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THE LORD'S DAY.
some good is received or done in such a field. Youthful reader, if thou dost not thus remember the Sabbath, thou art pursuing a dangerous course for thy soul, and thou art helping to increase, not to diminish, the wickedness of the land. Surely you cannot rob your fellow-men and make a practice of it without detection, and can you expect to rob God of His own day with impunity ? Impossible!
Let us think of what profit there is in keeping the Sabbath. It helps our peace of mind. Does not God require us to remember the Sabbath ? And is not the way of duty, the only way of peace and safety ? It brings down a large blessing from God. “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you, throughout your generations.” It is a sign of your allegiance to God, and a sign of God's covenant with you. Shall men be honoured and rewarded for performing their duty to their sovereign and their country, and shall not God reward those who are faithful to Him? It strengthens the sons of labour for their toils. The mind and body are alike invigorated by its rest, and employers and employed are alike benefitted. Besides, the Sabbath is a foretaste of heaven, and the best means of preparation for it.
A SURE PROMISE.
" As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee; I will not fail thee nor
forsake thee."-Joshua i, 5.
READER, thou canst not begin the year, thou canst not begin public life, and thou canst not begin a life of religion, with a better promise than this. It seems to have been the turning point in the history of Joshua, and why not in yours?
It tells us how God was with Moses. He was with him as a man. In infancy He remarkably preserved him from death ; and when his parents could no longer preserve him, He provided a noble guardian in Pharaoh's daughter. In the court of Pharaoh he was educated and trained for extraordinary service, and acquired such experience as fitted him to be king in Jeshurun. He was with him as a man of God. When the proper time came, Moses made noble sacrifices for religion. He relinquished ease, wealth, and the prospect of a kingdom, that he might identify himself with the enslaved and oppressed. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." He was with him as the deliverer and
A SURE PROMISE.
leader of His people. He qualified him to treat with Pharaoh for the emancipation of the Israelites-He seconded his efforts by dreadful plagues till he was glad to let them go-He befriended him at the Red Sea by making a way for His chosen to pass through, and by destroying their mighty foes—and He helped him by checking the sin and rebellion of the Israelites, that he might lead them through the pathless desert. Was not God remarkably with Moses ? and did He not recompense him for all his sacrifices ?
It tells us what He will do for us. “So I will be with thee.” He will be with us to guide us. We have to go up through the wilderness of this world—we have many temptations to encounter and many enemies to overcome, and shall we not seek and enjoy the presence of an unerring guide ? “ My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth.” He wi be with us to guard us. He is not only a pillar of cloud and of fire to guide, but this pillar hides and shields us from all our foes. “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day.” He will be with us to provide for us. He who heareth the ravens when they cry and feedeth them, shall He not feed us? He who clothes the lilies of the field with beauty, shall He not clothe us ? Yes! “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” I shall not want a friend-I shall not want a home-I shall not want any good thing. He will be with us to comfort us. Do our sins distress us ?
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Do our friends forsake us ? “ There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
It tells us of the certainty of all this. “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” It is certain because God says it. His word cannot pass away. “God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent: hath He said it, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good ?” It is certain from His faithfulness and immutability. All His people in all generations can testify that not one word has in their experience ever failed. And He himself declares, “I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” It is certain, because He has power to accomplish. Man may promise, but ere ever he is aware, he may be in circumstances when it is impossible for him to fulfil. It is not so with God, for no accident, no opposition of men can have any influence upon Him.
THE CRY IN DANGER.
“ Bat when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and beginning
to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me!"-Matt. xiv. 30.
DEAR READER, let us think on what Peter sawwhat he felt what he suffered- and what he cried.
What he saw.—He saw the stormy wind and the yawning waves. He saw that his danger was imminent, and that he had no power to rescue himself. Reader, hast thou seen the storm of Divine indignation which thy sins merit ? Hast thou thought of the desolating judgments of the Almighty, whether by pestilence or by war? Think of the glance of that eye which consumes in a moment. Think of the grasp of that mighty arm which irresistibly crushes the mightiest foe. Think of thine own helplessness to put away sin, or to ward off danger. Were God to set thy sins in His presence, and thy secret faults in the light of His countenance, what a storm! How overpowering and irresistible !
What he felt.—“He was afraid.” There are three things of which men are and ought to be afraid. They ought to be afraid of sin, because it is contrary to God's holy nature, opposed to His law, and subversive of His authority. Many