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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. 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 muring, which is unprofit- neighbour by backbiting. able; 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 14 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:) 10 but un- 16 The wicked invite sin, thinking

10 For


and words called it to them: consumed to nought in the pursuit of for when they thought to it. 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. 3 And with the same Almighty God—the Abram fell on his face: and all-sufficient friend and Father. Hear God talked with him, saying,

o his word with reverence. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 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 co* This is my covenant, which venant with God-outward and visiye shall keep. between me ble signs of an inward and spiritual

grace-would seem a mode of proand you and thy seed after

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

else their sin remained *. (ver. 14.) every man child in your 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 flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, hat so 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? 18 And Abraham said

18 How forcibly are we all taught to unto God, O that Ishmael give up the present for the future might 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. 28 And Abra- To day hear his voice +.


* Hence infants now enter into covenant with God through baptism, which superseded circumcision, by the command of Jesus Christ. “Go 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 his

ham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house ; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

EVENING. DEUTERONOMY X. ** And now, Israel, what doth 12 And is it too much for us to give the LORD thy God require of this return to Jehovah ? He has thee, but to fear the LORD conducted us out of the bondage of thy God, to walk in all his sin, into the glorious liberty of the

sons of God: he sustains us in the ways, and to love him, and

wilderness of life by the bread which to serve the LORD thy God came down from heaven : his word with all thy heart and with and spirit, like the pillar of a cloud, all thy soul," to keep the

are ever at hand--sure guidance to commandments of the Lord, let us be grateful.

our promised land in heaven! () and his statutes, which I

13 When did ever

man dedicate command thee this day for himself to the service of God, and thy good ? 14 Behold, the not find it for his good? heaven and the heaven of 14 How monitory! Whether or no heavens is the Lord's thy we obey, God is supreme! Obedience God, the earth also, with all

then is wisdom. that therein is. 18 Only the

15 Yet God would fain win us over LORD had a delight in thy

to obedience, for love of Him. fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise there

16 Circumcision, remember, is the

putting away evil ; being “that of fore the foreskin of your the heart;" in the spirit and“ not in heart, and be no more stiff- the letter.” (Rom. ii. 29.) Outward necked. For the Lord your duties are enjoined ; but the heart God is God of gods, and

must be right also. Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: he doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and rai

19 Sympathy is the Christian's chament. Love ye therefore racteristic. He weeps with them that household ; and his faith was accounted unto him for righteousness, because he did that which the Lord commanded him.



the stranger : for ye were weep, and rejoices with them that strangers in the land of do rejoice. Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

The Epiphany.

MORNING. Isaiah Ix. Arise, shine ; for thy light

1 In the prospect of the coming of is come, and the glory of the Christ, Jerusalem is bid to arise LORD is risen upon thee. from her state of mourning. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon 3 “I am the light of the world," said thee, 3 And the Gentiles the glorious Messiah. He shineth, shall come to thy light, and “the sun of righteousness ;” not kings to the brightness of only a glory to his people Israel, but thy rising. Lift up thine a light to lighten the Gentiles. Hence

his light now shines upon us ! eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee : thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah ; all thes from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee : they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. 8 Who are these that

8 As the dove, the bird of peace, fly as a cloud, and as the fleeth home for refuge when storm doves to their windows ? and tempest lower, so the fearful Surely the isles shall wait soul of man fleeth for refuge to its for me, and the ships of Tar- God, when sin and trouble threaten. shish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their

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