provided the food, gave thee also raiment? Say then, when Jesus invited thee to his supper, didst thou go to it, as those in the highway, poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind? And while he bade thee come, didst thou regard his counsel; and buy of him, as he had said, without money, and without price, "white raiment, that thou mightest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness should not appear?" Rev. iii. 18. Oh it is blessed, very blessed, to go hungry to such a feast, and clothed in the wedding garment of Jesu's righteousness, and have the robe put on by God the Holy Ghost. Sure will be the acceptance, and gracious the reception, to every poor, famishing, naked, sinner, that thus comes to the gospel feast. Do remark, my soul, one circumstance more in this man's case. It doth not appear that he was naked; for then it would have been said so; and, if conscious of it, the bountiful Lord that made the feast would have clothed him. He had a garment, but not a wedding garment. One of his own providing; like those who have a righteousness of their own, of whom the Lord elsewhere speaks: "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;" Isa. xxx. 1. Precious Lord Jesus! clothe me with the wedding garment of thy righteousness; and feed me with the rich food of thy body and blood; yea, Lord! be thou my covering, my joy, my all; that when at thy church, at thy table, at thine house of prayer below, and at thine kingdom of glory above, the King cometh in to see his guests, my soul may cry out, in thine own blessed, words, and with a joy unspeakable and full of glory: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels;" Isa. lxi. 10.

Joshua 4:23

"The waters of Jordan." - Joshua 4:23

The sacred streams of Jordan, so often and so highly celebrated in the word of God, open a very blessed subject for meditation. Sit down, my soul, by the side of that ancient river, and call to mind the faith exercised on that memorable spot by the multitude of the faithful gone before, who were heirs with thyself of the promises; and see, whether the Holy Ghost will not graciously, this evening, make thy meditation sweet? Recollect, as thou viewest the hallowed ground, that here it was, in this river, Jesus received the first public testimony from God the Father; and the first open display of the descent of God the Holy Ghost. Here Jehovah began to magnify the Lord Christ. And here, in ages before, had the Lord begun to magnify that memorable type of Jesus, his servant Joshua. And as, from the baptism of Jesus at this sacred river, the Lamb of God opened his divine commission, so here Joshua, his type, commenced his ministry. From hence he led the people to the promised land. And from hence Jesus, in the baptism of his Holy Spirit, leads his redeemed to the possession of the everlasting Canaan, in heaven. There is, indeed, a double view of our Lord's ministry, in these waters of Jordan; not only of baptism, as introductory to the wilderness-state of temptation that follows to all his people; but also, as the close of the wilderness-dispensation, in the Jordan of death, when, finally and fully, Jesus leads them through, to their immortal possessions. And as the children of Israel had been exercised for forty years together, through a waste and howling wilderness, until they came to Jordan, which opened a passage to them of life and liberty, to a land flowing with milk and honey; so the followers of the Lord Jesus, having passed through the pilgrimage of this world, amidst the various assaults of sin and Satan, pass through the Jordan of death, conducted and secured by their almighty leader, unto the possession of that kingdom of glory and happiness which is above. Pause, my soul, over the review! behold, by faith, the wonderful events which passed here. In this sacred river, once rested the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth. Here Jesus, whom the ark represented, was baptized. Here Israel passed over. And here, my soul, must thou pass over in the hour of death. Oh! how sweet and blessed, in the swellings of Jordan, to behold Jesus, and hear his well-known voice, "Fear not; for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee!"

Hebrews 5:14

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." - Heb. v. 14.

 My soul! of what age art thou in the divine life? It is high time to inquire: high time to know. And the information is not far to attain, if thou dost wish it. A state of full age not only can receive, and relish the strong meat of the gospel, but really desires it, longs for it, and can be satisfied with nothing else. And what is the strong meat of the gospel? Surely the person, the work, the glory, the grace, the love, the everything that is in Jesus, which belongs to Jesus, and flows from Jesus. And depend upon it, that if thy spiritual senses are so frequently exercised upon Jesus, as to relish this food, to delight in it, yea, to loath all else, there will be a sweet savour of Jesus in thy whole life and conversation. And in the exact proportion that thou takest a fullness of this spiritual food, so may thine age be estimated. All we hear, all we see, all we read of, or meet with, of Jesus, will be food to the soul. Jesus is as the sweet flower of the field: and faith, like the bee, gathers from it, and brings home, both the golden honey and the wax to the hive, and lives upon it: so that then Christ is in the heart, dwells in the heart, as the apostle terms it, by faith, and is "formed in the heart the hope of glory." Now, where there is no fullness of age, yea, no age at all, not a babe in Christ, nor even born again, the strong meat of the gospel can neither be received, taken in, nor enjoyed. An unawakened heart is not only incapable of strong meat, but is disgusted at it. Persons of this kind may hear of Jesus, and apparently, for the time seem pleased. For as all men, when they die, would desire to go to heaven, so a discourse about it, may amuse, as a subject at a distance. But there is nothing within them, with which the subject can incorporate: no digestive powers to receive such strong meat; and consequently no relish. A shower of rain in a dry season may wet the surface, but if it soak not to the root, the plants find no good. My soul! what saith thine experience to these things? Hath the Lord so manifested himself to thee in all his glory, that nothing short of Jesus can satisfy thee? Hast thou found a transforming power accompanying this view of Jesus, so that, by faith, his glory hath excited thy desires to partake of him? And do the daily hopes which arise from such thoughts and views of thy Lord, so give rest, comfort, and joy to thee, that these refreshments are like "the spiced wine of the pomegranate?" Blessed Redeemer! may I be able to ascertain the real ripeness of my age by testimonies like these; and sure I am, in this view and enjoyment of Jesus, I shall find cause to give thanks, yea, unceasing thanks, to "God and the Father, who thus maketh us meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light."

