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Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by nChrist, Jul 17, 2019.

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  1. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
    Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
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    May 17.

    "The Lord has heard all your grumblings against Him!" Exodus 16:8

    Does God really hear every discontented word which I ever speak?

    Does He hear when I grumble about the weather . . .
    about the hard winter,
    about the late spring,
    about the dry summer,
    about the wet harvest?

    Does He hear when I grumble . . .
    about the frosts,
    about the drought,
    about the high winds,
    about the storms?

    Does He hear when I grumble . . .
    about my circumstances,
    about the hardness of my lot,
    about my losses and disappointments?

    If we could get into our heart, and keep there continually, the consciousness that God hears every word we speak—would we murmur and complain so much as we now do?

    We are careful never to speak words which would give pain to the hearts of those we love. Are we as careful not to say anything that will grieve our heavenly Father?

    "I tell you this—that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak!" Matthew 12:36

    "He who complains of the weather—complains of the God who ordains the weather!" William Law
     
  2. nChrist

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    From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
    Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
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    May 18.

    "Every skilled woman spun with her hands—and brought what she had spun—blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen." Exodus 35:25

    It didn't harm their hands a bit either! Some dainty women are like the lilies, "They do not labor or spin!" They keep their hands soft and white. They think any kind of work would mar the delicate beauty of their fingers. But they make a great mistake. The hands that are beautiful in heaven's sight—are not the dainty ones that are never roughened or hardened by toil. Anything is beautiful, just in the measure in which it fulfills the mission for which it was made. Hands were made to work; and an idle, useless hand, no matter how delicate and fair, is not a lovely hand!

    These ancient women had learned to spin, and now they spun for God. Here we see how everyday talents and occupations, may be turned over into God's service. The young women of today do not spin much; many of them never saw a spinning-wheel; but they have other common talents and abilities which they may consecrate to Christ.

    "Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: Whoever does not work—should not eat!" 2 Thessalonians 3:10
     
  3. nChrist

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    May 19.

    "All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: medallions, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind to the LORD." Exodus 35:22

    When the ancient Hebrews were preparing to make a tabernacle for God, they brought the richest and best things they had. They looked on their heirlooms and their most prized possessions, and brought the things which were dearest and most sacred, to God.

    WE should follow the same rule when we are giving to God. When we make presents to those whom we love tenderly, we are at great pains to get the best and loveliest gifts we can find.

    But do we always bring Christ the best?

    Do we give Him the best of our heart's affections?

    Do we bring Him the best of our life, our time, our energy?

    Do we do our best work in His service?

    Are our gifts for Him—the most precious things we possess?

    These Israelites brought their gold jewelry of all kinds: medallions, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They had nothing that was too good or too precious to be offered to God.

    Is it thus with, us? Do we not sometimes bring to God—the very smallest gifts we can find? We keep the bright gold and the large bills for ourselves—and give Him the dimes and nickels!

    Just so of our time, of our thoughts, our skills, our energies. We put Him off too often with what is left over—after we have served ourselves!
     
  4. nChrist

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    May 20.

    "Clothe Aaron with the holy garments, anoint him, and consecrate him, so that he can serve Me as a priest." Exodus 40:13

    One feature of the high priest's dress was very suggestive. On each shoulder, in the golden clasp that fastened together the two parts of the ephod, was an onyx stone, on which were engraved the names of six of the tribes of Israel. Thus, in an emblematic way, the high priest bore the people on his shoulder, the place of strength. He was a type of Christ; who thus Christ carries His people on His shoulder—bearing them and their burdens.

    Another feature of this dress, was the breastplate which was worn by the high priest. It had in it twelve precious stones, with the names of the twelve tribes engraved on them. This the priest wore over his heart. When he went in before God, he thus represented all the people. He not only carried them on his shoulder, for support and upholding—but near his heart, for affection.

    Just so does Christ carries His people in His heart—in deep, tender, unchanging love. Thus we are sure of both the strength and the love of Christ, are engaged for His people!
     
  5. nChrist

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    May 21.

    "As dead flies give perfume a bad smell—so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor." Ecclesiastes 10:1

    It is sad to see how some holy and noble characters are marred by little—yet grievous, faults and blemishes!

    One man is generous—but he desires always to have his charity praised.

