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what is good for man in this mighty. O the wisdom, then, of a
firm unshaken faith in that God, both life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a
in his providence and grace, to grant
us all things needful, as well for the shadow ? for who can tell a body as the soul; trusting to his man what shall be after him providence that all things shall work under the sun ?
together for our good, and confiding
in his grace that He will save our souls in life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Innocents' Day.
MORNING. JEREMIAH xxxi. to ver. 18.
At the same time, saith the
i In the Messiah all the faithful Lord, will I be the God of shall become one great family of all the families of Israel, and God, the Father of all. Ofor our they shall be my people. home in heaven !
2 Those who escaped from Egypt. 2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went 3 The Jewish nation thus acknowto cause him to rest. The ledge God's care over them. Lord bath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Again 4 The Church shall be restored with I will build thee, and thou all her glorious services of joy. shalt be built, ( virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that
5 Thou shalt 5 Samaria shall cease her enmity, yet plant vines upon the and shall share the worship of Jeru. mountains of Samaria : the
salem. The Church shall be received
even by those who once scoffed it. planters shall plant, and shall
6 The voice of thy minister is the eat them as common things. voice of the appointed watchman
For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God. For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations : publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy peo- 8 How full of affection and tender ple, the remnant of Israel. care is Jehovah towards those who
Behold, I will bring them seek him ! from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
They shall come with weeping,
and with supplications will I lead them : I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstbom. Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd : and their soul shall be as a watered garden ; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
15 All misery among the faithful 1 Thus saith the LORD; A shall one day cease. Rachel, the voice was heard in Ramah, common mother of both people, lamentation, and bitter weep- jamin, shall be amply compensated
through her sons Joseph and Bening; Rahel weeping for her for the long travail of her soul, when children refused to be com- she shall see them all gathered toforted for her children, be- gether as one great family of God in cause they were not. Thus Jesus Christ the righteous * saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears : for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
EVENING. WISDOM i. Love righteousness, ye that 1 If it be the duty of all men to ask be judges of the earth : think wisdom from above, how urgent is of the Lord with a good that duty upon princes and gover(heart,) and in simplicity of norst! heart seek him. For he
2 Tempt not God-provoke him not will be found of them that
by double dealing. Ephraim was descended from Joseph ; and the tribe of Benjamin continued with Judah-Rachel was buried between Ramah and Bethlehem, on the confines of either tribe.
+ Statesmen are here taught specially to seek this wisdom to meet their high and arduous responsibilities ; carefully ordering their lives in the spirit of purity and holiness : for into the wicked, wisdom entereth not. (ver. 4.)
tempt him not; and sheweth himself unto such as do not distrust him. For froward thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise. For into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter ; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin. “For
5 Those who are called to rule must the holy spirit of discipline avoid all crooked policy. Let them will flee deceit, and remove do the thing that is right, and leave
the event to God. from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in. 6 For wisdom is
6 In the same spirit of love God a loving spirit ; and will not rewardeth the righteous and punishacquit a blasphemer of his eth the impenitent. words: for God is witness of his reins, and a true beholder of his heart, and a hearer of his ? Let the proud and the ambitious tongue. ? For the Spirit of
boast of their influence and power ; the Lord filleth the world :
that, however wide its circle, is
limited. One there is, higher than and that which containeth all
the highest, filling the world-even things hath knowledge of the the Spirit of the Lord, our Father voice. Therefore he that and our Friend. speaketh unrighteous things cannot be hid: neither shall vengeance, when it punisheth, pass by him. For inquisition shall be made into the counsels of the ungodly: and the sound of his words shall come unto the Lord for the manifestation of his wicked deeds.
10 God heareth the secret whisperthe ear of jealousy heareth ings of the heart, and he is a jealous all things; and the noise of God. murmurings is not hid. 11 Beware of offending your God 11 Therefore beware of mur
by murmuring, and of injuring your
neighbour by backbiting. muring, which is unprofitable ; and refrain your tongue from backbiting: for there is no word so secret, that shall go for nought: and the mouth that belieth slayeth the soul.
12 The wages of sin is death. A 12 Seek not death in the error sinner, therefore, is said to seck of your life: and pull not death. He laboureth for his hire. upon yourselves destruction with the works of your hands. For God made not death:
13 By sinful man came death. neither hath he pleasure in 1+ God pronounced of every thing the destruction of the living.
which he had made, that it was very 14 For he created all things,
good. that they might have their being : and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth : (for righteousness is immortal:) 16 but un- 16 The wicked invite sin, thinking godly men with their works
it will profit them ; but they are
and words called it to them: consumed to nought in the pursuit of for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to nought, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it,
The Circumcision of Christ.
MORNING. GENESIS xvii. And when Abram
was 1“ Perfect”—that is, upright and ninety years old and nine, sincere, according to the perfect law the LORD appeared to Abram, of God. and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multi
3 You are now in spirit communing ply thee exceedingly. * And with the same Almighty God--the Abram fell on his face: and all-sufficient friend and Father. Hear God talked with him,
his word with reverence.
saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 So in the new covenant by bap* Neither shall thy name any tism, a new name is given *. more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham ; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 Be thou also faithful ! He will And I will establish my be a God to thee and to thy children. covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 Sacramental tokens of man's co1* This is my covenant, which venant with God-outward and visiye shall keep, between me
ble signs of an inward and spiritual and you and thy seed after grace--would seem a mode of pro
ceeding exactly adapted to beings thee; Every man child among who consist of flesh and spirit, soul you shall be circumcised.
and body. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin ; and it shall be a token of the covenant
12 Original sin affecting even unbetwixt me and you. 12 And offending infants, they of necessity Abram means-high father ; Abraham-high father of a multitude.
he that is eight days old shall were to enter into the covenant of be circumcised among you,
holiness by the same sacrament ; or every man child in your
else their sin remained *. (ver. 14.) generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised : and my covenant shall be in your filesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old ? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said
18 How forcibly are we all taught to unto God, Othat Ishmael give up the present for the futuremight live before thee! And Ishmael for Isaac ! God said, Sarah thy wife
19 Thus the order of primogeniture, shall bear thee a son indeed ;
as in the case of Esau and Jacob, and thou shalt call his name
was passed over ; to show that the
great dispensation of mercy through Isaac: and I will establish Christ should, in all its bearings, be my covenant with him for an evidently not according to the flesh everlasting covenant, and
or the will of man, but the will of
God. with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant
21 God's special covenant—his covewill I establish with Isaac, nant of grace, through Jesus Christ. which Sarah shall bear unto (Gal. iv. 22.) thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up 23 How noble is prompt obedience. from Abraham. 23 And Abra- To day hear his voice t.
# Hence infants now enter into covenant with God through baptism, which superseded circumcision, by the command of Jesus Christ." “Gó ye and baptize all nations."
+ Do any men cavil at a Christian's strict observance of the holy sacraments--baptism and the supper of the Lord-and deem them unnecessary ? Do they argue that men can be good enough without regarding those holy ordinances ? Let them mark well that Abraham was righteous, even the friend of God ; yet on him was enjoined the sacrament of circumcision. He observed it promptly, for himself and all bis