Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Thirteenth žabbath—Morning.

WORDS OF PRAYER.

“ Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, Take

away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips."--Hosea xiv. 2.

The words taken—the turning required-and the fruits rendered, demand our attention.

The words taken—" Take with you words, say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.” Prayer is thought expressed in words; and though God knows our thoughts, yet prayerful thoughts should be embodied in words, that they may the more deeply be impressed on our minds, and that we may more satisfactorily hold communion with the Hearer of prayer. God has spoken His thoughts to us in His word, and it is but reasonable that we should speak our thoughts to Him in prayer. We are to pray for the pardon of our sins. “ Take away all iniquity.” Our iniquities are numerous and aggravated, they expose us to danger and punishment, and we ought to feel anxious for their removal. By the shedding of Christ's precious blood, Jehovah is ready to forgive us, and it is our privilege to come to Him by prayer, and plead, “For Thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.” 66 God be merciful to me a sinner.” We are to pray to God for acceptance. “ Receive us graciously.” We have no claim to

the favour of God, but might justly be rejected and cast away; yet we are allowed to pray, Receive us into Thy favour, receive us into Thy family. There cannot be a doubt but God is willing and anxious to receive us, and our reception can only be by grace. If ever we are received, it must be “graciously.” “It shall come to pass, when he crieth unto Me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.”

The turning required—“Turn to the Lord.” Turning necessarily supposes a sense of wrong. The sinner is pursuing a downward and dangerous path, and he must discover his error. The prodigal is taking his own way, which is full of danger and misery, and he must come to himself and see his infatuation. And shall we think of the consequences of our sin ; wrath, curse, hell, and refuse to turn and flee? God requires us to turn to Himself. “ Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die ?” Reader, you see a man apparently blind, about to step over a precipice, and you cry to him, “Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die ?” He turns, and says, I am thankful for thy timely warning. Thus he attributes his deliverance to you. He says further, Had I not heard thy earnest words, I would have perished. Thus he attributes his deliverance to the words. He says again, Had not Providence brought you at the right time within sight of me, I would have perished; and thus he attributes his deliverance

WORDS OF PRAYER.

75

to Providence. He says still further, Had I not turned when you called, I was undone; and thus he attributes his deliverance to himself. Now, the only difference between this case, and the conversion of a sinner, consists in this: the sinner turns to God, by the agency of another, through the instrumentality of the Word, and because he himself wills it; and he does so by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit arresting his attention and rolling Divine truth into his heart. Reader, wilt thou not thus turn unto God through Christ? And wilt thou not, from love to God, render new obedience to all the commandments ?

The fruits rendered—“So will we render the calves of our lips.” This passage is explained by the following: “ By Him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” In order to render our gratitude to God in a right manner, we must praise Him for the atoning sacrifice of Christ, through which alone we can be pardoned and accepted. The fruit of the lips cannot be good fruit, if we neglect the sacrifice, for we come to Him by Calvary, and not by Sinai. We will also thank and praise Him for answering our prayers, and giving us a sense of His pardoning mercy, and a sense of reception into His favour and family. And if the fruit of our lips be right fruit, we will not fail to tell others what God has done for our souls.

DAVID'S CHARGE TO SOLOMON.

“And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind : for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts; if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever."-1 Chr. xxviii, 9. David had been a great warrior, a great king, a great sinner, and a great saint, and shortly before his death, he gave this solemn charge to his son Solomon, and urged it by strong and impressive motives.

The CHARGE requires him to know God. He must believe in the existence of God, for this is the fundamental truth of religion. He must believe that God was the God of his father David, whom He raised from the humble employment of a shepherd, to the exalted position of a great king. He must acquaint himself with God as a reconciled Father in Christ Jesus; for a saving knowledge of the God of love, is the only way to happiness and to heaven. He must cultivate close and intimate friendship with God, who had befriended his father in all his difficulties, and who would as readily befriend him. What a privilege to know God savingly, and to claim Him as our God, who was the God of our fathers ! “ The Lord is my God, I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt Him.”

The charge requires him to serve God " with

DAVID'S CHARGE TO SOLOMON.

77

a perfect heart, and with a willing mind.” Solomon must look upon God as his Master, and render to Him constant obedience. He must serve Him with an undivided heart. The service of idols, and the service of God cannot be conjoined. The service of sin, and the service of God are incompatible. God cannot be served outwardly, if the heart loves and cherishes sin. He must serve God willingly. Religion, when forced or constrained, is not religion at all, and no obedience can be pleasing to God, unless it be cheerful. He must love God constantly, not by fits and starts, but in youth, in manhood, and in old age, without relaxation, and without backsliding. And he must serve God only. The nations around him may be serving idols, but he must give no countenance to idolatry. Some may be fearing God, and, at the same time, serving their own gods, but he must fear the Lord, and the Lord only. How reasonable for Solomon; and reader, how reasonable, how honourable, and how profitable, thus to serve the only living and true God !

The MOTIVES urging this charge, are powerful and convincing. The first is solemnizing. The Lord searcheth all hearts and understandeth all thoughts.” Man can search matter, but he cannot search mind. Man can understand conduct, and form a judgment regarding it, but thoughts are beyond his reach. Mind and thought, matter

« ForrigeFortsæt »