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us the same inward and outward re- Mercy, O Lord ! mercy we ask;
This is the total sum : pentance; the same entire change of
For mercy, Lord, is all our prayer; heart, renewed after the image of
Lord, let thy mercy come! God, in righteousness and true holi
STERNHOLD. ness; and the same change of life, till we are holy, as he is holy, in all manner of conversation. Let it work in us
$ XXI. the same carefulness to be found in him, without spot and blameless ; CHAP. VI. 19–23. the same clearing of ourselves, by our lives rather than our words, by ab
Where our treasure is to be laid up. staining from all appearance of evil;
19 ('Lay not up for yourthe same indignation, vehement abhorrence of every sin; the same fear
selves treasures upon earth, of our own deceitful hearts; the
where moth and rust doth corsame desire to be in all things con- rupt, and where thieves break formed to the holy and acceptable through and steal: will of God; the same zeal for what
20 ‘But lay up for yourselves ever may be a means of advancing
treasures in heaven, where nei his glory, and of our growth in the
ther moth nor rust doth corrupt, knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;
and where thieves do not break and the same revenge against Satan and all his works, against all filthi through nor steal: ness both of flesh and spirit.” | 21 For where your treasure
is, there will your heart be also. HYMN.
22 «The light of the body is O Lord ! turn not thy face away From them who prostrate lie,
the eye: if therefore thine eye Lamenting o'er their sinful lives,
be single, thy whole body shall With tears and bitter cry.
be full of light. Thy mercy-gates are open wide To all who mourn their sin;
23 But if thine eye be evil, Oh, shut them not against us, Lord,
thy whole body shall be full of But let us enter in.
darkness. If therefore the light Thou know'st, O Lord, what things be past, And all the things that be;
that is in thee be darkness, how Thou know'st also what is to come,
great is that darkness ! Nothing is hid from Thee. We come, Lord, to thy throne of grace
Where mercy does abound, Desiring mercy for our sin,
To heal our sin's deep wound. O Lord, we need not to repeat
READER. Here we are merciWhat we do beg and crave; For Thou dost know, before we ask,
fully warned against trusting in unThe thing which we would have.
certain riches, and encouraged to
aspire after a better, and an endur- | the vexation of his heart, wherein ing inheritance.
he hath laboured under the sun ? Lay not up for yourselves treasures For all his days are sorrow, and his upon earth, where moth and rust doth travail grief; yea, his heart taketh corrupt, and where thieves break not rest in the night. This is also through and steal.- For yourselves ; vanity” (Eccles. ii. 22, 23). there is something very emphatic in Treasures. — By this term our that expression in this place. It Lord denotes that which men rereminds us that our Lord is here gard as their chief good,—their great, speaking of that which affects our ultimate, satisfying portion. A treaown personal, everlasting interests. sure, in the full sense of the expresWhat we do, or what we neglect to sion, is something peculiarly predo, in matters of religion, we do or cious; that which we prize above all neglect, most entirely, for ourselves; other things, which we are especially for our own benefit, or to our own anxious to gain or to keep; and it is destruction. And well may those usually understood of something words of our Saviour be present to which exists in sufficient abundance, our minds, “What shall it profit a a large or ample store of that which man, if he gain the whole world, is good and valuable; and which is and lose his own soul? Or what regarded as a fixed or permanent shall a man give in exchange for his possession, something which is resoul ?"
served as a supply for a future time For yourselves !-Yes; when men of need. Now, if we make anything are living intent on heaping up upon earth our treasure, in the comriches, they think that they are la- plete and highest sense of the exbouring for themselves. But how pression, we are miserably deceiving often does it happen that they la- ourselves. Is there anything here bour, not for their own profit or which we ought to prize and value pleasure, but for the temporal bene as our highest good? Any possesfit of others; although they little sion or pleasure so large and ample contemplate or intend such a result! | that it can satisfy all our desires and " Surely every man"- every one wants? Anything which will last that is, who proceeds upon these for ever, or endure as long as ourworldly principles—" walketh in a selves ? Certainly not. And therevain show : surely they are dis fore all things here below are utterly quieted in vain: he heapeth up unfit to form our treasure! If we riches, and cannot tell who shall regard them in this light, we shall gather them” (Ps. xxxix. 6). And suffer disappointment, and something it is with reference to this vain, more. For “they that will be rich, earthly-minded, unprofitable labour, fall into temptation and a snare, and that the wise man speaks in the se- into many foolish and hurtful lusts, cond chapter of Ecclesiastes, “What which drown men in destruction and hath man, of all his labour, and of perdition ” (1 Tim. vi. 9).
Moth and rust doth corrupt.—The gifts.” And let us heartily thank things of this world are liable to cor God, our heavenly Father, who ruption and decay; they perish in has placed those treasures within the using ; they contain in them- | our reach, through the merits and selves the elements of destruction work of our adorable Redeemer ! Thieves break through and steal. We “Blessed be the God and Father of are liable to lose them also by acts our Lord Jesus Christ,” says St. of open violence from without. And Peter (1 Pet. i. 3, 4), “which, aceven if we keep them as long as we cording to his abundant mercy, hath live, that great thief death will come begotten us again unto a lively hope, at last, and take them from us. So by the resurrection of Jesus Christ surely do riches “make to them from the dead, to an inheritance inselves wings and fly away." There corruptible, and undefiled, and that fore, let us not set our hearts upon fadeth not away;" “Where,” to use them; let us not “trust in uncertain our Saviour's own emphatic lanriches, but in the living God, who guage, “neither moth nor rust doth giveth us richly all things to enjoy” corrupt, and where thieves do not (1 Tim. vi. 17). Let not any earthly break through nor steal.” comfort or apparent good be the ob- For where your treasure is, there ject of our inordinate affection, of will your heart be also.—Your desires our eager and restless pursuit, of and affections will certainly be carour vain trust and confidence. Let ried out after the things which, wheus not seek to lay up our treasure on ther truly or falsely, you regard as earth.
