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sing unto the Lord a new song: let the congregation of saints praise Him—let Israel rejoice in Him that made Him, and let the children of Zion be joyful in their King !
The last part of St. Paul's charge to us, in to-day's Epistle, is contained in the words that form my text :And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This means that, in all our words and deeds, in our whole life business, we are to be ruled and guided by reference to Jesus Christ.
He is to be acknowledged by us in all things ; and nothing we do ought to be separated from the thought of Him. We can offer no prayer acceptable to God, except we offer it in the name of our Blessed Saviour :-“through Jesus Christ our Lord”—we can do no good deeds, except we do them in the name and for the sake of Christ—we can attain to no real excellence of character, except so far as we put on the character of Christ. The most trifling action-a cup of cold water given to a disciple--when done in His namebecomes honourable and lovely—the greatest efforts of our own, apart from Him, are worthless.
This, then, is the one great rule for us to live bythe rule for every one ; for rich and poor; for master and servant, for young and old; a rule not applicable only in great emergencies, but applicable at all times, and for all things.
It was by following this rule that many a blessed servant of Christ, in the days that were before us, entered into His Lord's joy. It is by following it ourselves, following it daily, following it perseveringly, that we may hope, when we depart this life, to be partakers with them.
May God write it in all our hearts ! May we all remember it, brethren, as a saying of the deepest signification—a saying to be brought up daily and applied daily-Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus--giving thanks to God the Father by Him.
GOD SEEN IN HIS WORKS.
PSALM VIII. 3, 4.
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the
stars which Thou hast ordained : what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?
The eighth Psalm is one of those we read in our service on Ascension Day. And it is easy to see how suited it is to the occasion-how many of the words find their best fulfilment in the exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ unto God's kingdom in heaven-e. g.–Thou madest Him lower than the angels, to crown Him with glory and worship. Thou makest Him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands, and Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet.
Again. There is another reference to Christ in this psalm. The second verse is quoted by our Lord in the Gospel, to explain and justify the sudden burst of homage with which He had been greeted in the Temple, to the sore displeasure of His enemies, the chief priests and scribes--Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them-- Yea: have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou perfected praise ?
But, apart from these references to our Lord, there is a further reason why I have sought in this eighth Psalm a text to-day.—It speaks of God's glory as manifested
in His works-And on Septuagesima Sunday—when - our Church selects the first chapter of Genesis for our
reading—this, above all others, is a fit subject for our meditation.
Let us approach it with reverence—it will teach us how great our God is—how good, how glorious, how wonderful in His dealings with the children of men !
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handywork, are the words of one who had made God's works much his study. Gazing up into that stainless blue sky which covered the land of his nativity, David was deeply impressed by what he beheld. The stars rising and setting in their courses; the moon in her different phases, shining with her soft mellow light; the break of day, and the uprearing of the sun's bright head above the eastern mountains—his going forth, morning after morning, like a giant to run his course—the mighty power of his beams, as he rose higher in the sky, the heat and the light penetrating and pervading all things—these familiar, yet magnificent spectacles filled David's heart from quite boyhood with awe and joy.
The Psalms are full of allusions to these sights: full of bursts of praise to God for what the heavens revealed of His glory-full of proofs, that the shepherd lad had an eye for Nature and Nature's God-1 will consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, and the stars which Thou hast ordained !
Brethren, the same glorious spectacle is over our heads—the same sun, and moon, and stars—do we enough consider them ? Do we notice the proofs of God's glory, and goodness, and love, which He has given us in the daily and nightly aspect of the heavens ?
I fear we do not. Any unusual appearance—a comet, or a meteor-will occasionally excite some interest—but those things which are always to be seen—the sun by day, the moon and the stars by night—by how few of us are these regarded !
And yet we are surely wrong. A love of nature, a habit of observing outward appearances in the sky—the sunrise, the sunset, the heavens at night thick inlaid with stars—is what we should carefully cultivate in ourselves and in our children.
It is a sure means of elevating the mind, raising it above little things, giving us some just idea of that Great, and Holy, and Glorious Being, whose hand has made all these things.
I say nothing of the great helps which are provided for men now in studying the heavens-optical glasses and the like-- these may be beyond our reach, but, apart from these, if we would only use the instruments we have by nature—our eyes and our understanding-if we would only look up and notice, as all might do, the changes in the sky and the objects which are there—the beauty, the order, the grandeur of the heavenly bodiesif we would only master so much knowledge as to be able to explain the commoner and more familiar pheno