Daniel 7:13-14

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." - Daniel 7:13,14

Bless the Lord, my soul, who giveth thee "songs in the night", from the night visions of the prophet. Read this sweet scripture, explained as it is, most fully and completely, by the evangelists, in their account of Jesus, as" the Son of man;" and what a wonderful coincidence and agreement is there between them! It is in the human nature of the Lord Christ, that the glories of this kingdom shine so full and resplendent. "The Ancient of Days can be no other than God the Father, who is truly the Ancient of Days, being self-existent, and from everlasting to everlasting. And the Son of God, as God, one with the Father, is the same from all eternity. But here he is spoken of as the Christ of God, and particularly revealed to Daniel, in the visions of the night, as" the Son of man." Ponder this well, my soul. Contemplate the dominion, glory, and kingdom given to Jesus, in thy nature. Recollect also, in the moment of thy meditation, that it is by virtue of this nature, united to the Godhead, that the exercise of all sovereignty, wisdom, and power, is carried on, and Christ's kingdom established forever. It saith, in this scripture, that these things were given to him. They could not have been given to him as God; for all things were his before: but as Christ, the Son of man; the Son of God having taken into union with the Godhead our nature, became one Christ, and as such, received them. And what endears the subject, in the greatness and everlasting nature of it is, that Jesus is all this in our nature. For here it is that that sweet scripture unfolds all its beauty:" As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; because he is the Son of man!" John v. 26, 27. Mark the peculiar blessedness of the expression, for the meditation is most sweet. Jesus, as Jesus Mediator, hath life in himself. He doth not hold it as at pleasure, or like creatures, which, because once given, may be taken away. It is in himself in the human nature, because that human nature is taken in, united to, and become one with the Godhead, and therefore not liable to be recalled. Pause over this subject, this glorious, blessed, joyful subject! Thy Jesus, my soul, hath life in himself, in his human nature, because he is the Son of man. Think, then, of thine everlasting safety in him; and thine unceasing glory from him: for he saith himself, "Because I live, ye shall live also." Hallelujah. Amen, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

"With the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." - I Thess. iv. 16.

Before I drop into the arms of sleep, I would call upon my soul to ponder these words. I know not, each night, when retiring to rest, whether my next awakening may not be "with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." As what may be my state in this particular, and hath been the state of many (for the hour of a man's death is to all intents and purposes the day of judgment) becomes an infinitely momentous concern; how can I better close the day and the month together, than by a few moments' consideration of the solemn event? What is meant by "the voice of the archangel?" I do not recollect the name of the archangel being mentioned anywhere beside in scripture, except Jude 9. and here, as well as there, the person spoken of is but one. We have no authority to say, archangels; yea, it should seem, from what the apostle Jude hath said concerning the archangel, in calling him Michael (if compared with the vision of Daniel, chap. x. 21. and also with what is said in the book of the Revelations, chap xii. 7.) that it means the person of Christ. Jesus himself hath said, that "the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and all that are in their graves shall come forth." John v. 25-28. At any rate, if the Holy Ghost speak but of one, and there be but the shadow of a probability that that one is Christ, it becomes very faulty to join others in the name, by making the word plural. With respect to "the trump of God," we may understand, that as the law was given with solemn splendour and glory on mount Sinai, so the consummation of all things will testify the divine presence. My soul, meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to the frequent consideration of them. And, by the lively actings of faith upon the person of thy Lord, contemplate thy personal interest in all the blessedness of this great day of God. If this "voice of the archangel," be indeed the voice of Jesus, and thou knowest now by grace thy oneness and union with him, shall not the very thought give thee holy joy? It is true, indeed, the day will be solemn, yea, profoundly solemn. But it is equally true, that it will be glorious to all the redeemed. And if the Lord Jesus commanded his disciples to look up, and lift up their heads with holy joy, when their redemption drew nigh, shall we not suppose that it must be pleasing to the mind of our God and Saviour that we welcome and hail the fulfillment of it? Yea, must it not be pleasing to our God and Father, that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ to this day of eternal salvation? We find the apostles thus encouraging the faithful Paul tells Titus to be "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus ii. 13. Surely, if the hope be blessed, and the appearing of Jesus, as the Redeemer of his people, glorious; our souls should triumph in the expectation. Peter goes one step farther, and bids the church not only to be looking but hasting unto the coming of it; as souls well assured of their safety in Jesus; and therefore to cry out with holy faith, "Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!" 2 Pet. iii. 12. What sayest thou, my soul, to these things? Are they blessed? Are thy hopes thus going forth in desires after Christ's coming? Oh! the blessedness of falling asleep each night, in the sleep of nature, in the perfect assurance of a oneness with Christ? And Oh! the blessedness of falling asleep in Jesus, when the Lord gives the signal for the sleep of death! All the intervening lapse of time, from death to this hour of the "voice of the archangel," is totally lost to the body, like the unconscious lapse of time to the labouring man of health, whose sleep each night is sweet. When the patriarchs, of their different ages, arise at "the trump of God," their bodies will be equally unconscious whether the sleep hath been for one night, or several thousand years. Think, my soul, of these solemn but precious things. Frequently meditate with holy joy and faith, upon this great day of God. Recollect that it is Jesus who comes to take thee home. And having long redeemed thee by his blood, he then will publicly acknowledge thee for his own, and present thee to the Father and himself, as a part of his glorious church, "not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but to be forever without blame before him in love."

1 Corinthians 5:8

"Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. " - I Cor. v. 8.

My soul, hast thou duly considered the unsuitableness of all leaven to mix up with the unleavened bread of the gospel of Jesus? Whatever sours, and gives a principle of taint to the mind, is indeed a leaven, carefully to be avoided. And "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump!" So that it was expressly enjoined, in the divine precept of the law, on the Passover, that "there should be no leaven found in their houses; the soul that did eat of it was to be cut off from the congregation." Exod. xii. 19. Sweet instruction, couched under the prohibition! With Jesus there is to be no mixture; nothing of creature leaven, of self-will, or self-righteousness to mingle. My soul, thou hast been at the gospel feast, and sat with Jesus at his table. Surely thou hast kept the feast then, as here enjoined, and allowed nothing of leaven, in the old nature or in the new, to be with thee. Oh! the blessedness of thus receiving Christ with "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth!" Oh! the felicity of receiving a broken Christ into a broken heart; preciously feeding upon his body broken, and his blood shed, as the sole, the only, the all-sufficient means of salvation by faith! Oh! Lamb of God! keep thy table sacred from all leaven, both in the persons approaching it, and the offerings made upon it. Let not the children's bread be received, or given to the leaven of hypocrisy and wickedness; but let all who meet around thy board be of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth! And do thou, Lord, come into thy house, to thy table, to thy people; and let each for himself hear, and joyfully accept the invitation of the kind Master: "Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!

Revelation 22:17

"And the Spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth, say, come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." - Rev. xxii. 17.

My soul, doth not the evening bell, which calleth to the ordinance, in all its melodious sounds, seem to express these gracious invitations? Wilt thou not attend? Private meditation is indeed sweet; but public ordinances are of more avail. "The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob!" What a blessed sight is it to see the house of God well filled! What a refreshment to my poor weary sin-sick soul, to hear Jesus in his word saying, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary, and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And every part and portion of the service proclaims the gospel cry: - "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price." Isa. lv. 1. And do observe, my soul, how, in the close of scripture, the invitation is repeated; as if to leave the impression fresh and lasting upon every soul. Yea, the Spirit confirms it; "come," is the call of the Holy Ghost; "come," is the call of the whole church, the bride, the Lamb's wife; yea, every one that heard of the free, and full, and glorious salvation; the angels, the ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, they join the pressing invitation, and cry, "come." And surely every thirsty soul will not cease to say the same, for whoever-the Lord the Spirit hath made "willing in the day of his power," may come in the day of his grace. And if Jesus, with his great salvation, be welcome to his heart, that heart is welcome to come to Jesus. My soul, with what a cloud of witnesses is the church of the living God encompassed; and how many and numerous are the invitations of grace! Wilt thou not then, in return, echo to the cry, and hasten thy Redeemer's coming, in the same earnest language? Come, Lord Jesus! to thy bride, the church, and be thou to all thy redeemed the water of life, and the fountain of life; until thou take home thy church, which is here below, to join thy church above, that they may unitedly dwell together, in the light of thy countenance for evermore!

