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unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, 14 And is not the word nigh to the, and do it? 14 but the word is now?
15 Man's free agency, and God's free grace stand here in beautiful harmony-as also in v. 19 *.
very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and mul tiply and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before life and death, blessing and cursing therefore choose life, that live: that thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD Sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
19 Would God thus solemnly bid us "choose;" if choice were not in our power?-Sin, therefore, on the plea of our fallen nature, is altogether inexcusable.
both thou and thy seed may 20❝ Cleave unto the Lord thy God" -so shalt thou fear no evil, but go on thy way rejoicing.
* It was our blessed Saviour's instructive testimony to the pious sister of Lazarus-Mary hath chosen that good part. (Luke x. 42.)
St. Barnabas the Apostle.
MORNING. ECCLESIASTICUS X.
A WISE judge will instruct his people; and the government of
2 Princes and the rulers of the land should remember the force of their example, for evil or for good; and act up to their responsibility.
* If however, rulers do not take heed; a christian people patiently put their trust in the Lord knowing, that in his hand is the power of the earth.
5 The ministers of the word-or the scribes, as they are here calledare thus taught to look for such aid from on High, as may prosper the work of their hand upon them.
a prudent man is well ordered. As the judge of the people is himself, so are his officers; and what manner of man the ruler of the city is, such are all they that dwell therein. An unwise king destroyeth his people; but through the prudence of them which are in authority the city shall be inhabited. The power of the earth is in the hand of the Lord, and in due time he will set over it one that is profitable. In the hand of God is the prosperity of man: and upon the person of the scribe shall he lay his honour. Bear not hatred to thy neighbour for every wrong; and do nothing at all by injurious practices. Pride is hateful before God and man: and by both doth one commit iniquity. 'Because of unrighteous dealings, injuries, and riches got by deceit, the kingdom is translated from one people to another. "Why is earth and ashes proud? There is not a more wicked thing than a covetous man: for such an one setteth his own soul to sale; because while he liveth he casteth away his bowels.
When any nation has filled up the measure of its iniquity, by contempt of religion and a general dissoluteness of manners, God punishes them. O may we of this land take warning!
9 If from pride and covetousness a man becomes hard-hearted towards the poor and afflicted, he is said to "shut up his bowels of compassion from them." (1 John iii. 17.)
10 God's people are to be patient under oppression *.
The physician cutteth off a long disease; and he that is to day a king to morrow shall die. For when a man is dead, he shall inherit creeping things, beasts, and worms. The beginning of pride is when one departeth from God, and his heart is turned away from his Maker. 13 For pride is the 13 Pride was the first sin. Our
The instruction is-that as in the human body, diseases, though of long continuance, are removed by the physician; so corruption in the body politic is, in the end, removed by the power and wisdom of God. Vengeance is His!
beginning of sin, and he that hath it shall pour out abomination: and therefore the Lord calamities, and overthrew them utterly. 14 The Lord hath cast down the thrones of proud princes, and set up the meek in their stead. The Lord hath plucked up the roots of the proud nations, and planted the lowly in their place. The Lord overthrew countries of the heathen, and destroyed them to the foundations of the earth. He took some of them away, and destroyed them, and hath made their memorial to cease from the earth. Pride was not made for man, nor furious anger for them that are born of a woman. They that fear the LORD are a sure seed, and they that love him an honourable plant: they that regard not the law are a dishonourable seed; they that transgress the commandments are a deceivable seed. Among brethren he that is chief is honourable; so are they that fear the Lord in his eyes. The fear of the Lord goeth before the obtaining of authority but roughness and pride is the losing thereof. Whether he be rich, noble, or poor, their glory is the fear of the Lord. It is not meet to despise the poor man that hath understanding; neither is it convenient to magnify a sinful man. Great men, and judges, and potentates, shall be honoured; yet is there none of them greater than he that feareth the Lord. Unto the servant that is wise shall they that are free do service and he that hath knowledge will not grudge when he is reformed. 26 Boast not thyself, as too high not overwise in doing thy minded to labour.
