Imatges de pÓgina
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Seragesima Sunday.

MORNING. GENESIS iii.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. *And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw

that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant

4 There was a mixture of truth in this. Our first parents did not die instantly. So now the striking characteristic of sin is its "deceitful

ness."

• Intellectual ambition was here first roused. How far better to have known only good!

Their sin was twofold. They dis

believed God; they believed the enemy of God.

7 How dreadful their compunction after that very sin, in the accomplishment of which they had fancied so much bliss! Sin and shame ever

go together.

to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 1o And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And

8 Man was originally the companion of God. Blessed be He-the Redeemer-who has restored to us the heavenly privilege! "Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

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10 Sin turns the brave into cowards. A bad conscience it is which robs the heart of its courage.

12 To what wretched evasions does sin drive the mind! Thus the sharers in sin ever strive to shift the blame from one to the other.

the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: " and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his

15 This first promise of a Redeemer is delivered in figurative language; calculated to keep alive attention, and so fix the important truth more deeply *.

16 How well does our Church provide its beautiful office of thanksgiving, for the mother who has been "preserved in the great danger and

peril of child-birth!"

22 Death to the body was a merciful sentence; ending pain and sorrow here +.

wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and

live for ever: 23 therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from

23 The command to labour was given in mercy. Labour relieves and benefits the mind, by leading it to honest and instructive thoughts.

* Sin is well compared to a wound, which, if not healed at once, spreads itself over the frame, till it destroys life. Check sin in the beginning. Jesus is the healer of the nations. He will heal thee.

To live, for ever, fallen creatures, would have been indeed misery. The pang of death is amply recompensed by passing the soul of the righteous to its rest, with a firm hope that at the general resurrection its body will be restored, perfect, like unto Christ's glorious body.

Labour in the fields teaches us the necessity and the success of labour in working out salvation for the soul. As we cultivate the ground, in

whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

EVENING. GENESIS vi.

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2 How carefully should the faithful Christian guard against the subtle fascinations of the worldly, as well as against the open profaneness of the

wicked!

Since man's fall, such is ever by nature the state of the human heart. Grace and holiness restore it, as the divine blessing and man's labour restore fruitfulness to the earth.

AND it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which vere of old, men of renown. 'And GoD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon

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6 These expressions are used in consideration to our infirmity: for we can judge of the divine view of our state only from such expressions as human affairs and human feelings supply to us.

This is of course a comparative

perfection: as when Christ bids us, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." O

let me strive "to so walk with God.” What blessed companionship!

faith that the harvest will spring up by the divine blessing; so we cultivate our hearts, plant therein the good seed, which is the word of God, and use all diligence, encouraged to every good word and work, by faith in the same divine blessing, to prosper this work of our hands also.

the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noan, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits. the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22 Thus did Noah; according

to all that God commanded him, so did he.

22 His faith was a saving faith, because it was a lively faith. He be lieved, and obeyed; therefore it was counted to him for righteousness,

The ark was a type of the Church of Christ. But its framework was according, not to man's device, but to God's ordinance. Hence the claim of our Church to be of divine institution; built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone."

Quinquagesima Sunday.

MORNING. GENESIS ix. to ver. 20.

AND God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of shall be upon every beast

you

2 In the days of innocence, man's dominion over the beasts was by gentleness. He now rules them by force and art.

of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that

moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed:

4 Thus care was taken that the animal might be surely dead before it was cut up for use; and that our feelings on the subject of death should still be kept tender *.

6 This command was specially recorded, lest, as the life of animals was now permitted to be taken for food, there should be indifference to

the value of the life of man.

for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth,

13 As often as the rainbow spans the heavens, let me rejoice to feel a present God. His hand hath set it there, and His eye then looketh upon it a glorious token of his reconciliation and his love even to me.

that the bow shall be seen in the cloud

and I will remember

my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become

a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living

16 Never let the waters of affliction overwhelm my soul! the bow is in the cloud. The love of Heaven is in my dark trial. On that rainbow light my God and Father looks, and

remembers his covenant of mercy.

*Modern science finds that the living principle is inherent in the blood.

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