Philippians 3:12

"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." - Phil. iii. 12.

My soul! take the apostle for an example in thine evening's meditation. Here he freely and fully confesseth himself, after all his attainments in the life of grace, to be far short of what he longed to attain. And observe the aim of the apostle: all his pursuit, and all his desire was, like an arrow shot at a mark, to apprehend Christ, as Christ had first apprehended him: to grasp Jesus, as the Lord Jesus had held, and did hold him. Happy desire! happy pursuit! and blessed mark of grace! For let the Lord have given out to the soul ever so largely, there is more to give out, more to be received, more to be enjoyed. And the Holy Ghost, who is leading a child of God out of himself, more and more, to lead him more and more to the enjoyment of Jesus, is sweetly training that precious soul, and advancing him to the highest lessons in the school of grace. Paul felt this, when he cried out, "Not that I have already attained, either were already perfect." To be sure not: for if we thought we had enough of Christ, it would be more than half conviction that we had nothing at all. Now, my soul, learn from Paul, in what the life of God in the soul consists: to be always pursuing the person of Jesus, for the farther enjoyment of him; never sitting down satisfied with what is already attained; but" pressing (as the apostle did) towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus:" in short, to make Christ the sum, the substance, the all of every desire; and ever to keep in remembrance, that the more we receive, the more Jesus hath to impart; the more he gives out, the more he is glorified; and, like some rich spring, the oftener we receive from him, the more rich and full he flows: Oh the blessedness of such a state! What a heaven upon earth would it be, if closely followed! To be always living upon Jesus, coming to Jesus, thirsting after Jesus; and the more we receive out of him, and of him, to have the soul's desires after him the more increased by all we enjoy. Precious Lord! grant me this felicity, that, like Paul, I may say," Not as though I had already attained :" but all my longings are, so to apprehend and hold fast Christ Jesus, as Christ Jesus hath apprehended and doth hold me fast.

Exodus 28:30

"The Urim and the Thummim." - Exod. xxviii. 30.

There is somewhat very interesting in this account of "the Urim and the Thummim;" though in the present distance of time, we can at the best form nothing more than conjectures as to what it was. But through grace, and the teaching of the Holy Ghost, we can have clear views of what it meant. The general acceptations of the Hebrew words, are, lights and perfections. And as Aaron, as high priest, became a lively type of Christ, so, by bearing on his breast-plate "the Urim and the Thummim," there can be no difficulty in beholding Jesus represented as the light and perfection of his people. And as Aaron bare all the names of the people upon his breast, where "the Urim and Thummim" were worn; how delightful is it to see Jesus thus represented, as bearing all the persons of his redeemed, in his own light and perfection, when he goes in before the presence of God for us! Sweet and precious thought to the believer! And now the church cries out: "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm;" Song viii. 6. And so important did this appear to Moses, when dying, that he expressly prayed, that" the Thummim and the Urim might be with Jehovah's Holy One;" Deut. xxxiii. 8. Now here we have at once the application of the whole; for who is Jehovah's Holy One, but the Lord Jesus Christ? With him it eminently remained, and with him only. For during the captivity, it was lost with the temple, and was never again restored. But with Jesus, the continuance of it was everlasting, for he hath "an unchangeable priesthood, and is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever." Precious Lord Jesus! be thou "the Urim and the Thummim" to my soul; for thou art both the light and perfection of thy people, in grace here, and glory forever.

Isaiah 6:5

"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of clean lips." - Isa. vi. 5.

My soul! thy last evening was deeply exercised on that glorious subject, the holiness of Jehovah. Let this evening's meditation call thee to what ought immediately to follow; thy unholiness and corruption. What a transition! And yet what more suited for meditation? The prophet Isaiah, who had been admitted to the view of a vision, like that which John the apostle saw in the after ages, beheld the glory of Christ, and heard those who cried, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts! and the effect was as is here related. His consternation was so great, concluding that he should be struck dead (agreeably to what holy men of old had conceived, that the sight of God would produce death), that he cried out, "Woe is me, I am undone." Pause, my soul! thou art also "a man of unclean lips!" How dost thou hope to see the face of God in glory? How art thou prepared for such an overwhelming sight? Convinced of thy uncleanness, and convinced also that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, neither can any evil dwell with him; how art thou looking for acceptance here by grace, and the everlasting acceptance and admittance of thy person hereafter in glory before God? Ponder the subject well, and consider, under this particular, as in every other, the blessedness of an union with Christ, and an interest in Christ. Here lie all thy hopes, all thy confidence, all thy security! Undone as thou art in thyself, and unclean as thy lips and thy whole nature are, by reason of sin, both from the original state in which thou wast conceived and born, and the actual transgressions which thou hast committed; yet looking up to the throne, in and through Jesus, thy Husband, thy Surety, thy Sponsor; here it is, my soul, and here alone, that thy confidence is well founded, and all thy hopes secure. And dost thou not feel a holy joy, a sweet indescribable delight, in contemplating the divine holiness; while contemplating, at the same time, thine own interest and right in the holiness of the Lord Jesus? Art thou not full of rapture in beholding the glory of God's holiness, for which, rather than an atom of it should be tarnished by the sinner, the Son of God assumed the nature of his people, and died on the cross, to make atonement? And art thou not comforted in the blessed view, that God's holiness hath received more glory, more honour, by the obedience and sacrifice of the Glory-man, Christ Jesus, than could have been given by the everlasting obedience of men and angels to all eternity? And say, moreover, dost thou not at times take delight in drawing nigh to the throne of grace, and offering thy poor feeble praises of" Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of Hosts," when thou art approaching, and holding communion with God, in and through the holy Jesus, thy ‘Redeemer? Oh! thou dear Emmanuel, in whom alone, and by whom alone, all my hopes and confidences are founded, I fall down at thy feet, and as the prophet cried out, so do I desire unceasingly to exclaim, "I am a man of unclean lips!" But do thou cause the iniquity to be taken away, and my sin to be purged, by the live coal, from thee, who art our new testament altar, and I shall be clean; for thou art the Lord my righteousness.

Revelation 4:8

"And they rear not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." - Rev. iv. 8.