your chief or highest good. We But lay up for yourselves treasures may know what things we have choin heaven.— Desire, as your chief sen for our treasure, “by our high good, the favour of God, and those estimation of the worth of themgood things which God has promised by our sensible apprehension of the to bestow, for Christ's sake, upon want of them—by the torrent and those who love him. Divine favour tendency of our affection towards and blessings may well be prized them--and by our laborious diliabove all other possessions: the gifts gence and endeavours in the pursuit of God, in themselves abundantly of them.” Well, indeed, may we sufficient for the comfort and wel. adopt that confession and prayer of fare of the soul, can never be too the Psalmist, “My soul cleaveth to ardently desired, or too diligently the dust; quicken thou me accordincreased; and they are such as will ing to thy word !" last for ever-enduring throughout The light of the body is the eye; all eternity, to the full and adequate i.e., the eye is the organ which satisfaction of our immortal souls. makes use of light for the guidance These, then, are our treasures. Let and direction of the different memus continually regard them in this bers of the body; if, therefore, thine light; and “ covet earnestly the best eye be single-i.e., sound, in good
health, and so rightly discharging its | things; “ if this be darkness—if it office, thy whole body shall be full of aims," chiefly, “at anything besides light — all your faculties will be God-and, consequently, cover the guided by the light which is shed soul with darkness instead of light, around you; but if thine eye be evil | with ignorance and error, with sin i.e., diseased—thy whole body will be and misery, O how great is that full of darkness—all will be in con darkness ! It is the very smoke fusion and disorder; it will be the which ascends out of the bottomless same as though you were enveloped pit! It is the essential night, which in darkness. By this very simple | reigns in the lowest deep, in the land comparison our Lord calls our at- of the shadow of death !” tention to the necessity of purity and simplicity of intention, or a cor
HYMN. rect practical judgment concerning the chief good, or the means of hap Great God! our souls with wonder view piness. Our intentions, practical
The bounties of thy grace;
How much bestow'd, how much reserv'd, judgment, and consequent affections,
For them that seek thy face! are to the soul precisely what the eye is to the body, inasmuch as they Thy liberal hand, with worldly bliss, become the guides and directors of
Oft makes their cups run o'er!
And in the covenant of thy love all its motions. The eye of the soul
They find diviner store. is sound or healthy, when it is our great "design to “know God, and
Good Lord! what treasures yet unknown
Are Lodg'd in worlds to come! Jesus Christ whom he hath sent;'
If such tu, mercies of the way, to know him with suitable affections,
How happy is our home! loving him as he hath loved us; to
And what shall mortal worms reply? serve God (as we love him) with all
Or how such goodness own? our heart, and mind, and soul, and
But 'tis our joy that, Lord, to thee strength; and to enjoy God in and Thy servants' hearts are known. above all things, in time and in eter
Thine eyes shall read those grateful thoughts nity."
No language can express ; If, therefore, the light that is in thee Yet, when our liveliest thanks we pay, be darkness, how great is that dark
Our debts do most increase. ness. If the supreme object of our
Since time's too short, all-gracious God, affections, desires, and aims, be the To utter all thy praise, world, instead of God, what confu Loud to the honour of thy name sion and ruin will follow! “If the
Eternal hymns we'll raise. intention, which ought to enlighten
OLNEY H. the whole soul, to fill it with knowledge, and love, and peace; and which, in fact, it does so long as it is single," or pure, "so long as it aims at God alone," or above all
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe
the grass of the field, which to CHAP. VI. 24–34. day is, and to morrow is cast
into the oven, shall he not much Of serving God and Mammon.—Christ
more clothe you, O ye of little exhorteth not to be careful in worldly things, but to seek God's kingdom.
31 Therefore take no thought, 24 T*No man can serve two | saying, What shall we eat? or, masters : for either he will hate
| What shall we drink? or, Wherethe one, and love the other; or withal shall we be clothed ? else he will hold to the one, and
32 (For after all these things despise the other. Ye cannot do the Gentiles seek :) for your serve God and mammon.
heavenly Father knoweth that ye 25 Therefore I say unto you, I have need of all these things. *Take no thought for your life, 33 But • seek ye first the king. what ye shall eat, or what ye | dom of God, and his righteousshall drink; nor yet for your ness; and all these things shall body, what ye shall put on. Is be added unto you. not the life more than meat, and
1 34 Take therefore no thought the body than raiment ?
for the morrow : for the morrow 26 «Behold the fowls of the shall take thought for the things air : for they sow not, neither
of itself. Sufficient unto the day do they reap, nor gather into
is the evil thereof. barns; yet your heavenly Fa
& Luke xvi. 13. y Gal. i. 10. 1 Tim. vi. 17. Jam. ther feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto
READER. Our Lord solemnly his stature ?
assures us that we cannot serve God 28 And why take ye thought and Mammon ; that is to say, we for raiment ? Consider the lilies cannot yield to those two ruling of the field, how they grow; principles, the love of God and the they toil not, neither do they
love of the world, at the same time. spin :
These are two masters of opposite
interests, - each of them claiming 29 And yet I say unto you,
supreme affection, and neither of That even Solomon in all his
them disposed to be satisfied with glory, was not arrayed like one
anything less. The service here of these.
meant denotes an entire devotion