first parents would fain have "been as Gods." (Gen. iii. 5.)
brought upon them strange
14 Princes and governors reign by the will of God; who is acknowledged by a christian people, as "King of kings, and Lord of lords : the only ruler of princes."
business; and boast not thyself in the time of thy distress. 27 Better is he that laboureth, 27 Honest labour, with bread to eat, and aboundeth in all things, is better than boastful idleness with
than he that boasteth himself,
and wanteth bread. My son, glorify thy soul in meekness, and give it honour according to the dignity thereof. will justify him that sinneth against his own soul? and who will honour him that dishonoureth his own life? The poor man is honoured for his skill, and the rich man is honoured for his riches. 31 He that is 31 True honour is neither increased by prosperity, nor diminished by
honoured in poverty, how
* In poverty and change of fortune, preserve your mind in firmness and dignity." In your patience possess ye your souls." (Luke xxi. 13.)
much more in riches? and adversity. Riches cannot ennoble he that is dishonourable in vice, nor poverty disgrace virtue. riches, how much more in poverty?
EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUS xii.
WHEN thou wilt do good, know to whom thou doest it; so shalt thou be thanked for thy benefits. Do good to the godly man, and thou shalt find a recompence; and if not High. There can no good pied in evil, nor to him that giveth no alms. Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner.
2 God deigns to consider charity towards the afflicted, as service done to Himself.
Do well unto him
from him, yet from the most come to him that is always occu
In exercising benevolence, do not so extend it to the wicked, that thou canst seem to encourage or be indifferent to his bad character.
that is lowly, but give not to the ungodly: hold back thy bread, and give it not unto him, lest he overmaster thee thereby: for [else] thou shalt receive twice as much evil for all the good thou shalt have done
God hateth sin; not the individual sinner: for He so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son "to die for the ungodly.” (John iii. 16. Rom. v. 6.)
unto him. For the most High hateth sinners, and will repay vengeance unto the ungodly, and keepeth them against the mighty day of their good, and help not the sinner. A friend cannot be known in prosperity: and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity. In the prosperity of a man enemies will be grieved: but in his adversity even a friend will depart. Never trust thine enemy: for like as iron rusteth, so is his wickedness. 11 Be not deceived by the fawning "Though he humble himself, of a flatterer.
punishment. Give unto the
8 One use of this world's trials is to call forth hidden virtues, and bring to proof the sincerity of friendship.
and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him, and thou shalt be unto him as if thou hadst wiped a lookingglass, and thou shalt know that his rust hath not been altogether wiped away. Set him not by thee, lest, when he hath overthrown thee, he stand up in thy place; neither let him sit at thy right hand, lest he seek to take thy seat, and thou at the last remember my words, and be pricked therewith. Who will pity a charmer 13 If men associate with sinners,
that is bitten with a serpent, and fall into misery--who can pity or any such as come nigh them?
wild beasts? So one that goeth to a sinner, and is defiled with him in his sins, who will pity? For a while he will
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 us each take warning to ourselves! all that do wickedly, shall be stubble and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
2 The fear of the Lord is always the beginning of wisdom. Jesus is to the righteous a Sun and a Shield. The faithful shall go forth, and flourish as the calves of the field.
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 LORD of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, 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.
As God ordained Moses, under the law, to foreshadow the Messiah ; so Elijah, among the prophets, represented John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ.
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 Day.
1 HE that feareth the LORD will do good; and he that hath a knowledge of the
1 Wisdom is to be obtained by the knowledge of God's word. 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 of wisdom to drink. He shall be stayed upon her, and shall not be moved; and shall rely upon her, and shall not be confounded. She shall exalt him above his neighbours,
4 If your heart can lift up itself to God;" In Thee, O Lord, have I trusted"-then, yours may be the hopeful prayer of our Liturgy," Let me never be confounded."