Make a solemn pause, my soul, over these words; and when thou hast found a fixedness of thought, that every faculty may be engaged in the contemplation, ponder well this divine perfection of Jehovah, the holiness of his nature, by which an eternal distinction is drawn between him and all his creatures. None but Jehovah can be essentially holy. Angels, who have never sinned, have indeed a holiness; but it is derived from Him, it exists not in themselves, and, in point of comparison, is but as the shadow to the substance; moreover, being in their nature mutable creatures, their holiness may be changed also: the fallen angels are proofs in point. But with Jehovah, holiness is in himself; the peculiar glory of his nature, and inseparable from his very existence. Pause over this view, for it is scriptural, and truly blessed. Go on to another observation. Thrice is the ascription of holiness given, in this sublime song of the blessed in heaven, as if to point out the personality of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the Holy undivided Three," which bear record in heaven, for these three are one," I John v. 7. When these glorious truths are suitably impressed upon thee, pause once more, and consider with what distinguishing characters the holiness of Jehovah is set forth in the word of God. The heavenly host are said to rest not day and night in proclaiming their deep sense and adoration of Jehovah in this glorious attribute. Now here is somewhat for the mind to lean upon, in contemplating Jehovah's holiness. Jehovah is eternal also, and hath commanded the church to know him as the faithful God, Deut. vii. 9. But we never read that the host of worshippers thrice repeat his eternity, or his faithfulness, in their hymns, of adoration and praise. Moreover, Jehovah himself seems to have pointed out this divine attribute as among the distinguishing excellencies he will be known by; for he singles it out to swear by:" I have sworn once by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David," Ps. lxxxix. 35. Precious thought for the poor timid believer to keep always in view! For it is as if Jehovah had said, ‘I have pledged my holiness, as an attribute essential to my very nature, that what I have promised to David's Lord, even my dear Son, of the redemption of his seed, as sure as I am holy, I will most certainly perform.' Moreover, my soul, holiness is the glory .of Jehovah. Hence the song of the church:" Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods! who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness!" Exod. xv. 11. And hence Jehovah is said to be worshipped "in the beauties of holiness;" Ps. cx. 3. My soul! keep this also in remembrance. If the representation of an angel, or a man, were to be made, we should figure to ourselves the most beautiful countenance; and if Jehovah be represented to us, how is it done? Surely in the beauty of holiness; for God the Holy Ghost gives us "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ!" 2 Cor. iv. 6. Pause over these infinitely solemn meditations, and while thou art overawed (as, indeed, it is impossible but to be so) in the contemplation of distinguishing a perfection of the divine nature; and, moreover, as this view of God's holiness is so directly opposed to the unholiness of a poor fallen sinful creature, as thou art, look up for grace from the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and take relief in the sweet and consoling consideration, that to this glorious God thou art permitted, yea, commanded and encouraged, to draw near, in and through the holiness of thy Redeemer. Hail, blessed Jesus! upheld by the right arm of thy righteousness, and washed from all our sins in thy blood, all thy church may here draw nigh by faith, and send forth their feeble breathings in the same strain as the church in thy presence doth above, while in their hymns day and night, they shout aloud, "Holy! holy! holy! Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!"

John 6:37-40

"All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." - John vi. 37 - 40.

My soul, commit this blessed portion to thy memory; yea, beg of God the Holy Ghost to commit, and write all the gracious things contained in it, on the inner tablets of thine heart! It is in itself a gospel, yea, a fur gospel. Methinks, I would have it proclaimed on the house-tops, and published, day by day, in every place of public concourse throughout the earth, until the saving truths were every one of them known, and felt, and enjoyed, by every poor awakened and needy sinner. Mark, my soul, the several contents of what thy God and Saviour hath here said: take the whole with thee to thy bed, this night, and drop asleep, in faith of the whole, in the arms of Jesus; and if the Lord bring thee to the light of the succeeding morning, let those sweet and gracious words, which proceeded out of Jesus's mouth, salute thee with the first dawn of the morning, arise with thee, and go about with thee, in thy remembrance, until the whole be fulfilled in the kingdom of heaven. Now mark their immense blessings, according to the order in which they stand: "All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me." All; not one, or two, or ten, or a million only, but all. And observe wherefore? They are the Father's gift to Jesus, and therefore they must come. He saith elsewhere, "that I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me," John xvii. 2. Hence, therefore, there is a blessed provision, a blessed security, that they shall come; for they are the Father's gift to Christ, as well as the purchase of Christ's blood; and the promise is absolute in the charter of grace;" Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power," Ps. cx. 3. And, to give every possible encouragement to the poor coming sinner, whom God the Holy Ghost is leading by the hand to all- precious Jesus, however unconscious that poor soul is of the gracious influence under which he is coming, Jesus adds, "And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." Observe the tenderness of our Lord's words. He had said, all shall come: but Jesus well knew the most humble are the most timid, and the most apt to be discouraged; and therefore he makes each one's case to be expressed by the word him: "him that cometh." As if Jesus had said, ‘Let that poor creature, who is most afraid, by reason of a conscious sense of his transgressions, take comfort: if he cometh, let him know, that" I will in no wise cast him out."‘ And to confirm it still more, Jesus adds, ‘For this is the very purpose for which I came down from heaven; not only because it was my full purpose to seek and save that which was lost, but it is the will of my Father also, who sent me.' And, as if to impress this grand truth upon every poor sinner's heart, he repeats the gracious words: "And this is the will of him that sent me." He saith it twice, that there might be no mistake. And yet farther: if a poor sinner should say, ‘ But how am I to come, and in what am I to come; what are the qualifications for coming?' "This," saith the all-gracious Redeemer, "this is the will of my Father, the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, shall have everlasting life." And what is it to see the Son, but so to behold him by the eye of faith, as to believe in him to the salvation of the soul; to see him as the Christ, the Sent, the Sealed, the Anointed of God; the one, and only one ordinance of heaven, for the redemption of poor sinners; whose blood cleanseth from all sin, and whose righteousness freely and fully justifieth every believing sinner? Pause, my soul, and well ponder these precious, saving truths; and then take comfort in the blessed assurance, that thou hast all these testimonies in thine own experience, from having long since come to Christ, and long found the certainty of these promises. Lie down, my soul, this night, yea, lie down, my body, this, and every night, until the last night, even the night of death shall come; for thou sleepest in Jesus by faith, and his words are thy security: "Of all my Father hath given me, I should lose nothing; I will raise him up at the last day."

2 Kings 6:32

"Look when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?" - 2 Kings vi. 32.