    Another is disposed to be kind and helpful—but by his manner, he hurts or humiliates the one he befriends.

    Another is unselfish and devout—but is careless of promises and engagements. He makes appointments, and never thinks of them again. He borrows money, and does not repay it. His friends say, "He is so forgetful!" Yes; but how his forgetfulness mars his character and hurts his influence! Forgetfulness is worse than an acceptable weakness; it is a sin!

    Untruthfulness is a blot in all eyes.

    Whenever SELF leaks out in conduct or disposition—it is a dead fly in the perfume!

    It makes little difference, that a person is not intentionally at fault in the things which so mar his life. Carelessness and thoughtlessness are themselves such serious moral blemishes—that they make impossible, any excuse for delinquencies resulting from them. We need to look to "the littles" which either make or mar godly character. No fault is too small to be worth curing, and no fragment of beauty is too small to be worth setting in the mosaic of character.
     
  6. nChrist

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    May 22.

    "He heals the brokenhearted—and binds up their wounds!" Psalm 147:3

    It is said that when one branch of a tree is bruised, the whole tree begins to pour of its life toward the wounded place, to restore it. It is in this manner, that Christ heals His people when bruised by sorrow. "Blessed are those who mourn—for they shall be comforted."

    There are fields where once fierce battles raged, great armies contended, and blood flowed—but where now the birds sing sweet songs, in summer days flowers bloom, meadows are green with waving grass, and ripening harvests bend. So there are homes where once sorrow's dark clouds hung, tears flowed, and cries of grief were heard—but where now joyous songs ring out, and glad faces smile. God's comfort has healed the brokenhearted home.

    There are many ways in which God restores sorrow's devastation. He sends new blessings instead of the old ones, which he took away, as new flowers come in place of those that fade. He hides a blessing, too, in the very heart of the sorrow itself!

    Grief is like the cloud which comes with its dark portents, into the blue summer sky. It blots out the blue, and fills the air with terrors. The lightnings flash, the thunders roll; but out of the bosom of the blackness—pours the soft rain. So sorrow's cloud comes with dark, portentous aspect; but it empties blessings upon the life, thus carrying in itself—its own power of restoration.
     
  7. nChrist

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    May 23.

    Then the righteous will answer Him, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?" Matthew 25:37-39

    True goodness is not conscious of itself. Moses did not know that his face shined. The noblest Christians put the lowest value on their own good works. No doubt many of the commendations and rewards of the righteous in the judgment, will be surprises to them. They keep no record of their own good deeds. Their own sense of personal unworthiness, hinders their seeing anything worthy in their humble services.

    Besides, we do not see Christ in the lowly and the suffering ones who come before us needing our love and help; we see only poor, sick, unfortunate people, with no outshining of glory, no hints of nobility, no marks of heavenly beauty.

    There is a picture which, seen in ordinary light—shows only a very poor man dying in a miserable, garret, with tokens of abject poverty on all sides; but seen in another light—it shows a throng of angels waiting to bear a child of God up to glory!

    Just so, we do not see things as they are! Jesus Himself is ever before us in lowly disguise! We are unconsciously serving the Master Himself, whenever we do any humble service of love in His name. Every true Christian is preparing for himself many a blessed surprise of reward and glory—when he enters the fuller, richer life of heaven, where all the results of service, and all the fruits of kindness—shall be revealed!

    Then the King will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!" Matthew 25:34
     
  8. nChrist

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    May 24.

    "Whatever is born of the flesh—is flesh; and

    whatever is born of the Spirit—is spirit." John 3:6

    Like produces like. To be born of the Spirit—is to have a new life imparted by the Spirit. This new life will be like that which produces it. Everyone who is born of God—will have some features of God's likeness. He will love the things that God loves, and hate the things that God hates. In some measure, he will be like God . . .
    in holiness,
    in unselfishness,
    in gentleness,
    in patience,
    in forgiveness,
    in truthfulness,
    in love.

    If we would know what God is like—we have only to look at Jesus Christ, for He was the image of God; and if we are born again, we shall have the same features in our lives! They will be dim at first; but they will come out clearer and clearer each day, as we grow in grace.

    We can tell whether or not we are born again—by looking closely at ourselves to see if we have the marks of the Spirit in our life. Do we hate sin? Do we love holiness? Do we love the Bible and prayer, and fellowship with the Lord's true people?

