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Even from the days of
your 7 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. 11 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 vain to serve God: and what tiply, we see “ the ungodly coming
14 If when our own sorrows mulprofit 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; yea, 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
and honour. ened, and heard it, and a book 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.
coming when God will no longer 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.
EVENING. MALACHI iv. 'For, behold, the day cometh, 1 An awful picture this, of the sure that shall burn as an oven; and dreadful vengeance of heaven and all the proud, yea, and upon the impenitent wicked. Let all that do wickedly, shall be
us each take warning to ourselves ! stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root por branch. But unto you
2 The fear of the Lord is always fear my name shall the Sun the beginning of wisdom. Jesus is of righteousness arise with to the righteous a Sun and a Shield. healing in his wings; and ye The faithful shall go forth, and shall go forth, and grow up
flourish as the calves of the field. as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked ; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the
* As God ordained Moses, under LORD of hosts. • Remember
the law, to foreshadow the Messiah ; ye the law of Moses my ser- so Elijah, among the prophets, revant, which I commanded presented John the Baptist, the foreunto him in Horeb for all Is
runner of Christ. rael, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Moses and Elias were appointed, in an after age, to witness the glories of our Lord's transfiguration. They then transferred to Him their office; and a voice from heaven sanctified the transfer—“Hear Him!”
St. Peter's Bay.
MORNING. ECCLESIASTICUS XV. · He that feareth the Lord 1 Wisdom is to be obtained by the will do good; and he that knowledge of God's word. hath a knowledge of the law shall obtain her. And as a mother shall she meet him, and receive him as a wife married of a virgin. With the bread of understanding shall she feed him, and give him the water
4 If your heart can lift up itself to of wisdom to drink. He God ;'“ In Thee, O Lord, have I shall be stayed upon her, trusted”—then, yours may be the and shall not be moved ; and hopeful prayer of our Liturgy, “ Let shall rely upon her, and shall
me never be confounded."
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 Say not thou, He
12 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.
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
17 Hence the appeal of Joshua to and death ; and whether him
the people (xxiv. 15), “ Choose 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 power, and beholdeth all and cursing-choose life.”
before you life and death, blessing 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 body. No part of duty is considered
by a Christian as a trifle *. not be rich : and he that con
Licentiousness destroys the reason temneth small things shall and heart of a man ; and brings upon fall by little and little. ? Wine him--soul and body-misery, ruin, and women will make men
* 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 sianderer!
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 Whoso taketh pleasure in in him who casteth away shame.
5 There is no hope of amendment 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. 8 Whether it be
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 [of 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
know this to be true. his countenance, when thou 5 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
2 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. 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 7 Eloquence—if confined to a mere man is known far and near; flow of words—may lead astray ; but