It is blessed to watch every dispensation of the Lord's providence, as well as his grace; for Jesus is in all. So that when messengers of heaviness come, and with sad tidings, as in this instance of the prophet, if we shut to the door as they enter, and suffer them to open their commission, we shall hear the sound of their master's feet behind them, confirming every one. There are no events which can happen to a child of God, but they ought to be thus dealt with. They are like letters personally directed, and speak, in their whole contents, the causes for which the king's post hath brought them; and they cannot be mistaken, if they are well read, and pondered over; for they point to the individual, as the prophet's servant to Jehu. "To which of all us, (said Jehu) is this errand?" The answer was," To thee, O captain!" 2 Kings ix. 5. Now, my soul, learn hence how to receive all the messengers of thy Lord. Shut the door upon them, and detain them, until thou hast well studied, and perfectly understood their commission. Oh! my Lord Jesus ] in all thine afflicting providences, cause me to hear my master's feet following every one. "I know, Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in very faithfulness causeth me to be troubled." I know, Lord, also, that they are graciously commissioned, and the issue must be blessed. And I know, Lord, that even during their exercise, however sharp, they will be sweetly sanctified, if, through thy blessing upon them, they cause my poor heart to cleave the closer to thee. So long then, dear Lord, as thou causest me to entertain right conceptions of these soul exercises, let me never shrink from shutting the door, that I may the more earnestly meditate upon thy messages; and if I see Christ in every one, and blessings in every one, sure I am, the issue of no one will ever be doubtful. I shah then learn the same precious lesson that Job did, and through thy grace, like him, make it practical: and bless a taking God, as well as a giving God: for, let the Lord take what else he may from me, never, never will he take Christ from me; and while I have him, in him I shah possess all things. Oh! for grace so to receive all the sable messengers of my Lord, as to hear my master's feet behind them. Sure I am, that when their black covering is removed, I shall behold a fullness of blessings which they have brought with them under their garments. Like the angel to Peter in the prison, they may smite roughly on the side; but the very stroke will cause the chains to fall from my hands, and open the prison doors, to give liberty and joy. Acts. xii. 7.

John 4:29

"Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" - John iv. 29.

Those are sweet and blessed views of the Lord Jesus, which he himself gives, when, by letting the poor sinner see himself, how wretched he is, and at the same time how glorious the Lord is, and how exactly suited to his wants and necessities, he makes the soul cry out, as this woman of Samaria did," Is not this the Christ?" For who but Christ can read the heart, and tell all that passeth there? And as she found it, so all taught of Jesus find the same, that every true discovery of Christ must end in condemning ourselves, and exalting the Redeemer. My soul! there are numberless instructions to be gathered from this scripture, and the history connected with it. Sit down, this evening, in the coolness of the shade, and look at a few of them. The Lord the Holy Ghost will open them to thy meditation. Jesus, we are told, "must needs go through Samaria." Yes; there was this poor sinner to be convinced of sin, and to be brought acquainted with her Saviour. Hence the opportunity soon offered; and Jesus as soon accomplished the purpose of his going thither. The Lord opened her heart to her own view, and gave her to see the vileness within. He opened, at the same time, her heart to the knowledge of himself, gave her to see his salvation; and the effects were as might have been expected: she hastened to the city, to tell other poor sinners, who also stood in need of a Saviour, that she had found "him of whom Moses and the prophets did write." Come, said she "see a man, which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?" My soul! hast thou so learned Christ? Hast thou "met with the Lord God of the Hebrews," and learned from him self-humbling thoughts, and a true conviction of sin? Hath he taught thee who he is, and what need thou hast of him? Hast thou seen him to be indeed the Christ of God; the man, whose name is Wonderful; who, in his divine nature, is "one with the Father over all, God blessed forever;" and in his human nature, "the man, whose name is the Branch;" and by the union of both natures, the one glorious and true Messiah, "the Lord our righteousness?" And hath such a conviction of the infinite importance of knowing Christ been wrought thereby upon thy mind, that thou hast taken every method of recommending him to others? Surely, my soul, no truly regenerated sinner, who hath known, and seen, and felt that the Lord is gracious, but must be anxious that others should know, and see, and feel it also. And, therefore, like this poor woman, thou wilt be taking every proper opportunity of calling upon all, as far as thy sphere of usefulness can extend, to come and enjoy the same blessings, which the Lord hath imparted to thee. Precious Lord! I would not only invite every poor needy sinner to come to thee, but I would desire to accompany them. I would not say," Go to Jesus," as if I needed thee no more myself; but I would say, "Come to him," let us go together, for "he will shew us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." And Oh! that multitudes may come, and find to their soul's joy, as the Samaritans did, on the invitation of this poor woman, and be enabled to say, as they said, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."

Ephesians 3:8

"Unto me who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given." - Ephes. iii. 8.

My soul, hear what the great apostle to the gentiles speaks of himself. He calls himself "less than the least;" a thing almost impossible in itself; but he doth it with a view to magnify the riches, the exceeding great riches of grace. And in the same moment that he views himself so low and abject, he is lost in amazement at beholding the exalted office to which he was called. So that Paul cries out, "Unto me," a poor, sinful, unworthy creature of the earth, "to me was this grace given!" My soul, leave for a moment the view of the apostle, and make the subject personal, by looking to a renewed instance of that grace, most freely given, in a case as far surpassing Paul in the greatness and undeservedness of it, as the imagination can conceive. Perhaps every sinner feels the same; this at least is certain, all may well feel the same. But the subject is not properly improved, either in the apostle's instance, or any other, unless there be connected with it the one great object of the whole, the promotion of the Redeemer's glory. This was and is the first and ultimate design for which grace was given. "This people," saith Jehovah, speaking of the redeemed in Christ, "have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise." Isa. xliii. 21. And how do they shew forth the Lord's praise, but by the gifts of the Lord's grace? When Jesus calleth a poor sinner, and manifests himself to him, this is the display of his grace; for it is on such more especially, that he maketh his grace to shine. It would have been no grace had we merited his favour. But because we merit nothing, yea, are justly entitled to punishment, and yet God gives mercy, grace, and favour; this is what illustrates the exceeding riches of his grace, and demonstrates God's love to be indeed the love of God which passeth knowledge, because it differs altogether from creature love. And what tends yet more to display the riches of grace, that the glory of God in Christ, in following up the blessed plan of redemption, may be great indeed, the crown of Jesus, as Mediator, depends upon bringing to glory the objects of his love, on whom he hath made that grace to shine. And who shall calculate the rich revenue of love, adoration, and praise, in glory, which Jesus will have, and be forever receiving, from the millions of redeemed souls gathered from sin and Satan, by the alone sovereignty of his grace? My soul, it is truly blessed thus to contemplate the person and work of Jesus, and the sweet effects of his grace. And what an addition to the subject is it, to say, with the apostle, each poor sinner for himself, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given!"

Psalm 57:7

"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise." - Psalm 57-7.