    We have the same thought presented by Paul under the figure of the seal of the Holy Spirit. All Christians are sealed by the Spirit. The seal impresses its own features on the wax. So the Holy Spirit seals believers—by stamping His own image on their hearts. Those who have received the Spirit—will bear the marks of His beauty in their lives!
     
  9. nChrist

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    From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
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    May 25.

    "The fruit of the Spirit, is love." Galatians 5:22

    The sum of all practical religion is love. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." All Christian growth is to be toward the likeness of Christ, and all His character is summed up in LOVE. Whatever is unloving in us—is unlike Jesus; and we should seek to overcome the evil with good.

    Perhaps the ordinary Christian conscience has not been sufficiently exacting on this line of character and duty. Scripture demands truthfulness, justice, honesty, purity; but it does not tolerate bad temper, resentment, unkindness or other phases of unamiableness, in those who profess to follow Jesus!
     
  10. nChrist

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    May 26.

    "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day." Revelation 1:10

    We should all seek to be in the Spirit on the Lord's day. During the week we have our cares of business, and our hands are full of work that must be done. The world is apt to get into our heart during the week-days; and if there is no break in this secular life, we are apt to become secularized in spirit, losing interest in spiritual things. The trouble is not that we are in the world—but that the world too often gets into us. It is a proper enough thing for a ship to be in the sea; but when the sea gets into the ship—that is an end of sailing, and the ship sinks into the waters! Christ wants us to be in the world—but he does not want the world to get into us!

    On the Lord's day, therefore, we should run our ship just as completely as possible out of the world's troubled waters into the peaceful bay of spiritual rest and enjoyment. We should think on spiritual things, and seek to have our heart thoroughly cleansed of worldliness and filled with God. One who thus faithfully uses the Lord's day each week—will be safe amid the world's unspiritual influences. A well-spent Sunday, will keep up the spiritual tone of the life amid the most intense pressure of week-day duty. But there is no other antidote to worldliness; and no Christian who desires to be faithful, dare lose the Sundays out of his week.

    "I am not praying that You take them out of the world—but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world." John 17:15-16

    "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God!" James 4:4

    "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him!" 1 John 2:15
     
  11. nChrist

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    May 27.

    "Learn this parable from the fig tree." Mark 13:28

    The parable of the fig-tree, teaches that we should not shut our eyes to the foreshadowings of future things. We are taught not to be anxious about tomorrow. But there is also a duty of looking ahead—as well as not looking ahead. The good sailor watches the skies, and he would be criminally foolish—were he to pay no heed to the foretokens of storm. The prudent farmer watches the forerunners of winter, and gathers in his fruits, houses his cattle, puts wood and coal in his bins, when he can do so easily—and is ready before the snows and the bitter cold come. So in all our life we should watch the "signs of the times," and shape our course accordingly.

    Young people, as they feel the impulses of life in their souls, and hear the calls of God sounding in their ears, should be reminded of the duties and responsibilities of life, toward which they are moving, and should diligently prepare themselves for filling well their place. Each period of life brings its own special work; and there are always forecasts which, if heeded, will enable us to prepare ourselves for what God is preparing for us. If we are faithful, one day will prepare us for the next, and we shall never be found by any event, however sudden, unprepared to meet it.
     
  12. nChrist

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    May 28.

    Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?" Samuel replied, "Yes, in peace!" 1 Samuel 16:4-5

    God's messengers do not all wear gentle faces; ofttimes they come in a garb of sternness. Yet they come always with a blessing. Sickness is one of these dark-visaged prophets. We cannot welcome it. Yet if we ask this messenger, "Do you come in peace?" the answer is, "Yes, in peace." Sickness always brings messages of peace, of good—if only we have grace to receive them.

    The same is true of all the hard trials of life. We would rather have easy times. Boys and young men who are poor, think ofttimes that they have scarcely a fair chance in life, when they see the sons of rich fathers reveling in luxury, with plenty of money. Yet really the stern prophet of poverty brings ofttimes a holier message and a richer, truer blessing—than the smiling-faced, silken-robed messenger brings to the youth in the fine mansion.

