loss of those dear to us,-in sickness or trial; and our eyes be holden that we know Him not." Yet let us be of good cheer, it is He. But remember it is Jesus imperfectly recognised that causes fear : once see Him as He is revealed in the word of God, once mark Him as He is indeed, the pitying compassionate Jesus, that Saviour who would not willingly inflict one wound, nor will smite but to heal and to bind up. Then must fear cease, and all terror be done away. But this leads us to remark,

IV. The Voice of Jesus brings Assurance of Peace. Sooner or later it will be so to the waiting soul, and “the desire accomplished ” shall then be found to be “a tree of life.” “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.” Oh! words full of comfort to the troubled and we aried ones He was addressing whilst “He went up unto them into the ship, and the wind ceased.” And thus shall it be with

He opens to us the Scriptures, unfolds the promises, and with the two walking to Emmaus, “our hearts burn within us.” He shows us his pierced hands and side, and with Thomas we cry out, “My Lord and my God.” He says to us, “I have called thee by thy name," and with Mary we turn and say, “Rabboni.” With John we may fall at his


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feet as dead under the view of his power, but He will lay His right hand upon us, saying, “Fear not.” Thus when he speaks "there is a great calm.” Oh! what wonder and joy will possess the soulthat has felt any such thing. Brethren, such things are to be known; shrink not back then from enduring the storm in which Jesus is drawing near; fear not to meet that darkness in which light ariseth. Only forget not the posture of the disciples, and what made Him cross the waves to their succour,—“He saw them toiling in rowing." Brethren, what then are we doing? Are we

toiling in rowing ?” what is the testimony of our daily life? is the daily cross passed by or taken up? The enemy yielded to or resisted!

Have we entered into that peace which the Lord Himself speaks to His people through His blood and righteousness ? If so it is well: “My peace I give unto you,” saith He, and such peace shall abide.

True, we may be yet on the troubled sea “toiling in rowing,” but let us look out for Him who hath said, “ They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isa. xl. 31.)




EZEKIEL ix. 4. “ And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."

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God hath His instruments of vengeance, ever ready at hand, for the punishment of nations or of individuals. Thus we find that no sooner is the command given, as recorded in the first verse of this chapter, “ He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand,”—than at once is that command obeyed: “And behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand,” (2nd verse.) But "slow to anger," the Lord yet tarries,


forbears to strike, gives intimation of His purpose,—"the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house,” (3rd verse). He stayeth for a season on the threshold, as loath to depart, and yet prepared to remove. Oh! then is the time for supplication, for entreaty; then should “the ministers” and people “weep between the porch and the altar;" if so be He will turn and repent,—“be jealous for His land and pity His people.” Such a season, however, appears not to have been profited by ; vengeance is not long delayed, slaughter is decreed and speedily executed, (6th and 11th verses). But before that wrath descends, “God's people shall have a place of refuge,” the safety-mark be set on their foreheads, the order go forth to those about to execute His vengeance, “Come not near any man upon whom is the mark.” Brethren, the people of God in the city of Jerusalem are thus described,

“the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof;" may this their character be ours, and their safety shall be ours also.

We shall, in dependance on the Holy Spirit's guidance, dwell shortly on three things brought before us in the text.

I. The Search.
II. The Sigh and the Cry.
III. The Safety-mark.

I. The Search. And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem. ... Before judgment begins, the search must be made by Him who seeth not as man seeth, by Him who putteth away what men seem to be, and readeth them as they are.

I. It is no surface search which God institutes. Were it so, who would not have“the mark ?” how few would there be on whom “the slaughter weapon” shall do its work. The “ form of godliness” would then pass approved; they, in whom the love of God is not, who yet do “many things,” that have the features of religion—the tint of profession, would then be safe ; yea, all free from open sins, (sins allowed by man to be such), albeit no strongholds were by them pulled down, no self sacrifice made, no fleeing unto Christ for refuge known; these, and such as these, would then be marked for good. But no !—it is no surface search : that word in Zephaniah (i. 12) tells its nature: “And it shall come to pass at

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