My soul! here is a delightful subject proposed for thine evening meditation, in the fixedness of the heart. The only possible way of really "singing and giving praise to the Lord" with the heart, is when the Lord hath fixed thine heart to the service. Many rush to ordinances, as the unthinking horse rusheth to the battle: not so, my soul, be thy practice. See to it, that He who alone can give a fixedness to the heart, hath fixed thine; for then, when the view of a God in Christ is brought home by the Holy Ghost to thy warmest and most devout affections, then, and not before, will there be a going forth of those affections, awakened and led by the same Almighty Spirit, upon the glorious person of thy Lord, and faith will be in lively exercise, in a way of praise, and love, and obedience, and joy. Then thou wilt sing and give praise "with the spirit, and with the understanding also." Sit down now, in the coolness of this sweet summer evening, and wait upon thy Jesus in silence and in meditation before him, until the Lord hath given thee this fixedness of affection on his person and righteousness; and then thou wilt find a fitness for devotion, and a fitness in devotion, from the sweet influences of God the Holy Ghost. Oh! how blessed is it to retire from every eye but his, who seeth in secret; and to remember, that while thine eye is looking upon Him, he is ever looking upon thee! Such a thought as this begins to give a fixedness to the heart; for the whole current and stream of the affections are directed, and therefore pour in to this one channel; so that, like a river not divided, nothing of it runs another way. And when the full tide of thine affections is thus tending to the person of Jesus, shall not such a fixedness of thought make thee cry out, as David, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise?" It is this state of the heart, which makes all the difference between the gracious and the carnal. Both may use closet duties; both may read, yea, study the word; yea, become proficients in the outer understanding of the word; the meditation may furnish the head, but not feed the heart: but it is the gracious soul that enjoys. It is a solemn consideration, how many are employed from year to year, in spiritual things, whose hearts all the while remain carnal. But where there is a fixedness of the heart, by the Spirit of the living God, upon the person, offices, and character of the Lord Jesus Christ, the meditation doth not settle for the mere discharge of a duty, but for the joy of the soul. Oh how I love thy law!" is then the language of the fixed heart; "it is my meditation all the day." My soul, dost thou know these things by heartfelt testimony? Doth God the Holy Ghost shine in upon thee with his light, to give thee sweet views, engaging views, soul-arresting views of Jesus? Are thine eyes, I mean the whole affections of thy soul, fixing themselves on Jesus, as a longing woman fixeth upon the one object of her desire, which nothing beside can satisfy? Oh! it is blessed to have this fixedness of mind at all times upon the person of Jesus. For this is to enter into the heart, and to shut to the door, (as Christ expresseth it) by shutting out all thoughts besides, and then looking in every direction for Jesus, and finding him in all, and upon all. His word, his grace, his secret whispers, his communications, are like so many rich cabinets of jewels, which the soul turns over, and finds Jesus in every one. Oh! thou dear Lord Jesus! grant me this happy frame of mind, that I may say, with David, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise!"

1 Peter 1:2

"Elect, according to fore-knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." - I Pet. i. 2.

Of all blessings, surely this is the highest, and the best, which holds forth to a poor sinner the assurance of redemption, as the united result of the love, grace, and mercy of all the persons in the Godhead. My soul, pause over the glorious truth, and sweetly mark the testimony of each cooperating and acting together in the great work of salvation. Behold thy God and Father setting apart, from all eternity, the chosen vessels of mercy, foreknowing and fore- appointing every event, in his own counsel, purpose, and will. What a blessed thought, in the mind of the redeemed, is this, to live upon, to cherish, and keep alive in the soul, from day to day, to call up the unceasing fruits of adoration, love, duty, and praise, in grace here, and in glory to all eternity. Go on, my soul, to the contemplation of the second chapter in his holy volume of grace and mercy; and mark what the apostle hath here said of "the sanctification of the Spirit." So that the blessed hand of the Holy Ghost is as much engaged in this beneficent act of redemption, in the existence of every individual, as the foreknowledge and appointment of God the Father, or of the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Yea, all the glory of redemption, in the grace provided by the Father, and the merits of the Son's blood and righteousness, depend, for the personal enjoyment of it, in the case of each believer, upon the Holy Ghost's revelation of it in the soul. Oh! it is blessed to see, to feel, to know, and to enjoy those gracious communications of God's Christ in the soul, which God the Holy Ghost awakens, and excites, and brings home to the mind. And no less, as the meritorious cause of all, (the third chapter in this wonderful volume) do thou contemplate, my soul, the two united branches of thy redemption; the obedience, and atonement in the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. How comprehensive, yet how full and satisfactory! It is Jesus, as God's righteous servant, who, by his perfect obedience hath justified his people. And it is the death of the cross which hath fully atoned for their transgression; "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." Behold then, my soul, in these three glorious chapters of redemption how all the great charter of grace is summed up and contained. Take it with thee as thine evening portion; let it lie down with thee, and arise with thee; and carry it about with thee, for thine unceasing meditation during the whole of thy day of grace, until grace is swallowed up in eternal glory!

John 1:29-37

"I shall behold man no more, with the inhabitants of the world." - Isa. xxxviii. 11.

My soul, though thou art, I trust, prepared for thy great change, and in an habitual state for death, whenever the Lord shall come to take thee home; yet there is also an actual state of being on the lookout for it, so that it is proper at times to go down to the grave in imagination, before thou art carried thither in reality; that by earthing thyself, thou mayest consider what will be the immediate consequences of death in those things which are now most about thee, and with which thou art necessarily much occupied. "Thou wilt behold man no more, with the inhabitants of the world:" would it not be proper, therefore, to wean thyself from too great an acquaintance with them now, that the separation may be the less felt? Thou wilt be called upon to enter upon a state altogether new, and a path thou hast never before trodden; and would it not be wise to send forth enquiries concerning them, such as scripture gives the clearest answer to, and study the best way to make preparation in Jesus for thy change? What a blessed example hath the apostle Paul left upon record of his conduct in this particular; "I protest," said he to the Corinthian church, speaking on this subject, "by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily," 1 Cor. xv. 31. Such were both the habitual and actual frames of Paul's mind, that he was every day, and all the day, waiting and looking for his Master's call. The fact was, he knew the certainty of the ground on which he stood; he had no farther questions to ask concerning his safety in Christ; and therefore, he rather wished to bring the hour on, than to put it off. His whole heart, his whole affections, centered in Christ; and as such, though to live was Christ, yet to die was gain. My soul, what sayest thou to this blessed frame? Oh! for the same earnestness, and from the same cause; that whether this night, or at cock-crowing, or in the morning, when the Lord comes, though thou wilt behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world, yet thou wilt behold the face of God in glory; and when thou awakest after his likeness, thou wilt be satisfied with it.

Jeremiah 8:7

"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming: but my people know not the judgment of the Lord." - Jer. viii. 7.

