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66 If we

us ?” It is unbelief to doubt it. seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things shall be added unto us.” “He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Whatever may be our circumstances, He will be with us, and His presence is a pledge of support and comfort. In our lowest need, He can supply us; from the most embarrassing difficulties He can extricate us; in the most severe trials he can sustain us. And He has promised to do all this. If the condition in which we may be is the effect of our faith, if we have come into the position in which we are in consequence of our unworldly spirit, if in any way we suffer for righteousness' sake, we are entitled to all the comfort of the promise ; we shall enjoy the performance of it. God 6 will not leave us, nor forsake us." If we are in poverty, or in perplexities of any kind, we may be sure that it is because it is best for us. It is ill with us till we feel perfectly convinced that our heavenly Father leads us by the best way. He will provide us what is needful : if we desire more, we do so at our peril: we desire what will most assuredly harm us. Thus the promise of the text is a sufficient motive not only to preserve us from covetousness and discontent, but from every other kind of sin.

A large proportion of those who are engaged in a course of sin, or who are neglecting duty, profess to act as they do in order that they may avoid the evils of poverty. They must live; they must make it their first object to procure a maintenance for themselves and their families. It cannot be otherwise than right to do what is necessary, to labour to supply themselves with what is required by their position in society, and the habits in which they have been wont to live. But this is grievous self-deception or hypocrisy. It is selfdeception, in the case of those who are weak enough to be imposed upon by such sophisms, and who really allow themselves to think that there is any thing which can form an excuse for sin ; it is hypocrisy, when these pretences are assumed by those who are conscious the while of covetous. ness or discontent. Some are so occupied by business, as to be hindered from the discharge of the most obvious duties. They cannot regularly attend the house of God, nor assemble those who are dependent upon them for family worship, nor give sufficient time to private devotion and meditation, because, forsooth, they are engaged by business. Others give with a sparing hand in relief of the needy, and cut themselves off from the benefit of imparting of their substance in good works, because they have to provide for their families. What becomes of such pretences when they are brought to the light of God's word? How vain and hollow they are, when tried by the words of the text: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have ; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee !"

My brethren, may these words be our guide and comfort! May we keep them in our memory as a talisinan against the insidious encroachments of worldliness! And


while we walk through life with moderate wishes, and hearts satisfied with what God may allot to us, feel secure of His presence and blessing, through Jesus Christ our Lord !




“ Think not that I am come to send peace on earth :

I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

WHEN Isaiah prophetically announces the birth of the Messiah, and labours as it were to give an adequate title to the future king of Israel, he concludes his enumeration by a name which indicates the peaceable character of his reign.

“ Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” And he further tells us, that “ of the increase of

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