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offend? Are you responding to the voice of conscience, “Speak, Lord, for thy seryant heareth;” or are you shutting your eyes, content to go on in darkness ?

2. Are we seeking to pacify conscience with some offerings, some partial obedience, instead of really taking up the cross and following Christ?

Send the ark of God away,” said the priests of the Philistines,“ but in any wise return Him a trespass offering.“I will reform my life,” saith one.

“I will frequent God's house,' saith another, “but I cannot part with all sin at Christ's command." Unhappy souls ! like the cattle that drew the very ark, they went indeed towards the land of Israel, but their “lowing as they went,” showed that they had left at home that which they loved, that to which their affections clung.

3. Are we conscious of any difficulty, any struggle in our course, or is our path for the most part smooth and easy? Imagine a Philistine brought to the true knowledge of the God of Israel, refusing to set up again the idol cast down. What opposition would he have to encounter both from others and from the old habits of his own heart! So, brethren, with us; if we will give sin no quarter, if we will look to heaven as our home, if we will take Christ only, for our Master, if we will, in dependence on God's strength, obey only Him, then will there be some difficulty, doubtless, from those around us, but far more from that within us. The battle ground will be our own heart, and fierce the contest there waged.

4. Finally, brethren, is all that is in the ark of God precious to us, and all put away for it ? That ark of God overlaid round about with gold had within it, “the golden pot that had manna. (Heb. ix. 4.) (It telleth us that He who fed His people in the wilderness will not overlook now those that trust in Him.) Do we trust His providential care? It had further “ Aaron's rod that budded” (presenting us God's jealousy over His ministering servants, and generally His watchful eye over His church and all the means of grace) Do we honour them too? There were “the tables of the covenant,” (the law of the ten commandments written, remember, with the finger of God and on tables of stone not to be changed by man's tradition or device.) Do we love God's precepts as well as his promises? Do we have respect unto all his commandments? Over that ark was “the mercy seat, the cherubims shadowing it;" (Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life") Oh, is this our chief cry,- for mercy and is Jesus the only mercy seat by which we approach to God ? Is He our “All and in All? Oh, beloved, is Dagon really cast out of our hearts by the Spirit of God, and hath the truth made us free indeed ?

Finally, brethren, this world, which is by usurpation Dagon's temple, shall ere long be purged: “the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store reserved under fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” and Satan himself shall be “ cast into the lake of fire.” Oh prepare we against that day! Let us purge out the leaven of malice and wickedness, let us ask of Him who in the days of His flesh did purify His heavenly Father's temple, to purify us, to make us temples of the Holy Ghost, to set up the ark of God in our hearts, to cast out every sin, that He our God and Saviour may alone be exalted there, and the idols be utterly abolished.”

The dearest idol I have known,

Whate'er that idol be.
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,

And worship only Thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,

Calm and serene my frame;
A brighter light shine on the road

That leads me to the Lamb.

III.

BLIND BARTIMÆUS.

ST. MARK X. 51.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

What a solemn word of instruction is conveyed to us, by the multitudes that thronged to listen to the voice of the Saviour, who yet refused Him entrance into their hearts! Mark this attendance,-Luke xii. 1: "an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trod one upon another.” Similar is the account in Luke v. 1, “The people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God;" and in the history before us we read of “a great number of people.” Yet though in the morning He sowed His seed, and in the evening withheld not His hand, yet did His preaching but exemplify the truth,“ many are called, but few chosen.”

Thus accompanied, by His disciples and the multitude, He went forth from Jericho, intent on the work His heavenly Father had given Him to do. Nor did Helong remain without an object calling forth His sympathy and compassion. One, blind and poor, “sat by the highway side begging.” The presence of Jesus caused hope to arise in his soul, and he began eagerly to cry, “ Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!" unmoved by the selfish rebuke of the multitude, he persevered in that cry, until the Saviour “stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise, He calleth thee. And he casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus in the way.”

Let us notice:-
1. The Affliction.

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