When the Lord would expostulate with his people, what methods he graciously adopts! There are no creatures in nature so dull, so senseless, and stupid, as God's people are, by reason of the fall. Every animal hath an instinct, prompting to self-preservation. Arc they exposed to danger? how speedily do they endeavour to remove! Are they apprehensive of a storm? they flee to some covering to hide them! The birds of passage, when the first symptoms of winter appear, gather together, to depart to a warmer climate. But man, poor blind improvident man, no winter of death can admonish him; no approach of the departing day of life can prevail, to induce him to flee from the wrath to come. My soul! look round on human life, and mark this, by way of admiring, more and more, distinguishing grace, which enabled thee to estimate thy privileges, and discern that sovereign bountiful mercy, which maketh thee to differ from another. "What hast thou, which thou didst not receive?" But, dearest Lord, is it not to copy after that gracious feeling of thine, which thou hadst in the days of thy flesh, when thou hadst compassion on the multitude, in beholding them famishing, and wast moved in pity towards them; when we behold the great mass of thoughtless sinners, whose concern for self-preservation doth not come up to that of the brute which perisheth? In common life, all are interested, and earnest in the pursuit of the different objects of the world: the traveler is full of thought, in his way home, to see that his path be right; the marl-net would not run contrary to the direction of the compass; the man of trade never acts in opposition to the gain of that trade; neither does the man of pleasure lose sight of what will most likely promote that pleasure. But thy people, blessed Jesus, are everlastingly pursuing what they have proved a thousand times to be vain and unsatisfying; yet they pursue it again, and do not learn "to know the judgment of the Lord." Blessed Lord! undertake for me: pity, compassionate, direct, guide, keep me! Oh! for grace to learn, and rightly to value the things of salvation! And, convinced that Christ is all and in all, may I never seek from the creature what only can be found in the Creator! And having discovered the vanity of everything out of Christ, may I, where Christ is not, from henceforth learn, with the church to say, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee: my flesh and my heart faileth: but thou art the strength of my heart and my portion forever!"

Psalm 2:6-7

"Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree." - Ps. ii. 6, 7.

Here is a subject, my soul, opened for thy meditation, which neither the evening nor day of thy whole life, no, nor eternity itself, will ever be long enough to exhaust. Some of the outlines may be gathered here below, when God the Holy Ghost condescends to teach; but the subject itself will, no doubt, be among the glorious employments of heaven. It should seem, that the divine speakers here are God the Father and God the Son. We find similar instances in the word of God: see Isa. vi. and xlix. John xii. 27, 28. And the beloved apostle was led into an apprehension of the same subject, for the church's instruction, in that vision he saw, Rev. v. 1-9. In this vision, Jesus is represented as taking the book, and opening it, and declaring the contents of it. Hence, therefore, when God the Father saith, as in this Psalm, "I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion;" Jesus, as King, declares the decree of the council of peace, which was between them both, for the salvation of his church and people. And what was the decree, but the decree from all eternity; namely, that Jehovah would give a church to his dear Son, and his dear Son to the church: that Jesus should take the name of his people, and their nature; become their glorious Head and Representative; redeem them from the ruins of the fall, and make them altogether glorious and lovely, from his comeliness that he would put upon them? Upon Christ's thus undertaking the salvation of his people, "the decree went forth," that all power should be his, as Mediator, in heaven and in earth. It began from everlasting: for from everlasting, by this decree, Jesus was set up as the glorious Head and Mediator before all worlds. The same power became his in time; and the same power is his to all eternity. Hence, therefore, Jesus is no sooner seated on his throne, on his holy hill of Zion, but he sends forth the decree; and God the Father confirms the whole, in giving him "the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession." Hail then, thou sovereign Lord! thou almighty King, upon thy holy hill of Zion! Gladly do I acknowledge thee to be my King and my God; for by Jehovah's appointment, by thy conquest of my heart, and by the voluntary surrender of myself since thou hast brought me under the power of thy grace, am I thine, and no longer my own. Oh! for grace so to acknowledge thee, so to obey thee, so to love thee, that while the Lord Jehovah hath set thee upon thy throne, his grace also may give thee the throne of my heart! And while all thine enemies must bow before thee, may all thy friends and followers rejoice in thy service! Even so, Amen.

Hebrews 9:4

"Aaron's rod that budded." - Heb. ix. 4.

One view more of the tabernacle, and the articles of furniture therein contained, may be rendered profitable, under the Spirit's teaching: and therefore, my soul, look at that standing miracle, which was preserved there, of the rod of Aaron. The history of it is related in the book of Numbers, chap. xvii. It was the method, which the Lord was graciously pleased to appoint, for the determining on whom his choice rested for the priesthood. To this end, a rod was taken from every tribe, and laid up before the Lord in the tabernacle; the Lord having declared, that whichsoever of the tribes had the rod to blossom, should be the man. The rod of Aaron, on the morrow, had buds, and blossoms, and fruits. But in all these, Christ, in his everlasting priesthood, was typified. To behold a dry stick bring forth buds, and become green and flourishing, was miraculous, and only to be referred into the sore-reign power and will of God. But, my soul, when we see Jesus, as the branch out of the root of Jesse, we behold him, as the prophet, ages before his incarnation, described him, growing up before Jehovah in his tabernacle, as the rod laid up before him, "a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground." Isa. iiii. 2. And as the rod of Aaron had in one and the same moment the whole product of the season in buds, and blossoms, and fruits; so in the everlasting priesthood of Christ are suited graces for the several ages of his church, and the several wants of all his people. Precious Jesus! may my soul unceasingly look unto thee, as my faithful, everlasting, and unchangeable High Priest! And do thou, Lord," send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies!" Full sure I am, O Lord, that everything in me, and from me, like the rods of the different tribes of Israel, will remain dry, and neither give forth bud nor blossom. To thee, and the rod of thy strength, therefore, will I look, that thou mayest give life and grace to my poor soul, to bring forth fruit unto God, by grace here, and glory forever,

Hebrews 9:4

"The golden pot that had manna." - Heb. ix. 4.

