Sabbath Scripture Readings.

Matt.13 "The Sower"

When my Saviour speaks let me ever be attentive to hear Him - Save me, O God, from the withdrawing process.and give me fully to share in the advancing process which obtains under the economy of grace. Let me give earnest heed to the things that are spoken—that, having this, more may be granted to me, and so as that I may increase in the knowledge of God, and be more and more instructed in the mysteries of His kingdom. Enable me, O God, so as to apply as to find my own place in the parable of the sower, and read there what my infirmities and wants are. How often then have I reason to fear that I occupy a stage even behind the first class of hearers—reading so mechanically, or hearing so listlessly that the word does not light upon me at all, or become the object of recognition so much as for an instant. But even when it does, how often is it on the understanding only, whence it slips from the memory, in a moment dispossessed or taken away. Or when it does make an impression on the heart or conscience, how marvellously soon is that impression dissipated among the vanities of the world, and the sympathies of social life with those before whom I deny Christ by my silence— because the shame of a godly profession operates upon me with all the influence which persecution had in former ages.

But the place to which I most gravitate, and against which I most need to guard myself, is that of the third class of hearers—in whom the word is choked by weeds and thorns; because there is a depth of soil in me for the abiding and the practical—for a fixed ruling passion which might supplant every other, or at least subordinate every other. But that soil is pre-occupied with thorns, so as to stint the room and growth of a principle of grace in me. If not a love for the riches of this world, it is at least the care of this world in some one of its varieties—sometimes a diseased and anxious feeling of insecurity for my property—sometimes a brooding sense of irritation at the injustice which I either feel or fancy— sometimes a taste for occupations distinct from those which subserve the furtherance of the spiritual life, and at all times a general overhanging and overweening carnality. These are the several vexations of the vain show in which I walk, and which would cheat me of my eternity.

O my God, let every plant which Thou hast not planted be rooted up from my heart. Deposit there the good seed and grant that—refreshed and fertilized by living water - it may bring forth fruit abundantly. Since the wheat and tares must by Thy Sovereign ordination , grow together in this world, teach me to walk in wisdom to those which are without, to endure the contradiction of sinners and to do good unto all men, though more especially to the household of faith. For the growth of the kingdom of heaven in my own heart, may this weak, this little faith of mine, be increased and strengthened. May it overshadow the whole man. May it germinate the deeds of new obediance. and make them acceptable through Jesus Christ. For the growth of the kingdom of heaven in the world, may I be a leaven for good in my family and neighbourhood and let my light shine with a converting influence on the souls of others.—O my God, I would give up all for Christ.

This day I have felt the preciousness of union with Him. May He be to me as a hidden treasure. May I abide in Him that He may abide in me and cause me to abound in much fruit. 0 my God, let Him be unto me as a pearl of great price— seeing that he who hath the Son hath life. May my union with Him be perfected; and give me experimentally to feel the force and significancy of those images which, though regarded as mystical by the world at large, are realized in the experience of advanced believers when they feel themselves united with Christ, as branches are with a vine, as stones with a building, whereof He is the chief corner-stone, as members are with a body whereof He is the Head. 0 Lord may I be found among the good on that day when Christ cometh to make up His jewels, severing the wicked from among the just. Let me be well instructed in the mysteries of Thy kingdom, and let the word of Christ dwell in me richly in all wisdom.
Let not Christ be lightly esteemed by me. Let me honour the Son even as I honour the Father. On this last Sabbath of the year may He so shine in my heart, that even from this time forward I may prize Him as all my desire and all my salvation.

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