    The best things in life, can be developed only by work and discipline. Hence, whatever compels a boy or a young man to toil, to deny himself, to make strenuous efforts—is a blessing to him. The 'prophet of necessity' therefore comes to him peaceably. We should never turn from our doors any prophets which God sends, however stern they may appear. They all come with a good message.
     
  13. nChrist

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    May 29.

    The LORD said to Samuel, "Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." 1 Samuel 16:1

    The Lord is never at loss for a man. When one fails—he has another ready. His plans and purposes go on—in spite of human failure, and through all seeming disaster.

    Here was a boy, keeping the sheep in the fields, probably not dreaming of greatness, and yet God had him marked out to be king! The boys do hot know what God has in mind for them. They may be sure, however, that for every one of them—God has some plan. It may be a great place or a small one, as the world rates greatness or smallness; but every boy should feel that to be just what God made him to be—is the grandest, noblest, best thing possible for him. If God made him to be a carpenter, and by his own restless strivings he gets to be a member of Congress or Parliament, or President of the United States, his place is not half so high and great in the angels' sight—as if he had been the carpenter he was meant to be.

    The greatest place anyone can attain—is the place God intended him to fill. How can we know what God wants us to do and to be? By doing his will, day by day, with quiet fidelity, wherever we find ourselves. God's will for each day—is God's plan for us for that day. Thus God will lead us continually to that which he has for us to do. Failure in the lowlier duties—will hinder our promotion to the higher.
     
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    May 30.

    "Since he had no sword, he ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath. David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head!" 1 Samuel 17:50-51

    If he had not cut off the giant's head—the old Philistine champion would have gotten up by and by, and walked away; for he was only stunned, not killed, by the stone. David made sure work of his victory!

    A great many of our attacks upon sin in our own hearts, and in the world—only stun, and do not kill the evil. We walk away, thinking we have done a fine thing. But shortly, we meet the 'old giant' again, stalking abroad as before! He soon recovers from our blow, and we have to fight the battle over; and perhaps we fight it again in the same half-hearted way—and thus on and on, to the end of life!

    Most of us have had just such experience as this, with our own evil lusts and passions. We overcome them very often, and think each time that we are through with them—but soon again they are as active as ever.

    We need to learn a lesson from David—and finish our victories by cutting off the head of every giant we strike down!

    There is no other way of killing sins!

    The life is in the head—and the head must be struck off—or the enemy will be facing us again in a day or two, with but a scar on his forehead!

    The only way to get a real victory over vices—is to decapitate them! Bruises and wounds are not enough. There must be thorough work done, in the name of the Lord. Half-way measures will not avail.

    "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5

    "Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord." 1 Samuel 15:33. Like Samuel, we must hew our Agags to pieces!
     
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    May 31.

    "Then David went to Jonathan and asked—What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?" 1 Samuel 20:1

    A true friend is a refuge. We all have troubles at some time. For many years we may get along quietly, and without sore trial; but the day will come to all of us—when we shall be in sorrow or danger. It may be in such an experience as David's, when people shall misjudge us, or become our enemies without cause, and may seek to harm us. It may be sickness that comes upon us, or bereavement, or severe loss of some kind. Whatever the trouble may be, a true friend will prove a great comfort to us in the experience.

    It is a blessed thing to have one friend that we are sure of, though all others fail us. We can go to him then as David went to Jonathan, telling him all our heart's burden. Young people should seek to have a friend older than themselves, to whom they can fly in trouble or in danger, and in whose faithful love they can find a sure and safe refuge. There is a wonderful strength in the confidence that one has such a friend.

    "There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24. Christ is the best, strongest, wisest, truest, most helpful friend anyone can have. His friendship is a refuge indeed. We can flee to him in any danger, and find him ready always to comfort, shelter, and bless. However many human friends we may have—we all need Christ.
     
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    June 1.

    Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly." 1 Samuel 19:4

    One quality of true friendship, is the loyalty which speaks out for one's friend in his absence, when derogatory things are said of him. In few ways is human infirmity shown in worse light—than in the too common willingness to hear evil things even of one's friends. We must confess that there is something evil in a great deal of human nature—which delights in learning of faults, mistakes, or lapses in others. At least we must admit that there is a strong tendency in this direction.

