« EdellinenJatka »
and in the midst of the congregation shall she open his mouth.
He shall find joy and a 6 Honour and glory in heaven are crown of gladness, and she prepared for the faithful servants of shall cause him to inherit an God. everlasting name. But foolish men shall not attain unto her, and sinners shall not see her. For she is far from pride, and men that are liars cannot remember her. Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner, for it was not sent him of the Lord. For praise shall be uttered in wisdom, and the Lord will prosper it. "Say not thou, 11 It is dreadful blasphemy to charge It is through the Lord that sin upon God ! I fell away: for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth. 12 Say not thou, He 2 Our natural infirmity is no palhath caused me to err : for liation of sin ; because God giveth us he hath no need of the sinful a strength not our own, but sufficient. man. The Lord hateth all abomination; and they that fear God love it not. "He him- 14 That man's free will and God's self made man from the be- free grace are compatible, a humble ginning, and left him in the faith feels and acknowledges. hand of his counsel; if thou wilt, to keep the commandments, and to perform acceptable faithfulness. He hath set fire and water before thee: stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt. Before man is life and death ; and whether him
17 Hence the appeal of Joshua to
the people (xxiv. 15), “ Choone ye, liketh shall be given him. this day, whom ye will serve.” Hence For the wisdom of the Lord too the still more striking address of is great and he is mighty in Moses (Deut. xxx. 19), “ I have set
before you life and death, blessing power, and beholdeth all
and cursing--choose life.” things: and his eyes are upon them that fear him, and he knoweth every work of man. He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, neither hath he given any man licence to sin.
EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUS xix. A LABOURING man that is 1 The drunkard destroys mind and given to drunkenness shall
ce shall body. No part of duty is considered
by a Christian as a trifle*. not be rich : and he thạt con- · Licentiousness destroys the reason temneth small things shall and heart of a man ; and brings upon fall by little and little. 2 Wine him-soul and body-unisery, ruin, and women will make men death.
* It were indeed unsafe to contemn small things, when our Lord has declared, that " for every idle word, men shall give account in the day of judgment." ---What an appalling truth for the talebearer and the sianabide with thee, but if thou begin to fall, he will not tarry. An enemy speaketh sweetly with his lips, but in his heart he imagineth how to throw thee into a pit : he will weep with his eyes, but if he find opportunity, he will not be satisfied with blood. 17 If adversity come 17 As adversity is the test of friendupon thee, thou shalt find ship, so does it render an enemy still him there first ; and though more malicious. he pretend to help thee, yet 18 A painful but powerfully drawn shall he undermine thee. picture of malice, triumphing over 18 He will shake his head, and the afflicted. clap his hands, and whisper much, and change his countenance.
St. John Baptist's Day.
MORNING Malach. iii. · BEHOLD, I will send my Christ, the Lord, will send his messenger, and he shall pre- messenger-John the Baptist-who pare the way before me: and shall prepare his way, by preaching the LORD, whom ye seek, repentance. shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in : behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. ? But ? His word, even nou, trieth the who may abide the day of his very hearts and reins : what will be coming ? and who shall stand his judgment hereafter ! when he appeareth ? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope : 'and he shall 3 As gold is purified by fire, so is sit as a refiner and purifier the soul by trials : and for this purof silver : and he shall purify pose, that by faith in the Redeemer, the song of Levi and nurse the sons of Levi, and purge
it may at last offer itself for accepit may at
tance“ an offering in righteousness." them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. * Then shall the offering of Man shall be restored to the faJudah and Jerusalem be plea- vour of his Creator. sant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. “And I will come 5 God careth for man's temporal, near to you to judgment; and as well as his eternal welfare. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of 6 The Lord Jehovah is unchangehosts. For I am the LORD, ably loving, and merciful. I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Even from the days of your ? What a gracious invitation to fathers ye are gone away prayer, and to a return unto God! from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse : for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. " And I will re
11 These devourers were the locusts. buke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed : for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is
14 If when our own sorrows mulvain to serve God: and what tiply, we see “ the ungodly coming profit is it that we have kept in no misfortune like other folk," his ordinance, and that we we are too apt to murmur and think have walked mournfully be we serve God to no purpose. Vain fore the LORD of hosts? And
thought! They who trust in God,
shall never be confounded. now we call the proud happy; vea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even deliver- 16 Few things more cheer, and as ed. 16 Then they that feared we hope, more benefit us, than the the LORD spake often one to sustaining sympathy and according another: and the Lord heark. sentiments of those whom we esteem ened, and heard it, and a book and honour. of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought
17 The end is not yet.
A day is upon his name. 17 And they coming when shall be mine, saith the LORD permit the vile and the pure to be of hosts, in that day when mingled together. - He will then I make up my jewels; and I finally, and fully, separate the right
eous from the wicked. will spare them, as a man " spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
hen God will I
of understanding to fall away : and he that cleaveth to harlots will become impudent. Moths and worms shall have him to heritage, and a bold man shall be taken away. He that is hasty to give credit is lightminded ; and he that sinneth shall offend against his own soul. 5 There is no hope of amendment 5 Whoso taketh pleasure in in him who casteth away shame. wickedness shall be condemned: but he that resisteth pleasures crowneth his life. He that can rule his tongue shall live without strife ; and he that hateth babbling shall have less evil. Rehearse not unto another that which is told unto thee, and thou shalt fare never the worse. Whether it be sa
8 Avoid talebearing; and that cuto a friend or foe, talk not of riosity which leads to it. Nothing other men's lives; and if thou is more mean than to be curious, canst without offence, reveal and a babbler about the affairs of them not. For he heard and others. observed thee, and when time cometh he will hate thee. If thou hast heard a word, let it die with thee ; and be bold, it will not burst thee. A fool travaileth with a word, as a woman in labour of a child. As an arrow that sticketh in a man's thigh, so is a word within a fool's belly. Admonish a friend, it may be he hath not done it : and if he have done it, that he do it no more. Admonish thy friend, it may be he hath not said it : and if he have, that he speak it not again. Admonish a friend : for many times it is a slander, and believe not every tale. There is one that slippeth in his speech, but not from his heart; and who is he that hath not offended with his tongue? Admonish thy neighbour before thou threaten him; and not being angry, give place to the law of the most High. The fear of the Lord is the first step to be accepted Fof him,] and wisdom obtain- 19 The same hope of immortality eth his love. 19 The know- may well cheer the Christian under ledge of the commandments all the gloom and misery of his of the Lord is the doctrine of earthly pilgrimage. life: and they that do things that please him shall receive the fruit of the tree of immortality. The fear of the Lord is all wisdom; and in all wisdom is the performance of the law, and the knowledge of his omnipotency. If a servant say to his master, I will not do as it pleaseth thee; though afterward he do it, he angereth him that nourisheth him. The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, neither at any time the counsel of sinners prudence. There is a wickedness, and the same an abomination, and there is a 24 The poor and unlearned, if they fool wanting in wisdom. 24 He are good and live near to God, are
that hath small understand- happier than those of the rich and ing, and feareth God, is bet- learned, who have no heed to the ter than one that hath much welfare of their souls or the honour wisdom, and transgresseth the of their God. law of the most High. There is an exquisite subtilty, and the same is unjust; and there is one that turneth aside to make judgment appear; and there is a wise man that justifieth in judgment. There is a wicked man that hangeth down his head sadly ; but inwardly he is full of deceit, casting down his countenance, and making as if he heard not: where he is not known, he will do thee a mischief before thou be aware. And if for want of power he be hindered from sinning, yet when he findeth opportunity he will 29 Consciousness of evil intention do evil. 29 A man may be induces a fear to meet the eye of known by his look, and one those against whom evil is intended. that hath understanding by The slanderer and malicious man his countenance, when thou know this to be true. meetest him. A man's attire, and excessive laughter, and gait, shew what he is.
St. James the Apostle.
MORNING. ECCLESIASTICus xxi. My son, hast thou sinned ? If in your infirmity you have do so no more, but ask par- sinned, repent !—Christ hath died, don for thy former sins. and become the propitiation for your
sins. * Flee from sin as from the
ne ? The serpent tempted man to the face of a serpent: for if thou first sin. The effects of sin therecomest too near it, it will fore are well described as a serpent's bite thee: the teeth thereof sting. are as the teeth of a lion, slaying the souls of men. All iniquity is as a two edged sword, the wounds whereof cannot be healed. To terrify and do wrong will waste riches : thus the house of proud men 5 The poor and unlearned must not shall be made desolate. A excuse à neglect of religion because prayer out of a poor man's of the disadvantages of their station. mouth reacheth to the ears God heareth their prayers. of God, and his judgment 6 A wise man is always thankful to cometh speedily. Ő He that be admonished of his faults. The hateth to be reproved, is in fool only is impatient of instruction. the way of sinners : but he that feareth the Lord will repent from his heart. An eloquent ? Eloquence—if confined to a mere man is known far and near; flow of words—may lead astray ; but