There is somewhat very blessed in the account given concerning the furniture of the second tabernacle. Some few evenings since, my soul, a glance was taken of the candlestick, the table and shew-bread; in the first tabernacle. Perhaps the Lord the Holy Ghost will open to thy meditation some edifying considerations in the view of the contents of the second. The golden pot, which preserved the manna pure, that in itself was soon subject to corruption, was unquestionably a beautiful emblem of the divine nature of Jesus, imparting durableness and dignity to his human nature. We are told concerning the manna, that if the Israelites kept it, though but for a day (except when miraculously preserved pure on the sabbath-day, to remind them of that ordinance) it bred worms, and stank; Exod. xvi. 20. But in this golden pot, an omer full of manna put therein, was laid up before the Lord as a memorial, and preserved pure. Precious Lord Jesus! do I not learn from hence, that it is thou, and thou alone, who givest life, and purity, and sweetness to our poor persons and offerings? Everything in us, and groin us, must, like ourselves, be corrupt, and is indeed part of ourselves, and subject to putrefaction: but in thee, and by thee, as the manna was preserved in the golden pot, we are preserved, made clean and holy, in thy holiness and purity. And surely, Lord, I learn, moreover, from this part of the furniture in the second tabernacle, that as thou art entered into the holy place, there to appear in the presence of God for us; so, by this emblem of the golden pot, is set forth the sweet communion and fellowship, which thy people now are privileged to enjoy, in thee, and from thee, and with thee! Yea, Lord, thou art still the bread of God, the living bread, which that manna represented: and still dost thou feed thy church above, and lead them to fountains of living waters. And surely, Lord, thou wilt no less feed thy church below, which yet remains in this dry and barren wilderness, where no water is. I hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, and I feel delight: "To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Rev. ii. 17.

Zephaniah 3:17

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will save. He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in his love. He will joy over thee with singing." - Zeph. iii. 17.

My soul! look at this old testament promise, through the medium of the new testament dispensation, and behold what a cluster of rich blessings it contains; and which, like all the other promises of the bible, is "yea and amen in Christ Jesus!" And observe how it opens. The Lord thy God, that is, Jehovah in his threefold character of person, in rich covenant engagements, is "in the midst of thee;" hath set up his throne in Zion, and lives, and reigns, and governs in the hearts of his redeemed. So said Jesus, and so that dear Lord explained it in after ages: "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him;" John xiv. 23. "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth;" John xiv. 16, 17. Mark these blessed, precious truths, my soul, in the most lively characters, on thine heart; and hence learn, that the Lord thy God, in covenant engagements, dwelleth in the midst of his people, and in the hearts of his people; that, like the sun at midday, in the centre of the heavens, he may enlighten, warm, refresh, and give forth all his blessings to bless thee. Next mark what the prophet saith of this covenant Lord God, who is in the midst of his church and people: "He is mighty!" Shout aloud at this, my soul; for if he be mighty, then he will support thy weakness, and subdue thy foes. What can bear down, or destroy the soul, whom this mighty God upholds? What shall arise to distress a child of God, as long as God is almighty? And if he hath engaged to be for thee, who can dare to be against thee? Sweet consideration! What signifies my weakness, while Christ is strong? Yea, his strength will be made perfect in my weakness. Go on farther, my soul, in looking over the many blessed things spoken of in this verse. "He will save." Yea: he hath saved, and doth save, and will save. And this is the very cause, the angel said, for which his name should be called Jesus: for "he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. i. 21. Think of this, when at any time, sin or sorrow, trial or temptation, would cast thee down. Jesus is still Jesus, still on his throne: yea, thy Saviour. Amidst all thy changeableness, there is no change in him. And observe yet farther, how the prophet chimes on those sweet words: "He will rejoice over thee with joy: he will rest in his love: he will joy over thee with singing." Pause, my soul, over this most gracious account. Jesus not only saves, not only pardons, but he doth it as God, as Jesus. It is his joy, his delight, his pleasure, to do so. As he saith in another scripture, "Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly, with my whole heart, and with my whole soul;" Jer. xxxii. 41. And as the poor timid believer, from feeling such coldness and deadness, as at times he doth in himself feel, is but too easily prevailed upon by the enemy, and by his own unbelieving heart, to suppose the same of Jesus: that he might not give way to this temptation, the Lord adds, "he will rest in his love:" will abide in it unmoved, and without change; for, as he saith in another scripture," the Lord God of Israel hateth putting away:" Mal. ii. 16. Oh! what a multitude of sweet things are folded up in this verse! Jesus rejoiceth over his people; yea, Jesus joys over them with singing. How often have I seen, in some lovely evening, like the present, that sweet bird of the air, called the skylark, mount aloft from her nest, still looking at her young as she ascends; and when advanced to her height, warbling in the most delightful notes over her brood; until at length, with all the rapidity of love, she darts down to cover, to feed, and to protect them Thus, but in an infinitely higher degree, doth Jesus joy over his children with singing, resting in his love; and is ever near, ever mighty to defend, to bless, to keep, and to make happy, those who rest in his strength; while he rests in his love, being their God, and they his people.

Exodus 13:21- 22

"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. " - Exod. xiii. 21, 22.

My soul, look back this evening to the church's history in the wilderness, and behold how Jesus watched over his people then as he doth now. Surely it is sweet, it is blessed, to mark the same evidences of the Redeemer's love, and to observe, that in affection to his people (as in person so in love) he is "the same yesterday, to-day, and forever." Among many precious testimonies to this effect, that of the pillar of the cloud by day, and of fire by night, in the camp of Israel, is not the least. We are told in this scripture, that the Lord was in this cloud; and another scripture confirms it, saying, that Jehovah "spake unto them out of the cloudy pillar." It is wonderful to conceive what effect must have been wrought on the minds of the people by this constant display of the Lord's goodness. Contrary to all other clouds, it was always stationary, always near the tabernacle, and acted as the reverse of all other clouds, in that it shone bright by night, and was dark as a cloud to obscure the sun's brightness and scorching rays by day. Besides these and other wonderful properties, its movements became the token for the camp of Israel to move, and when it rested, it implied that Israel was to rest also. And thus, not for a short transient march or two, not on any particular emergency, did it become the guide and protection of Israel, for forty years together, until all the people of God arrived in the promised land. Pause my soul, and ponder over the grace of thy covenant God in Christ, in this standing miracle; and when thou hast duly considered the wonderful subject, say, was not Jesus then as much, in type and figure, preached to the church of old, as he is now in sum and substance? Was the Lord veiled in a cloud then, and hath he not since veiled himself in our flesh? Did he go before the people then, and doth he not the same now? Was he stationary then, that is, ever with them, and is he not with his people "always, even unto the end of the world?" Was the cloud in the wilderness the reverse of all other clouds, shining by night, but becoming a grateful screen by day? And is not Jesus all this and more; shining most bright upon his people when they are in darkness, and sheltering them when the heat of persecution or distress is at the height? Did the cloud never deport from the people during their forty years' journey through the wilderness until they arrived at Canaan? And doth not our Lord go before, and follow his redeemed, all the way of their pilgrimage, until he hath brought them home safe to heaven? Oh! thou glorious, gracious, great I AM! be thou, dearest Lord, still the light, the way, the truth, and the life, to alt thy redeemed. And as now, since thou hast finished redemption-work by thine open presence upon earth, in substance of our flesh, and "washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning:" do thou, Lord, fulfill that sweet promise, and "create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and a smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defense!" Isa. iv. 4, 5.