    But we ought to set the world the example of a friendship free from such malign weakness. We ought to refuse to believe evil of our friend, or even to listen to whispers or insinuations against him. Instead of being delighted at hearing injurious things about him, hints of wrong-doing in him, or of flaws in his character, such things should grieve us. The law of Christian love requires us to defend the character of our friend—as we would our own character. We are our brother's keeper.
     
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    June 2.

    Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want me to do—I will do for you." 1 Samuel 20:4

    Friendship is helpful. We never know what our friends do for us. They are advocates for us, speaking strong, earnest words for us to others. They defend us from false things which others may speak of us. Since I began to write this paragraph, I have had an opportunity to tell the truth about one of my friends to another who had heard certain charges against him, thus removing the false impression concerning my friend—at least from one man's mind. None of us know how much of our success, we owe to the loyal words of our friends.

    Friends help us in our personal life. A pure-hearted friend is continually leaving touches of beauty on our character. We get from him good thoughts, wholesome influences, fresh inspirations, continual incitements. Longfellow tells us of a song breathed in the air which he found long, long afterward in the heart of a friend. So it is continually with the sweet songs, good words, and holy influences of friendship.

    Friends are helpful also in the ministry of kindness which they render as two walk on together. A true friend is unselfish, thoughtful, ready always to render aid in every possible way. Especially should friendship show itself in time of trouble. "A friend is born for adversity."
     
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    June 3

    The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of, when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.'" 1 Samuel 24:4

    So far as we know, the Lord had not said this at all. The men put their own interpretation on the opportunity, and called it providential. We are all too apt to interpret providences in accordance with our own wishes. When we are desiring to be led in a certain manner, and there is one way we desire very much to take—we are quite sure to find providences that seem to favor our preference.

    But opportunity does not always indicate duty. When the merchant by mistake gives back a dollar too much change, there is an opportunity to make a dollar; but who will say that we ought to accept it? When you find in trouble, one who has done you a wrong, there is an opportunity to have revenge. But does the opportunity justify retaliation? The duty in the former case is honesty, arid in the latter is the showing of love to an enemy.

    In reading providences, we must remember that no opportunity to do anything in itself wrong—is ever to be regarded as a divine leading. It is a sin to take revenge, no matter how much our enemy deserves punishment, or how good a chance we have for punishing him. It is a sin to steal, even though an opportunity makes it very easy to do it. God leads us by his providence—but never into sin!
     
  19. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
    Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
    Grace Gems!
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    June 4.

    David said to Saul, "Why do you listen when men say?" 1 Samuel 24:9

    There was someone who in the dark, was stabbing David's name. It is probable that Saul was made to believe that David was his bitter foe, and was plotting all manner of evil against him. There are people in every community who are slanderers. They go to this one and that one, and drop dark insinuations about some other person, whose shoe's latchet they are not worthy to unloose. They come to one of two friends, and let fall some hint only that the other is not faithful as a friend, perhaps relating something in a perverted way, so as to leave an impression of faithlessness. "A whisper separates chief friends." The ruin wrought by the slanderer in this world, cannot be computed, characters blackened, friendships broken up, jealousies aroused, homes destroyed, hearts broken. Slanderous words have measureless power for evil.
     
  20. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
    Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
    Grace Gems!
    ___________________________________________


    June 5.

    "The Lord forbid that I should do this thing!" 1 Samuel 24:6

    "Would it not be human to resent it?" said one who had received an insult. "Yes," was the reply, "but it would be godlike to forgive it." David did the godlike thing. He had a chance to avenge himself. He had his cruel enemy in his power. One stroke, and Saul would never have troubled him any more. David's life would then have been safe. He would have become king at once. His men were urging it, and he himself was tempted to do it. Yet he overcame the temptation, and allowed Saul to pass out of his hand unharmed. He listened to the voice of God speaking in his own conscience, and restrained the impulse to avenge himself.

    The first impulse of a child, when wronged or hurt by another, is to seek revenge. Sometimes older people encourage this evil spirit in children, by telling them to whip the chair or the rocking-horse by which they have chanced to be hurt. In older people, too, the desire for revenge is natural, and can be repressed only by the higher law of love which Christ teaches. The lesson is, that the punishment of sin must be left in God's hands. Our duty is to bear patiently the wrongs and injuries others may inflict upon us, not giving reviling for reviling, to repay unkindness with kindness, to overcome evil with good.
     
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